Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Start the bidding!

It's that time again!  Last year around Thanksgiving we ran an online auction through 32auctions to raise money for our next adoption.  He's home but we're still raising money so now through Monday evening at 8PM EST you can bid!  Please share this link with your friends, email and Facebook and whatever.  Still celebrating Thanksgiving with your family?  Share the link, browse together.  Bid for Victor!

We have almost 100 new and used items: Christmas decorations, new hardback autographed books, doilies, pillows, antiques, etc.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Romance runs in the family

Having a romantic mindset runs in my family.  However, the Good Doctor does not see it so let me give you an example and you can decide for yourself.

My parents got married on January 1st of 1966 (1-1-66 for those who like those types of numbers).  It has its advantages, places are always decorated nicely for the holiday.  On the other hand, many places are closed on the 1st so dining out might need to be delayed.  One year, however, was especially difficult because not only was it January 1st, it was a Sunday ("back in the day" establishments were closed one day a week, for those who are too young to know this).  Not only was it a Sunday, but my mother was extremely ill so stayed home from church.  ("Back in the day" no one missed church, no matter how sick you were so that tells you how sick she was, for those who are too young to figure that out).

My dad is a song leader.  He's not just a song leader, but he's also a great communicator.  So when he stands up to lead a song, he prefaces it with a story, an anecdote, or whatever comes to mind.  This is a good thing.  This particular January 1st, his anniversary, at church with his kids while his wife is home sick, he couldn't resist communicating his love for his dear wife.  He stood up and shared with everyone in the church that he'd appreciate their prayers as this would be the first anniversary he would spend with his wife in bed.  Romantic, huh?  He thought so.  But half of the congregants' minds immediately went to places they shouldn't go on a Sunday morning and before my dad made it home from church my mom had already received several phone calls from friends who had to ask her about her first anniversary spent in such a manner.  Her first words to my dad when we arrived home that day, "What did you say?????" He, the romantic, was clueless.

So, as you can see, I get it naturally.  This is why I can write such lovely, romantic notes to the Good Doctor in honor of his birthday which happened to be yesterday (albeit a bit overshadowed by the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK).  In case you missed it, this year's message went like this:

It is on this date that I must try to locate my romantic side to write some flowery and gushy birthday message to my sweet-ums who decided to be born on the 22nd of November. I do this even though it goes against everything in me for two reasons: 1. The Good Doctor's love languages is words of affirmation and 2. It's what everyone else does on FB when a spouse is celebrating a birthday. 

So, until next year, or Valentine's Day, or Father's Day, or whenever I am next expected to be romantic...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Shop for a cause

The King family does not like to talk about debt.  Nor do we like to be in debt.  Other than those pesky house payments, we've been able to avoid both the talk and the action.  Oh, there was that one time we bought a brand new vehicle.  But other than that... We didn't plan for there to be so many expenses surrounding Victor's adoption.  Prior to his case, we had avoided situations with such high expenses.  It makes no sense that Victor's bills were as high as a healthy white newborn when he was neither.  But regardless, he needed a home and God said ours was the one.  So, even though we don't like to think about it or talk about it, we're steadily moving on.

Last November we had an online auction the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It went amazingly well and afterward people kept asking for another one.  Some were folks who said they wanted the excuse to clean out basements and attics to donate items to the auction.  Others were ready to Christmas shop for a cause again.  So, we've listened.  We have already started to collect a number of items but my bedroom isn't full of goods yet so we'd love more.

Friends, relatives, blog acquaintances, we'd love your new or gently used items.  Homemade goods, gift cards, those gifts you've never used?  Toys you wanted to sell or get rid of but never found the time to do so?  We'd love to have them to put on our auction.

Auction will be up and running the weekend after Thanksgiving so skip the crowds and check out our listings first.  Or come home from shopping, prop your feet up, get on your computer and shop for a cause.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feelin' Good

Wanna know why I have a mountain of clean laundry in the back of the laundry room?  Wanna know why my bed is not made?  Wanna know why there are dishes in the sink?

'Cause I've been busy working on Victor's Quilt of Many Textures.

It was fun to collect fabrics and ribbons from all of you.  They came in snail mail, in church mail, and hand-offs at the front door.

The Good Doctor took the little ones out for an afternoon so I could cut squares.  And more squares.  And... you got it, more squares.

