Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Sweet 16, Madelaine Grace!


“A daughter is someone you laugh with, dream with, and love with all your heart.”  --author unknown


Thank you, Madelaine Grace, for being YOU!  I wouldn’t change a thing, beautiful one!  Thank you for making my heart smile—always.  Happy Sweet 16!!!  WE LOVE YOU!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good News…and Bittersweet News

First, the good news…


Conner is recovering well from his pyloroplasty, which appears to be a successful cure to his gastroparesis.

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He surprised us all when he was able to come home from the hospital Saturday afternoon (Jan. 18)! 

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Conner is such a tough and brave boy.  When most of us would be curled up in tears due to the pain from surgery and continuous nausea and vomiting due to gastroparesis, Conner is such a trooper.  He almost always has a precious smile on his face.

photo 1


So far, the pyloroplasty has been quite successful.  For the FIRST TIME in his entire life, Conner isn’t vomiting numerous times per day!!!  He’s eating and holding down his food, with a minor episode of reflux occasionally.  Praise the Lord!!!  This has been a journey of almost two years, and we’re so grateful for Conner’s gastroenterologist and the wisdom he has in getting to the bottom of Conner’s GI issues.


Now for the bittersweet news…


The 13-year-old girl in China (“Daphne”) who has Down syndrome has a family!


It’s just NOT our family!


The agency who has the girl’s file contacted me to let me know that another family submitted their Hague-approved home study before us, so they have been matched with “Daphne”.  This is in Daphne’s best interest because of the extremely limited time available to complete her adoption.


While we rejoice that Daphne has a family, our hearts are heavy that we are not “Daphne’s” family.  It is hard when God knits our hearts together with a child we feel He has chosen for our family.  When we pray without ceasing for a precious little girl half-way across the world, we can’t help but fall deeper in love with her.  Adoption is strange like that.  God has a way of connecting hearts so intimately, even when those hearts have never met.


Our Boss Your Heart shirt fundraiser is the perfect reminder to us as we boss our hearts through the grief and confusion of not being able to adopt “Daphne”.  God had been so clear with us, with too many large and small confirmations to list, so we are left with confusion in our flesh yet absolute trust in our spirit of the One who has orchestrated this.  We absolutely trust His sovereignty in all circumstances.  He never fails.  Ever. 


So, what does this mean for us?


Prayer.  Lots of prayer.  Praying over other children who are available for adoption.  We’re seeking His will and trusting His plan, which is exceedingly, abundantly more than we can think to ask.  He loves “Daphne” more than we do, and His plan for her is perfect and beautiful, just as His plan for our family is. 


We will steward well the adoption funds He has raised in this journey.  He has poured out His abundant provision, and we are grateful.  Most adoptions take many months, if not years, to complete.  We have time to seek His face before we decide in our flesh what to do. 


Would you please join us in praying for God to lead us in this journey?  We would be most grateful.  We are reminded over and over again of “Rainbow Miracles”, when God led us to adopt Vlad and Dima in Ukraine, yet He had chosen Conner and Cooper for our family all along.  What a confusing whirlwind He led us to at that time, yet He never abandoned us or misled us.  He held our hands the entire journey, and He blessed our family immensely with the addition of these two precious sons of ours.


God is on His throne.  He will speak in His perfect timing.  We are so very grateful for your prayers and support.


Thank you so much!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Here’s a long overdue update on the home front.


So much to update.  So little time.


Our Boss Your Heart shirt fundraiser is going well.  Just 7 days left.  God has already used this shirt to raise $2523 toward our adoption fund.  Thank you for your support!  I seriously can’t wait till Valentine’s Day so I can see pictures of people around the USA wearing their shirts like a boss, reminding the world to BOSS their hearts!!!


Click HERE to purchase your shirt.  These won’t be available after January 20, 2014.  Hurry!

The unisex shirts are heathered red.  They’re a beautiful bright red with heather gray running throughout.  We believe the youth, long-sleeved, and sweatshirts are solid fire engine red without any gray heathering, just FYI.


We continue to pursue the adoption of the aging out 13-year-old girl in China who has Down syndrome.  We are working fast and furious on all requirements.  We are stuck right now awaiting the results of the Texas FBI fingerprint clearances.  Texas requires every household member age 14 and older be fingerprinted, so there are six of us who had our prints taken.  It’s the last step of the Texas side of this adoption.  Then we will submit our Hague-approved home study to the out-of-state agency that has the girl’s file.  They will expedite everything (just as our Texas agency has done) with hopes of getting everything completed before early March, 2014.  It will be a miracle, but our God excels in that business.  Pray, pray, pray for Godspeed on every document and every step of the process.  I look forward to seeing Him show off.


Conner had surgery yesterday at our local children’s hospital.  


After almost two years of reflux and gastroparesis testing and management, Conner’s amazing specialists decided to try a fairly rare procedure called a pyloroplasty.

