Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas!
We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2009.
Family Photos 11-08 (88)Family Photos 11-08 (66)
Photoshoot (48)
Girls in Cmas dresses (100)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lydia NEEDS Your Prayers!

I'm so saddened by today's (Dec 23) journal update from Monica, Lydia's mom. PLEASE keep Lydia and her family in your prayers.

Click below to read the latest news from Monica (under "journal" for Dec 23):

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Visit and Catching Up

You can usually assume that if I haven't posted in a while it isn't for lack of events to post about, but rather too much going on to find the time to post. I'm hoping to catch up in the next several posts.

But first, Pat's brother and his family stopped through for a couple of nights on their way down to Disney. It had been over a year since we'd seen some of them and over two years since seeing the entire family. We all had a great visit and the kids really enjoyed each other. I have the sweetest nieces and nephews and it was so nice to catch up with my brother and sister-in-law.

Pat and his brother, DavidSullivan-Konyn visit (106)
My niece Grace with Mei Lin
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My sister-in-law Colleen and my niece Cate
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Colleen and David
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Marty and Megan
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Playing cards
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The gingerbread house making
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Icing problems
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Grace was like a little mother to the girls and they loved her!
Sullivan-Konyn visit (19)
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Pat reading The Advent Book with the kids. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of ALL of us on the couch for advent the next night.
Sullivan-Konyn visit (2)


Here are a few of the Christmas traditions chronicled by camera. Most don't need any explanation...

Gingerbread House 08 (9)
Decorating the little tree (13)Decorating the little tree (14)Decorating the little tree (8)
Miyah's reaction to making cut out cookies...
Christmas cookies (24)

Mei Lin's reaction to making cut out cookies... check out that throat
Christmas cookies (23)
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Christmas cookies (110)
Megan's masterpieces
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Miyah did a great job, too
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The day we got our tree Mei Lin constantly sang "O Tismas Tree, O Tismas Tree..."
Christmas cookies (109)
Miyah's just excited about Christmas!
Christmas cookies (12)

The Breakfast Club

Emilio Estevez? Judd Nelson? High School detention?


A dozen incredible women? Amazing Support? 6:30 AM at Cracker Barrel?


This was our second monthly breakfast and since we're making this a monthly outing I guess we can call it a club.

This amazing group of ladies includes adoptive moms and adoptive moms-to-be. I love these ladies and look forward to our time of fellowship. This month we had a few new faces as our little group grows with women longing for the support and fellowship that can only be understood by fellow adoptive moms. We've each been through that long, painful wait to bring home our children and all the blessings and challenges of adoption. Several have been blessed with special needs children that require multiple surgeries and ongoing medical care, and a few have lost a child and can share in the "fellowship of the suffering".

I'm so grateful that God has brought us all together. We really DO need each other. And I am truly blessed to call these ladies "sisters".

Amy and Tisra have written about our morning breakfast, as well as Leslie's post from last month. I forgot my camera both times, but Amy and Leslie captured both occasions.

Amy is waiting for her little Ruby from China and has three of the most adorable little guys you'd ever want to see. She also happens to be a part of that fellowship of the suffering. Amy has the sweetest spirit.

Tisra is a new friend. I just met her this weekend, but I'm sure I'll be getting to know her better soon. She is a mother of three and waiting for her fourth child from Taiwan. I found out she also homeschools and lives two minutes away.

Leslie is mommy to three sweet kids. She adopted Susannah this past fall from Kunming, China (Mei Lin's age and from the same orphanage). Susannah has had a severe heart defect repaired since coming home and will have her cleft lip repaired in March. Leslie is an amazing woman with a strong love for God and his children.

Anne is mommy to Elizabeth, one of my girls' best friends and she's had a long wait for her Clare in China. We can't wait for that referral! Anne is one of the most loving people I know. Her and her husband (and Elizabeth) just exude God's love. She's also a homeschooling mommy.

Heather is mommy to five kids now, two biological, three adopted. All three adopted children have special needs requiring frequent doctor visits and surgery. Amazingly they are looking into adopting one more little girl to round out a family of eight. I know I've mentioned before that Heather is like the Energizer bunny. She's ALWAYS going and always joyful. She and her husband have a huge heart for people and for orphans in particular and have taken in dozens of foster children over the years. Heather homeschools her 6 year old, Wyatt.

Jo is mommy to two sweet children adopted from China. Her Grace is Miyah's great friend and Anna is now living with Jesus in heaven. Jo is a strong, giving woman. She always has the right perspective on a given situation and a great story to go with it! Jo is the initiator and organizer of our little breakfasts.

Teresa is mommy to one biological and one adopted daughter. Isabella (from China) is Miyah's good friend and we always enjoy our visits with Teresa and Bella. Teresa is a cancer survivor and a sweet, giving woman. Even through her most difficult times I've never seen Teresa frustrated or angry. She emulates a love for life that I admire. Teresa also homeschools her girls.

