Invited to walk on water

Invited to walk on water
sisters and brothers waiting on one more

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Merry Christmas. From the manger to a cross. You are LOVED.

Celebrating Adoption again this Christmas!

Precious Mohale!  Our adored son.

Christmas is all about adoption. 

You are loved beyond comprehension.
He gave ALL to adopt YOU. 

“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” Galatians 4:4-5 NLT

The priceless gift of adoption is extended to me and you... Through Jesus.

Through Adoption, I am, and you are..

A beloved, cherished, child of God.
You are of infinite value.
You are FREE from striving for value.
You are free from your past.
You are free from the opinions and rejections of all people.
You are free from religious legalism.
You are LOVED as HIS beloved, treasured, adored child

Being so perfectly, completely, fully loved, you are FREE to risk loving others!

Merry Christmas with Love,
David, Christy, Ianna, Leora, Liam, Sierra, Alyssa, Joseph, and Mohale!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Home almost 4 weeks

Update after 4 weeks home:

Where do I begin?

We are counting our blessings as Christmas approaches.  He's home- our hearts desire.

Mohale is doing amazing.
 Our family has been to the Dr. over 16 times in the last 3 1/2 weeks.

After multiple Dr's visits, blood draws and other labs, Liam got to be transported by ambulance.  All labs came back with no red flags.  We concluded that 60 lb boys would be wise not to lift and leverage 200 lb rocks into their pond unassisted.  Due to youth, he escaped hemorrhoids-  but perhaps such strain resulted in a busted or inflamed blood vessel?  More Dr. visits are scheduled.  However, he's feeling healthy.
Bonus:  He went from being freaked out by needles to almost bored by blood tests.
Fear is quite a monster.  
Actually, because of fear, we owe $3000 to the ambulance company.  Turns out that Liam's excruciating gut pain which panicked us all into dialing 911 was likely from too many tortilla chips and cheetos and not at all related to the initial symptoms that had us all concerned.  (Although I'd call that ambulance again- can't be too careful.)


My ultrasound and mammogram are tonight.
That's the Dr.'s belief and resulted in great relief.  Yet we are being prudent-
Being a mom has made me a hypochondriac. I'm okay with that.

Mohale is HEALTHY! 
Besides Liam and Mohale, the other 5 kids are recovering from various stages of a cold...
I love that it's only a cold and our children are home.  

My heart breaks for children who are coughing in the winter cold right now without warm blankets and without warm hearts.... 
(food, clothing, shelter, medication, parents......the needs are overwhelming.)
My heart breaks for families who didn't hear the words "benign" at a Dr. Appointment.

 OH Dear Lord, please help us to reach more vulnerable treasures with comfort in this cruel world.

Parenting update?

Here's a kicker.

We were prepared for an intensly DIFFICULT road.  Our eyes were (and are) wide open.
 (Parenting is hard with one or two or seven.)
(Somehow one was harder than seven.)
(Except on days where several are tantruming, and others are having diaper blow outs
all at the same time...)

It is so far EASIER having Mohale home than before we had him!
The relief that comes with having him safe is energizing.

A sibling bond forming between our two little boys is priceless.

I looked up to see them holding hands!  The girls were laughing.
Buttercup was under the table doing clean up duty. Good dog.]
Deer Trail / Buttercup Tale:
Baby J struggled physically during his infancy.
Nearly every feeding for the first year of his life ended up as vomit- He could really launch it...
Buttercup seriously sent me into a gagging spree the first time she noisily lapped up his vomit- thought my eyes would pop out as I Screammed  "BUTTERCUP!!!!...GAG  Out!  GAG  OHHHH  GAGG  STOP!!!  GAG..."
but we quickly grew to appreciate her skill.
(We all do a double take when we see dogs "kiss" owners faces....  AAAAAK)

Joseph continues to sleep better at night- likely due to Mohale's influence!
During the day they play, learn to share (fight), and pal around together.  They look for each other. This afternoon only 10 minutes into nap time two giggling boys found their way back to the living room dragging teddy bears behind them.  They taught each other how to escape their cribs!!

Yes, both were beaming.

The little big sisters clearly enjoy having two little brothers to nurture and boss...

I HIGHLY recommend the large "playpen" (cage?) above- good for all ages.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and incredible encouragement.

Liam is 12

December 2, 2015

How did our gift turn 12?

