The Zoo Kids

The Zoo Kids
Finally Together

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What we know....Eli

We've had Eli 4 days and we are learning more everyday that clues us into who Eli is....the communication barrier is so hard because he loves to talk and is so desperate to communicate but that will come in time. Xialong or Eli has given us glimpses into his heart....he is compliant (good to have one of those)...incredibly sweet and tender hearted, eager to please, and a very loving brother. He has taken Zoe on as if she has been his little sister forever and they have sweet bond. We gave him some of his own spending money and he bought a remote control helicopter....the first thing he has ever purchased on his own. After only a couple of tries to fly it...Zoe wanted a turn. It is very fragile but instead of telling her no, he took Zoe into his arms and helped her to fly the was a tender moment! Zoe also got a light up wand yesterday that we didn't have batteries for and as we want out today, the first thing Eli picked up was batteries for her wand.

Eli is also very mechanical...he can put Legos together in record time and he loves to fix will be cool to see how God uses his tender heart and his mechanical ability in the future.

Eli will be 14 in January but probably is closer to a 12 year old maturity wise...being institutionalized for 13 years certainly takes its toll! Bailey was a bit frustrated that Eli wasn't as mature as he'd hoped but we know that will come in time...since I missed the first 13 years of his life...I'm ok with it taking him a little longer to grow up and I love that he still wants to be a boy...not a teenager! Bailey is also extremely mature for 14 so it's tough to gage how he should act....regardless...we are loving Eli and excited to get to know him more and more as the days unfold!

He was all smiles on gotcha day and has adapted extremely well to family life...he calls us all by name..Tracey and I are mother and father and he calls Zoe Mei Mei which means little sister....that could be a bit confusing for Mei when we get home:)

More to come later....

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Life of Zoe

We have had Zoe for a little over a week and we've learned so much about her personality and her life story. One thing we know...this girl is a fighter! She is full of spunk, full of life, always smiling...and she has quite a strong will! She has been such a precious addition to our family!

We have way more information on her than normal due to the circumstances surrounding her life...we won't share everything at this point as it is her story and we want it to be her choice to share at her discretion as she gets older. She was very, very knocking on deaths door... as a baby. A British lady took her in and nursed her back to life and it was her God given strong will that kept her alive and fighting. After about five months of around the clock care, she went to live in a foster home with other children with similar special needs. (One little boy joined this foster home just days after her and grew up with her and he needs a family as well! please let me know if you're interested....we would love to help him find his forever family...he is so eager to have a family!). Zoe blossomed in her new foster home. They are incredibly sweet people...and they are believers! They were so sad to see her go but so excited for her to have a family.

One concern of ours that wasn't disclosed in her paperwork is her suspicion is that she may have mild cerebral palsy. Her upper body is perfect and she is extremely intelligent. She is reading very well for her age. She walks with a crouched gait. It could just be weak leg muscles...we will see when we get home. I'm thinking physical therapy is in her future regardless. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up....and she's getting lots of exposure!

We have one more week before we go home...and we are so ready!! More to come on Eli in the next post!

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Time!

We are on our way to the airport after a very hard good-bye with our youngest three. Three weeks feels like an eternity right now!

Please be in prayer for us as we go...some specifics as you pray...

Please pray for us that we'd love Eli and Zoe as Christ does... That We would see them through His eyes. Please pray that we'd be full of compassion and that we would have wisdom. In adoption, love is not an immediate emotion but an action until the feelings come. Our desire is to love Eli and Zoe as Christ does.

Please pray for Eli and Zoe and pray they'd be able to bond and attach to us. Pray for their broken hearts as they leave everything they've ever known. Pray they'd be able to connect quickly and easily with their siblings. Pray Gods comfort on them through this whole process.

We sort of feel like we are standing in front of the fiery furnace and God is calling us to walk through it. We know without a shadow of a doubt God has called us to these children but we have no clue and no control over what the adjustment may look like or what life will be like on the other side. It's such a scary place to be but God doesn't call us to easy...he calls us to obedience.

Pray for Bailey and Shelton as they travel with us. Please pray for Baileys stomach...he's been having some issues and pain...pray he'd have relief while in China.

