My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A New Journey--My Mom

Life has it's twists and turns.
And in the last week or so, my mom's health has taken a dramatic turn.
As my siblings and I enter new roles in caring for her over the coming days, I will be primarily blogging on her CaringBridge site.
If you know me well, and have my email address, you may contact me to gain access to her blog.  It is not open to the general public.  But, we welcome those who know her and love her to stop in for a visit and leave her messages of hope.
You can also leave messages here in the "comments" if you would like me to deliver her a special word of love or support.

She is a sweet lady! and one thing that I have learned from my mom--she NEVER acts her has the ability to make people laugh and she is very willing to even laugh at herself.  AND she's very mischievious as can be seen by the pictures with Lucas and the whipped cream...=)

April 2011

 October 2012---That Grandma!!!


 July 2012--such a goofball (this was a moment when she was totally laughing at herself for something silly she had done!) Then she started scolding me for taking pictures of her...But it didn't stop me and we were practically on the floor laughing because of it.

July 2012 --visit to Wisconsin

We love her very much.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The ripple affect of adoption

I think adoption is one of those things in life that people go into for a variety of reasons.  Some people want to simply expand their family and perhaps there has been pain in their history--loss of a child, loss of fertility, older couple, or other reasons.  Some people go into it to "rescue" an orphan or child otherwise in a desperate situation.  Some people go into it because they feel "called by God" to minister to the "orphan".   I think all of these reasons carry validity.  Many people get up in arms about the "rescue" word.  But, I'm not here to argue that point.

Personally, I have to say, when we went to adopt Lucas we had a wide variety of reasons and things that led us in that direction.  I did have an inkling toward it even as a young child.  I always wanted an Asian or African American "baby".  I have no idea why.  I just felt like I would have a child of another ethnic backround someday.  Then, we entertained the thought after we lost our first two children in 1990 and 1991 both an hour after they were born.  But, the timing wasn't quite right yet.  Then, Jacob mentioned that we should adopt "a boy" just a few months before he died, 2004. Another reason occured at my own father's funeral in 2005.  Isaac, our son who was 9 at the time, observed how I had my siblings surrounding me at his funeral and that he wouldn't have anyone if something happened to Peter or myself.  Jacob had died 9 months prior.

We waited for about 2 years after Jacob died before entertaining the thought. Then after prayer and asking God, we decided to go with a little "girl" from China so there would be little resemblance to Jacob who was blonde a haired and blue eyed and a boy.  We felt God leading us in that decision.

I have to say, in many ways we were focused on our own family unit.  Yes, we considered how it would affect other family members.  But, our final decision really came in what the dynamics would be for our immediate family...what would become the 4 of us again.  We prayed about it based on what was right for our family unit of 4.

Recently, however, I've come to see more and more how this type of decision affects everyone we interface with.  It affects neighbors, friends, extended family, even teachers at school or at church.  I wasn't able to see how much it affects others because I was in survival mode much of the time.  I also had a bit of a myopic view centering on the world of "our" immediate family.  We are really blessed that most of our family and friends have responded so well to us bringing crazy-boy into their lives.  They didn't choose it.  We did, based on God's leading.  But, it has changed a lot of things for them as well.

A prime example is Ms. F, Lucas's teacher at school.  She is one of the most amazing people I've met-an outstanding professional, but so so personal at the same time.  She didn't "choose" adoption.  But, because we did, her classroom and daily routine is affected by this little man in her midst.  He can be a handful.  And he can be the sweetest thing you ever want to be around.  The flip flopping of his "moods" can cause anyone to go a little crazy.  But, she didn't choose to go 1/2 way around the world to get this little man and bring all this chaos into her life.  We did that through God's orchestration.  Then suddenly he his dropped in her classroom mid year and she becomes a player in the drama that is unfolding.

I see how our families have just seemlessly woven him into the traditions, the joys, the stories, the photographs, etc.  We really are so blessed.

I didn't sign up for this to be a poster child for adoption.  Yet, somehow whether by choice or not, we became a voice.  People are intrigued by our crazy life for some reason.  Why is that?

