Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Full House Part Two - Unexpected Blessings

So in my last blog post I told you all that while we are waiting and preparing to travel (because that leaves so much time on our hands, haha) our family has taken on something (or someones) that have become very unexpected blessings.

This is Elise
And this is Emma.
They are sisters who came to California with a group for a sort of summer camp from Taiwan. They are also orphans...
While I was on my trip to China and Taiwan several weeks ago (can't believe it's been that long!) the leader of my group told me about a program her organization has done the past four summers where they bring over six orphaned children from Taiwan, all between the ages of six and ten, and have them stay in host families for two weeks to get to experience family life as well as life in America but the biggest reason they come is to meet lots of people, hoping that one family would step forward and say that they would like to take this child/ren. Well when she told me about it of course I was interested but it sounded like everything was all set up, they had all the host families they needed...etc so I didn't think to much about it after that. Well a couple days after I came home I saw on my group leaders Facebook that she needed a host family for two sisters, something happened to where the other host family wasn't able to take them. I'm pretty sure I still wasn't fully awake and aware but as soon as I saw the post I quickly casually walked over to my mom and said "Hey, I know we have a lot going on here but these girls are coming next week and they need a family for two weeks, can we host them?" Of course my mom instantly replied yes! So we got the rest of the family together and everyone was in agreement.We have enough room, we have enough love, they should stay with us.   
My mom, Bella, and I went to the airport to pick them up. This was our first glimpse of them coming in with the other children they traveled with.
 You could tell by looking into their eyes that they have had to go through hard things, but they both were very brave and came up to meet us (Emma was very shy at first though ^^)
And then we were off! These three hit it off very quickly! They loved each other from the minute they laid eyes on one another :)
 We went camping last week with our church and were able to have them come along with us! We all had a lot of fun but oh did we get dirty!

We also took them swimming the other day at my grandparents house. Oh man did those girls have a blast!

Maida also loves the water :) 
Snuggling with Kadeeja Jiejie :) Both girls were so tired after all that swimming that they tuckered out pretty quickly after dinner (which they ate a ton of!). 
Yesterday they got to experience the beach for the first time. It was such an awesome sight to see, they were so thrilled.

The three musketeers!

Tomorrow is their last day with us, Saturday they will return home. We have loved, loved having them here with us and our house will be so quiet without them. We are praying that the Lord would open doors for them and that they would be blessed in their life with a great family and that they will come to know Christ.
We fell in love with them the moment we laid eyes on them. They are such sweet girls!
We will miss them so much!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Full House and Anxious Hearts

Can you guys believe it? Three posts in two days! I'm telling you I really missed blogging while I was away ;)

As of today I have been home for about a week and a half. It feels much longer than that to me, so much is going on here. At first everything here at home felt very foreign and strange but there has been so much going on and so much that I've jumped into that I think I have just adjusted without even really noticing or making any kind of concerted effort. 

First things first, I have to share the awesome news... Almost as soon as my plane landed from Taiwan I jumped back on the bandwagon and got busy with my mom and family, trying to finish up getting things ready for Sevi (well, at least as much as jet lag would allow), getting all different kinds of medication to take with us, applying for visas... We knew we were close, we thought maybe by late october we could travel. Well, things moved a little faster! Sevi is scheduled now to have her Visa appointment next week (omigoodness!) and my mom and I just bought tickets today to travel on the 8th of September! We are so stoked I can't even tell you! Thank you Lord! 

So, what exactly are we doing in all this craze of getting ready and waiting you ask? Well...

Lets just say our house is very loud right now but our hearts are so very full.
More to come soon,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Summery of My Trip to Taiwan

Never in my life thus far has the thought ever crossed my mind "I really should/want to go to Taiwan sometime soon".

(The beautiful view from my room in Taiwan)

 I had never even thought about it, I didn't know much about the country...but then the opportunity came up for me to be an intern at a leadership I went not really knowing what to expect. 

(Walking out an a trail by the University I stayed in) 

As soon as I landed I knew I would love this country! 

(Hot springs) 

I loved the island feel, the people, the food. It was a different experience then my time in China. For me China (and North Korea) is a heart thing, something that nothing could replace, I just have to be there, but with Taiwan I just loved it... I can't explain the difference...neither is better, just different :) 

Getting to be with the "kids" (like I said before, I was the same age or younger than most of them) was such a fun experience. They each had their own personal and creative ideas of how our world works and how they as individuals and groups can help make it a better place.

(One of the speakers we were blessed with getting to meet and listen to) 

We also had fun and got to go out and play at the beach. 

The teachers we had on staff were a lot of fun. They had many creative and fun ways to get the kids to open up and not be shy. 

(A game we played with cards) 


A few of the students from my group. Loved them! 

(My group getting ready to present their power point)

Something that I learned in Taiwan.Their bugs are HUGE!

(This one was a lot bigger than it looks!) 

I really enjoyed the while trip and I'm so glad I decided to go ahead and go to Taiwan. 

I will be back very soon Taiwan!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Summary of my trip to China

Let me just start this post off by saying how grateful and blessed I feel at being given the chance and opportunity to go on this trip. There are some people who without I would have never been able to go. Thank you all so much! Not even just those of you who contributed financially but also those of you who kept me in your prayers and thoughts. They were greatly appreciated!

I said this in previous posts but I will say it again, I love China! I can't get over the love and emotion that has come over me from being there, unlike anywhere else or anything else I have ever experienced. I cried a great deal when I left but I now know, without a doubt in my mind, that that is where The Lord would have me, for whatever reason and whatever purpose, China is where I belong. Even though it was hard to leave, it served as a conformation to me. 

The group I traveled with was just amazing! We were a little bit of a mixed group, but most of them were adoptees, parents who had adopted, or people (like me) who have a heart for the fatherless. 

We also got to visit many beautiful places and go to many parks and museums. 
(Waiting to ride a dragon boat)

(A bamboo raft cruise down the river in Yangshuo, Guilin) 

(At a science and technology museum) 

(Walking over a suspended bridge) 

Although we did not get to go to as many orphanages as we had hoped because of various reasons we were able to go to one. All the children there were either deaf or hard of hearing but they are working so hard to improve, whether its their speech or motor skills. They were so sweet!

(One of the young boys in our group brought Legos for us to play with the kids) 

(Another young woman made the kids handmade dolls, balls, and finger puppets) 

We were also blessed in being able to go to an elementary school for the day to do crafts with the children and play games with them. 

After the craft the children were given the option to exchange their crafts with us. 

This little girl gave her craft to me and vise versa. She was the sweetest little girl!

Our group got to go on many hikes together, and boat rides as well! 

(All of us riding on a dragon boat together) 

(We saw some monkeys on the way)

In all we had nine kids in our group but three of us are "older kids". A couple of times the moms in our group would want to go out in the evenings and get a massage so the other older girls and myself would volunteer to watch the younger kids for the night. We had so much fun every time. We had pizza parties, ballon fights, made forts, had puppet shows...the kids were so awesome! I miss them all so much!

The younger kids always claimed the back of our groups bus as well. They were inseparable. 

I also enjoyed shopping in China! I was able to bring back a lot of cool things for my family. 

(One of the shopping streets I went to. It was packed!) 

I also got to experience getting my feet massaged/cleaned by these fish! Such am interesting feeling...

Oh and the scenery! Absolutely gorgeous! I liked the city and being there but I loved being out in the countryside. It's breathtakingly pretty, I love the atmosphere, the people... 

(Inside this hut an older man was husking/drying corn)