E spent approximately 15 months living with Philip Hayden before he came home to us. We will be forever grateful for the care that they gave him and how much they prepared him to join his forever family. Philip Hayden is in the process of building a vocational center for children that are not adopted. This facility will help prepare them with life skills they will need as adults. It is my privilege to donate all proceeds from the purchases to Philip Hayden Foundation to go toward the vocational building project.
Orphans in China do not have many opportunities once they age out of the social welfare institute. Most lack education or any skills that help them in their adult lives. Philip Hayden is working to prepare the children in their care that are not adopted for a more successful future. By giving them vocational training they can teach them the much needed life skills for a brighter future.
The fundraiser for Philip Hayden vocational center will run through the month of May. You can look at the thirty-one catalog online and you can place your order here. My goal is to process orders twice through the month, one mid month and again at the end of the month. Remeber 25% of all purchases goes to Philip Hayden. Please email me if you have any questions.
While this picture doesn't have anything to do with the vocational center it shows the heart of the founders of Philip Hayden. The kids at Philip Hayden are their kids, they love them all. This picture was taken just months before E joined his forever family. Thank you to Pam and Tim for all they do for China's Orphans. If you would like to learn more about Philip Hayden Foundation please visit their website. They take in children with Special Needs and Vulnerable Children and give them the love, care and medical attention they need to thrive. Please consider partnering with them and sponsoring a child.
The last few months have zipped by. We have been incredible busy as a family of five. M and E are in gymnastics and we were all in Awana's as cubbies, S as an honoray cubbie and I was a leader. It seems that the weeks have zipped by and I haven't even downloaded the camera in months. I plan to do that very soon as we have S's six month post placement visit coming up on Monday and I need photos for it. It is hard to believe that in a couple weeks, May 22nd to be exact, S will have been with us for six months. So here is an update on what I have missed blogging about!
M starts kindergarten in the fall. She was accepted into the Mandarin Immersion program that we have been praying for. I wasn't quite sure what were going to do for kindergarten if she didn't get in. She is so excited and can't wait to start, she would start today if they would let her. She was very well prepared for kindergarten and does not have a list of items that she needs to work on before the fall, thank you to her preschool and my fabulous teacher sister S!!! She will be moving to the school age program next week at her preschool and she is so ready to be know as school age!
E will be moving to the PreK program very soon. He is doing great with his kindergarten preparation as well, although he has one more year in preschool. I love it when he comes up to me and recites the spelling of his name and his classmates. He is our child with 100 questions a day, he notices things that so many of us miss each day. I love see the world through his eyes. He is a wonderful big brother, he does such a great job looking out for S and helping her with things. You can really see how much he loves her on a daily basis. He is really turning into a little man, even helped the family work cows and nana and papa's last weekend as we prepare the cows for the summer.
S has transformed so much over the last five months. She does not resemble the scared little penguin that she was in China. When we were in China, if we were in the hotel and I wasn't carrying her you would find her right behind me. I had to be careful when I was moving around so as not to run her over. Now she is constantly skipping, jumping, swinging, laughing and just being plain silly. She is anxiously awaiting gymnastics and practices her bar routine on anything that she can hang off of. She still has nearly a year before she can start but I think she will love every minute of it. It is amazing how athletic she is, she has a really good aim when she is throwing things, she even has her own football. She has claimed her place as the youngest child in our family and it is a great fit. She is such a blessing to us and daddy and I can't believe how blessed we are to be her family. We can't thank BAAS enough for all they did to bring us together.
I started selling Thirty-One gifts in February and it is a perfect fit for me. I can't tell you how much I love the company, the women I am meeting involved with Thirty-One and the people who I can be a part of their lives through Thirty-One. Thirty-One is allowing me to contribute to families adoption funds and organizations that help orphans when our financial means would not allow it. It is so rewarding to be able to give back when so many gave to us as we worked to raise money to bring S home. Since starting in February I have been able to partner with three families to raise $513 towards their childrens adoptions and with Henan Kids International to raise $283 towards projects they are working on in Henan China orphanages. It is my goal to continue to have at least on fundraiser going on each month. If you are a fundraising family and are looking for a new fundraiser I would love to partner with you on your fundraiser journey. Send me an email and we can talk about Thirty-One fundraising. While our family may be done growing I am passionate about adoption and would love to help you bring your child home.
I have started on the adventure of coupon shopping. While I know that I will never be an extreme coupon shopper as I don't believe in buying things that my family won't use just because I can get it free. I do want to work harder at be a good steward of our money and hope that I will be able to get things that are needed by organizations in China to send with families traveling for their children. Formula and medication are always in demand so I will be picking those items up when I can. We are also starting a garden to help reduce our produce bill. Our seedlings are doing fantastic and we are working on getting our flower beds turned vegetable garden ready to plant as soon as the weather becomes stable. Who would have thought we would wake up to snow yesterday. It was our plan to put down decorative rock in our flower beds and turn them into low maintenance (weed free if possible) however our finances didn't allow it last year and then our dear dog Tri pulled up the weed fabric, now plans have changed and they are turning into vegetable gardens! I am really excited to see what we can produce to eat fresh during the summer and then can or freeze for the winter.
We have had quite a bit of illness in our family this year. We have had several cases of "fifths disease", bronchitis, sinus infections, stomach viruses and such. E had a febrile seizure, M became dehydrated while batteling a stomach virus coupled with her sinus infection so our local ER has seen our family a bit over the last month. My husband also lost his dear uncle in March, while it was expected, it was still very hard. His uncle was the man in his life as he was growing up and taught him so much. He gave him his start in construction and prepared him to succeed in Construction Management. My husband was able to be with him in the last days and was there with him when he went home to Jesus. While the loss of him has been so hard I am forever grateful that my husband could be by his side with his cousins during those last days. I wish we would have had more time together, when we moved an hour away our time together really became nonexistent. From this we have learned that we have to make the effort to be with our family as often as possible, we won't have forever on earth to spend together. I am very thankful that one day we will be with him again in heaven.
My first thirty-one fundraiser was for this precious girl. She and her family are so dear to my heart and I can't wait for them to be together. Check out their fundraiser for and IPAD2, they need to raise more than $6000 to get their dossier to China to start the next stage of their wait. This has been a rough year for many of us and a rough year for them too. They are holding tight to the journey God has sent them on to their beautiful daughter. Not only can you help bring this beautiful girl home but for as little as $10 you can enter to win this fabulous IPAD2, give $25 and get three entries.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus and help bring this girl home!
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied,"Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said-"It made a difference for that one."