Another afternoon found Eden and HopeAnne dying felted alpaca wool which had been donated with instructions for adding color using Kool-Aid and Jell-O.

Yes, my daughter likes to use tights as bunny ears.  And I had an invisible friend named Phoebe when I was little.  Judge not until you ask your mom what you did as a child.

I have to admit, I've never been fond of sewing with specialty fabrics and this quilt has definitely solidified that feeling.  For those who sew, just imagine sewing a silk next to a burlap or a satin next to a fleece.  No one does these things.  Until now.  But the reason for this labor of love made it all worthwhile and so much fun.

No rhyme or reason to the placement of the squares.  How could I?  It was a little of this and a little of that.  It has tabs of ribbons along the outside for attaching toys, for feeling, and of course, for eating.

So this is my happy little guy enjoying his quilt for the first time.  Yes, it's already been christened with spit-up and yes, that is a pom-pom at his feet. Victor loves to explore noises and believe it or not, kicking his bare feet in crinkly pompoms is definitely his favorite activity to date.  Please don't tell his oldest brothers.

And the fun is not over yet. Victor's vision therapist suggested I make bean bags of varying textures, 2 of each, so that when he's older we can play a matching game with textures.  So with all of this fabric left over, time for Project for the Visually Impaired, Part 2.  But first I need to finish a quilt for Jesse's bed.  Preferably before Andrew comes home for Thanksgiving break and needs his quilt back.  Don't worry, Jesse, I won't use these textured fabrics.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 6

As I continue to read these wonderful letters, I'm reminded that this isn't about the King family, it isn't even about Victor, but about a God who writes each of our stories for us.  We have been given the awesome privilege of performing that unique role for however long God has given us on this earth. And as we live out that role we will effect people for the better and ultimately the glory all goes back to the One who wrote the story.  Wow!

"I am so excited that Victor is now officially part of the King family! I was praying for the special child that God would place in your family months before you received the April 20th phone call. My prayers were that God would give you peace and patience in the waiting process, and that He would place the child that was perfect for your family. I was overjoyed when we received the Facebook message about Victor and excited to help your family in any way possible. God blessed us with an evening with 3 of your little ones who were actually more of a help with my two little ones.  We were also able to drive Mariana to play practice, and enjoy some bonding time with Mariana and our girls. God also supplied us with a week of no daycare costs that we were able to use to bless your family financially. God works in awesome ways because leading up to that week there was A LOT of stress in our family over daycare issues, and the decision to leave our prior daycare actually led to us helping your family in your adoption process.

That leads me to how God has used Cindy and Victory to bless me during this adoption/micro-premie experience. Prior to knowing about Victor, I had met with Cindy, prayed with Cindy and emailed Cindy about anxiety issues that I was dealing with. There were days that were the darkest that I’ve experienced in my life, but Cindy gave me new perspective on God and having faith in Him. It was nice hearing her talk about faith, but in the weeks and months to come I saw Cindy having that faith in God through trusting that He would heal Victor. I spent many of my lunch breaks on walks praying for Victor’s healing, for Cindy’s time away from her family and the Kings who were home in PA. This helped me get out of my funk of worrying about the petty things in my life and focusing on God’s faithfulness to us. I’ve been able to get over my anxiety without the use of medication…PRAISE GOD!!

God also used Victor’s story as a way for us to show [our daughter] that God does answer prayers. We would pray for Victor during our nightly prayers and then report back to [her] on how Victor was growing. She got to see firsthand that God really does answer prayers! I can’t explain to you the excitement she had the first time she got to see “chubby” baby Victor in person after seeing his first pictures. [She] now has faith that God will heal people if she prays for them. A few months back, her great-grandfather “Grampy” was in the hospital due to a broken hip from a fall, and my child was faithful and prayed nightly for him….He is now healed and walking again, and able to live in assisted living with his wife. WOW! What an amazing God we have.

Thank you so much for sharing your story from Eden’s faithfulness in praying to Cindy’s trust in God during the dark days in Victor’s healing to God’s healing and Victor thriving through his premature birth.  We know that we must continue to pray for Victor, and that this is just the beginning of his story, but we are so excited by his life so far!  Your family has become like a second family to us over the years, and we are excited to continue on this journey of parenting and living out God’s story in community."

