For The Least Of These You Did For Me

Welcome to our family's blog. We are the Duryea family and we have seven children. You might be wondering why we chose this name for our blog. Well, to begin with we have three beautiful biological children and three beautiful children from China. I'll share our journeys to China to bring home our beautiful children later. For now, I'd like to share why we chose this name for our blog. The Lord showed me this verse when we were first seeking adoption. The Lord chose to grow our family through adoption. However, the Lord has also opened our eyes to the needs of orphans , especially in China. We consider "...looking after the orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:17, as a way of life for us, a calling.

As I read through the many stories in our adoption agency's storybooks, there are countless stories that begin with "...after many years of experiencing infertility, we started the adoption process and are now a forever family"

If you are one of the countless couples that have experienced infertility, let me share with you the wonderful way of starting a family and at the same time providing a home for a needy orphan. God loves you and cares about you. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. If you are feeling hopeless, let me promise you that the Lord hears your cries. If you haven't ever trusted in Jesus and put your hope in him, do it now. Your life will be better than you could ever imagine. I never planned or dreamed I would go to China (3 times) and have this wonderful family. My plans surely would have never been as wonderful as they are today.

I had endometriosis for many years, yet I was able to conceive and have three beautiful children. After Sarah was born in 1998, I experienced severe problems and had surgery. However, I was unable to conceive, probably due to the scars left by endometriosis. Like many of you I had emotional scars as well. Even though I already had three children , I still felt called to have a larger family. Many months, tears, and prayers later we considered adoption. I heard about the plight of baby girls in China and the one child policy that left them abandoned. As we were praying about this, David's family in St.Louis was having a first time ever family reunion. I knew this wasn't coincidence, because David's cousin, a single mom, adopted two girls from China. One was 5 years old and the other was 9 months. This gave us the opportunity to meet them and talk to his cousin about adoption. When we came home we saw an advertisement for an adoption seminar in our area. We attended and were ready to start the paperwork to begin our adoption for a baby girl from China. Our lives would never be the same again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

1+ Month Home

Sorry it's been so long since I have posted. We have been crazy busy!

So I guess I'll just start where we end last. 

We started school on September 4th.

Adam is a freshmen in college. Ethan is a Junior and going to a Christian school. Sarah is a freshmen and is my oldest I'm homeschooling. Hannah is in 5th, Bekah in 2nd, Nathan is in 1st, and Luke is in pre-school.

So, I have my hands full homeschooling 5 kids.

Luke is adjusting so well to this family.

He loves the beach! It's so nice to live 10 minutes away from Lake Erie.

For Labor Day weekend we decided to go to the fair. Luke sure loved seeing all the animals. The firemen even let him sit in the fire truck while we talked to them about Luke's adoption. It was fun seeing friends there too.

Hannah is learning about Ohio History in school.  Since we live close to the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we decided to take a field trip to visit the Ohio Erie Canal. We often bike ride on the tow path on weekends, however our younger kids haven't had the opportunity to visit the the history of the area.

It has been really cold and rainy here in Northeast Ohio, so the first time it was slightly warm and sunny we decided to take advantage of it and go to the zoo.
It was Luke's first time going to the zoo. He was amazed at seeing all the different animals. He especially loved the elephants. I don't think he has ever seen anything so enormous.

He has had several doctor appointments. When we first got him, we noticed there was a scar behind his right ear. The orphanage said the scar was already there when he came to them. They thought that maybe his parents tried to open up his hearing. We took him to the audiologist and the ENT. We discovered that he has a cochlear implant behind  his right ear. They took an x-ray of the implant to determine which company it came from. They are bringing in a representative from the company with the outside apparatus equipment to test the implant to see if it really works. He also has severe to profound hearing loss in his left ear. We are going to try a hearing aid first. If that doesn't work than we will go with a cochlear implant.

