Monday, December 22, 2014

Nephew Cuteness


Isn't he adorable?! I am eagerly awaiting holding my precious nephew in my arms tomorrow evening. I have missed him dearly. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Strong Bonds

I love seeing the bond that my dad and new little brother share. Alex's face lights up when his daddy walks into a room.  Most mornings "da-da" is the first sound out of his mouth (he hasn't learned to talk yet, praying someday he will). You can tell he feels safe, secure, and happy when he is by his daddy's side.


When you are able to make bonds with adopted siblings it is such a blessing. You are often learning about years of life before you met - their likes, dislikes, and what makes them unique.  I am so thankful that I share a bond with each of my siblings.

~Jessie

Friday, October 3, 2014

Highlights

Summer flew by at a fast rate this year, more so than some years it seemed. Crisp fall air has arrived along with beautifully changing leaves on the trees.

Stepping back into summer, here are a few of my highlights...


Walks along the water
Drinking coffee and reading a good book while sitting on the beach
Summer talks and spending time with these ladies
Time spent with my little man is one of my favorite things
Family days, while siblings are in town from out of state
Time with my precious nephew was such a joy. So hard when he lives out of state, kiddos change so much when they are little.  
Being with dear friends
Love when peaches are in season. Perfect for peach crisp!
Nights by the fire
Spending time with my little sisters, not just those by blood. Over time there are those friends that become more like family
A day at the beach with these beautiful ladies was a treat
Watching this precious boy blossom and grow has been such a joy!
Watching beautiful sunsets at the Cape 


I'm thankful for all the joys, tears, struggles, and laughs this summer held. Now I am excited to see what God has in store for this next season. 
Happy Fall Everyone! 
~Jessie

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Good Listen

I recently listened to a wonderful sermon by Voddie Baucham on adoption. I highly recommend taking some time and listening to it.  I found it extremely encouraging. He makes wonderful points on adoption and brings it back to Christ and why, as believers, we can adopt from the knowledge that we have been adopted by our heavenly father.





~Jessie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Adopted by Christ!

It was a beautiful crisp Sunday morning in September and our church was gathered at a local pond  to witness the baptism of five children from our church. Among those being baptized was my sweet sister Nastya. As I stood and watched these young people declare their love for Christ and their need of Him, I was struck with how far God has brought Nastya. God has changed her heart of stone, one that hated God and was bitter to the world around her, to a healing heart in love with her Heavenly Father who has adopted her. The beauty that I saw and felt brought tears to my eyes knowing that this was God's plan for her life....and it has only just begun. I thank God for bringing her to us through adoption, but I thank Him even more for her heavenly adoption. One that is not temporary, one that is eternal.

Nastya and our church deacon before her baptism


Thank you Lord for the work You have done!


The kiddos who were baptized




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sweet faces

My precious nephew enjoying some attention from his great grandmother while in Boston for the day. I love all the many facial expressions he already makes :)






Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Anniversary!

On Thursday we celebrated Nastya and Maxim's One Year Adoption Anniversary. Remembering the joy we all shared one year ago, as we had beaming faces as the judge said they were now officially a Lukens -- ahh! Such a special day, one we will remember forever. 


Much has changed in a year's time. So much growth, so much more joy, so much more contentment, so much more comfort. We praise God for the work He has done in them and in our family! 

We celebrated on Thursday with a breakfast out as a family, a fun way to start off the day :) 

I wanted to take a few photos to remember their first anniversary...


Maxim picking flowers for his mommy :)


Nastya has changed so much. She is growing into such a young lady. I love the friendship that
continues to blossom between her and I.




The kiddos both had gymnastics lessons Thursday night, and when they arrived home a surprise awaited them. Mom had prepared a cake that they both had been hankering. A special treat that they had enjoyed on occasion in Ukraine. They were both overjoyed with the dessert, the beautiful table setting, and the special night mom had put together for them. 



~Jessie

Monday, July 21, 2014

Goings On

Well I have not given an update since our newest addition has arrived and I guess it's about time! Life has been a little busy around here!

He is doing awesome! Our little man seems to be thriving and happy in his new home, which brings us much joy. Before he arrived we were told he had disruptive sleep and that he was usually awake for hours each night. So we prepared ourselves to take shifts at night so one person wouldn't have all the responsibility and be overtired. But to our surprise, he has done amazingly! Yes he wakes up a few times at night, but with having a video monitor to make sure he is okay we have only had to go into his room three times to settle him. He has learned to settle himself wonderfully and has been sleeping great! His diet before he came to us was mostly jarred baby food and he now eats pretty much anything as long as we puree it to the right consistency.  A solid food he can eat now is cheerios. These might sound like small feats, but for him they are a glorious step forward. Oh and he loves chocolate, but who wouldn't?! The first time we gave him chocolate his face was priceless, he quite enjoyed it. But with all these great steps in a wonderful direction, he still needs someone with him at all times. He can aspirate easily and has many other major health concerns which may need further attention in the future, but for today he is doing beautifully and we are thankful!

Our home is always busy, and he loves to be a part of all the goings on of the house. He is loving the attention and having someone always eager to play with him and make him smile. . . And boy does he have a smile. His smile is so very precious! It melts your heart! I am looking forward to when I can share a picture of that precious smile with you all. A few more things we have noticed as we have come to know our little brother is that he is such a little tease.  He loves when he gets you to smile and give him kisses. I feel so blessed that God has allowed our family to have the privilege of raising this little guy.

I love when his little hands wrap themselves around me and he feels safe in my arms!

~Jessie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meeting For The First Time

My sweet little nephew, Quilan, came into the world back on May 28th and due to my brother and his wife living out of town I had not been able to meet Quilan yet. On June 27th the wait was finally over and I was able to meet him! I was ecstatic to finally get to hold and love on my precious nephew! He is such an adorable baby, but I'm not biased at all though :)


While my brother Steve and his wife, Bethany, were here visiting we had a shower for Bethany. They had not been in town since she was first pregnant, so it was our first chance to give them a shower, and I could not pass up the opportunity of throwing a shower for my first nephew. It was great fun planning and throwing it. I am so thankful to all those who helped make the special occasion happen.









My beautiful sister-in-law

Sweet little shoes

Aunt Cammy and Quilan


All the sisters, minus one, we missed you Mandy