Thursday, August 6, 2009

have a great day

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

been a long time...

my first post back is to Daniel.
Happy Birthday Daniel. Your birthday was a couple weeks ago and you turned FIVE! I wished you a huge happy day on Facebook.. and wrote in my special journal.. but have been absent from here...
This is my thoughts when we wished you a beautiful day.....June 29th: Daniel, you are so precious and sweet. You have a tender heart that God has slowly healed and it has been a testimony to many lives how present He is. You love Jesus and are constantly seeking Him. It amazes us that you go go go go go ... and eat eat eat eat... then go go go go go ... but you love love love love deeply. And I am grateful.
Daniel, you have pierced my soul. You have reached down and broken the barriers that we both built and have wrapped your heart around mine. I love being your mommy. I love waking up and knowing that within moments, you will stumble in and stretch then smile .. then hug me. i love your silly grin - especially when you are up to something. i love the way you snuggle up when we are reading books. i love the way you pray to Jesus. I love the way you protect your sisters. I love the way you teach your brother how to build with toys. I love your smelly feet. Daniel my list of "i love.." can go on for days.. Son, I love you so much,my heart burst with love for you. I am beyond grateful God decided to allow you to be our son and I am so humbled He said yes,,, they would make a perfect match- make him a shelton! :O)
happy happy happy happy 5th birthday dear sweet son.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

please spread the word

I would like to ask for prayer, for you to spread the word, for donations, for a miracle.
I met Dawn while in China. She works at Shephards Field. She works with Orphans. She gave up her job, her life in the US and moved to China. This is her story. This will be her FIRST CHILD. She needs help. Please post this on your blogs. Please put the word out there. Help bring another child home. thank you all.

Dear Friends and Family,What an exciting time this is. In November 2004, I started my adoption journey. I had no idea it would take me this long. G*d knew though. He has spent every day of the last 4 ½ years preparing me to be the mother I needed to be for the child He had chosen for me. My papers arrived in China on Christmas 2006. What a gift that was. I remember thinking a few months before my papers were done that maybe my papers took so long to do because she wasn’t born yet. I now can say, yes, one purpose for my papers taking so long was that. My daughter, Wei Mingcong, was born on October 22, 2006. She lives 1 ½ hours from me but I won’t get her for a few months. Now comes the time to finish raising the funds for her adoption. If I was living in the states, I would be selling my glassware, doing garage sales, selling candy bars, doing whatever it would take to raise the $11,500 still needed to get her home. However, G*d had a different plan. He has me, in Ch*na, and my wait time is short before my daughter is in my loving arms. My agency expects that I could be traveling to get her by the end of the summer. Praise G*d! My time to be a mother has come!Since my time is short, I am coming to you and asking you to help bring my little one home. I know the challenges many of you are facing on a daily basis because of the US economy. Fortunately, I am trusting in HIS economy. Things don’t always add up the way we would like it to, but fortunately, when we trust in the L*rd with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding, HE provides what we need. This past year living in Ch*na on a salary that was less than 1/8 of what I was used to making has proved that HE does provide when we trust in Him. I work for an organization that daily trusts in HIM to provide and they have seen HIS miracles related to financial needs occur time after time. One of the things I have had to learn to do this year was humble myself and ask for help. That is why I am coming to you. My Adoption Association, America World, has a program called the "Eternal Family" program to help bring my daughter home. The Eternal Family program allows friends and family to participate in charitable giving towards the adoption of my child. Of course, I present this to you as an opportunity and not an obligation. Checks are made out to America World Adoption and sent directly to the office at: 6723 Whittier Ave., Suite 202, McLean, VA 22101. On the memo line, please indicate “Eternal Family.” I’ve included a separate sheet that should be completed and included with the check when it is sent to America World. You will receive a receipt from America World for tax purposes at the end of this fiscal year. Time truly is short and I will need to receive any donations by July 1st. My adoption journey has been one of faith. I have been blessed by the changes in my life that have come from it. I humbly ask you to join hearts and hands with me in this journey and pray for this little one as we become a family. Every little bit counts and I thank you for considering this. Love and blessings,Dawn
Eternal Family Adoption Assistance Program Name of Adopting Family you are requesting to support: _________Dawn Rittenhouse_____________ Please record your name, or organization’s name, full address, phone number, and the amount of your contribution in the box below. Be sure to include this form with your check. Checks can be made payable to America World Adoption. America World is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; therefore, all donations are considered tax-deductible contributions in the year they are given. The funds donated are not refundable to the donor or to the family. The maximum amount of donation money for a family’s adoption expense is determined by household income (with a cap of $10,000). Any amount above this will be used to fund other families or America World projects. In order to fully comply with the law, America World retains discretion and control over the use of all donated funds. Contributions become part of a fund used to assist families with their adoption expenses. While we cannot guarantee that all funds donated by you will be made available to your designated family, America World does work to honor the wishes of donors. Name: _________________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________City, State, and Zip Code: __________________________________________________ Phone Number: __________________________________________________________ Please indicate the Amount of Contribution: $20 $50 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $750 $1000 $2000 $3000 $5000 $__________ Other ___Please check here if you do not wish to receive future information on how you can partner with us in the mission of serving the world’s orphans.AWAA • 6723 Whittier Avenue • Suite 202 • McLean • VA • 22101 • 800-429-3369 • Fax 703-356-8973

