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!

Travel Approval is here !!!!

June 18, 2009

Well, I received the call today from my agency. They received our travel approval today. This is the very last paper we needed. It looks like Lidia & I will be flying out on July 7th, and returning home on July 24th (my birthday!).

This trip will be about 3 days longer than our previous adoption trips to China, due to the new immigration procedures. Between the swine flu issues (very heightened awareness in China) and these new immigration requirements, this will definitely be a little different than the norm. Briella will have to have a TB skin test, then wait 2-3 days to see if there's a reaction or not, and if there is, she'll need a chest x-ray. In addition, she'll likely receive anywhere from 5-8 immunizations at her medical visit required by the U.S. Embassy. So, there are some unknowns... and these new procedures only start on July 1st, so there will be some families that will be before us, but not too many.

I wonder how Xiyao is feeling and what she's thinking. Lidia is excited about the trip and about meeting her. Bayla and Brinley will be staying at Aunt Traci's, then at grandma & papa's house. This is a big help to Mike, who is so busy with his jobs. Thank you Traci & Walt... and Grandma & Papa !!! We really appreciate you guys and it sounds like the girls will have a wonderful time with you. Brianna will help here at home with Brent & Ben. This will take a LOT of coordination with so many of us going in different directions, but I know it will all come together!

Also, please pray for Brianna's mission trip to Honduras. She leaves the day after tomorrow and will be there for 1 week, reaching out to the deaf community in Honduras. I am so proud of her.
Check out her website at www.hearts4honduras.blogspot.com
We aren't sure if she'll be able to post to her blog while there, depending if they have internet access. She is the group media person, responsible for video, photos, and journaling the trip.

God has been moving mountains in this big family of ours. We are very blessed!!!!