Thursday, July 26, 2007

Childrens Hope Reunion

Ellie, Tatumn, Myer and Sage
Standing w/ Brenda and her family at the zoo
Ellie enjoying a Fitz Root Beer
Saige, Sage, Tatumn and Myer(I messed up the picture, long story)
Had to throw in one w/ those cute toes!
Miss Miracle Myer
Silly Taylor, Tatumns Big Brother
Kiana(saiges sis) Makenna & Baylor(Myers sis)having a slumber party!

Makenna having fun at the picnic Can't catch me!
Spicy Sage
Dalayna in red w/ Malaine, who is not so sure of the mess!
Good bye Tatumn, I will miss you friend

Dinner with Brenda and Ellie
Silly girls having fun!
Chinese smiles all around!

I have been excited about this reunion weekend since we started the adoption! I could not wait for the chance to see babies together, meet up w/ new friends, old friends, I really did think and plan for just months! It was perfect! The only thing that could have made it much sweeter was if we had been able to see more of our Hunan babies there. Which they are all promising me NEXT year they are coming, so I am holding them to that! ;)

We started the weekend w/ dinner at the Spaghetti Factory Downtown. 6 adults, 11 children(and we were missing one). Outnumbered you think? We met w/ the Crawfords and the Massey Family. We were thrilled to see Tatumn and the rest of her family of course! Tatumn was in Chenzhou w/ Sage, so we truly feel these girls have a special bond. Steph and I met online long before we traveled and just clicked through the wait. We were able to share the joy of receiving our girls together. They live in Kansas City, so not far from us at all. Seeing Myer was just amazing. If you remember, I had this post asking for prayer after we came home from China. I can't even explain all the emotions of being able to spend time w/ her this weekend, so I will save that for it's own post. We were SO thankful that they came in and that we had the chance to get to know her and her beautiful family better. We ended the evening w/ swimming at their hotel. You know the hotel loved us!

Friday we were up early to head over to the St Louis Zoo. There I was able to meet my dear online friend Brenda for the first time ever! Brenda and I had been emailing since we started the process and we are both big on emails so we naturally started a great email friendship! We had hoped to travel to China together, and thought we might, but we did not make her group, she went the month ahead of us. Her Ellie is probably about as busy as Sage! Isn't she sweet? She came from the same area of China that my cousins' daughter came from which is very special to us. It was so great to meet their family and spend time w/ them. The Crawfords and The Masseys were also at the zoo. From there we headed over to Fitz for lunch. You know what a site we are w/ our gazillion children between all of us!

Dinner that night was our house. We were joined by another set of friends who we had also hoped to travel w/ but they went the month before us also. Their daughter is named Kiara Saige, and is just a doll. Makenna was very excited to spend time w/ Kiana. She was thrilled that Baylor and Kiana both stayed the night w/ her. Lots of giggles going on for sure!

Saturday was the picnic. As you can see from the pictures, tons of fun. They had the pools filled w/ packing peanuts, which turned into snow. BIG mess, but the kids loved it. Especially the Crawford boys who were dumping bucketfuls on us as we entered the room! ;) CHI does a wonderful job w/ their picnic. Babaloo was there, who was so silly. And just giving us time to be w/ all the families who have all walked the same road. We had to say goodbye at the picnic to the Crawfords and Massey's, but we hope that we will see them again very soon.

Sunday we were able to go to dinner w/ Brenda and her family which was great. Ellie and Sage were a riot together. So very sweet! 2 busy girls! It was a great finish to a perfect weekend. We ate here which is a fun place.

What is amazing about any of these events with the families, is just sitting back and knowing how awesome our God is. You look at each little Chinese girl, and you know that God had His hand in the making of that family. No one else in that room could be my daughter. He chose Tatumns mommy, Sage for us, Kiara Saiges mommy, Ellies mommy, Myers mommy & Dalayna's mommy for a reason. He knew long ago, that they would each join their family's. He knew long ago that He would bring US together to be friends, and more than that, to be family. Because once you have adopted, you become one big family! These are my girls, they come from the land of my daughter. And their parents walked the road I walked to get them home. They hold such a special place in our family.