Monday, May 4, 2009

wanna win a makeover? blog that is..

You will L.O.V.E this blog, BELOVED.. go and leave a comment to be entered for a photo blog makeover!
Good luck and happy bloggin

Thursday, April 30, 2009

our precious sarah

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Thankful Thursday

I am thankful today for many things:
My Lord. My Jesus. My Savior.
My daughter's skilled surgeon.
our daughter waking us at 3 am b/c she was bleeding
our daughter following the Holy Spirit and coming to us at 3 am
God working through Dr R hands and getting the bleeding to stop...after me waking him at 330am. God bless that man!
those who pray for my family.
those who volunteer to take the rest of the crew so we can be by sarah's side- and not have to worry
kimberly and glenn for taking our 3 other children at 4 am and still have them so bob and i could take a nap at 3pm
other friends for offering the same service without batting an eye
sarah for being so brave today...especially seeing all the stuff that came out of her throat coated in blood- how scary for an 8 yr old
also, having an IV inserted without pain meds, numbing agent and not crying, complaining or whining while her momma asked if that was a little barbaric.
praying friends and family
I am most thankful that our daughter is alive, beside me and doing well. And that our Jesus made His presence well known.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I am pretty sure most kids love to get dizzy. And I am pretty sure that some adults are glad we don't do this as adults! but to a sensory kid.. it is .. it is.. magical. It feels good. and from what I read and from what the OT says.. it is GOOD for my girl.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

prayer warriors

Please keep my friends daughter in your prayers. She had surgery today. It was a very complex surgery. The little girl is 5 and newly adopted from China. We are praising God for the wonderful staff and doctors that are handling her case.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

making the tax adoption credit permanent

Please post this everywhere and pass the info.. the adoption credit could go away.. due to expire in 2010.

Even if you are not interested in adoption or your family is complete... this is one way you can help other families ease the financial part of the process.

Monday, April 20, 2009

last week photos

some of my favorite from last week.
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sick days

what the family looks like when we are sick...
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...then he signed it.
Daniel is 4 1/2 yrs old.
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Daniels letter to God

Daniel wanted to write a letter to God. He asked me to help him by writing down what he said..
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knee surgery

did I mention that I had knee surgery last week? On Thursday I went in for a scope. I had an old injury (Mencius tear) that started really bothering me again. It has come and go over the years.. so I thought this may be the perfect time to get a quick fix. Hasn't America become the billboard for quick fixes! The doctor, here on post at Ft Leavenworth does many surgeries per week.. a couple times per week.. He "fixes" a lot of the men and women that come home from war and need ortho care. So Bob and prayed about this doctor and whether or not to have this procedure. We both felt peace and went forward with it. Fortunately, Bob's folks could come out to help where needed - aka: cooking, caring for 4 and then caring for the grownups (me and bob). My MIL had spring break and it was the middle of the month for my FIL (you know accountants can't be gone at end of month!!). Perfect timing. We are moving the first week in June (plenty of time for recovery) again, perfect timing.
My scope went great. In and out, with no problems. On vicadin (sp?)for 24 hours then stopped meds during the day. no problem. walking on leg/knee with no crutches on Saturday. no problem. completely last dose of any meds, Saturday night. awesome.
Suergury//scope went great. thanks to all of you praying (from getting info off faceb*ok)
I am downloading 943 photos from our camera.. so I am sure I will have lots to blog about soon.

