Jacie has been home for 2 1/2 years. She was adopted from the Special Needs Chinese Adoption Program at the age of 8 years old. She is learning and growing in her forever family~

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Orphan to CHOSEN in a Matter of a Few Seconds

As I flit through my Facebook page that I have sorely neglected today, I see all types of causes. Things that people want me to step up behind. They want me to support childhood cancer research, breast cancer awareness, coalitions against child abuse, abortion, mistreatment of others in any form- all important things. It is difficult to know where to put passion these days. Yes, I am in support of cancer research, I would love to see its sickly tentacles completely annihilated from this earth. I also believe that all life has value- from the womb to the elderly. I am against abuse of all sorts. So why do I get so overwhelmed by the massive amount of evil and sickness that seems to pervade in our world today. I merely skim through my feed and I see ten different places that need my money, time or support and they are all very good things. How does a person deal with the massive need to help without the ability to fix any of it??

That is the most difficult thing for me to understand in the world that we live in. I have a platform. I tout my stuff. I blog about my cause- adoption of orphans. I only hope that a handful of people are reading. I am only blogging one cause of many. Sometimes the thought that I am really only dropping a tiny drip into an insurmountable wrong breaks my heart. There are so many worthy causes for people to read about, step in and make changes; how can I ask you to look at the heart of the orphan? The one battle that matters the most to my heart.

I have adopted two 'orphans'. Two of millions. In the scheme of the whole picture- that is nothing.

Yet, the two I have are mine. They are not orphans anymore. I cannot tell you grateful that I am that I serve a God that tugged my heart in the direction of two random kids. There is nothing special about the two kids that I call my own, except that I call them my own. That takes them from a status of orphan to CHOSEN in the matter of a few seconds. Yeah, that is my cause. To take the story of my humble little family out to the masses. Maybe someone, somewhere will see something they like. Maybe they will say, "Yes, I could do that. I could make a life in that way."

God has been so gracious to my family. He has given me grace where I have fallen short in parenting (many, many areas.) He has chosen my family to walk through life in a unique but powerful way. There is no concrete reason for this. I am not worthy to carry the burden. I fail often. Yet, somehow, in God's mercy he has allowed me to walk this journey. Humbling, really.

About once a day, I think about the other children in Jacie's 'group'. All of the children that attended the adoption camp that she was in. She was the first child to be chosen from that group (we were told.) Within twelve hours of being posted on the national listing, Jacie was put on hold by Bart and I. We were not looking to adopt. She was a little under-represented (very little information, no videos.) Yet, God chose to move in a way that allows me hope. She is an amazing fit in our family. Is she perfect? Uhmmm...


Am I?

Of course.

Those of you who know me know that is not even close to accurate. Yet, God chose both of us. Interesting, huh?

I know that there are kids from Jacie's adoption group that are still waiting. It has been over 4 years since we brought Jacie home- over 5 1/2 years since we started this process and KIDS ARE STILL WAITING. Jacie has had 4 major surgeries, learned English, traveled to many states, gotten braces, celebrated Christmas. She has lived. Yet, some of the children that she played with daily STILL WAIT. That is why I blog. That is why I tell our story. To make adoption accessible to you. So everyone can see that Bart and I are just humans who have answered a call on our lives and somehow God has pieced together something beautiful from it.

Tonight I pray for the children that are waiting. They are the beacons in the night. They are the fuse that ignites the passion in my heart. Thanks for stopping in- may your holidays be blessed.

~Camo Pants

One of my favorite pictures of the kids from our trip to California.
What kind of mother would get a kick of making her kids pose under this sign, one may ask...?


Monday, December 8, 2014


She loves her swimming

Backstroke seems to be what she is pretty good at
but doesn't care for...Funny how life is like that.

At this exact second Jacie is on top of Bart, wrestling him to the ground. She is 82 pounds dripping wet, he is a little more than that... We will see how this turns out.

She is such a corker and a very active playmate. I said to Bart yesterday, "The boys seem to be set on a direction for their lives. Loren into engineering and Jared in ministry. What do you think Jacie will become?"

His response... "A Chinese Assassin."


Too funny. She is always 'attacking' him. Jumping out from behind corners. Sneaking across the floor. It's actually pretty funny to watch the creative ways that she comes up with.

She is in an odd spot right now- between a little girl and young woman. I think that it is difficult for her to understand all of the life changes that are occurring but she is a trooper and seems to take things head-on. She has always been a fighter. I love that about her.

I continue to search out places for my book. Is there a market for adoption memoirs? My searching says no but my heart says yes. I feel that God has a plan for Jacie's life that far surpasses my understanding. For that reason, I will continue to search out literary agents and publishers until I find the one that is looking for us. Jacie has such an amazing story to tell and I relish the thought of being an ambassador of it. If one person would consider adopting because of our story, with all of its ups and downs, then I will know the reason behind the burning passion that is my heart to tell her story. To make the children who wait real for those who read this non-descript blog. Perhaps a difference can be made?

