Love china

Love china

Saturday, March 26, 2016

For The Love of A Child

I seem to be struggling a bit more, lately, with blog updates. This have been busy and moving forward.

My home study is this coming week. I am ready for it to occur and be done with so this process can move forward. I am also a little nervous  ... an entire day of interviewing me on how I will parent, what I would do if certain things arise and generally how I will handle bringing home a child from China and caring for him.

It has been 4 months since I began this journey ... 6 months since I first laid eyes on my sweet boy.  I am just ready to be in China, holding him in my arms.  Unfortunately, there is much more paperwork and lots more money that has to be paid to various agencies before I even have a travel date.

I am beyond thankful that he is in a foster facility that takes tremendously good care of him. He gets PT/OT/SLP services at the foster facility and all his medical needs are cared for. There are so many adoptive parents out there who only get 1-2 pictures of their child throughout the entire adoption process and are constantly worried about how their child is being cared for.  There are also waiting parents who FINALLY get an update, only to learn that their little one has been hospitalized  ... or transferred to a different facility (but the adoption agency may not know where ...). These are all scenarios that play out on a daily basis for waiting parents and I am SO incredibly thankful that I know that my child is being provided with proper care, nutrition, daily play and that his health needs are taken care of. So, even though the wait is hard and it feels, at times, like there isn't an end in sight - I am so thankful to the foster facility and nannies for caring for my sweet boy as if he was their own.

Personally, I have taken on working more in order to put more money towards the adoption fund. However, no matter how much I work and how hard I save - I often have doubts that the money will be able to provide for the fees when they are due. I currently have a $3500 bill that I need to pay and it scares me that in paying it the adoption fund will be wiped out completely and it will have to be restarted to be build back up for the next round of fees. I know that somehow God will provide ... but my weakness is my fear and worry. I am slowly learning to give it to Him ... but for someone who has been a "controller" for over 30 years ... this is not easy .. but I am slowly getting there.

I must say, I have met some amazing people so far on this journey. There are so many adoption Facebook groups and it has been an amazing support system. There are also groups here locally that are very focused on behavior and parenting post-adoption. I am blessed that I live in an area that is so supportive and rich in knowledge.  The week after my home study, there are 2 conferences that I wholeheartly support (just wish they weren't on the same days so I could actually attend both .. ).

The first conference that I just think will be amazing is 99Balloons ENGAGE Conference.
This conference is amazing!! This gives people the ability to start conversations about disability and inclusion without your church.  There are so many families who have children that need support at all times, churches should be a place of respite, recovery, recharging and caring. Unfortunately, many churches do not know how to care for kids with involved needs and the parents are left to care for their kids at all times and/or they bring their children into the service and others get upset because their child is "making too much noise",  roaming the aisles or upset in some way. When parents are in a church like this, they eventually just give up and decide that church is just too hard for their family and there is just no one that will step in to help them. This is NOT what church should be like for families who have children with disabilities.  If you are interested in learning how YOUR church can help local families and bring more families to God, consider attending this awesome conference.  You can learn more at:

The other conference that I cannot wait to attend is the Empower to Connect Conference. This is a conference that is led by Dr. Karen Purvis - author of "The Connected Child". 
I am very much looking forward to this conference. It is specifically geared for families who have or are in the process of adopting/fostering. This will be a great prep for me when it comes to bringing Sunshine home and helping him transition to the US.  If you are interested in attending, visit to register and find more information.

The next big fundraiser is going to be a rummage sale on Saturday April, 16th at the corner of John Rollow Drive and SE 28th St. in Bentonville, AR. As you are doing spring cleaning, if there are items that you would like to donate towards the rummage sale, PLEASE let me know in the next 2 weeks. I am trying to get everything sorted & priced as it comes in.  If you need more information or have donations, please email me at

As always, if you would rather donate money towards bringing Sunshine home, you can do so through the following link:

Praises: I am so thankful for the support I have been given throughout this journey thus far. From family, friends and even strangers ...  it is truly touching and makes me realize how much love there really is in the world!! 

Prayer Requests:
- That donations for the rummage sale begin coming in - allowing for a good selection and turn-out on April 16th. 
- That people will be willing to volunteer to help me run the rummage sale - I have realized that I cannot do it on my own!
- That Sunshine continues to do well and thrive in his foster facility - knowing each day that he is loved. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You Are My Sunshine

SO much has been going on lately that I haven't been able to find a spare moment to update everyone!! SO SORRY!!! 

I wanted to take the time in this entry to tell you a little bit about my sweet little boy ... this special little one that I call "Sunshine". I haven't shared too much about him yet, but I want to now.  I still cannot share his name or picture online, but he is SO very loved. This sweet child was born with hydrocephalus - "water on the brain". This condition occurs when too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in the ventricles within the brain and causes a build up of pressure within the skull. If this pressure is not relieved, it can lead to brain damage and motor skill impairment. 

At 4 months of age, Sunshine was taken to a hospital and left there by his biological parents. Most people may hear this and think, "how disturbing", "how could they do such a thing" or "they must not have loved him since he had 'problems'". Honestly, I don't think that ANY of those things went through their minds. To understand my train of thought, you have to understand that China is completely different from the US. The "common man" in a small town (like the one Sunshine is from) is fairly poor. His parents likely had little to no money and healthcare in China is not run via. insurance or government run plans ... it is self-pay. His parents saw him with a head that was growing and growing, knowing that something was very wrong with him and that he was crying constantly. Knowing that something was not right they took him to a place that they thought would be able to care for him - a hospital. Out of love for him, they took him to the one place that may be able to "fix" him and knowing that they could not pay for his needs, they had to leave him there. They did NOT leave him on a street corner, they did NOT leave him in the middle of a field, they did NOT put him in a dumpster ... they took him to a hospital ... they LOVED him, and left him out of love. 

