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!

Life is Good

12/27/12 Can't believe it's been over 2 months already since bringing Braxton home! Time sure does fly by. It's been a wonderful time of bonding with Braxton - he is a precious little boy. He loves every minute of every day. He loves to smile & interact. He's picking up new signs all the time and communication is going well. He seems to love us as much as we love him, and he shows us by showering us with smiles, hugs & kisses. He gets along really well with all the kids. Sometimes when Ben goes to bed later than him (they share a room) he sleeps in the spare bed in Brinley & Bayla's room. He loves to play with the girls, and he is afraid to sleep alone. He cooperated for all of the many evaluations needed to qualify for our county's deaf education program. The IEP team & principal/faculty involved all fell in love with him! He finally started school last week and he loves it. He really enjoys the bus! Even though his age says 9 on his papers, his doctors don't think it's accurate. He was only 39 lbs & not on the growth chart. His features just don't look like a 9 yr old. The pediatrician ordered a bone age test & the result said his skeletal age is 7 yrs old. The test can have a deviation of up to 9 mths, and growing up in an orphanage can affect growth, due to lack of good nutrition & stimulation. The dentist & orthodontist estimate him to be around 8. We also agree that he seems more like an 8 yr old. We're not sure what to do about it & have made a couple of calls, but no leads on what to do. It would benefit Braxton if we could change his birthdate back a year. His orphanage guesstimated his birthdate when he entered there, and his China paperwork wasn't created until 2009. He's also had all of the screenings/tests to see if he is a candidate for a cochlear implant, and he is! If he is in fact younger, then that is a benefit for implant success. They fit him with temporary hearing aids, mostly since it's an insurance protocol. The surgeon said with his severe hearing loss, the aids won't be of much benefit to him, but he can practice with hearing the amplification, it just won't be clear or very usable sounds. He liked them for about 10 days and then didn't want to wear them. I think the molds that fill up his entire ears bother him more than anything. He also has pointed out to us that it is not like Ben's. He wants what Ben has. There is also a little boy in his class that has bilateral cochlear implants. This little guy is only 6 yrs old, and Braxton is smaller than him. There are only 4 children in the elementary class for the deaf, including Braxton. The class is for kindergarten through 5th grade. They placed Braxton in 1st grade for now. His educational testing revealed only very basic math skills. He was able to read Mandarin & successfully matched up several phrases (in Mandarin) with corresponding pictures. He's super smart and very focused. So far, he's doing great in school and LOVES when I sign his agenda every night, just like I do for the other kids. His teacher writes a summary every day and it always says that he is a joy. He's motivated to learn. His surgery is scheduled for Januray 4. It is quite soon after coming home, but he has transitioned with such ease and has truly bonded already. The surgeon told us that if we are wanting to implant, not to wait - due to his age. Braxton is counting down the days for surgery, just as he did for starting school. He marks every day off in his calendar. We of course are nervous, as we were with Ben. It is intricate & amazing surgery. Ben did wonderfully & hopefully Braxton will too. The medical team puts us at ease by telling us that most children do great. Here are some pics of his homecoming & some others too...(click on 1st picture for slideshow)


April said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pics and these peeps! Miss you guys SO much and are really looking forward to meeting Braxton soon. Love Lidia's ROTC pics- she looks very professional. Hugs to all of you from Uncle Chris, Aunt April, Brad and Frank!

Lynda C said...

One thing you can do is to go to federal court to get his age declared according to his bone scan, and evaluations that were done. The only way the citizenship certificate can be changed is by a federal court's decree. Hope this helps.

The Kings said...

What a cutie!
So glad that Braxton is doing so well!!