Tuesday, January 26, 2010

7 Months!

We recently celebrated 7 months with Jia!  I think the video says it all!  Remember... all paperwork and updates we had on Jia pre-adoption called her shy, introverted and afraid of strangers.  In China, this girl screamed if anyone touched her besided her momma.  In fact, the kind man at the notary office just spoke to her and she screamed!
A day or two before we left China, I remember our guide coming to us with great concern written on her face asking us if we felt we should ask more questions about Jia or have a doctor look at her because she never heard her talk or seen her away from momma.  Jack and I had already seen bits and pieces of Jia coming out in our hotel and knew all was well!  Oh how I wish Molly could see her now!
And the family we shared most of our days with in China... I remember sitting my Jeff with Jia on my lap and he was talking to her.  She of course had her head down, but was tolerating him.  Then he reached over and touched her hand and the flood gates opened!  Now she would probably talk his leg off!
I just can't get over the resilence of this girl and words can never express how much we love her, how proud of her we are and how very blessed we feel to be her parents!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jia's Birthday Party

We finally celebrated this girls birthday!  We've been telling her ever since her actual birthday (Jan 7) that her party was  coming.  It was so hard for her to wait!
But, alas, the big day arrived!

I made the cake, but did something wrong.  Jack and I watched it all Saturday night and it kept leaning, and leaning and leaning....
I thought I better get her picture with it quick because I didn't know if it would still be standing by the time her party rolled around.

Party time! 
My friend Renea made the little outfit for her!  She sells homemade clothing at Pish Posh Tots, so go check it out!  She usually doesn't have much on hand because when people come in to her photography studio, they end up buying the outfits!  But you can certainly let her know what you want!

Blowing out 4 candles!

 Mom and Dad serving up cake...

Jacen and his friend Bryce were a huge help with the party!  They helped me set up the tables and chairs and blow up balloons before hand.  Then they helped pass out cake.  They were joking that they were practicing their waiter skills for when they were older.

Lots of family and friends turned out to help Jia celebrate!

Oh, she just couldn't wait to get into those presents!

Whew!  Finally!  She totally ripped into them grabbing tissue paper with both hands and throwing it over her head.  I had to stop her to get the cards first so we could thank people!

Loves Tink!

Having a moment with mommy...

Grandma made her this sweatshirt dress with her 1 2 3's and A B C's on it! 

Oh, she just can't wait to get into these.

Oh how I love this girl!

Jia and her loot!  I think she came out all right!

Anma, Momma and Jia!

So was entirely wore out at the end of the day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Us Help Haiti

Well Joint Heirs Adoption Minstry is at it again!  Things slowed a bit during the holidays, but we're not going anywhere!  The earthquake in Haiti has caused us to rise up and do what we can to help orphans.
One of my partners, Renea, spent time in Haiti last summer and found many friends and family there.  You can imagine how heartbreaking the TV news stories are to her.  While there, she had the priviledge to visit Canaan Orphanage and the children there left a lasting impression on her.  So we have decided to do what we can to raise funds to help provide relief to The Orphanage Called Canaan.  You may have noticed the 'chip in' box to the right. I hope you can add to it.
Another way you can help is through Scentsy!  Yes, those wonderful wickless candles that are all the rave!  I have one in my home and bought another for my mom for Christmas!  They smell OH SO GOOD and are entirely safe to have in your home!  The wonderful Scentsy rep in our community has a link on her website where you can order the candles and part of the profits will go to JHAM Haiti Relief.  Just visit Brenda Warners Scentsy site and find the Haiti Fundraiser link on the left!  Order yourself up a good smelling candle and while you're there, order another for someone you love.  Valentines day is coming up you know!  I highly recommend the Snowberry and Satin Sheets!
 Remember, all money raised will go to Canaan Orphanage.  You can read more about our fundraising efforts on the Joint Heirs Adoption Minsitry blog and see photo's from Renea's time in Haiti and at Canaan.  Even photographs she took at the wedding of one of the workers there!  Don't hesitate to check it out.
If you're unable to help financially, please put Haiti on your prayer list, if you haven't already.

What Would You Do??

Conan O'Brien told NBC good riddance Thursday in a $45 million deal for his exit from "The Tonight Show," allowing Jay Leno to return to the late-night program he hosted for 17 years.
Hmmm... what would I do with 45 million dollars?  It really irritates me when so much money is wasted on such trivial things.  Especially at this paticular time when the devastation in Haiti is so tremendous.  I watch very little TV, and never am I up late enough to catch a late show.  But I can't imagine any of them being worth 45 million dollars.
Back to my original question... what would you do with 45 million dollars?  Oh, I think you all know what I would do.  How many people could that help?  What a difference that amount of money, or even a portion of it, could make to places like Haiti.  How many people are still left displaced from the Thai tsumani or Hurricane Katrina.  Why aren't we hearing more about them?  Disaster is over, we no longer care about the people still in need.  Or is it just not newsworthy any longer?  How many people could finally realize their dreams of adoption with that money.  How different would the world be if $45,000,000 was spent on helping others.
Specifically, I think first I'd take care of any debt I have.  Put some aside to live on.  (How many people have you heard about that have won the lottery, spent it unwisely and are now broke?)  Then I would start traveling with checkbook in hand, and my family in tow. 
Let me know what you would do with 45 million!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I was browsing Ehow for some information and found this article on 'how to be a good friend'.  Hmmm... it's interesting you can go to the internet to find out how to be a good friend.  So incase anyone needs a reminder... Here are the instructions.  Also interesting is that the difficulty rating is: EASY!