God is in the details of our lives.
A year ago after we accepted our referral of Luke, we went to Steak n Shake one night. At first I didn't even notice, but our wonderful young waitress had cochlear implants. She spoke beautifully. David was the first to notice and said it must be wonderful to have the miracle of hearing everyday. Now, that we have Luke home we had to make a decision about which hospital and team of doctors we should visit for Luke. We have two wonderful top-rated hospitals in our area. We decided on the one our son Nathan has seen for his cleft lip/palate, especially since I love his ENT. He is wonderful with children. Well, when we went to his appointment with the ENT, he started to tell us about a wonderful young lady he treated with cochlear implants and was a waitress at Steak n Shake. We were so excited and he couldn't believe that we had already met her.
God is in the details of our lives.
God has been encouraging us with this adoption every step of the way. I have never met anyone with cochlear implants in my entire life. There have been many moments of God encouraging us by putting someone in our path that was either deaf, had deaf parents, was a sign language teacher or had connections with the hearing and speech center. Also, for the first time, our Christian Home Educators Conference had vendors from Signing Time there. I've been going to the convention for 15 years and have never seen them there. That is not a coincidence. I don't believe in coincidences. When God calls us to do something He is going to equip us, encourage us and walk that road with us.
Praise to Our Awesome God!

He loves our dogs.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From the Heart

I want to share with all of you what God has put on my heart since I became a Christian. When I was in college I learned of the abortion video "The Silent Scream", the truth about abortion, and the lies of the abortion industry (please be courteous, open minded and continue reading.) Once David and I knew the truth, we would stand for life by going on pro-life walks, life chains and standing outside abortion clinics. We experienced their abuse first hand from being cursed at to having things thrown at us.

Have you ever met someone who had an abortion? I have a friend who did when she was very young and I don't think it is something one ever completely gets over,
except by the healing power of Jesus. In her testimony she cried that she killed her baby. Now do you really believe the lies of the enemy, that  having an abortion is a women's right to choose and it won't have any lasting effects on anyone? Anti-life people say "it's not a baby, it's a fetus". Well did you know that the word fetus is Latin for little person? Did you know that a baby's heart begins to beat at 3 weeks old? The Bible calls Satan a murder,a liar and the father of lies, John 8:43-45.If you had an abortion please know that Jesus loves you and forgives you. He does not condemn you and either do we. We live in a fallen world and we all make mistakes, sometimes without even knowing or understanding the truth. But, Jesus gives you real freedom and truth, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free, John 8:31-33.

Anyone can see that our family is very pro-life. God is the Creator of all life and all things under heaven. He has made everything beautiful in it's time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end, Ecclesiastes 3: 10-12. Just look at the world around you. Life is His and His only to give and take away. He is Sovereign and Holy. We cannot create life.  Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with invetro, etc. I think it is wonderful that God has given doctors the ability to help struggling couples conceive, but what I am saying is that He still is the Giver of Life. All life is beautiful, who are we to judge the quality of life? The child with down's syndrome to the child who is deaf is precious to God. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17.

This brings me to the point I want to say. When you vote this November, I would appreciate it if you would remember my adopted children. Their birth mothers had the courage to give them life and not end their lives in an abortion. It took enormous courage and strength to go through giving birth to them and then abandoning them in a place where they could be found. I know their hearts still ache with the pain of having to let go of their precious treasures. Please don't judge them! That is why I say they had the courage and the love to give them life and do what they know is right. So, when you look in the faces of Hannah Min, Rebekah Lu, Nathan Gouchang and Luke Feng Zheng remember that they would not be here if their birth mother chose to abort them.

Remember them when you vote in November. Stand for ALL LIFE, all over the world.

All Christians, no matter what your denomination, need to stand with the Catholic Church in this fight for Life.

Mother Theresa said that "there is never too many children" and "give the children to me, I'll take them". I feel the same way. There are many childless couples who so desperately want children. Give a child life.

A book I would highly recommend is "Message From An Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Love and Loss" by Xinran. I pray after reading this book you will understand.

Another book I would highly recommend is "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: by Eric Metaxas. He had the courage to stand for truth.  Will we do the same today?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Update From Luke

I want to tell you all about how much fun my life here in America is.

I've been home for one week now.

I love my mom, dad, and all my siblings. 

This is the picture of when I saw my room for the first time. It's blurring because my family couldn't get a good picture of me. I couldn't stay still because I was so excited. 

I love playing dress up!

Ice cream and Popsicle's are my favorite! 

Baseball is fun! 

I love taking baths! In this picture I don't look too happy, but every time I look at this picture now, I laugh. 

We took a quick trip to grandma's and grandpa's house. I tried some spaghetti and a cupcake. They were both really good!

