Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome Back!

Yes, you are right. It has been almost a year since I have posted anything on here. It's funny how, once you have a child, everything else just ceases to exist or matter. Time flies by and before you know it, it's been a year since I have updated my blog. Life has been insane over the last year. Here are some updates:

July 26, 2013- A day commonly referred to as Gotcha Day in the adoption community! Silas was finally home in our arms. This beautiful little picture, which will forever be my favorite picture of the little man, was taken in a Taipei hotel the night before we began our L-O-N-G journey home. The first week home was very rough, and I had some amazing adoptive parent friends who provided me with love, support, and "it gets better" encouragement.

Time began to fly by very quickly!  Maternity leave was gone within the blink of an eye. We were fortunate enough to have amazing friends that provided Silas with the best of childcare during the day. There was lots of traveling and meeting family. Everyone wanted a glimpse of the little boy.

But there was one individual that was less than ecstatic... Spumoni. As you can see from this picture, the spoiled pup became affection starved. Don't let her fool you... she is still horribly spoiled!

 And then... Silas turned one! Steve began an annual tradition of taking Silas camping on his birthday. This first year, camping was inside Silas' bedroom and lasted a whole ten minutes before he wanted to be in his crib... but that was pretty much our expectation.

When Silas was three months old in Taiwan, he had heart surgery. Now, at 13 months old, he had another surgery. This picture is of him in his little hospital gown preparing for surgery. As soon as he woke up (and ate) after surgery, he was walking around and happy as a clam. He is a champ! This boy has more scars than most adults. During his surgery, which had nothing to do with his heart, they did an echocardiogram and found that Silas' heart is working great and they have no concerns.

Silas is a great eater... that is one area he has not struggled in since coming home! This kid eats at least 4-5 meals a day... plus snacks (or nacks as he calls them).
He is thin but lengthwise he is right on track.

Silas' first Christmas came with upheaval. After almost 3.5 years in Champaign, Illinois, we felt God leading us to move to be closer to family. We moved, jobless and homeless, to Louisville, Kentucky. We moved two days before Christmas, and were able to be with both Gockes and Lecocqs for Silas' first holiday season.

Steve and I soon both had jobs and found a nice home with a large backyard for Spumoni. I am working for a wonderful organization doing intensive in-home family therapy, and Steve is working for AT&T.

In May, Silas was able to go on his first family vacation. We went to Florida with the Lecocq side of the family, and quickly learned that Silas is a fish. That kid could not stay out of the water! He enjoyed time with family, and was continually spoiled and loved on. He even got to try chocolate pudding for the first time! In June, Silas had his first visit to Churchill Downs and loved the experience! He enjoyed seeing and cheering for the horses.

And now you are all caught up on the little man's life! I am committing to keeping this blog up to date from now on.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Overwhelmed... but it's all good!

This morning Steve and I received the news that our final court decree has finally arrived for our little Silas Hsieh! We are hoping to bring him home in the next month... but waiting on our immigration services appointment date to know for sure when we will travel.

I am so ecstatic, and so overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to do before he comes home! I think I might throw a "Prepare For Silas Party" and invite people to my house to help me get ready!

This boy is ready to come home and be spoiled!!

Meanwhile, we are doing our final fundraiser to bring this little man home! If you want to help by giving Silas a wish/blessing, you can visit the following website and help us:

I'm also going to try and post a link to it on the blog itself.

Thank you all for your love and support!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

100 Good Wishes

The Gocke family has been so very blessed by all of the love, support, and prayers we have received during our adoption process. Silas is already so loved!! We are hoping to bring him home in July of this year, and still have a lot to do before we are ready to bring him home! We are trying to make one final push/fundraiser to be able to finish financing the adoption. Everyone has been great and so supportive so far! This last fundraiser is called "100 Good Wishes." It is inspired by the Chinese tradition called Bai Jia Bei (100 Good Wishes), where people make a 100 piece quilt in celebration of a new life. We have our online quilt, and you can purchase a patch for just $10, and include your wish or blessing for little Silas. Just go to the link listed, and make your wish/blessing for our bundle of joy! We love you all so much and appreciate you!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Closer!!!!

Many of you have been asking for an update on Steve and I's adoption of little Silas man!!

Well things have been moving! On June 11th, we received our first court decree. Now we are waiting on the final decree and our immigration services appointment in Taiwan to be scheduled. We are hoping and praying to bring Silas home in July.

I will be traveling alone on the second trip. Steve's summer schedule is very hectic. I plan on making an extended layover on the way home in Seattle to spend time with my brother Joe, his wife Jess, and their daughter Luca Rose. The cousins need some play time!

This will be a difficult week for Silas, as his girlfriend, Claire, is leaving him and going home to her wonderful parents this week. Claire is the little girl that had the same surgery as Silas on the same day as his, and has been Silas' cribmate. I am sure he will be very sad, but her mom and I are already planning when we can get together, so the lovebirds will be reunited soon!

Several people have asked me what we still need for Silas, and there is definitely a lot that we still need. We have clothes, and we have plenty of eating and drinking utensils. We are needing some developmental toys for him. Silas is a little behind developmentally because his little body was so concerned with healing from his heart surgery, that he is a bit behind. But we will get him caught up soon!

If you want to go to our registry, we have registered at Target, and have many items on there that are still needed.

