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!

Thanksgiving 2011

What a great time we had at Thanksgiving! Mike's parents came up from Florida, and also his sister Jennifer and her hubby Shawn - and their kids Caleb, Hannah, and Sarah... (turn your speakers on & enjoy)

Time Sure Flies !!

Wow, I've been back from China for 4.5 months already! Well, time does fly when you're having fun, and we definitely are doing that. Life is really good, and we are really blessed. I see something amazing every day - what more could I ask for?

Bellamei is a precious gem. By God's design, she has been with our family forever, but now she is physically with us. It's truly as if she's been here all along. She had no hesitation, no apprehension, no doubt. She just melted right in. She begins every day with a smile and is kind & beautiful. Her limb difference is such a non-issue - there is nothing she can't do. She does everything a 2-handed person can do, and asks for no help, ever. She goes with us every Wed night for sign language class and she just improvises her signing, without a blink. She & Briella are signed up together on a basketball team. Bellamei is smart and a great student. She has friends at school, but her best friend is Briella - they chat all day long in Chinese!

Going Home...


All packed up and ready to go home!! Leaving very early in the morning (6am). All 3of us are very excited. Our guide delivered her visa this afternoon, so now every single piece of paperwork is in order. We spent the afternoon at the pool again today, just playing and passing time. Bellamei had never been in a swimming pool a week ago, and now she can swim 1/2 way across the width of the pool (underwater). She is very eager at everything and a very determined little girl. Enjoy the video of her in the previous post.She is so graceful, beautiful, and sweet.

Leaving China is bittersweet. As I leave this land, I realize that 5 of my children's birthmothers are here somewhere, and I am grateful that they chose life for our children. I wish them well and keep them in my heart. Now, I go back to where I call home and can't wait to embrace my husband & my children :)

Bellamei at OneTrueMedia.com

Sweet Bellamei


This morning was our Consulate appt and everything went well. Tomorrow we will receive her visa to come home. We will leave the hotel Thurs morning at 6am and head to the airport. We have an 8am flight to Beijing, then a layover there until 4:10pm when we take off for Chicago. Then, 1 more flight from Chicago to Charlotte will bring us home (almost 30 hrs later). Can't wait to see everyone at the airport! It will be late, probably either 10pm or midnight, depending on how quickly we get through immigration in Chicago. The girls are doing great, and we are enjoying the swimming pool every day. Here are a few pics, that include 1 of my girls with Ann Marie, the other 12.5 yr old that was adopted by a family that is also with our agency. Ann Marie is from a different area of China than Bellamei. Actually, they are exactly 1 week apart - Bellamei being the younger one. We went to a park and I am always fascinated by the geriatric crowd, just going to town working out on the exercise equipment and the ladies doing dances together (all at the park). It was REALLY hot though! I took a video of Bellamei dancing & singing in our hotel room. Hopefully, I can find a way to get it on the blog. I can't wait to arrive home and see all my other sweeties! Not too much longer now :)

Having fun in Guangzhou!


We are having a ball :)

Arrived yesterday and this morning after breakfast, we met the other family from our agency that also adopted a 12 year old (from a different province) in fact, their daughter is exactly 1 week older than Bellamei. The 3 girls are having a lot of fun together. The first thing we did was go to have the medical exam done. I was very relieved that our guide was able to receive an immunization record from Bellamei's orphanage, via email. We weren't sure we would be able to get it, and if not, that would've meant many shots for her at the medical exam today. Turns out, since we were able to obtain a shot record from the orphanage, she only received 4 regular shots, 1 oral shot, and the TB test. She is about 10 lbs lighter than Briella, and about 3.5 inches shorter. She did just fine with the shots, what a sweetie she is. Then we walked around the island and shopped together with the other family. Bellamei is a good shopper and doesn't ask for much.. she is very poised. I got some nice gifts and I also got 2 traditional silk dresses for her. She danced and sang in one of the shops we were in (I asked her if she would) and I am just so impressed with her grace, and her voice is delicate and beautiful. We will go back to the medical clinic on Monday to have her TB result looked at and do a little more shopping there, which is so fun (and pick up some laundry we dropped off). We had a yummy lunch at Lucy's and Bellamei loves broccoli, just like Briella and me.
One of the nicest vendors there, named Jordon, remembers me everytime I come to his shop. We always connect by name (Jordan) and he is the nicest guy.. he offered to write in caligraphy on a fan that we were buying, and when he asked her what name she wanted on it (english or chinese) she said "Bellamei". So, I've been calling her Bellamei since then and she seems to love it. We finished off the day with a nice swim at the hotel pool - which is outside and we don't have to wear the silly swim hats here. The water was still a little chilly, but it was so hot outside, so I finally got in too. I did a few laps and Bellamei was so impressed and excited that I was in the pool. She wanted me to show her how to swim, and wow.. she is really trying, and doing quite well. She will be independent in no time. It was a great bonding experience because she just loved on me like crazy in the pool ~ what a gift she is.

The only official business that is left to do is to have the TB test read on Monday, go to the Consulate for the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, pick up her U.S. visa on Wednesday, then fly home on Thursday - yay!!!!!

Can't wait for her to meet everyone else in the family. I know you will fall in love with her too!


More Pictures of our Time Together

Last full day in Hohhot


We have spent 1/2 day in the hotel room, just playing around. Leaving in a few minutes with our guide to go pick up Ying's passport. Tomorrow morning we fly out to Guangzhou. We are excited about that! Ying is doing extraordinary, how blessed we are!

Sight Seeing


Celebration Swimming

To celebrate Bellamei officially becoming a Jordan, we went to the pool. She has never been in a pool before, but you wouldn't know it.. she isn't scared of anything it seems. They had a blast! Here are some pics of them - I had planned on getting in too, and even bought the silly hat for me too (required) but the pool was absolutely freezing. Then, we came back to the room and the girls showered and Bellamei got a 2nd treatment of conditioner for her hair and it is so much softer now and shiny too. I blow-dryed it for her and I even trimmed it a little, as her bangs were way down to her nose. I didn't take off much, but it is definitely better. In one picture, you will see her sporting her new watch I brought for her. The last picture is of George, our guide - he is so fun!