He's growing up!

There are not words adequate to describe how humbled I feel that I get to be the mom of this hero hearted boy who's too quickly growing into a man.

It seems like just yesterday "we" looked like this:
8 months preg with Liam

We'd chosen his name three years and two baby girls prior to his birth. 
I remember when the ultrasound tech said "it's a boy!" and my heart jumped- 

out of shock-

I'd gotten the girl thing down.  But boys? 
Bugs, slugs, spiders and could I do that?  I was the college girl who went looking for a security guard to remove spiders from my apartment at 2am.

Then this picture melted my heart
and fear of being an inadequate mom was replaced with passion for our unborn Liam:
ultrasound of Liam

And the day he was born I was further smitten:

Liam's birth announcement pic

"Liam" means "Unwavering protector"

When a tarantula found it's way into my bedroom last summer, who did I scream for??


Carefully he carried the monster up to his pond and released it safely under a pile of logs.  Daily Liam doctored the critter until it was strong and healthy.

He protects his sisters- The older ones and the little ones.  
(Often way more than they want to be protected)

He's always been surrounded by sisters:)

Looking a little outnumbered.

Whoooo do they call when they are screaming the freaked-out-bug dance????

Who gets them to smile again when they are blue?
Liam has a way with his girls...

Our world NEEDS men who know how to love.

You love your sisters.
I'm so PROUD of my young and impassioned, protective, brilliant, artistic son.

When we were in the midst of adopting our little girls, Liam's heart broke as we were exposed to foster children who's lives had been shattered.
He would often ask, Mom, why can't we adopt more kids?

Liam and his two big sisters eagerly wanted us to adopt again.

Being outnumbered,
Liam requested a brother!
Then he made a really specific request because of his love for his little sisters...

"God, can he be black like my little sister?"

As time went on his prayer changed to
"God, can we adopt two little brothers?"

We all deeply wanted to adopt again-
but it was Liam who prayed specifically for "two little brothers- who look like my little sisters."  

Answered prayers

Liam insisted on carrying Mohale to the visa Dr. appointment when we were in Johannesburg last month. Hours after this pic was taken, Liam began to get sick...
He looks so sick in this pic.  It has taken weeks for him to physically strong again.

A day doesn't go by that Liam isn't by my side helping me with his four little siblings.  
He adores them.

You are a gift from heaven beyond my wildest imaginations-
You amaze me with your creative heart of compassion, protection and incredible adventurous nature. 
Your character is strong.
I'm honored to be your mom and more grateful and proud of you than words can describe.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Video of meeting Mohale and bringing him home from Lesotho, Africa

Mohale's Adoption Video

"Our Adventure 1"
By: Big Sister, Ianna
(She numbered it because she hopes to go back to the beautiful people in Lesotho.  We all do.)

Song 1: Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline:
Travel to Lesotho and meeting Mohale!

Song 2: Best Day of My Life by American Authors:
Memories of beautiful Lesotho and bringing Mohale HOME!

Forever grateful

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful Thanksgiving!! Spectacular timing of this Rainbow. Be encouraged.

Spectacular Rainbow:
Moments ago, just as our Thanksgiving meal ended, look what appeared just outside the window...

Three years ago, on November 9, 2012 (linkjust after the San Diego County Foster Adopt social worker left our home to update our home study to officially begin our wait for TWO children, a rainbow appeared in same spot. I blogged about it then and posted a pic of that rainbow exactly three years ago.  I remember clearly pondering His promise to me that HE is faithful. It felt like He was saying "follow Me and trust Me- no matter what storms come."

Storms came. 

(If you know me, you know I freaked out a lot, fretted often, worried loads and hardly slept.)

He had a more amazing plan to fulfill the desire in our hearts for
Two little boys.
Joseph from the USA and Mohale from Africa.

Two boys
(who we call our "twins")
from two continents.
Redemption came more beautifully than we'd dared to imagine.
And now, a double rainbow appeared on Thanksgiving to wrap up a dream fulfilled.


Mohale is REALLY HOME!!!!

He's finally ours!!!!
It's sinking in. 

Daddy's got you!

Getting to know Buttercup
(Mohale was frightened at first, but Joseph showed him how awesome she is.)