Some specific needs you can be In prayer for....our remodel project that they can get it completed before we return so that Eli and Zoe can each have a bed/room. We will need to cover the $5000 cost when we get home so please pray God would provide that as well so it's not a worry when we get back.

Please pray for us a larger vehicle...not sure what that looks like but just know we need something larger to accommodate the whole Zoo.

Please pray these 3 weeks would fly by...I miss my little's already!!

We will keep updating as the days unfold. Thank you all for your prayers and for being a part of this adoption story. God provided every single penny we needed in order to get these kids home...He truly does love orphans!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We are less than a week away from our flight to China to bring Zoe and Eli home. There is so much to be done in so short a time before we leave. And then there is so much to be done to raise 7 children when we get back. All of this could easily become overwhelming.

As I began my time with the Lord this morning part of my prayer was, "Lord, we need you if we are going to be able to raise two more children. We need you to raise all of our children, much less raise two more. We have no clue what we are doing. We are just trying to follow you and trust you. HELP!"

I read and reflected on Matthew 14:13-21 this morning (Jesus Feeds the 5,000). As I read this passage I got the answer I was looking for.

THE QUESTIONS: We have had so many people ask (and we have thought this ourselves): "How in the world are you going to raise two more children? You already have special needs children in your home and all your children need your attention. Shouldn't you focus on the needs you already have? Don't you have enough going on already?

Here is how this passage answered my question:

ANSWER: PUT MY NEEDS ASIDE! "Lay down my life-on-mission for the good of others globally to the glory of God the Father." (1 John 3:16-18; John 15:13)

In Matthew 14:13-14 Jesus had just found out that one of His best friends had been beheaded. He got in a boat to go to a desolate place and be alone. But, when He reached the desolate place He found the crowds waiting on Him. He had needs in that moment that needed to be met. He had the need to be alone to deal with the emotions of losing a loved one. However, Jesus put His needs aside to meet the needs of the people. Jesus always put priority on the needs of the people over His own.

We know we cannot meet every need and we definitely cannot adopt every orphaned child out there. The need is far greater than our ability to meet - even within our own home. However, we can put the needs of those the Lord puts in our path ahead of our own.

ANSWER: TRUST BEYOND THE PHYSICAL! Have faith!!! Faith is (my definition) trusting beyond the physical to God's promises and limitless possibilities (Hb.11:1). "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matt.19:26). "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Phil.4:13).

In Matthew 14:15-16 Jesus' disciples saw a need and the physical resources they had to meet the need. They knew the need was far greater than their ability to meet. But, Jesus saw beyond the physical to what was possible with God.

The orphan crisis around the world is so far beyond our ability to meet. Just meeting the needs of our 7 children is beyond our ability. We cannot do it in and of ourselves.

ANSWER: GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE to the LORD! Jesus says, "If you want to be my disciple you must renounce everything you have" (Luke 14:33). We know what we have is not enough, but when we give what we have to the Lord we know He has THE FINAL ANSWER!

In Matthew 14:17-18 Jesus, being able to see beyond the physical to what was possible with God, asked His disciples to simply give Him what little physical resources they had. They trusted the Lord and turned their physical resources over to Him.

We don't have a lot to give. I would say we are not the best parents in the world, but my bride is an amazing bride and mother. I lack so much as a father to my children and they deserve so much better. We don't have a lot to give, but what we do have we are entrusting to the Lord. We want to walk by faith knowing it is the only way to walk with the Lord (Hb.11:6). Even though we have a hard time seeing beyond the physical we have faith. And although our faith is not always strong it continues to grow each time we step out in faith.

THE FINAL ANSWER: JESUS TAKES WHAT WE ARE WILLING TO GIVE AND TOUCHES LIVES BEYOND MEASURE. Ephesians 3:20 - "He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us."

In Matthew 14:19-21 Jesus took what the disciples gave Him and touched lives beyond their wildest imagination. Everyone had their fill and there was an abundance left over.

We have seen the Lord do this over and over! When we brought Mei home we didn't have a clue what we were doing. Even before that we didn't have what we needed to bring him home. But the Lord, Jesus took what we were willing to give and He worked miracles.

Lord, help us walk by faith. Help us, even when we are unable to see beyond the physical, to trust your promises and limitless possibilities. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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