Friday, December 31, 2010

2010...A Little Review...

Well......2010 was a year to was a year that started with my blog HAVING to go private AGAIN while we got some "internet weirdness" figured out....phew...that was all behind us and we came back strong, BACK OPEN AND PUBLIC later on in January.... I'll give a little month by month review....Well...ALL the months...except for, what ended up being, the most magical, wonderful month of all: December!!! December deserves its OWN more to come on that.....For now...January 2010:
January is always cold in these parts...we celebrated New Year's with friends and family..and then at the end of the month: Our Oldest Kiddo TURNED 8:February is always full of lots of LOVE around our home....LL was now fully walking and running...and she and George were two partners in crime all the time:March brings on my sweet first son's 5th bday: April is right behind him with Georgie's 3rd bday:

Then it was a quick trip to the beach for spring break.....the kids had a blast and we were ready for some warm weather after a long cold winter:
Then, in May we celebrated our "readoption day" of Lucy lane:

Also, African Fellowships were in full swing..and well....a memorable moment was this kind lady seeing LL at the park and crying and crying over her:

May also brought on the Flood of the Century in Nashville:

It was also Mother's Day:

In June we celebrated LL's One Year Home Anniversary:

And, we headed to Atlanta to watch Baby Isaac come home:

July is always a fun month as we celebrate the 4th:

We also had the AGCI Picnic in our area in was HOT..but oh, so fun:

August came way too fast..and I now had 3 kiddos in school:

August and September were mine and Daddy's bday:

October was when my JuJu turned 7:

So, we headed to the beach again for fall break...yes, we love it there:
A little pumpkin patch fun in October:

In November, we all headed to church in our Orphan tshirts to bring awareness for Orphan Sunday:

And, new family pics were also taken in November.... and LL turned 2....

***Well...and then DECEMBER showed up....the month I was leaving and heading back to take advantage of the RARE chance that i could connect with and meet LL's birth family....and PRAYING that IF it was God's will...GREAT things would come out of this trip...and oh...they did!!!! :) Part Two of my year in review tomorrow: December!!! :) Stay tuned...I'll be sharing every detail...and letting you in on HOW 2011 should be a GREAT, LIFE CHANGING YEAR FOR US!!!! Until tomorrow...happy new year..and happy Friday to you all (i do think it is actually saturday now..but ya know...i'm up late :) kj

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh, I've Got the BEST News EVER.....

Oh, i've been dying to post these words EVER SINCE I was in Africa.....and IF you missed my FIRST post on these PRECIOUS kids...then READ it first HERE...and you'll know WHY!!!! Yes, I have GREAT news to share...These precious 4 HAVE A FAMILY!!! Can I hear a PRAISE GOD!!! :) Wow....I KNOW all your prayers were answered when God BROKE the HEARTS of a WONDERFUL couple and He told them: "these are your children"!!! I had this sweet new Momma of 4 email me AFTER my post on these children..and she let me know then that she'd been praying for these kids....and she had seen them on the list weeks earlier and NEVER could get them out of her mind...and...well...after some talking with the director and such later...I saw today that the kid's pics were OFF THE WAITLIST!!!! Yayyyyy!! I just couldn't believe my eyes!! I emailed Sue, the director, immediately and asked IF they were gone because someone had committed to them...and her reply "yes"!!! Oh, I was so excited.... These kids are truly wonderful little people that deserve a mom and a dad that will be devoted to them for the rest of their lives...and that is exactly what they found!! I just couldn't be happier...and oh, how i wish I were a fly on the wall when they tell them , "you have a family coming for you!!" It's exactly what they wanted and what they were praying for....and little 4 year old will no longer have to cling to the legs of strangers calling them "mom"....he'll have his OWN Mom!!! Wow...God is good and I'm just so thankful to be witnessing His miracles at work!! Congrats "W" family on your INSTANT large family!!! I know EVERYONE that reads my blog has been praying for these 4 (i can't even tell you the # of emails I've received about these 4...people committing to praying for them UNTIL they had a family)....and prayers were answered!!! ***NOW...everyone hop on over and congratulate the "W" family at I know they are going to need all our support, love and prayers.....yes, please leave them a comment and let them know HOW happy we all are for them....I've already added them to my side bar so I can watch these precious 4 come home.... Can you tell I'm so excited!!! :)

