Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Your Comments


Dw, Emma and I (Graham was at a friends for the night) sat around as I read aloud your comments sweet friends. We laughed at some of you, like Julie who thought we should buy Emmy some boxing gloves for her birthday. =)
Then there were bunches of you who wanted to line up behind Emma and throw in a little punch too, like: Mallory, Scrappy Quilter, stephanie, Jean, Kathy, inked33, Joy Portis, Laurel, Mr. Daddy, Sophie Neri, connie, Oatsvall Team, tigerdeus, and Shanti.


We really laughed when Just Me- The Champion thought that a taser would be the perfect solution. At your suggestion we ordered one off the internet today. j/k
We laughed our heads off as we read the story Kelly posted:
Our daughter Abby has a physical disability since she had brain surgery at 3. We have had to teach her from the very beginning how to handle questions from people. I didn't realize how much we had prepared her until about a year after her surgery and we were on her make a wish trip to Disney. We were actually visiting Universal that day, and it was VERY hot, and being with a make a wish kid we got to skip the line and go to straight to the front of a ride. The people had obviously been waiting a long time, and the man who was first in line was none to pleased. You can't see her disability unless she is walking, etc. and she was 4 and in a stroller. He started cursing loudly and talking about how unfair it was that we got to cut because their was nothing wrong with anybody in our group. My tiny little 4 yo stood up, put her good hand on her hip and said (with speech difficulty - couldn't say r), "I am on my make a wish twip. I had bwain surgery and work real hard for my body to work. My bwain is bwoken, but yours is just mean and wude - and you shouldn't say those words." The rest of the line clapped, but that man turned bright red, and had to walk away. We saw him in the park later and he apologized.
Go Abby!!!
We have had many comments over the years since we have been adopting internationally for the last 24 years....and most of the times we consider the tone or attitude behind the question.
Years ago when Dw was in seminary we were visiting a church. There was a lady there who had cut Dw's hair (yeah, I know, he used to have some!) the previous week. While cutting his hair he had mentioned that 2 of our 3 children were adopted. So that Sunday she came up to me and in front of Abigail, Tyler and Autumn said, "Your husband said that 2 of your 3 are adopted. I can tell he is (pointing her finger in Ty's face) but which one of the others is. I was so stinkin' ticked at her rudeness that I said, "Funny, I can't remember." She said, "Come on, which one?" I said again, "I really can't remember." She persisted about 3 more times before she got the clue that I was not divulging any information. I think it showed my kids that I defended them (politely) and that no one had the right to ask such a rude question.
We hear regularly: "Are Elizabeth and Elijah real brother and sister?" And we always say, "They are now!" Some folks still want to know and we just ignore them. =)
I got a big kick out of Nancy's response: Hmm...how about leaning over sympathetically to the wife and saying with compassion, "Alzheimer's?" with a sweet concerned smile on your face?
Comforting and absolutely amazing how many of you have kids with special needs. You guys are our heroes.....thank you for sharing your thoughts. They were all so thought provoking.
Elaine, I would have been right beside you wanting to bop the lady in Target....gracious you are my hero to have had such self-control. Grrrrr.....
But I think my all-time favorite response was from Amy Louise:
I work with students with special needs. We talk about comments people make and how they can be downright rude. One of my students had this suggestion," It's just so hard to figure people out from their looks. You have a perfect looking mouth and just said one of the ugliest things I've ever heard."
In my book.......Perfectly spoken by a young one with special needs!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What Do You Guys Think?


Life is slooooooowly returning to our new normal. Jubilee is doing wonderful. Really. My sweet friend, Jill, said yesterday at church, "it just seems like she's been with you always." It does.


She plays well (most of the time) with everyone. She loves to mommy Elijah, who doesn't seem to mind having one more mommy. Elizabeth loves to pick up Jubilee and play baby with her (Jubilee's the baby) and Jubilee doesn't mind that either. She giggles as Elizabeth picks her up and rocks her. Too sweet.

She adores Baba. She does not like Dw and I both gone, so if we both go, she goes too. We are tickled about that and love showing her off to anyone we meet - whether we know them or not!!


But then there was that man.....downtown....and what he said..... something that happened in the first hour or so that we were out on the first day we went. Really, it almost happened immediately.



We were ordering a ticket at the train station to go on the Polar Express (we were given a bunch, but needed one more) and there was just one other couple in the station. Jubilee ran over to them (about 10 feet from me) and waved "hi". The man said one of the most mean things I could ever imagine.



I thought, "there is no way - - - he did not just say that." Dw was a few feet from both of us and thought, "he did not just say that". When we walked outside Dw said to me, "Did you hear what he said?" Yes, we had both heard the same thing. It was about her physical appearance. Dw and I were both dumbfounded. How could anyone be so heartless? How could anyone be that mean? Downright cruel!!! I am angered just thinking about it now. He was a grown adult, probably close to 60 years old. And I am sooooo relieved that she doesn't understand English.


His wife instantly said something nice, probably embarassed by her rude, nasty husband. I got home and told Emmy. Emmy said that man is sure lucky she wasn't there because she would have punched him and she said she wasn't even kidding. You have to know Miss Emma, she is the most tender soul ever, but really, don't mess with her baby sister!!


I guess I will have to be prepared for future comments like that. You who have kids with extreme special needs, what have you done? Any others with thoughts or comments, feel free to share.


