Harder Family

Harder Family

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Holiday Hosting: Day 8-11

Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." 

Here is the link to our Christmas letter (for those who missed it)


On Thursday, Parker had officially been with us for a week. We hit a bump or two a few days his first week. I also remember hitting a difficult time when Shan Chen was here during the summer as well. Just as any kid wants to test their boundaries, Parker tested the boundaries as well. I am excited to say that in the last 48 hours, we have seen even more of his amazing personality emerge. He seems to have opened up more, responds to hugs, loves to share what things he has created from his Christmas gifts, helps those around him, and is just an all around awesome boy. 

Spending the holidays with family and Parker has been a highlight for me. To see the joy on his face when he opened his Christmas gifts, excitement as he accomplished difficult lego builds, the love and affection he is showing to those around him is WONDERFUL. This amazing boy needs a family. No, he deserves a family to call his own!!! 

He is super bright and I think he is a potential engineer in the making. He loves to build and is very methodical and mechanical in approaching new concepts and ideas. It is astounding to watch him work on these projects!! This boy has super potential and just needs a loving family to walk along side him and encourage him. He is a JOY and he would make anyone an awesome SON! What a Christmas gift it would be for Parker if his future family stepped forward and decided to make them their SON!! There is no better gift we can give Parker then a family!!! 

Friday morning we took a drive into Chicago to visit the Christkindl Market. My sister arrived Thursday night and really wanted to visit the Christmas market. We decided to take the older girls and Parker, so that he could experience Chicago and some unique Christmas traditions. We ended the day making homemade sugar cookies and watching a family movie.

Eating a German brat with sauerkraut.

Checking out the glass blown ornaments.

Visiting the "Bean"

Warming up with hot cocoa!!

Checking out some famous spots in Chicago.

On Saturday, my other sister flew into town. That afternoon we took everyone to roller skate. Parker had a blast and was so helpful with the little ones and those who were just learning how to skate!! He is amazing to watch on roller blades!! Parker seems to get along well with everyone he meets. He did excellent meeting my niece and nephews. He has been so flexible with all our crazy holiday gatherings and running around.

We opened up Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. Parker did great and loved his gifts.

New pajamas!

Some fun toys (legos, magnaformers, and rubik's cube)

The following are some of the creations he made with his new toys!!

On our way home from church today, Parker was singing a silly song with the girls using his name. I think that these videos are a great way to display his fun personality!!

Parker is an amazing boy!! We cannot let this boy age out of the chance to have a family to call his own!!! Please share about Parker with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors...everyone! Let's find this boy a family!!

If you or someone you know are interested in finding out more information, please contact Meredith Chambers at Great Wall: 512-323-9595 or meredith@gwca.org

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holiday Hosting: Day 6-7

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

It has been such a joy to experience "new" things with Parker as he discovers new things in America. Since he is here for "winter camp" - that is what the orphanage tells the kids when they come to America, we want to make sure we are letting him have the full experience. He has been asking about skiing, which we do not do in this house. So, we opted to take him sledding and he had a blast. Saturday we are going roller skating with the cousins and next week we are going ice skating. 

The past two days have been filled with different appointments. We visited the dentist and we discovered that he had no cavities and his teeth all look great. Yesterday, we went to the doctor and the doctor said everything looks amazing. We are blessed to have a pediatrician in our group that speaks Mandarin. She was able to ask him all kinds of questions and help discover anything extra. She told us that Parker is in great health! She says that his Chinese (both written and spoken) is great, he knows math (multiplication, division, adding, and subtracting), and seems overall a pretty sharp kid. We knew he was sharp since he has been spending hours playing with our Snap Circuit. He just looks at the pictures and is able to put together complicated snap circuits!! This is great information to discover while he is here in America. His medical file, according to what we see, is inaccurate. This information will be helpful for his future parents  to have a better understanding of who he is.

Parker had a blast in the car wash. It's worth the 50 seconds to see the joy on his face. (He thought I was taking his picture, so he was posing).

