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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Change of Plans

The last few weeks have been crazy in our household.

Nathan had cleft palate/lip surgery on Aug. 19 and had to spend the night in the hospital.

His surgeon grafted bone from his hip to fill in the hole in his palate. He also had more repair on the cleft in his palate.

Nathan's plastic surgeon said he had one of the largest holes and clefts he has ever seen.

10 days after surgery Nathan developed an infection and some of his bone graft had to be removed. We're not sure yet how much was lost, but he will need more surgery to replace the bone that became infected.

While all this was happening, Sarah started her first year at Cornerstone Christian Academy as a junior. This is the first time she has ever entered a school.

During all of this, the supervisor from our school system called us with a chang of plans. They were now considering sending Luke to Millridge Center The School For The Hearing Impaired. It's only about 30 minutes from our home and is one of the best schools in the country for hearing impaired students.

We're grateful for everything our school district has done for Luke. Being at Millridge has been wonderful for him and is where God has planned for him to be all along. Just think of how far he travelled from China to come to one of the best schools in the country for the hearing impaired. We only live 30 minutes from the school!

Luke really enjoys school and looks forward to going everyday. He has a very small class of 8 students and that includes first grade. Everyone can tell he is very smart and will someday learn to speak. The former speech therapist developed a program called Phonics in Motion which helps kids learn their phonetic sounds by putting a motion with each sound.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nathan's Upcoming Surgery

Nathan will be having surgery on August 19th. This is his second surgery of this year to repair his cleft palate/lip. He has a large hole in his palate, so they will be taking bone from his hip to repair the hole.

He also needs more work done on the cleft in his palate, so they will be repairing this as well.

Please pray for his surgeon as he skillfully reconstructs Nathan's palate and that the surgical site doesn't become infected. Please pray for the recovery as well. He will be on soft foods for six weeks after the surgery. We thank the Lord for His provision, and we're trusting Him with this surgery.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Duryea Family Update

Well life has been very busy with 7 kids. Just to give you a quick update:

Adam, our oldest, is 21 and he is going  to Kent State University. He is majoring in computer science/ game design and commutes everyday while he is earning his way through college by working at McDonald's where he is a crew trainer.

Ethan graduated from Cornerstone Christian Academy. He was the catcher of their baseball team and was awarded MVP this year. He also achieved many scholar awards. This summer, he is currently playing on the Lake County Captains Baseball Academy. He is very excited about attending Houghton College in New York this fall where he made the baseball team. He will be majoring in computer science.

Sarah will be a Junior this year and will be attending Cornerstone Christian Academy this fall for the first time.While she enjoyed being homeschooled, she is also looking forward to start a new chapter in her life. Sarah is involved in American Heritage Girls. American Heritage Girls is a Christian scouting program that builds women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. She is currently working on the highest award in American Heritage Girls which is called The Stars and Stripes Award. It is equivalent to Eagle Scout. Sarah has a huge heart for missions and orphans around the world and plans to go into mission work in the future.

Hannah is 12 years old and continues to be homeschooled. She will be in 7th grade in the fall. She plays the violin and she loves to read and write stories. She is an excellent student and she loves learning new things. She attends Pioneer clubs at our church and she also is in American Heritage Girls.

Rebekah is 9 years old and homeschooled also. She will be in 4th grade this fall. She loves gymnastics and excels in it. She also is a very good student. She attends Pioneer clubs at our church and is in American Heritage Girls as well.

Nathan is 9 years old and homeschooled too. He will be in 3rd grade this fall. He is becoming a very good reader. When Nathan first began kindergarten he could not remember his letters or numbers. We worked very hard on his letters and sounds for 2 years. He has come a long way and we are very proud of him. He loves baseball and attends Brigades at our church.  He is in a new scouting organization called Trail Life USA.

Nathan had plastic surgery on his nose this past March. He was born with a cleft lip/palate, so his nose is very flat.  The doctor removed cartilage from the back of his ear to build up the tip of his nose. It looks beautiful!

Nathan will have another surgery this summer on his palate. The doctor will take bone from his hip and use it to fill in the hole in his palate. He also needs more repair on his cleft palate which will be done at the same time.

God is so good and he provides in miraculous ways!

Luke just turned 6 in June. He had both of his cochlear implant surgeries last year. His hearing is at normal levels. Even though he is not talking yet, he makes lots of sounds. He receives speech therapy from a cochlear implant specialist and can identify all of his 6 ling sounds. He can say 4 of them.

Luke will be attending our local elementary school this fall. They have set up a program for him similar to the special hearing impaired program at a school that is much farther away. The environment at our local elementary school is very warm and our school system has been wonderful and very understanding of Luke's situation.

We thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His care of our family and all of their needs. As this has been a trying year for finances, he is faithful and has proved His faithfulness and goodness countless of times.