Friday, May 29, 2009

Celebrating Beth's Birthday in Chapel Hill

Last week, our oldest baby, Beth turned 24! As I type that, I think, no way, that can't be right? Wasn't it just yesterday she was crying for us to put her "W" quilt on just the right way, or she was singing her made up song, "I want you to be mine, baby. Now I want you to behave now girl...", or she was writing a novel at the age of 8, or she was starting high school and thought she knew everything, or she was crying because the boy she had a blind date with looked like one of the Wizard of Oz's muchkins, or she was elated to be going to UNC-CH, or she was graduating from UNC, or we were both crying as she packed a moving van to move to the big job in the big city. Time doesn't just fly by, it zooms by so fast that we blink and things change. Thank the Lord for cell phones. We talk to her every few days. We are so proud of her and love her deeply. It is fun to watch her find herself, and for us to see how she changes as she grows up.

For Beth's birthday this year, she had to work. On the weekend, she came to Chapel Hill to attend a friend's bachelorette party, so we met her and spent the day there. We took her out to eat and walked around the campus. It then began to pour down rain. So, everyone but me and Beth stayed in the car. Beth and I went to her favorite store, Ross. They don't have a Ross where she lives, and she surely does miss the adventure of hunting for the bargains. She gets that love from her dear old Mom. All in all, it was a great day. But, it also makes us realize how much we miss Beth.
At the Old Well

On the wall at Franklin St.

At the Planetarium Sundial

Beth telling Abbey that one day she will go to school here.
The Thinker?

Kissing on the kissing bench

Beth bought Abbey this puppy. She named it, "My Beth"

Thursday, May 28, 2009


This past weekend, Abbey, John and Anna went to the neighborhood lake to give Abbey her first experience with fishing. Armed with bread and poles, they set off to hook the "big one". Anna caught the first one. Then Abbey caught one. Before the trip was over, Abbey had caught six fish. I'm happy to say that all of the fish lived to be caught another day! Abbey seemed to enjoy her fishing expedition, although she never did decide it was ok to touch the fish.

Getting ready

Anna catches the first fish

Anna giving her expert fishing advice

Abbey's first fish

Not so sure she wants to actually touch the fish

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guess Who Slept in the Big Girl Bed?

Abbey has always had a twin bed in her room. We have talked about the fact that when we get Elijah home, he will sleep in the crib and she will sleep in the big bed. Well, Monday night she woke up and I was so tired that I laid in the twin bed with her and we both slept. The next day, she said she wanted to sleep in the "big bed". I told her she would have to stay in it. She said she would. Since we didn't have anywhere to go today, last night I put her in the big bed. I was prepared to be up during the night, or at the very least, up very early in the morning. Well, how shocked I was this morning to look at the clock and see 9:45! I immediately worried that something was wrong. I rushed into her room to find her sitting in her bed, grinning from ear to ear. I'm not sure how long she had been up, but she hadn't gotten out of the bed. What a great start!
Another developmental milestone that isn't so pleasant has begun today. The "Why" syndrome. Abbey has started saying, "Why?" to everything. It is quite annoying. I remember John, Jr. was our first great "Whyer". Once again, I find myself slipping into, "Because I said so..." mode. Otherwise, I'm trying to ignore the "Why's"

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy 15 months to Elijah

Today you celebrate 15 months of life. Over the past 2 months, God has securely knitted you into my heart. I look at your picture several times a day and get that feeling inside that only a Mom or Dad can know. That feeling that I'd do anything for you. That feeling that I just want to take you into my arms and cuddle you. That feeling that my heart breaks to think that you cry and I'm not there to kiss away your tears. That feeling sadness that I don't get to watch you begin to do something new. That feeling of anticipation to see what God is going to do through you. That feeling of complete frustration in the fact that you belong home with your family, and you aren't here yet! But, the Lord knows these feelings and I firmly believe that he will bring you to us (or take us to you) when the time is just right. Abbey talks about you all the time. She says, "Let's go get him!" You are loved, my precious little guy. Never forget that for a moment. I pray that God is protecting, comforting and watching over you. We want to get you home so badly!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where does Jesus live?

Tonight, John was playing with Abbey. While taking a break from reading a book, he told her,"You know one day we'll all go to live with Jesus. Do you know where Jesus lives?" Very quickly Abbey responded, "China". Bet you didn't know that did you? We had a great laugh. She has heard enough about being from China and Eli being in China, so I guess she figures if you're not here, then you're in China!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Lesson From the Geese

Each day this week, Anna, Abbey and I have taken a walk to the lake and fed the geese and fish. The geese have had babies. As they come to the bridge to get the crackers, I noticed a remarkable thing. The tiny, baby geese always come out between the two parents.(I guess they are parents) The older geese come out with the parents behind them, still watching, but not leading. It struck me on several levels. It is obvious that our creator instilled an order of life. As a parent to older, in between and little ones, I so identify with the geese. There comes a time when we no longer lead. I watch carefully as they make their way. I'm still there to nudge, or peck at them if I need to, but John and I aren't surrounding them all the time. While they were, and their siblings still are young, we protected them by sandwiching them between us. What a wonderful God we worship! He cares enough to give all his creation the ability to protect their young, while at the same time, when they are able, encouraging them to stretch and try out their growing wings. I wonder if mama goose has to fight the same compulsion I do to jump out and take over leading? Teenager Geese
The one between the two parents must have broken the rules, and lost a privilege!
Most days all of the older geese were in front of the parents.
Baby Geese

