So, quite a few people have emailed us and told us that we need to apply for Extreme Makeover Home Edition. That would be so great, except that the show ended a few months ago. In fact, when we told our kids that it was over for good (they LOVE to watch) both Jessica and Xander burst into tears. Poor Xander just sobbed. They were both so sure that someday we would get a home from them that would accomodate all of the various special needs around this house. (: I thought that they had forgotten about Extreme Makeover until last night. Part of Jesi's prayer was, "And please, please bless Extreme Makeover Home Edition to build just ONE more home, and help it to be ours!" Hey, ya never know! (:
What a day! We have been very humbled! So many people-- friends, family, and strangers-- have left the sweetest comments and words of encouragement on the blog, facebook, and youtube. It was so much fun to take breaks in between the homework and diapers and messes and Family Home Evening and dentist appointments and projects to read such nice things! It feels soooo great to have the support of so many people. Thank you for your kind words!! I am always worried that people will just think we are crazy. It’s not that I would be offended if you called us crazy. After all, it’s the same word I’ve used over and over to describe our family for several years now. As my mother-in-law put it, “You have to have a bit of crazy in you to adopt seven kids with special needs!” Are we crazy? No question.
But I am trying to let go of using that word day in and day out. I’m trying to let go of it because for me, it has been a crutch. Like if I admit we’re crazy, maybe people will think we are less so. You see, somehow, when I tell people we are adopting again, I feel almost apologetic—as if I need to justify what we are choosing to do. Don’t ask why! Probably because I used to look at other big families and think they were crazy!! I can’t tell everyone of the hours and hours of thought and prayer that went into each decision. I can’t tell them of the many sweet, sacred ways that I have been told by the Spirit that our decisions are right. I can’t tell them of the hours I have spent contemplating what each new child means to our family and of my concern for the children already in it. It’s far too deep and too personal to explain how we arrived at each decision.
That is why, when I first emailed Annie to tell her that we were not only thinking of adopting sweet “Monica” from her blog list of “wonderful waiting children,” but that we were considering “Abraham” as well, I felt the need to end my email with,
“I know—we’re certifiably crazy, right?”
And what a blessing it was when this dear lady, who I’ve never met before, and who was the first person we told of our plans, ended her very sweet response with this:
“Oh Christianne, you all are not certifiably crazy, just certifiably faithful!!!!!!!”
An immediate peace washed over me when I read those beautiful words. Here is someone who understood. In fact, she understood it more than I. To be constantly apologetic and timid when explaining our family is to take away from the beauty of God’s plan for us. Adopting special needs kids over and over may indeed be crazy, but it would be far crazier for us not to. We have been called. We have been commanded. We have been blessed beyond comprehension each time we have answered. And following our Father in Heaven is the farthest thing from crazy there is.
So thank you, Annie, for choosing the words I needed to hear. And thank you…EVERYONE… for affirming that to us today! It means so much to us—to me! And though I am sure I will again refer to us as crazy, and there is indeed a “bit of crazy” in us, I will always remember inside that we are something more important. We are faithful. And though we may fall short in so many areas, in the Lord’s commandment to “visit the fatherless in their afflictions,” we are certifiably faithful! (:
I promise to fill you in on all the details about our sweet Conner and Cali in the next few days! For now, I can tell you that they are both 11 (Parker’s age.) Conner is blind and Cali has spina bifida and a few other minor health issues. We are IN LOVE.
Thanks so much again for the love that you have all poured out today! We are feeling so, so blessed. And for those of you that keep saying we are amazing, you should see my house today!! Holy stinking cow, it is a MESS!!
By the way, Graci found a ladybug today! (The adoption community will catch the significance of that!)
Oh, and congratulations to my brother Danny, and his wife, Breanna. They had their first baby today-- a precious girl! Can't wait to meet her!!
When we fell in love 15 years ago, we started down a path that has been challenging, exhausting, and breathtakingly beautiful. Here we chronicle the blessings and stressings of parenting some pretty amazing children. We think they're the perfect travel companions as we look forward to the next fork in the road. Welcome to our journey.
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Jeremy and Christianne
Our oldest by birth, he's the voracious reader, BYU fan, spiritual giant, math whiz, sports nut, huge-hearted ray of sunshine!
The red-headed social butterfly, he's our all-star athlete, top student, outdoor-loving, spunky second-born, with a heart of pure gold!
Jessica Anne "Jesi"--13
Our little princess with the big smile, Jesi loves dress-ups and tea parties, reading, playing with her siblings, and snuggling. She sparkles!
Jacob Michael-- 6/8/2004
Little one of heavenly birth, born too soon to bloom on earth. You have taught us so much--we love you, Jacob!
Emily Anne "Emmy"--9/28/2005
Emily's exquisite little hands and feet have left their mark in this world. Her body was tiny, but her spirit enormous. We miss her!
Elizabeth Mei "Elli"--12
Elli's world may be dark, but she's the light of our lives! Lover of music, chocolate, and Mommy's arms, she brings joy to all who know her!!
Gracelin Kate "Graci"--18
Showing true grace throughout her battles with heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, our Gracester is loved by everyone! She's smart, gorgeous, friendly, and has faith to move mountains!
Alexander Philip "Xander"--11
With a spunk and smile that could outmatch anyone's, our Xander has not let Cloves Syndrome get the best of him. Adopted at age 4 from China, he loves having a family, eating junk-food, and playing with his many friends!
Alexis Li "Lexi"--12
Meet the friendliest girl on the planet! Blind from birth, Lexi amazes all of us with her braille skills, determination, talents, but mosly by the way she spends her days SMILING. She is an angel in every way. We are thrilled to have our darling daughter home six years from China!!
Sophia Breanne "Sophi"--8
Her eyes called out to us from half-way around the world. Little Sophi is beautiful, smart, and coy. She can do amazing things with her little toes and we think she's about the cutest thing on the planet! Welcome home, baby girl!
Calais Rose "Cali"--16
Charming Cali joined our family in December of 2012. This girl is beautiful both inside and out. Born with spina bifida, Cali is confined to a wheelchair, but that does not keep her from enjoying life to the fullest. She is smart, opinionated, strong, and lovely in every way.
Conner Allen-- 16
Meet our newest addition! Wu Jia Xia is from Wuhan City in China. Blind from birth, he will blow you away with his incredible talent on the piano. More importantly, he is sweet, witty, kind and finally, OURS! Welcome home, Conner!