People have also asked us if we still need any help financially with our adoption fees, and we definitely do still need assistance in raising our funds. If you would like to help in this area, you can send a check to the Gocke home at 3912 Aberdeen Drive, Champaign, IL 61822.

We are so grateful for all of your love, support, and prayers!! There is no way we would be bringing our son home if it were not for each and every one of you!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This post is a complete 180 degrees from my last post the other week. As I mentioned in my post, last week was a rough week. Mother's Day was just hard, and then feeling like our case was "stuck" and not moving was causing me a great deal of anxiety. I mean, A GREAT DEAL of anxiety!!

But then in this last week, things have gotten so much better! I actually called the orphanage because we had a question regarding the process and legalities. I was able to talk with them for about 20 minutes. Did we get this huge news that the judge approved us or that something amazing had happened?? No, but that wasn't what I needed. I just needed to talk. It was so wonderful to talk to Bev. It completely put my mind, heart, and spirit at ease. I am so grateful to God for this orphanage and how God has blessed and used them in the lives of so many already, and know He will continue to bless them.

We have also seen movement in the cases of other adoptive families that we know, and that provides a great deal of comfort. We know things are moving, and we hope to hear soon that our adoption decree has been received.

Meanwhile, our little man is doing great! They said he downed a bottle in five minutes flat the other day... which is really good for him. Bev said he has very strong legs, and I think he'll be a soccer star! Or a runner like his dad. We also had a baby shower, which was a blast. We felt so blessed and received so many gifts. On Monday I received in the mail this amazing present from my cousins!

We appreciate all of your prayers and support as we have been going through this process!

If you want a four minute quick tutorial of the history of Taiwan, here is a link to a cool video:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yep... those two words describe me! I like things to be in order and organized just the way I want them to be. You can just ask Dayna... I like lists and get very excited about excel spreadsheets!

That was before my husband and I started the adoption process ourselves. Oy vey! I have this strong desire for control, but have absolutely no control over the process. As so many of you know (and I knew from a social workers standpoint), the adoption process contains many unexpected twists and turns. Our trust must be completely in our caseworkers, orphanage workers, foreign judges and government officials, Immigration Services, etc. There is nothing that we can do to hurry the process along or to make things go according to our own timeframes.

This weekend was difficult, as it was Mother’s Day. It is difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day when our child is 7,607 miles away from me. I needed to do something therapeutic, so I decided to paint our son’s soon-to-be-bedroom. The color we had decided on and bought was gray, and then have blue, brown, and white accents. So I spent a good 5.5 hours taping, trimming, and painting the room. It was quite therapeutic.

I finished around 9:00 pm, and looked at my handiwork. The walls ended up being purple! I had bought paint swatches, then paint samples, and painted little sample areas so that we could choose this color. Never was there any purple undertone. But here the walls were, finished, and looking terribly purple. I became mad. Really, really mad. My husband tried to comfort me, and told me it looked fine. I said, “No, it doesn’t look fine. It looks purple! I’m repainting it.” He is a very wise man, and the next words that came out of his mouth were the smartest words he’s ever said: “Let’s eat some ice cream.” I ate my ice cream and calmed down.

Why did I become mad about such a little thing as the color of the walls? It wasn’t the color of the walls that made me mad… it was that the one thing I felt I had control over at that moment did not turn out the way I wanted it to. In the process of bringing my child home, there is so little that I have control over. Painting his room was the one thing that I could do where I had complete control. So when my gray room turned out purple, it was just too much for me to handle on an already emotional day.

It reminded me of the story in Luke of Martha and Mary. Martha was so worried about making everything perfect for Jesus’ visit. She was probably like me, and a control freak. She most likely wanted to make sure everything was clean, that the food was prepared perfectly, that the best wine was being served. When I was young, whenever we would have guests over and my mom would be cleaning, my dad would call it “Martha Mode.” Every now and then she would go into what we called “Hyper Martha Mode”… that’s when you had best just stay out of her way. I guess I know who I get it from!

Then we have Mary. When Jesus was there, she sat at his feet and listened to every word he had to say… soaking it all in. Martha of course complained about Mary to Jesus. Jesus’ reply, found in Luke 10:41-42 really convicted me: “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

I probably relate more to Martha than I do to Mary. Actually if I am being honest with myself, there is no “probably” about it… I absolutely relate more to Martha! I worry… I aim for perfection… I want control. But Jesus’ words in this Scripture hit me like a load of bricks… “one thing is needed.”

I need to be reminded that when those crazy times come, and nothing is going the way I want it to, I need to spend time at the feet of Jesus. I need to soak myself in His word, and in His presence. That is the “one thing” that I need. More than control… more than perfection… more than legal paperwork from Taiwan; I need Jesus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Why I Hated Mother's Day

This weekend I had the honor of having an article published by Relevant Magazine on their website.
The article had been in my mind for several years, and I had a very strong desire to write it. However, I never felt that I was at an emotionally healthy place to write it. Finally, this year, I felt ready to put all of these raw emotions and feelings down for the public to view. I would go as far as to say that I distinctly felt God calling me to do this.

The pain that Mother’s Day can cause is a subject that is often not discussed, and I wanted to change that. I wanted to open Pandora’s Box… to allow that pain to flow out and let others know that they are not alone.

I pray that God allows this to speak to your hearts. Feel free to share with others.