Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has been at my Grandma Mona's for as long as I can remember!
I did take my camera... but was so busy passing out gifts and opening toys that I didn't get pictures.

We ALWAYS read the Christmas story at Grandma's and this year we also began a new tradition...
We lit candles for the men and women serving our country that are not able to be home with their families, so that you and I can be free and enjoy Christmas.
We also lit a candle for the families who have lost loved ones while serving and will spend Christmas without them.
I loved the moments spent reflecting on how blessed we are and praying for others that are fighting for our freedom.
No.... freedom is not free, indeed.




Christmas Program


Our Christmas program at Church was the 19th.
Uhhmmm... The Sunday after Thanksgiving, our Pastor approached my friend Renea and I and told us we were in charge of it!
Little did he know that we had already planned on it!

The little ones sang
"Jesus Loves Me"
and did the actions to it!
(they also all tried to grab the microphone, and thus... steal the show!)


The Children and Youth worked together to present
The Nativity.
The old youth read the Christmas scriptures from Matthew and Luke.

Here is Jacen reading some of his lines...


Enter Mary and Joseph and Baby Carson, umm... I mean Baby Jesus!
Sam was gracious enough to let us use baby Carson in our Nativity. 
If this picture was of a wider view, you'd see the new momma standing by nervously!


Enter the Wise Men from the East....


The Shepherds and the Angel of the Lord...


The Nativity scene...


Everyone thought it was all over, but we had a surprise for them!

Santa entered and explained how Christmas had become all about him,
but it was really about the baby that died for you and me!
Santa kneeled down at the manger and shared a wonderful prayer!



I got a shot of the youth at the end... they did a great job reading their parts!


Merry Christmas, and may you know the Reason for the Season!

Christmas at Mom and Dad's

We always celebrate Christmas with my family
the weekend before Christmas.

Jia got the most adorable baby doll from Uncle Rob!
I have never seen a doll quite like this;
it's face scrunches up and her eye's open and close just like a real baby.
Jia loved it!

Everyone else was..... intrigued....(freaked out) by it!

No one could leave it alone!


Jacen couldn't resist checking it out...
even at the risk of being caught on camera with it!


Jia just kept coming back to check on it and make it quit crying!



Jory kept trying to pry it's eyes open!


Gifts of new shoes were given...


Jia loved her high heels!


Jia got a Disney Princess 'Look & Find' book...


Jacen and Derek played with it all night!


Jacen is into Fox Racing this year...


and funky mis-matched socks!


Jory was thrilled with a little lock box for his money!
He is a little hoarder and everyone knows where to go when we need cash!
Those days are gone....


Uncle Rob brought RC Helicopters!
They were a BIG hit!


When we went on vacation this year, the boys taught Jia the 'slug bug' game...
So this Barbie Slug Bug brought a big smile to her face!


After seeing Tangled on Thanksgiving night,
Jia wanted all things Rapunzel!


Jadeth and Derek...
MU & KU fans!


North face for those cold days in Lawrence


A quick pic on Momma and Jia!


This year the adults decided to for-go the gifts and adopt a family through our local DFS.
I wish I had taken a picture of the goodies we sent to our family.
We had a single mom with a 1 year old daughter.
They requested diapers, wipes and educational toys.
Clothes as well, and used ones were okay as long as the baby girl was warm.
Say WHAAAAA??? 
Well they, got what they wanted and then some.
Educational toys??  Every little girl deserves dolly's and tea sets that talk!
It was sooooo much fun shopping for this family and we spoiled them ridiculously!
I don't have clue who they are, but I am sure they were as glad to receive as we were to give!

I see a new tradition here and I love it!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours, a very....

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!





The JCrew

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please Help a Fellow Adoptive Family...

Meet Myah....


I remember the day Myah showed up on the special needs list way back before we found Jia.
I have followed their journey ever since, and become friends with Myah's mom, Rina.
I don't know Myah's diagnosis exactly, but she is very familiar with the hospital. 
Her mom is such a fighter and an advocate for Myah.
I got an email from Rina a few days ago, begging for help.



Myah needs to travel to New York to meet with her surgeon. 
And as you can imagine, their medical bills are already piling up.

Recently Rina submitted a story on potty training to a Disney contest and has become a finalist.
The prize?
Round trip to New York!
Where is Myahs surgeon?
You guessed it, New York!
Can you see our opportunity to be His hands and feet in this??

It will take our votes to help Rina and her family win these tickets. 
With medical bills are piling up, winning the trip would be such a blessing to them and help offset some expenses.
So, won't you take a few minutes each day to go vote for Rina's story?


It does require a Disney account to vote, but signing up is free.
Please repost this if you feel led and lets win this prize for Myah's family!

To learn more about Myah... Visit Rina's blog.


Thank You Friends!

On bended knee for Myah....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Orphan Sunday Recap

Finally!
Orphan Sunday!
Beginning of Revival!

It worked out that revival began on Orphan Sunday. 
God worked it out that revival began on Orphan Sunday.
It was a wonderful day!  We had a full house and although we only had a few minutes to share, everything about it was wonderful.
What did I say? 
I don't know! 
If anyone was there, please tell me! 
I always get up there and act like a blubbering idiot!
Renea and I had made a video and our plan was to speak for a few minutes and then have them play the video.  Well they started the video as we were making our way to the front, so we just sat on the front pew while it played.  This video shared some personal moments of our adoption. 
We shared Jia's referral photo ( I call it my 'love at first sight' picture), a clip of her still living in the orphanage and the actual first moment we saw her!
We sat there, both of us sobbing, sniffing with contrite hearts.  And we still had to get up in front of everyone and speak! 
It's so hard to put into words what adoption does to you.  It changes you.
You are never the same after that.  You can't go where we've gone, see what we've seen, experience in your heart what we've experienced and ever be the same again. 
You come out on the other end of an adoption changed.  Crushed. 
I shared this verse:
Don’t excuse yourself by saying,
“Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Proverbs 24:12

As it turns out, our Sunday School lesson and morning sermon were all about service.  And to me, Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry is my service.
God has shown me His heart for the Orphan. 
I have read His Word.
I know what it says about caring for the least of these.
I believe it.
I can no longer say "Look, I didn't know."
I do know.
He knows I know.
And I can't shut up about it.

