Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Clematis

On December 7, this pretty flower bloomed on our clematis vine.  Even with temperatures in the 20's, the bloom lasted for several days.  Tough little flower.  Thank you, Jesus, for the touch of spring in the dead of winter.

Sunday Within The Octave Of The Nativity Of Our Lord

While all things were in quiet silence and the night was in the midst of her course, Thine almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down from heaven from Thy royal throne.  The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself.  Glory be to the Father.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Nativity Of Our Lord

"God is charity:  He has loved us with an everlasting love!  'I think God must have said to Himself:  Man does not love Me because he does not see Me; I will show Myself to him and thus make him love Me.  God's love for man was very great, and had been great from all eternity, but this love had not yet become visible . . . Then, it really appeared; the Son of God let Himself be seen as a tiny Babe in a stable, lying on a little straw' (St. Alphonsus).  This is the mystery of the Nativity; this is St. Paul's exultant cry: 'The grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men . . . The goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared.'  These are the blessed tidings "of great joy" brought by the Angel to the shepherds; "This day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!""

From Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends.

Jim, Brycie, Hutson, Clare, and Immaculée

This is a beautiful stained glass window at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Quincy, Illinois

The Great Mystery Is Accomplished

"Of all the works done by God in time and outside of Himself, the redemptive Incarnation of the Word is the greatest.  It is the greatest because it has for end not a mere creature, however sublime, but God Himself, the eternal Word who, in time, assumed a human nature.  It is the greatest because it is the supreme manifestation of the merciful love of God, and the work which above all others glorifies Him; and it glorifies Him precisely in reference to charity which is His very essence.  It is also the greatest of His works because of the immense good it brings to mankind.  The salvation, sanctification, and eternal happiness of the whole human race depend wholly upon the Incarnation of the Word, upon Jesus, the Incarnate Word.  God the Father 'chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted . . . Who hath predestined us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself . . . In whom we have redemption . . . the remission of sins according to the riches of His grace . . . God hath quickened us together in Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus' (Eph 1, 4.5.7 - 2,5.6).  Jesus, the Incarnate Word, is the one source of our salvation and our sanctification.  Without Him, man would not be able to call God by the sweet name of Father; he could not love Him as a son loves his father, nor could he hope to be admitted to His intimacy; there would be no grace, no Beatific Vision.  Without Jesus, man would be imprisioned within the limits of a purely human life, deprived of every supernatural horizon, in time and in eternity."

From Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Too Pretty Not To Post

We tinkered with this picture from our photo shoot just to try a new look.  Well, we liked it and here it is.  Isn't she just beautiful?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December Photo Shoot

We love our photo shoot opportunities, even when it's cold.  Actually, we love them more when it's warm, but we needed to get some shots of our kiddos.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Hutson, Immaculée, and Clare at Will Rogers Park.

Hutson is certainly a handsome young man.

Miss Clare in her new skirt that Aunt Jan made for her.  Doesn't she look cute?

 Immaculée just being cute.  She is so much fun.

Happy sisters.

The kids are still trying to smile, but it's cold outside.

These two girls love life.

Just look at those eyes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We made the trek to the Oklahoma Panhandle to spend Thanksgiving with Brycie's dad and step-mom.  Brycie's cousins and uncle cooked a wonderful turkey dinner.  Enjoy the pictures!

Marina, Drake, Drew, Immaculée, Clare & Hutson

She so cool!!

Drake, Hutson & Drew

Jim and Grandterrie

Sweet Immaculée

Immaculée and Papa

 Brycie and Marina - where'd my little girl go?

 Immaculée loves Marina!

Come on, Drew, wake up!!

Hutson with Papa's extra long Santa hat.  He calls Santa "Christmas Grandpa."

Grandterrie & Uncle Gene

Cousins - Myla & Brycie

Cousin Valerie & Grandterrie

Cousin Megan & Immaculée

"The girls"

"The boys"


Hutson, you've got some growing to do!

