The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hope Hexu Dinello-- Happy Forever Family Day sweet one!!

We met Hope Hexu Dinello two years ago today. It was a hot,crowded room in Nanjing, China. She was terrified--so were we. But she has woven her tiny self into our hearts--and firmly into our family. Hope is a determined, joyous, smart, agile, incredible little person.

We celebrate this day--we celebrate our love for our little girl--and we are so very grateful that we have the honor of calling her our own!

Here are some pics I took yesterday of Hope--what a beautiful, silly, amazing 4 year old she is!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good times......

This is primarily a picture post of our fun weekend---we did egg hunts, adoption festival, and also got used to ridin' around in the new mean..truck! And some of Sam in Bubbles...


Lovin' the bubbles....

All the kids at the Festival of Many Lands--families of adoptive children..

beautiful dancers..

huntin' the eggs...

Strike a pose Caroline!

Hope, Charlie and the pre-school posse...

Charlie and his good buddy Kyle

Caroline and her former pre-school teacher. (Can you tell the teacher loved her??)

Hannah helping her little bro with his first egg hunt!

On your marks...

Just being adorable....

Seats 12.....

Side view...

The new Bus....

Friday, March 26, 2010


I didn't want to know how many children were waiting every day for parents to love them...

but now I do.

I didn't want to see the faces staring at me from their tiny beds, and sleeping in the rows of cribs at the orphanage....
but I saw.

I didn't want to see my daughter scream with terror when she was handed to me and feel the heartbreak she felt, and see the pain in her nanny's eyes...

but I felt it.

I didn't want to meet my almost 18 month old son, and realize that he couldn't eat, walk, or play.....

But I did.

I didn't want to watch the only person from his orphanage walk away from him with barely a wave...

but I watched.

I didn't want to see pictures of my child, waiting for me, in extreme poverty--looking lost, looking hungry, and looking forgotten...

but I saw.

I didn't want to bring my child home to experience more pain through the surgeries he needed, and to watch him suffer yet again...

but I did.

I didn't want to hear the boy in the hospital room next to Sam screaming in pain all night....

but I heard.

I didn't want to see the 6 year old girl hooked up to a ventilator, with her mother sobbing over her bed...

but I saw.

I didn't want to see the mother from Pakistan wheeling her child with a malignant brain tumor through the halls..

but I saw.

I didn't want to know, I didn't want to see, I didn't want to feel all of these things.
But I have.

And because of all that I have known, seen and felt--I have gotten perspective. A perspective that I would never have known without adopting two special needs children from China. A perspective that is life altering, life affirming, and priority changing.

A perspective that allows me to let the laundry wait for another day because there are butterflies to be watched.

A perspective that doesn't fret over spilled drinks, dirty floors, hand prints on windows, or "experiments" in the sink.

A perspective that helps me to praise God night after night for "just" a runny nose, or bad cough.

A perspective that allows me to enjoy my children like I might never have.

I thank heaven above for letting me live to get this perspective and for bringing these children into my life.

And now--I have got to go--
there is a sidewalk chalk masterpiece waiting to be admired!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Workin' at the Car Wash.....

This past Sunday brought some awesome weather, healthy kids (yay!) and a fun filled family day! The kids started with a lemonade stand, then a car wash, then on to an easter egg hunt in the back yard..topped of by a picnic outside and a driveway sunbathing session! This is one of the joys of having a big family--the kids always have others to play with--and there is lots of fun to be had!
Boy is it GREAT to be back to normal!!!

Wow--she glows!!

Hard at work!

a water fight is brewing.......

well earned rest!shiny as new!

It's a dog's life!

And speaking of cars---I'm gettin' a new one today! (hence the major washing of the old!) This one can fit 12!!! Can you guess what it is????
And Sam is doing so well---the prayers are working!! Keep them coming!!
(he missed the car wash because he was napping!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


We are home.....

Sam is fine and healing nicely. We were sent home on oral antibiotics--but we need to watch Sam closely. There were some Docs who recommended that we stay--but our main Doc said that they would just be watching him on the oral meds to see how he fares--and that we can do that at home.

If there is any additional sign of infection--we will be admitted to the hospital for a week of IV antibiotics--so for now--we wait and pray that he will continue healing and that God will watch over him and protect him from any further infection.

It has been a long four days--we are weary, but grateful. I have so much more to say--but for now--I am going to enjoy my kids, my home, and my husband. We are ready to eat ice cream and watch a movie--and try to feel normal once again!

Thank you for all of the support--it is felt through all the e-mails, facebook messages, phone calls--we are so fortunate to have so many that care so much for our beautiful little boy!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not so lucky

Well-I've got bad news.

Yesterday morning-Sam woke up with a temp. I thought he had a bug. By the end of the day- he was burning up and I noticed the graft site on his foot looked red.

I brought him down to John's Hopkins last night--and his foot continued to swell--the his leg swelled-and he was burning up. They were preparing me that he might need surgery last night to open the graft-clean it out- and then start over.

Thankfully--after they started the antibiotics--the infection stopped spreading. (It had been going up his leg) After a long and scary night--he is now doing well and has been mostly fever free today.

His Plastic surgeon said that he would wait a few days to let the drugs work--and if they do-we are home free. If they don't it means there is an underlying infection and they will need to find it's source. I am praying for the former-and am hoping we will be home by Sunday.

This is just too much for him. He is scared, mad, and confused. Frankly--so am I.

I just don't understand how after all he has been through--this could be happening now-when we were so close to recovery.

I am going to have faith that he will be fine-and no surgery will be needed. I would love some prayers or good thoughts sent our way for healing and strength.

At the moment--this scripture is holding me together--

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength"
Phi. 4:13

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top O' the Afternoon to ya!!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful day!

May the Road Rise to Meet you.... May the wind be always at your back...

May the Sun shine bright upon your face....

May the rains fall soft upon your fields...

and until we meet again......

May God Hold you...

In the Hollow of His hands.....
I hope you have all had a wonderful day! May the Luck o'the Irish be with ya!