I have always leaned toward grace, but somehow think that some cases may call for a tad of sweet reality!! =)


What do you guys think??

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How In the World Did I Do That??

I looked at my post from yesterday and somehow the pictures of Baba meeting his precious Jubilee Promise didn't load....I don't know about you, but those are always my favorites - the 'meeting'....so I am giving you a peek and hopefully it will make up for no post on Christmas Day.... ;)

Meeting Baba
She went straight to Graham - Isaiah did that in Ch*na too....
how crazy is that??She was chattering away in Chinese telling us something and
she was sooo excited!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oh Happy Day!!

Okay, so the record says that 1800+ of you checked in yesterday. (Jeepers, you guys - it was Christmas...who'd of thunked??!!) Please forgive for no post. This mama was so tuckered, it was all I could do to do what had to be done to make the day filled with our normal Christmas traditions.


I had not slept on the flights, cause little Miss wasn't sleeping either (which time zone wise was wonderful - really). And with no sleep for her, I couldn't leave her sitting there on a flight filled with Chinese speaking people while I doze.....so I was awake....and then by the time I got in to the hotel in Albuquerque it was 1:30 AM....and Emma was up and in the shower at 5:30am so we could hit the road for home....she wanted to get to a doctor (if possible on Christmas Eve).....(she did and has a horrible case of strep).....so four hours of sleep left not much in reserve....thank you Jesus for adrenalin. I know, right?


We were on the road for home at 6:30 am, it wasn't even really completely light out yet.....I told Dw about 8:30 that we were already 2 hours into the trip....so stinkin' fun to be almost home....and we pulled in about 10:30am....


Jubilee giggled everytime I would tell her as we drove in the truck that we were going to see Baba and all the kids. As much as she understands, she was tickled to pieces!! I (Emma felt too yukky) sang Christmas music as we drove and she watched intently as I was singing away....I know, I know, probably thinkin' - wow mama, I sure hope you don't sing in public!! (Not to worry girlfriend - your mama knows better!)

Baba and the kids and Grandma and Josh were waiting in the driveway jumping up and down as we pulled in honking our horn for the last mile or so!! *giggles*


We all snuggled for a few hours and then had to head to the Christmas Eve service where many of our friends gathered to meet Miss Jubilee. She was lively and animated chattering away in Chinese....


Daddy spoke on God's unconditional acceptance and deep love for each of us. When he had left the front row to go up to speak Miss Jubilee (who had been sitting comfortably on his lap during worship) started squawking loudly. He soon called her up and showed her to the packed crowd. Through tears he talked about his instant love for this precious little one who so desperately needed us and has waited so long for us to come. I'm not sure how many dry eyes there were after that.....she worked the crowd - for sure!!




Christmas Eve at church.... The kids have a tradition of sleeping Christmas Eve in a fort.....even Jubilee was game!
Excited much??So very content.....she's just one of the family.......

We have always had a tradition of the kids lining up on the stairs to head down to open their stockings.....Autumn came over early to join in the full day....



More pictures to follow.....as we unwrap Christmas Day and Jubilee's first birthday with us!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

CAN YOU HEAR IT

NO NOT MY SCREAMING THAT I'M GOING TO BLOG SIBERIA

NO NOT THE ANGELS SINGING

LINNY AND GIRLS ARE 5 MINUTES FROM US


I CAN'T STAND IT - WE ARE SO EXCITED - TEARS STARTING TO FALL


GOD IS FAITHFUL - 100 percent He has fulfilled his promise!


Love you guys, goodbye till next time....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Final Thoughts From China

Linny Lee from China:

Well sweet friends, Emmy and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments (can see the comments, just can't access the blog).....from here....especially reading about all your struggles bringing home your kids....so good to know we are not alone. (whew!) So stinkin' good actually!! We laughed with you, Angie, at your idea of trying Starbucks again....cause we had already tried it again when you commented!!

We must be two sickos because yes indeed we decided to do an instant replay of Starbucks and there was good news - believe it or not, Miss Jubilee thought that sharing sounded like fun! (Yippee Jesus!) She happily shared the watermelon and other fruit - talk about miraculous!!

A few hours after the Starbucks replay though we went to dinner, at your recommendation Sally-girl, to the Italian Restaurant on Shamian. The bad news was that that did not end as nicely as the replay of Starbucks....oh well! She pitched a hissy fit cause she didn't want the spaghetti I had ordered for her. She had chowed it a few days before, so I thought it was safe thing to order - but today? Not on her palate preference.....oh my, oh my, oh my. The restaurant got to hear her hissy fit and the restaurant staff came and just stood and stared and stared and stared - an entire group of them!! Emma and I just smiled and waved, again, pretending to be oblivious.....it does help the situation to be able to mutter things under our breaths to each other - things that others can't understand (while maintaining the big smiles) - tension reliever for sure! She went back to the hotel mighty hungry. Oh well. Straight to bed and guessing that she will think twice about turning up her nose to dinner. I'm just sayin'.

I don't know what I would do without Emma here. We always have so much fun together. And with these struggles with Jubilee? Aye-yi-yi! Thankful beyond words for a daughter I can pray with, laugh with and even cry with! We've done plenty of all three this trip!!

