Monday, December 3, 2012


What? Our blog - no more room!
Oh, how can it be?

We have lots to share - pictures and news,
Want to know more? Follow us and see!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

We Have a Published Author in the House!



Fast, Fresh

Running, Driving, Racing

Alpha, Stamina, Sweat, Omega

Coming, Tiring, Cramping

Slow, Breathless




A Truly Spectacular Place


In immensely dark caves,

Over lightly shaded gray clouds,

With amazing spooky waters in the background,

Winter cools the earth


From highly held cliffs,

Beneath steeply carved peaks,

Around undiscovered corners

I hear the mountains calling me.
Yes, our Fulton is now a published author.  I have known for a while that he had a special gift in this area.  During our homeschool years, I was amazed at his use of symbolism and abstract thinking in his writing.  A talent he did not get from me!  His 6th grade English teacher has really praised and encouraged Fulton in this area.  After writing the above 2 poems, she sent them to her sister who has an online site for gifted student authors.
David and I are so proud! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Fall Ya'll

I do realize it has been "fall" for a while now and that winter is fastly approaching, but I need to catch up on some posts so let's just pretend . . . 
Fall means apple picking!

Another 1st for Leiney Grace
Apple picking tip - store your fresh apples in gallon ziplock bags in your fridge's fruit/ veggie bin.  They last for months.  We are still eating apples we picked on this day in September!

Leiney Grace and Aunt Lulu have such a bond since Aunt Lulu has been there since Day 1.  She travelled with me to China to adopt Leiney Grace. 

These 2 boys have such a sweet relationship.  I hear Fulton tell Hudson often "Buddy, I can't play with you right now.  I have to do my homework.  You don't want Fulton to get in trouble, do you?"  Hudson adores Fulton - until he gets body slammed on the sofa : )

My crew plus some cousins - John Parker, Gabe and Kylene - my cousins' children.  Our apple picking trip is a tradition now and since Lulu and Sheri live in "Apple Country", we always do it together.  Making memories is a wonderful treasure!

The whole gang!

Fall means Happy Gotcha Day to Ellie.  Back in September 2008, we travelled to Kunming, China to meet our sweet little Ellie.  It is so hard to belive that Ellie joined our family 4 years ago.  Wow!  Those 4 years have flown by.
Fall means Halloween.  This year we had a skateboader/ Rip stick guy, Rapunzel, Ariel, a Ninja, Tinkerbell, and an adorable little monkey!    And 2 teens who refused to be anybody but themselves.  Might have regretted that a bit when it was time to eat candy : )  Their little siblings did share some of their loot!

Fall means it's hunting season.  Hudson was quite proud of the buck his Daddy brought home in the back of the truck!

And fall means football!

With 8 kiddos, only a few go at a time.  On this day, Shelby, Fulton, and Ethan accompanied David to cheer the Gamecocks on!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Supporting Adopting Families is EASY

you probably already know that reading adoption - related blogs is a favorite pasttime of mine.  another favorite pasttime is advocating for orphans - oh yeah, you knew that too.  another one is supporting famlies who are adopting. here's another way you, too, can support a family who has stepped out in faith to adopt!  and these shirts are awesome!  i own 3 and looove them.  buy a great shirt with an awesome verse on it and support an adopting family. these tees will make super christmas gifts too.  just saying!   another win - win situation.
Are you ready?

The Family Code is WHITNEY407.

Got it? Goooood
and to meet this wonderful family, check out their family blog -

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Fighter!

