Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hey Jude

Six months later, I'm finally sitting down to post another blog. Here's a quick recap of what's going on in our lives:

Josiah is continuing to adjust to the many changes that happened to our family this year which included moving to Fort Wayne/Grabill/Gateway and becoming a big brother. Besides the terrible twos rearing their head from time to time, Josiah continues to be a smiley and (very) active toddler. This summer he LOVED being outside and enjoyed having some kids close to his age as neighbors. He continues to love books, animals, Thomas the Train, and is borderline obsessed with Curious George. Being that we are alternate houseparents at Hickory House, which is an all girls house, Josiah gets LOTS of attention. Josiah also started speech therapy with First Steps this fall and is currently being seen once a month for this. We are slowly seeing improvement and are hoping his therapist will become more available to work with him more often this winter/spring.

Jon and I are learning the blessings and challenges of working as a family at Gateway Woods. There has been so much learned and we are thankful for our growth in our marriage, family, and alternate houseparents position; yet there are also times of discouragement and feeling defeated. We are thankful for those of you who are praying for our family. 

Lastly, thanks to a handy little app I recently downloaded, I put together a little something to introduce Jude London to everyone. Born on October 27th, he's been a tremendous blessing to our family. 

Enjoy some old pictures...

Josiah on his beloved strider bike.

Enjoying the zoo with Jayla.

Josiah loved the rides at Grabill days.

Me "playing" with Josiah (aka waddling slowly behind) at the park.

Jon's hard work paid off at our Grabill house.

Josiah all ready to go in the Hickory house van affectionately named "The Pickle."

Josiah getting a golf cart ride with G&G Ringger.

Josiah happy to be going home with Grandma Dotterer when I went into labor.

Josiah enjoying the first snow at Gateway.

Me and my boys in their matching Christmas sweaters from Grandma Dotterer.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


                     Yesterday we celebrated the one year anniversary of Josiah's Gotcha Day! The past couple weeks and months Jon and I have done a lot of reminiscing of this incredible time in our lives. My eyes still flood with tears when I remember trying to hold back the sobs when we took Josiah around to say good-bye to the other kids and nannies. By the time we were walking through gate Jon and I both had tears streaming down our faces as we felt so acutely for Josiah. Although our hearts were filled with praise that God was beautifully molding us into "our family," it was done so with an unimaginable loss on Josiah's part.

This past year has flown and it seems crazy to think that Josiah has only been part of our lives for a year. His contagious smile and curious personality entertains us constantly! We put on Josiah's "Gotcha Day" outfit he wore for his good-bye party and it was just another reminder of how much he has grown, not just physically, but in so many other countless ways. Josiah, you make our hearts swell with so much joy and WE LOVE YOU!

Some other things going on in our lives...

 Father's Day weekend. We used creme filled cupcakes to reveal to our family that we are having a boy! 

Peanut butter and graham wonderful friends! 
Since my first trimester nausea and vomiting decided it was going to hang around, I have found these two foods to be my dependable companions.

Jon and I celebrated Father's Day at Baker Street. It looks a little overly sunny in the picture, but we had an awesome meal and enjoyed the warm evening. 
I knew Jon was going to be an awesome dad, but he constantly amazes me. Two weeks ago I pulled a muscle in my back and Jon stepped up above and beyond I would have ever expected, and he did it all with grace. I am so blessed!

Jon and Josiah enjoying the water park on the Monon Trail in Indianapolis. Thanks Matt and Rachael for inviting us!

Our nephew Cade after his first birthday cake destruction. We all agreed that we had never seen a kid attack the cake the way he did!

I love this picture of Josiah and Ian watching TV together. Josiah adores Ian.

Josiah cooling off while Connor and Evan slip and slide.

I took this picture the first day our air conditioning stopped working, mostly because of the irony that is said "cool." Thankfully out of the five days it was broken we were either gone all or most of the day, enjoying the humid 85 degree temperature in our sleep:~)

Lastly, to update you all about our transition to Gateway Woods. We accepted a position as alternate house parents in the end of May and have already started some training, which will continue into July. We will move from our current house in Fort Wayne (which thankfully has sold already) into Grabill mid-July. We are excited and nervous all at the same time. We appreciate all the support and prayers we have gotten already, especially in light of Josiah going through another transition and for our new little guy coming at the end of October.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Picture update

The end of April started with a three day road trip to visit friends and family from Illinois. We had a great evening hanging out with Traever and Andrea, Chris and Amanda, and Craig and Laura. 

Apparently the girls banned Josiah to the bed:~)

After spending the night with Traever and Andrea, we headed to my sister Jen's house in Roanoke. We were fortunate to stop by and visit Rich and Becky Metcalf and family on the way (sadly no pictures) and enjoyed catching up with them. The last time we saw them was in Ethiopia. What a great family!

We had such a fun time with the Feucht family! One of the highlights for Josiah was going with their kids to the barn to see the animals.

Checking out the sheep and cows.

Josiah adores Charity and followed her around the whole time.

Group shot with the Feucht kiddos.

Saturday night we enjoyed meeting up with the Anlikers at the park in Roanoke. I've been amazed by all the new friends and connections we've made through our adoption experience.

Next fun trip was to Indy with Grandma Myra to go the the Children's Museum with Rachael, Ian, and Cade. Josiah was in heaven!

Ian and Josiah in a giant "Hot Wheels."

The beginning of May I attended Summit 9 in Nashville. It was an amazing two days of speakers and break-out sessions. I was so thankful I went!

My co-travelers: Leah, Emily, and Leslie.