Brief pause to share a little prayer request: Speaking of Emma. Would you please pray for her? She has a horrible sore throat! The pollution and chemicals of the remodeling of Shamian Island is not helping it any. We have been downing lots of Vitamin C, drinking tons of hot tea (thank you Jesus for the hot plate in the room) and popping lots of garlic. We were up a few hours in the night and I boiled water and had her breathing in a little tent I made of towels - but she is in agony and it is very, very swollen. We definitely need a touch from the Master in a big way! Fifteen and a half hours on one flight is not going to be much fun feeling so yukky. Thank you sweet bloggy friends!! xo


And completely changing the subject....I have met some very sweet blog friends (which has been such a delight!) Yesterday night at the Italian Restaurant I was so tickled to see some Westerners walk in...and we talked for a bit...and Miss Margaret - if you are out there - your grandbaby little Miss Lia Kate is absolutely adorable (and Lia Kate can vouch for the lungs that Miss Jubilee has as she and her mommy and daddy got to hear the hissy fit from the other room.)

Today is the day that we head for home (can anyone hear me screaming Yippee Jesus?)....so it goes like this:

23rd here in Ch*na - - - -
Leave Guangzhou to LAX...(leaving GNZ about 9pm which is 6am MST on Wednesday)

15-1/2 (unless a western tail wind helps - it was that long coming over) hour direct flight

Three hour layover in LAX

8:00ish pm LAX to Albuquerque (land about midnight and spending the night of the 23rd in ABQ since I will be so whipped I cannot drive until I have a few hours of sleep. I would be asleep in a ditch if I tried - guaranteed!!)

24th - drive home from ABQ after a few hours of sleep and let this little princess meet her Baba and big sis Autumny, big brother Graham, big sis Liberty, little brother Isaiah, little brother Elijah and little sister Elizabeth....oh my gracious I cannot wait to snuggle my sweet babies....Elizabeth asks every time we Skype..."Mom when are you coming home?"

24th Christmas Eve service as a family

25th Celebrate the birthday of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - the healer of broken bodies and hearts, the restorer of severed relationships, the fulfiller of long-held dreams, the promise keeper - He is our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God - how we praise His name!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh My! Oh My! Oh My!


Sent from Linny Lee:

Just in case some of you out there think that life is a bowl of cherries and we have bonded well and all is fairy tale-ish...thought I ought to spread a little light on the whole older child adoption thing.

Jubilee is adjusting. She is sweet and happy....some of the time. But when she's not? Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

Our guess is that in the foster home she was in the last 2-1/2 years not once did she hear the words "share" or "no". OH my. Oh my. Oh my.

We have bought treats for everyone at home. BUT even though we have explained that, she has this idea that if she's holding the bag, it's hers. Big surprise coming when she meets her boatload of siblings waiting at home. =) OH my. Oh my. Oh my.

So yesterday we went to Starbucks. It's just a stones throw from the Victory Hotel here on Shamain Island. It probably was put there by Mr. Starbucks while thinking of families adopting older children. =)

We had been to the Starbucks before and each time bought a fruit cup amongst other treats. Well yesterday we got our goods and sat down. I opened the fruit cup and Emma took a piece of watermelon off the top. To which Jubilee in one swift motion grabbed the piece off Emma's fork and flung the piece perfectly back in the cup while saying something very unkind sounding in Ch*nese.

I promptly took a piece and popped it in my mouth. To which Jubilee contorted her face and yelled at me. I then encouraged Emma to help herself, and I did too. She only got madder. This was a test and I was not about to fail. She started to scream and pitch the hissy fit of the century. It was so much fun to be in a foreign country, have your almost 8 year old screaming things in her native tongue and people who look just like her staring like I was from outer space. OH my. Oh my. Oh my.

Emmy and I pretended to be enjoying our time oblivious to her screaming like a naked lady. As her screaming continued, Emmy and I packed our stuff up and I carried her outside and down the street (she refused to move herself). We did not pass one Westerner.....just Ch*nese who gave us not-so-sweet looks. It was ridiculous and it was more than embarassing. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

I am pretty convinced they heard her screams all the way in Hong Kong. Aye-yi-yi. All because Emma took a piece of watermelon. Nice.

She screamed all the way to our room where I sat her on her bed. She proceeded to scream for the next 1/2 hour. I got out a deck of cards and laid on the other bed playing Solitaire and Emma went on the computer. We pretended that we were oblivious to her behavior.

She never once shed a tear. It was just a hissy fit, pure and simple.

Finally when she stopped I sat and told her that she owed mommy an apology. I tried to get her to say she was sorry and she just shook her head no. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

There is no doubt she darn-tootin knew that she had been naughty but there was no way, no how she was about to say she was sorry. Pride comes in all sizes and crosses all ethnicities, doesn't it? Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

We had been invited to dinner with some other families so Emmy and I got ourselves ready and said that we were leaving. I decided if there was any shot at her apologizing it would be to get to go eat (the kid is a chow hound). Sure enough she quickly said, "I'm sorry Momma." Gonna' have to work on that sincerity thing....one day.

But for all watching with wonder at older child adoption.....please pray for us and the other families. It is exhausting. It is wearying. It will certainly keep us on our knees. Love is a choice. It is a commitment. Love is not about just the good times. It is also about the bad times. It is also about the ugly times.

OH My. Oh My. Oh My.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy 24th Birthday Tyler Dwight


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR HERO!

