Tuesday, February 14

Most Recent Famiy Picture

This is the picture that will go on the last page of Daniel's lifebook (the scrapbook that tells the story of his journey to us):

And this is the letter that will go with that picture:

Dear Daniel,

It did not take a judge or a lawyer or an agency to tell us you were a Soutter. From the moment we first heard about you, we loved you and wanted you for our son. Even though children become part of a family in different ways, the end result is the same: they are a family and that child is loved bunches and bunches! Always remember, families are about how you feel on the inside, not how you look on the outside. Mommy made this book for you so that you would know your adoption story and know that we value every second of your life. Whenever you have questions or just want to talk, please come to us.

We love you so much-
Mom and Dad

Sidenote: Since Daniel has been home 7 months now, I am not updating this blog as often as I once was. I blog almost daily at The Intentional Home. Sure would love for you to visit me there.

Tuesday, October 4

Family Pics. . .

Anna made this for me after our recent day trip to the beach.

And just think we have a session scheduled for an extended family portrait of 13 of us. . .7 kids, 6 adults.

I'll remind everyone of Anna's quote :)

Tuesday, September 13

Got Plans for Dinner this Thursday, 9/15??

Got plans for dinner this Thursday night??

Our friends the Corbetts have just started the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia (using the same agency we did).

And this Thursady, Sept. 15 from 5-8pm, there is a fundraiser at the Fall
s Village Chick-Fil-A (located at 6701 Falls of Neuse Rd).

If you bring in the below flier, a portion of your dinner purchase will go towards their adoption.

You MUST have the above flier in order for the Corbetts to receive the proceeds from your sale. They are not allowed to hand them out that night. The easiest way to print would be to copy and paste into a word document and then print.

You can even use the flier at the drive-thru. But I think you might want to come in because the Corbetts are holding
a raffle and silent auction. See the Corbett's blog to see the items they will be raffling and the items that are included in the silent auction (photo sessions, beach rentals, mt. rentals, jewelry, and more!)

What an easy way to encourage a family. . what an easy way to make a difference. . .what an easy way to care for the orphan. . .

I hope to see you there. Rob has open house that night at his school so it will just be me and the kids. My hope is to be inside hanging out. . letting my younger kids play on the playground. . .us eating some chicken nuggets and fries. . .but depending on how the kids are doing, I may have to swing thru drive-thru.

Saturday, August 6

You Gotta Watch This: Kisses from Katie video

Here's another reminder of what happens when we say yes to God.

Below is another reminder that God does not put an age limit on when He starts using you. . or when you can hear His voice. . .or when He gives you a "call on your life".

Below is another reminder that God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary Kingdom work.

And below is another reminder that my kids belong to God and not me.

You gotta watch this video about Katie Davis:

What a great video to show my kids. . .to show our youth group.

And below is Amazon's description of the book:

What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disobey and disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn’t know any of the language?"

A passion to make a difference.

Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life—at a young age—to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she's centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting 13 children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family.

Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie's children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie's faith and her certainty that what she's doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn't the life she planned, but it is the life she loves.

To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponors worldwide. Each sponsor's $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people—Uganda's poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

Katie Davis, now 22, is more than fascinating, she's inspiring, as she has wholeheartedly answered the call to serve.

Here is a link to Katie's blog.

Here is a link to Katie's ministry.

And here is a link to the book, Kisses from Katie on Amazon. I look forward to reading this book aloud to my kiddos.

Tuesday, June 28

What is going well. . .

Sometimes you just need to go around the table and speak out what it going well.

Galeta has been home for 3 weeks now and all 7 of us are in the midst of major change, transition, adjusting, sacrificing. . .it has not been easy for any of us. Here's 6 of the 7 of us. . I was taking the picture. I love how everyone is connected. . touching. . holding hands.

So this evening we went around that table and each said what we were liking about the summer. We reminded each other that there were some good points to our summer days.

Here are our answers:

David: the pool, especially the fact that we now let him ride his bike up there by himself

Anna: she said David stole her answer. . she too likes the freedom of riding her bike up to the pool

Jonathan: He liked the thunder and rain. . which Rob pointed out was a good thing since he used to be so scared of the thunder. He also said he likes the painting we have been doing.