"Dear Victor Noah,

Your story has been an inspiration to so many people, including me. I remember being so excited to hear that your family was adopting again all because of the power of prayer.  This family is inspiration; this family alone has changed my life.  And then there's you. :)

I remember so many things about the early weeks that the King family first knew about you.  There were so many emotions as your mom and dad set off to Utah to meet you for the very first time, leaving behind your crazy siblings.  Those first pictures of you-as tiny as a one dollar bill - were astonishing. I could not even imagine a baby that small. Even still, I look at the dollar bill and I think of how far you have come.

Your life has been an answered prayer of so many. It has been an answered prayer for your family as they finally found the child they were destined to adopt. This is fulfilling the destiny of the One who made you. Your journey in Utah in the NICU was a prayer in itself as we here at home saw your slow and steady progress, your setbacks, and your triumphs. We prayed hard for you to finally come home and overcome all of the obstacles the doctors were anticipating. Victor Noah, you shocked medical professionals and the only explanation is prayer. Your life is so undoubtedly full of the love and the protection of God. His hand is upon you and I can see that. You changed lives and you will continue to as you continue to grow into the life that the Lord has planned for you.

Your life, even though you are only six months old, has clearly changed mine. It has given me a new perspective on the power of prayer. I have seen the power of prayer at work in your journey and it is awe-inspiring. My prayers for your lungs to develop, your eyes to continue to heal, and your bradies to end have continued to be answered. It has changed my prayer life.

When I had the privilege to hold you for the very first time, it felt like I was holding a prayer and holding a miracle. It was so powerful.

You are so loved by so many. May God continue to bless you and your family as you look to the future and what God has in store for such an amazing family with such an amazing calling. I pray for you daily and will continue to.

Blessings on your life Victor Noah - Victorious Long Life."

"Dear Victorious Victor,

How has your little life changed me? Let me count the ways. First of all, you have taught me that I do not need to be overwhelmed by what appears to be insurmountable odds. As many prayers were prayed over you, you continued to amaze all who were praying for you by making each and every hurdle. My faith was strengthened by one so tiny and vulnerable. Many times in life I have felt my faith has been small and doubt would enter the picture, but with you little man, I felt such assurance that you would come through. With such a volume of prayer from so many, we saw God answer one prayer after the other.

When I read the story of your adoption, it was like watching a miracle unfold. You are so blessed to have been given to the King family and their lives have been so enriched by you. I konw my life will be forever changed by the blessing of praying for you and your family and the opportunity to follow your miraculous journey.

I am praying for yet another miracle for you in the healing of your eyesigh. As God prepares you for great things in life He knows how this prayer will be answered and we will continue to believe.

Victor, I have shared your story with people will will probably never meet you. As I think about your life and your future,  am convinced that you will be a great man in God's army. If you can touch so many lives in six months, what will God be able to do with you in the years ahead?

God bless you and your wonderful family. We are so fortunate to have all of you as part of our McBIC community."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 5

And an update on Mr. Victor's eyes.  Another torture session this morning with the pediatric ophthalmologist.  John is very proudly wearing the honor of his "best at holding down a patient" award and Victor is just as proud of his "worst patient" status.  These awards, given by the doctor, also came with the good news that Victor's retinopathy of prematurity has completely regressed which is what we wanted to hear.  This is the direction it had been going, but very slowly, and while it wasn't really a concern any longer, especially in light of Victor's blindness from another condition, it did mean frequent visits just to keep tabs on it and to make certain it didn't take a sudden dive in the wrong direction.  But no longer!  He is scheduled for another visit in 3 months at which time an MRI will be scheduled so the doctor can get a better look at the condition of Victor's optic nerves, the reason for his diagnosis, and completely unrelated to ROP or his prematurity.

And more letters from friends:

"Dear Victor,

Our family is so thankful that God chose our community to love and support you and your family. You have been a blessing to us for more than a year. Before we knew that the child we were praying for was you, our whole community prayed with your family that God would place His perfect choice into the King home. We prayed through long periods of waiting for news, and the joys and sorrows of God's perfect match and perfect timing. When we heard about you we all knew that God had moved and that you would be a part of our community for life. You have a large family in your home and a large community of people who love you and have been praying for you since before you were born."

