"You didn't give me these arms, but you gave them a family to hold.
You didn't give me my body but you've truly shaped my soul. Your love has given me wings and how my spirit soars. Knowing that I always will be yours. Forever and for always I am yours."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tale of Two Babies

These are two babies that completely have my heart right now. They are Valentina and Dash. They were born the same week. These pictures were taken within the past week when each were 8 months old. Valentina lives in an orphanage in China were I work. I will be visiting there on 3/20/12 before we go to Hangzhou to adopt the girls.

Dash lives around the corner with my friend Ginger. Dash has an adoring Mama. Valentina does not. Dash is sitting up and giggling now. Valentina hasn't the strength. Dash weighs 20 pounds. Valentina weighs about half of that. Look at the difference having a Mama makes. Every child should have that chance. We will be doing all we can to ensure Valentina gets her turn.

Friday, February 24, 2012

He Shared All He Had

We are so blessed!! Here are huge hugs and kisses to all of you who have donated to the girls. It is adding up and my heart is overflowing. Today in the mail was an amazing note from my nephew who is 13 years old, just a year older than Jaeya. Bless this boys heart!! He gave us all he had...all $14 stuck in the envelope. What a priceless gift he has given. Aunt Stefani is teary eyed. Treyden thank you. And to all the others who have helped be part of Jaeya and Meisyn's miracle may you know our gratitude.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Urgent Plea for JAEYA and MEISYN

We aren't so good at asking for help. We are usually the givers. But, we need help and we need help NOW.

Our longed for Travel Approval is scheduled to arrive this week or next. At that time we need to make and pay for plane reservations. We have been waiting for our tax return and while we sent them in as early as was possible the refund is not here. This is the plane tickets for Jaeya and Meisyn to get them HOME. God has opened the doors at every point previously but we are having a hard time squeezing through this one. Plainly stated, WE NEED HELP.

If you have ever wanted to help an orphan and didn't know where to start, START HERE. If you don't have any extra funds, PLEASE PRAY we can find them. If you do have even a little bit to share, please be God's hands and SHARE. If you want to see Jaeya get off that little wooden chair and step into the world, PLEASE CHIP IN. If you believe you can help Meisyn STAND and WALK, FINANCIALLY HELP. If you believe that Jaeya and Meisyn deserve educations and specialized medical care for the first time in their lives, PLEASE GIVE. If you can, please DO.

We need an additional $3000 in our hands by the middle of next week. We have a CHIP IN on our blog which will accept PayPal. You can also paypal my account at stefani@infowest.com If you don't have Paypal and need my mailing address please contact me.

We are at the point that I have to crawl through the mud and yuck to show my daughters that I will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for them. Even if that includes pleading on my knees.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

An Angel Lead Us

There are times that we are profoundly changed at moments we least expect to be. Last night was such for me, my family, and our Gateway community. We dutifully went to the Solo and Ensemble Concert at our children's school. Upon sitting I looked at the program printed on bright yellow paper. From top to bottom was crammed the names of every performer. Honestly, it was with a cringe that I counted 37 numbers to sit through. We are talking beginning violinists squeaking out Hot Cross Buns, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and even Jingle Bells. Just my luck my child was number 35.

An hour and half into the program we finally got to my 14 year old son Aaron. My handsome, gifted, intelligent son has struggled with Social Anxiety Disorder since he was a toddler. He hid under the table at kindergarten registration. He sat on the sideline of gym class until third grade because he was paralyzed by the thought of someone looking at him while he participated. Although he has an immense musical gift he could not share it. Even at his short lived try at piano lessons he would only softly touch the keys while the teacher watched. There was never a sound that came from the keys. He was too anxious to let the teacher hear him. The stress of this disorder would send him into DAYS of constant vomiting.

Imagine my disbelief when he walked out on stage BY HIMSELF, stood before the snare drum, clearly introduced himself into the microphone no less, and PLAYED THE DRUM. Not just played it but smoked it. He rocked the house. At the end, he gave a cool smile, flipped and caught his his drums sticks, and slunk off the stage. My husband and I certainly had tears in our eyes. People in the audience had NO IDEA the significance of those 2 minutes and 14 seconds. But I knew and my son did too.

As I basked in this unexpected growth passage the next performer was taken by the crook of the elbow and lead by the young orchestra mistress to center stage. Was this child blind I wondered? She looked to be about 12 or 13 as she fidgeted with her hair. It was soon apparent that this sweet child had serious neurological challenges. The orchestra teacher moved to the mic and told us this child was named Angel and it was her vocal debut. Then the teacher went on to read a note written by Angel's mother who exhorted the audience to judge Angel by her heart and not her talent. By now Angel was so excited that her arms were jerking around her face and she could not stand still.

The choir children quietly filed onto the stage and knelt behind her. The music started and Angel began to touch us. She couldn't remember all the words. The delivery was awkward and off key. But this pure child took each of us by the crook of our hearts and lead us to a place of perfect peace and love. The choir children hummed their backup melody as tears slipped down their cheeks. It was a harmony of souls in the auditorium at that moment. Tears were flowing, sobs were escaping, hearts were growing. And Angel was beaming.

The audience jumped to their feet and gave her a standing ovation. I was proud of my children, the middle school aged peers who instead of being devastatingly cruel were tenderly accepting, and my new hero Angel. And I knew I had been given a blessing as I was transfigured by a little girl named Angel who lead us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ammon has a birthday!! Nine! Nine!! Nine!!

We have a birthday boy! Can you believe that the radiant boy, who was appropriately born on the Lantern Festival of 2003, is now NINE YEARS OLD?! He has been practicing for a few days and will now answer NINE when asked his age. We are going sledding after the kids get home and he can hardly wait. More pictures will follow then. Ammon could not stand still while I tried to get these with the balloons. That boy has BAP bad. (Birthday Ants in his Pants).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Taisha is a Sweetheart

Sorry you don't get to see Taisha's date, just her friend Felicia. This is to the Sweethearts Dance at school.

Shout out to Taisha who has an academic scholarship for college! Scoring a 30 on the ACT science section doesn't hurt...even for a girl who wants to go into the fine arts. Way to make us proud Taisha!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meisyn and her line up of little friends

Saw this posted on somebody's wall. Does the sweetheart in the pink coat look familiar? We have a suitcase of clothes in that very color ready for next month's travel. We are very close to coming sweet Meisyn!

We are hopeful that we get to visit the orphanage and give each one of those precious little friends a great big squeeze.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Revved up for the Pinewood Derby

After all these years of watching his siblings take their turn, Ammon FINALLY gets a chance to race a car down that fascinating and spectacular track.

Waiting his turn was intolerable and exhausting. But HE DID IT! And there was not a soul there that wasn't absolutely certain that Ammon was having the time of his life. Each time his car went down that track he squealed, giggled and danced. Way to go Ammie!

But it was just a pinch sad for my heart to see him with the boys his own age and clearly see how unique my son is and how different the other boys feel that he is. They tried and they were kind but at the same time, they don't know how to be with him. Ammon truly does not understand that he is different and that others view him that way. He has a full and overflowing self esteem and is positive that he is the best kid in the entire galaxy! Smart kid!!