Once he was abandoned, he was looked over at the hospital to ensure no immediate medical need. He was then transferred to the local orphanage. I am really not too sure how long he stayed at the local orphanage, but I think the local orphanage realized fairly quickly that Sunshine's needs were far greater than they could accommodate. The orphanage reached out to an amazing high medical need foster facility who was able to take him in and get him into a top-notch hospital to be assessed for shunt placement.  He needed this shunt to move the extra CSF from his brain to his abdomen so it could be reabsorbed by his body. They got him into the hospital and placed the shut. Everything went well with the surgery, but soon after he developed a fairly severe infection and he had to go back into surgery to have the entire shunt removed. Unfortunately, he contracted yet another infection after the removal surgery and had to wait several months before he could have another shunt placement surgery. 

By this time, he was already past his 1 year old birthday. By the age of 1, most of the sutures (joints) in the skull begin to fuse together. This means that Sunshine is now stuck with a head that is VERY large because his sutures closed when he had way too much fluid in his skull. He was able to have a third surgery and get his shunt placed and so far he has not had any problems or needed any revisions. 

Sunshine is a very strong and brave little boy. He has a very long road ahead of him if he is eligible for the skull reduction surgery once he is home. I have been in contact with a craniofacial surgeon in Dallas who is very hopeful that he may be able to reduce the size & weight of Sunshine's skull as well as re-shape it.  Currently, Sunshine is not able to hold his head up, sit up, stand, up, walk, run, jump ,etc. and he will be 3 this summer. It is my prayer that with this skull surgery he may be able to learn to hold up his head, sit, stand, walk, etc. 

Where is the Process Now?
So, currently I am finishing up a few loose ends and the home study is scheduled for the end of March - yay!! Once the home study is done and all the documents come back from being authenticated, everything will get sent to US immigration where they will look over everything to determine if it is ok for Sunshine to come into the country and become a US citizen. Once that is approved, then it will all be sent to China for their approval. It is all a paperwork and waiting game. 

How Can You Help?
Several good friends of mine are currently hosting various "parties" and will be donating part of their profits to the adoption fund. If you are interested in any of the following things, please consider purchasing during their timeframes so part of your purchase goes to bringing Sunshine home!

Jewels for Sunshine Fundraiser

Changing Skin, Changing Lives
Order Now through the end of the month to contribute to bringing Sunshine home!

Egg My House
If interested, please email at to set up a time, location, how many eggs needed and any special requests! 

Rummage Sale
   We will be holding a rummage sale on Saturday, April 16th in the parking lot on the corner of John Rollow Drive and SE 28th Street in Bentonville. If anyone would like to donate things after their spring cleaning, please call/text me or email me at I will gladly come and pick things up in the local area!

- Things seem to be moving along fairly smoothly. I am excited to get the home study done and keep things rolling! 

Prayer Requests:
- Things continue to keep moving along
- The home study goes well
- Nothing gets delayed being authenticated at the state level 
- Sunshine remains healthy, happy and loved

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Monday, March 7, 2016

Things to Come

I have been a busy little bee lately. This weekend was full of volunteer work for TEAMWorks! Friday was Parents Night Out - LEGO Edition! We had loads of fun building towers and knocking them over, swinging on the swing, playing in the sensory room and "splashing" in the ball pit. The kiddos always seem to love Parents Night Out, always full of giggles and lots of pizza!!

Saturday was the beginning of the TEAMWorks Easter Pictures! I LOVE these pictures because we always have baby chicks and little rabbits to add to the cute kids ... I CANNOT wait until Sunshine is home and he is able to get his photo made!  Today was another day of kiddos with "chips" (chicks) & bunnies ... it is hilarious to see their reactions, they are either completely enamored or terrified.

I want to say thank-you to everyone who prayed for the families that I posted about last week. It was very sad, but Annabel was removed from life support on Monday and peacefully went to be with Jesus while being held in her Dad's arms. Her funeral was yesterday in Texas.
The most amazing thing was that a YouCaring page was started in her honor to assist with paying for medical and funeral expenses and the goal was met in less than 24 hours .... it was truly amazing how God's people came together to support a family in need.

As for my adoption process, things are still rolling forward. I am hoping to hear from the social worker this week about when they would like to schedule the home study. I am praying that it is soon. I am also praying that I can sell more jewelry and get some more donations to finish paying the 3,200 fee associated with the home study.  I still have some of the jewelry from ApParent, but this is the LAST call. It is really cool stuff and I still have a few earrings, a few necklaces and MANY bracelets.

Sunshine seems to be doing well. There were a couple new pictures posted of him this week and he looked happy in both. I just can't wait to hold him in my arms, give him kisses and tell him how much he is loved. I have even been looking up phrases in Mandarin, so that he absolutely knows that he is loved - because he IS worthy. 

 Prayer Requests:
          - Fundraising picks up to help raise the last of the $3,200 fee needed for the home study.
          - Sunshine continues to thrive and grow, continually knowing that he is greatly loved