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.