Thursday, May 21, 2015


Sometimes plans change.
Sometimes staying home is better than one more trip on top of too many other trips. 
Sometimes God provides an opportunity for rest instead of running. 
I took the sometime and ran with it. I'm home. The Lord provided coverage for the convention so I didn't have to go.  Ben and two others are carrying the load.  Rob and I and the littles get to stay home and enjoy home.  I'm not complaining. 
Will you pray? Pray for this sweet boy? 
I have so much to share about a trip I took when I was in country.  I wanted to take my time and tell you the story of that trip and the boys I met.  But this little guy doesn't have the luxury of time.  His Reece's Rainbow name is Ben and he is desperate for a family.  He needs one NOW.  He is tiny. The tiniest six year old I have ever held in my arms.  They are trying their best to keep him alive. He has special caregivers and a special room and they are trying so hard to feed him so that he can retain  food, but they aren't equipped to meet his needs, and he isn't doing well.   
Please pray for tiny Ben.

He needs a family.  He desperately needs medical care. 
He is available for adoption. 
Sometimes stories have to wait and sometimes instead you just have to yell.  This is that sometime. 
Mama and Papa - where are you??  Please come rescue your son! He needs you!!  He is oh so precious.  Holding your son in my arms was an unbelievable privilege. So teeny and so so sweet.  He's so ready to soak up all the love you have to give to him!  Hurry! Hurry. He doesn't have time to wait.  He needs you now.
I have so much more to share about Ben's world. For now I ask you to please pray for him. Pray a family will bravely step up and answer the call to bring him home.  Pray and consider and donate.  He has a $1,000 matching grant so every donation to his grant account will be doubled!! 

Thank you.
Thank you!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Home... Until Tomorrow

Since February I've flown to Texas and driven to South Carolina and Tennessee.  I've crossed the ocean three separate times on 13 different airplanes. I've spent 4 nights on a train and took 4 other train trips besides. I've ridden subways, buses and been driven around a foreign city and country by countless drivers.  In the in-between at home times I taught my classes, spent countless hours dealing with our business, made dinner for whomever happened to be in the house and was a mom and wife to my family.
So when I say I am grateful to be home I mean it.

Home with all four of my sons under the same roof.  Home with my husband and our sweet dog and our little house in the woods.
Until tomorrow.  When I am off again to North Carolina to another convention.  Ugh!
Oh well... Winston Salem is only 4 hours away. 
When we  traveled on our first trip we carried with us a suitcase full of 30 beautifully handmade scarves that we gave to the director at John's institute for the children there. The scarves were made by a sweet lady who has supported so many of our endeavors on this blog. When she gave me the scarves I had NO IDEA that she was also adopting a boy from the same country as our son.  In fact our adoptions were tracking a week apart - they were submitted a week after us.  I was shocked and very very humbled by their desire to send scarves to orphans (paying for material and postage) when they were in process and trying to raise funds for their own adoption. I was also shocked that she was donating and helping with OUR adoption and yet not saying a word about her own.
And you want to know the really amazing part of this story?  I wasn't the only person who received scarves to give out to orphans this past year. 15 other families were contacted and 15 other families carried over 700 scarves for orphans.  All handmade.  All donated for orphans.  All made by one person.
One person who was in process to adopt and trying to raise funds for their own adoption.  Now that is just downright precious!
 I was hoping and praying that we would run into each other across the ocean, but even though they were submitted a week behind us, our paths never crossed.
Here's the thing.  They have court next week and are $4,500 short. They are adopting an OLDER boy who is close to aging out.  They hosted him last year and fell in love. He has said YES and all they are waiting on is court! Would you consider supporting this family who has supported us and who has a real heart for orphans??  Their need is urgent.  Please!
The link to support them is HERE.  Every single donation counts.  Large or small.  Please??
Also - If you missed my blog post last week about the up and coming BUNDLE SALE then go read about it OR CLICK HERE and sign up to get on the e-mail list!  This is a YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS BUNDLE SALE.... SALE!!  Signing up is EASY and it starts soon and if you don't sign up you are going to miss the announcements AND the bonus stuff they are going to do during the week of the sale. 
You seriously don't want to miss this sale!
And now I am off to enjoy another day at home... until tomorrow.
P.S.  If you are in Winston Salem at the NCHE Convention this weekend, PLEASE stop by my booth.  It always makes my day! And there may be a chance that a little guy .... or two.... from across the ocean will be with me.  Maybe. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Newest Dog Lover

Considering he was rather terrified of the dog even that morning... this was a bit of a breakthrough!

Seriously, how could he not love our Summer-dog.
She is the gentlest soul alive.
I promise I did NOT match shirts. 
Okay, I matched John and Aaron but not Ben and Elijah!
Isn't that the sweetest picture in the entire world???
It made me smile!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Breathing Again

Yesterday afternoon our little son took his first steps in America. 
Yesterday we took our first real breath in a very long time.
It feels good to breathe.
Now it is time to do the hardest part of any adoption; helping a child who has suffered great loss and hardship in his life find security and love inside a family who is committed to loving him forever.
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." 
Robert Munsch

Please be patient with us as we discover our new normal as a family of six.

Friday, May 15, 2015

We Interrupt this Broadcast...

