Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blessed Christmas

I can't wait to share....but I'm headed out the door.

Our Christmas was incredibly blessed with ALL of our children home.

Today, Josie-Tatum asked her mama for a date, so we are going ice skating.

I hope to post photos and more this evening.

I pray your Christmas was overflowing with blessings, too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas from Ellie, JT, and the Ninja Sheep

It was a Christmas play like no other. It was awesome!

I love to watch Christmas plays involving children. I love to watch children being children.

That would be the best way to describe our children's Christmas play at church. It opened with Ellie as the greeter. Didn't you enjoy that?

The story continued with Mary, Joseph, and inkeeper, the stable......

some angels:
Josie-Tatum was an angel.

Of course, there was one BRIGHT star, but there was many other smaller stars. Ellie was a small star. (After a quick costume change following the opening.)

The play, however, had some very interesting animals. They slowly crawled....down the aisle and made it to the stage. The sheep, though, were not quite the docile creatures we remember sheep to be. They seemed more like sheep from Mission Impossible. They had a quite a few moves that might impress Tom Cruise. I was unable to get a really good action show, but, perhaps you can get the idea from this one.

I pray you have enjoyed children's Christmas plays this year, too. If not, I think you should schedule some time to see one. It helps us see Christmas through special eyes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blessed with Boys

Overwhelmed with the goodness of our Savior this weekend, I sat in our home and pondered life as it will soon be with two more sons. How could I be so blessed?

All of my children were home, except Zeke and Drew. Whitney and Brandon are home from college for the holidays. And, blessing of blessings, Caleb's submarine came back into its home port this week. He came by for the afternoon.

Later that evening, after having a family Christmas with his wife's extended family, Caleb came back to see us. There was much laughter as we sat around the dining room table, and we were joined later by some of the boys' high school friends. It's been a long time since I heard so much laughter in our home.

And...since the boys complain that they "never" make the blog, I asked them, along with their friends to pose for a photo.

The friends, however, couldn't understand why the girls weren't allowed to be in the picture. They insisted we take a photo with the girls, too. Just to be Caleb's and Brandon's record was kept unbroken, there had to be a few pranks before the photo session was over.

And, finally a photo with all of them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Making Memories

Sometimes, I have a crazy idea pop into my head about Making Memories. I have decided on a Friday afternoon to go see snow fall in West Virginia....and we made memories.

This idea was a little less expensive. The girls had an impromptu sleep over. They started on the trampoline. Then, we ordered pizza. Then we started making memories.

After the trampoline and our pizza supper, someone allowed Ellie and LizAnn to give a manicure. Future advice: Six-yea-olds are not gentle on the cuticles.

Did you guess?

It was Daddy!!!! (He told me I shouldn't post these photos on the blog, but he had a smile on his face when he told me that, so I think he wont' mind.)

We made lots of paper snowflakes, and embellished them with glitter glue and sequins. Stan even made a snowflake; however, he decided to have me work on the embellishment so he could keep his "man card." (Yeah, right! After the previouc manicure.)

After the snowflake creations and subsequent cleaning of the mess, we did something I love that totally freaks Stan out. I made hot chocolate and took the girls outside to shout Merry Christmas at the passersby. Only......we were on the roof. Not. Kidding.

When I asked Liz Ann if she'd like to spend the night with Ellie, she said with great enthusiasm, "I've always wanted to take a bath with Ellie!" So, I made it a bubble bath.

And, after the bubble bath, we left our home at 11:00 PM and rode the town looking at Christmas lights.

It was an awesome evening of making memories!!

Sing Hallelujah

We interrupt this family blog for a story about another child....whose life is connected to ours in a way that only Jesus Himself could orchestrate.

Many of you may remember that last year our family was contacted and asked to advocate for Xiao Yong. It was when we began to advocate for him that God led us to our Drew. (Read more about this story on a Memorial Box post here.

Today is Xiao Yong's day!!!