Tao Tao as a 3month old

Tao Tao as a malnourished 18 month old

After we returned home from China with Leiney Grace, my aunt told me not to look at waiting children's photos.  I love my aunt dearly and respect her greatly, but I think we all know that I have not complied with her request.  God has used the orphan crisis to Break. My. Heart. I never knew back in 2006 that this was God's plan.  Adoption at that point had just as much to do with me as with the child I was adopting.  David and I signed up to adopt one child and truly thought our family would be complete. I never suspected that I would return from China in 2007 and  be a completely different person.  But I did.  Never did I think I would return to China in 2008.  And 2010.  And 2012.  But I did.  Never did I think I would have 8 kids.  But I do.  Never did I think I would tell God after 8 children that  "Here I am. If you will equip me, Lord, I will go.  I will love and care for another."  But I have and I do.  As long as I am able and God calls and is willing to equip me, I will go.  (Yes, I know He has to call David too!)
The above pictures are of just one child of many whom my heart has recently been broken for.  This little fellow was found abandoned at 3 months old with a repaired cleft lip.  That says a lot about his birth family and his beginning in life.  Yet, Tao Tao also has a complex heart defect.  Tetralogy of Fallot.  The same as Leiney Grace had.  Apparently that diagnosis proved to be too much for his birth parents.  As you can see from the baby picture, Tao Tao had bright eyes and good color.  That was when he was found.  Then 15 months later, this precious little one was suffering from severe malnutrition and living in an orphanage.  In fact, he only weighed 5.4 kg at 19 months.  That's 11 pounds, 8 ounces.  Lilly, who also suffered from malnutrition when we adopted her, weighed 17 pounds at the same age.  Some of you remember how frail, thin, and sickly she was.  He weighs 5 to 6 pounds less than she did.  That breaks my heart. And I hope it breaks yours.
We are not adopting this little one although we thought and prayed about it for weeks.  However, God has still called me to help this child, one of the least of these.  And I am.  I am doing all I can to get him the medical help he so desperately needs.  Love Without Boundaries has contacted his orphanage who is very receptive of outside help for Tao Tao. The last email I received stated that Tao Tao's ECHO would be sent to a cardiologist in Shanghai to determine what medical intervention he needs first - a heart cath or surgery.  LWB will send him to Shanghai for the procedure.  Please join me in praying for this little one who is indeed a "Fighter"!  He needs surgery to repair his heart, and he needs a forever family.  His file is available from the shared list so any agency can pull it.  I also have it so please email me with any questions! 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another great idea to help orphans - support a fundraising family!  Adeye at "No Greater Joy Mom" is focusing on helping fundraising families bring home their precious kiddos from all over the world.  There are some great items for sale, auction, etc.  Take a peek.  Christmas is right around the corner!  Get a great gift, support a fundraising family, and help a child come home!  That's a WIN WIN situation folks!

Friday, October 19, 2012

In Case You Need A Laugh

It has been another busy week.  I should be asleep yet I just have to share - mainly so I won't forget. 
After David returned from his trek to the nearby town where all of our kids' activities are (still asking myself why we don't move there?) to take 2 kiddos to their school's last football game, one of those 2 kids (who shall remain nameless) tells us he has to "type something".  It's 9:00 by now.  His bed time is 9:30.  Well  "type something" actually means a 3 page paper. . . due TOMORROW.  Did I mention that "Nameless" doesn't type.  He pecks.  "Nameless" didn't bother to do this assignment, which he has known about for 3 days, while he sat around for 90 minutes after school waiting to go to above mentioned football game.  Let's just say, after a good lecture, a coveted privelege removed, and a few tears, he went to bed. "Nameless" did not "type something" and will be starting from a possible 90 points rather than 100 when he turns his assignment in on Monday.
10 minutes later, son #2 walks downstairs and proceeds to tell me for the 200th 20th time that he does NOT want to go to the parent teacher conference before I take he and his friends to a fun place to celebrate his birthday, and after I calmly tell him it is NOT an option as said conference and said party are in above mentioned nearby town 30 minutes from home, my husband said something that made me laugh and find joy when I had very little left. . . As we were discussing our not so serene evening with our precious sons, I humbly stated "I didn't even raise my voice."  My witty husband replied "I might have lost my mind, but I didn't raise my voice either." 

