Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

  • My Sincerest Apology

    Date: 2017.06.24 | Category: Uncategorized

    I want to apologize to everyone whose inbox was inudated with posts from my blog today.  We have a couple of children who say they want to blog and we decided to keep them all in one place for ease in printing journals of our blogs.

    Unfortunately that meant taking all of Jasmine’s previous blogs and transferring them to my blog.  I thought I was being tricky and publishing them from the date Jasmine published them.  I had no clue they would all get sent to all of you wonderful folks who subscribe.

    My husband asked me why I was forwarding all of the blogs to him and I realized what was going on.  I truly am sorry.

    Lisa

  • For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

    Date: 2017.05.14 | Category: Uncategorized

    I am honored to have been able to share a little of our story on No Hands But Ours today…

    For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

  • Jasmine’s Dream

    Date: 2017.03.18 | Category: Uncategorized

    Jasmine’s Dream – “A family for every child.”

    Jasmine has decided to let her sisters join her in the blogging world.  They are taking her Flower That Blooms blog and turning into her platform for Jasmine’s Dream.  I thought I would share that information here in case you didn’t already know about their blog.

    They are still wanting to do the same things:

    1.)  Promote adoption awareness.

    2.)  Show what life was like in the orphanage for children with special needs.

    3.)  Start an Etsy store to raise funds for adoptions.

    4.)  Reach their goal of 1,000 children helped.


    Elyse’s first post…

    Elyse’s Words

     

  • 28 Days of Hearts

    Date: 2017.02.25 | Category: Uncategorized

    I was asked to share out story on the 28 Days of Heart blog.  It has been a pleasure to share our story during the past years.  Our story has changed a lot from 2013 to now.

    This blog shares the hearts of parents who have adopted children from China with heart defects.  They share the ups, the downs, the blessings, and trials.  Your heart will be moved by reading these beautiful stories.

    Here is ours…

    28 Days of Hearts

  • Big Family – Big Dreams – Big Story

    Date: 2017.02.16 | Category: Uncategorized

    Group story time at the Ellsbury’s can result in some enthusiastic and sweet stories from our wonderful children. One of these stories is below, and highlights the sweetness of our babies and how loving they are to others.

    Super powers of the Super Middles and Super Littles:

    Elyse – power of invisibility, and can fly on a good day

    Gracie – can make things invisible and can make any baby stop crying

    Jasmine – can wrap up people in yarn super fast and can make baby blankets super fast

    Hopey – can do super scary makeup that makes people faint

    JJ – can fly and sing people to sleep

    Max – touches people’s heads and they can’t hear for 24 hours

    Ben – super fast and has super long arms

    Eli – super strong and has super long arms

    Liam – makes people forget to remember

    Maisey – can turn into cute animals

    Evie – can instantly paint the walls in a room and talk really, really fast

    Lainey – can turn anything into a baby bottle

    Mom – has extra arms to feed lots of babies and always has lots of extra love, never sleeps

    Dad – super doctor who loves babies and does anything a baby tells him to do


    One day the Super Littles and Super Middles realized they couldn’t adopt any more, but they still wanted to.  They started devising a plan to be spies and figure out how many kids they could get home and fit in their new house.

    Eli had already started building a big beautiful castle with 777 bedrooms to house all their new brothers and sisters.  Eli was super strong and really fast so the castle was almost done.   Evie had started to paint all the rooms.  She painted them orange, yellow, green, blue, red, purple, and pink just like the kids’ special colors.

    The house was amazing. There were huge rooms for everyone to sit and watch a movie.  There were tables that were super long and super big where everyone could eat.  The table was a special machine invented by Zach and Reece that could make food in large quantities.  Codey had a giant table full of Kindles for all the kids to play with.  Cassie and Stephanie helped decorate the house and ran a special store where we could get all our supplies.  The store was in our front yard and everything was free.

    The middles had been devising a plan to make an invisible jet to secretly fly across the ocean to their orphanages to adopt more brothers and sisters.  They had been practicing taking care of babies and they were sure they could do it.  They each remembered kids that they wanted to bring home to be their brothers and sisters.  Some kids were little and some kids were older just like them.

    Maisey reminded them that they all needed “to work together”.   She gave them a very special pep talk. She wasn’t kidding.

    Elyse and Gracie became invisible and snuck JJ and Liam into the building so JJ could fly around and sing everyone to sleep and Liam could make them forget so they wouldn’t come after the super heroes.  Ben and Eli were super fast and picked up the kiddos in their super long arms and started putting them into the airplane that was invisible because Gracie touched it.   Max made it so people couldn’t hear them so they wouldn’t be caught.

    In the jet, Maisey became a really, really cute bunny that could talk to make all the little kids feel safe and happy.   Lainey made bottles for all the babies.  JJ sang to the babies so they would go to sleep.  Daddy looked over everyone and made sure they were doing ok.