Swinging brothers

More hugs for Buttercup

Helping Daddy bring in firewood

Learning about being gentle with Daisy

Putting up the Christmas Tree!!!
(Double trouble:)

This THANKSGIVING DAY our hearts are FULL of LOVE for 7 children around the table.

It's hard to believe HE'S HOME!!




I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. 

(Really, it did take an army behind us to adopt Mohale.  We are so grateful for each of you.)

Can I encourage you?

As I flip through pictures on our phones from the last five weeks, my heart wants to encourage others.

Is there a desire in your heart?
Perhaps that desire is for a purpose.
Perhaps, God put it there.
seek Him...
does the desire grow or subside?

What desire has God placed into your heart?
(Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart Psalm 37:4)

Bringing ALL of our children with us to AFRICA to bring Mohale home seemed

What is your
heart's desire?

Is there something you DESIRE to reach for that seems daunting?
Do you feel like Leora did as she reached out towards this lion...?

If you jump, likely it will be scary, incredible, HARD, heartbreaking, valuable, illogical, stupid, slow, and something that will build your faith crazy huge.

(Or you can stay safe.)

 (but remember, "Safe" is a myth on this planet)

Yet, if the desire is from Him,
it tends to push you forward and not leave

So, what do we now think about taking our entire brood across the planet to bring Mohale home...?

It was incredible.

It was really REALLY HARD. 

We were warned it would be difficult.

The warnings were on target.

It was one of the MOST DIFFICULT things we've ever done. 

It was also one of the most valuable, precious and fun...

Ianna in South Africa comforting her miracle brother that she'd prayed for and invested her savings towards
three years ago.

When we shared our plan to bring all 6 children with us to bring Mohale home,
some (including ourselves) thought we were being
(another word for stupid?)

Totally Accurate conclusion.
Bonding together with Wonder-Dad and his phone in the Hotel.

But. It was also 
Kids are good for each other during hard times...

Sibling bonds began a month before we got home.

Our six children had 6 additional ways of reaching Mohale's heart.
EACH person is uniquely gifted to uniquely give love in unique ways.
Sierra in Lesotho snuggling the brother she'd prayed for every night for the last year and a half.

The FINANCIAL ramifications of this decision were also 

It's true.  This was
  financially foolish
from a financial planning standpoint.

Traveling this large was far too pricy for rationalization- especially with now seven children
like the price of a really nice new car.

 It was a miracle that we could afford and acquire a loan to bring our entire family with us.

(To see miracles, often we must first
step out where miracles are required.)

Investments of this type cannot be measured in dollars.

The benefits will not fade like the new car would have. 
Unending and growing benefits... 
Bonding of all the siblings with Mohale began a month before we arrived home.

They each will share for a lifetime with Mohale sweet memories in the place that cradled him until we came-
this place that will always be part of who he is will now always be part of who they are too.  
They have a common bond.

Mohale and Ianna in doing homework Lesotho. 

Our children will never be the same.  
Alyssa holding her miracle brother that she prayed to have in her arms on her birthday.

They've witnessed the miracles they prayed for unfold around them.
They've learned about the benefits of risk over staying safe.
They've learned that God hears their prayers- even when it seemed He wasn't listening.

Leora and Mohale modeling "Lesotho hats" given to them by World Vision when we visited our sponsored children. 

All five wanted to stay longer.  
All of our hearts were further broken and ache more than ever to reach children in need of love.

(Already they are asking where we will go next to care for children.)

Our hearts have been broken further and melted by seeing, holding, talking with children "like us" but who may or may not have parents and some with minimal food, water, clothes, shelter or education.

Although going without our children could have been easier, "SAFER" and "wiser"

So much would have been missed.
(It was certainly worth the panic filled sleepless nights that precluded this jump, the exorbitant financial cost, and the wear on my aging body)

Liam in Lesotho with the TWO brothers he prayed for in 2011
Thank you to all who prayed for and encouraged us on this crazy amazing trip.
We will never be the same.

That's a GOOD thing.


And thanking HIM for

We hope that our up-and-down-and-up-again journey encourages you in whatever unique desires you have growing in your heart.




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Angel friends and Dr. Angel


 I read somewhere that "Angel" means God's messenger. With this simple meaning in mind, I can say that we know many angels- Messengers of encouragement and hope.  
So many of you have encouraged us.

I haven't posted on how amazing it is to be home.  But it IS SO AMAZING!  I'm working on a post and Ianna is creating a video to summarize our gratefulness.  

