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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Homestudy Update

Well, here I sit, in a very clean house, waiting for our brand new caseworker from our brand new international adoption agency to come begin our home study update.  It should not take us long to complete the update, and their our information/homestudy will be sent to Illinois, so one woman can make the decision of whether are not we are qualified to be parents again.  It seems so crazy, that I can give birth to as many children as I choose to.  But....the state tells me how many I can adopt.  But, that is Illinois!  One of only 5 states in the country that has this regulation.  

Our new caseworker is very good, and specializes in getting large families approved.  She told us she would not even have taken our case if she was not confident she could get us through. we go!

We should have an answer in the next month.   And in the meantime, Wen and Wu sleep alone every night, on a plywood mattress, with no pillow, toys, or even a blanket.  Please Lord, let this go through.  But in the case that this is not your will......Please provide those precious treasures with a family.....and soon!  I know it breaks our Lords hearts to see these lil ones missing out on so much of their childhood.  There are SO many children who wait.  Wake up Christians!  Answer the call!  Fund those who are!  Pray for those children who wait and wait, and have such great needs, that are not being met.   

Will post an update soon!  In the are some new pics of my treasures~!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!!


Family Christmas!

Well another year has come and almost gone!  We are excited to celebrate the birth of our King, Jesus Christ again this year!  We have had a crazy busy year, as usual.  Lots of basketball games, homework, church activities, and family time.

Big news of the year, is that we have moved!  Yes, really, we have moved off of our farm.  There were several motivating factors behind our move, but God literally worked out every single detail for us, and we are thrilled in our new home.  It is LARGE, comfortable, and cozy!  Come visit us!  New address is 3098 N. Norwood Ave., Decatur, IL 62526.

Dale and Ann celebrated 25 years of marriage this year!  It has been a great 25 years, and we hope to have 25 more years together (or more!).  Dale is working hard getting Tzedakah Christian Health Center up and going, it will be Decatur’s first free medical clinic.  He is employed at SIU School of Medicine, but is working at the clinic in his “free” time.  He also took some of our teens to Nicaragua this past summer.  Ann is still home educating (this is our 14th year!), and still hoping to find time to write that book that is in her head!  

Brogan, Zachary and Landon were able to visit over Thanksgiving!  Landon is quite a little charmer, and we are completely smitten with that little man!  Zachary is employed as a police officer and Brogan is working at a trophy business in Havelock, NC.  They need to move CLOSER!!! 

Patrick is in a journeyman welding/pipefitting program at MTI in Springfield.  He will graduate in June, and will probably be whisked away to wherever his honey, Danyne, lands!  They are adorable together!  He is also working part-time at Kmart, so feel free to stop in and ask him to carry something heavy for you.  He does it a lot!

Keagan, Toby, and Brian have all played a lot of basketball this year, and have also been doing a lot of sledding lately!  They all love the pool table, ping pong table, and dart board at our new house.  

Bronwyn, Brittany, and Brianna are loving the new house also.  More space, more places to make their movies, and WIFI, which they love (but mom doesn’t).  Having so many teenagers in the house is a lot of fun, but we sure go through a lot of groceries!  I kept track of just what we consume for breakfast in a given month, and it was overwhelming!  

Rory and Meng are great!  They are both in 2nd grade and doing fantastic!  Rory’s favorite is math, Meng loves to read. They are also both getting ready to start a new basketball season.  This is the first year Meng’s doc has cleared her to play, so she is very excited!

And Daley, or the “Princess of the Castle Norwood”, as we are now calling her!  She is doing very well.  Sleeping so much better, happier, and growing like crazy!  And, of course, still very spoiled!  

As always, we all continue to try our best to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  He has asked us to do some big things, but has always blessed us when we have tried our best to answer His call.  Our new home is just one example of His blessing.  Our amazing family is another.  God is good.  Serving Him is amazing.  

And a PS  WE GOT CHINA'S APPROVAL TO ADOPT THE TWINS!!!  Now we just have to get Illinois approval, and we are parents AGAIN!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And a few more!

Ok, here are a few more photos, including a pic of Wen and Wu, the twins we are hoping to adopt!  Aren't they so amazing!  We will call them Wen and Wu, their Chinese names (we learned through Meng, that changing a name is difficult!), but their American names will be Cecil and Ervin, after my father and father-in-law!

An update AND some photos of my treasures!

Well, we are LOVING our new home!  I am almost unpacked, and we have all settled in well.  We had a crazy scare the first week.  We all had headaches, and felt sick.  We just assumed that we were exhausted from packing and unpacking.  Nope...turns our we had a carbon monoxide leak, and we were all feeling the effects!  But, God is good, His hand of protection was on us, and we are fine, the boiler is repaired, and life goes on!  But we did install some carbon monoxide detectors!!!

Daley has been doing SO well since we moved!  We lost her pacifier the first few days here, and once we found it, we decided she didn't really need it after all!  She cannot keep it in by herself, and her dentist is going nuts over her having it!  So, this is day 8 with no paci.  And....she has slept through the night almost every night since we have been here!  Praising God for some much needed sleep!  Over 4 years of never sleeping through the night has taken it's toll on this old momma!

No update on the twins.  We thought for sure we would here from China by now, but it seems that the families needing waivers are taking longer to be granted pre approval for adoptions.  So....we still wait!  We did get some awesome updated photos of them, however!  Chomping at the bit to get our home study updated and going!

Well, gotta get some sleep!  Enjoy these new photos of my sweetie-pies!  And God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life Change - MAJOR! :)

   Wow, where to start!?!   Well, last weekend, we MOVED!  It is just crazy how it all worked, but here is the short story.  We knew it would be hard to sell our home, while living in it.  Keeping a house of 12 clean and orderly is a challenge.  So, we looked into purchasing the new home, before selling ours, which truthfully scared me to death. We needed $4200 down.  The next day, we got a check in the mail for $4155.  And we remembered a secretly stashed $50 that was given to Dale by a stranger, who admired our crazy family.  So, God provided the down payment, without us touching our savings.
   We made the purchase.  SCARY.  We put the livestock up for sale, and sold them all within the week!!!  We put every dime back into savings, and had enough reserve to make about 8 house payments, should our home not sell quickly.  Whew.  It was hard to say goodbye to my sweet critters, but they all got excellent homes!  My sweet Pedro went to a dear friend, so I can visit him often!    The following two weekend, we showed our farm house many, many times.  And then finally, an offer! Actually two!  We accepted, made it through inspections and such, and have a closing date for middle of December.  Whew again!  God is good, and He totally is taking care of us!
   So, we moved in last weekend.  Our new home is huge, beautiful, and starting to feel more comfortable every day.  I am still not unpacked, but getting there.  We are settling into city life, and it is nice!  Our neighborhood is quiet, our dogs are adjusting better than expected, we have so much space and play/school areas!  It is really great!  I almost feel like this house was build for us!  Fireplaces, 8 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fenced yard, 4 car garage, a beautiful fountain for Daley Faith!  It is just wonderful!  And it was less $ than what we sold our farm home for!
    And, so you were wondering about the twins?  Li Wen and Li Wu AKA Cecil and Ervin are still waiting in China, and we are anxiously waiting to see if we get pre-approval from China.  We applied last week, and should hear from them any day now.  If we get approval, we update our home study and  then we face Illinois!  Our agency is confident they can get us approved, so we again are trusting God's perfect plan for our lives!  Parents of twin 3 year olds?!?!?   WOW!  He is gonna have to give me strength!  LOL
   God bless you friends.  Trust Him, Serve Him, and give Him control of your life.  You will not be sorry!