Pray for Sarah who will be getting her tonsils out on Thursday.
Pray for our new home in IL, that all the inspections go smoothly/pass and closing goes smoothly.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Fu Huo Jie!!! (He is risen!!)

May your day be filled with love and blessings. He died for me. He died for you. and HE has risen! Indeed He has!

If you don't know the love of Christ, pls go to the READY button link. HE loves you and desires a relationship with you.

(we have been house hunting and are now on a mini vacation- will return to bloggin soon - oh wait.. i am having knee surgery next Thursday and Sarah is having tonsils out the following week and we move a month later... hhmmm maybe bloggin will be sporadic for a while... )

Saturday, March 28, 2009

grateful, thankful and humbled

do you ever wonder why ... sometimes I do.. sometimes I don't.. I am not going to tell you I don't think about why Drew was born with bi-lateral club feet.. and how humbled I feel to be his mom. I often wonder why God would trust us again with a child that is so amazing.. I wonder if I will mess him up ! :O) I wonder why we were chosen to be a family. I wonder why God blesses my family time and time again ... then I feel very grateful, very thankful and I am brought to my knees in awe of the one who knit us in our mothers womb.. who knew us first.

I received a CD of photos of Drew. The first one is dated a few days before Christmas in 2006. We brought Drew home a few days before Christmas in 2008. I am posting him at 3 months old and his club feet. They are precious. They are broken. They are what brought him to us.

Then i am posting a 'today' photo. showing his feet again. The perfect, straight, smelly feet of our son.

God is ... He is .. I am without words to describe the swell in my heart for my son and the God I love. I am without words b/c none can explain the way I feel for the opportunities now available to Drew. I am without words to thank our maker, our healer, our gracious Lord.

I am amazed and full of joy for God giving doctors the expertise in manipulating a limb.. I am grateful to God for it working on Andrew. I am grateful for this little child.

Monday, March 16, 2009

who eats an apple while they are on the eliptacal for 20 minutes? why, my daughter does!
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daniel playing ball with daddy.. he has a really good arm!
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hhmmm is she missing the ball b/c her eyes are CLOSED! hahahah
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

look ma.. no cast! Out kicking/geocaching with the family.
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out with the family and tabitha geo-caching with a little hiking
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give me some love :O)
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Drew using Tabitha as a road.. he loves his cars!
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Our visit with Tabitha

Tabitha and Drew loving on each other!
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Friday, March 13, 2009

sweet little feet

Today, Drew had his last casting removed.

It was painful, as a mother, to watch him so scared.. at times mad but mostly sad and scared. He had this pitiful look on his face that was begging me to save him. I wonder if that is what we look like to our Lord? Do we look that pitiful as we ask Him to save us? Is he sad while we are going through the process and then rejoice when we accept him? Today, it was sad, yet when that last particle of casting came off - i cried for joy. I cried for Drew. I cried at all the possibilities that are afforded to him now. I cried knowing that soon.. very soon he will be running. R.U.N.N.I.N.G!!!!!

Tonight Drew was able to soak in a bubble bath. Not a sink, but a TUB. He played and laughed and squealed with delight. I asked him to kick his feet and he looked down then up at me and smiled his killer smile - then kicked and splashed and for a moment- I am not sure who's smile was bigger!

As of tonight, he will not stand on his feet. i am assuming that they are sensitive and tingly. Plus, he has NO muscle tone on those little chicken legs! He loved having us put lotion on today. And didn't' cry or make a fuss when we put the braces on. He is such a little trooper!

Keep him in your prayers as he adjusts to the braces and not being in casts!

Thank you Lord for working out the cost of the braces, the insurance and the kind lady that agreed to cut off his cast.. for FREE. we are blessed.

PS.. Tabitha is staying with us for a couple days :O) and that is her in the first photo with Drew in our home. Then the bath photos. I will post the "feet" tomorrow. I have to pull them of Tabithas camera

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

happy anniversary honey

last night (march 9th) we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary!! So this post is to my beloved Bob.

Bob, I am so blessed that you chose me for your bride, partner, mom to your children, best friend, confidant, and more..

