Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, January 31, 2014

Our new grandbaby

I am blessed!! There is no other way to describe it. I had the privilege of being present at the birth of my second granddaughter. It seems to me, I was giving birth to Emily only yesterday, and then  I turned around and she was all grown up and having a baby of her own. Of course, my little Melody Noelle is absolutely beautiful and this Nana couldn't be prouder :-)

Monday, January 27, 2014

To the person who commented about taking a child away from a loving foster family

I’d like to answer the person who commented about taking a child away from a loving foster family. Below is the comment that was left on our blog:

“I am so wanting to adopt but why would they pull a child from a loving foster family, who had the privilege of going to a boarding school and was obviously surrounded by so much love? Somehow this seems counterproductive and cruel. I guess the medical treatment makes US adoption a better option, but at what cost? Not wanting to be negative but my heart breaks for these kids.”

I’ve struggled with what I should say in reply. Since I cannot pretend to know the hearts of other children waiting, I will talk about what I do know – our family and how Xiaoyun, our daughter (adopted days before she turned 14) feels. Xiaoyun and I discussed this and I have her permission to share.

Xiaoyun did have foster parents who loved her. She was with them for more than 9 years. They were the only parents she can remember. They have two biological children who are older. She went to a boarding school because there were no good schools nearby, and the orphanage paid for her boarding. She came home on the weekends. It is common in her area to be sent to boarding school- she lived in a city of millions of people. If you were a good student, the orphanage would send you. Boarding school might sound a little more glamorous than it was- at least for Xiaoyun. While she did have friends there, almost all were orphans like she was. There was a distinction between the kids with families and those that were orphans. The teachers treated them differently, and Xiaoyun was subjected to ridicule by many of the kids who weren’t orphans. Having an obvious medical issue, as well as being an orphan made her a target for cruel kids.

Taking her from foster parents who loved her does seem cruel, but just because they loved her, didn’t mean that all the extended family did. She is close to her foster parent’s son, but there were others who weren’t kind to a girl with a different last name. When Xiaoyun is older, even when both Virgil and I have passed away, she will still have a large group of family and friends who will always be here to love her and encourage her. Last week she held her new niece in her arms. Soon she’ll hold a newborn nephew as well. She knows that there will always be family to call on in times of trouble, to share laughs with, to hold her when she cries, to rejoice with her triumphs and lift her up when she fails. She will have a baba to walk her down the aisle, a mama to hold her when that boy she’s crazy about breaks her heart (and big brothers to make sure he doesn’t do it again!), and sisters- so many sisters!!!- to share her secrets with, dance around with, and just enjoy being in each other’s company.. She has been taught crochet by her great-grandmother, shares special memories with her grandmother who traveled to China with me when we adopted,  been taken shopping and out to eat with uncles and aunts, joked with cousins around the ‘kids table’ at family dinners, and the list goes on and on. She would not have had any of this if she’d stayed in China.

Yes, medical care was an issue for Xiaoyun in China. Her spine was so twisted that her lungs are permanently damaged. She will probably be on asthma medication the rest of her life. However, since she was able to have the surgeries, her heart is not going to suddenly stop because of the stress put on it due to compression. She can get whatever care she needs here. Also, it would have been difficult for her to have found a good job in China. If she could have gotten past the stigma of being an orphan, her physical limitations would still have caused her to have few options. Here in the States, there are so many opportunities – from where she can go to college to what type of job she will have (BTW- she wants to be a translator and work with families adopting).

There are so many other things I could add, but the biggest is the fact that she was able to hear that Jesus loves her, to read the Bible for herself, and accept Christ as her Savior. She can freely worship as she chooses-important for a person from a country where religion is severely restricted.

Older children have a choice about whether or not they want to be adopted. They must sign the paperwork just like we do.  We are thankful Xiaoyun wanted a permanent family- a Forever Family. We love this precious jewel and it’s evident that she loves us. That’s what a family is all about.

*I do not want to imply that Xiaoyun’s adoption was without struggles. There were tears shed, and frustrating moments for both Xiaoyun and us. It is a difficult thing to leave all you are familiar with and begin again. To learn to trust people who were strangers, and could not understand not only your language, but also your way of life. Xiaoyun has handled it with grace and maturity far beyond her years.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vegetable soup and Lalaloopsy=LOVE

At first glance, neither soup or a doll would have anything to do with love. But our girls teach us much about love everyday, and these are just two of many, many examples.
Most of my family lives in Alabama, and the girls love going to visit. (I am blessed that my maternal grandparents and parents are still living.) My grandmother fixes me vegetable soup almost every time we go, and I really enjoy it. Xiaoyun, however, is NOT a veggie soup lover, so I was a little surprised when we were dipping up the bowls, that she said she wanted one. (We had other food there because I knew she didn't like it). She proceeded to eat not one, but THREE bowls of the soup. I assumed that she had tried it to be polite, and ended up liking it a lot. Not until we were heading back to Kentucky, did I find out the truth. I mentioned the soup to her (preparing to tease her about the fact her taste buds were changing), and she told me she still didn't like the soup. When I asked her why she'd eaten so much of something she didn't like, she said, "Mamaw made the soup for us, and after I ate the first bowl, I could tell it made her happy, so I kept eating." How many teenagers are going to eat something they don't like because they love their grandmother so much they don't want to make them feel bad? Maybe one bowl, but three? Not many I'm guessing.
The other example is Virgil's 'Pearl' (his nickname for Enya, after the scripture that talks about the pearl of great price). Enya had surgery today (another lip revision), and one of the nurses asked her what was her favorite Christmas present. She said it was Lalaloopsy. Emily had gotten her the Lalaloopsy doll for Christmas and two days later we went to Alabama (where our son, daughter-in-law, and our granddaughter Zeza also live) Zeza is 4 yrs old and really loved playing with her 'China babies' as she calls the girls. When we were loading up the car to head back to home, Enya handed her doll to Zeza. Zak and Mandy tried to give it back to her, but she insisted that she wanted Zeza to have it. Again, how many kids would give up their favorite Christmas present just days after getting it?
Loving and generous girls. What a blessing they all are!!!!!!

BTW- Enya's surgery went well. The hard part will be keeping her still for a couple weeks, until those stitches come out ;-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

There is something about a Baba and his girls

  As you can tell from these photos, all the girls are crazy about their Baba!!!! These photos were made at a friends wedding, except for the last two. We volunteered to ring the bell one Saturday. The girls loved it and they were quite the hit with those who passed by. Eva really got into the swing of it. By the time we were halfway through, she was taking the money out of people's hands and putting it into the kettle (even when the people weren't necessarily wanting to donate that much - LOL!!!) The last photo was of all the girls except Em (who had to work), one Sunday before Christmas.


 Christmas was so much fun. There is something about that first Christmas home that is magical. We opened stockings Christmas Eve, and as Virgil said, we could have stopped there and they would have been happy. Christmas morning our oldest son, Zeb, and wife Dana, came over to share the excitement. We had our Christmas get together with Virgil's family the next day, and then went to visit some of our Alabama family (to include our wonderful grandbaby, Zeza!!). What a great week! Somehow we managed to stay awake New Year's Eve (except the two youngest), and started
                                                                                    the year with hugs and kisses all around.

                                                                                         A great way to end and begin a year!!!!

Family pics

 A few photos of some of my family at Christmas.

Almost all the girls in the family

Me (Nana) and my beautiful granddaughter, Zeza
My daughters-in-law, Dana and Mandy, and my mom, Wanda

A Mama and her boys (Zeb and Zak)
Zeb, Zak, and Virgil