Well I guess it would look like this....we would have a very quiet, comfortable life. We would still love our three biological children and do things with them. We would still teach and preach at our jobs. We would still have joy and love in our home. We MIGHT have a cleaner house. (LOL) We would have a lot more down time.
As good as that sounds, there is A LOT that would be missing that we have experienced these last 10 months. Since Toby has arrived, the joy that he brings to each one of us is overwhelming. Every day, he does something that makes us laugh out loud. His cuteness factor is off the charts. His personality is so much more over the top than we knew, but wow, he entertains and makes us laugh so many days. I guess if he wasn't here, that would have never happened.
American Sign Language has hit our home in a huge way. We all have to sign everyday, every moment with Toby. Our children have all improved greatly in their signing ability. We have had more exposure to Deaf culture, Deaf education, Accommodations, Benefits, Community support, etc.. It has been so enlightening to see so many people in our church, neighborhood and community impacted by this one little boy. This would not have happened if we didn't have him.
My heart has been burdened for the orphan in ways that I can't explain in the past 10 months. We visited orphanages and foster homes while we were in China, and it changed my perspective of life. When I listen to people here in the states talk about how they can't adopt and give excuses, I would love to challenge them to go to an orphanage and see if it doesn't affect them. It makes you want to bring more babies home, to love them and teach them.. I KNOW that not all people can adopt. There are medical requirements, financial requirements, and even age requirements, BUT if your family could pass all the requirements, would you adopt? Would your excuse be that you can't love another child that is not your own? Would your excuse be that you have no room in your house for another child? Would your excuse be that you don't have $30,000 to pay the adoption fees? Initially, in November 2012, those were my reasons, but after I prayed with my husband and gave those burdens to the Lord, HE wiped away those fears and doubts and as a result I have this little blessing straight from God himself! He answered all of our prayers and gave us a stronger faith in Him. We not only got a blessing with gaining our son, but we were blessed to see God take care of everything for us. We would not have experienced these blessings if we didn't go through with the adoption..
Don't miss out on YOUR blessing! It will be hard! It will be a challenge! It will be messy! But all those things are worth the bigger blessing that you will get as a result of your obedience to God to care for the orphan.
Even though we don't have as much down time for ourselves (selfish reason) and our house is messier then it used to be (selfish reason), bringing our baby boy into our home was the best decision we ever made! (blessing)
Here is an update since the last post:
We finally got to celebrate Cassidy's 11th birthday here. She chose to go bowling with a few friends and it was Toby's first time. He went past the line and slipped hard on his bottom. Of course, he laughed it off and we warned him to not cross the line. haha (Teachable moment) Cassidy had a great time and we are so blessed that our little sunshine is lighting up our lives EVERYDAY!
We also had a Deaf Awareness event here in Dayton. I set up a table to represent our Deaf ministry at Patterson Park Church. It was a very successful time to meet many Deaf friends in the community and get the word out about our church. We even got to perform two songs as the Ohio version of "Silence Broken" took the stage. It was an awesome weekend both at the event and at church the next day! Toby loved it too! He will definitely be a "Silence Broken" member one day! (:
My hubby had a hernia surgery, but is doing much better. He still is not allowed to pick up more than 20 pounds so you can guess who has been carrying Mr. Toby around lately. No wonder why my knees and back have been sore. (:
We also got to welcome another adoptive family home from China with their little boy. What a joy it is to see so many obedient families from our church caring for the orphan through adoption and fostering. Welcome Ian McDowell!
Happy 20th Birthday to our daughter, Bethany September. We are so blessed to have our little jellybean in our lives. She makes us so proud and we know that God will use her greatly in the future! (:
We had Luke's last IEP meeting since he is Senior. He has made huge strides in his education and we are so proud of him! He is looking forward to graduating in 2015. Pray for him as he is thinking about his future plans! Whatever he decides, we are confident that God will be glorified.
We had our first IEP meeting for Toby. The teacher has told us that Toby is very advanced in her preschool class. He is a little Einstein and it is hard to keep up with what he is doing educationally. He is starting to read words. He has a love for stories and math. Keep in mind that he is 4 years old and only has had a language for 10 months. He had nothing before that. Yes, he went to school in China, but he really did not have an opportunity to communicate effectively. We are so proud of his accomplishments! I am sure that he will be ready to start Kindergarten next fall. He probably is ready now.
We had the opportunity to go to Cleveland to visit my Dad for his 75th birthday. Toby was so excited to see his Namma and Poppy. We had such a nice time together, but he got the surprise of his life . We went to a flea market that my parents love to go to and Toby's best friend from China, who was recently adopted, lives in the SAME TOWN as that flea market. It is about an hour from Cleveland. Both of us moms arranged the meeting and the reunion was priceless as you could hear little Jonathon yelling "Toby, Toby, Toby" as he approached him. The look on Toby's face was priceless. He could not believe that his best friend was there with us in Ohio. His first reaction was to immediately hug him and kiss him. He couldn't stop hugging his friend. What a blessing for us all! God is so good to have brought this two friends back together!
In the next blog, we will be celebrating Toby's birthday! It will be his first one with his family. We are so excited for him. I am trying to arrange a "Long Distance Birthday Party" for him. He LOVES Disney greeting cards. Every time we go to the store, he wants a card for his birthday. I keep telling him that he has to wait until his birthday. So if you wouldn't mind, could you send him a Disney birthday card for his birthday? I would also LOVE a picture of your family signing "I LOVE YOU" in ASL so he can know who you are. This would be a great gift for him to get mail, get his favorite cards and see how many people love him. I would appreciate you doing this if you can! His birthday is November 8, 2014. He will be 5 years old.
Our address is:
2125 Wedgewood Drive
Beavercreek, OH 45434
Thank you and God bless you all!
|Its hard to believe that both of them are in the same youth group. One is a Senior and one is a 6th grader.|
|Happy 8th birthday to Chia!|
|The best place in my parent's house!|
|Happy 75th birthday Dad!|
|Toby showing Jonathon how to sign his name..|