Had a great time at the conference hanging out with Sheresa and Mandy.

One of the things I love about warm weather is eating outside! 

It got a little chilly- but we had a great time with Solomon, Doris, and Pauline. 

Josiah NEVER ceases to make me laugh. He snuck his mower into the bathtub a couple weeks ago and was making some serious waves!

One of the things I love about living in Fort Wayne is living close to some really great parks and the zoo! Josiah and I enjoyed his first zoo experience together with my two awesome co-workers Ashley and Rachel and their kiddos. 

We continue to make updates on our house! I love the way our living room is turning out. 
(Sadly, we won't be enjoying this much longer...but that is for another post!)

Last weekend we drove to Champaign and had a blast spending the night with Neil and Kim Kellenberger and their kids. They brought home their twin girls about 6 months before Josiah so we had lots of things to chat about:~)

I had to include this picture because Josiah could not get enough of Jaci!

Lastly, we enjoyed attending the beautiful wedding of Amit and Sydney Parkhe. Jon was with Amit in India when we first got engaged so it's always fun to reminisce about this time in our lives. 

Hope you are all having a great spring!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When your dreams do a 180...

This is one of those posts where you sit down to type it. Erase it. Retype. Repeating it over a couple times because you are struggling to find a way to share all the thoughts tumbling around in your mind.

It's evident to those around us that this past year has been eventful and very blessed. Bringing home Josiah has changed our lives in amazing ways and the move to Fort Wayne has added to the  adventure of it all. Despite the somewhat chaotic life tumbling around us, Jon and I felt God nudging us to grow our family. We started praying about adopting again, this time through domestic adoption. We also started talking about looking into foster care as a potential ministry for our family as well. So late February we met with Gateway Woods to get council and get started on our Home study paperwork. 

Just as we had with Josiah, we started bathing our "next baby's" birth family in prayer. Curious thoughts filled our mind as we wondered who they were, how they were doing, and praying our Father would give them peace and comfort. When you adopt a child, the lack of control brings your knees constantly as you understand that only God can answer your desires to protect and care for this child and to bring healing and preparation for the birth family, baby, and our family. 

The paperwork began and I began agency researching; stressing and praying for guidance from others and God. So when I got hit by the "flu" that lingered, it took a few off hand comments of others to bring me out of complete denial that I was in fact pregnant. Hands shaking I took the two pregnancy tests that I intended to give a friend for her bachlerette shower and literally stood their shaking and numb. WHAT? 

Truthfully, Jon and I had no known fertiliy issues, and made the decision to adopt internationally because that's how we felt God was leading us. But I wouldn't be being honest that based of some past experiences, we assumed if I was going to get pregnant, it was going to be because we were "trying."

I typed to a dear confidant that day...Needless so say I am blindsided by this change of events. Excited, but blindsided. I cried on and off all afternoon as I mourned the loss of this baby I had been dreaming and praying about. I felt guilty as I prayed to God in thankfulness and confusion. How can I be so excited and so disappointed? 

I am also ashamed to say it has taken weeks for me to get to the place that I have accepted the fact that God is in control of our family and He knows best! I had fully convinced myself that what was best for our family, specifically Josiah, was to adopt again. Then, we would try for biological children. 

So here we are, heading into week 12. As much as we enjoyed the the joys of the first trimester (that is obviously sarcastic), we are so thankful to be moving forward and seeing what God has in store for our family. For those of you who have been keeping this secret and praying for us, a BIG thank-you! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A few more March pictures

 The first day of Spring!

Eden and Josiah are just a little excited to ride the Carousel.

Josiah trying to hang with the older boys at adoption group.

Trying out the park in our neighborhood. Josiah is never lacking expression!

Enjoying the swings.

Josiah opening his Easter basket from G&G Ringger.

Enjoying the horses at Sam and Becky's at Easter.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recent Happenings

A few things we've been up to lately...

Thanks to Ben Kellenberger our ceiling is finally finished!

While Jon went to Big Sky, Montana with some friends....

...Kyann was kind of enough to come stay with me!

Enjoying breakfast with Maria, Alyssa, and Kyann. 
Apparently it got a little too long for Josiah:~)

We took a quick trip home to Ohio and Josiah got to spend some time with his cousins.

     Enjoying some coffee with the glowing soon-to-be bride Trisha!                         

Josiah continues to keep things lively!

Josiah enjoying Addy's birthday party at the mall. 
Top pic: Group shot
From left to right:
Josiah was so excited to ride the carrousel, but as soon as it started he hopped into my arms. This was followed by throwing pennies into the fountain. Josiah spent most of the time trying to throw himself in instead.

Josiah was circumcised yesterday. The day started with us leaving Fort Wayne in snow flurries and immediately getting stuck in a 45 minute traffic jam from an accident. Thankfully since we had decided to leave so early we made it just a little late to Riley. Thankfully Grandma Myra came with us, which was a huge blessing. After getting settled in the pre-op area we were told it was going to be another 2 hours until surgery. Josiah, who was only able to have some clear liquids in the morning, did amazingly well while we waited. Suddenly, about 20 minutes after they told us there would be a 2 hours delay, they said it was time to go. I quickly got Josiah into his gown, met with the surgeon, and Josiah was off (they decoyed him with an iPad so he went happily with them).  The surgery went great,  but the nurse said Josiah woke up a bit freaked out in recovery and started sobbing when he saw us. Thankfully he slept most of the way home, only fussing a bit, and enjoyed some of his  favorite foods- chicken nuggets and french fries. By the time we were home he was ready to run around and play. I'm happy to report that he is doing great today!