Maybe that's not funny.  But to this tired mom on a Thursday night, it was hysterical!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Helping Mama Kong Help Orphans in China

Please take a moment to check out Kim's latest post about how we can help Mama Kong as she cares for 30 special needs orphans in a rural, severely polluted, impoverished area of China.  It's a simple idea really.  And I can't wait to see how God uses a woman in SC with a heart for orphans, a pearl necklace, and  a blog to raise money for a selfless woman in China caring for 30 or more children with special needs!  Who ever said being a Christian is boring?  His miracles are fascinating, inspiring, and exciting!  Let's all be a part of this one: )  Go now:
And to see the documentary about Mama Kong go to You Tube and search for "Lost Children of the Coal".  You will be inspired!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Advocating for Max

Isn't Max adorable?  This little cutie has been waiting over a year for a family.  He is 4 years old and is diagnosed with hemophilia.  That sounds like a scary diagnosis, but he is doing very well in the orphanage and is in the Half the Sky Little Sister's preschool program.  Of course he does bruise easily and has to be careful when playing outside.  He is described as extroverted, outgoing and social.  Little Max is fond of listening to music and pretend playing.  Curious Max is also described as being one who can be impatient and stubborn at times - sounds like most little 4 year old boys!  Please spread the word about Max.  And email with any questions:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Way to Make a Difference

There is some seriously exciting stuff going on at my friend Kim's blog -
This is NOT an adoption fundraiser, but this IS about helping orphans.  Please take a look, pray, and then DO SOMETHING!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Advocating for Jason

Jason - waiting for a family since 2000
I was asked by Xiaoqing, the SN coordinator for BAAS, to advocate for her Journey of Hope children.  I have great respect for Xiaoqing as she helped us bring home both Hudson and Leiney Grace, and she found Mei Mei and Di Di on the shared list. She also willingly released them to another agency so they could be adopted together by our friends, the Queens. (BAAS does not allow the adoption of 2 unrelated children at the same time.)  Of course, I agreed to advocate for these mostly older children who are male, but I will admit that advocating takes its toll on me emotionally.  It is so hard for me to look at these sweet faces and read about these children yet know that in all likelihood, many of them will age out of the orphanage system in China and have very uncertain earthly futures as well as eternal ones.  My heart is truly burdened by the orphan crisis in our world.  God commands His church to care for orphans yet so many in the church (ie Christians) seem to view the orphan crisis as a distant problem and not one that is worthy of their attention or their dollars.  If every Christian family adopted 1 orphan, there would be No. More. Orphans. - well at least for a little while - then sadly, the cycle would continue.  Adoption is not the cure for the orphan crisis.  To solve it, we have to get to the core reasons of why children are orphaned in the first place and then work to resolve those issues.  But as long as there are orphans and there is breath in my body, I suppose I will be longing to bring another child home, and I will be here advocating! 
So let's talk about JASON!
Abandoned as an infant
Fostered at age 4 years
Has repaired cleft lip and repaired cleft palate
Is Hep B positive
Is doing well in school
Makes 90% or above on his scchool exams
Described as introverted, not talkative, and likes to do handiwork
Speaks more now than when younger
Speech is clearer now
Likes to take small toys apart and
then likes to put them back together.
This cute little boy needs a mama and a daddy.
I can just see he and his dad, tool boxes in tow, working on a project around the house.
Please spread the word - copy this post or parts of it  to your blog or post about Jason on Facebook, etc.  Jason only has 2 years left ,and then he will never have the chance to be adopted.  EVER!

Monday, September 10, 2012

And We're Off. . .

To School That Is!
Life might be a little simpler if all 8 kiddos were under 1 school roof.  Homeschool roof or traditional school roof.  No such luck. 
#1 Chinese Immersion Charter School
Ellie - an excited 5Ker!

Lilly - an eager 1st grader!

Leiney Grace - a super excited 2nd grader.  This is her first time attending a traditional school.  In China, due to to her orphanage's rural location, she  went to school in the upstairs room at her orphanage.  We have homeschooled since February - for bonding and to catch-up academically.  It was such a joy to watch her pick out her backpack and lunch box- more firsts with my precious 9 year old little girl.
Ethan - minimally excited 3rd grader.  School is not his favorite activity, but he did admit to having a little bit of excitement on Day 1 (wish it would have lasted!).

