Monday, January 2, 2012


 We are back from our Christmas vacation to the Texas coast - Mustang Island.  We just got in after three days of driving and I “begged” Steve to watch everything and everyone so that I could catch up with all of ya’ll.  (Isn’t the above picture great - Dandy took it during our beach bon-fire night.  Those are glow sticks that my brother, Kim brought).

 I’m sorry that I haven’t written sooner, but we were desperate for some time with these precious Kim, sister (in-law) Karla, and my parents - known around the world as Dandy and Gommy.  
I know that it is absolutely crazy to take two newly adopted and (older) children and stick them in a van (for a grand total of 14 people and a small dog), and travel to Texas.  However, if ya’ll have been around much, you know that our extended family is extremely important to Steve, me and our children.  I knew that do or die, this trip was part of the journey that we were to travel with our new children.
So, what about our new children, Noelani and Clive?
THANK YOU SWEET JESUS, and THANK YOU for all your prayers and sweet notes to our family.  The LORD has heard our prayers, and they did AMAZINGLY well!  
Want to see some pictures? (I knew you were just waiting).

It was so GOOD to see happy after all that we had all been through.    They each, in their own way, warmed up and feel in love with their new family.  I’m not sure that I understand it, but once we were together in Texas with all of my family, things begin to “relax” with Noelani and Clive.  Not that there weren’t (and still aren’t) certain behaviors and battles, but it seems that they began to get a picture of “family” and, of course, what could be better than a family that has fun?!!!  Each day they seemed to relax and love a little more.  My family was amazing, as usual.  

 My new daughter (in-law), Karlie, knows sign language very well, and 1st up taught Noelani the sign for “you are beautiful”.  After that we would all say that to her, and within a few days she was saying it back to all of us, including Dandy (LOL-we think he is beautiful too).  Noelani wasn’t to sure of her new Dandy at first, but he would look at her and tell her “I love you”, which she understood and she would say “no”, kind of in a teasing manner, but by the end of the week she was saying it to him, just to start the game of love.  Gommy showered them each with her normal laughter and fun and just included them in her beautiful world of joy and blessings.  

And as the stress began to melt away (at least SOME), I began to fall in love again with this little boy;
And this little girl.  
And I began to let go of some of my expectations and embrace the gift of these children, with their past, their fears and our future together.
Our other children are doing awesome with their new siblings.  They are very patient and do what children do ... play.  
It’s good to be home again.  Clive did cry when we drove up to the house.  Best I can figure from sign language and Chinese words is he thought he had just enjoyed a great vacation and we were going back to China.  But, what I also saw in this precious little boy is that he LOVES deeply.  He cried when Jace left, and then again when we left Uncle Kim and Aunt Karla, and then he cried a long time when we left Dandy and Gommy.  I think he loves his new family and also, naturally, misses the only “home” he has ever known.  He settled pretty quickly though and began to look at family pictures as I was writing this post.  He would point to each family member and tell me their name; 
and then, just to make me fall in love with him more, he would kiss each picture.  (I know, precious, or what).
Noelani is doing so well.  She did cry some and look out the window at the beach house when she listened to her music that we bought in China.  But she is also so very helpful and sweet and will give us a hug when she is excited and tell us “I love you” in both English and Chinese.  So Cute!!!  She really wants to work with us now, and I think the biggest frustrations will slowly go away as she learns more English, and we just get “to know” each other more.  She loves having a family that cares about her and seems to be a “people person”.  
Well, I must go help Steve now...but here are a few more pictures and I will catch up more this week.  

I love you all so much, and can never thank you enough for your prayers, support, encouragement and help through this time in my life.  You each have truly meant more to me than I can say.


  1. Thank you Steve! Thank you for taking care of the kids while Shonni filled us in!:)
    Y'all have been on my heart and prayers soooo much this last few weeks! So thankful your vacation to Texas was just what y'all needed! Love! Love! Love your photos too!

  2. Oh, I'm so happy that your little treasures are doing better! Thank you, Jesus!!

  3. I am soooo happy to hear this great news! God is sooo good! I love seeing the smiles on their little faces and hope that the worst is now over and each day will be better than the last!