Bring Me Hope Nightwalk

Tonight our family participated in Nightwalk for Orphans for Bring Me Hope. Bring Me Hope is a Christian organization that ministers to orphans in China. They are conducting camps in China this summer for orphans. Many of the orphans that attend these camps actually live on the streets in China. It is so sad but true! For a little while these kids are able to have fun and be a kid. Tonight, in the US, Australia and Canada people walked for an hour to bring attention to this ministry. Orphans in China were walking at the same time. Before we began our walk, we had a conference call with the orphans in China. They sang us 2 songs. One in English and one in Mandarin. We had around 28 people walk in our group. Of course, money is needed to send an orphan to camp. It cost $125 to send an family group(2 orphans, a translator and counselor) to camp. As of today, they said that the walks had raised enough money to send 150 orphans to camp. People can still donate by going to their website: . In order for the orphans to join us, we had to walk at 10 pm our time, 10am China time. Abbey made it through the whole walk and crashed as soon as she had her pajamas on. Our group

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh, What a Wonderful Weekend!

I had the most wonderful weekend. All of my children were in the same house for a night, and there was no arguing.(Another proof there is a God! Just kidding, they actually get along pretty well) My parents even came to share the day with us. In the evening, after dinner, we went to Starbucks for coffee (whip cream for Abbey). We then went home and played, "Apples to Apples". We had a great time. I got to spend some time talking with the older two and getting an update on their lives. All 5 of them made me feel very special. They gave me a certificate for a deluxe pedicure. When I woke up, I had a note painted on the kitchen door and my car windows were painted. Nothing like driving in a car that says you are the best Mom in the world! After church, and a nap, we went for a long walk to the park. What a wonderful weekend! My kids are the best! Times like these, I just stop and thank God for these precious human beings(and for their Dad, also)! Even though, this week was pretty near perfect, there was that little nagging in the back of my mind that someone was missing. Eli, I can't wait until I can spend a Mother's Day with you!

Abbey's first attempt at photographing her favorite subject
My beautiful girls

Me and My Mama

Everyone, but John, he was taking the picture

Official Family Photo

John and Abbey

Silly girls

Happy Mother's Day!

For Mothers
This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's alright honey, Mommy's here." Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And for all the mothers who DON'T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And for the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. And for the mothers who lost their baby in that first precious 9 months, a baby that they will never get to watch grow on earth, but with whom they will be reunited one day in Heaven!
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors. And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it. This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.
This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.
For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot. This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them. This is for all the step-mothers who raised another woman's child or children, and gave their time, attention, and love... sometimes totally unappreciated!
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home? Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying? The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation... And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for all of you. For all of us. Hang in there.
In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them.
And pray.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Elijah Update!!!
Today in my e mail I got the most wonderful surprise. I had Lady Bugs in Love do an orphanage call. The results were much more than I had hoped for. They answered all my questions, gave me 10 new pictures and even gave me a copy of Eli's finding note! What a blessing! We all think he is just beautiful. He weighs about 17 lb. and is about 27 inches tall. He is crawling and pulling up and babbles dada. They also said they loved him very much, well, so do we! As you can tell, his orphanage is much better than some others in China. We are grateful to them for taking good care of our son until we can get there. While I'm grateful to get the update, my heart yearns even more to have him home and kiss those plump cheeks. Come on LOA!!

Wondering when his mommy and daddy are coming to get him.

So precious!

Where there is water...

There is a wet Abbey...
When we got Abbey, we joked that we knew God designed her to be a Dozier, because she loved the water. She was never afraid of the swimming pool. Now, she immediately jumps in any puddle she can find. The sprinkler was a new experience for Abbey. At first she looked, then in went a hand, then a foot, then the whole body, all the while giggling with glee!

At the park

At the creek, with Lottie, Kylie and Caleb. Guess who ended up above her ankles in the water?

John's Birthday

First time eating corn on the cob
Abey had to shed her clothes, they were covered in corn and potatoes

We celebrated John's birthday a few weeks ago. Whew! For another 10 months, he appears to be the same age as me. No one needs to know any different. This year, for his birthday dinner, he chose fried chicken, corn on the cob, biscuits, potatoes with cheese and bacon, green beans and chocolate cake. It was Abbey's first time eating corn on the cob. I must say she looked like a pro. At dinner, we shared the obligatory answer to the question, "What is your favorite memory of ______(the birthday person) this year?" I had a hard time choosing just one. I'm so thankful that God has given me this man. He makes me so happy! We've been married almost 25 years and I can say that I love him more every day. Happy Birthday to my bestest friend!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Meet the Crew...
We have been wonderfully blessed with 5 incredible people. They each light up our lives in unique ways. We thank the Lord for each of them and what He is going to do through them. Words can't describe how much they mean to me and John, and how proud we are of each of them.
23 years old, UNC-CH graduate, works in public relations, perfectionist, loves music, plays piano, sings, has a heart for those less fortunate than her

John, Jr

21 years old, attends UNCW, loves fishing, is the drummer and singer in a band, plays guitar, loves the Tarheels, wants to be a physical therapist, has a soft, kind heart

18 years old, lover of all animals and children, wonderful singer, plays piano, social butterfly, never met a person she couldn't chat with

14 years old, Carolina Crazy, nationally ranked swimmer(for his age group), straight "A" student, plays the drums, all around good guy

2.5 years old and extremely full of life, from Chongqing, China, adopted at age of 9.5 months, two speeds... fast and asleep, keeps us on our toes and brings a lot of joy into our family