Nihao, school!
#2  Christian School
Katie - social butterfly who flits around in 8th grade.  "What's not to love about school?  It's where all my friends are!"

Fulton - very eager 6th grader who could not wait to flee from prison homeschool.

Katie adequately warned Fulton to act like he didn't know her when they were at school.  I was appalled.  Growing up, I always wanted a sibling close in age to share school life with.  Obviously Katie does not desire that!  We always want what we don't have - sad but oh, so true.
#3 Homeschool

Shelby - content (being in prison  homeschooled) and very studious 10th grader.  Shelby does attend a wonderful bi-weekly co-op for English II, Algebra II, and Chemistry.  Unfortunately, it's an hour away thus the need for a 3rd carpool - sigh!

Hudson - mostly happy, occasionally reluctant preschooler.
So my days are filled with juggling 3 carpools, homeschooling Hudson, teaching Spanish I to Shelby and minimally assisting her with other subjects, and coping with chaos in the afternoon when 5 of the above mentioned children want help with homework! Is it May yet? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In Honor of Cailey

"Almost Forgotten"

Found at 2 years
Left by a gate - alone and afraid.
Almost forgotten.

 Orphanage life - 4 years too long
Spina Bifida, deformed feet yet trying to walk.
Almost forgotten.

A glimmer of hope
Pictures taken, a file ready, a family - maybe?
Almost forgotten.                                                                               


Two more years come and go
Parents arrive and her friends go away.
Almost forgotten.


An update prepared, new pictures taken
But another year passes - no family for her .
Almost forgotten.

Now 9 years old and lost among many
Her hope is fading
Forgotten - maybe?

Please help spread the word about this little girl who has waited far too long for a family of her own.  Cailey waits on the shared list.  Please email me if you might be her family

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hope For Another. . .

My friend through bloggy land, Connie and her amazing family, are setting off on their 6th adoption journey to China to adopt their 11th child!  I have followed Connie's blog since the beginning of our family's adoption journey back in 2006.  Connie is always encouraging her readers through sharing from her heart - even about difficult situations - and through sharing God's Word on her blog.  If you have never been to Connie's blog, take a look .
You'll be glad you did! 

And you might want to take a look like. . .now because Connie is having an adoption fundraiser to help them bring home their sweet girl.  She is giving away a Nikon D5100.  Now I could really use one of those to take fabulous pics of all of my kiddos!  You better hurry, the give-away ends in only a few days.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

147 milllion orphans - 3

Sweet Ainsley is no longer on my sidebar because she has a family!  Praise God for 1 less orphan.

Mei Mei and Di Di are still in Leiyang SWI, but they have a family working hard to bring them home.  If you are new to our family's blog, these 2 were Leiney Grace's best friends - her sister and brother - her family before she came to us.  They are currently about $800 short of having their homestudy paid for.  Please consider donating.  It will cost an estimated $45,000 to adopt these 2 precious little ones.  There is a link on my sidebar where you can donate to their adoption.  Your donation will be tax- deductible.   Also, their parents-to-be are selling their camper in an effort to raise funds.  Here is a link to their blog where you can find more information about the camper as well as their other fundraisers!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dedicated to my dear friend Amy who has recently shared with me - via a few lengthy phone conversations along with innumerable interuptions by one or more of our 13 children - the blessings of a large family as well as the extra work that inevitably comes with the blessings!  Constantly being in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, repeat, cooking, cleaning, repeat - over and over and over again - is just one example. 

Hats off (and happy cooking) to my fellow M.O.M.s
(Mother of Many)!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Too Funny Tuesday

It's VBS week, and I am helping with 3rd grade.  Today I had the funniest conversation with 2 of the girls.  It went something like this. . .
After seeing numerous kids come up to me in the halls and say "Mom, . . ." one of the girls approached me. . .