God spoke at just the right time and put things into motion for you to be connected to your forever family.  The King family was given to you as a safe haven and loving home to grow up in.  You were also given to them as a beautiful gift.  The surprise is in how much your life has been a gift to so, so many others!  As we saw you grow from smaller then a dollar bill size to a full-grown baby, we were all amazed and gave thanks and praise to the God of the universe who knows and loves and sees and moves mountains.  He used His power to bring healing and strength to your little body.  You amazed us all as you grew and overcame many obstacles.  Our belief in the God who can do miracles was strengthened as we saw Him work miracles in your life.   We gave of ourselves by praying for you, but we were the ones who received as we sat in awe of the One who answered those prayers in ways that were beyond what we had asked for, or expected.  Your life has begun as a testimony to all that God can do.  Be blessed as God continues to use you mightily.  We see God’s hand in your life and trust that there is so much more to come as you grow.  You are a victor in Christ."

*Sweet Victor,                                                               

We were told your name was Noah. A biblical name so that fit the King family. Noah was an overcomer and a great believer in God.  He listened.  He prayed. He waited… a long time.  He persevered. He acted.  He saved his family.  He sacrificed. Story sound familiar?  This is you, Victor Noah King, and your family.  Your family prayed for you before they knew you.  A family that listened, that waited, that persevered, that acted.  A family that sacrificed time (mom away from the home nest) and money.  And you, a child who rose Victor(ious), overcame being the size of a dollar bill.

We have prayed for your family, we have prayed for you, we have cried and we have shouted for joy.  What a family you have to call your own.  They are an amazing example of God’s love; Jesus with skin on.  A real life illustration of listening and acting, no matter how it looks to others, and how unrealistic it may seem.  We have been honored to be included in their journey that is you.  What a joy and answer to prayer your life is.  You are God’s plan - yesterday, today, tomorrow, and for many more years.  We are so looking forward to those many more years to see what God has in store for you and how He will continue working through your life to be glorified.

You are special and God loves you very much."

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 4

They just keep coming.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  We are loving these letters to Victor and to us.  Many tears being shed over here.

"My beautiful baby cousin,

I remember when I found out that you’re parents were considering adopting again. I remember praying from the time I was in Pennsylvania until the time we all found out about you and even to this day. You are a beautiful, miraculous baby. I can’t wait to see you continue to grow.

I remember sitting in the student union at my college, reading Aunt Cindy’s blog post about my new baby cousin who was struggling for his life. I remember sending the link to every one of my prayer warriors to pray for this beautiful child. I remember praying for you to be a part of “team fat baby” (which is what one of the girls in my discipleship group prayed for him). I remember tearing up when I would look back through Aunt Cindy’s blog and see how much you’ve grown since the start of this journey and to see the unconditional love that your brothers and sisters have for you.

This journey taught me a lot, and writing all about everything it taught me would take quite a long time. But the one thing it taught me was how to trust Christ through every circumstance. You would think that I would already know that; but to watch our family give up time with each other, money, and other things to make sure you had a family forever and to know how much value you have, not only to our family, but also the value that you have in Christ. In my time with them, I saw the heart that our family has to genuinely care for the least of these and to take what James 1:27 (“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”) says to heart. They didn’t care how much money it would cost. They didn’t care how much time it would take you to be strong enough to make the trek from Utah to Pennsylvania. They knew that God was calling them to love you, without condition, and to bring you into a family that is overflowing in love.

I got a care package from you all a few weeks ago, filled with wonderful things that represent people that I miss most and products that I can only find in eastern Pennsylvania. Aunt Cindy wrote me a note telling me to let God shake up my life a bit. Through this process, I’ve seen how God is a God of constant provision. From a baby boy who beat the odds and to a family that has chosen to love unconditionally—whatever that may look like—have shown so many people how God provides time and time again for us.

I love you so much, Victor. I can’t wait to see how you will continue to impact those around you, as you have already done.

Uncle John, Aunt Cindy, and the rest of the “King Zoo”- thank you for showing me how to trust God without hesitation. Thank you for showing me how to love the least of these. Thank you for showing me how to love from the overflow of the love that Christ has for us. Thank you for challenging me to let God shake up my life. Thank you for showing me, multiple times, the beauty that comes from adoption. It holds a special place in my heart due to the beautiful children that are now within our family. I love them. I love you. Thank you for matching your words and your deeds."

