Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, March 12, 2018

Standing in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30 "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one."

The word that came to my mind this morning during my quiet time was standing in the gap. There are three ways I feel like God is calling me to stand in the gap today. 1) For families that are picking up their kids today in China, 2) for someone who just discovered their spouse may have GBM, and 3) for marriages. 

1. Today my Facebook feed was filled with beautiful families who decided to take a leap of faith and stand in the gap for children who needed families. It brought tears to my eyes to see these parents united with the children that they have prayed for, pursued, filled out countless hours of paperwork, and journeyed half-way across the world. My heart is so happy for these families and for these children who now have a forever family. I also know that the first few days will be filled with mixed emotions for these children as they leave everything they know behind. Will you pray with me for these families as they adjust to their new lives and their new normals? 

2. My Facebook feed was also filled with some sad news. I discovered through a friend that another adoptive mom's husband just had brain surgery yesterday for a tumor. The doctors believe that it may be GBM. This beautiful family has 10 kids! I do not know this lady personally, and yet I understand the anguish and heartache she is experiencing right now. I know that many of you shared our story and that complete strangers around the country, and even the world, prayed for us. Will you pray for this family too? Pray that God gives them a peace that passes all understanding and that they will rest in knowing that God is the one who numbers our days, not the doctors. I really do not like it when doctors say, "You have maybe 6-12 months!" Thankfully, Wayne's doctors never said that, I had to google GBM to find that out myself (note: google is not your friend for looking up medical things). Please stand in the gap with me and pray for this family.

3. In the last few months, I have seen numerous friends write that they have divorced or are facing difficult circumstances in their marriages. This makes my heart break. I feel like Satan is working over time trying to destroy marriages all around me. Marriage is a beautiful picture of Jesus and the church, so Satan would love to do anything he can to destroy these pictures. Will you stand in the gap with me and pray for our marriages? Pray first that spouses keep their eyes on the Lord, He is the one that can save our marriages and help us grow closer together. Second, pray that couples keep each other first before anything else, including their children, and that they communicate openly with each other. Unexpressed and unmet expectations will destroy a marriage. Third, pray that we will surround each other and encourage one another in our marriages. We should help each other fight to save and protect our marriages. Let's stand in the gap for marriages!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Brain Cancer Surgery

Psalm 111 
Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is His work,
    and His righteousness endures forever.
He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear Him;
    He remembers His covenant forever.
He has shown His people the power of His works,
    in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of His hands are faithful and just;
    all His precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
    to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to His people;
    He has commanded His covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is His name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever!

Today marks the third year anniversary of Wayne's brain surgery to remove his cancerous tumor. God has been so faithful to us throughout the past three years. I decided to make a short video highlighting just how far God has brought Wayne in the last three years. When God is faithful, I think it is important to share and testify to His goodness, faithfulness, and love. I love the Psalm above...it expresses my heart. God has been faithful to us and has walked through the deepest, darkest waters with us. I hope that you enjoy this video and that it reminds you that no matter what deep waters you are walking through, God is there for you in the midst of the waves and storms!! We also want to thank everyone for their faithful prayers for our family. We are so thankful for each one of you!!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

One Year: Shan Chen's Forever Family Day & Brain Cancer Prayer

One year ago today, Shan Chen walked up his orphanage hallway one last time an orphan. I'll never forget his smile as he walked in the room and saw me. I'll also never forget the face of his beloved foster mom. The mixed emotions on her face will forever be in my mind. She tried to be happy for Shan Chen, but it was also painful. This woman loved on and cared for Shan Chen for years. I remember walking into their apartment, where Shan Chen joyfully showed me his home. There was no mistaking Shan Chen's joy to finally have a family of his own, after seeing countless children leave his foster home with their forever families. I'll never forget hugging the woman who cared for my son as she sobbed in my arms. We still talk to his foster family when we can.

What a year it has been with Shan Chen! Shan Chen was able to get his new prosthetic leg, which allowed him to play his first soccer game last Saturday and score two goals!! He has also grown a ton. He went from a size 7/8 to a 10/12: he grew 3" and gained 17 pounds!! 