Momma may be in China, but she will never forget the birthday of our son! She sent me the picture and told me to be sure to post... after church... but today he comes first... besides church doesn't start for 8 plus hours. Who needs sleep!!

We cherish the memories we have......and although we were not able to be moved into our new home while Tyler & Sarah were home for Thanksgiving, he was able to work with his dad and Graham on laying the kitchen floor in our new home. How I (dad) cherish every moment of time spent with my boys.



Yea, happy birthday to the little baby boy with big cheeks who charmed us the moment we saw his picture. It's where we began to learn that adoption was precious and opened our hearts to more.

Happy Birthday to the little toddler who drooled so much even his bibs wet through!

Happy Birthday to the young boy who built ultimate Lego ships and space ships even winning a Lego competition.

Happy Birthday to the 8 year old who said some day he would pay this country back for allowing him to come to America.

Happy Birthday to the young boy and teenager who loved to lay at the end of the bed talking with mom and dad till it was way past his bedtime - smart kid.

Happy Birthday so a son who chose to make Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior at an early age.

Happy Birthday to the extremely talented young man who taught the youth with passion.

Happy Birthday to the young man who pushed the young boys in youth group to the limit across the desert and then had your victory off the top of the cliff as only boys can do!

Happy birthday to a son who chose a beautiful wife to be his bride.

Happy Birthday to our young hero - d*pl*yed now in a far off land paying back his country.

Happy Birthday to the hero of your family we love you, miss you and are always praying for you!

Happy Birthday son, we couldn't be prouder to be your parents! (Tears are now flowing so that are I can hardly see!) We love you with every fiber of our being, Dad & Mom

PS: He sometimes checks in to see the blog so if you'd like to wish one s*ldier a Happy Birthday please feel free. You might just bring some Christmas cheer to a son so far away!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Time To Celebrate


If we look, there is always something to celebrate. Linny thinks I find things to celebrate so I can eat some junk food. It is true. Celebration and junk food go together. So tonight as I write this post and celebrate I have just pulled the pizza from the oven, Pepsi on ice chips, and peppermint ice cream will help me celebrate!!

First, above we celebrate what is happening with Bill and Lyndsey at the new orphanage facility. It is coming along (they can use additional resources) and will be ready for children soon. Hmm, maybe some chicken wings would go good to celebrate such a great event!


We celebrate a little girls new suitcase going through the airport - meaning she's one flight closer to coming home! (Go ahead pull out the chips and salsa - I told you it is a night to celebrate!)





We celebrate friends, near and far, who love the orphans. That includes all of you! So grab a hot fudge sundae and let's celebrate together!) Are you tracking with me...

We celebrate little girls in pink princess dresses! Talk about beautiful!


We celebrate and crown our new princess - "Jubilee Promise". Your talking one proud daddy here, who though he's never seen her face to face grows more and more in love with her each day. Celebrate with me and open up some new M&M's!



We celebrate children with special needs at Bill and Lyndsey's orphanage. Linn says that's Josiah with her and she's bringing him home. (Break out some brownies!)



The nannys at Bill and Lyndsey made a feast. 17 different dishes prepared! Here's a few! I told you celebration included food!!!



Celebrate Jubilee - you get to eat from the feast!!! By the way Linn said she was the last one done because she ate and ate. Makes us wonder how much she was allowed to eat in the past.


Well my precious Jubilee... when you get home.... Daddy's going to have many reasons to celebrate..... and girlfriend..... we are going to eat!! Because that is something Daddy's do best!! dw for Linny Lee



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tell me it's been a month



Please tell me it's been a month since Linny left to get Jubilee. It must be! It must be because I've done one zillion loads of cloths. I've changed 2 million diapers. Broken up two thousand - "That's mine - no, it's mine" arguments. I've made at least two meals. (Yea - that's right - everybody thinks a pastor, can't cook so they make us meals. They're right!)

But please, it's been a month right? What's that I hear? I hear in my mind the truth echoing in the caverns of my mind the words, "days, only days, not even weeks, you wimp!"

Ok, don't tell Linn the following alright. I have your word on it, right? Promisssssssssse? Shhh - because if she knows the truth I will never live it down. She will gloat, she will dance the happy dance, (maybe like David) -- hmmmm maybe you should tell her. :) But please, oh please, don't tell her the following confession.

Ok, here's the skinny - her job is way, I'm talking way harder, than mine! There I've said it. If confession is good for the soul than I should be feeling better any minute. Right?

Wait, let me sneak a one minute nap while I'm writing this post. Wow, I am so tired. And by the way if I am working so hard.... why is the house still such a mess. (Don't tell her I said that either!) And finally, where do I find time for myself????

I now have first hand proof - Linn's not human. Neither are the rest of you moms. No human could do what she does in a day... and post. Maybe that's why she's up till midnight or up at 4:00 am. Hmmm - so if's she's not human - what is she - I know --- she's a superhero! Wahoo, I married a superhero!!!! Super hottie superhero!!!

So to Linn and all her fellow superheros - thanks for all you do. If you want your husband to have the same revelation I have had then disappear to China for a month! It's been a month right?





Linn - gets greeted by Bill and Lyndsey after picking up Jubilee with a beautiful bunch of flowers!

