Friday, July 20, 2012

Calling All Knitters or Crocheters . . .

I need some hats.

Small hats for babies.

Little hats for tots.

Medium size hats for kids.


Large hats for big kids/adults.

Why do I need these hats?  Good Question.

Because they will be traveling to Central Asia to warm some orphans cold little heads.

Because putting a hat on their head and gloves on their hands and socks on their feet meets a real need in their lives.

Because it will give us an opportunity to pray sweet prayers of blessings over the littlest orphans, and we will be able to tell the older kids/young adults WHY we would travel around the world to bring them a hat, gloves, and socks.

How many do you need? 

About 70 for babies to 5 year olds.

About 10 for tweens/young teens.

About 15 for young adults/adults.

When do you need them by?

October 1st

Where can I send them to?

Julie Agee
100 Wild Grape Dr.
St. Marys, GA 31558

So get your needles or looms, get some cool washable yarn, and get to creating a homemade hat for an orphan in Central Asia.

And please leave a comment if you want to participate, so I will know how many to expect.

If you don't knit, but you know those that do--pass the word.  I'd appreciate the help.

One final thought--get your kids involved and let them experience the joy of helping another child around the world.

Feel free to include a picture of yourself and a blessing for the child who receives the hat.  Please do NOT include your last name or address etc. 



Saturday, July 14, 2012

He Asked . . .





And so our first son is now engaged to Miss Taylor Fisher (who will also be known as Mrs. Taylor Agee in the future).  And we couldn't be happier for them both.

We feel blessed for Taylor to be joining our family.

Were we surprised?  Yes and No

I'm not surprised he asked, but I am surprised that it was right now.  When I finally noticed the ring tonight, I thought they were playing a joke on us.  But then I noticed that it looked like a real ring, and they both said, "Surprise!"

Of course you know I took some pics and here they are . . .

AND I'm glad that Taylor came with us to our photography sesson because now we have this picture . . .

CONGRATULATIONS Austin and Taylor!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Almost 9 Months Part 2

Yesterday I ended with updates on Hannah, today I will give an update of our Miss Sara.

We met our Miss Sara on October 23, 2011.  She was so nervous (so were we), and went straight to Leighanne and Hannah.  She gave us a little hug, but she was very timid around Ben and myself. (Normal behavior for a young teen about to be adopted.)  I was grateful that the Chinese government had Sara to sign the adoption papers and make a statement that she agreed to the process.  I think it really helped her to know that this was really happening and was FOR REAL.

In the beginning, Sara was very easy going, laid back, and ready for the next adventure.  For the first few months we didn't see much disobedience, mostly compliant behavior. Looking back, I think that this was her way of trying to be her best so that we would love her.  I'm not sure when we started seeing some "defiance", probably around January, but it was after she felt comfortable enough with us to start letting her guard down.  Really, that was a positive first true step of bonding.  She found out that we loved her, and would continue to love her even after she misbehaved.  She also discovered that she was going to have some boundaries within our household.

Bringing a teen into our home has been the most frustrating, overwhelming, but truly humbling experience I have ever been through.  Daily I see my imperfections, when I am working with Sara.  I long to have this easy going relationship that I have with Leighanne (who we adopted at 9 months and is now 10), but I realize over and over that we have had years to develop our relationship, and Sara and I have only had months.

Some of my biggest struggles in parenting Sara have come from knowing when to step in and model more grown up behavior and knowing when to let her be indulgent in childlike behaviors because of her lack of a real childhood.  She missed so many things in her life, and yet has lived so many that I wish she hadn't.  I won't share her personal story here, but know that we have many years of healing to overcome.

One of the hardest discussions we've had, was questions about "Why we didn't get Hannah and Sara as babies like we did Leighanne."  The question came from Hannah, but Sara eagerly waited for our answer.  All I could tell them was that we didn't know about Hannah until 2010, and Sara until 2011, and that we came to get them as quickly as we could.  It was a great question, one that I've asked myself, and one that I know that only God can answer.

Sara is slowly beginning to blossom.  She is opening up more and more and she is allowing us to see the real Sara.  She is very, very curious.  She likes to figure out how things work, and what is going to happen next.  She is gifted with putting together puzzles--she recently put together a 500 piece puzzle with out knowing what the finished puzzle would even look like.  She loves games that challenge you to think, and has a competitive nature.

She likes to look pretty, and has already questioned the "when do I get to wear makeup".  I think she looks beautiful without it, but I am trying to remember what it felt like when I was a teen and wanted to do the more grown up thing.  So we will make a decision about that soon.  Who knew that I would be having to make these choices now???