Marina and her "little" brother!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home At Last!!

The long saga is finally over.  Our little Immaculée is finally home where she belongs.  As our earlier posts suggested, it was a tough struggle.  Once we knew that Immaculée had a plane ticket from Kinshasa DRC to Minneapolis, we bought plane tickets to Minneapolis so that we could be there when she arrived.  Late on Friday, November 12, we found out that the group would not be permitted to leave Kinshasa.  We were told that it would probably be the next day, so we decided to go to Minneapolis anyway.  When we were in the Denver airport we got more bad news -- first, that the group would still not be allowed out of DRC, and second, that there was a blizzard in Minneapolis and all flights were canceled.  We waited around for several hours and they decided to let one plane fly on in to Minneapolis.  We arrived to find 12 inches of snow.  On Sunday we had to make more decisions.  Jim had to fly back to Oklahoma City and Brycie stayed in Minneapolis.  She was stranded there until Friday, November 19, when she was finally united with our daughter.

This is Patty, the Exeutive Director of our adoption agency, Acres of Hope, with Immaculée in tow.

Brycie, Immaculée and Patty

Mom and daughter.  Welcome to America little one.

Remnants of the 12 inch snowstorm in Minneapolis.

Our little rental car in Minneapolis.

Brycie, waiting it out in Minnesota.

Brycie and Immaculée arriving in Oklahoma City.

Immaculée and her new Bitty Baby doll, which we bought for her over two years ago.

A beautiful little girl.

Immaculée playing with her dolls.

This is too precious.  We have a marble statue of Mother Mary in our home, and Immaculée saw it and went over to it and this is a picture of what she did.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank you, Jesus - Our baby girl is coming home!

The twin's father just posted on Facebook that they made it to Brussels! Whew! Thank you for your prayers! THANK YOU, JESUS!!!! Immaculee is coming home!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Immaculée Update

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, o prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl around the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

We feel that the devil has been working overtime to prevent our daughter and two other little girls from being able to leave DR Congo to come home to their families.

Our daughter and 17-month-old twins are the first adoptions for our agency in DR Congo. The twins' dad left for DRC a week and a half ago. The dad, his daughters, our agency director, and Immaculee were supposed to leave DRC last Friday and arrive in Minneapolis on Saturday. As it turns out, the first lawyer our agency hired to assist with the adoptions was corrupt, and our agency reported him to the authorities. He repaid them by bribing an immigration official in DRC to not let them go - even though they had all the paperwork. Since then, there has been one obstacle after another. Yesterday they missed boarding the plane by 10 minutes. Please pray with us that they will make it out on tonight's flight. I have been waiting in Minneapolis since Saturday. Jim had to go home Sunday. If they do not make it out tonight, I will have to head home without our baby girl, which would break our hearts.

I am now staying with the twins' mother and brother as the family lives in the Twin Cities area.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hutson's Baptism - October 24, 2010

Welcome to the family of God, Hutson Benedict Guosheng!! Your heavenly Father loves you beyond measure. We give thanks to Him every day because He chose US to be YOUR Dad and Mom. We love you, son.

We feel so blessed and honored that Hutson has such devout godparents.  Terry and Lisa will be the perfect mentors for Hutson's faith journey.  We also appreciate Patrick, Terry and Lisa's son, for serving during Hutson's baptism. And thank you, Father Remski!

Beautiful Baptismal Font at St. Damien Catholic Church

"Hutson Benedict Guosheng, Ego te baptizo In nómine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti." 
("Hutson Benedict Guosheng, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.")

"Receive this burning light, and keep the grace of your Baptism throughout a blameless life.  Observe the commandments of God.  Then, when the Lord comes to His heavenly wedding feast, you will be able to meet Him with all the saints in the halls of heaven, and live for ever and ever.  Amen."

Hutson's godparents, Terry and Lisa, Hutson, Father Howard Remski, Patrick, Clare, Brycie & Jim.