Each day more of his personality is emerging. Could you be the family he is longing for? If you are interested in finding out more information, please contact Meredith Chambers at Great Wall: 512-323-9595 or meredith@gwca.org

If you are interested in meeting Parker while he is in the United States, you can email Meredith to find out how we can set up a time. Parker is staying in Chicago until 1/13. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Hosting: Days 2-5

Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

WOW! That is all I can say about Parker. This kid continues to amaze us! I cannot believe that this boy has been waiting 12 years for a family. He has transitioned nicely into our American culture and home. His favorite thing to do is roller blade in the basement and play monster tag with the girls. He has done great adjusting to going everywhere with us, including Costco. He politely asked if we could buy a huge bag of onions and garlic. I guess like DJ, this boy likes onion and garlic sandwiches!! 

On Friday we made sugar cookies as a family. Parker really enjoyed rolling out his cookies and decorating them. He didn't seem to mind eating them either.

On Sunday we discovered even more about Parker. During church, Parker took notes by writing down the verses we were studying at church. Then while we were singing songs in church, I heard him start singing...in English!! After church, we were talking with my friend Ting Ting, who speaks fluent Mandarin. She told me that he told her that he has taken four years of English. He can't speak a lot of English, but he can read enough to participate and sing in English. Through this conversation, we also discovered that he LOVES school. I loved hearing that news because the girls need to do school while he is here with us. Now I know that I can give him school work and he will enjoy it.

Today we had some friends over to do an art class. We studied three French artists (Monet, Cezanne, and Seurat), listened to Claude Debussy classical music, and ate crepes for lunch. Parker did art with us and even wrote notes!! His neat handwriting puts all my girl's handwriting to shame. 

Parker's masterpiece

Parker is an amazing boy that wants and needs a family. 16 months is all he has left before he is forever an orphan. Could he be your son?? If you would like more information about Parker, please contact Meredith Chambers at Great Wall Adoption: 512-323-9595 or meredith@gwca.org

If you are interested in meeting Parker while he is in the United States, you can email Meredith to find out how we can set up a time. Parker is staying in Chicago until 1/13. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday Hosting: Day 1

Hebrews 13:16 "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."

*Christmas Letter* (in case you missed our Christmas Letter)

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. We get to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and also share gifts with those around us. The best gift we can give anyone is ourselves, just as Jesus Christ did for us. God has been so good to us and has blessed us with so much, how could we not share our abundance with others? 

We are so blessed to have a special gift with us this Christmas. Our host child, "Parker", arrived last night from China. Already in the first 24 hours, we have been blessed by his presence. He is an incredible boy that deserves a family to call his own!!!

As many of you know, we are in the process of adopting two boys from China. We decided to host Parker for the winter hosting program while we are waiting for our paperwork to be completed. We are praying that an amazing family steps up and decides to adopt this incredible boy. 

Parker is "on the clock". What I mean by that is that he is close to the age where China will no longer allow him to be adopted (age of 14). Parker is 12 years old and his birthday is in April. That means that Parker has 16 month to have a family pick him up from China, otherwise he will never have a family. He will never have a mom, a dad, any siblings, have extended family to spend the holidays with, someone to give him advice and help him transition to adulthood, and eventually, he will be on his own to survive in China (which is very difficult with an orphan background).

This amazing boy deserves a FAMILY!! He deserves to be loved and cherished. He is a GIFT!! While he is here with us over the next month, I'll be sharing pictures and stories about Parker. Please pray about what role you could play in Parker's life or another orphan's life. There are so many children waiting to be someone's son or daughter. What better gift could you give a child this Christmas then a FAMILY?? Take a leap of FAITH and see God move powerfully!!

Parker has done a great job with all the girls. He has been all smiles since he got off the plane and has no trouble acting like an older brother to them.

This boy can eat. First breakfast (at 5:20am was 3 eggs, 6 dumplings), then a second breakfast (a bowl of hot cereal), followed by a fruit smoothie for snack, and rice & 10 potstickers for lunch!!

Thankful for an unfinished basement for the kids to ride their rollerblades around. Parker is a gold medal winner for skating in the special olympics!!

Excited about his new shoes!!

Look at that smile!! Could this be YOUR son?? 

For more information: contact Shannon Smith at Great Wall Adoptions: (512)323-9595 or shannon@gwca.org

Also, check out this information from a couple years ago: https://waitingchildinfo.com/2004/04/01/parker/