Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A year ago, God changed my life like I could have never imagined. You see, He gave me something I was lacking. Something huge! He gave me a family, a home, and tons of love. None of this was familiar to me, as I had none of it. He has filled my life with many other blessings, too! Much extended family to spoil me too, many new friends who are pretty special, and doctors who were able to meet my medical needs and perform miraculous surgery. God also brought me to a country where I have the freedom to grow up in a fabulous church and have a loving church family, where I can learn more about Him. This list of blessings goes on and on. My mom and dad like to tell me how God used many kind, loving, giving people to make this all happen. You were one of these generous persons. I don't truly understand it all right now, but when I'm older, I probably will. Whatever kind act you did, whether it be helped with a fundraiser, gave a donation, or most importantly prayed for me, etc., please know that my family and I are so thankful. We ask God often to bless you like only He can! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Toryn Ling Kendrick & family

~Christmas Catch Up~

My three favorite people!

...and why did I clean house the night before Christmas? That was dumb!

Tessa wanted some rainboots since it actually rains in Arlington where she is going to college.

Treagan got a really cool jacket. He loved it (especially since he picked it out. lol) Couldn't pass it up, we saw it while we were in Arlington, and he really wanted it, so I made him let me wrap it. Plus, it was on sale!

Santa Clause put some new houseshoes in Toryn's stocking.

Santa Clause also brought Toryn a Batman tricycle, aka...motorcycle as he calls it.
He was thrilled. (Note: Toryn wore these Chrismas pajamas just last year when we were in China for Christmas. They were long then....notice how short they are now. Yep, he's grown, I do believe.)

Aunt "Kiki" (Cristi) is helping Toryn open more gifts!

We went to Grandma Wilma's for lunch and presents. Here, Toryn is thanking Grandma for his little guitar she gave him. Toryn is all about music and instruments. He loves any kind of instrument, but is real thrilled that he won't have to use Treagan's tennis racket for his guitar anymore. He loves for me to sing while he plays. (He's the only one that loves it! haha) His favorite to play is "Deep and Wide" and "This Little Light of Mine".

Look at my cool guitar!

"I'm so excited.....what could it be?"

Treagan looks like he is thinking, "could that package really be that hard to open, Payton?"

Taylor opening his gift, while sporting his new, cool, hat!

Christmas evening, we went out to Tim & Kim's for the Kendrick Christmas. Grandma Helen has given all the kids a new ornament each year. The kids love this tradition and always hang their ornaments with pride each year.

Timothy had drawn Toryn's name and gave him this awesome keyboard. Again, Toryn loved it because he loves to play music! (Thanks everyone for giving him nothing but noise makers this year. His mom & dad are so excited!)

Tessa and her new ornament.

The Crazy Cousins on the Kendrick side! Notice Christin (in the purple) has a little "bulge" in the middle. No, we did not feed her too much Christmas candy....I am going to be a great aunt in March! We can't wait!!!

Everyone gets a stocking, which is our favorite!

Merry Christmas from The Kendrick's

Celebrating Gotcha Day- 12/22/09

I wanted to try to come up with a special tradition to start to celebrate Gotcha Day. Since Termite and I worked today (and different shifts), it made it a challenge to do something with the whole family. We went to the local Chinese restaurant. Seems only appropriate to have Chinese food to celebrate. It was nice to have Tessa home from college, so she could join us. Unfortunately, Termite had to work, so he didn't get to join us, maybe next year. I still can't believe it has been a year since this sweet boy was placed in my arms. What a fun year it's been!

A year ago, Toryn wasn't smiling quite so big when he was getting a hug from me. I love these mama moments!

This boy LOVES noodles! It was so cute when I put his plate down in front of him. He immediately looked up at the waitress and said, "Chopsticks", just as if he uses them at every meal. In fact, when we first got home last year, we gave him some to see if he knew how to use them, and he seemed to not know how. Some of the other children knew how, but I guess he had not been exposed to them. The waitress brought him some, and this is how he used them for his noodles.

"I think I will try the fork now. Seems I can do that much faster!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A year ago today, God gave us a blessing that changed our life forever! He fulfilled a dream that I had for a long time. A desire to be used to change a life for better. A desire to add more love and joy to our home. A desire to do God's will and fulfill His calling. A longing to bring my child home from across the world. Today has been a year, since He did just that. He gave us our little asian sensation. A year ago today, Yang Ling Jun, was placed in my arms, and then became Toryn Ling Kendrick. I cannot believe it has been a year. What a year of blessings it has been. How this sweet boy has melted this heart. How this sweet boy has taught me so how when you trust God with all you have, He will carry you through, not just some of the way, but every step. Oh, how I love this little guy. He is so much fun and has brought so much joy to our family. Many times, I just sit back and watch him enjoy life. I have loved watching him blossum and grow. I can't imagine what his life would have been like, stuck in that orphanage. Oh, how thankful we are that God rescued him. I just can't understand what I have done to deserve the blessings God has given me. I guess, really, we don't deserve any of God's goodness, but because of who He is, He loves us enough to bless us anyway. I cannot imagine life without Toryn. Thank you so much, Lord!