Mohale is a TREASURE!!!!


Angel friends:

We have been bolstered all along this journey.  Even now!  Thursday, when we arrived home, exhausted, our home was filled with signs in every room celebrating the arrival of Mohale...

AND, it 
was already stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, groceries abundant.  
We had salad the next morning for breakfast!

There's more!
Last night, someone from Valley Center Community Church set up meals to be delivered next week.  

Friends have been emailing and texting and calling with words of celebration and encouragement.

Can I say that this is all huge to us?  
Thank you for every bit of support. 
We are abundantly grateful
Our family has been bolstered throughout this adoption by prayers, encouragement and help- beyond our wildest imaginations.

-It takes a village to adopt a treasure-

Dr. Angel

Yesterday another event happened that I must record here for my own memory.  

I've been sick since our second week in Lesotho.  The "orphanage cough" descended upon our family the first week we had embraced our precious treasure.  He was coughing horribly especially in the nights and it wasn't long before several of us also shared his symptoms over there in beautiful Africa.
Most of us fought it off.

 The visa Dr. in Johannesburg prescribed him an antibiotic and Mohale is totally not coughing at all anymore!

Joseph, Alyssa and I haven't been able to kick it.  We went to Kaiser friday morning, the day after we arrived home.  Today, they are each so much better as their antibiotics are beginning to work for them.  The meds were not doing anything for me and yesterday, this illness was rapidly getting worse.   I've been in bed again since we got home Thursday evening.  We returned to Kaiser last night discouraged because we'd just been there the day prior.  But the antibiotic prescribed was having no effect- It was the same med I'd taken for the food poisoning thingy last week.  Yet, this illness was rapidly getting worse and my body felt horribly weak.  The receptionist rudely took my info and made a harsh remark about not giving it time.  She said I'd be there at Urgent Care waiting for a very long time.  Nice.  I sat fighting back tears in the waiting room and texted David and the kids it was going to be at least 2 hours and to please pray that the Dr on call helps.  I texted my mom, sister and a friend to pray.  I prayed for a Dr. to take me seriously and hoped they'd prescribe some
"Big Guns."

Within a few short minutes my name was called and a sweet nurse led me to an exam room.  I expected to be sitting there an hour.  Two minutes later a knock on the door preceded the entrance of a tall, handsome, grey haired physician who I will call 
"Dr. Angel."  

So friendly was his countenance as he said "Christy!"  as if he knew me.  Doesn't it feel warm when someone uses your name? 
(note to self...use people's names more often.)
 "How are you Christy?   Christy, how can I help you?  I read your chart and saw your story, Christy!"  He used my name at least five times!  I briefly answered a few questions he had.... Then he said, "We are going to help you, Christy.  There are Bad Bugs out there- especially where you have been.   
I am going to prescribe the 

Big Guns!" 

Big Guns

  "Big Guns?"  They very words I'd hoped as I prayed not even 15 minutes prior????

He shook my hand as he left and said he was going to write out a prescription for a powerful Antibiotic.  

I waited for a nurse to return with the new prescription. 

Instead. he came in again and handed me the prescription himself and said "Follow me. Your family must be waiting so I will show you the short way out."  Dr Angel then escorted me out a back way towards the pharmacy. "This is the short cut to save you time.  We've given you the "Big Guns."  You will feel better soon ..."   I thanked him profusely- although I doubt he really could imagine how grateful my heart felt.  Not only did he try hard to help, he was kind.  

Isn't kindness powerful?

  He pointed the way towards the pharmacy building and I went on my way. Amazed. 

Wasn't God kind!!!?  
Last night I was so ill, weak and discouraged.
Today I've started the new "Big Guns" antibiotic.

After getting back into bed last night, I noticed a new pain...a painful, large breast lump. A sore mass that just appeared.   
I'll call monday to schedule a mammogram..... fun.  

Our little treasured Mohale is opening up and blooming.  He laughs and plays and calls out to Mama and Dada and calls his sisters by name.  Pictures coming soon. 


Here's a pic of him eating his first Quesadilla:

Yep, he loved it!!!  And he loves salsa too!

The big girls are taking a lot of pics for me to use:)  From my bed, it is music to hear him laughing.  
There are countless "firsts" and we relish each one...

Learning about cats:

Mohale's sweet voice is music in our home.