GIRL: Mrs. Jan, how many kids do you have?
ME: Guess!
ME: Nope
ME: Nope
ME: Nope
 ME: Nope
ME: Nope
GIRL: I don't know! (quite exasperated!)
ME: I have 8 kids!
GIRL: (eyes quite large and in complete shock) You DO?
ME: Yes, I really do.

Girl returns to the line and shares this amazing info with several other 3rd grade girls.  Girl #2 comes up to me. . .

GIRL #2: Mrs. Jan, do you really have 8 kids?
ME: Yes, I do.
GIRL #2: (in absolute seriousness) Well, how many HUSBANDS do you have?
ME: (trying not to fall on the floor laughing) Oh, I just have 1 husband!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giving Thanks!

Wonderful News:
These 2 precious children, Leiney Grace's best friends from Leiyang SWI, have a family pursuing their adoption!  Yes, 1 family for both of them! And our God allowed that family to be only 45 minutes from us.  And the 3 will attend the same Chinese immersion school.  How cool is that? Thank you, Jesus!

Mom's on a Mission received it's first donation towards Mei Mei's (now Di Di's too) grant fund. Please consider giving if you have not.  Even if it's $10 - God can and will multiply each and every donation. Thank you, Jesus for the kind friend who gave from her heart to "the least of these"!
Oh, and thank you, sweet Jesus, for notes such as this one from my children.  This one is from Lilly, and it is so special!  She had it on the floor of the hallway to my bedroom.  I saw it when I woke up one recent morning staggering to the coffee pot.  What a wonderful way to wake up!

Thank you, Father in Heaven, that tonight as we shared one thing we were thankful for during family devotion, this precious child  said in a whisper "Jesus".  That is why I adopt again and again, and moments like that make me forget all the sweat and tears over paper work as well as the sacrifice it took to afford another adoption.  Also a big thank you to Jennifer O. who took this beautiful picture of Leiney Grace on very short notice.

Thank you, Father, for laughter!  I had a good chuckle when I saw all the pictures my silly son took of himself when he "borrowed" my camera! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blessed and Thankful

Happy Mother's Day Ya'll!

                                           It was Mother's Day.
                                           I asked for a few simple things.
                                           My hubby did good.
                                           Kisses from Katie - so excited to read this book!
                                           And my current favorite tee from 147 Million.
                                           Lots of cute homemade cards.
                                           But when I asked for a picture. . .
                                           Well, I guess that was asking for a little too much!
                                           It was painful and long and  loud
                                           and the result - not what I was hoping for.
                                           But, on this Mother's Day,  I am blessed
                                           and thankful just the same!

Blessed and thankful for Mamas in China who chose life for these 3 beautiful daughters of mine.  I can't imagine my life without them. 
And so blessed and thankful to have this adorable and stubborn silly son of mine. All because a mom in Inner Mongolia chose life!

And on this Mother's Day, praying for Mei Mei to have a Mama to love and call her own! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Moms on a Mission

Mei Mei, "Maria" on BAAS's list, first caught my eye months ago when I opened the above picture of Lei Qing Quan, the daughter I was waiting to meet on the other side of the world.  The smile on Mei Mei's face grabbed my heart.  Now 3 months after bringing Leiney Grace home, Mei Mei is still gripping my heart.  Praise God that she is even available for international adoption, but she has lingered on a "list" for over a year - waiting - just waiting for someone to say "Yes, you are my beloved daughter!"  I have spent many hours contemplating what  I can do to help this child who is so desperate for a family.   A child who walks on deformed and painful feet. . .who can barely wear shoes. . .who may need a bilateral amputation. . .who has spina bifida which scares a lot of potential families away?