We are on our way home today, so I figure you won't mind if I take a moment to let all of my homeschool families and teachers know about a really cool sale that's coming up soon.
Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale Graphic
It's a bundle sale!
The people at Build Your Bundle have assembled a massive amount of curriculum, combining products in groups according to theme.  Some of these bundles are worth HUNDREDS of dollars apiece. For one week only, though, these bundles will be available at huge discounts.
Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale Graphic
A click on THIS LINK puts you on the e-mail list to receive notice when the sale starts. It also puts you in the running for a cool giveaway, including chances to win free bundles.  Click to find out all about it.  It's easy.  You just provide your e-mail, and you are automatically entered and will be notified as soon as the giveaway begins.
HINT HINT: Some of BiblioPlan's material are part of the Bundle sale!!
I'm not allowed to share what is IN the bundles right now, but I can tell you there are 80+ publishers participating.

  • Preschool-Kindergarten
  • 1st-3rd grade (2 bundles!)
  • 4th-6th grade (2 bundles!)
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Notebooking
  • Copywork
  • Unit Studies
  • Just for Boys
  • Just for Girls
  • Character Bundle
  • Just for Moms (2 bundles!)
  • Fine Arts
  • Special Needs Bundle
  • Non-Faith Based/Secular Bundle

That is truly something for everyone!

CLICK THIS LINK so you'll know when the sale starts!

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale Graphic
I know I don't usually advertise on this blog, but I've seen the contents of these bundles and I am fairly certain that many of my friends who are homeschooling on a budget will appreciate knowing about this sale. 
And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging!!
Still grinning from ear to ear!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grinning From Ear to Ear

We are coming home!!
John's passport arrived early this morning and we had our last embassy appointment this morning.
We had to swing by the medical center first and wait for quite a few minutes to pick up forms and his X-rays.  Sitting in the car was a drag so we found a park bench where we could hang out for a while.

We then traveled across town and spent several hours in a jam-packed U.S. embassy waiting room while they gathered our final documents and printed out his visa.  We were grinning from ear to ear as we carried his brown packet of papers out the embassy door.  In typical Nalle fashion, about 10 minutes later I walked back into the embassy with that same packet of paper after we realized that they were referring to John as a SHE.  It was several hours later before we could triumphantly say we were finished and can now freely fly home!
Tonight we will do what we did last night.  Roam the streets.  We have had a hard time turning down those who are in need here knowing that the war has made it hard for so many people.  I put what amounted to a few dollars in this lady's cup and she cried. 
It was John's turn to drop a few dollars in this man's bag. 

 We met up with another adopting family and enjoyed eating ice cream with them.  Kimmy was kind enough to take just about the only picture of all four of us together. 

I returned the favor.

Oops.  Photo bomb!

Four beautiful children!!
We fly out early tomorrow morning.
We are grinning from ear to ear!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hurry, Hurry

French fries and ketchup. 
Love at first sight!
Hurry up and wait is a given in any adoption process.
Right now we are again in the wait part.
Waiting for John's passport.
Waiting and hoping and praying that it arrives before the week closes so that we can go home this weekend.
John had his medical and first embassy appointment today.  Typical Nalle fashion... what usually takes a few hours took quite a few more.  Oh My!!  That leaves one more embassy appointment but we cannot have that appointment without a passport. 
 So we wait. 
And we pray that it comes because we really long to be home. 
We are spending our days walking the streets of the city in order to keep two little boys worn out, occupied and out of trouble.
Sometimes it works.

 Hurry passport, hurry.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Our driver picked us up from our apartment at around 10:00 on Friday morning. After one last bit of paperwork in region, we sprang John from his orphanage at around noon.

The differences between John's gotcha day and Aaron's are stark.

Our strongest memories of Aaron's gotcha day feature a shouting director and irate caretakers. We were not allowed to dress Aaron for the trip out, nor even to see his room. Instead, we just handed over the clothes we'd bought him. The only stitch of government-bought clothing he took with him was a tattered hat, his one keepsake from a full year spent in that dreary place. There were no hugs, no sweet goodbyes, and only a trace of tears.

John's gotcha day couldn't have been more different. Instead of a shouting director, we had a smiling one with nothing but kind words for us. Even without a translator to help us, we knew for sure that she wished us well.

The administrator handed us a file stuffed with photocopied pictures of John-- not just a few recent photos, but rather a collection amassed over years. Then, without seeming to ask for permission, John led us on a guided tour of every room in the building, posing for goodbye photos with every groupa and class.

One caretaker made a special trip to unlock the rooms where John had lived when he was younger, just so that he could have pictures of them.

He even interrupted his former class in progress so that we could take pictures of him sitting at his desk.

Staffers on every level, from cooks and caretakers to teachers and administrators, came up to hug him goodbye and whisper affection in his ears.

They showered him with so many keepsakes that we wonder how we will carry them all home.

 We also bade goodbye to the precious ones we are leaving behind, our Fabulous Five.

Wetherby and Rebecca.

Toby and Charlie.

Last of all Reilly, God bless her sweet soul.

After one last photo with John's groupa, we walked out of that room for that last time with fond cries of "paka" in our ears.


It was an emotional day that we will never forget. 

 Hours later, we boarded an overnight train to the capital.

We've spent the couple of days since then getting to know our newest son. If we had to describe him in two words, then we'd choose "sweet" and "curious." In a phrase, we might say "a ten-year-old toddler on steroids." The next few months are going to be an intense period of adjustment, both for him and for us, as we help him explore his new world safely.