missionaries serving with Campus Crusade for Christ and FamilyLife

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Home Two Weeks

Thanks to so many of you praying for our family. We are working so hard to build connections. We haven't posted in 10 days. We have been busy- board games, meals, water play, backyard camp-out, walks, attempts at bike riding, zoo and children's museum.
Breakfast fun- 
Our cute BJ

First attempts at bike riding...

water fun

Mercy & Caleb reading the blog of another Chinese adoptee whom recently accepted Christ. It created some really great conversation.

Baba & Mama snuggles.

Baba & Mama planned a special outing with just the three of us. Bowling was fun!

Backyard fun!

Little Rock Zoo

Camp out with Baba in the back yard.

Children's Museum


Medical appointments start this week for Caleb. We appreciate your continued prayers.
We have had some rough spots in the last couple of weeks. We are holding on to Jesus. We are praying & trusting in God's  plans for our family. We are asking Him to give us wisdom, courage and great strength as we press on.
We want so much to love these kiddos well, see His glory in our family and reflect Jesus to those watching.
With our many thanks-
Art, Jen & kiddos



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pinnacle Park

Poor Caleb gets really car sick even in the shortest trips. We moved him up to the front today. Eager to do some research & talk with the doctor regarding this. In the meantime, trying some essential oils and some proprioceptive/vestibular activities (trampoline, etc.). He really dreads going in the car, but eventually enjoyed the destination.
We went to the Chinese grocery in our area. We let the kids pick out some favorite things. We had a quick stop at the ministry and then headed to Pinnacle Park today. Zoey navigated really well with her cane. All the kids had a blast. We didn't even mind the heat & steamy air too much.
Thank you for your continued prayers. Caleb is now most comfortable (understandable) with Mercy so he defers to her a lot. He looks to her for help in most situations now. This is not ideal for an adoption scenario. Baba and Mama want to be the ones he looks to & counts on to meet his needs. Join us in praying for wisdom & discernment. We want to bond as a family & be together as a unit. We need to decide how much to pull these two apart for outings, etc.
Mercy had some sweet moments today of explaining Jesus to Caleb. She told us that he asked lots of questions about why we pray & why we go to church. She shared their conversation with us. It was precious.
She said, "Baba & Mama love Jesus and the Bible very much. It's why they adopted you. They prayed and He told them to give you a home. He told her that he thought she told us to adopt him. She said yes, but they prayed & Jesus told them yes most of all.
She told him, " Jesus died for you and for me and for them." He said, "who is Jesus and why did he do this?" She explained that we are all bad & have sin. He was shocked that she said that to him. She went on to share their wonderful conversation about how we all have sin and we all need Jesus.
We told her she was really brave. What an incredible road we are walking. Some precious friends brought dinner tonight & stayed a little bit to visit. It ministered such encouragement to our hearts.
We had some hard things today too. We are very aware of spiritual battle tonight.
We are feeling really tired. We appreciate your prayers for protection over our family & our marriage. Pray we would stay strong & keep our eyes fixed on Him.
We are praying He would be glorified in our lives.
Art & Jen


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Working hard at playing

We are working so hard to connect. We appreciate your continued prayers for our family.... that we would be intentional, intuitive and connecting parents. Parenting is hard work!
We are walking a delicate balance of setting structure, boundaries & rules in our home. All the while... we are working so hard to lavish love & build connections.
We have been teaching the kiddos about John the Baptist the last couple of nights.
We smiled when we were reminded of this scripture:
John 1:14....And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Oh...that our lives would reflect Jesus... full of His grace & truth.
Seeking Him in every moment.
Below are some pics .....
Game time

Taking a walk time.

Family photo time - excited to wear our Show Hope t-shirts together!
Kitchen clean up fun!!

Mama & kids singing as we do dishes!

Baba leading the empty dishwasher efforts! 


Bethany rockin' the high chair!
Rain stopped long enough to enjoy the trampoline today!

Checked on the garden some today

Everyone is tucked in bed. Baba & Mama are taking a deep breath tonight. We are prayerful & grateful. We are so thankful for other adoptive families whom have shared wisdom & experience with us. We are grateful for all the training we have taken for adoptive families (Empowered to Connect, Dr, Karyn Purvis).
We are grateful God is with us every step of the way.
Praying God is glorified as we cling to Him.
With love & gratitude,
Art & Jen


Monday, June 9, 2014

Powells - Party of 9

Caleb is home (insert jumping, clapping, screaming, crying and praising GOD)!

The arrival was pretty exciting. Storms ramped up to a pretty intense level last night. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning and then a couple of tornado warnings were issued south of our area.
We decided Mama would go to the airport alone. Our little ones could not handle the super late bedtime. We were worried about Caleb being really motion sick from trip and then feeling on display with a crowd. The visibility driving to the airport was so low. Thunder and lightning all over. By the time Mama got to the airport we were getting tornado warnings for that area. Yuck!

Thank you to so many of you who prayed. The tornado warning was brief and the boys had only a brief delay. We are so thankful to report Caleb did not get sick!!

Zach is right behind Baba in these pics- sorry buddy! Zach is so kind to take the pic below. We promise he did make it home from China, too!
  The 2 boys seem completely normal like nothing is slowing them down while poor Art was wandering in a jetlag stupor a couple of times today. The dreary drizzle in the sky was not a help. Praying he can bounce back in a couple of days.  
Our first day today was not easy.  It's not easy connecting with a teenage boy. There was no painting toes, matching jammies, brushing hair or playing dollies together. We are in training again! :)
We worked hard today to eat together, play together, fold laundry together and rest together. Mama feels a little late to the party. It's a bit of a challenge to have missed those two initial weeks in China. Mama is playing catch up a little bit. We have had some smiles, giggles and shared experiences today. All great praises for sure!
Caleb seems to be pretty easy going. He is not a picky eater so far. He doesn't seem to be afraid. He is excited about sleeping on the top bunk in the boys room. He has a great connection with Zach and Baba. He is still trying to decide what he thinks about the three littles and Mama.
He just told us that the best thing about today was.....
ice cream!
It's not a bad place to start.

 Lego central.

Caleb wanted you to see him up on his top bunk!!

This quilt is so special to our family. A dear friend has handmade a quilt for each of our adopted kiddos complete with personalized labels. Caleb opened his special present today. He loved it!! Sharon, thank you for loving our family. Thank you for blessing our kids in this very special way. You are amazing and we thank God for you and Dave in our lives.
We are grateful for help with meals, kind emails and all of your prayers this week. There are so many transitions ahead.
With our love and many thanks,
Art, Jen, Allie, Mercy, Caleb, Zach, Jacob, Zoey & Bethany