I bask in my role in all of my children's lives. I have been given the gift of being at home with them, schooling them and praying for them. The latter is the most important. May I be faithful.

Thanks for stopping in. May your day be blessed.

Camo Pants

Jacie and Bart at the Santa Anita Park, LA
She sure loves her dad.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Almost Teenager

It is hard to believe that my home now has two teenagers and an almost teenager. Where has the time gone? With Jacie, it seems as though we were just stepping off the plane in Chicago and now she is nearing her 'teen' years. People often tell me that they feel like Jacie has been here so much longer than 4 years. I think it is the other way. I feel as though the time has moved so swiftly that I am running behind it in hopes to savor even a second of her childhood before it slips away. I am sure that I mentioned she has braces on her teeth now- she is NOT a fan of the braces or me because I insisted that she get them. Her teeth were termed by the orthodontist as severe. I knew the minute that I saw her on the curb of that dusty road that she would need a lot of dental care.

I continue to attempt to write her book. It is difficult to find the time to sort through the 200,000 words I have written in this blog and narrow it down to 50,000. I have made a blog book of all that was written and all of the pictures that have been posted since the day that I met her. I enjoy picking through the book and remembering the time that has passed. She enjoys looking as well.

She went to the orthopedic doctor this week for her check-up. We really appreciate her doctor. He is young and smart and appears to really enjoy Jacie. He was the first doctor to meet her in America and we followed him when he left the original practice. Going to see him is like visiting a family member. He has studied and followed her case with such precision.

She is back into her swimming season. Swimming is an incredible exercise for her. She and I went to Grand Rapids for a meet last week and met an awesome athlete. Her name is Elizabeth and she was born in a foreign country. She only has one leg (I am not sure when her other one was amputated- before America or in her birth country.) Elizabeth is a United States Para-Olympian. She swam in Beijing and won a bronze in at least one event. Jacie and I were excited to meet and talk with her. We are considering putting Jacie in some para-Olympian  style events. As Jacie is paralyzed from the knees down and has a neuromuscular disorder and hip dysplasia. We will have to wait and see if this all comes to pass in Jacie's future.

I am blessed everyday to know this girl. She is a beautiful person who fills my heart daily.

Camo Pants

Angie King's photo.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Anyone Looking for a Free Rabbit?

It is amazing to me how quickly this year has flown by. Summer came and went before I had the time to kick back and enjoy the break. Jacie did summer swimming this year. She really enjoys her time in the water and has taken to swimming both the summer and winter seasons. We are right on the edge of starting the fall/winter swimming season. It floors me how quickly these seasons run together. There is a part of me that would like to roll a couple of these minutes up and pocket them for later. In between all of our time spent at the pool, Jacie has been raising rabbits, goats and her horse. She adores spending time outdoors with her animals. She got very attached to her 'market' rabbits this year. So attached, in fact, that we ended up bringing them home with us. I'd laugh but the thought of those six rabbits living the next 7 or 8 years in the lap of luxury could actually bring tears to my eyes. Suffice it to say, "She will not be raising market rabbits again."

Anyone looking for a free rabbit? We have extra.

You can see by the picture that Jacie now has braces on her teeth. This was a big deal. She did not handle things like that very well. The thought made her panic. She has a difficult time accepting change and tends to fight it. Time has passed though and she is okay- just like her mama said. We will see how she swims with all of that metal and paraphernalia in her mouth. She cannot even close her lips. I would think that would make her suck water...? I guess time will tell. If she sinks to the bottom of the pool from all of the extra weight in her mouth or holds water and goes under- I hope someone takes the pool skimmer and fishes her out.

She would not find any humor in this blog. I can just hear her, "Mom, why do you tell everyone everything?" Insert a sigh and slight eye role. Yes, she is 12. Hard to believe that in 6 months she will be a teenager.

Doesn't seem fair that time moves so swiftly sometimes. I only hope that this blog will help me remember all of those precious times.

Thanks for stopping in~

Camo Pants

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quietly Slips Away

Tonight I was surfing the Internet and stumbled on an amazing blog about adoption. A blog that shows the daily life and heart of a family that chose to step out of their comfort zone and embrace the unknown. I read back through the posts. I laughed. I cried. I really loved to experience the journey...again.

It was my blog. My journey. My writing. Having stepped away for the past nine months, I missed coming here. I missed remembering. So I am back. I will write more. I will focus on my book without leaving this blog unattended.

For those who are just starting to follow this blog, my daughter Jacie was adopted from the China Special Needs Program in 2010. She was 8 years old at the time. She came with severe club feet and other major orthopedic issues. Since then, we have laughed, loved and cried our way to today. She now can claim 12 full years on the calendar of her life. It is truly amazing how quickly time moves.

Jacie has grown and developed into the amazing young woman that God intended her to be. She has a family, hopes and dreams. She has my heart, Bart's heart and the hearts of her brothers.

