Sunday, November 23, 2014

One Year

Tuesday was one year since Jack's Gotcha Day.  It has encouraged my heart so much to think back to the beginning and how far Jack has come.  While we still struggle in some areas, he has come really far in other areas.   We spent the day remembering our trip to China, looking at pictures, watching videos, and praising God who has given us all (including Jack) grace for each day.  

Here's a quick glimpse into our Gotcha Day dinner of Chinese food and chocolate cake.  Love this sweet boy!






One Year Ago:





And we also remembered these pictures, which are from before he was a Harmon.  This is the difference of love and a family, y'all.  And this is a reminder that adoption starts in a place of deep hurt and brokenness.  Adoption is beautiful, but there is much heartache that comes before the beauty.




Jack's baptism

Jack's baptism was such a sweet time for us to remember God's covenant promises and claim them for Jack.  We answered three questions regarding Jack:

1. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit? 
2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises in his behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, as you do for your own? 
3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray with and for him, that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

We do!

And Pastor Dan then asked the congregation if they agree to assist us in the Christian nurture of this child.  So thankful we aren't in this alone.








Saturday, September 20, 2014

Love Manor Donation

I'm sorry it has taken me a while to share this, but the team that traveled to Love Manor just got home and I was waiting until I heard back about the trip to share details.  Look at all that Leah's birthday donations were able to provide for those precious ones at Love Manor!!   I know the pictures are fuzzy, but it's the best they could get in their hotel room before heading out the door.  Leah was so blessed to receive your donations and then pass them along.   Her goal was $200, but between her birthday party and donations from friends, twice that much came in!  The team going to Love Manor was able to buy more than we had planned on.  And the staff at Love Manor was surprised and so grateful.  Leah made this video to say thanks:



Thanks so much for making Leah's birthday so special by helping her to do something for the least of these.  She will always remember this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Update

Just wanted to pop in for a quick update.  Leah did reach her goal!  In fact, the Lord provided more than she was hoping for so we are asking about what else they may need.  Pictures coming soon!  Thank you so so much to everyone who gave.  You encouraged Leah's heart and have done something very real and very needed for the orphans at Love Manor.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

For Leah's 8th Birthday

Love Manor in Chongqing, China is the orphanage Jack lived in for half of his life before us.  This picture was taken at Love Manor the day we visited there.  Seeing the faces of those children made a big impact on Leah.
Love Manor is in need of therapy equipment.  Leah has decided that for her birthday this year, she wants to raise $200 to buy this equipment!  Our adoption agency, Lifeline, is sending a medical team to Love Manor in early September so they can actually take the equipment directly to them.

We love this chance for Leah to see God provide.  She decided (we are not forcing her!) to ask her friends to donate towards this cause instead of bringing gifts to her birthday party.

We did the math.  If 40 people give $5 each, then Leah would have the $200 to buy the therapy equipment.  Some of these 40 people will be her own friends (6-9 year old girls!), but if you would also like to be one of her 40 people, you can give $5 to her (or Matt or I) in person or use the paypal button below by August 30th (Leah's birthday).

Thank you, sweet friends!  If Leah does raise the $200, we'll post a picture of the therapy equipment that we are able to purchase to send over.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Six Month Update



(Lifeline is our adoption agency.  They are wonderful!)

I'm a little late on posting this, but I've been thinking about what all to share here at our six month mark.  I've been torn about how much detail to share on this blog, which is why you might have noticed I stopped sharing at all.  We want to be very open and transparent about adoption and our experience, but we also want to protect Jack and his story too.  We've kept some of the details of his story off the internet because they are his story to share.  One day, he may want to share his whole story on the internet. Or maybe he would rather not.  That will be his decision to make.

In the meantime, we wanted to share a little about how we are doing.  Adoption is beautiful and it is changing all of us.

We've had so many ups and downs in the last six months.  Jack has stopped speaking Chinese entirely, which is bittersweet.  He has learned a lot of English words and is even saying some two word phrases ("down, please" for example). Communication has been the most difficult part of this for us.  It is a real struggle to communicate anything more complicated than basic commands.  This causes him to have many tantrums.  Daily we are dealing with multiple tantrums that involve screaming and kicking. It's hard to know what to do in these situations because we want him to feel loved and cherished.... but at the same time, he has to learn to talk to us in words instead of just screaming.  If you are wondering how to pray for us and for Jack, this area is one where we really covet your prayers.

He is eating really well and overcome many food and sensory issues. He has gained 5 lbs and 2 inches!  He is sleeping great - still taking a nap each day and sleeping through the night.  He is getting out of his bed and sleeping on the floor every night, but we have decided to just let him sleep on the floor if he wants to. He is gaining muscle strength, which is so fun to see.  Stairs, running, playing - all improving so much.  He loves hugs.  And he loves to snuggle. He is even using a blanket and lovey to sleep with, which makes my heart happy because he didn't have things like that in China.

Leah, Molly, and Daniel are doing great with Jack.  Leah and Molly love to be little mommies to him.  He and Daniel still argue over toys (I think that will always be true) but I am so thankful for how I see the Lord at work in their relationship.

Matt and I are still adjusting to having 4 kids.  Being mommy to these 4 all day is such an honor... but it brings me to the end of myself. I truly don't feel like I have the patience, energy, or wisdom to raise them.  As I've wrestled with those thoughts over the past few months, I've realized that is a good place to be.  I want to be living a life that requires I lean on the Lord.  Coming to the end of myself is good because I literally have no other choice than to pray, to trust the Lord to fill in the gaps in my parenting (which are lots!!), to rest in him when I have no more energy for the day.  And His grace is sufficient.   It's been a season of life where I've had to depend on the Lord just to make it through each day.  I am thankful for a season of life like this.  It's humbling and hard and so good for me.

We also just moved!  Talk about adding craziness on top of craziness.  But, we are here in our new house, starting to get settled and meet new neighbors (you guys are already amazing!).  We are so thankful for this new space and we pray that many memories are made here, much grace is shared here, and that much is made of God here.  Jack is doing well adjusting to the new house (after some initial nerves).

I still think about Chongqing, China (Jack's birth city) almost every day and feel amazed that this little bundle of a boy is a Harmon running around our house.  Happy six-months-as-a-Harmon, Jack!  We love you so much!


Brothers


 Jack & McKenna.  We were in China with McKenna and her mom and dad. It was such a joy to see them here in America. Love the Capps family!



 A nap on his daddy. I love so much about this picture.

 Taking a walk in the neighborhood


 Me and my 4 little loves

 Yay for cousins

Percy & Thomas 

Me and my boy