The other morning, I got my first ride on the lawn mower. It was so much fun! My brother even let me drive it.

The swings and sandbox are so much fun.

 Best of all, I even had my first squirt gun water fight with my brother and sisters.   

That's all I have for now! Thank you all so much for praying for me. I love my new life with my family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Weeks Since Luke's Gotcha Day

Luke has had a lot of firsts, since his Gotcha Day.

His first time meeting us.

His first McDonald's Meal!
He loved it from the first bite.

First time being in an airport,

and first time flying on a plane, from Zhengzhou to Guangzhou.
He could not wait to get on the plane.

First doctor's appointment with us.
There will be lots more to come in America.

First time going to church.
What a blessing, it was in China.

First time being part of a family.
...and it will continue

 More to come later on.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Welcome Home Luke

Luke is home. Hooray! Welcome to America buddy!

They arrived home at 10:15pm last nigh.! It was really suppose to be at 5:20pm but their plane from Chicago to Cleveland got delayed.

Once they arrived at the airport, Luke was pretty happy and loud. Then once we got into the car to drive home he was pretty quiet, but the minute we got into the door he was running around, laughing his head off. I still wonder what is going through his head right now. 

He is doing great! He laughs and signs, and makes lots of noise. He even tries to talk and can read  lips very well. He signed and even said the word "apple"! 

He loves to run around, play dress up, and wrestle. We even played baseball with him and he did pretty well for it being his first time.

He loves animals, but is not too sure about the dogs. I remember when Nathan came home, he would scream at the dog and rabbits.  Luke just gets a little frighten and hops into whoever is standing closest to him whenever he sees one of the dogs.  

I can really see the hand of God through this all! Even though it has been a long hard journey, God has always been with us every step of the way.

Thank you all so much for praying. We really appreciate everything you all have done for us.


Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Couldn't Figure Out A Title For This Post

Another update: 

When we got to Guangzhou we settled into our room and the next day was Sunday.  We were able to go to church (a real church) in our area. We got there 30 mins early as the church was packed and the message did not hold back.  300 Chinese and 2 Caucasians all worshiping God.  Awesome!  I never thought that we would be able to pray and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ in China! What a great experience.  Thanks all for praying it is really helping. 

The next day we went to get a quick medical check up for the Visas. The doctor thought Luke might be able to hear something. Praise God. We will continue to pray for the ability for Luke to hear.

For dinner we stopped at Lucy's, a Chinese / American restaurant. Look, Luke can use chop sticks to eat! 

Please pray for my parents. They are leaving tonight, which is tomorrow morning for them, but there is a typhoon coming their way. Pray that their flight is not delayed or cancelled. Thanks! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some McDonald's and Off To Guangzhou

Here is another update from my parents:

We got back from the orphanage and thought we would take a walk to the local area.  We stopped at a local park and then had Luke's first McDonald's meal.  Looks like Luke will enjoy the American (fast) food.

 This next part is a couple days later.

 After lunch, it was off to the airport to fly to Guangzhou.  The last step of the journey.  There we will get Luke's visa and final Immigration papers from the US embassy. Our guide Cindy was such a great help in Zhengzhou. She said that we being Christians are so nice to adopt Chinese children.  She could see the love of Christ through us and we will be praying for her.  Thanks Cindy for making the adoption so easy.  It made the transition for Luke much better than expected. God bless!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Luke's Orphanage

Here is an update from my parents: 

 Hi all. We were invited to visit Luke's orphanage and had a special VIP welcome.  They had some reporters there to film us as we met the director and other managers of the facility. They used this adoption and visit to help the orphanage get higher certification with the China social system.  It was such a blessing to see Luke's family and where he lived for the last two years.

The orphanage got a lot of help from an organization called International China Concern (ICC) that helped with getting the orphanage equipment and organized.  The leader for the organization for ICC gave us such good information about Luke's personality and interaction with the other children. We were so blessed to know that Luke has been taken such great care.

Luke is the one in the blue shirt.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Update On Luke

Mom and Dad say that Luke is doing very well! They are having so much fun with him. He is a happy little boy, who is very smart. He knows a lot of signs and communicates very well. He even tries to talk.
We have skyped with them a couple times, and each time Luke seems very happy. Last night when we skyped with them, he was playing Fruit Ninja on my dad's phone. Each time he finished a round he would hold up the phone to the camera and show us his score. We did the sign for " I love you" and he signed it back! We cannot wait to get him here in America. 