Stefanie is mommy to three sweet kiddoes; two biological boys and one little girl she adopted the same time we adopted Mei Lin. She's blessed with daughter, Corinne, who has special needs including a repaired heart defect. Stefanie is beyond sweet because she's sweet, but so real and always thinking of others. When Anna was in ICU she planned our little prayer vigil with Jo. When Leslie was in China getting Susannah, she organized a little prayer group for them. I could go on. She's helped in so many ways. Stefanie homeschools, as well.

Angela is mommy to four kids, two biological and two adopted. Her two adopted girls are my girls' ages and the youngest, Claire, is from Mei Lin's orphanage. Claire has just today completed her eighth surgery since coming home in June. Please pray for her recovery. That girl is a trooper and we can't wait until the day she'll be running around with our Mei Lin. Angela is a caring, generous friend. She's been with me through both adoptions and has been a constant source of support for so many.

Patrice is mom to three biological grown children and two adopted little ones. Patrice has one of the sweetest spirits I've ever known. She always has a kind word and even though she doesn't look a day over thirty, she's adorned with that beauty of motherly love for everyone she meets. Her wisdom and grace are always an encouragement. Patrice homeschools her kindergartener.

And Robin is mommy to one adopted daughter and waiting for her second from China. I haven't had much opportunity to get to know Robin as of yet, but I hope that will change soon. Robin also has shared in the suffering of losing a child.

I'm so thankful for each of these women and their loving support.
The miracle of this little group is that as we began emailing back and forth before this month's breakfast, we all became sentimental and sappy about how much each of these ladies means to each of us and most of us had stories of praying for friends just like we've found here.
God has truly heard all of our prayers and knit our hearts together.

A Dickens of a Christmas

Every year our little historic downtown closes its streets to host a nostalgic event called A Dickens of a Christmas. Men, women, and children dressed in Victorian clothing portray characters from "A Christmas Carol" and walk amongst the crowds of people and booths. We always enjoy this little event, but this year we went mainly to see Megan dance. The temperature was rather chilly, but we enjoyed all the sights and sounds.
It was hard to capture any great pictures during Megan's dance because my view was obscured by a couple of posts and speakers.
Dickens of a Christmas (34)
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Megan after her performance
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I think Santa needs an eyebrow trimmer for Christmas. I think this was the only "visit" my girls had with Santa this Christmas, but you know me and how I feel about the guy anyway.
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I'm not sure which Dickens character he would be
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After all that walking we stopped at a little cupcake bakery for a snack.
Dickens of a Christmas (104)
Not sure why I took this picture, but JOY seems to be a theme in my life these days.
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"I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY." Luke 2. And my favorite, "In His presence is fullness of JOY" Psalm 16:11. Christ's presence/coming (Immanuel-God with us) brings great JOY if we know Him and have constant fellowship with Him. I'm constantly reminded that there is joy to be found in every circumstance as I remain in His presence. He came to be Immanuel, "with us". Nowhere else do I find "fullness of joy." Not in health. Not in financial or job security. Not in family. Not in friends or relationships. Only in HIS PRESENCE! That's what Christmas is all about.

Children's Hope Christmas Party

The girls and I enjoyed an evening with Children's Hope (CHI)staff and families. We used Children's Hope to adopt both of our girls and absolutely love our local staff and social worker. Unfortunately the agency has hit hard times and had to close our local branch. I love all these people and I'm so thankful to them for helping us bring our precious girls home. Some local CHI families planned a little christmas get-together, just like old times. I didn't take many photos, but here are a few.

Mei Lin with Amanda, our social worker. Amanda is a new mommy to little Sam. Isn't he adorable! We love Amanda and will have to come up with a reason for her to visit us...but unfortunately it probably won't be a homestudy.
CHI Christmas Party (15)
Elizabeth and Miyah
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CHI Christmas Party (8)

CHI Christmas Party (7)

Friday, December 12, 2008

When in the South...Celebrate Like a Southerner

Many of you may remember these from last year. My sister had sent one to us and we thought they were hilarious.

Yeehaw and Merry Christmas!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

It's Beginning to Look (and Feel) a Lot Like Christmas!

It hasn't really felt like Christmas to me yet this year. I've been having a hard time completely immersing myself in the season for some reason. But as the sun went down yesterday, a very rare snow began to fall and it was the perfect mood enhancer. It finally feels like Christmas!

After dinner I took the girls out to find that even though there was only an inch or two, it was the perfect snowman-making snow. Unfortunately we weren't outfitted to be in the snow for long and the girls got cold after an hour. But we managed to make a few snowmen.
SNOW 12-11-08
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The snow is quickly melting today so it won't be here for long. That's just enough to make this Yankee girl happy.
I had to throw this in here, too. Another bed-head picture. I don't know why, but I think my girls look gorgeous just fresh from bed.
12-9-08 (2)12-9-08 (8)