He was left behind time after time and year after year. He WAS the only child remaining at the foster home where our Ellie lived. Many children have come and found their families. Many new faces always coming, always leaving. Xiao Yong was always staying.

He had developed a habit of asking any male volunteers who came to the foster home, "Big Brother, will you play with me?"

But, God who loves the fatherless was orchestrating a plan for Xiao Yong. Our family had the privilege of praying for him from Friday to Monday...when we learned a family was committing to him, a forever family.

Now, just over one year later. Xiao Young met his Baba!!!!
(That's "daddy" in Chinese.)

Sing Hallelujah with me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Teacher....too precious NOT to share

I have a pain in the neck...NO. REALLY. My neck is killing me, and I will see the doctor today. But, better than a pain in the neck is the most PRECIOUS letter I have ever received from a student.

I have a file that I have labeled, "Smiles From Students." I couldn't possibly keep every note, letter, or hand drawn picture from the past 25 years...but I keep those that are special.

And, this one will go on the top. I don't know, maybe it should go in our Memorial Box.

I must begin by telling you I had a very difficult afternoon yesterday. There is nothing wrong with me, but there was a situation involving people I love dearly, and I was sort of caught in the middle.

I received a phone call about it at work, and I was upset. (The details are not mine to share, but this letter will blow you away.) I was so upset that I had to leave the classroom for a few minutes and get my thoughts and myself together. An administrator saw me in the hallway, and my classroom was well cared for while I nursed my aching heart. Many of my students in more than one class saw me...as it was "changing classes" time. When I returned to the CR, I assured them everything was fine. It was just some sad news from a friend.

And, truthfully, when I went to bed last night, PRAISE the LORD! Jesus had worked through the difficult siutation.

Then today, a student put a note on my desk. Nothing unusual about that.

Until I read it.

Get the tissues:
Dear Mrs. Robbie,

Are you ok? I saw you crying yesterday an dgot worried. Mrs. (teacher) told us we could pray if wanted to. So I did. I bowed my head and closed my eyes and said, "Dear Lord. Be with Mrs. Robbie. If anything is wrong work it out pleace. Once again be with Mrs. Robbie. Amen.:
Sincerely with love,
(Student Name)
P.S. I am always remembering you!

God sends me just what I need just when I need it. Many teachers shy away from fourth grade. I love fourth graders. And, while the world would say the generation of children in elementary school is full of problems. I would agree. But this same student has had her share of problems, and she has been left with a heart of compassion that surely makes Jesus smile more than I did today.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two Reasons to Smile

I smiled when my cell phone rang today. Smile with me....the caller ID showed Caleb's cell phone number. His submarine was surfacing, so he was standing on top of the sub calling his mama and she felt like she was on top of the world. :)

And, finally, I have been able to upload this video from a month ago. Smile at the debut of Moose, aka my nephew Joshua, and Ellie singing Ellie's theme song. (Don't forget to scroll down and pause the play list.) "You fall down. You get back up again. You may be knocked down but not out forever."

Ellie would love to see your comments telling her what an inspiration she is!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Surprise from China

I've had these precious photos for a couple of weeks, but haven't shared yet.

Drew celebrated his 4th birthday on Nov 13th...and his AWESOME nanny sent me pictures of the celebration.

Have you noticed how many photos include him eating? I think that boy likes to eat!;)

Please pray for our Drew. His nanny also shared that his closest friend was adopted this summer and the other two boys close to his age are leaving with their forever families soon. While he knows his forever family is coming, he will be "left behind" for a few months without his friends. Pray that God will protect his heart.

Our Zeke is in a huge orphanage. While his current situation lacks the loving and caring environment where Drew is, he is likely not even aware that a family is coming. His orphanage has just opened to adoption in the last year. He will need much prayer as he learns to adjust to a family, but his heart is less vulnerable right now.

Thank you for rejoicing with us. Thank you for all of the emails and encouragement we received in the last 2 days!!!!!

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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
Josie-Tatum's MeiMei