Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My kind of girl

The tooth wasn't even noticeably loose until last night. McKayley must have worked all night to pull it out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Big News!

I've spent the last few weeks trying to process all that has happened lately. In January I was browsing the internet looking at all the kids needing homes in foster care. We knew we wanted to adopt from Africa, but also felt led to here in America as well. I came across a picture and a bio of a kid and I couldn't stop looking at it. He was 11 years old, African-American, and desperately wanting a family. When we first thought about adoption, I never imagined an 11 year old boy. So right there, I knew; God must be calling us to this kid. We finally got to meet him in June. After I met him, I got down on my knees and asked the Lord,"Are you sure, I am scared, I don't know him, he's been through a lot, he's 4 days younger than my son, bigger than me, has learning disabilities and could easily overpower any of us." God's answer was simple, Yes! and trust in Me not your fear. So, for the last 5 months we have spent a lot of time with him, full weekends and a long trip to Florida. I knew after the Florida trip, we would know for sure what we would want to do. We had a lot of fun at Disney, but a lot of arguing and fighting amongst the kids. I was tired of mediating silly, pointless fighting. Even with all of that; when it was time to return him to his foster parents, we still felt that same feeling we felt every time he leaves- Wait, don't take him, he belongs here with us!
The big news is:
He will be joining our family at Christmas! Here in Missouri you have to Foster to Adopt. Meaning we have to foster him for six months before we can adopt him. But we already consider him to be a part of our family.

How am I feeling now? Still scared. Still working on trusting God's plan . And finally, I feel grateful. Grateful for all that God has done and continues to do in my life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Beginnings

So much has happened in the last few weeks! I don't even know where to start. About a year or so ago, I had a mission. A mission to find my first step mom. When my sister died, God placed a desire upon my heart to track her. She was a major influence in my life between 5-12. There was never any explanation- one day she was there, the next gone. All these years I never forgot her, I never stopped thinking of her. She is an amazing woman. Some of my best childhood memories are being with her. I haven't seen or talked to her for years. It wasn't until years later I understood why she was no longer a part of my life. Anyway, through persistence I got in touch with her. I went on a road trip to Arizona this summer to find her; and it was AMAZING! We had a wonderful time, so wonderful that she came to see us here in Missouri a few weeks ago. She came to meet her grandkids, grandkids she never knew existed until a few months ago! They loved her. Words can not express how blessed we feel to be reconnected to Grandma Jo!
Grandma Jo, if you are reading this, thank you for leaving behind the pain of past experiences to join us today in love and hope for the future. We love you and are excited to have you in our life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's 7:30, I got the kids in bed and just finished packing. We leave at 2:00am for Florida! We are taking a foster kid we provide respite for. This is his first time leaving his state, riding on a plane and going to Disney World. We feel very blessed to share this with him. We love this kid a lot.
It's now 8:45 and he just came up to tell us,"I'm trying to fall asleep, it's just too hard, I'm going to Disney World". How cool is that- My heart is melting!

We had our Skate board competition this weekend. It was awesome watching all the kids

Eating pizza on the cop car!

Grandpa Eddie and Bella.

Chris landing a handplant!

Alex- A skater for Untitled Skate boards- He's helping us with our ministry


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Many Pictures Can a Mom Take of One of Her Kids Eating an Apple?

16 miles

I turned 35 last week. For my birthday, I convinced my husband to ride a bicycle for 16 miles on the Katy trail. It was amazing! We saw 5 snakes, tons of caves, and a beautiful sunset. We rode along the river and ate dinner at a bluff top winery/restaurant. Wow, my buttocks hurt for days.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Moving on

This week started with our last Foster Parent class. Nine long weeks and we are finally deemed acceptable! YaHOOO! Complaining aside, I learned a lot. I am thankful that it is over. It was not fun doing two different homestudies, with two different people at the same time. It was actually quite exhausting and stressful. I was amazed by the bureaucracy of it all. Same form, same info but the state wouldn't use any of the info from our International homestudy. We have been fingerprinted more times than I would have liked, had our children interviewed, medicals, school forms, references, present and past picked through by each agency. Thank you to all of you who had to do multiple references for us. With all that behind us, I am excited to move on.

I really believe a lot of depression comes from focusing on oneself. I have been in a "funk" for a few months. I was focused on My loss, My adoption, My marriage, My kids, My feelings, My stress, My worry. Leah, my sister-in-law sent an amazing email out this week which sums up beautifully where our focus should be. I claimed I was "In His Peace" but was I? No, Did I truly seek him? No. Did I really go to Him for my comfort? No. I turned towards myself, I knelt before my pity, I idolized my suffering. In essence I held on to it all, unwilling to move on.

