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Impossible or Happiness



A couple of days ago while we were at gymnastics watching the boys grow and thrive–Elijah showing so much strength and balance in his once weak body, I thought to myself, “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for hosting Jonalyn.”  On Saturday we watched Maria do a somersault on the bar.

It was Jonalyn who led us to speak to an OT, an OT who told us to pursue it, that it feeds the mind and balances the body, and it was true.  And here we are still today, all three loving gymnastics, because of Jonalyn.  Just one of her gifts.

There are still a handful of days to chose children to host through New Horizons.  Smiling children hoping to be chosen, a chance to feel more than worthless–the message of an orphanage.  A chance to be hugged, greeted in the mornings.  Prayed with at night.  A trip to the park, the beach, meet friends, be told they are important.

It’s life changing.  You can change a life, really, seriously, simply, think on that.  You have power ready to be unleashed with the embrace of your arms, the words on your lips, the home you have.

We had never hosted before, we weren’t sure what to expect, but it was in this blog post, just a couple days before she left where I had a chance to write down, try to put into words that we were blown away by the whole experience, it was kind of a big, good deal to each of us.  It still is.

She was sweet, precious, she was kind and fun, she wasn’t a statistic, but a real little girl, who came on a plane just to us, brave and sweet with big brown eyes, who smiled and looked down when we told her she was great, amazing.  Who opened up and came alive over time.

If it’s on your heart, don’t be afraid of all the details.  We can all talk ourselves out of anything, but there is power in that yes.  Don’t worry about the money, the time, you can make it work, it’s all grace anyways.

{Here is our host daughter, leading our kids into music and song, teaching our oldest by example, confidence, and joy through singing.  Something we didn’t know we could have seen so soon for our oldest, but Jonalyn, but yes,  but God was ready for all of us to know His goodness through this}


Thank you Jonalyn, we love you angel face.

(If you log in to the NH site, these are the kids who have my heart, and big scholarships: BO411, BO354, EO303, BO419–so sweet)


“If there is a fundamental challenge, it is simply to change our lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives.”   -  Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle



This is classic.  Andrew and I have learned how to gracefully respond to the mostly kindhearted, yet sometimes strange or offensive (but we’re ok with it) comments people have about our adopted family, although they have been few.  That said, we loved this funny video; If you wouldn’t say it about a boob job, then don’t say it about adoptive families.

SO funny!

I want to give this guy a high five for saying what all us adoptive families want to say!  Hah!


Lauren Natalie PhotoShoot

When Lauren, my world traveling, picture taking friend, and I were chatting about taking pictures, I mostly just wanted to hang out with her, but she brought her camera, too!  So fun.  She had just returned from Ethiopia with a Luis Palau trip, just in time to see us!  What I love about the progression of these photos is that they start out like most photo shoots; civil children, well posed, normal behavior.  But you see, she opted to stay for dinner and after, so she was able to get some pretty good shots of the normal happenings around here.  And the chickens found their way into a few of the pictures, as well.

Thank you Lauren, love them!

So we start:

{All 5 of us, smiling, looking, calm, total photo win}






Then she told the kids to play, too cute.





{This pic above it the epitome of my boys}




We busted out the ‘bobby pops,’  and when you look deep into their eyes, their sheer joy should give you pity in your hearts for them that their parents don’t give these poor children sugar often.



{My forever good looking make-out partner}



First one to bring out the chickens

Proud of his bobby pop.










A girl and her chicken


{Chicken Feed Confetti}




Praying for dinner


Looks about right




checking out sister’s toys in her room


Oh k…so here is after dinner shenanigans.  It was pretty cool to have someone else here to capture these moments.


The beginnings of our hide and seek, my kids love playing together



Found her




{And the lovely photographer herself, thank you Lauren!  We love you, you are such an incredibly talented person, thanks for capturing smiles and real life. Next time you walk El Camino de Santiago, we’re in!  Love these sweet captures of this season of our family.  Come back for dinner}