Have a great day! It's beginning the year of Jubilee!! dw for ll

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jubilee Promise - Linny Lee -checks in via copy and paste

Linn catches Jubilee unpacking and repacking suitcase! Yes, honey it's all yours!


Jubilee is doing fantastic and Emmy and I are SMITTEN!! She is teeny, tiny. Tinier than I had even imagined. She takes about a size 4T (and she'll be 8 in 10 days!!) We are thinking she is probably the same height as Isaiah (maybe an inch taller)....she has much difficulty talking, poor baby girl - even the Chinese have no clue what she is saying. So I feel pretty on-par with communication. But really, we do our own version of sign language....after all, what else do we need to know right now?? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Do you need to go potty? We figured universal motions for all those - so we're rockin!!!!


Jubilee repeats everything we say:

Mom: Say Emma
Jubilee: Say Emma
Mom: Say Isaiah
Jubilee: Say Isaiah
Mom: Say Neow-Neow (potty)
Jubilee: Say Neow-Neow

Makes us totally laugh!!

Yesterday she had her first (so far!) meltdown. I wouldn't let her keep her Dora suitcase on her lap when we road in the car (there was no room!) and she screamed and cried and finally was wailing for "her mama" (must mean her foster mom)...I just held her as she wrenched in my arms, pushing with all her might against the door/window to get out while we were riding. It was lots of fun! (NOT!)

We ended up at McDonald's to eat at the end of the grieving and screaming and she wandered around, clearly looking (I'm guessing) for her foster mom. She didn't want to be near me and stared at me as though I was the meanest creature in the world. Made me so sad. After she ate she warmed up again. It's all good. Grieving and bonding is a process and we are in it for the long haul. Her grieving makes me know that she was attached, which is a good thing! She will be able to love us with a deep love - which we all need.

Today she grew rather quiet when the director of the orphanage rode with us to the Civil Affairs office. Not sure what she was thinking, but maybe guessing that she is grieving and not sure what to make of it all. Lots of transitions for such a little treasure - and so much in a language that she has no clue how to understand. Keep praying for her - and wisdom for us.

She's had her first shower, her hair braided, nails polished, shopped, drank from Starbucks and slept with mommy (her choice).

When we went to the bank I was ushered into another room while she waited with Emma. She got very anxious and started squawking very LOUDLY in her very nasal sound - MAAAAA! while determinedly wandering trying to find me. She found me and plopped on my lap till we were done. Made my heart feel soooo good.

She and Emma are currently looking at the photo album and going over everyone's name....poor gal has alot of names to remember!!

We are totally having a blast and her delight is precious. Oh, almost forgot. Guessing she hasn't been carried much. If I pick her up she just giggles and grins. LOVES being carried - all 32 pounds of her....sweet baby girl - I absolutely love carrying you!!!

Nite nite from Tianjin China....where this mama is thrilled to pieces to have her Jubilee Promise - to love forever!! Just can't wait for everyone to meet her - such a treasure!! Keep praying though!!


Jubilee loves to color!!


Room service anyone? Now that's what I'm talking about -- that's not Dominoes!


We went to a shopping mall that the three of us hailed a cab to get to....on our own!! No translator...

so that we could find a Starbucks!! =)

Then shopped till it was dark (by accident) - and NO we didn't buy anything (except the Starbucks)...Jubilee carried her orange juice from Starbucks around like she'd never had her own bottle before...and would take tiny sips every few minutes...she giggled thru the stores...no doubt she is going to love shopping like the rest of us girls!


Was there ever a question - if one existed Linny & Emma would find it?


Shopping anyone? Oh, no - another girl who loves shopping. It's not the adoption that's expensive... it's the shopping!!!





Emma does Jubilee's braids! Lookin good girl, lookin good!!!

That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed them as much as this Dad did! This blogging thing takes me forever... can't someone make copying pictures - just drag and drop on a mac?

Keep praying, bring my Christmas present home from China!! dw

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gotcha Beautiful

The text read, "with her now, she just keeps smiling and smiling".... and then "she acts like she's been waiting for us for forever and thrilled we are here. Simple words but they mean so much. They mean over 600 days of waiting are over. They mean that momma and daughter are finally together. They mean that the promise of God to our hearts has again been fulfilled. They mean that a little girl without a family for almost 8 years now has a family that will love her forever!

Of course I did a little happy dance at church when i heard!



Jubilee meets her mommy




Jubilee meets Daddy and Graham via Skype






Jubilee and big sis - Emma



Mommy's smile tells it all!

Linn was waiting in the room and Jubilee came into the room and yelled, "mommy"! Jubilee had our picture in her back pack and kept pointing to it as Linn named off the family members. She will repeat everyone's name and everything and anything that Linn or Emma say. She smiles non stop and she knows who her mommy is and is clinging to her. Which of course makes Linny one very happy mommy!

We met my Jubilee via Skype for about 30 minutes... she would wave to me, laugh with me, even blew me a kiss! Does it get any better.

Today I taught a message on the miracle of Christmas with Mary. Mary conceived it, believed it and received it! We had a promise conceived in our hearts - Jubilee, believed it (not without moments of testing) and tonight we received it - the promise of a little girl, now named - "Jubilee Promise Saunders"! As Ty would say on Home Extreme Makeover - there is only one more thing to say.... "Welcome home Jubilee Promise - welcome home!"

Thank you for all your prayers - God is faithful! Dw

Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day,

Perhaps I just "gotcha" - because you thought I was going to post pictures. Nope.