    We flew home to our rainbow house that lights up and plays the song “We are Family” really loud as we drive in the driveway.   Mema was there to meet everyone and she fainted when she realized she had 777 more grandchildren.

    If anyone bad tried to bother us in our new house, Hopey would put on zombie makeup to scare them, Jasmine would wrap them up in yarn, and Eli would make the bad guys do tricks like backflips and make them wear big mustaches.  Maisey was always a cute little bunny but if someone was mean she would turn into a crocodile and scare them.   Evie would talk, and talk, and talk, and talk until the bad guys ran away.  (Not sure why we have bad guys visiting but it seems we do.)

    Every day we all sit in a giant room with a ton of computers where everyone plays Minecraft together and goes to school together.  We are happy all the time all day long.   Mama is so happy that she gets to love everyone and teach them.  The house is a magic house like in Beauty and the Beast and it cleans itself.  And we have lots of chickens so we can all have spicy chicken feet! Yum!

    We have a giant superbus that is really long and two levels.  Steph and Cassie have super powers and can do the girl’s hair fast (542 girls – so they have to braid FAST).  Everyone is very happy to have a family and we celebrate together because….

    “All our dreams came true.  We have a big, happy family!”

    THE END

     

  • Christmas Letter 2016 (The Littles)

    Date: 2016.12.29 | Category: Adoption, Family Life, Uncategorized

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    We’ve had an exciting year in the Ellsbury household.

    We receive the miracle of a healed heart for Benjamin.  We were told that there was no hope and now his future is full of hope!  Ben turned eight and is enthralled with soldiers and police officers.  He has learned how to read and loves math and school.  To see our boy filled with energy and no longer blue is a beautiful gift.

    ben-now

    Little Evie has had a wonderful year.  She has grown since her last surgery and continues to do well with her health.  She is a ray of sunshine from the time she wakes up until her little head hits her pillow.  She is everything that is good with the world.

    evie-now

    She was adopted 3 and 1/2 years ago with Elijah.  They continue to be the best of friends.  These two should have their own reality show.  They are a hoot together!  I mean seriously who could resist these sweet, little faces?

    evie-eli-now

    I continue to stand in amazement of Eli.  Every day I am reminded of the miracle of modern medicine.  The amazing fact that he had main branch pulmonary arteries formed out of four collaterals and graft material in a 14 hour surgery just blows my mind.  I stand in awe of our awesome God and the gifts He gives.  It’s hard to take anything for granted when your life is filled with such miracles.

    eli-now

    Big miracles come in all shapes and sizes.  Lainey  has come so far from that sad little girl who never looked you in the eye.  She yells “mama and daddy”.  She hugs with such sweetness.  She gives love pats all day long.  She can not say many words but her love language is loud and clear.  She holds hands.  She hugs.  She loves and all the kids love her.  And the very best news is that now that her seizures are better under control she is actually sleeping for 4-5 hours at a stretch.  This has been very welcome to mama.  She will often sleep for four hours and go back to sleep for another four.  I can certainly live with that.

    lainey-now

    Maisey has become quite the little mother.  She is quiet and shy but since she has gotten her BAHA (bone conducting hearing aid) she has become more vocal.  She figured out that she is funny.  She hears so much better and her speech has come so far.  She takes care of everyone.  She loves BIG!  She loves art and drawing and writing.  She has decided she wishes to be a ninja librarian when she grows up.  It’s a job that would suit her well.

    maisey-now

    One of the best gifts during this past year is Maisey and Evie’s friendship.  Evie’s personality is BIG and Maisey is quiet so they have always gotten along but Maisey would choose to play by herself a lot.  That has changed this year as they both realize how much fun having a sister is.  It does my heart good to see them play.

    maisey-evie-now

    Max also received a BAHA this year.  It has been amazing to see him actually hear and start to understand what conversation is.  His world opened up when he realized he could actually ask for something.  He continues to learn more signs – last count was 300+.  We still have a long ways to go but he has certainly made great leaps this past year.  Probably his biggest step forward was understanding affection.  He asks for hugs and kisses now.  He sits on people’s laps.  It’s one of the hardest things on this mama’s heart to realize your children don’t know what hugs and kisses mean.  It’s a cultural thing as well as an institutional issue but when they finally get it….well, there’s not a whole lot that is better in the world.

    max-now

    Because of facial issues it’s still hard for him to smile big but his giggle is contagious.  He can barely contain his laughter and it makes the rest of us laugh too.  The boys play pretty well together.  They have their arguments as all siblings do but they really do get along amazingly well.  Their favorite thing to do is to dress up in costumes and play super heroes.  They make the cutest super heroes don’t you think?