Such sweet memories, we already look forward to next years reunion!

(side note on the messed up picture.. I downloaded the pictures, and "thought" I had saved them, but I did not. I deleted them off my card and when I went to transfer the pictures to the blog, GONE! Thankfully Mark was able to purchase software to recover them, but for some reason some of them came back like that one, half gone. I am trying not to be upset, I still got alot, and it is better than getting none, which is what we thought we were getting! Next time though, I will leave the downloading to Mark!)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I prayed for this child.....

Our Chinese Prayer Come True!
Our Pastor
All the babies being dedicated and our church support
Spicy Smiles!
Sage & Adley

I prayed for this child and the Lord has given what I asked of Him. For her whole life she will be given to the Lord.... 1 Samuel 1 : 27-28
On Fathers Day, we had Sage dedicated. Typically our church holds a dedication service, you say yes I want to be in it and you get up there and repeat what they tell you to repeat. This year was different. They asked us to fill out an "application", and that just really made me do some soul searching about baby dedication. Of course w/ all our children we have believed they are a true gift from God. Before Makenna I was convinced we might not have children, and so I have no doubt, they are a gift. We dedicated each of them and we believed they were His. But this time it was just different. I am sure filling out an application was the start. The questions were things such as: Why do you want to dedicate your child? What do pray for your child? What is your plan to raise them to know Christ? What are your dreams for for your child, especially their walk with Christ? and what scriptures are special to you for your child.
It just made me start thinking. We know we are blessed beyond words to parent 4 children. Some think we are crazy, it is a bunch of kids! But oh we are so thankful for this craziness! We also know that these children, are ours for now. But in the end, they are the Fathers. We are simply being granted the privilege to teach them and train them to love Him. I think Sage is such a testimony of that. For SO many months we waited, and we waited, and we waited. I did not like waiting. I still look back at that wait and cringe. It is then God whispers, remember? She is MINE! She was mine and I held her and I decided when she would be in your arms. And when he whispers that, I have these panic moments. Because as i pray for Sage and I wonder about her walk with Christ, my prayer always is that she will love Him and follow Him. And sometimes I want to add, but only if it means to follow Him here with me! Yet I know that if she follows Him back to China, if that is where He takes her someday, it will be OK. She was His from the beginning and she will always be safe in His love.
So this baby dedication was just a little more different, a little more thought provoking, very sweet. One very special part is that Sage was dedicated with her cousin Adley. We know they are going to be best buddies!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Late Fathers Day Pictures

Mark and his Dad
My Grandpa and my Dad

I am getting farther and farther behind, so look for more posts this week. I did not want to miss posting these photos from fathers day. These 4 men play such key roles in my life. My grandpa is my only living grandparent, my mothers father. Mark and I are blessed beyond words to have parents and grandparents who have given to us a Godly heritage. They love the Lord and have instilled in us a love for Him as well. We are thankful for that, and for the opportunity to carry on that legacy with our own children.

Of course I am also thankful for my husband. If you know him, you know he is an amazing father as well as husband. So many things I love about him, so here is our family's top 10 of why we think he is GREAT!

  1. He does not consider it a "job" to help with the kids. I never have to worry about leaving him with 4 kids on his own. I know he won't even complain. In fact, if I am leaving on an overnight, I think he enjoys making sure the kids have extra fun!

  2. He lets me sleep in. He gets up w/ our early birds and feeds them breakfast.

  3. He totally does equal share with anything to do w/ kids.

  4. He is very patient, obviously, he puts up w/ me and is able to work from home full time w/ a house full of chaos!

  5. If I come up w/ a crazy idea, even when he disagrees(which is normally) he is willing to be wrong and listen to God's answer.

  6. When I was pregnant he would drive and get me coke icee's every day and go through the drive through of burger king for pickles because I needed them!

  7. He helps with laundry, is the offical floor mopper, bath giver and hamster cage cleaner!
  8. I truley believe he would rather be with his family than anywhere else.
  9. He is a human calculator and I stink at math!
  10. He Loves the Lord.

Coming Next: Sage's Dedication, 4th of July, and Our Childrens Hope Reunion!!