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The pediatric general surgeon was able to laparoscopically perform surgery on the pyloris, making it larger to help stomach contents empty more easily.  (OR nurses, please note the heart shaped gauze pads.  What a fun surprise!  Love those!) Smile

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Conner ROCKED the surgery!  The photo collage below was taken the morning after his surgery, which requires a 3-5 day in-patient recovery.

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Conner has only needed minimal pain meds.  He’s recovering like a boss, showing the other patients what tough is!

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Watching Barney on the iPad and chillin’.

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Oh, and if your child is ever placed in a caged crib and enjoys lying flat on his/her back, try setting the iPad over the clear top of the crib.  Perfect for watching movies on your back!


Conner isn’t allowed to eat or drink anything for a minimum of 3 days (he’s on IV fluids to stay hydrated).  He has a suction NG tube to eliminate all stomach acid and fluids, as nothing is allowed to pass through the surgery cite at the pyloris just yet. 


Once Conner is cleared to drink and eat again, special monitoring will be done to assess how his stomach is functioning, eliminating foods, etc.  Please pray for a speedy and successful recovery!


Thanks again for your prayers and support.  We are grateful.


PS  Don’t forget about our Pampered Chef ONLINE fundraiser.  All products ship directly to you and all proceeds go to our adoption fund!  Click HERE to get your PC products today!

The Pampered Chef

Monday, January 6, 2014




The color of our fundraiser shirts.

The color of the blood Jesus shed for us.


The color of the invisible thread that ties our hearts to the precious girl in China we’re working desperately to adopt before she turns 14 in early March.


God has blessed our shirt fundraiser abundantly!  Thank you all for your generous support.  There are just 15 days left in this fundraiser, so please act quickly and continue to spread the word.


Click HERE to purchase your shirt today and help us raise the ransom for a precious 13-year-old girl in China who has Down syndrome. 


Also, a Facebook friend set up a Pampered Chef fundraiser on our behalf!  She’s donating her commissions to our adoption fund!  God’s provision is exceedingly, abundantly more than I can think to ask.


The Pampered Chef

Click HERE to purchase your Pampered Chef items today.  All items will ship directly to your home, as this is an online fundraiser show.


We would greatly appreciate your prayers for sweet Daphne, the 13-year-old girl in China who has Down syndrome.  If she’s not adopted before her 14th birthday in early March, she will age out and never be able to be adopted.  Ever.  Breaks my heart. 


Please pray often that our paperwork will not sit idle for one second, that every detail will be expedited at Godspeed, for His glory.  It’s going to take a miracle, but our God is in that business.  Show us Your glory, Lord!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bossing 2014

Happy 2014!


I pray God leads you in bossing your heart to beat in sync with His for 2014 and every moment of every day of every year to come!


Wow, wow, wow, I’m blown away by the support God has lavished upon us after yesterday’s announcement!!!


Thank you for praying, sharing, and supporting our family in this seemingly impossible endeavor! 



Click HERE to purchase your shirt today!


Here’s the story, as posted on our shirt fundraising site:

On Christmas Day, God confirmed our family is to pursue the adoption of a precious 13-year-old girl from China who has Down syndrome who is desperately in need of a forever family.  China will not allow children to be adopted after they turn 14, and this little girl's birthday is in early March.  This means we must RACE to get her adopted before she ages out in March (meaning she will not be adoptable and will never know the love of a family).  Just as God has promised to not leave us as orphans, we will not leave this sweet girl as an orphan either.  With God, all things are possible!!!


China is a Hague treaty country which requires a Hague accredited adoption agency.  The agency has estimated the cost of this adoption to be approximately $30,000.  Every life is precious in His sight, and no amount of money is greater than the value of life.  We are grateful for your shirt purchases because your shirt is helping give LIFE to a little girl with little hope for a future if she's not adopted by early March, 2014.


In case you aren't familiar with our family, you may read more about us on our blog at  We have 11 children:  3 are biological, 8 are adopted (1 of our daughters lives with Jesus now).  Our children are from Texas, Colombia, Serbia, Haiti, and Ukraine.  We're excited to learn more about China and its culture as we pursue adopting the teenager our hearts have fallen in love with.  We pray the large heart on this shirt will remind you that love multiplies, it doesn't divide.


Regarding the shirt design, it is our hope to replace the popular slogan, "Follow Your Heart", with the truth of what we should do--"BOSS Your Heart"!  Our daughter, Chrissie, went to live with Jesus in May 2010, and the legacy she left behind is BOSS your heart! (You can read more about her legacy at .)   According to scripture, our hearts are deceptive and will lead us astray, so the last thing we need to do is follow our heart.  We need to boss our hearts to beat in sync with His! 


We chose a red shirt because of the ancient Chinese proverb, "An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances..." 


The shirts will be delivered approximately 2 weeks after the fund closes.  If you're looking for the perfect shirt to wear for Valentine's Day, this is it!!!   We're excited to see people around the USA proudly wearing their shirts and reminding people to BOSS their hearts, NOT follow it!

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