Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Letter: 2016

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Merry Christmas from the Harder family!! We pray that each of you have had a wonderful year. God has continued to be faithful and true to us. He is never changing and is truly all the things that Isaiah 9:6 says. He is our everlasting Father and our Prince of Peace!!

Wayne continues to do well after his cancer treatments in 2015. His recent MRI scan came back clear and the doctors are amazed at how well he is doing. We continue to trust God with our future and Wayne's health.

We have continued our adventure of homeschooling the girls. Abigail is in 8th grade (crazy how fast time goes), Grace 7th, Naomi 6th, Sophia 3rd, Micaela 1st, and Joella preschool. We have a blast as a family and are so thankful for the times that we get to spend with the girls.

This summer we took an epic adventure trip out west. We flew into San Francisco and visited family and friends in California. I took the girls to Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Lake Tahoe, and other fun places from my childhood. We went fishing, hiking, swimming at Oma's house, and had a ton of fun. After some time in California, I drove the girls 655 miles north to Washington to spend some time with Wayne's family. We had a blast hanging out with all of the family. If you missed them, you can see all the pictures from our trip here: Trip Part #1, Trip Part #2, Trip Part #3, Trip Part #4, Trip Part #5.

After a week, we drove north and visited Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park. From there we took a ferry to Vancouver Island, Canada and spent the day at Butchart Botanical Gardens (absolutely beautiful). We then drove north and met up with a group from church. We all then loaded onto a boat and traveled to a remote island. We were privileged to help prepare the grounds for campers. We did a ton of manual labor. It was such an amazing experience, one that changed the girl's and our lives forever!! 

We then made the trip south all way south to San Francisco. Along the way we visited Redwood National Park, the beach, Santa Rosa, and then San Francisco.

After we returned from our epic summer trip out west, we celebrated Wayne's 40th birthday by throwing him a surprise party (and we got him)!! 

Two days after Wayne's party, we prepared for our next adventure. This summer we hosted a 9 year old boy from China. This experience was life changing. As we opened our home and hearts to this young boy, he forever changed our family. God opened the door for us to pursue Shan Chen as our son. (You can read all about it on this older post). We also decided to pursue adopting another young boy (10) named DJ. He was hosted in the United States at the same time as Shan Chen. These boys will no longer be orphans, but will be sons and brothers. I love how adoption is a beautiful picture of what God has done for us adopting us into His family!


Shan Chen

We received amazing news this week from China that we have been officially approved to be Shan Chen and DJ's parents!! We signed the letter today and mailed our paperwork off to the US government. Lord willing, in late February, early March, Rebecca will be traveling to China to pick up our boys! Wayne is going to stay home and hold the fort down with the kids. Please pray for us as we embark on this new adventure!

We are excited to see what 2017 holds for our family!! We pray that 2017 is a great year for you as well. May we each continue to strive to honor and serve our Savior as long as He gives us breath here on this earth.

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