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!

Look at our SWEET girl !

I am SO THRILLED to get this one new photo of Ying. Our last picture was from 9 months ago! It also came with this comment.. "Ying is a very sweet child. Also, she got 80 points out of 100 on her recent English exam."
She is so beautiful!! (click on pic to enlarge)

We received an update!

Yesterday we received a tiny update on Ying. It's been 10 months since we got the last update, so I'm happy to get this tidbit of information. Here is what it said..

The child doesn't know she will be adopted yet. She is outgoing. She is attending 4th grade in elementary school, her academic performance is quite good. She likes music, literature and art, she has just begun learning English. She brushes her teeth every day. We have not noticed any cavities so far. She likes fruits.

My agency said pictures to follow. We've only gotten 1 picture during this long wait. The rest of the pictures we have are from when her file was originally made back in 2007, and the few I've obtained from another family that adopted an older girl from this orphanage back in 2007. So, new pics would be great! They also sent me her measurements. I compared her measurements with Briella's since they're close in age. They are almost the same height, within an inch. If the measurements are correct, Ying may be slightly taller. Briella weighs 85 lbs and Ying weighs 77 lbs. Their waist and foot size seem to be the same.

I wonder if she started school late.. in China, children usually start 1st grade at age 7 (no kindergarten). But Ying turned 12 in Jan and is in 4th grade, so she may have started school after 7. She will likely be placed in 4th grade here, so she will be older than her peers, which is the same case for Ben, Briella and even Lidia. That's just what happens when an older child who starts school late (or in Lidia's case, never had school) comes to a new country and has to learn a whole new language and catch up. Hopefully, when I'm in China I can ask the facilitator or orphanage director lots of questions.

We are sending her a care package - it's almost ready to mail out. Waiting for our letter to be translated. When she receives this box, she will know she has a family!

We just have a couple tiny steps left in the paper process & then we will receive our travel approval. I'm ordering our travel visas now and beginning to prepare for the trip, which might be about 5-6 weeks from now.

I can't wait to give her a hug!


Today we got our final approval (LOA)! This means we are officially approved to adopt Ying. What a joyful day! Now we are allowed to send her a care package, with some things for her along with a letter, translated into chinese, that will explain to her that we love her and are coming to bring her home. We will also send a small photo album so she can see her family. Travel should be in approx 8-9 weeks. I pray that the rest of the paperwork goes smoothly and without delay. We lost about a month & a half due to our paperwork getting "stuck" in translation for 60 days. Briella is excited... she will be going with me. How awesome that she will be able to communicate with Ying in mandarin. Ying is 9 months younger than Briella. Also, we can now request an update & ask for new pics. The update & pics we have is quite old (from last August). Here is beautiful Ying..