"You guys asked for thoughts on Victor. Here are mine.  I probably should have said this a while ago.

When the King family came into my life, I was blessed in ways I didn't fully realize at the time.  Everyone in the family has been wonderful to me, and my interactions with John, Cindy, Andrew, Mariana, Eden, and HopeAnne have been some of the most meaningful and memorable of my last year.  The funny thing is, Victor has also had a major impact on me, though I've only actually seen him in person once.  2013 has been a year of major turmoil in my life.  I won't go into details on why, but this year has been a period of very little to no hope.  I rarely smiled, and often felt more like a zombie than my usual self.  It was, in short, an icky feeling, to use the technical term.  But during that time, I was also following a miraculous story; the tale of Victor and the Kings.  I saw the miraculous answer to prayer that Eden received.  I saw the community come together to help John and Cindy live a life in Utah while living a very full life in PA.  I got to help in a very minor way, and being a part of it meant the world to me.  And I got to see pictures of Victor, smaller than my smallest chihuahua, but growing, learning, and touching the lives of this incredible family.  I got to see his growth and his fighting spirit.  I got to see Mariana take on the role of mom and thrive, where most teens would want more attention and less work.  I got to see pictures of John and Andrew without shirts on...proving that even the best experiences have their negative aspects!   I got to eat pregnant cookies and do it for a good cause!  But more than anything, I got to see a family, community, and little child that was half a country away help me discover hope again.  And it was at a time when I really really needed that.  Eden says that her favorite Bible verse is Matthew 5:14-16, which talks about being a light in the world.  The whole King family is amazingly talented in this area.  And that's what Victor and his story were for me, too.  That's how you know he's a real King.  Before saying a word, he was already being a light in my world.  I thank God for the blessing of the King family, all of them, including Victor.  Because even if he's not officially a part of the family until today, he's been a King since he was born."

"Beautiful Little Conqueror,

A few months before you were born, long before any of us even knew about your precious life, God was orchestrating mine so that I could be a part of your adoption journey. Summer was approaching and that meant I would be going from full time employment to part time. While I knew that I could survive the summer on my part time salary, I began picking up applications seeking a part time job. As I started to fill them out I heard the Lord say, "Not yet." Hmm… Okay. About a month or so later I picked the applications up again and again I heard "Not yet." At this point I'm starting to get frustrated. "Why not!"

A couple days later your Dad signed an email asking me to pray because he believed your family was going to be matched with a baby in Utah, born at 25 weeks. Oh what joy filled my heart! I immediately began praying, not knowing much but knowing that 25 weeks is too early to enter our world.

Days later I read a blog post I'll never forget. "We stepped out of the boat." It took me longer than I'd like to admit to read that post, only because tears were pouring out and I couldn't see the screen to read it. This is the child your family has been praying for. This is the child that I have been praying for. I was so happy to see your beautiful family grow. As someone who wants to adopt someday, I was so inspired that your Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters were saying yes to such a precious life, knowing that it was going to bring much joy to their lives and also much heartache for a time. Through the tears my heart began crying out to God. "Oh Lord… This baby, your child, who is so dearly loved by you, more than what I could ever imagine, is also so dearly loved by many of us who have not even met him. Bring life." More tears began to flow as I began to thinking about your family having to live in separate states for an indefinite time. The Lord ever so gently started to speak to my heart. "This is why. You are to spend your summer serving them."

I remember the beautiful time of prayer the Sunday your Mom and Dad were going to fly out to meet you for the first time. Such love filled that room. This is hope. This is redemption. This is family.

As I continued praying for you, Victor, the word that kept coming to me in prayer was conqueror. Desert Song by Hillsong was constantly running through my mind. "God is my victory and He is here." I found myself constantly lifting your family up in prayer and praying for each member individually, always referring to you as Little Conqueror. My prayer life was growing exponentially.

One Sunday as worship began I saw a picture of you, Little Conqueror, in your bed. There were angels surrounding your bed with their hands upon you and the room was full of angels dancing. I felt the nudge to tell your Dad what I saw before he went up to preach. I very kindly told God no. I was NOT going up there. I let God know that I would tell your Dad after church, I would send him an email or something. As the next song began I clearly heard God saying "Get your butt up there!" So I did. After church that day your Mom posted on Facebook saying that you had a rough night and morning breathing and she was asking people to pray for healing breaths for you. All I could think was that healing breaths were there and I knew that because I had seen them. My heart was so encouraged.

