This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Serendipity: the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

November 20 marks three years since we got THE call asking if we'd consider adopting a four year old from China with a heart condition. (November 20 also marks my mom's birthday!! Happy Birthday, Mom!) We'd started the adoption process a year + prior seeking a healthy baby girl...then after a while we broadened our scope and requested a baby with special needs. After all, our then almost seven year old, Emily had been a fragile "special needs" baby and deserved a chance...and we thought maybe we could help another baby who might be otherwise overlooked. But a FOUR year old hadn't really ever crossed our minds. One or two years old maybe, but we never even thought of a FOUR year old. But God did :) He was preparing our hearts for the perfect child for us.

Shortly before we got THE call, I'd felt drawn to some blogs of families who'd adopted toddlers and older children. Reading about their successful bonding began to open my mind to new possibilities and we agreed that yes, we could fathom adopting a two year old. As we waited, we knew that IF we were presented with a child on the list that we'd have the opportunity to scrutinize the photos and medical records before agreeing to accept any child. As word came that a new list of special needs children had arrived at our agency we prayed that God would find a child for us. We agreed that we did not want to play God by picking and choosing and we prayed that He would present the ONE who was meant for us. We prayerfully agreed that we would not reject any child presented to us whether it be boy or girl, young or old, healthy or not. Surrendering that decision seemed to be a critical point in our journey because within a day or two of coming to that decision our pone finally rang. We got THE call from our social worker!!

We were at the bottom of the waiting list, so there were no guarantees that we'd get a call at all. The list had been in for almost three weeks now so our odds weren't looking so good. By the time we got the call most of the children had been placed and they only had one girl left who had been deemed too old by others. When our case worker made it to our name on the bottom of the list she sounded shocked when I immediately said yes, we would consider a four year old with a heart condition. I was a little thrown by the age myself, but Andy and I had JUST recently come to this decision and I knew God had His hand in the process. When our case worker assured me that we could take a pass and wait for a baby as we'd requested I had to explain the prayer we'd just prayed. We'd prayed that He would present us with child that was meant for us. And He did :) Three years later I can tell you it was a scary leap of faith at the time, but He did know what He was doing!!

Olivia has been the perfect fit for our family!! I'm so glad we let Him do the choosing because at that point neither Andy nor I would have ever had the courage to seek out a FOUR year old. Left to our own devices, we would have really missed out on one of our biggest blessing!

How about you? I'd love to hear what kind of serendipitous events have happened in your life. Have you had any leaps of faith that you're thankful for now?

I'm so behind on scrapbooking that my "current" photo is really pretty out of date since she's now missing her two front teeth! I'll have to take some new closeups to post what she's REALLY looking like today :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Homeschool Family Camp

Just realized I never posted this (click image to enlarge):

Any guesses?

Yesterday, at our homeschool co-op, we were all supposed to dress up as historical figures. I dressed up as Amelia Earhart. Can you tell who the girls were supposed to be? Their figures are not in the same century, but we've learned about them both in our history studies. Please leave us a comment if you think you know :)

Random October photos

Aren't they cute? On this night when I headed for bed, I noticed Emily's bed was empty. I quickly found her in bed with with her sister! Fortunately they were sound asleep and didn't even notice the flash from my camera.

Andy and the girls are enjoying their new membership at Lifetime Fitness. In fact that's where they are as I type!

Yes, this little poser is the same girl that hated cameras in China!

Both Daddy and Emily enjoy the water slides at Lifetime!

The girls thoroughly enjoyed our co-op field trip to a pumpkin farms with animals, slides, bounce houses, a corn maze, hay ride, train, etc.

Pumpkin carving time. Check out Olivia's garb--she put on tights, a swim suit and a skirt pulled up over her chest. My little fashion diva! Emily on the hand, doesn't really care about fashion as long as the seams and tags aren't bothersome!

Minnie got a check up from Dr. Emily before heading out for trick-or-treating.

After getting their own loot, they love to give out candy. It's sometimes hard to coordinate the door with a dog, so they came up with an ingenious solution that prevented Chelsea from getting out! Olivia (our not so shy one!) was yelling to kids through the open door, inviting them to come and get some candy!