We are so blessed that we both fell in love with Jesus AFTER we were married and in our late 20s! I am thankful for the leader that you are. You keep our family grounded. You strive to do better so you can provide for us. You amaze me at the growth in your walk with our Lord.

I continue to fall in love with you as I see you with our children. You are an awesome father. You have fun with the kiddos, you lead them and you love them deeply.

You take me for who I am. skinny, fat, or inbetween. Long hair, or short hair.. brown hair or with a little highlight.. bummy clothes or nice clothes or somewhere inbetween... you see me. you see my heart. you love me. the inside of me all the way out. you are my biggest supporter - for what ever i may be concocting at that moment.. you make me laugh. laugh hard.

We have made it through some tough stuff.. endometriois, infertility, pregnancy loss, loss of family members, military moves, military deployments, living away from family, BUT we have had really great stuff too. FOUR CHILDREN, awesome foster kids over the years, 15 years together (including our dating years), NEW LIFE in JESUS, watching our daughter fall in love with our Lord, living in fun places, see the world (okay not the world but something like that LOL), having fun, meeting new christian friends, going to couple bible studies, worshiping God together, and of course ... settlers... geo caching... and watching American idol. (i had to add that for your benefit!! )

bottom line.. I love you. I love who you are. I love who you are becoming. I love you.

forever, Jill

Song of Solomon 1:7

tell me O you, whom my soul loves

Thursday, March 5, 2009

third and final casting on Drew

WOOHOO- Drew had his third and last casting put on. I was so BLESSED by our friends Laura and Steve, and also Kimberly and Glen. Laura and her daughter rode up to U of I with Sarah and i (and of course the smiley boy, Drew). Kimberly watched frick and frack.. I mean Daniel and Sophia. A good time was had by all.

Drew currently has a plaster cast on with a fiberglass cast over top. he is H.E.A.V.Y. But he can go very FAST. nothing is stopping him. He is climbing stairs (up and down), crawling faster than anychild I have had and LOVES to 'fall" on my chair. He gets on one arm then swings back and forth then pushes himself off.. to land on his back laughing..

today i found him ( i was preparing lunch) up on his toes, falling forward - b/c of the way his knees are bent - it would make him ROCK. he again, was laughing.

kids are so amazing.. where we, as adults, may say "what! a cast for 6 weeks" - kids just continue to go with the flow and make their own fun!

Daniels video

I uploaded Daniels video. I mightchange one of the songs.. I REALLY want "HOME" by Daughtry but when I downloaded it from itunes (for a buck!) it is "protected" and One Tr*ue media wouldn't allow it to get off my computer onto their system.. so I will work on that..
if I can't then I will put it in Drews video! Sophia's is at the bottom of the page..

Friday, February 27, 2009

drew and all his sweetness

drew just saddled up to me, threw his arms around my neck, kissed me and said 'momma, i wuv ooouu'
unsoliciated. OHMYGOSH. this kid.. has me so wrapped.

calling all prayer warriors

Today I am asking for prayer.

Several of my friends children have had surgery this week and/or preparing for up coming surgeries. Please pray for them.

Daniel and Sarah have the flu. Daniel is puking and Sarah is well.. the other end... Daniel has a temp of 104+.. not keeping anything down... pls pray it ends and also that the rest of us stay healthy. Sarah is on her last day of antibiotics for strep!

Drew to continue todo well in his last casting. And that insurance pays for his bar-brace. They are fighting me right now. it is 800 each time. Insurance wants me to pay 600. We will need new ones each time his feet grow out of them during the 18 months.

Thank you ALL for praying.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

for my friends!

I love this song for so many reasons. The first time I heard it, I thought of Daniel. For his healing, for my healing, for our family healing. I heard it as if I was saying it to him. Then when I really listened to this song, I heard what the artist was saying.. God is speaking to us.

I love this song. I hear of so many of us hurting and healing. I am praying for you.
just in case it doesn't show up:
someone put it on you tube with a little video - i like this one b/c they included the words.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

are you a writer?