Lucas has no idea right now how his little life has touched and affected so many.  The ripples continue to spread out.  Even others in the adoption community have commented about him and some have used his story as a stepping stone in their own decisions about adoption or even surgery for their children.

I knew God called "us" to adopt.  But, did you know God called "you"to adopt when you signed on to be our friends or family?  Ok maybe family didn't have much choice in the matter--but you get the point.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Our church is part of a movement that has been bringing awareness to slavery around the world. 
Did you know there are currently 27 Million slaves in the world today?  More than there were at the time slavery was active in the US.  
It's hard to say "our church" is organizing this--it really is a movement started by leadership in our church but in no way is it meant to be "our church" doing this alone.  They don't want to do double duty on what is already going on to address this issue.  So they have partnered with several grass roots organizations that are already doing the work to 
I want to start with this cool video Isaac made last year when he was in highschool.  He wanted to be part of the movement and also had an assignment for one of his classes to make a statement about something for a PSA.
I found it today and wanted to make sure to save it.
I did post it once here when he first made it, but I ran across it today and it brought the cause to mind again.

Here is a link to the facts and all the organizations partnering together to bring awareness as well as give opportunity to do something about this insanity.

It's so easy to brush these things under the carpet when the numbers are so huge and we seem so small and insignificant.  But, if there are 27 Million slaves in the world, then there are 27 Million things we can do.  Even touching the lives of ONE of them is important.

Go here to see more about the END IT MOVEMENT.  And here is another video to shine a light on the issues at hand.

Let's pledge to get educated about it and then bring awareness to it and then to END IT!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Baidu Images

As anyone knows who has walked the road of adoption, and in particular Chinese adoption, it is often hard to find "history" of your child.  The only real information we are given is on paperwork or from the orphanage or foster care they stayed in.  Photographs are hard to find except if you send along a disposable camera before adoption.  And even those pictures are somewhat scattered.
We have gaps in information about Lucas and his history.  So whenever we can get "ANYTHING" to fill in those gaps even if we don't completely understand it (ie in Chinese) we will take it.

I recently found out about something interesting.  
There is a website called Baidu Images. 
 I think it may be similar to Google Images. 
If you type in the name of the SWI (orphanage), which in our case I got off his adoption documentation, you can find images of things about the orphanage.  This includes a lot of things that I don't really understand, but I did find several pictures of Lucas... 
I'm really missing pictures of his babyhood.  But, these are good too.
The things I found interesting...
1.  It appears they had a lot of visitors.  Some of them look "official"
2.  It appears they also were given gifts of food, and toys and even clothes
3. Some of the pictures appear to be huge events where some organization was maybe donating money? (stages, music, putting kids on stage, etc.)
4.  Even caucasion vistors arrive once in a while.
5.  Our boy seems to be somewhat "famous" in a few pictures that look like newspaper clippings.
6.  There are a lot of pictures of old people.  Like there was maybe also a nursing home type facility related to the orphanage?  It was a huge building.
7.  They appear to have a lot of "therapy" toys/equipment for the kids to use

Front row grey shirt far right

peace symbol boy on her shoulders

Front by desk, "peace"

ok, this one makes me a little mad.  I think they were trying to use him for some publicity thing and if I know him, he didn't want to do it.  ...
 They put him on a stage with the other boopski...I'm so sorry

He is hiding behind the boy on the left in the yellow shirt

another Newspaper type article. ( I couldn't get the image of the newspaper to show up here, but I kept it) I think this is one of the nannies, but I will ask him to be sure.

I was hoping to find baby pictures.  That's really what we are lacking.  I have virtually no pictures before about age 2.  I would love to fill in those gaps for my boy.  But, today I consider it "success" that after sitting and weeding through a google images-type site for an hour, I was able to identify MY boy in those pictures and have at least these pictures to add to the mix.  I stopped when Isaac told me the further away I get from the original search, the less likely they will be "on topic".  Time to stop when I started seeing images of white girls in bikinis.

But, I LOVE that I can find him in a sea of Asian pictures. 
 I used to not be able to do that. 
 But, now I KNOW MY boy!
so, for today.  A few pics.  And now I just need to get the newspaper articles translated somehow.