Perhaps you thought we were playing tag - "Gotcha" is yelled. Nope!

Perhaps you thought I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar. "Gotcha!" Nope!

But in 3 hours - MST is now 3 and at 6:00 pm Linny Lee will be holding our precious daughter. Gotcha Jubilee. Gotcha forever.

So in 3 hours, or 180 minutes or 1080 seconds we Gotcha Girlfriend we Gotcha!

We have a children's play at church at 6:00 so it will be later when I post but the smile on my face will be my precious children up front and another in Linn and Emma's arms. Keep praying! Dwight for Linny Lee

Update #2 - take 2

Yes, it's very late - this is my second shot at the post. Apparently Graham went to bed and unplugged the router before i hit publish. So, i guess i lost it all... don't know where it went in my computer or bloggy land! AGHHHHHHHH

Linny and Emma are in Bejiing. Apparently most of the food on the airlines served pineapple with and on the meal. Linn is highly allergic, and although it would make a great post - and fits our year... it's not the headline we'd like.... "Woman on way to adopt eats pineapple - plane diverted to Japan for medical emergency." Naa we'll take the slow and easy down the road we go - route!

Too late to edit or spell check - but just know I talked with her and she said the flights were great and that all your prayers were answered. She slept through a great deal of the flights.

Also, she is so excited about meeting Jubilee she can hardly stand it! Less than 24 hours away. I'm also so giddy - can men be giddy? Help me out Mr. Daddy! Is that my feminine side.. did you ever wonder what a feminine side looks like? When i turn to the side there is nothing feminine about me.... maybe 6 months or so but that's about it! Ok, off to bed.

Monday - China time is Forever Family Day!   I'll update more tomorrow - have a great day celebrating the year of Jubilee! Dw for Linny Lee

Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Update

Hello Bloggy Friends,

For those of you who do not know me, I'm Linn's husband and will be subbing in for Linn to keep you updated. For those who do know me, you know that I have a tough time not letting this blog become this pastor's alter ego to say things I could never say in the pulpit. I will try to behave myself... probably.... maybe... ummmmmm... no not possible. As to my posting ability... well if you ever checked my blog - I've posted maybe 2 times in the last year or so. Linn's just slightly better on this one!! And Linn as you know is a fantastic story teller, crafting her message. Me - off the top of my head. Sometimes -she just looks at me and says what are you trying to say. So if you don't understand my postings - you are not alone!

Linn has landed in Guan Zho (phonetic - so you know how it's pronounced & because I don't know how to spell it). I just checked flight status on the next leg to Beijing and she has taken off 43 minutes late. Now here is the kicker. Josh Q. is Emma's boyfriend... so far he is on my good list.... if he ever goes on the naughty list - he's dead! I tried for probably an hour to work out Skype just in case Linn should go on... nothing... notta... no email... no Skype.... no I miss you babe.... can you feel my pain?

Then I get a text from Josh saying he just heard from Emma. What? A text from China? No way - from my daughter? Yep, she wrote him to tell him that she was there and that the flight had been good across the big pond ( my words). Next she texts and tells him it's foggy and she's concerned so he texts her a prayer (told you he was on my good list)! But why him - why not me? Pass the Kleenex! Young "like" (what this dad will call it) will find a way!

So keep praying they are almost to Jubilee - it is almost time for the rescue to begin! It is the year of Jubilee! Our prayer is this will be a year of Jubilee for many of you. A year of freedom.

Yes Lord, let the year of Jubilee begin!

Thanks for the prayers - I had better get to finishing tomorrow's message! Dw

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tying up Lose Ends

Here's a few things going on at our home:

Sarah called yesterday. Less than 12 hours after Tyler depl*yed she was having coffee with a friend whena man grabbed her wallet and ran. The guy was BIG. There were two of them. All her ID and all Ty's ID was stolen. She feels violated and was so weepy that the first email she will send to him will say that everything was stolen. I prayed with her over the phone, but it is so hard having her so far away from us while he is so far away from her!!


Isaiah keeps crying that I am leaving. He knows why we're going, but he is a snuggle/cuddle bug. Your prayers for all the kids will be greatly appreciated.


Here is our itinerary:

Drive to Albuquerque this afternoon.

12/11 - Fly about 8:00pm MST to LAX.

12/11 - About midnight PST leave LAX for Guangzhou.
12/13 - Guangzhou - three hour layover. About 9am Sunday morning (GZ time) we will fly to Beijing.
12/14 - Monday, we will meet our precious Jubilee Promise!!Haven't heard a time yet.

Dw will be keeping the blog going (and I know all of you are stoked about that!)

Thank you to all of you who are praying for our travels. Last night, after a fun-filled evening of the Bar D Wranglers playing Christmas music at our church, Dw and I and Emma were able to talk to our friends, Dan and Lavonne in San Antonio via a conference call. They prayed with us about the yoke of fear. Emma and I felt such peace. We are confident that we will be riding in the protective coverings of Almighty God's wings (Ps. 91). Please don't stop praying though!!!

Our flight will land back in Albuquerque on 12/23, Lord willing. Dw will post the return information when it gets closer to time.

Here's what the kids have been up to:
What is that noise I hear coming from the laundry basket???

SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!