She is now reading on a 2-3rd grade level and is just now beginning early chapter books.  We are still working on catching up in math, but she is making great strides in this area also.  She really wants to go to school in the fall, and that is what we are gong to try.  However, we have told her that if she is not getting what she needs, then we will have to homeschool another year.  We have made such big gains, that I can't stand the thought of going backwards.  On the otherhand, I also know that Sara resents that she is the only one that is being homeschooled.  She doesn't understand that we are helping to give her a great foundation.  Right now, I think she sees it as not treating her equally. 

Sara loves going to "The Rock" on Tuesday evenings. This is a youth event at our local Christian Radio station WECC.  She has been little miss independent, and goes without her brothers or us. I went the first week and then Sara wanted to go without me.  She is making new friends and we are grateful that she is branching out.  This week she is attending RUSH Week with our church and other youth groups. 

I am grateful that God knows what He is doing, because I feel like I am so inept.  I have really struggled with finding the love like He has, and the belief that I am doing things like I should.  Sara is truly a gift to our family, but I feel like she is so fragile and that I just might break this precious sweet gift if I am not careful.

Just look at this beautiful young lady . . .

there is such potential for her to be the woman that God intends for her to be.  That's why I have to constantly remind myself that God is in control, that He allowed all of her previous experiences to help shape her into who she is now.  That He ordained the day of her adoption, and the He knows her every need.  I just have to trust in Him and have faith in Him.

Isn't that what He calls us to do with all of our beautiful gifts?



Monday, July 9, 2012

Almost 9 months! Part 1

It has almost been 9 months since we added these precious girls to our family.

I honestly can't believe how much they have changed or how much we have changed!

Someone who reads our blog asked me to do an update because they are getting ready to walk in our shoes.  They are about to adopt two sweet children from China, and one of their kids is 13 just like our sweet Sara.

I have honestly struggled with what to right on our blog.  I don't want to give too much personal information, but I also want to be real.

I'll begin with Hannah.  

We met our "Hannah Monkey" on October 17, 2011.  Who knew that our Monkey nickname that we had already begun to call her would fit her to a T?  She is active, full of life and energy.  Our first few days/weeks were trying.  She was grieving/scared/confused/angry/excited all rolled up into one little girl who simply just wanted to be loved.  We had to dig past that anger/hurt/grief to get to see the real little girl underneath.

Over the months, she has slowly begun to trust us, and learn that we love her.  She has not yet been healed of all of her hurt/anger/grief, but we are beginning to see moments of true bonding taking place.

Just this last week, she and I were talking, and she asked me, "You're my real mama right?  I don't have to have any more right?  You will always be my mama?"  I told her it was forever.  That there would not be any more foster moms.

It was like she is just now beginning to believe it just might be real. 

Can you even imagine what her brain must have been thinking all these months? --- When will I go to my next family?  Are they going to let me stay?  Do they really want to keep me?

She has been thinking that we weren't going to really keep her. 


When I think about all of the months we have been living life--going to school, church, playtime, vacations, birthdays, etc.  and all of this time--she has still been thinking that someday, we will break the news that another mom and dad are coming to get her and take her to her new home.

This new revelation has me struggling to make sure I am sending the right message--you are loved, you are treasured, you are ours-FOREVER!  While at the same time still having to set boundaries, correct misbehaviors, and teach new skills. 

This whole journey has been so trying.  Daily, I honestly struggle with all of the emotions that we face.  (Some of those emotions are mine--I get tired, I sometimes still grieve our old life, I want to be selfish with my time, etc.) BUT--I have to always go back to the calling to adopt.  I KNOW without a shadow of doubt that this is meant to be.  I LOVE our family, and I honestly wouldn't change it because I know I am learning to become the person I am supposed to be.   The process is just not always a birthday cake and an ice cream cone.

I knew this would be a hard post to write--my emotions are all over the place.

Ok--back to Hannah.

She is going to be in the second grade again next year.  She is just not ready for 3rd grade.  We have continued to work on school over the summer. (NOT ALL DAY or everday for those who were getting ready to pounce :) But enough to not lose ground and to teach new skills.  Her English is fantastic, she is expressing her emotions in English now--and does it quite well I might add.

She loves the pool, beach, zoo, library, and going to church.  She doesn't like to play games that take too long, but she loves to draw and paint.

She is truly a blessing--I can't imagine her NOT in our family.

When I think about all of the changes that are taking place--in our girls, in us, in our home, I am thankful that God chose to take us on this journey of adoption.  It is not always pretty, but it is so Worth it!