The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We received a call from our agency today. Sadly, the little girl that we had requested to be matched with, has been placed with another family. We are all heartbroken and disappointed. Knowing that several families had requested to be matched with her, I prayed that best family for her would be chosen. The family that would be the perfect family to meet her particular needs. I thought that was us! I had such a special feeling for her and I thought she was ours! I have prayed for her and I look at her precious face every day.
I know there is a special little one waiting out there for us, but today, I can't really picture it.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My sister and her son are visiting and we have had so much fun this week. Since I work at Disney, that is always a fun day out when guests visit, but we did something new this week- we went to Gatorland! I have lived here in FL for many years now, but I have never been to Gatorland and I thought it was time we did. We had a great day, and of course the boys loved it! We fed the gators, sat on a gator, watched the Jumparoo show and enjoyed touring the park.

There is often an overpopulation of gators here in FL, and there is a hunting season in order to keep the population under control. So the gators in this park are saved and used for educating people about them, and well of course here in FL, for entertainment purposes.

We all enjoyed learning about the gators, snakes and crocodiles, and seeing how they interact with each other.

Cousin Aaron, Christina, Joshua and Matthew all "screaming" because of the gator behind.

Joshua and Matthew climbing in the big gator mouth.

Christina and Joshua sitting on the real gator!

My sister Polly and I on the gator. Ok, I did feel a little sorry for this gator with all of us sitting on him for a photo, but they promised us that he was very strong and it was not uncomfortable for him.

Jacob even took a turn for a pic.

Gator handler, George, taking a chance with those snapping jaws, and showing us how the gator's lower jaw is the one that snaps!

Here are the gators we were feeding! They were huge! When we threw them the bites of food, they would turn their heads and snap their jaws!

We took a nature walk behind the park on a "bridge trail" way back into the swamp.

This is the beautiful turtle that we saw on the nature walk.

Along the way on our walk, there was a sign that stated we were in an area with a high concentration of water moccasins. Sure enough we saw 4 of them right by the trail. The trail was about a foot above them on the bridge though, so we were safe.

Josh had some fun at the little water park. It was SO HOT (about 100 degrees that day and if you have been to FL in the summer, full humidity), so that water park was a relief!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This picture gave me the giggles!
It has been a month since we sent back answers to the questions that were sent to us from the social worker representing the little girl we are interested in. A month feels like a really long time for this particular news! This is a bit disheartening knowing that it has been 4 weeks already and we have heard nothing back. The only positive about hearing "nothing" is that she hasn't been matched with anyone as of yet. (I'm pretty sure they will let us know if she is matched with another family) I have one "ray of hope" which is that a friend of mine :) told me that they waited about 2 months before they heard back from Taiwan and they were approved for the child they had requested! So, there are many factors that involve an approval, and I totally understand that they have to be thorough and make sure all of the legalities are in order and all parties are in agreement before they approve a family. I also have to keep in mind that there were probably several other families from other agencies requesting this same child, and we may not be the chosen family. Although, I HOPE we are!!!
I will let you know when I hear something!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

GOOD NEWS ON A CURRENT CASE! ( The photo on the side is NOT of any case) (Click here to find out more about FL- GAL)

I volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem ( a court appointed advocate) here in my county. I cannot discuss any details of my cases, however I can say that I am so happy with the outcome of my current case. (I can describe the following, because it could be about any one of thousands of cases story.)

I am representing a sibling group who had been placed with a relative while the case continues (a very common placement). The children love this relative and are in the best care and the SAFEST care.

A couple of months ago, in court, it looked as though (despite what I pleaded and my report recommended) the children would be placed back where I knew they would not have safe, caring lives. The judge was sympathetic, but it was LEGALLY the right thing to do because certain goals had been achieved. I came out of court that day so upset and heartbroken and genuinely afraid for the kids.

Well, 2 months later, just before the final ruling, everything turned for the good, suddenly everyone was in agreement, ALL PARTIES, that the children should remain permanently in the care of this relative. EVERYONE was happy with the outcome.
There can still be some loopholes in the future, so it is not a forever guaranteed union, but it is very stable and safe and I hope it will remain that way.

God is so good. I prayed about this so hard. He cares so much for their little hearts and minds.
Please pray that they will remain in safe care always.

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo