Monday, July 21, 2014

Sometimes... I forget

I know this may sound crazy.

But, sometimes I forget that my three youngest kiddos are adopted.

I forget that they haven't always been a member of our family.

I even forget that they are Chinese.

Crazy, huh?

But, it's true!

Then, I run across a picture like this.




Mike and I just returned home from a meeting about readoption.

This is something that needs to be done with internationally adopted children so they can obtain a birth certificate from the state you live in. It's not absolutely necessary, but tends to make life easier in the future.

We have already done this for Maylee, but we need to now go through the process for Sam David and Emma Claire.

So, when we got home from the meeting, I immediately went to their adoption file folders to locate the needed documents so that we could get the ball rolling.

That's when I ran across that precious picture. It's the youngest picture we have of our Sam David. A real treasure!

My eyes immediately welled up with tears.

I ached for that time he spent without a mommy and daddy to snuggle, to tuck him in at night, to kiss the boo boos.

Sigh.

The truth is..I forget.

But, it doesn't take much to bring me to my knees.

Oh, how thankful we are that God led us to Sam David.

I would do anything to have been with him for the first 2.5 years of his life.

But, that was not God's plan.

Our Heavenly Father is in the business of making beauty from ashes.

We serve a Mighty God!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Milestone ~ Happy Gotcha Day, Sam David!

Four years, y'all...

I cannot believe that it has been four years since our Sam David was placed in our arms.

What a crazy time it was four years ago.

Maylee was fighting a terrible bone infection and had spent the entire summer in the hospital.

In fact, when Mike and I left for China, Maylee was still in the hospital. Talk about stressful!

But, with Maylee in the care of grandparents, her doting siblings and a wonderful nursing staff at UMC, we boarded a plane to travel to China for our precious boy.

As with any adoption, there were a lot of unknowns.

Like Maylee, Sam David has spina bifida. But, unlike Maylee, he had never received any surgery for his spina bifida and he also had uncorrected bilateral clubfoot.

But, we were prepared. Expect the worst, but hope for the best. That was our motto!

We finally arrived to our hotel and walked in to see a crib!

Things were getting real!


Needless to say, we did not sleep much the first night we were there.

But, nonetheless, the next day finally arrived and we loaded up with the rest of our travel group to meet our new children face to face.


We anxiously waited in the Civil Affairs office in Guangzhou with a room full of anxious parents.

Finally, our time had arrived.

In comes our precious, tiny Sam David carried in the arms of a Chinese lady.

He was wearing a short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt and a diaper.

That was it.

He was handed over to me...

No, actually, I had to pry him out of the lady's arms.

I won't lie.

It was not pretty.

He screamed!

He cried!

We tried everything... juice..nope....snacks...nope....cuddles...nope

Time...he just needed time. Time for everything to sink in.

By the end of the day, he was starting to realize that we might be okay.

But, still, there was a sense of loss in his eyes.

His lip....he sucked on his bottom lip for comfort.



But, after a few days Sam David started to not only accept our love and affection, but also share some with us in return.

We had the incredible opportunity to visit the foster home where Sam David had lived most of the first two and a half years of his life.




We will forever be grateful for the House of Grace and the love that Ms. Sandra and the precious nannies had for our boy!

It was such a blessing to spend time there with the precious kids in their care.

God planted a seed there in our hearts.

God has been watering, weeding and cultivating that seed over the past several years and we cannot wait to see what fruit will produce from that visit four years ago.




So, so much has happened over the last four years.

Sam David had a major spinal surgery to detether his spinal cord and then we started the process of serial castings to repair his bilateral clubfoot.







Our brave boy has come so far and we are so very proud of him!


It didn't take long for our sweet boy to start showing his incredible personality!


Sam David continues to amaze us!


Sam David LOVES...

playing Wheelchair Basketball for the MS Wheelcats

playing Challenger League baseball

participating in 5K races with his friends, Mrs. Kim and Ms. Terry

playing outside with his siblings and neighborhood friends

building with legos

his "squishy" pillow

singing

ice cream

his mommy! :)



We could not be any more proud of our super special boy!




And, now I will leave with some recent pics of our precious boy!











Happy 4th Gotcha Day, Sam David!


We love you!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Year of the Horse

We all had a great time last weekend as we celebrated Chinese New Year.
















- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let it snow!

We all enjoyed a real treat today!

It is so rare to see any snow in the Deep South.

So, when we do, it gets pretty crazy!

Schools close, cars slide all over the roads and kids go wild playing in the rare white stuff falling from the sky.

Since we homeschool, I had told the kids last night that if the local school district closed today, then we would too.

Imagine their delight when they rubbed their sleepy eyes to take a peek out of the window.

SNOW!

So, snow day it was!







































Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 27, 2014

Go Wheelcats!

This past Saturday was incredible!

Sam David recently joined our state's only youth wheelchair basketball team.

His team is composed of boys ages 4-18.



Watching the two teams work so hard and play with such effort was quite a sight to see!

The game was a nail biter that kept us on the edge of our seats.

Our hard working team ended up coming just a bit short, but only after going into double overtime!!!







Just look at that smile!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Left Ya Hangin'

I know, I know....

It has been FOREVER since my last post.

I am reminded almost daily that I desperately need to update the ole blog.

Well, you know what they say - Life Happens!

And, life surely has been happening in the Phelps household!

But, it's also hard to process everything that is floating around in my head since returning home from China with our precious Emma Claire.

God is working on me and I am just trying to sit back, relax and listen.

That is hard.

I've actually started the same post numerous times and just couldn't really get out what I was trying to say.

I know that He has burdened my heart for orphans worldwide and what road that leads me down, we shall see...

But, for now, check out our first official family portrait. Finally Complete!





And, of course, here all of the kiddos in their beautiful Chinese Silks.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Home Sweet Home


 
Well, we made it home just over a week ago and all is going so well.

During our time in China, Emma Claire did not like anything involving transportation.

Cars

Vans

Trains

Airplanes

This held true as we made the long journey home.

She started off great.





But, as time progressed, she became more and more restless.

But, thankfully, after almost 24 hours of traveling....we made it safely back to Mississippi!

We were greeted by many wonderful friends!



And, of course, Mike and the other kiddos were there and ready to meet Miss Emma Claire.










Two of my best friends in the whole wide world were there to join in the celebration. (Kelly, you were missed! But, I know you were there in spirit.)




This past week has been absolutely perfect as we all settle into our new normal.

I know it sounds cheesy, but it really does seem like Emma Claire has been with us forever.

She is our missing puzzle piece that we have waited for so long.

She is comfortable in her new surroundings and absolutely adores each one of her siblings.

The other kids, even Sam David, have made the transition beautifully without skipping a beat!

We feel complete.

And, we all are forever grateful for the honor of being able to claim Emma Claire as ours!


I have been working on a post in regards to our precious time spent at Emma Claire's foster home.

But, I don't want to rush it as I have so many things to say.

I will say this...we are forever grateful for the wonderful love and care our Emma Claire received.

I want to provide just a little glimpse into the miraculous work that these precious servants of God do on a daily basis for so many beautiful children.



Until then, enjoy just a few more pics from the past week...

















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