I'll be posting more later. Please keep on praying for all of us.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Gotcha Luke!

Hooray!!!! Mom and Dad have Luke!

This is from my parents!

Hi all.  We got Luke Fengzheng Duryea at 10:30 am Monday morning.  He was very tired from the 3 hour trip from the orphanage to the Provence capital city of Zhengzhou where we are staying.  He had a hard time at first but warmed up fast.  He already had his first taste of McDonald's French fries and was out for the rest of the afternoon.  He is very smart and knows a lot of sign language.  He laughs and even tries to talk.  What a blessing.  He is very strong willed but that is expected from a boy like this that has survived.  Tuesday we travel to his orphanage in the county seat to get his passport.  Continue to pray for our bonding and because he seems a bit scared.  Have the peace of God on him and know that everything is OK.
Dave and Laura

Gotcha Luke! Gotcha FOREVER!!!!!

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Off To Beijing

They are now on their way to Beijing! Hooray! Thanks so much for your prayers!

They left this morning from Newark at 7:22am and will arrive in Beijing at 8:08am China time. So really they will arrive 8:08 tonight for us.

Once they get to China, the next couple days they will do some sightseeing. On Sunday, mom and dad fly in to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, which is where Luke is from. On Monday morning at 9:30am their time, they will meet Luke. This is what we call "Gotcha Day"!!!!!! They will then spend the next couple of days doing paperwork, sightseeing, but most importantly bonding with Luke. Then they head on over to Guangzhou, and spend those days working on getting Luke's Visa, sightseeing, shopping, etc. After that, they will FINALLY fly home.

Please pray for safe travel for my parents, to China and from China. Pray for Luke, that the Lord will prepare his heart for all this. Pray that everything runs smoothly in China for my parents. And pray for safety for us here at home. Thanks again!

~ Sarah

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And They're Off


Mom and Dad left the house at 5:29am this morning for the airport! Then they boarded their flight from Cleveland to Newark.

They arrived at Newark around 9:15am and were getting ready to board their plane to Beijing, which was scheduled to leave at 11:55 am. Well, some of the toilets on their plane got clogged and flooded some of the luggage. Thankfully, their luggage was not on yet. So it has been delayed because they are cleaning the plane, which is taking awhile.

They are not expected to leave until 7:00am tomorrow morning. The airport is trying to get a new plane for them, but it may take awhile.

Please please keep my family in your prayers right now. The devil is at work right now and who knows what else he is planning on doing next. This has not been an easy process, but we know that the Lord is going to be with us every step of the way!

(writing for Laura)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy "Gotcha" Day, Nathan

Five years ago we were given our adorable little boy, Nathan Gouchang in Luoyang, Henan Province, China.  

You were surrounded by your brothers and sister, Adam, Ethan and Sarah. We will never forget that special night in China when you became a part of our family.

Nathan, you have blessed our lives enumerable ways. You always make us laugh with the funny things you say and do. You brighten our day with your many hugs and kisses. Nathan, we love you! 



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We're Going To China

In 8 days!

That's right.

On July 18th, 2012 we got a call from our adoption agency.
They said that we got our travel approval (TA) and they wanted us to leave on August 1st. That's in 2 weeks  from the day we received the call!

A week before we received the call, the agency said that we didn't have TA and we probably wouldn't be leaving until the end of August. Once you receive TA you usually travel within 4-6 weeks after that. But the adoption agency asked the US Embassy if we could be included with the group that is leaving on August 1 and they gave their approval. This is highly unusual!

Isn't that crazy?

Only God can orchestrate that!
So now we only have 8 days till we leave. And I have a lot of things I need to do before then.
Please pray for safe travel and safety for our children while we are away.
Pray that the transition for Luke will go smoothly and that he will understand that we are his Mother and Father.
Pray for our bonding with Luke while we are in China and that he bonds quickly to us.
Most importantly, pray for his young soul, and that he will one day understand that Jesus love him and is his Savior.

We give all our thanks and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and for all He has done and all He is going to do.

Also, we got some new pictures of Luke. We haven't got any pictures of him for awhile, so he looks a lot bigger now that he is 4.