It's sort of like sharing the Gospel message, if it causes just one sinner to repent, it was all worth it.
Well, if all my blabbering about adoption causes just one more child to find a home, then it was all worth it!

I felt convicted to share the most personal moments of our adoption with our church family because they all see Jia as she is now.  She is a wild woman at church.  She loves to go to church!  She says "everybody loves me!"  She knows it and she's right!
They see this vivacious, onery little girl running up the isle for childrens message, shaking hands, hitting her brother... etc.  But they hadn't seen the lonely, stoic, sad little girl in the orphanage with an expressionless face, waiting for a family to come for her. 
We see the images on TV and I don't think we believe that they're real.  Until we've seen it with our own eyes, we think they're made up or that they're embellished.  When if fact, they're toned down.  They don't show you the really bad stuff. 
Something very important to Renea and I is to be real.  To be honest.  The truth doesn't need to be embellished.  We aren't out to tell sad stories and pull on people's heart strings.  We're out to share the TRUTH and convict them with God's word:

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this:
 to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,
and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27

'Nuff said!

Next post will be about the childrens message we shared.  The worship leader said it's a good day in church with the children's message convicts you!

Renea designed our very own JHAM Orphan Sunday shirts and everyone was so excited to wear them!  Even our Pastor and his wife had one on!

Trying to hold it together and still get across some important points.


JHAM with Sassy Pants


Jory sneaked his new camera into church and I guess I"m kinda glad he did or we wouldn't have these pictures to remember the day! 
He wanted to wear his shirt so bad!  It was all I could do to keep it off of him until Sunday so it would be clean!  I love you Jory!


Jia giving us her 'Grandma smile'!


My beautiful daughter.  I can't believe I"m so blessed to call her mine and see her smiling face everyday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Notice Something New???

Okay, look to the right of my blog.... now look to the left.

See 'em??

2 ways to support orphans this November... or anytime!

On the right is the order form to order your JHAM shirts... designed by Renea, inspired by Joy!
On the left is the link to Adoption Bug.  You can order a shirt from there and we get a portion of the sales from there as well!

All profits will go toward Orphan relief in some form or another.  We will donate to a larger cause, or we would LOVE to donate to a family who is ready to step out and adopt a child of their own!

What are you waiting for?  November is National Adoption Month and a great time to show support for the fatherless.  However, orphans are orphans all year round.  Anytime is a GREAT time to show your support! 

And don't EVEN make me remind you of how many days there are until Christmas.  Oh no.  We're not going there at all.  But any of these shirts would make a great gift!

Need Your Help...

I'm working on a video for National Adoption Month to show during our presentation at Church.  I'm using Matthew West - One Less. 
I would love to have some other adoptive kiddo's in this as well.  If you're willing to share a couple of before/after photo's and of couse that precious 'gotcha moment' picture, please contact me to send me your photo's.
You can rest assured that they will only be used for the video.
Thanks everyone!
Joy

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Worship in Guangzhou

I was looking for something else and ran across this video
from our time in China.
We attended Church on Shamian Island
and I was amazed at the feeling I had there.
I thought it would be strange, uncomfortable.
But instead, it was amazing.
Goosebump giving.
Everyone was worshipping together.
The One True God.
Awesome.

video

At the time, I was a bit overwhelmed to really let it sink in.
But watching this video now and reading the words
we sang that day....

My hearts desire is to be holy,
set apart for You Lord.
I choose to be holy,
set apart for You my Master,
READY TO DO YOUR WILL.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November....

November is National Adoption Month

With 147 Million Orphans in the world,
what is your response?


Will you Pray?? 
That is certainly doable.
When you lay your head down on your comfy pillow,
snuggle in your nice soft bed under those plush warm blankets...
after reading your children a bed time story
and lovingly tucking them in at night...
Will you pray??
For those that have spent the day the exact same way
they've spent every day before.
For those that have barely enough to eat and go to bed hungry.
For those that lay on the dirt under the bed of their parents because that's the safest place to be?
For those laying on a piece of plywood because that's easiest to clean?
For the ones who have cried or rocked themselves to sleep?


Can you give?
Can you take some of the money you spend at Starbucks...
or McDonalds? 
Can you give up buying that new shirt?
Do we really need a minimum of 12 pairs of shoes?
Not sure where to give?
Contact me.
There are tons of ways to support orphans.
I can give you a dozen charities to give to...
that work in any country you want to support.


OR WILL YOU BE ONE TO GO?????

Who! Hoo!

Will you say YES??!! 

Will you choose to follow God's example and adopt a child of your own?

Will you choose a changing the life of a child over...

a bigger house?  that new car??  your dream vacation???

Will you chose radical over the American Dream?

I can assure you, you won't ever be sorry!



Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry is selling T-shirts for
National Adoption Month.

Decide what you will do and order your T today!

Shirts are $20

All profits go to support orphans.

Contact me and put NAM shirt in the subject line.




Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Score!!!

No I'm not talking about soccer!
But Jory did make a goal...
and he scored!

He started collecting pop cans at Grandma's house.
He wrote this note a while back asking for
pop can donations.

(I'll translate at the bottom of the picture!)

 "keep your pop cans, I dont kare if it is dokbperer or pepsee, I don't kare wut it is."

And here he is with his pop can tower!