This past week, I've spent some time reflecting on India's story as we approached her 5th birthday today.

(5 months old)

When we began our adoption journey, we set out to adopt 2 little boys. We had a plan. So did God.

The story behind India's name reminds us...

As the story goes, we were presented with the opportunity to adopt little India, only 4 days old at the time. After praying and seeking the Lord, without even a glance at a photo, we decided she was His plan for us and so we dumped our plan and said "Yes, Lord!"

The rest is HIStory....

We were warned that a baby of India's age in her circumstances in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had a risky chance for survival during the duration of our paperwork chase and it's true, we almost lost our girl when she was only 3 months old. We prayed fervently for our hospitalized daughter on the other side of the world. The scars on her body remind us that she was a fighter, even way back then and the Lord saved India. He had/has a plan for her life.

At 5 months old, she was ours! An underweight, precious little bundle without much motion or opinion joined our family in November of 2012. She hadn't yet learned what it felt like to have her needs met on cue by a sensitive mommy, daddy, family.

She didn't have a voice...yet.

(first days home)

Then, as we coddled and tended to India over many months, as I wore her in my carrier, gazed into her eyes, and had the privilege to breastfeed her (because I was still nursing Boden at the time)....our little voiceless found her voice.

She discovered she was heard.

(her usual spot back then, tucked in tight with Mommy)

And, though this brought with it new challenges, it also brought to life the sleeping potential in India.

The girl who learned to know love blossomed.

She learned nurture.

(first surf lesson...16 months old)

(Elka and India have always had a unique bond.)

She received comfort...from many.

Today, India is hardly voiceless. The thought of it makes me giggle even now. India is bright. Very bright. She is full of life and energy and thoughts and words and ideas and questions and innovations and creativity and passion and...

India is overflowing with potential and love and concern for others. Her compassion and nurturance are impossible for her to contain! She loves people so hard that we're still working on the soft side of her gift. But a gift it is indeed. India loves people and will be a wonderful encourager and maternal presence as she grows.

(India almost always has her arm around someone.)

(loooong history of "nurturing" Silas)

(and Beck)

India is strong. Like really strong. Physically, I have never seen anything like the strength that comes naturally to India. Yet, she's a bit of a fragile tulip on the inside, tender hearted and sweet. She's learning how to meld the dichotomy that is her strength and gentleness all wrapped into one and she's getting there...she's learning all the time and making noticeable strides!

India is incredibly smart. She memorized the books of the Bible in one night while the other little ones (all older than her) were striving to learn the same over the course of several go-arounds. She expresses herself with animation that sometimes makes me laugh...

...and sometimes makes me cry. Ha. Yep, it's never dull when this rainbow girl is around!

Ahhhh India...she is a very unique person and really hysterical when you sit and just listen to her talk. She's got a larger-than-life way of telling a story and when she smiles she lights up the universe with her glow!


I can't imagine the canvas of our life without the color that India brings to us all.

She is learning day by day what it means to be a godly young lady and she is just that...a little lady. I've always called her "Lady" because she sort of has always had a woman-like quality to her countenance. She's bursting with all that the Lord has planned for her, radiating it all from the inside out. She's also eager to learn and calm herself and has grown leaps and bounds in her gentle quiet spirit.

Oh, India, today on your 5th birthday, I praise God for the many memories He has given us over these nearly 5 years with you as our little girl. You are so loved and cared for. Jesus is writing a wonderful story through your life and as you keep your eyes on Him and strive to know Him, love Him, and obey His commands...He is going to use you in mighty ways for His kingdom. I just know it!

Happy 5th Birthday, India Soul!! You marvelous, interesting girl...We all love you so much!!

(India self portrait with Mommy & Daddy - 6/19/17)

"She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."
Proverbs 31:17

"But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
1 Peter 3:4



It is our joy and honor to celebrate this wonderful man my children call Daddy this Father's Day.

He is a man after God's own heart. Because he greatly fears the Lord, we are all blessed.

We love you, Daddy/Brodie!!

Happy Father's Day!!

"Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord."
Psalm 128:1-4



Special moments...check!

Enjoying the little things (like picking fresh cilantro)...check!

Dental clearance with no cavities...check!

The airfare is booked. She has her 2 new pretty dresses (one for the airplane flight out and one for the flight home because there is great hope). And, we're doing our best to just focus on today...because that's what we have for certain right now. My mommy heart hurts to know what my little girl is about to go through, but we also rejoice to know that there is healing around the corner for our Bea.

Lord, please be near to us all as we countdown to Bea's surgery...

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10



After waiting all month to see if Brodie's broody hen would actually hatch her chicks...we had the most wonderful surprise today!

Gotta love a good old fashioned homeschool/farmschool experiment.

Now to wait and see if those others hatch too!

To be continued...

"Blessed shall be...the young of your flock."
Deuteronomy 28:4



{one of my favorite things}

"O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch."
Psalm 5:3



{the sound of childhood}

"Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him."
Psalm 149:3



{woke to this}

"Two are better than one...if two lie together, they keep warm."
Ecclesiastes 4:9,11



They're here!

Our sweet Elsie finally had her THREE babies this week.

(first family photo...1 hour old)

They are sooooo precious!!!

The children did a great job assisting with the birth.

It was amazing!!

Elsie went into labor right by the side of the fence so everyone was able to witness the miraculous event.

There's something pretty special about new life.

These little babies are adored...

And cuddled...

And nuzzled...

And well cared for.

They are definitely not lacking attention!

I hope they grow up to be as sweet as their mommy.

She had 2 girls.

(June...born first on the 1st of June with very light blue eyes)

(Fawn...who looks just like a little deer)

And a bouncy big boy.

(Oats...a rough and tumble type, much larger than his sisters)

The plan is to keep them all!


We just love them all so much!

I'm thinking these won't be our last baby goats.

Time will tell...

It seems we have some future breeders on our hands here. The kids have amazed me with their willingness to get right in there and handle the whole operation themselves. I'm so proud of them and I love watching them enjoy their farm animals! It's their thing.

To be continued...

"Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle,
the increase of your herds and the young of your flock."
Deuteronomy 28:4