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!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

So blessed

Our 2013 Christmas Card - Merry Christmas!

So blessed…

Our lives have been an open book this year.  Many of you have followed our 2013 journey on Facebook and on this blog. We considered not writing a Christmas letter this year since we don’t want to bore you with the same story over and over.  On the other hand, we decided we really want to thank our family and friends again for the many ways you supported and encouraged us this year.  We are so blessed.

As we announced last Christmas, we moved into 2013 expectantly waiting to hear a yes from a birth mother; to finally be matched with a child in need of a home.  In March, Eden got tired of waiting.  She told Cindy that she was going to pick a date and pray that we would be matched by that date.  She chose April 20 and later added 5PM.  Sure enough, on April 20 at 4PM, upon arriving home from a concert, we found 3 emails about potential matches.  The third one was a long shot and the caseworker knew it.  She asked if we’d consider a micro preemie born 15 weeks early weighing only 1 lb. 13 oz.  She acknowledged the medical risk involved and also the logistics of this case – the baby was in a NICU in Utah.  By the end of the week we knew that God had chosen this particular baby for us, a baby we named Victor Noah King.  We were so blessed.

Our faith community immediately surrounded us.  They prayed for us, provided meals and transportation and volunteered to fill needs we didn’t even know we had. For Cindy, living in Utah for 3 months was a life-altering adventure.  She visited Victor daily, watching prayerfully during his good days and bad days.  “Don’t forget to breathe” became our new mantra.  Finally, at the end of July, Victor came home to be with his forever family.  We were surrounded with blessing.

In October we received the devastating news that Victor has little, if any, sight.  Our hearts break at this news as we grieve what Victor doesn’t have but we rejoice at what he does have – life and a family to love him.  We are committed to giving him all the opportunities available to him.  His name came from a promise from God that our baby would be victorious.  Through him many have been, and will continue to be, blessed.

But of course that’s not all that has happened in the King household this year.  Life goes on even in the midst of adoption, Mom moving to Utah and home again, and the day-to-day with a newborn.  We are all blessed as we explore the talents God has uniquely gifted to us and as we share them with others.

Andrew graduated from Mechanicsburg High School this spring.  He was one of three students selected to give a graduation speech.  His words showed maturity and depth and challenged his classmates to look for ways to serve others. He is currently a freshman at Asbury University, majoring in media communications.

Jesse is a junior at Mechanicsburg High School, looking ahead to college visits and major decisions in the next year.  He served as football mascot for the third year in a row, running around as the crazy Wildcat.  He just auditioned for district chorus and made it in as 9th chair cellist.

Mariana enrolled at Capital Area School for the Arts for her sophomore year, doing what she does best and loves most.  This year she has performed as Millie in Millie and Nurse Preen in The Man Who Came to Dinner and she has a lead role in the high school’s upcoming spring musical.

Shoun decided to try flag football through Upward this year and thinks he’ll be a professional football player some day.  If that doesn’t work out he’s thinking he may be well suited for a career in social work or psychology. We agree. He is in 7th grade and is cyber schooled. 

Isaac is also in 7th grade and is still homeschooled.  He is moving right along in viola lessons and also plays for the West Shore Symphony Orchestra.  Unfortunately, a soccer injury and resulting broken wrist have had him sidelined for a few weeks but hopefully he will be back soon.

Eden is also homeschooled.  She is in 3rd grade.  She has performed in three shows at Allenberry Playhouse this year.  She was Molly in Annie, the young neighbor in Wait Until Dark, and is currently a Christmas elf with Isaac.

HopeAnne is in 1st grade at home.  She decided to try acting this summer so was an orphan with Eden in Annie.  She also competed with the Healthy Kids Running Series and placed 1st in all 5 races.  She loves gymnastics classes as well.

And we can’t forget about John.  He finally finished his doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University.  Like father, like son, he also was asked to give a speech at graduation.  He says he’ll finally be able to get to that honey-do list now.

A year ago we never could have imagined the highs and lows that 2013 would bring.  Through it all, we can say with confidence that we are blessed.  We have joy, we have peace, and we have love.  We have family and we have hope in Christ.  We don’t need to know what 2014 holds because we trust that He knows the journey He’s leading us on. He knows every detail. He knows each hurt we’ll pass through as well as each joy-filled moment.  And it is always His will to bless us. 

May you step out in faith and may your eyes be opened to the blessings found in Christ’s love, joy, and peace as you journey through 2014.  That is our prayer for you.  Thank you for the blessing you have been to us; for your prayers, your acts of service and your words of encouragement, your financial support and your sacrificial giving in so many ways.

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