There is a christian conference this summer if you desire to learn more about writing and perhaps publishing. It looks interesting and there are a few of you whom I thought of immediately - not b/c you "need" it but b/c you have over the years expressed interest in book writing, magazine writing ect...
here is the link:

happy writing

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drew's second casting

his visit this time went EXCELLENT. I love love love did I say LOVE the staff at Univ of I. Yesterday we were told good news and it was unexpected this early in the game. I "thought" we would have Drew in DAFO's (feet braces/shoes) for many many many years to come (sophia had to wear hers for two years). in addition to the night brace (the one with the metal bar inbetween) for 2 to 4 years.
Our news: ONE MORE casting! say WHAT. Praise the Lord! We go back on Sunday, appt on Monday (pls pray for me b/c i am going alone and i hate to drive!) Then Drew will be in that cast for 3 weeks. they will fit him for his night time brace during next week's appt. (pls pray our insurance pays for most or all of that.. expensive- 300 to 400 dollars and then when his feet grew.. new braces).
next is a shock but pleasant.. he only has to wear his bar braces for 18 months !!!!!! yes you heard that right! 18 months.. oh but can it get any better???? OH YEA BABY it can. He only has to wear them for 16 hours! and not 23~ SOOOOO that means when we are quieting down at night they go on.. sleep 12 ish hours :O) (i know i am spoiled) then after breakfast we take them off. Then at nap time (again, spoiled b/c he sleeps 2 hours). And that pretty much takes up the time . OKAY there is MORE. He can wear "normal" shoes the rest of the time! My biggest shock. I am so happy for my baby.
I said, in the appt, "Drew, by spring or summer, you can run and jump and ride a tricycle with Daniel!" and Dr M says, "spring? oh no .. in a MONTH he will be able to do all that! "

PS - he does not need anymore surgery.. as his tendons are still tight.. the operation is "messy" and he has too much scar tissue from the surgery in China (typical for a tendon surgery). Dr M says that by 4 or 5ish his tendons should stretch out from playing! woo hoo bring on the recess! :O)
Please continue to pray for Drew as they cut off and put on his last casting. He gets mad and sad and it is not comfortable to him when they turn his feet. or touch him at all. Dr M is amazing and LOVES kids. His beside manner is the best I have seen in a doctor. His nurse Marie is a God-send. She is sooooooooo nice and adores Daniel :O) hehehe

first and most important

I have to modify this post. Seems that BOTH of my friends were "found out"!

how frustrating. I tried to be discreet. agh.

Please continue to pray for my two girlfriends and their families. God knows their needs.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

clean bill of health

Just got a call from the "adoption clinic" doctor in KS City, Children's Mercy. Drew has a clean bill of health. All his shots are good (we did titers) and all the other test came back neg.!! WOOHOO
Also, this Sunday we will be traveling to University of Iowa. We are in the Ponseti clinic! another PRAISE!! Drew will have a series of castings. His surgery was not completely successful in China. Pls be in prayer as we travel each week in Feb and for Drew to have peace.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Dearest Daniel,
On Friday, the 30th we celebrated you. We celebrated the fact that you have been a Shelton for 2 years. You have had a family for 2 years, a family that will never leave you, that will always love you, a family that you are a part of for such a short time but feels like since you were born. You are our son. You are the first little boy that I have loved as my son. I was once vry close with my two nephews when they were little and it was then I loved the idea that I too could have a son.. you made that possible. While it has be a LONG road, a hard road.. you are worth it. I have been on my knees many times for God to soften your heart and heal your pains. For you to trust me. For you to love me. Slowly, the love came. the trust came. and MAN oh MAN it came. You are the sweetest little boy! The anger is gone. The kind, "helper", sweet, compassionate little boy is here!
Thank you Daniel for trusting me, for loving me, for calling me momma.
Thank you for bringin me to my knees and allowing Christ to grow me in ways that I didnt' think i would make it through. Thank you for being who you are and teaching me to love the unlovable (then not now). Thank you for allowing me to learn what a parent is all about: unconditional love.
I love you so much Daniel. i love you so much I can't even explain the deep love I have for you. You are my first son. You are my buddy. You are my heart.
happy 2nd gotcha day.
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New Life in Jesus.

Sarah asked Jesus into her life 2 1/2 years ago. During this time we have seen her grow and continue to love and be excited about Jesus. Today she said, in part of her testimony that she wrote this week, " my prayer is that more people fall in love with Him. I love Jesus so much."

Pls include her in your prayers. And for us, her parents, to lead by example, the righteousness of Christ.

and lastly I thought I would include the last photo.... with Sophia HOLDING her DRESS up... oh brother.. it wouldn't be the Sheltons without something .... :O)