Friday, July 11, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Little bit of catch-up!

Well, it's pretty easy to see that regular life has crowded out blogging.  With summer here--trips, vacation Bible school, gardening, baby planning, etc.--posting pictures online has gotten bumped even lower on the priority list than before.

Baby planning? Yes! Long story short, 2 weeks ago we found out through a mutual friend of a little boy that's due to put in his appearance in a few weeks.  His mom has chosen us to be his parents!! Talk about AWESOME!!!!!!

Anyway, here's a few small pictures.  Hope you can see them properly. If they're too small, just click on them, and they should enlarge for you.

--The first 3 are of my side kick and me shelling peas.  She loves eating them, too. :-)
--The 4th picture is of our little family at the zoo. It was HOT, and we felt a little wilted.
--The 5th picture captures in part both K's eagerness to go "bye-bye" (accompanied by a twist and wave of her little hand), and her ever-blossoming independence.  She's such a big girl that is growing up so fast and yet still loves to be rocked and have lots of hugs and kisses.
--The 6th picture is of K's hair before being combed... when it looks, as her uncle terms it, "hairy scary!" :-)

Well, that's all for now.  Probably the next post will include pictures of our little man!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our dandelion princess

A few pics from this morning...

K was out in her fenced-in play area (to keep her off the road), when it struck me that all those dandelions around her would be fun to put in her hair.  So I commandeered 3 for the purpose and then took some pics while K was enjoying the novelty of this spring flower.  :-)

Friday, May 2, 2014

IT IS FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world” (John 16:21).

The last 3 ¼ years (since our adoption journey began in January 2011) have been full of many ups and downs… eagerness, agony, anxiousness, impatience, surprises (both happy and not), gains, losses, etc. But now our 3 ¼ year “hour” (above verse) is over, and the labor of it is already beginning to fade in the presence of the reality that IT IS FINISHED!!!

To any who would consider adoption, we would give our whole-hearted encouragement.  It is not in any way for the weak of heart. You must be willing to laugh, to cry, to gain, to lose, to hope even when hope is dashed over and over, to have faith when there is no sight, to stand firm and “count Him faithful who has promised”.  But the blessed relief of finally—after years of waiting and praying—having a child to call your own is unspeakably precious. No more ifs/ands/buts. She/he is yours. Finally.

As of Wednesday afternoon, April 30th, at 4:05pm, K is officially our daughter! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sandbox--and BIG NEWS!

Here's K's new form of entertainment while we're outside.  We also built a little mesh fence to keep her from wondering onto the road. She LOOOVES being outside, and this will provide a safe place for her while we're gardening, etc.

Spring is here, and we're loving it!!! 

But here's the BIG NEWS:

 On Wednesday, April 30th, K will be our legal daughter!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Adoption Journey Email Update--Feb. 25, 2014

Hi, All…

Ugh.  This is really terrible.  I’ve lost the email (that’s another story), but I think this is my first update since last November!!!  My reasons are reasonable (in my mind): a previously unheated office, a little girlie who hates having Mommy on the computer, and—the worst—having my offline email program (which is what mainly use for correspondence) crash—twice!  So not fun.  Which is why I don’t have a copy of even the November update.  So if I’m redundant or am not giving necessary information, pardon me! You’ll just have to ask questions (or else ignore repetitive info) as kindly as you can.  THERE. I explained myself. :-)

As it currently stands, the presumed birthfather’s rights have been terminated in court (praise God!) and we are waiting on the state social worker to file the final court report, after which we can get a finalization date.    Please pray that there are no more delays!!!

On a side note…  In the adoption world there is often talk about the tragedy of abortion… how awful it is… how sad.  I wholeheartedly agree!!! However, a friend recently sent the following link to me (, and I thought I’d share it since the article rounds out the view on the sanctity of human life vs. abortion.  Certainly there is a vast difference between intentionally killing a child and losing one that was longed for, but sometimes miscarriage is too lightly brushed off.  The author’s words struck a deep chord with me, and I felt the writing was definitely worth passing on. (My only disagreement with the author is where she seems to imply that miscarriage is not God’s will, and we cannot expect to experience peace in it.  I believe that as Christians we CAN find peace in the midst of pain, and rest in the midst of a restless sea of questions, grief, and unknowns.)

I’ve attached a few pictures that I thought might interest you.  K is growing up so fast!!!  Her totally absolute favorite word is “Hi!”  All day long.  And if you don’t pay attention and return the greeting, she will resort to a longer form: “Mommy, hi.  Mommy, Mommy HI!”  :-)  I never get tired of it.  Of course she charms others with the word, too.  Cashiers, friends, and strangers alike.  (Someday we will have to teach her “stranger danger” :-)).  K continues to be a high-energy, high-maintenance child that leaves Mommy and Daddy no dull moments!  Most people outside our little family only see her in high gear, but she does have slower times, too.  One of her favorite activities is looking at photo albums.  She’s pretty good about it, too.  The only trouble is when she tries to retrieve the pictures from their resting places inside the pages…. “K, no!  Don’t rip the pages!”  She has also taken to “writing” on her tablet while sitting at church.  I THINK she’s getting a little better at being reverent. :-)