Difficulty: Easy
Step 1Keep in touch. We all lead busy lives. Send an email. Send a postcard. Meet your friend for lunch.

Step 2Don't gossip about your friend. While with your friend, don't gossip about other friends. You don't want your friend wondering what you say about her when she is not around.

Step 3Celebrate your friend's success. Has your friend lost 20 pounds? Congratulate her-and buy her a new pair of jeans!

Step 4Listen to your friend. Don't do all the talking.

Step 5Never insult your friend. Maybe your friend is a lousy cook, but her house is immaculate. Focus on your friend's positive traits, not her negative ones.

Step 6Apologize to your friend. We all do and say dumb things. If you offend your friend, simply say, "I'm sorry."

Step 7Help your friend. Is your friend a stressed-out single mother? Offer to babysit once a week to give to your friend a break. If you see your friend struggling, offer to lend a helping hand.

Step 8Respect your friend. Is your friend a nonsmoker? Don't light up a cigarette in her car!

Step 9Be approachable. Let your friends know they can talk to you about anything-anytime.

Step 10Be honest. Did your friend get a new hairstyle that you hate? Has she asked you how it looks? Be honest without being insulting. Find something nice to say about it. Perhaps you like the color.

Step 11Don't judge. Has a friend confided in you that she wants to get a divorce? Point out what the Bible has to say about divorce. Then, let your friend decide if she's traveling down the right road.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Owies, Invitations and Goodbye!

Jia got her first big owie the other night.  She was running through the living room and tripped and hit her chin on the coffee table.  It wasn't a deep gash, but wide.  So we called our friend Bethany who's an EMT to get advice on stitches or not.  She brought up some steri strips and just taped her back together.  Thanks Bethany!

Jia's Big Owie

I posted earlier about having Jia's birthday party in a couple of weeks.  We're going with a ladybug theme and I seen these invitations on Etsy.  So with the help of my wonderful friend Renea's circle cutters she had from her scrapbooking days, these were really pretty simple to whip out!

And of course I had some help!

My Oh My!!!  We used Jia's chop from China for the return address on the envelopes and she continued to play in the ink a bit!

Here's a finished ladybug!  Jack and I visited Hobby Lobby last week to get the supplies for these.  And God bless him, I don't think he had any idea what he was in for, but he hung right in there with me... through the entire store.... every isle!

These would've been nicer had they been printed, but hey... by the time I lined it all out to fit in the circle and such, I had them hand wrote!

Now about the goodbye... I'm going out of town for a few days for work and tonight will be the first time for Jia to go to sleep without her momma.  I'm a little anxious about how she will do.  She only wants momma to rock her at night.  But she and dad always do great when I'm not here, so I think she'll be a little trooper and be fine! 
I'm totally paranoid about Jack handling everything, but it will be good for him!  I laid out church clothes and school clothes and he'll have Jacen and Jory to tell him how everything happens!  I know he can do it!  He took a week off work to stay home with the kids, so he's ready to go!  Keep him in your prayers!

We also had our 6 month Post Placement Homestudy this week and I took a picture of Jia with Kisha our Social Worker, but I'm afraid I deleted it!  I'll have to try again when Kisha comes in June since that will be our last visit with her.  She's been great and we always enjoy seeing her.  I think she's always amazed at the changes in Jia when she comes and this time Jia took her by the hand and showed her her room and stuff.  Really sweet!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Togetherness in Christ

As many of you know, my JointHeirsAdoptionMinstry partner, Renea, spent time in Haiti this last summer.  You can imagine the desperation she feels waiting to hear from those new friends and the family she never knew she had.  She has maintained many connections to Haiti and learned of many great needs there.
Be sure to check out Renea's blog and of course the Joint Heirs blog to see how you can help us help Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

STOP PLEASE!!!! I wanna get off!