  4. So thankful to know that things are looking up and that your new children are relaxing and learning what family means. God bless them and you as you enter the next stage of adjustment.

  5. Oh my goodness, Shonni! What an amazing set of pictures! I love, love, love the pics of Noelani smiling at the beach. So good to see pics of these lovely kiddos and their smiling pictures. It sounds like from the post that they are certainly making great strides with bonding and accepting love! This is so wonderful!!! I am so happy for you and your family, but as always, my heart overflows with joy for these two precious souls that Jesus loves oh so much! What a blessing your family is!!

  6. Your family is simply amazing! I am happy things are slowly getting better! God bless you all!

  7. Oh, I LOVE that you got a whole family picture! Your family is precious...may you be blessed in the coming days with more & more steps of love & trust. :o)

  8. LOVE that 1st picture!!! so cool! and i am sooooooooooooooooooooo thrilled to see smiles on their faces!!!!!!!!!!! i was thinking of you all over xmas wondering how it was going- :) so glad it went well!!!!

  9. Thanks so much for the update. We have been praying for you.

    We took our kids straight from the airport, where we met them because we were not allowed to travel, on only a 5 hour journey away from home because our oldest son had his first elk hunting tags and we just HAD TO DO IT.

    I understand your need to go. So glad it was a blessed time.

  10. This post made my heart smile from the inside out!

    Oh how I know the feelings you have experienced and will experience in the days to come!

    I look at the photo of you with all the kids and say to myself - ONLY GOD! Because in the flesh even with 9 children - 3 more would push me over into a deeper end of the pool - but WITH GOD IT IS ALL POSSIBLE! You are proof of that too!

    I love you and praying for you!

  11. so so glad to read that things were good for you all at Christmas time! What a blessing and answer to many prayers!! I love to see the pictures! welcome home! continuing to pray. darci :)

  12. OH how I LOVE your pictures!!!!!!
    Thanking God for any small steps and we too would travel in the car with how ever many and however long! Sometimes it just has to happen :)
    May God continue to allow you all to see more amazing things happening in your family :)

  13. It has been so easy and such a pleasure to pray over your beautiful family. This post gave me goose bumps!!! I told ya before that I couldn't wait to watch how this all unfolds to use as your testimony to His great love!!!

    So happy for ALL of you!!!

  14. Standing ovation!! Not only for all the success and bonding time but for the fact that you managed to blog it all! I definitely feel more confident about our potential post placement road trip this summer. Amazing how much those two newbies fit right into the family photo. I had to hunt them down! I'm glad you're back safe and refreshed and I hope this week runs smoothly for you all.

  15. Beautiful photos :) Prayers 2012 brings about continued improvements toward joy and love for your new ones.

  16. Shonni, you've been on my mind so
    Much. I'm so happy that you guys were able to break away and enjoy a wonderful time with your family. I sense that it was very healing for each of you. You are in my prayers. Praise God for the milestones already!
    Btw, have you read "The Connected Child"? If not, GET IT!

  17. I love all the photos, but the one that made me smile the BIGGEST was the last one, your sweet, dear little family shot!

    Blessings and joy,

  18. Oh, this is an amazing update. Thank you for taking the time to do it! I have been checking your blog every day. Praying for you! I love what you said about letting go of some of your expectations and embracing the gift they are! That is so key on this journey!
    Thanks, again, for sharing the update and the wonderful photos.

  19. I saw this post... wantyed desperately to read it BUT you know- life got in the way! So happy to read it know! So thankful for God- for his endless love and for the hope he gives us!

    You WHOLE family was the best medicine for your two newbies!!

    LOVE love love the oic of everyone and the one of your extra large family!!

    You have been on my mind so much- every time we come back from an adoption we struggle with a few kids at home- God will once again bless us with peace but it's been a little rocky.

    Just love you and your heart!
    (saying prayers for Kaylin and Clive)

  20. I am so happy everything is getting better. Loved looking at all of the pictures of the kids smiling and having a good time.


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