Much love from our home to yours sweet bloggy friends!! xo




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Yellow Ribbon


With tears plunking and heavy hearts a yellow ribbon goes up at our home today.
It is a symbol to our precious son to please come home. It is a reminder of all the sacrifices our military make on a daily basis. Sacrifices for our freedom, so that war is not on our American soil. It is a reminder of what happened on September 11th, 2001. It is a reminder to pray for our son and those around the world risking their lives. It is a reminder to pray for the families of military. Many far from their own families. Many separated by deployments. Many longing for some sort of normalcy in the midst of the separation. All loving America and all the freedoms we so easily take for granted and willing to sacrifice for each of us.
All military personnel are at risk. Gracious - even those on American bases can be gunned down by a "military psychiatrist" as evidenced by the tragedy at Ft. Ho*d. Tyler told us of a young woman he saw lose her life as she sat in a communication center on the other side of the world. Most in the outside world would have thought her "job" fairly safe in the military. But this is war and no job is safe.


Then there are those who are directly engaged in the raging battle. They have trained long, long hours. They know the risks, yet they put their lives on the line for us. Our son is one of those. He came very close to death 3 times last depl*yment. He was awarded medals for his bravery. It is very sobering to this mom and dad.
When Tyler was just about 7 or 8 years old he said to me one day, "Mom, some day I want to be in the military as a way of saying 'thank you' to the United States for letting me come home to you." He is fulfilling that 'thank you'. As a 16 and 17 year old, he would watch military movies like Black Hawk Down....infact I took him to it when it opened in theatres (I know, what was I thinkin'?). It and other military movies only confirmed his determination to serve our great country. 9-11 was the final straw. How could he let people attempt to destroy America? It was sealed. He was only 15 on that day, but he told me if they would have taken him, he would have joined that moment.


When he finished his training for the special f*rces he was home and said, "Ya' know what we say in my job? In the movies, jumping out of airplanes? Sexy. In real life? Not sexy." Turns out because of Tyler's height, his arms are not as long as others. This makes it more of a jump to even get to the rope. (*tears welling*)


Yes, jumping out, repelling down a rope, all has it's risks. Huge risks. Yet military personnel do it day in and day out because they love America.
And Tyler son, once again, please remember we are in constant prayer for you...that the angel of the Lord would encamp round about you and your team mates (and sweet Sarah left at home). That you would be comforted and that you would be a powerful witness of God's deep and abiding love to those with you. We are so proud of you, we love you with all our hearts and we always miss you (and Sarah)!!


We are waiting for you.

Lord Jesus, Cover Him with Your Wings and Keep Him Safe.

Please, dear friends, remember to pray for our military and their families.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Memorial Box Monday - From My Heart

This Memorial Box Monday is going to be a bit different. I'm going to share a future Memorial Box Monday story....because it's just in the making and hasn't yet been completed. It's from my heart and it's kind of long, so grab a cup of coffee as I share some thoughts and make myself completely vulnerable.
I have prayed and prayed about how and when to share this. I guess you could say that this is a Memorial Box Monday story still in progress…..


As I process life I realize that people are much more alike than they really are different, and maybe my struggles, trials and even triumphs will minister to someone else out there – one of you, my sweet bloggy friends. So at the risk of being completely vulnerable….here goes….


As most of you know my childhood was filled with much pain and abuse. Many of you have had similar childhoods, I know. Growing up I was a very fearful girl – I would actually describe it as intensely fearful. There was abuse and pain and life was not very easy. Not one bit easy actually. I cried many, many days. I remember one birthday asking my mom if she thought I would ever have a birthday that was not filled with pain and tears. I don’t remember her reply, but I just know that I longed for carefree days, not days filled with just the idea of survival.

I hated being fear-filled. I say that because I have known people who seem to enjoy wallowing in their fear or their pain or their self-pity. I didn’t. I hated being bound by fear. I mean it! I hated it. My fearfulness was debilitating and I had no idea how to be set free from it. I prayed. I memorized scripture. I fasted. I was still bound by fear. I was finally set free (Yippee Jesus!!) one Spring day in 1981, but that’s a Memorial Box Monday story for another day.


From that day in the Spring of 1981 I rejoiced in my freedom from fear, and guarded it carefully. Once you know the chains of fear, you want to guard your freedom in Christ with all ya’ got. When opportunities for fear would arise I would have to go back to that day in the Spring of 1981 when my Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God had set me free and remind the enemy that I was free and I was not going back to being a slave to fear – not now and not ever!! Don’t get me wrong – the opportunities were many: the tornado, the mountain lion, the shark, the robbery and the stalker – just for starters!! (Some of these things are future Memorial Box Monday stories – stay tuned!!) But thru all of them I refused to be a slave of fear again.


I have found that the enemy knows our weakness. Fear had been mine. I was onto his antics and I was not going to let him win. Ever. I had a rock-solid relationship with Jesus. It was good.


Anyway.


Fast forward to about 15 months ago. I was given a wonderful surprise – a cruise to Alaska with my mom and her friend Linda. We had a blast!! It was refreshing, to say the least!! I loved it and pray that one day I can take my hubby to the most gorgeous place I have ever been!!