A short time later many members of your family were preparing to head several different directions, including your Dad who was headed to Utah to bring you and your Mom home! I approached your Dad at church and asked if I could pray for him before he left. He let a huge sigh along with an exhausted yes.

Because your family stepped out in faith, it lead to great growth in my prayer life and lead me to start taking smalls, tiny steps as well. I was most certainly not the person who would run up to the front of the church and say "hey guess what God just showed me!" Nor was I the person to approach someone to pray for them. Since that time, I have approached, called, emailed many people to pray for them. I haven't held back from sharing when I've received a nudge from God asking me to share a word or picture with someone.

I'll never forget getting to meet and hold you for the first time. What a beautiful blessing! I couldn't believe that I was holding Little Conqueror in my arms. A beautiful reminder that God does keep his promises. Looking at you I saw hope. Redemption. Family.

When I read the blog post about the diagnosis with your eyes, I wasn't able to read it the whole way through. I was heartbroken. Stepping outside and seeing the beauty around me draws me into a place of worship quicker than anything else. I was crying out to God. "Lord I want that for his life." Jesus said to me, "... I love him and I told you that he is a conqueror. Just you wait and see how he overcomes this." For the rest of that day the song Blessed Assurance was the song on my heart. "Visions of rapture now burst on my sight." May this be so for you, Little Conqueror.

I am so thankful that your family allowed me to walk your adoption journey with them. It's amazing how your tiny life has brought me so much life. I'm looking forward to watching you grow and continue to amaze us, just as our Father said you would.

Love you Little Conqueror!"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 3

You may remember the story of Katrina and how this beautiful woman from Wisconsin, met us in Pennsylvania, went on to Alaska and then moved to Utah, blessing me so much during my time with Victor yet away from the rest of the family.  She is forevermore known as Aunt Katrina to us and especially to Victor.  She has allowed me to share her thoughts here.

To my dearest Victor Noah King,

What an amazing journey we have been on, and here we are, celebrating the finalization of your adoption.  In six months, you and your family have shown me what it means to walk with Christ. 

I knew there was a reason I reason I moved out to Utah.  I remember praying that my time in Utah would be spent focusing on my faith and finding church before I had moved out here.  That's exactly what happened.  When I heard from your Mom and Dad that they may possibly be coming to Utah, my heart almost exploded.  We all knew that it was going to be a very difficult and trying time, but I was so excited at the chance to be in close proximity to family. I prayed and prayed that they would be the chosen applicant. Prayer answered.  

Then we met.  I remember seeing your tiny little body, so frail, and weak.  I loved you from that moment on. I saw the love exude out of your parents.  I saw the pain and hardship when they had to leave your side, as well as your siblings.  There was no other option than to love you, pray for you, and be there with you when I could. You were like a magnet I was being pulled towards. I remember the first time I held you, jaw wired shut, I was so nervous. Your parents were in Pennsylvania, and I was still getting familiar with the NICU and how it all works. I held you for 15 minutes. That changed my life. Any worldly problem I had seemed so insignificant while I held your little body, just fighting to survive. I knew God brought me here to love on you and your family during this time. This was my purpose. Victor, God plopped you right in these mountains and showed me how powerful He is, and how our prayers are answered. 

Holding you and loving you helped me grow in my faith as much as it helped your little body stabilize and grow. You were miracle after miracle.  Prayer answered after prayer answered.  The roller coaster of your health and all of our emotions at times seemed overwhelming. But then I would hold you, and would just be, humming you a simple melody. You would stabilize. We would be rocking gently in the chair. It seemed like the world stopped, and we were connected with the Holy Spirit embracing us.  It was also during this time that I saw your mother walk a walk of faith that inspired me beyond words. What a strong, loving and Godly woman. She showed me how to trust in God and let Him lead the road for us. What an amazing teacher, wife, mother, and friend.