Brooke: playing with her friends at the pool and the fact that she and Anna get to homeschool Galeta and Jonathan

Galeta had a list of 4 things. We were amazed he understood the question. This is what he said:

"bike, pool, outside, hungry, oranges, bananas, raisins, all done"

It made me cry. He was saying he likes his new bike that is his very own (he no longer had to ride Jonathan's), the pool, going outside, and when he is hungry he got his choice of oranges, bananas, or raisins. All done meant he had nothing more to say and it was my turn.

Su: I hate to admit that it took me longer to come up with an answer than the kids. I was glad I was #6 and had a few minutes to think. I had 3 things on my list:

1. the older kids have really rallied and helped out tons with Galeta and Jonathan. . they take them outside to ride bikes, jump on trampoline, walk the neighbor's dog. Anna and Brooke homeschool Galeta and Jonathan teaching them their letters and sounds. . .even come up with lesson plans the night before. . like they had the boys flip thru magazines and cut out all the "G"s they found.

2. I was thankful for friends dropping off groceries and meals. . .giving me one less thing to think about. . .and a little adult interaction in the day.

3. I was thankful for the summer months where Rob is able to come home 30 min-hour earlier than usual. Making it until 5pm is a lot easier than making it til 6pm.

: I think we never got to him. . . by then I think Galeta was on his 2nd helping of dinner, J had spilled his water, and Anna and David were in need of a ride to youth group. . .and that is exactly why it is good to remember what is going well.

Friday, June 17

a sweet conversation I had in the airport. . .

On our flight home, we had a layover in Washington, home of many Ethiopian immigrants. There is even a section of DC called Little Ethiopia.

As Rob and Galeta were entering the airport bathroom, the worker asked, "Is he Ethiopian?" pointing to Galeta.

I smiled and said, "Yes, are you?"

She said "Yes." And then thanked me for adopting an older boy. She told me he was handsome and that he was lucky.

I stumbled over my words and told her, I thought I was the lucky one. That I could not believe I got to be his mom. And honestly, I was embarrassed by my response. Did she understand what I meant? Did she get my heart?

She continued by telling me that many of her friends killed themselves in Ethiopia because there was no food and killing themselves was better than dying a slow death of starvation. She said that is why so many Ethiopian have come here to DC.

She asked me if my boy's mom and dad were dead.

I said yes. She nodded as if to say, of course they are.

I told her adoption was not the ideal. That I wanted Galeta to be in Ethiopia with his mom and dad. And that sometimes the world was not fair. Again, I wondered did she get me? Not because she did not speak or understand English. . she did and spoke it very well. . .but did she really get that I loved this boy like my own flesh and blood.

She nodded. She said she knew well that life was not fair. She then asked why I would adopt a child that was not related to me. I was a little taken aback by the personal questions and began to think, "Where is Rob? He always knows just what to say, has the right words." I am so not a fast thinker.

But Rob was still in the bathroom with Galeta and so with tears in my eyes, I just told her the truth.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who needed a mom and dad when I could give him that. I told her that Rob and I had a good marriage and promised to be together forever.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who wanted to belong to brothers and sisters. . .who wanted to belong to a family. . . when I could give him that. I told her that I had 4 other children that were so excited for Galeta to come home.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who needed a home when I have been blessed with a house that could easily hold one more.

I promised her that I would always love Galeta and always take care of him.

She asked me if I was a Christian.

I said yes, that is the real reason I can adopt this child. I told her that God gave me this love for this boy. Again. .wondering if I was speaking the right words. . oh, I was so nervous.

She asked what kind of Christian?

I hesitated knowing that this is where our different backgrounds might confuse us. So I simply said, "One that loves Jesus and wants to show His love to others."

She smiled. And at that point I think she got me. We were on the same page. We both knew that injustice is wrong. We both knew that all kids are made in the image of Our Creator. We both knew that we were put on this earth for more than our own pleasure.

I am sharing this story at:

where women are talking about The Practice of Faith.

Thursday, June 9