The cruise was delightful, I’ve never done anything like it before – a mom of many with no responsibilities for a week? Wow!! Such a gift from the Lord……eventually I couldn’t wait to get home to my family….but no amount of refreshment or relaxation could have prepared me for the flight home. (I wrote about it here.) Suffice it to say, that the Lord had warned me that it was going to be “a disaster”. In the midst I began to think that the warning from the Lord actually meant that we were going to crash but I was going to live to tell about it. It was that horrible. No exaggeration.


Once upon a time I had thought if I was younger that I would like to be a flight attendant, but yeah, after that flight – scratch that crazy idea!! It turns out that there had been tornados in the Salt Lake City area and after two attempts at landing and the plane pitching and thrashing about the sky, people gasping and crying out, I finally turned on my cell and texted Dw and a few friends to pray. It was a miracle – a true miracle – that the Lord (and only the Lord) landed that plane on the 3rd attempt.



I didn’t want to get on the last leg home. I debated renting a car to drive the rest of the way. I was filled with fear. I was shaken to my core (but gracious me (!) - so was the flight attendant!!) I prayed with Dw from Salt Lake and eventually I was able to get on the last flight and arrive at home. But I was terrified. I battled fear like I had never battled it! I prayed. I had some nightmares. I went back to the scripture that set me free in 1981. But truthfully, I had to pray, memorize and meditate on God’s word to even think of flying to Africa three months later.


As many know, the trip to Africa went well. There was some turbulence on one of the long flights and I had to pray intensely. But all in all, the flights were good. The fear of flying passed. Thank you Jesus!


But then, the Fire happened. Yes, the fire. And somewhere between Dw being out of town, the kids and I all sleeping when the smoke alarm woke me and the house with it’s contents being destroyed - my life changed. I now wrestled with fear like I had when I was a girl. Again. And I was stinkin’ mad. Mad that fear was, once again, part of my life. I’m just being honest sweet friends. The fear has been overwhelming at times.


Fear of the rental burning down. Fear of the new house burning down. Fear of flying. Fear of lots of things. Fear, fear, fear. And really, fear can suck the life out of you, infact it can cause you to miss out on life.


In the midst of begging the Lord for victory over this, Aimee Powell (Third Day’s Mac’s wife) wrote me and sent the Third Day loot. Remember I just wrote about it? And in the pile of goodies I found the song, My Hope is You. I L-O-V-E that song!! And Aimee and Mac - Unbelievable how the Lord has used that song in my life!! HUGELY. Hence, you guys have had an enormous part in my having the courage to fly to Ch*na. (Thank you, thank you, thank you and I can’t wait to hug your neck in person!!) My Hope is You has become my theme song. I well with tears everytime I sing it (which is all the time). It is the first song on my playlist. Yes, HE IS MY HOPE and because He alone is my hope so I can face this fear.
My Hope Is You

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul
In you, O God, I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

My hope is you
Show me your ways
Guide me in Truth
In all my days
My hope is you

I am, O Lord, filled with your love
You are, O God, my salvation
Guard my life and rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out...
Lyrics by Mac Powell & Music by Third Day


Which brings me to today. On Friday Emma and I leave for Ch*na. And as the excitement wells, I am ever aware of the fears that want to paralyze me......Fears like: flying, flying on the commuter plane that will get me to California, snow and ice on runways, snow and ice on wings of plane. And then there's the fear of leaving my family. Fear of them sleeping (when a fire could potentially break out and me not be here for them.) Fear of Ch*na. Fear. Fear. Fear.


Fear isn’t always rational. It moves about stealing joy, stealing peace and stealing sleep. I am well aware of all of it. I’m memorizing more scriptures. I'm meditating on them. I’m praying. And yes, I sing My Hope is You to remind me.

So here’s where the Memorial Box Monday part comes in. A counselor/friend asked (after hearing about the fear stuff) if I thought maybe Dw should go to get Jubilee? I said I refuse to give in to the fear. I stinkin’ refuse. I never was afraid to fly (except right after that horrific flight last August), and I’m not about to start caving to fear now. I WILL NOT!!

My sweet bloggy friend, Scrappy Quilter, and I correspond quite a bit (she is such a tremendous blessing to me). Although I have never met this precious friend in person, we share life and we share prayer requests. I wrote to her recently and told her about the fear. I know she immediately started praying, cause I immediately sensed a peace "that passed understanding." Prayer works. Prayer moves mountains.



And so maybe some of you would want to play a part in this Memorial Box story. Would you pray for me as we fly to and fly and inside Ch*na? Would you pray as we are there and pray as we fly home? Would you pray for my family as they are home here without me? And then there will be something I put in our Memorial Box that symbolizes all of you praying and the victory that the Lord gave.


Glorify the LORD with me;

let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;

he delivered me from all my fears

Those who look to him are radiant;

their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;

he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those

who fear him,

and he delivers them.
Psalm 34:3-7

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just One Year Ago....

Emma, Graham and I were in Africa to pick up our prized treasures.....


Meeting Elijah Mueller....
We missed taking the picture of me meeting Elizabeth....
but here I am showing her the picture of her and daddy
playing together a few months before..... Emmy and Elijah and Elizabeth at their orphanage....


And one Year Later....
Family Forever and Ever and Ever....
Emma mentioned the other day that since last year we were in Africa picking up Elijah and Elizabeth for most of the month of December and since this year we will be in China picking up Jubilee for a few weeks...... maybe we should make a tradition of the month of the December being, "Bring home another little one month." I'm just sayin.....