Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends, November 29, 2008
Merry Christmas! I just love this time of year though I’m sure you are totally shocked to be getting a letter from us already. Yesterday morning, my mom and I were standing in line outside Kings Department Store at 6:30 a.m. for Christmas shopping, last night our family went to the Annual “Christmas in the Nighttime Sky” fireworks display, we have our tree decorated, at least six nativities in place, and artwork from the kids’ “Christmases Past” displayed on the walls. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—except our fairly-heavy snow from October is long gone.

We are kind of rushing the season a bit because Kevin and I just found out on November 25 that we have a 2nd adoption appointment in Kiev, Ukraine on December 12 so we are hoping to be in the air on December 9 (as in 10 days from now!) This time we are going there to try to adopt a little 5 year old boy with Down syndrome who has already been transferred to a mental institution. We haven’t totally settled on a name for him yet. I would so appreciate your prayers for safety, for a smooth process, for bonding with our new son, and for our other children while we are gone.

We basically started this year the same way that we are ending it: Kevin spent 3 weeks in Kiev and I (Joy) stayed for a total of 5 weeks in January/February 2008 to adopt our youngest son, Caleb Alexander who was 3 at the time. (All 3 of our boys have birthdays in June!) His Ukrainian name, Sasha, is a nickname for Alexander. Caleb has been such a joy to our family with his adorable smile, easy-going attitude and his exuberance. He has blond hair, sparkly blue eyes and Down syndrome. He is having a great time in preschool and is picking up English surprisingly well. Our kids have thanked us repeatedly for adopting him. If you would like to read about either adoption journey, please visit our blog at and leave a comment for us. We would be absolutely delighted to see you there. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible charitable donation to our adoption (or someone else’s adoption) you can visit and scroll down to McClain. All money goes directly for adoption expenses, NOT to us personally.

Let me update you a bit on each of us: Kevin is still working full-time for UPS Freight out of the Jerome terminal and working part-time at Murtaugh as their water/waste water supervisor. He continues to serve on the board for Hansen Assembly of God as well as being Sunday School superintendant, Royal Ranger leader, member of the worship team, Men’s Ministries leader and occasionally he gets a chance to golf or to work on his ministerial correspondence courses.
I am a stay-at-home Mommy to our 5.9 (!) children and chief taxi driver to doctor’s and other appointments. I am not home-schooling anyone this year but I do refer to myself as The Homework Nazi. I teach the preschool/kindergarten Sunday School class, have the PRIMs (1st and 2nd grade girls) on Sunday nights and am head of our local church’s food pantry. Kevin and I are both singing this year in the annual community Christmas choir—“Hope Has Hands”--at the old Kimberly high school gym on Dec. 7. That song, Mary Did You Know, makes me cry every time I sing it. Can you truly imagine the reality of the line “when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God”? That truth boggles my mind.

We have two in Junior High, two in elementary and soon will have two in preschool. B, 14, is in 8th grade, just completed a model of Saturn and did a presentation on the Revolutionary War, and wants you all to know about the pretty lights on our Christmas tree. S, 12, is in 7th grade and wants me to mention that her basketball team won against Murtaugh 50-4, that she can’t wait until her new brother gets home, that she loves you all and wishes you a Merry Christmas. T is 12 and in 6th grade, attended Little Cheerleaders Camp this year, ran one cross country race, just completed an edible cell model and asks that I tell you that she loves animals and little boys. J, 10, is in 5th grade, played on the football team, and asked me to share that he is cute, pleasant, and that he found a skull on the Royal Ranger hike to Star Falls this afternoon. (Hey, I don’t make the news, I just report it!J) Our dog, cat, turtle, and fish are also alive and well but have no comments at this time.

This summer we went on a great vacation to the Washington coast and on to Seattle. We visited a Star Wars store, an interpretive center, the beach, the Russ M family, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Aquarium, and Pike Market. We went up in the Space Needle, rode the monorail and took a cruise around the harbor. A highlight for me was walking around the Northwest University campus in Kirkland—a well-loved place I hadn’t seen since my graduation in 1984.
I really hope this wonderful season finds you closer to Jesus, the Reason for the Season.

Joy for the Crew


Kathy and Matt said...

I'm so happy to hear you have your appointment! Wow, busy time to be going, but it will be worth it in the long run.

I'll be following your posts and will be praying!

Merry Christmas!

AZmomto8 said...

Oh Joy, You leave tomorrow to bring little R Home, I am so happy for you, for him.

Have a very Merry Christmeas in Ukraine and hug that sweet little boy for us. We pray for R daily.