The last year has been filled with many exciting new adventures, but there have also been hard days...days dealing with the agony and pain of trauma. When the boys first came home, DJ wanted to go back to China and everything he knew. We told him that Lord willing, we would love to take a trip back to China and let him visit his foster family and friends. This brought him comfort, but Shan Chen cried thinking that we would bring him back to China and leave him there. This broke my heart! Shan Chen was ready to move on from China and embrace America. Overall, Shan Chen has done phenomenal and his English is amazing! Most people who meet Shan Chen cannot believe that he has only been home one year. His joy for life brings smiles to our face every day. He is also all boy. He loves shooting his toys, playing outside, and being active. We are so thankful that God brought these boys into our lives and forever changed us for the better!

3-8-17 (last year)

3-8-18 (today): what a difference a year makes!


This day three years ago was the day before Wayne's brain surgery. Friends held a prayer time in front of our house. It was so touching to see all of our friends gathered around us to lift us up before our heavenly Father! I will forever remember this time. I know that God used this time of prayer to bring us peace before a huge, life changing day! Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us the last three years.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018



Out of the Ashes
By: Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse
Publishers: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Genre: Christian, Romance, and Historical Fiction
Pages: 352 pages
Where You Buy It: Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Life Way, Christian Book, and Baker Publishing
(It also is availble at most local bookstores.)
Find Author (Tracie Peterson):
Facebook and her website
Find Author (Kimberely Woodhouse):
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and her website
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs.

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she's agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past.

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what's been broken for so long?

Image result for my review png

Out of the Ashes was an interesting book to read. The plot of the story was different, but made for a great read. I was a little disappointed by how predictable the story was in the end. The relationships between the hotel staff and the owners was wonderful and I loved how they developed that part of the story. Katherine and Jean-Michel both experienced serious trauma in their lives. I thought they found "healing" a little too easily in the book. Although God can heal the deepest of wounds, there are still side effects of experiencing such deep trauma. Overall, I thought the book was well written and let me experience Alaska. I would recommend it to friends to read for light reading. 


*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review*

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Firsts and Memories: DJ's First Day at School

There have been many firsts this past week. The boy's first year home (Shan Chen's post will be coming in two days), the boys meeting my parents for the first time, Joella and Shan Chen's first soccer games, DJ's first day of school, and remembering this day two years ago. God has been so faithful, as you will read more about at the end.

Joella ran the whole time. I think after the first 10 minutes, she finally discovered that she needed to try to kick the ball.

Shan Chen scored two goals his first game!! He is so athletic. Thankfully we discovered his prosthetic leg wasn't fitting well. Wayne took him to Shirley Ability Lab on Friday morning so they could figure out what was wrong...just in time before his big game. Shan Chen was so excited to play. 

Today was DJ's first day at school. He was so excited, can you tell by that smile? We actually go to school a few minutes early because he kept bugging me to go. I cannot wait to pick him up and find out how his first day at school went.

DJ loves routine, so we sat down yesterday and came up with a schedule for him every day. We hope this helps him feel more settled. We have been learning so much about techniques that help kids with autism. This gives him a sense of security and comfort, so it was an easy fix.

Three years ago, Wayne and I went out on a special date. We had already learned that Wayne had a brain tumor and discovered that it was cancerous. Wayne was scheduled to have brain surgery to remove the tumor, at which time we discovered that he had GBM brain cancer. It is amazing to see how far God has carried us from this time three years ago. God is so good! 

I have been struggling the past few days with all the God has allowed to come our way, Wayne's cancer, DJ's diagnosis, and the fallout at home with kids trying to deal with both of those things. After going back and reading my blog, God reminded me of all that He has done for us over the last three years. I know that even on the hard days where I may have doubts, I know I can trust God and His plans for our lives.  

If you are struggling with what God has allowed in your life, I understand the battle...I really do! But I encourage you to take time to really study who God is. When you know how big of a God we serve, our "big" problems become small in comparison. God will take care of it and has a plan that we may never understand this side of heaven.

Monday, March 5, 2018

One Year: DJ's Forever Family Day

Our lives were forever changed one year ago when we met our son DJ. I will never forget walking into the hotel room to meet him. There were so many emotions as we met him and signed paperwork to make him our son. What a difference a year makes! DJ grew 3" and gained 10 pounds his first year home!! 

March 5, 2017

March 5, 2018
(ignore my wild morning hair)

Some pictures from our first year together

If you want to read a summary of our year, both the good and the bad, you can read a blog post I wrote here.