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Hosting: Half Way Mark

Today marks two weeks since J has been here with us, which is crazy because that means there are only two more weeks that she gets to be here!

At the half way point, here are some of the concrete areas of growth, accomplishments, and huge or tiny success, depending on how you view it.

-We officially have a TWO WHEEL BIKE RIDER!  Lots of trial and error, but now she’s a pro!  Coasting anywhere, flip flops on, which coincidently is all Maria wants to wear on her feet when she rides her bike, too.


-She has seen her first movie in a theater (Frozen, so cute!)

-There are now at least 5 green vegetables she doesn’t consider poison.  In fact, she had two helpings of broccoli slaw tonight (I actually gave her a hug when she did!)

-She has learned, really learned, how to take a shower.  This has been the most skill intensive thing, surprisingly enough, but I am proud oh her!

-At this point, she has about 1/4 of all the awesome dental care she needs done, the rest to follow.

-Her English is growing daily, she’s so smart!  In fact, she is now trilingual.  A skill that will take her far.

-She is stocked full of awesome new presents, clothes, looms, toys, tooth brushes, underwear and jammies, and shoes to her name.

-She knows how to play Hulablaloo, Sorry!, and just learned how to do puzzles. (Game champs)  She also knows what it’s like to spend time with a Great Grandpa and learn from him.


-We found the essential oil that allows her to sleep through the night congestion free!  She gets SUCH better sleep!

-She has seen her first live ballet, The Nutcracker.  They loved it and J loved swishing in her pink dress. My favorite part of this photo is the awesome man, never too busy for little things, like blow drying pale pink nails for two little chicas. What a stud.1531557_695910323776158_1753277621_n


-I think what I am most happy about for her, is that she is slowwwwly learning how to talk through feelings, instead of turning inward into a dark cloud of sadness and anger.  It has freed up her heart so much to know we want to hear her and will respond in love.  A skill I hope she holds onto forever.

-She has learned to throw trash in the trash can, not stuff it in random places, high five.

These are the top 11, with many, many more, and hopefully more to come.  Most importantly, she knows she is loved forever, truly loved.  We pray that her time here will continue to be one of growth, healing and joy.

I want to do a follow up post with the ways in which she has blessed our family, which is just CRAZY amounts of bless–God knew she was needed here, even when we weren’t sure.

I wish I could post a billion stories of a bunch of our friends who are hosting.  They are such better and more fun host families than us, can you say: Disneyland, Ice Skating, Holly Wood, Beach Days, Family Photos, Special Event, trips to the snow, etc.  All the pictures are SO cute, their kids are presh.  We’re like, “Awww, how about the park kids, or Fresh and Easy?  Now, stay close to the cart…”

Meanwhile, she is teaching us Filipino Karaoke, which I will totally get on video soon!

“You’ve GOT TO BELIEVE IN MAAAGIC! *Insert two arms dramatically opening overhead*, best performed by J or Finley.


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  • kim December 31, 2013, 3:44 am

    It doesn’t have to be Disney to be special. Sometimes home with a family is more exciting than mickey mouse. Love your stories and her progress.

  • Cheryl Schalk December 31, 2013, 7:20 am

    I follow your blog from a distance. I see the joy and magic of adoption and hosting and wish you continued blessings for your family. Your blog is one of the first that I check each day. It is so beautiful to see the children grow once they are in a family. Love and prayers, Cheryl

  • Jennie January 1, 2014, 4:20 am

    Jonalyn will treasure the wonderful Christmas memories with your sweet family. From your blog posts, it is very evident that you and hubby care very much for Jonalyn. May our Lord continue to surprise your family with unanticipated blessings in 2014!

  • Jennie Leung January 5, 2014, 9:48 am

    Enjoying the simple joys of a family is worth more than a fancy time in Disney. Jonalyn gets to experience AND participate in daily normal activities. She will have wonderful memories of her time with your family. Especially her dental work – which is a HUGE, HUGE present for her 🙂