    Super Hero Day 2016

    Our seventh little is William, we all refer to him as Liam.  Liam had a harder transition than any of the other littles.  He enjoyed his treatment in China.  He had a case of Little Emperor’s syndrome.  Don’t believe it’s a real thing?  Just google it.  Anyway, it was hard for him to share at first.  He wanted to always be first and when he didn’t get his way he would cry for hours.  He has come so far and has learned what family truly means.  I am proud of the progress he has made in 9 short months.  His whole world was turned upside down and he had to learn how things work here.  We still have moments, but they are few and far between now.  Sometimes adoption brings unknowns that you really couldn’t even foresee being a problem.  I’m glad he feels loved and cared for and that he trusts us.

    He is sweet and caring and a natural born leader.  He is charming and very smart.  He loves math and eagerly learns new things.  He loves to help.  We instituted a Leader Day for each little and he eagerly waits for his turn.  Wednesdays are Liam’s favorite days now.

    liam-now

    There is nothing little about our Littles.  The love BIG!  They love life!  Our house is noisy and chaotic and filled with laughter.  There is never a dull moment with them around.  They bring so much to our lives.  Dan and I constantly say, “We could have missed this!” and I’m here to tell you that we would have missed a lot.  Our lives would have been so much duller, quieter maybe, but so much less.  We have been blessed beyond measure to be able to call these children sons and daughters.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t stop in my tracks and think about the miracles that have happened to them with both emotional and physical healing.  I don’t deserve the blessings they bring but I am forever grateful that we get to be a part of their lives.

     

  • Jessica and William

    Date: 2016.02.22 | Category: Uncategorized

    Hello! Cassie again (tired of me yet?)

    Mom and Dad have Jessica, and she is precious. Her orphanage loved her, they really did. They sent her with money, her stroller, clothes, and a backpack full of toys. They also made Mom and Dad promise to bring Jessica to the orphanage so they could say goodbye. As you can tell by her face, she was hesitant at first…

     

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    This is her timid face. Her disposition instantly turns to this sweet face as soon as she is unsure of the situation.

     

     

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    She made daddy work for her attention; she really wasn’t sure what to do with him. Give him an hour, some chips, and a backpack full of pretty things, and his daddy powers won her over. 🙂

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    Little one is tiny!! Her orphanage called her “little one” instead of her Chinese name. This is her compared to my mom’s standard-sized backpack…

    wpid-img-20160222-wa0001.jpg     

    and her little shoe next to a Coke can.

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    Even Liam got in on the glamour and glitter. A little lip gloss goes a long way…

    wpid-img-20160222-wa0009.jpg

    As you can see, she loved Daddy’s bracelets!!!

    wpid-img-20160222-wa0010.jpg

    Liam and Jessica have bonded quickly. The Kindle has movies on it, and Big Hero 6 seems to be a favorite.

    wpid-img-20160222-wa0015.jpg

    Liam loves to draw; he was super excited to see Maisey drawing on one of our Skype calls.

     

     

     

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    Daddy made a fort, and they’ve spend all their cuddle times in there.

    wpid-img-20160222-wa0016.jpg    wpid-img_20160222_061050.jpg

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    Sweet babies… We can’t wait for you to get home and see just how loved you are…. 😀     

     

     

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  • We’re Almost to JJ!

    Date: 2016.02.21 | Category: Uncategorized

    Cassie, again. It is Monday morning in China, and my parents will soon be on their way to get Jessica. Their guide has met her, and says she is an absolute doll. She says that she is sweet, kind, and loves to take care of the babies. I think she’ll fit in pretty well. 🙂 JJ

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Mr12754992_10208584075789361_1143013459_o. William is doing splendidly. He loves to play and dance and draw. When we were skyping, he got very excited when he saw that Mei Mei was drawing too! I don’t think he’s going to have any problems fitting in here. 🙂 The kids are all excited, and I constantly hear about all the things that Liam is going to do with them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jasmine and Elyse made Jessica a video for Mom and Dad to show her this afternoon. I don’t remember everything they said, but there are about 15 “I/We love you”s and “Mama and Baba will keep you safe and love you” and “we can’t wait for you to get to America!” I thought you would enjoy. 🙂

     

     

     

  • William!!

    Date: 2016.02.18 | Category: Uncategorized

    Cassie, here. I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be posting…. oops! So, quick upload with some cute pictures. 😉

     

    William is settling in great. He’s been happy and giggly the whole time. He fully recognizes that Mom and Dad are HIS mama and baba. He loves having a family, and seems to be adjusting very well. He loves Hot Wheels, the Kindle, and Big Hero 6.

    Here are a few pictures to hold you over until I get a post from Mom. Make sure you check out the facebook group for all the updates!

     

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  • National Heart Month

    Date: 2016.02.07 | Category: Uncategorized

    Today is our day to share on the 28 Days of Hearts blog.  We’ve shared for a couple of years now.  I love reading through the stories of faith, love, and adoption.  Day 6 is the story of Rachel, who waited 3 years for a heart.  Rachel got her heart and is living life to the fullest.  Jamie does a great job every year putting these together.  I promise these stories will move you.

    28 DAYS OF HEARTS

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