Phil. 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests
to God. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Notice how Paul says that the peace of God will guard our hearts and
minds. He doesn't say that we as humans are capable of guarding our
hearts or protecting our minds from Satin's attacks. Only God's peace
can protect them. I try to guard my heart from people sometimes. I
even try to make myself dwell on God's truth or think about what I
"should be" thinking about when it's hard to. I just realized that
unless I am resting in God's peace, my heart and mind is an open field
for Satan's attak. That's the scariest thing I can imagine.

How do I get God's peace? Two verses come to mind.

2Cr 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my
power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the
more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on

Phl 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or
seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with

I have to accept Christ as enough. If everything around me crumbles,
and I am stripped naked like Job, with no family, full of disease, and
no home, I will still have more than what I deserve because God has
called me His child. My heart being able to feast on God's glory is
all I need. Everything else is extra blessings that I am grateful
for, but Christ is sufficient.

I also realize that I have to breathe & move in all aspects of life in
a way that glorifies Christ and not myself. I must walk in the fruits
of the Spririt and put into practice the way Christ lived. If I do
not, God will not be with me.

I will choose this day to walk in God's peace. I claim the truth that
Jesus Christ will protect my mind and my heart and use them for His
glory and will. God's Word is so powerful. Isn't He good for
opening up His heart and His mind for us to examine and fall in love
with? Let's walk in His peace today and be lights in this dark world.

Sufficient grace,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


My son, my firstborn, my Jace turned 12 today. I don't even know how to describe how I feel about this kid. Wow, Amazing, Brilliant, Giving, Creative, Strong, Wise, and Godly are some ways to express my love and admiration for him. This kid has overcome and become so much in his life. I can't wait to see what the next twelve years bring.
At four Jace couldn't talk. He was attending a severe needs special education school. We were thrilled when he learned how to sign for juice when he was 4. I remember the struggle I had as a mom, wondering what did I do? What can I do? My heart yearned to hear, "mommy" He was 4 going on 5. Still no words. Silent, but listening. I remember those words, those piercing words that came from his teacher,"Steffany, I really think something is seriously wrong, I've been noticing some behaviors, mannerisms, I think it's time. He needs to see a neurologist and I don't think he will ever be able to be mainstreamed(normal school)." A deafening scream pierced my soul, "NO". My motherly instinct took over. It told me they were wrong, everyone was wrong!
I started researching, reading and praying! I noticed his eyes, they weren't right- I took him without insurance, without knowing where I was going to come up with the $ to the best place I could find. I took him to a well known place in LA, an eye institute. After all those years, no one ever thought to test his eyes. It made sense, language comes from labeling or identifying seen things. My baby couldn't see, his world was distorted. I said, "look Jace a cat" he saw a blob. A blurry blob that looked liked everything else. That's why he showed severe autistic behaviors.
Nothing was safe to him, except mommy and daddy. When the Doc. showed me how my baby saw the world I cried. How did I not know this? After he got his incredibly thick glasses a few weeks later- The world forever changed for this kid. We have a video of his first sight- It's a tear jerker as you watch him "see" for the first time. The way he looked at us, his toys and Star Wars.
Well, now he talks all the time, he tells us he has to make up for lost time! Just a few highlights:
  • By six, he had already created his first Trading card game, Green Force- complete with rules, and design. We "produced them".
  • By seven, he created his first comic that was produced"Cop Boy" And was reading novels like Harry Potter and How To win Friends and Influence People.
  • At nine, he asked me, "mom, has anyone ever read the bible from front to back?"
  • By ten he had his second comic produced and sold it specifically to raise money for a kid dying with cancer. He wanted the kid to go to Disneyland. Oh, yeah he finished the old Testament. He also made life changes due to what he read in the bible. He threw away his Harry Potter books. Jace: Mom, God showed me last night that witchcraft is wrong, I want to get rid of these books. Mom: Gee Jace, I like Harry Potter, should I give it up? Jace: Mom, you make your own choice, but for me, I need to do this.
  • By eleven, he read the bible from front to back and stated his next goal was to do it again. "I know the Lord will show me even more." He also told me he prayed and the lord told him we are to adopt from Liberia.
And now he's 12! Even with all that said, he is still a typical kid, with typical challenges and I love him! Look what God has done! Jace's short life reminds me to, focus on the goal, don't believe what "the experts say", stay true to your heart, and to follow God.
Please help me celebrate and wish him a happy birthday.