Welcome to our story...

God has richly blessed us with a big, fun family...
We have 10 children... 3 homegrown & 7 born in our hearts!

Blake... our oldest is 25 and has a heart for the Lord. He enjoys; church, family, mission trips, making music, playing guitar & drums at church, and writing.

Brianna Faith... is 21 and has a compassionate & tender heart. She's a wonderful big sister. She began talking to us about adoption when she was 11 yrs old. She is "Faith in motion"

Brent... is 17 - he's an awesome guy! He's in highschool. He has a special heart for family and God. He loves sports! Brent loves to laugh & is full of life!

Bethany Lidia... now 15, joined our family in August 2006 at 9 yrs old. She's from the beautiful country of Guatemala. She started school for the very first time (at 9 yrs old) and is now in 9th grade. Lidia's passion is sports & dancing!

Benjamin Ross... 15 yrs old. We first saw his picture in April 2007 & came home in May '08. Ben is deaf, but his special need is that he needed a family. Ben loves making home-runs & hanging out with family & friends. Ben is from Tianjin, China.

Briella Xiyao... our beautiful 15 yr old daughter from Fujian Province, China. She joined our family in July 2009. She's always wearing a big smile! She has a passion for the deaf & very proficient in sign language. She loves basketball!!

Bellamei Ying... our Inner Mongolian princess. Bellamei is 14 yrs old and held my hand for the first time on July 18, 2011. She has melted into our big family seamlessly and it is truly an honor to be her mommy.

Brinley Grace FuChuan... is 9 years old and joined our family in July 2007. She's from Jiangxi Province, China. She has the most gentle, sweet spirit... she's an angel!

Bayla Shea Chao-Yu... our youngest. She's 9 yrs old, 5 months younger than Brinley. Bayla's from Hunan, China & came home at 11.5 months. She's bright, funny (and spicy!) We can't get enough of her hugs & kisses.

and our caboose... Braxton Emanuel Jordan - 8 yrs old? (see post below) He's from Guangdong Province and is now officially our son!

This 1 min video shows how we've GROWN!

Ben can HEAR !

Here is a video clip of Ben's 1st activation. This is just a portion of a 15 min video. It seemed like a magical day for Ben. He was happy. We had previously taught Ben how to say 'Mama' and 'Father', although he's never heard himself speak those words. We've been told that what he's hearing is nothing like what we hear. Could be sounding to him like beeps, noise, possibly with some pitch. Only Ben knows what he's hearing right now. His brain will have to discover a way to process these signals into something recognizable for him. This is especially hard after living 11 years in silence. The audiologist says it will be a long and slow process. He was really excited about everything though, and we walked out of their office trying everything we could think of to see if he could hear it... stomping our feet, slamming the van door, crinkling leaves next to his ear, hearing the van horn, listening to cars driving by, etc. On the way home, he was anxious to see if he could hear any of the movie on our portable dvd player we had taken for the trip. Mike hard-wired him directly to the dvd player, since they gave us a wire that will connect Ben's processor directly into the "output" of an electronic device. I was worried that he would be overstimulated, with all we were trying, not to mention all the typical chattering and such with having 6 kids in the van, but he liked it. He said he was hearing things on the movie...don't know how it must have sounded to him, but he was happy. After the 2.5 hr ride home, he and Brent rushed around the house with great zest, trying out everything that makes a noise... the piano, the toilet (we have a loud turbo one), the ice dispenser, running water... just a little bit of everything. He stayed up until 11:30, even though the doctor said he would probably be very tired from all the brain stimulation. This morning, he woke up late and was anxious to put his processor back on right away. After a couple hours, he took it off for a break. We are to ease him into the 4 levels of volume that they've programmed it for now. Then when we go back in 2 weeks, they will turn up the volume, and send us home with 4 more sub-levels to work on at home. He is receiving all the frequencies right now, just at a low volume. The school system will be changing some things about his IEP, to include that all of his teachers make sure they are voicing when signing to him. He'll also get auditory verbal therapy at school, and I need to be present for those sessions, so that I can receive the training also, and work with him at home. For now, we are just taking things day-by-day, and knowing that God is working a miracle in Ben :o)

24 Hours to Activation !!!!!

posted 1-8-2009
If you want to witness pure joy & delight, just look at Ben's face :o)
Here he is just 1 week after his cochlear implant surgery, with his surgeon Dr. Craig Buchman, UNC Chapel Hill Children's Hospital. Picture Ben giggling as he skipped into the operating room. This pic is his 1 week post-op... he healed so fast and easily.
(you can click on pics to enlarge)
This time tomorrow, we'll be in Chapel Hill for Ben's 1st activation. Ben has been counting down these last 4 weeks since surgery, and now he's counting down the hours. He's asking a zillion questions about anything and everything that has to do with his activation and about hearing in general. His questions are excellent and are an indicator as to his desire, anticipation, and intelligence. I have told him that learning to hear will be slow... as we've been told. There will be 3 activations, 2 weeks apart... to ease him into it. I told him that the professionals say we'll have to be patient... he disagrees... maybe we'll just have to let Ben show us :o)

I plan to post a video of his first moments of activation. We are letting all the kids miss school tomorrow, because they all want to be there in the room with him. Hopefully the room will be big enough for all of us! (Mike, me, Brianna, Brent, Ben, Lidia, Brinley & Bayla)

We'll be back home in the evening... ready to begin witnessing Ben's miracle, and seeing him discover a whole new world he always dreamed about...
Thank you God

Christmas 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas! We had lots of Mike's family come up from Florida to spend this special time with us. It was awesome, and I love it when the cousins can spend time together :o)

Our family... Christmas 2008

Here we are with Mike's family that came to visit ~~ all 20 of us !!!!

My sweet hubby ...

Mommy, how much LONGER until we open presents?

Ben's perpetual smile :o)

Brent having fun with cousins David & Jake!

Brianna (on right) with cousin Samantha

So nice to spend time with my sisters, Wendy & Traci

Brinley, Bayla, Hannah & Sarah made birthday cards for Jesus & here they are at the post office getting ready to mail them to Heaven... so sweet!

Valentines or Christmas?

Poor Brad...little girl cousins have attacked him!