As you grew stronger, the bond with me and your family grew stronger, as did my relationship with God. Seeing your siblings finally being able to meet you was another huge inspiration. Your health improved so drastically after you had been loved on by your entire family. God was working. He was answering our prayers. You were remembering to breathe. Before I knew it, you were healthy enough to leave, wearing your premie clothes and diapers that seemed ginormous, and only one single tube to help you breathe. I wasn't ready for you and your Mom and Dad to leave. You came by Park City and said good bye to me.  I held you for the first time outside of the hospital. You had cheeks on both ends. Your parents and I wept and prayed over you on that beautiful summer day. In the famous words of Alphaba and Glinda, I had been changed for good.

I watched you continue to grow over Facebook and the Kingzoo blog. I watched myself continue to grow in my faith, finding a church, making new friends at church, serving people, and loving on everyone, especially those who need it most (sometimes it's ourselves).  We've both been blossoming into the people God wants us to be, Victor. You've shown me the Truth and the Light.

Victor Noah King, you taught me how to truly see God and you opened my heart. I don't know if there is any way to thank you and your family for everything they have done for me. God has worked through you and your family to touch so many people. Being your Aunt has been one of the best blessings I have ever received.

I love you, ya fatty.

Auntie Trina

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's official!

At 2:43 PM Eastern time, the much-anticipated news came.  He's ours!  Victor Noah King is officially a member of our family.  One less orphan in the world today.

In honor of HopeAnne's adoption in 2008, Andrew made this video.

We thought Victor needed one, too.  This one by Mariana with a little help from Dad.

We are so blessed and are definitely celebrating!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 2

These two notes came on the same day and both reference "Sweet Victor."  I just love that.

"Oh, sweet, sweet Victor. Thank you for showing us Jesus. King Family, your journey of faith is inspiring and has brought us a greater understanding of what it means to truly follow Jesus, even when it’s tough, and even when it doesn’t make sense. I feel a special connection with Victor, since he and [our son] are so close in age, and I pray that they will be good friends that will help each other grow in Christ. I think one of the most amazing things about your journey, Kings, is how I have seen your other children grow in faith, maturity and love. Watching Eden’s commitment to prayer during this time has been amazing and inspiring. Watching Hope’s sweet, nurturing love for her baby brother is so special. Watching Mariana’s protective, motherly touch is precious. And seeing how protective the boys are over him is awesome too! We sure do love the King family and that sweet little bundle of baby!"

"Sweet Little Victor,                                                               

I remember the call for prayer from your mom and dad. 
A call out to those who knew and loved your family, to ask for us to pray for them to hear God’s voice clearly and know which direction to go.
After much prayer, God shone a light directly on the path that led them to YOU!
I felt it.  Others felt it.  It was YOU!  YOU were THE ONE!
God had knit your little body together, given you a tenacious spirit to fight and survive and then He gave you a BIG present.  A forever family! 

Even when I didn’t know what you looked like, I knew you would be just perfect.  God doesn’t make mistakes and He surely made you and gave you life.  HE WANTED YOU….and so did your Mommy and Daddy and all your brothers and sisters.

Oh how they prayed for YOU.  They kept all of us well updated on how you were doing.   Once your mommy got to Utah to be with you, we began to see such wonderful pictures of You and your mommy snuggling and cuddling. 
She gave up SO much because she loved you so much!  You were that important to her.  You were that important to the whole family.  Your mommy spent endless hours beside you in the hospital in Utah.  She sang to you and prayed for you and held you and helped you grow!  She talked to you and touched you and dreamed for and about you.
Your family back home did the same in their hearts.  They wondered about you, and prayed for you to grow strong.  They gathered around the computer to see pictures of you.  They talked about you A LOT!  

I remember the excitement from your family before they piled into the van and drove out to Utah.  “We’re going to meet Victor”.   I wonder what you thought, when one after the other came to your side and talked to you…touched you…held you….sang to you.
You weren’t given just a family – you were bombarded with brothers and sisters who couldn’t keep their hands and eyes and lips off of you. 

Each day while in you and mommy were in Utah, I would pray for you to grow and get stronger.  Sometimes we had to pray pretty hard when your body was tired and didn’t want to fight anymore, but God picked you up and said “its time to grow again Victor”….and you would get bigger and stronger.  You are an overcomer!  You have incredible strength!

The first time I held you shortly after you got home to your house, I KNEW YOU WERE CHOSEN for this family;   to be cared for and loved and valued by every one of them.   You were chosen for more than to receive their love.  You were chosen to help grow their love; to make this great family even greater!  They were going to learn so much about love and sacrifice and joy and trust and faith and enjoying the simple things – because YOU were theirs. 