Till next time…


Friday, December 13, 2013

Our family letter--December 2013

Our family letter—December 2013

Well, Friends, a lot has happened since we last sent out a family letter in the fall of 2011!!!  I will try to recap the last 2 years in a relatively short letter.  I’ll leave you to decide whether or not I was successful. :-)

You may recall that we made an unfruitful trip to Ohio around Thanksgiving 2011 for the purpose of adopting a little boy that was to be born shortly.  We came home empty handed and broken hearted.  A month later, our adoption agency in PA suggested we broaden our search because their birthmother clientele was in a slump, and they figured it may be a while till we would get matched. So I (Judi) went back to our trusty computer and spent more hours seeking further opportunities for us to get connected with a child.

At that point—the end of February 2012—we contacted A Rainbow’s End Adoption Services, a facilitator in California. On April 3rd, we were matched with a sweet birth couple who were making an adoption plan for their baby girl, due to be born in July.  Something felt “right” about it, and, in spite of the knowledge that it could fall through (ANY adoption can fail until finalization), we felt an uninhibited joy. 

That joy was brought to fruition when our precious daughter, **K,  was born and placed in our arms.  We were there for the birth (K’s birthparents requested that we be there), and felt the incredible emotions that surround the placement of an adopted child… the agony of the birthparent, placing their much-loved child in your arms… and on the other hand, experiencing an unmatched joy in the wonder and ecstasy of being Mommy & Daddy to this priceless bundle!!!  Without a doubt, K’s birthparents loved her dearly but were unable to provide for her financially, etc., and thus made an adoption plan.  It was our privilege to get to know them prior to K’s birth.  During the three intervening months between matching with them and K’s birth, Birthmom and I texted a lot.  I have saved those texts and will give them to K when she is old enough to understand and appreciate them.  We also spent some time with Birthparents after we arrived in California, both before and after the birth.  K’s birthparents are not just two regular people to us.  We treasure them as individuals and also because of the way they gave us a child.  It is an awesome and emotional thing to have two people place their own flesh and blood child in your arms and then introduce you to their friends as “our baby’s parents”.  Makes you want to smile and cry at the same time.  I don’t think it’s possible to capture in words the thoughts and emotions that accompany the placement of a child for adoption. 

K’s adoption is not final yet, which is very unusual and quite a trial to us.  We want her to be an official part of our family!  The attorney that we started out with was not aggressive at all and let things go at their own slow pace.  Finally, after a year of waiting around for some serious action, we hired a different attorney who is pushing things through.  There are some aspects of her adoption that has stretched out the adoption much longer than normal, in addition to the original slow attorney. Please pray with us that things may soon be wrapped up for good!

Whatever the case, we dearly love our precious little girlie and have THOROUGHLY enjoyed being parents!!! She is human like the rest of us, but we don’t think there’s another sweeter girl on planet earth.  Of course, we might be just a wee bit prejudice (I suppose most parents are).  J  She has a very lively personality that is almost always on the go.  K is not a noisy child, but is moving ceaselessly from one activity to the next, most often with smiles and chatter.  At nap time and especially night time she seems to feel the need to rehash her day, and can be heard “talking” and sometimes even chuckling to herself.  SO sweet!

God has continued to give Reuben with steady work, for which we praise God!  We realize that many are not so blessed.  This is especially important to us for the past and present adoption expenses. 

My life consists of nothing outstanding, except that I LOVE being a wife, mother, and homemaker.  I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing!  I feel such a fulfillment in my role.  It is also a great pleasure to me to watch K and her Daddy.  She LOVES him (and visa versa, of course!), and one of her favorite times of the day is when “Daddy” or “Dee-dee” comes home.  When it starts getting dark outside, she goes to the outside door, looks out the window, and starts saying something to herself, no doubt about Daddy coming in.  And when Daddy DOES come home…. wow! she lights up like a little fire cracker.  Of course, Mommy has taught her (by example) to be very, very happy about Daddy’s home-coming, so it’s little mystery why she acts like that.

In looking back over the last 2 years, we have one thing to say: God has been so good, so faithful, so PRESENT.  This last year (2013) included several heartaches with regard to the enlarging of our family, but even in that we experienced God’s grace. The winds of change have also blown strongly over our church.  Our dear bishop, Dale Kulp, went Home forever on March 19th after a brave battle with cancer.  Three weeks after his death our church held an ordination that Dale had planned before he got sick.  God chose Reuben’s brother—Joel—as the new pastor, serving alongside Steve Graber and Marlin Good.  Again we would say—in spite of these losses and changes—that God has been CHANGELESS, and so PRESENT in every moment.  We didn’t always FEEL Him, but that made Him no less near. 

Our heart’s cry is to draw nearer to God moment by moment… to WAIT, to TRUST, to HOPE, to MOVE FORWARD with God.

He is WORTHY!!!

~Reuben, Judi, and K

**I have not included K’s full name, nor our last name, for security purposes.  Thank you for understanding.