In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


 I want to finish my tales from Africa, but now that I'm back to homeschooling, it is hard to have any time to write. I wanted to give a quick update on the "new" girls, since they have been home a whopping 11 days. They are doing exceptionally well, especially considering how long they lived in institutional care. Bella went into her orphanage when she was 2 to 4 months and Selah was turned in a full three years ago. They really seem to be adapting to our family very well and understanding the routine; I have been very consistent with their routine to help provide them security. We have literally only taken them out twice, once to the doctor and once to church. We have had some concerns watching them with strangers; I need to find out how we should go about teaching them correct boundaries and won't be letting them loose in public until I have a plan. 

We are having some food struggles - Bella has eaten NOTHING other than bread, peanut butter, cereal and bananas the whole time we have had her. JD did persuade her to try a bite of macaroni, but she then again refused to eat it today. Selah is a bit more adventuresome, but just a bit. I'm not refusing to give them bread without peanut butter, since they have protein deficiencies. 

At nap time, I lay them down together and sit by the bed while they cry themselves to sleep. It generally doesn't take more than 10 minutes. At night, JD and I each rock one, but Bella likes to wake up and have about three rounds of rocking. Once she is really, really out, she sleeps all night. After seeing their sleeping arrangement in Ethiopia, they are sleeping well together in the little toddler bed. 


  1. PRECIOUS picture!

    You may not be "letting the loose in public" for quite some time. It usually takes awhile before our internationally adopted children understand anything about "strangers". Because, if you think about it, you are all strangers to them. Right? :)

    A couple of rules/guidelines/boundaries . . .

    1. Only allow hugs and kisses with immediate family members. Most newly adopted kids will jump into anyones' arms that are outstretched to them. But, they need to know that the love they receive from their family is different from others (even close friends). Even if your friends don't understand, you just need to gently explain your guidelines.

    2. With so many older siblings to love on them (which is good) they still need to get the majority of their care/comfort/cuddles from Dad & Mom. It is easier for them to bond/attach to the older siblings, and then push Dad & Mom away because we are the ones with rules.

    Food? You may need to get them started on protein shakes to give them the nutrition that they need. Keep that peanut butter coming. At least they like something that gives them protein and calories.

    Hope your week is BLESSED!

    Laurel :)

  2. That is something that alot don't realize that many countries families sleep in one room and they do share beds together, one for the warmth and also for lack of space they have as many also cook in same room too.
    Foster parents, the kids that are put in foster homes in those countries, same thing they are with the kids all the time and yes, let them sleep together as that will comfort them and knowing someone is there all the time helps too.
    And maybe the waking up is she wants to make sure you are still there and be reassured.
    Have you thought of trying protein drinks for them to drink?
    Peanut butter is excellent.
    My mom's cousin's son only ate peanut butter for long time and she worried about him but the doctor said peanut butter was excellent for protein plus it is food for everything.
    Sounds like those are soothing items, wonder if her stomach is upsetting her????

  3. Sweet picture of the girls asleep together!

  4. Jenny,
    they are precious! you and JD are GIANTS in my eyes! love yall so much.