As I’ve watched you grow from an itty bitty little bundle of helplessness to a strong, growing, mover and a shaker of 7 months, I am more aware that God’s design for you was not just to give you a forever family, but to use you to bless your family and offer them something no one else could.  YOU are a gift!  YOU are on purpose!  YOU are so highly valued and cherished.  It is obvious to see how much your family loves you.  It is obvious to see so many others who love you too. 

 As I pray each day for you and your family Victor, I KNOW God is already using your life to be a blessing to people you haven’t even met.   I have no doubt His hand is on you to guide you, and his eyes are on you to follow you wherever you go, and in whatever you do.  Officially you’re being given the name “King”, but you’ve always been one to God. Called and Chosen. He knew, before you were made, that YOU would enter this family and bring so much to so many.

You are dearly loved and celebrated today and everyday!
Congratulations on officially becoming a KING!"

Tomorrow's the day when Victor officially becomes Victor Noah King.  Keep your stories, thoughts, and prayers coming.  I didn't realize how much they were going to mean to me but they've been so encouraging.  Thank you.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Finalization celebration, part 1

On October 27 I announced that we have an adoption finalization date.  I asked you to celebrate with us by sharing your thoughts and prayers during Victor's journey.  And they're coming in.  Thank you.  Your words are so encouraging.  I'll share a sampling here:

"Victor's testimony continues to inspire me every day.  Of course none of that would be possible without the Christ-like love you King family continue to show him, as well as loving all people you come into contact with.  I am privileged ... to have personal relationships with your whole family.  I don't know where I would be in life without the King crew, so I thank God every day to know a family so compassionate, energetic, and loving as yourselves."

"Sweet Victor. This story has been so inspirational to me. It touched me to my core and furthered my desire to be more pro-active in the right to life movement. It also further sparked a growing flame for adoption and orphan care. Yes, his life and this adoption has meant a lot to me. Thank-you!"

"I have yet to see you, to hold you, to touch you. But yet I know you through your parents who are so thrilled to have you. Through brothers and sisters who can't put you down. It is amazing to me you have any time when someone is NOT holding you. You were prayed for, thought about and so wanted before you were even conceived  God has a plan for you.  God knows what you will be. God has you and calls you His child. He is just letting the Kings be your parents for a few years."

"I am writing this to be a part of the joyous celebration of the finalization of Victor's adoption. Praise God!

When I found out about your decision to adopt Victor, my heart did a crazy twist and I started then to pray for all of you. [We] had a micro preemie ourselves. Born at the same number of weeks, exactly the same weight, and of course, he resembled ET. Unfortunately our little guy did not live and I was so afraid that you would have to suffer the same heart ache. In the beginning, my prayers were only for his survival.Then I found myself beginning to pray for individual parts of his body, especially his lungs.Then, as the days continued, I prayed for the precious little person who showed so much determination to overcome all of his problems. 

Through the journey that was Utah, I found that when I prayed for Victor the Lord laid other's in need on my heart and I became so much more thankful for what I have. Our son is also adopted, and even though there have been many trials with raising him... he suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome...I know that being his mother has been good for me. After all, God does not make mistakes!!

My prayers for Victor's future are that he grows up to be a Godly man who loves his family and and his  Lord. 

I know that God has many wonderful things in store for Victor. He will continue to touch lives. I will continue to pray for his physical problems and will continue to pray for both of you as the journey that is Victor's life unfolds.

Congratulations to the entire family!"

Thank you!  I am thrilled to know that Victor's story has blessed so many others.  I am excited that God has used Victor to teach you about serving, about blessing, about life, and about others.  What ministry has already come from his 6 months of life: People who are passionate about the right to life movement, people more interested in adoption, people who are finding their place to serve, and people who are praying more fervently for the many needs around them.  Every moment, I'd do it all over again for Victor, and for all of you.  As I watch him learning how to smile and to laugh (mostly with his siblings, of course), and to explore his environment, I am continually reminded that he is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God knew him before his birth mother knew he was there, before we knew who he was and that every single day was planned for him.  Not only for him, but for each of us who know him.  

God is good,
All the time!  
All the time,  
God is good!

Please continue to send us your thoughts and prayers.  What a blessing they are!