CHAOS: a state of utter confusion

That sets the scene of our house every morning getting ready for school.  Here's how this morning went down...
Jia wakes up early and wants a bath.  Then she wants her hair blown dry.  Last night she busted her chin open (another post) and her steri-strips come off in the bath, so we had to re-apply those.  She yells "momma!  momma! momma!"  from the kitchen table where she and Jory are eating cereal.  I go in there and she say's "Jory touchin' it."  I have the kitchen table strung out with stuff to make Jia's birthday invitations and they had strict orders not to bother it!  She is quite the tattle tale!  Finally, though, I think we have Jia ready and she wants a sippy cup of tea for the road.  Ugh.
Jory.... I make him lay his clothes out each night for the next day because he does NOT like to get up and around.  So clothes and back pack are ready to go.  But this morning, right as we're fixin' to go out the door..."One of my shoes came off in the water hole at Camden's last night."  I ask... "is it still wet then?"  "I don't know, it's still in the water hole, I couldn't get it out" says Jory.  Now this is the kid that the school called me about last fall and asked me to bring him a different pair of shoes to school, because the ones he was wearing were not safe as the sole was 1/2 off.  Talk about embarrassed.  He has other shoes, those were just his favorites and he wore them out.  He was so mad when the school threw them away.  I made sure to take his brand new sketchers so the teachers could see that he did, indeed, have nice shoes... he just chose not to wear them.  We always have shoe issues.  Those sketchers now have no laces, so he couldn't put them on.  He picked up a pair of red hi top's (his 2nd favorites) to wear, but they had a knot in them.  I got the knot out and sent him to the van.  We get in the van and one of the laces are missing the end, so it's come loose and won't lace back up.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! 
Also, on the way to school, Jory mention's it is library day.  Well, guess what.  His library bag is hanging on the coat rack at home.  I explain to him that that is why we get things ready the night before.  No book exchange for him today.
So I ask you, blogger friends... how do you stop the chaos?  What is your morning routine, or rather, your 'evening before routine' to make the morning go smoother?  I know what the answer is... get up earlier.  I am so not a morning person.  I would love to be, but I just can't drag myself out of my nice warm bed any earlier than possible.  But I'm gonna have to, aren't I?
Yesterday, I was watching Beth Moore and she said something I had heard a hundred times before... "You can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results."  Those words just went round and round in my head this morning as I was taking kids to school and clocked in at work 15 minutes late.
Next week I'm out of town the first couple of days with work, but the next week, I'm ready to try something new.  I'm ready to be on time.  I'm ready to stop the chaos.  So you, my friends, have a week to help me!  Tell me what you do.  Make some reccomendations.  Give me tips.  Whether you have kids at home now, or yours are grown and gone, or if you're just one of those people that do not have kids, but you can tell everyone else how to do it.... HELP ME!
I look forward to hearing from you and sharing with you what we try and what works for us!  Who knows, maybe you'll pick up some good information as well!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Jia!!

We have decided to wait a couple of weeks before celebrating Jia's birthday with family and friends.  I really want a seperation between Christmas and her birthday... at least this first year.  I want her to know she's celebrating something different.
Anyway, on her birthday, we had her favorite for supper... speghetti.  Jack and I had not discussed supper plans, but I know how much Jia likes speghetti, so that's what I was planning to make.  I went to the grocery store after work to get some cupcakes and I called Jack to let him know.  I told him I was planning to have speghetti for supper and his reply was, "better hurry or it's going to be cold."  I asked him how he knew that's what we were having and he said because it's Jia's favorite!
I thought it was sweet that he's as in tune to her as me and wanted to fix her favorite on her birthday!

Hmmmm.... My favorite!

She learned quick to 'slurp'

We usually have to do a load of laundry immediately after speghetti...

And take a bath!

Birthday cupcakes

Blowing out the candles

Mmmmm.... frosting

Such a happy girla!

so good we want to get every last nibble...

So good, we're gonna have another....

The frosting is definately the best part


Who knew she could be so adorable at eating cupcakes??

Licking more frosting off...

Oh, those big brown eyes....

I think she's pretty well cleaned the top off of this one.

Guess which ones Jia ate?

Check back soon for party pictures!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pondering Small Miracles

Today my sweet little girl turns 4. 
It's hard to write a post about her birthday, and I've been putting it off.  As joyous as it is, it's also very sad.  How can you celebrate her birth, and not think of her birthmother.  Last night as I laid in bed to go to sleep, I thought of the 13 hour time difference between she and I.  For it was then, her daughters birthday.  I wonder if she remembered it?  I wonder if she was thinking of her.  I thought of circumstances surrounding Jia's birth.  Was there joy?  What name did she whisper in her ear?  Does Jia still carry that inside her heart? 
I truly know the meaning of 'bittersweet' now.  I grieve for the life she's left behind, the mother that gave birth to her and never knew what happened to her, for us missing out on her first 3 years.  But I'm eternally grateful for the future we have with her and for the small miracles that have brought her to us.  I just think it would be awesome to look down from above and see the events strung together to put her in my arms!  I'm positive my finite little brain couldn't comprehend it all!
Tonight we will celebrate with Jia's favorite 'speghetti' and cupcakes!  We will ponder those small miracles.  We will celebrate not only Jia but her birthmother, and most especially, we will celebrate God for His goodness, loving kindness and favor He has shown us.

Love at 1st Sight

My Oh My how she's grown and changed!

Jia was a bit 'overwhelmed' at all the Christmas gifts and the girl is absolutely lacking 'nothing' so we're waiting a few weeks to celebrate her birthday with family.  Check back for party pictures at the end of the month!