**Well, LL was excited to hear the news today too...She put on quite the show for me with the camera....She is still such a nut..and she wasn't mad at me at all when i got home from Africa (which was another answered prayer..I was so afraid she'd shun me when I got home)...she ran right to me..and has been the same little love bug, nutty girl ever since :) So, I'll end with a little bit of her "nuttiness" today...Isn't she getting big:

Oh, how I love my silly girl!! Rejoicing in the good news!! Happy Thursday to you all, kj

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Boy That Blessed Us....

Our trip to Ethiopia was FULL of so many blessings and moments that I never want to forget...I was so LIMITED on how much I could blog or write about while I was there...that I want to capture a few more stories and moments BEFORE they fade from my mind....You see....we spent one entire afternoon visiting with my sister Kelly's birth family for her son, Nathan. It was SO neat to finally meet this small little family that still holds so much LOVE for my nephew Nathan....My sister Kelly has visited with them several times now....and they look so forward to every visit to see new pictures and to hear how Nathan is growing and prospering in America:But, just when you think you've got this visit all figured out...God throws an extra little blessing your the form of this little guy:
I couldn't help but notice from the first second we entered this small little apartment that Nathan's bio family had "invited" a friend and her son over....and I noticed right away that this boy had Downs Syndrome. I guess it took me by surprise because it was the first time I'd seen an Ethiopian with Downs Syndrome....I guess I'd just never really thought about it...and there he was right in front of me...a sweet, wonderful boy full of smiles and laughter....
I had no idea WHY they had come for our visit with Nathan's birth family...but either way...he was a joy to be around from the second we stepped into the room....Oh, what a ham he was playing the drums, singing songs and dancing to make us all laugh....

We soon found out WHY she was "invited"...we were introduced to this sweet mother and son and she told us in English..." I need help for my son...I came hoping you'd know someone that could sponsor him!" Nathan's birth mother had invited her LONG TIME friend to our 'visit' in hopes that we'd know someone somewhere that could help them.....
This little boy's mom went on to tell us that he was born with "Mongolianism" I told her that we call it Downs Syndrome in the United States...She had never heard it called that before. She went on to tell me HOW hard it was to find drs. to see him because she was repeatedly turned away "when they see his face". She said that he isn't valued in her country....and her own husband WON'T accept his own son. She said she has raised him on her own...with no help from her husband.....She told us how she is given no money to buy him food and her husband won't give her any money for him to have clothes either.... She said he is seven years old and hasn't been accepted by his father since the day he was born. She said she needs to work but she has no one that can watch her son..She tries to send him to school...but the money is too hard to come by to keep him there....She said she is tired every day and her body is exhausted because he doesn't sleep at night and he wants to be carried during the day....And, of course, at this point...she had my full attention....I could hear the desperation in this mother's voice... She had been doing this COMPLETELY on her own for 7 years...and she was finally seeing her FIRST glimmer of HOPE for HIS future...IN US!! She said, " I need an American sponsor...I need help with his food, his clothes, his schooling and his medical care"
She then went on to tell us about his heart condition he has (which I know is common in children that have Downs Syndrome) She had just discovered it a year earlier when he saw a dr. for the first time in the E.R. when he had fallen and needed stitches...She said it was someone in the E.R. that "saw his face" and sent him to get his heart checked...there she was told that "he indeed needed surgery" to have his heart defect repaired. I asked her "what type" of heart defect he had (knowing that there are many different levels) but she didn't know....She just knew he needed a surgery....So, my mind started racing, of course...