Jacie has really taken to swimming. She is getting pretty good. It is difficult for her to kick because she is essentially paralyzed from the knees down. That coupled with the fact that her legs are fused to her feet. She has no ankle or heel bones. So all of her kicking is done off her hips which are displaced. So comparing her to her peers is nearly impossible. We are looking into Para Olympics competitions though. As she loves to compete and has a lot of strength off her shoulders which allows her to be a fairly strong swimmer.
She simply enjoys swimming and is a joy to watch. The funny thing is that she had never swam before she came to our family. I remember her in the pool in China, lying on the deck and pretending that she was drowning so Bart would drag her out again. She was so little and cute and SOOO much work back then.
This pic was taken in July of 2010, about 5 weeks after she came to America.
School is a different story though...
When we were adopting Jacie, I was told by several people that she would be almost completely fluent within 6 months of coming to America. That was not the case for her. She has struggled with her grasp of the English language and remains firmly (after 4 years) rooted at about 75% fluent. I can think of nothing that will boost her the final 25%. She can speak well but comprehension remains difficult. Reading has not come easy for her and we are now thinking that she has some dyslexia. She is definitely smart and terribly witty. Yet, I feel as though she translates things to Chinese still in order to understand them or she sometimes misses things completely. I keep thinking that I am not doing enough to open the world to her. She is trying hard but still likes to play more than work.
Makes me tired just thinking about it...zzz...zzzz...zzzz
Life goes on quickly and quietly it slips away. Thanks for taking the time to stop in on mine.
Camo Pants 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Her Face Will Shatter My Heart

I am excited!!! Its almost Christmas time. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Apart from the twinkling of the lights, the hustle and bustle and the good food- I often reflect on the birth of a Savior who came to redeem. That makes the hard things in life seem so trite.

As I get older, I find that I do not need all of the gifts. There is so little that I have to have in order to be happy. My children make me happy. I look into the face of each of them and say a prayer of thanks. I have been given much more than I deserve. My life is nothing special. I am as human as people come. I make mistakes. I choose the wrong path. But God still blesses me- daily. He gives me great gifts. Why? If I got what I deserved...

Jacie is one of my greatest blessings. She continues to grow and get smarter everyday. I cannot place how I came about having her in my life. If you would have asked me [even] five years ago, I would have never thought that she and I would be living this journey. God is so much bigger than I ever thought. He has plans for my life that exceed my expectations daily. May I live each day that I am given to its fullest not focusing on the people and things that push into my life and try to steal my joy.

Jacie continues to wear a walking boot. It should come off next week but I am not certain that foot is quite right. I do not think that it is getting proper circulation. I am scared that she is going to need to have her foot broken and reset. That is such a painful ordeal. I do not look forward to looking into her precious face and telling her if it is needed. The tears that will well up in her eyes and find their way down her face will shatter my heart. I am not certain how much more I can take in this realm. She begs to not have these surgeries done but something is wrong with that leg- pray for her. I must note that I am musing here, I have not talked to her dr. concerning this. My heart just tells me something isn't right.

She is swimming in the winter swim club. She really loves to be in the water. It is hard to believe that she had never swam before we met her. She remains an incredible 'water baby.' I am a little afraid of the swim club because it seems as though it could be hard to find a niche in but for my swimmer I will put aside my uncomfortable 'ness' and ignore as much as possible. I think that coupled with a God that has my back- Jacie will have a great season!

I will try to attach a pic again. I haven't been able to for awhile.

God bless you as you walk your journey-

Camo Pants

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Extra Large Foot

My daily blog posts turned into weekly posts which turned into bi-weekly until recently- it has become the monthly blog post :(

BUT I am here now. So I must take the time that I have and use it wisely. My time seems so precious now. Jacie is swimming in the swim club, doing 4-H and attending homeschool classes. Her brothers are each in different driver's education classes, active in FFA and youth group and fully ensconced in their sophomore year. It is a little crazy around here but what's the difference, right?

Jacie is currently in a walking cast. This has not brought joy into her life. She views her cast as a prison and suffers 'not so silently...' It appears that she has a stress fracture or tendinitis or...? It is so difficult to figure out with her because of the position of her feet. Because of their set position, her feet are always sore and stressed but for the last couple of weeks, she has been in serious pain. I attributed it to arthritis. Though a little early, I figured that the weather changes were affecting her. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to relieve her pain. Medications did nothing. Rubbing it increased her misery. So off we went to see her favorite foot doctor. He is such a delight to meet with. He did some x-rays and checking and could see that it was swollen but did not find anything concrete. There could be a stress fracture hidden or muscular issues. We just don't know so she will lug around an extra large foot for the next 4 weeks.

Picture a little Chinese girl doing a celebratory dance. Not so much.

Picture that same child complaining, groaning and trying to get out of wearing it.

The latter is correct :(

Remember Jacie as she continues to learn how to live within the realm of her own abilities.

I am blessed.

Camo Pants