Monday, December 22, 2008


We have been talking for awhile about writing a post about some of the more challenging aspects of our adoption journey. While we rejoice in God's goodness in bringing Moriah to us, we have also had some struggles. 

One of the hard things has been Moriah's attachment process to Andy. While we were in China, she didn't have a preference  for one of us over the other. That quickly changed when we got home. Andy returned to work, and Moriah decided she didn't really like all that coming and going. By the time he gets home, they are both tired and it is hard sometimes. I am ready for a break, but Moriah doesn't really want to have anything to do with her Daddy. It is interesting that on the weekends, she does much better. We know that this will improve over time as she learns that Daddy will always come home. Andy enjoys playing rough with the kids. The older ones know that is Daddy's way of playing and they love it. But I don't think Moriah knows what to do with that kind of play yet. He has had to change his approach to find things that she will allow him to do with her. She likes it when he gives her a bath or reads her a book.  Some days are better than others, but we are trusting the Lord to build this relationship over time.

Another challenge has been chasing down medical appointments and information. There are a lot of things going on with Moriah which have required multiple tests and appointments. It is interesting that her biggest medical concern, which involves her spine, was not in any of her paperwork. And her heart problem which was one of the major things in her paper work is a non issue.  We are glad to do whatever Moriah needs, of course, but this process has been tiring. 

And finally, in all honesty, I think we have struggled emotionally more than we expected. Sometimes it is painful to accept that Moriah had a life before we were her family. She will always bear some scars from the hardships of that life. We didn't know how intensely we would wonder about all that happened to her before she came to us.  We take comfort from the knowledge that God knew and that he saw her in her mother's womb and every day after that. He sovereignly cared for her and brought her to us. In this we rejoice! 

To end this slightly depressing post, I will include some funny pictures of the kids. This is what happens when I tried to get a good picture of all four of them.  God has been so good to us. We are so thankful that he chose us to parent this special little girl (and our other three). Each day we see His faithful provision for us. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

These are all the Leongs who have sat in this high chair!

I love to sing!

Moriah loves Grandpa

The days and weeks are slipping by so fast. Fall has definitely transitioned into winter here in the Rockies. We have had a couple of small snows, which the children have thoroughly enjoyed. We have a small (and I mean small) hill in our back yard that has provided hours of fun.  

Moriah is becoming more and more at home with her role as the youngest Leong. She likes all of the attention that the other kids give her. She is starting to say a few more words such as "hi" to everyone in the mall, "all done" accompanied by the sign, "bye-bye" with vigorous waving and several others.  She gives kisses (ok...licks) freely. Especially nice just after she's had a snack. 

She has been struggling to overcome a persistent ear infection. We are on our third antibiotic. Next step may be tubes. She is excelling in her OT and PT. I think the therapists look forward to seeing her cute little face. Her right thumb, which was almost completely turned in and unused, has strengthened a lot. She uses it quite a bit now to turn pages in a book or hold a spoon or cup. Her back has straightened quite a bit, too which has improved her walking. She is not doing her bottom scoot at all anymore. When we first started going to the therapy, she was very timid. Now she walks in like she owns the place. The therapists are excellent, so we are thankful.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Andy's parent's house. It seemed that Moriah knew it was a special day. She ate her turkey and all with gusto! Grandma has a Little People Thanksgiving set complete with pilgrims and Mayflower, so she enjoyed playing with that. 

And now Christmas is just around the corner. Andy and I have had some trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Could it be because we feel like we have already received the greatest gift that we could wish for? The older kids are busy lobbying for their wish lists and working on school.  It is a great blessing to live near family again after living away for twelve years. We have lots of fun things coming up with both of our families.  What a blessing it is to add our fourth stocking to the mantel and have our little Moriah home at last. 

Love Without Boundaries and Swallow's Nest

I have wanted to write about foster care in China ever since we got home. Somehow life with four kids has been busier than I expected. So I am finally getting around to this post!

Moriah was blessed by two separate foster care situations. The first, Love Without Boundaries, is an organization that was started by families who had adopted from China. They wanted to do something to improve the lives of those orphans who were still in China. Over time their work has grown to include nutrition support, homes for children who are not sick enough to be in the hospital, but not well enough to be in the orphanage,foster care, help to pay for surgeries, coats and cribs, etc etc... They do a huge amount of amazing work.   

Moriah was one of five children who came to the Zhengzhou orphanage in the winter or spring of 2007. The orphanage director felt that these five children would do better in foster care than in the orphanage. There was no Love Without Boundaries foster care program in Zhengzhou, so he made arrangements for them to be taken to Keifeng, which is another city about two hours away. There, each of these children grew and thrived. They received loving care from their foster parents. We prayed daily that Moriah would be loved and cared for until we could come for her, and by God's grace she was.  The agreement between the Zhengzhou orphanage and Love Without Boundaries lasted for only one year. The logistics of the arrangement made it complicated. So in June, all five children were brought back to the orphanage. They all got sick within a short period of time. 

That is where her second foster care home came into the picture. Love Without Boundaries made it possible for all five children to enter another foster care program called Swallow's Nest. This was another huge blessing for Moriah and the others. Each of them received tender care which restored their health and prepared them for adoption.  We were able to meet Pam and Clay who run the Swallow's Nest. What a highlight of our trip that was. They have given their lives to investing in "the least of these." And we are so grateful.  

We knew that Moriah had been in foster care, but we didn't know very many details about it until we got home. At that time, Love Without Boundaries sent us the pictures and reports that had been written about Moriah. What a treasure to have these early pictures. One way that Love Without Boundaries raises funds is through a sponsorship program. Our Moriah had two sponsors who helped to pay for her care. It is just amazing to see God's hand of Providence as he cared for our little girl long before we even knew she would be ours. We will never be able to thank her foster parents in Keifeng personally, but I hope by spreading the word about this great organization, more little ones will be able to be helped. You can visit their site at 

The Swallow's Nest is funded by donations as well. Their site is   We will never be able to thank these folks enough for the love they showed to our little girl.  And we continue to pray for them as they help so many little ones in China.