Mei Mei's left foot is severly deformed.  Through the help of my good friend Amy, we have had a pediatrician review her file and currently have a pediatric orthopedic specialist reviewing it.  It appears that her feet, with the left being much worse, were neurologically damaged due to her not receiving surgery for the spina bifida until she was 3 years old.  This breaks my hurt and motivates me to help this little girl!    "Don't forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God."  Hebrews 13:16

Being the "fixer" and "doer" that I am, I have not been idle.   I have been advocating on waiting children sites and spreading the word about this beautiful child to fellow adoptive moms.  I have been praying ALOT.  As many of you have guessed, I would go get little Mei Mei in a second, but there are 2 BIG obstacles in my way - a reluctant husband (mainly reluctant because of the financial burden) and $20, 000 plus - the current cost of an adoption from China.  Sadly, many times the money is all that stands in the way of a child finding their forever family. . . it seems that those who have the money don't have the "calling". So as we expectantly wait to see exactly which special family the Lord has ordained for Mei Mei, another adoptive mom, Jennifer(  and I  are teaming up to raise funds for Mei Mei's adoption in hopes that a sizeable grant may better enable a family to step forward and say "Yes" to Mei Mei.

"Mom's on a Mission" - our plan is quite simple:
Raise as much money as we can and designate all of it for a grant for Mei Mei's family. 

As Jennifer and I are planning our yard sale, craft show, bake sale, t-shirt sales, etc, we need your help too.  We want other moms who have a heart for the orphan to join us.  We may not ALL be called to adopt, but we are ALL called by God to care for the orphan.  How can you help?

Post about Mei Mei and "Moms on a Mission" on your blog, facebook page, etc.   Email your friends and family.  Have a yard sale, bake sale, put a donation can on your desk at work -  be creative - just raise money for Mei Mei.  America is the wealthiest country in the world.  If we all contribute a little - it will go a long way - maybe even all the way to China to bring Mei Mei home.  Home - where Mei Mei can know the love of a family, learn about Jesus who will hopefully become her Lord and Savior one day, and receive the medical treatment that she truly needs.

If YOU want to join "Moms on a Mission", just leave a comment or email me at .  Together we can make a difference. One person can't change the world, but you and I can change the world for one person - and for now, it's Mei Mei.  Please help us!

Monday, April 30, 2012

3 Months Already?

Has it truly been 3 months since I met a sickly, frail, and scared little girl named Lei Qing Quan in a Civil Affairs building in Changsha?  In some ways it seems as if she has always been here, and then in others it seems like we were just meeting in that cold, drafty room only yesterday.

We have each grown so much over these last 3 months - she has grown more trusting and more in love with her family.  While I have certainly grown closer to my new daughter, I am most grateful for the ways in which I have grown closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have fallen more in love with her yet also, and more importantly, with Him.  I have pondered His love and provision for this child and me - both His children.  I have marveled at His miraculous healing of my daughter's heart and the way He planted her right here in my family and how He has allowed her to blossom right before my very eyes.  I thank Him often for calling us to this dear child and for giving us the courage to say "Yes, Lord."  I thank Him for His sovereign plan in building our family through adoption again and for giving David and me peace to accept it - knowing many others would not support our answering yet another call to adopt one of "the least of these" - even if they believe in the Source of that call.  Over these last 3 months, I have reflected on how He  has provided for our family during this adoption and heart surgery - in big and small ways. And I am humbled.

 I thank Him for doing more with my life than I could have ever dreamed of, hoped for, or prayed for.  I pray that my life and my love for the orphan will bring glory to Him and lead others to seek Him in their lives. I love you, sweet Jesus, and thank you for loving me. I am grateful for the love that you, and you alone, have placed in my heart for the orphan.  It is that love that led us to this child.

This child of beauty - both inside and out

This child who melts my heart

This child who is so thoughful and caring

This child who has so much joy and zest for life - a life she has waited on for a long time

This child who is so eager to learn

This child who is so excited to hear - or read - the name "Jesus" and who reminds me to pray - especially for Mei Mei and Didi

This child who loves hair bows - big ones too

This child who loves her family - especially her mama

This child with such a lovely smile - who can also pout & whine 
(she is a child and a sinner - lest I forget!)

This child who has reminded me of God's love, mercy, and grace