I immediately came to the conclusion that we'd go visit the local hospital the next day and FIND out what surgery he needed.....I told her that I would try and find her some help for her son....I explained that in America there were MANY people that had BIG HEARTS for Children with Downs Syndrome...She seemed surprised to hear that....
She told me that she continuously takes her son to different churches and such to have him sprinkled with Holy Water to try and have his "condition" taken that he'd have a good life and be accepted by his father and by society...
Yes, this was all hard to hear....I'm sitting in front of the most precious, silliest, cutest boy ever...and I hear how his basic needs can't be met..and how people continuously push him away because of his "condition"....Yes, God just continuing to break my heart while on this trip.........Well, we filled this boy with lots of sugar and match box cars and left on a mission to not only find him an American sponsor...but to also find out HOW she could get the surgery for him he requires....
As we all hugged good bye...She said ONE LAST THING...and her words have haunted me (in a good way) ever since...."Don't forget about him!!"
And, Oh, I haven't!! I think often of our little friend....How hard it must be for this mom to raise this child on her find adequate food and care for him...when no one is willing to help her...And, how hard it must have been for her to make her way to where she heard "Americans" would be for that day...for that brief moment....hoping and praying that someone would help her...that someone would help her son!!

***Well, I'll have to say that WHILE I was still in Ethiopia...I updated my facebook status saying that we had met a young boy with Downs Syndrome...and he and his mother were looking for an American sponsor...and before I could even get home...he had one!! Praise God!! I swear I think that when I'm hanging out with my sister and Ordinary Hero that God is working OVER TIME!! :) Yes, I'm excited to say that this sweet boy has found an American Sponsor.....A family stepped forward RIGHT AWAY saying they'd like to sponsor him...This is a family from my home town...that has been blessed by their own son with Downs Syndrome and would now like to give back and help another child live a better life as well!! Wow..Praise God!! This is an Ordinary Hero if I've ever heard of one!! Thank you "L" family... I can't wait to see HOW God works through you all to bless this little boy!!

***And, the next day AFTER meeting our new little friend..I walked and hiked and took a VERY stinky, crowded taxi up to the local hospital and met with the Pediatric Cardiac team where I learned our little friend could get a surgery for FREE!! He'd be on a wait list to receive the surgery...but after filling out some paper work that I got for them...he could receive the care he needed with NO COST!! :)

***So...just another day's work while in Ethiopia...I left that young boy that day with SUCH a heavy heart...but it was soon replaced with HOPE and JOY...cause God never lets us down!!! Imagine ALL the lives we could change and bless JUST BY STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES FOR A MINUTE!! Cause...let me tell ya..this trip was NO WHERE inside my comfort zone...but God has blessed me beyond ANY thing I could have ever imagined BECAUSE I WENT!!!

** I'll keep you all updated on our little friend....Please continue praying for him as they LEARN THIS WEEK that they have a sponsor...Praying that God is Glorified through it all....happy Tuesday to you all, kj

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let It Snow....

Well, it continued to snow around here through out the day on Christmas and some the next day too....ALL the kids woke early the DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS to hit the hills with their new sleds Santa had brought them..They thought it was SO COOL that Santa KNEW it was going to snow on Christmas.....

LL ventured to the door...but decided she DIDN'T like the cold very much....
She's really NOT into shoes much either...I mean..don't get me wrong...she likes to try them on ALL day...but actually keeping a pair of shoes on her feet is a TRUE miracle around our home...LL strips her shoes every chance she gets....So, holding her boots out in the snow wasn't working for her....
BUT everyone else enjoyed the snow....My George man only lasted about 10 minutes and figured that LL must be the smartest one in the house for STAYING inside...and he came and joined her too....
They realized that watching from the window was WAY MORE COOL!!! :)
And, it actually snowed last week too while I was in Africa...I was sweating while walking the streets carrying a heavy backpack..and my kids were at home playing in the snow....crazy
So, glad it decided to snow again for ME so I could enjoy it too!!!

**So, Today's Monday....Christmas decorations are DOWN and packed back up (kind of sad to see them go) and.....hitting the ground running again today!!! :) Praying our Christmas Card pic looks a little different next year......happy Monday to you all, kj

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!!! It was a WHITE one!!

Wow...what a treat to WAKE up on Christmas morning to a REAL WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!! This is a VERY rare thing in our part of the world...and it's almost like a little "gift" from God when it actually does happen....just so neat:My five littles woke early and enjoyed every minute of their Christmas morning:
LL especially enjoyed the Christmas sugar that Santa left in her stocking for her:
We enjoyed having Jules and Poppy staying with us this holiday season too....Jules helped LL with her new tricycle:
And, from our family to YOURS:
Merry Saturday to you all, kj