God used MANY people to help bring Toryn home, and we are still humbled at everyone's generosity. We are so grateful to each of you that made this possible. Rather you supported or helped with our fundraisers, gave a donation, prayed for us, or whatever kind act you did, please know that we still pray that God blesses you in big ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

On Gotcha Day, Dec. 22, 2008

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Little Star!

How cute! The Toddler Dept. at church sang for us tonight. What a blessing! Toryn's first performance. He did so good. (You never know- he can be very moody at times. lol) He was in the best mood. Before church, he kept telling me he was going to play a horn. Probably because Treagan had his band concert this past week and Toryn LOVES anything to do with the band. When I asked him what instrument he was going to play tonight at church, he said 'tuba'. Made my heart sing (I played tuba in school :) No, he didn't play a horn, but he did get to jingle some bells. He was also very excited about wearing his tie. He looked adorable and of course was the cutest one up there. I'm not partial or anything! Yes, you know me, I was teary eyed through the whole thing. Couldn't help but think about how wonderful God is to bring this sweet boy home from China where he has the freedom to sing and praise His holy name. Can't believe that on Tuesday, God placed this sweet child in my arms! More on that Tuesday, our Gotcha Day anniversary!

Toryn's Sunday School teachers gave him this soccer ball. He has been wanting one and he was very excited when they gave in to him.

All the kids were adorable. Toryn didn't sing a whole lot, but he did all of the hand motions.

I look absolutely adorable in my vest and tie!

Silly Face Sunday (enjoying his corn on the cob!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Party at Southfork Ranch

I was totally pumped when Toryn received an invitation to a Christmas Party hosted by Dr. Genecov and his staff (Craniofacial Institute) at Southfork Ranch. What made it even better was that we were already going to be in that area meeting with the lady from our agency for our LAST meeting, which is the 12 month post placement report. The icing on the cake, of course, was getting to spend time with Tessa. =)
The party was really fun. It wasn't quite what I expected, but the kids were having a blast and that's what it was all about. I was pretty excited that it was at Southfork Ranch, remembering that Dad & Mom were faithful viewers of the show Dallas. Of course, Tessa and Treagan wanted to know what was so special about Southfork Ranch. Geez- such youngsters. We actually didn't get to go into the house, so that was a little disappointing. A lady from Radio Disney kind of hosted the party. (Treagan just knew they would let Miley come! lol) They had different activities for the children like crafts, games, dances, a firetruck ride, and snakes for the kids to hold. YES, you read that right! How crazy is that?!!! Toryn LOVED the snakes and didn't want to do anything else. (there is something seriously wrong with that boy!) I, on the other hand, like snakes about as much as I like mice, which is absolutely, positively NONE whatsoever!!!! HATE THEM!!!! I did take pictures, as you can see below, thanking God the entire time for ZOOM lenses! The most precious part of the whole party was the fact that there were tons of children there with craniofacial birth defects, many cleft children, and many more severe. These children were having the time of their lives and not a care in the world. One little girl, probably about 4 or 5 years old, was very disfigured, but I will never forget those beautiful blue eyes and that precious smile plastered on her little face when she was "dancing" in her wheelchair that her daddy was pushing. Priceless, just priceless. Beautiful children and oh, how I'm reminded of how truly blessed we are. Yes, I was given a child with one of these birth defects, but when he smiles, you don't see that scar at all. Instead, you see one of God's masterpieces. I am so thankful that God has given these extremely talented surgeons the ability to perform these miraculous surgeries. WOW! Truly, behind the face of these children is a heart!

A great big thank you to Dr. Genecov and his staff for a fun day!

Southfork Ranch- where is J.R.?

As you can see, Toryn was not real fond of Santa Clause!

Lovin' me some mama moment!

Toryn trying to hoola hoop in the hoola hoop contest. I think we need to practice!

YIKES, get that snake out of here! He liked touching it!

I should have known, Tessa would be the first one to hold the snake. Her daddy doesn't call her Ellie May for no reason!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day

It's not very often that we have snow here in West Texas, and when it does snow a little, we get very excited. Pretty sad when you can see the grass through the snow, but oh well, we'll take what we can get. Best part was that it was enough to close school! Yippee!

Treagan is teaching Toryn how to make the perfect snowball. I think they are scheming! Oh, No!!!

"Hey, the door!" No way, turkeys!


Thank the Lord for glass doors!

Treagan making a snow angel.........or is it a mud angel?

I don't know if Toryn has ever seen snow, but I do know that I will never forget the excitement on his face when we opened the door this morning. He loved it, and didn't want to come in. Maybe it will be a white Christmas, and then Tessa can join them for the fun when she's home from college for the holidays.