Merry Christmas from the Phillips Fam

As I was driving around town doing last minute Christmas shopping today with Hope in tow, I suddenly had a wave of overwhelming thankfulness. As I looked at her sitting in her little car seat in the rear view mirror, enjoying the Christmas music, I was just so glad that God shared His heart for orphans with us this year. What if He hadn’t shown us His great love for orphans? What if Hope was still in China living in an orphanage? I’m so glad that He revealed Himself in that way to us, and that we actually listened and did it, despite all the challenges and obstacles. Sometimes in life, the sweetest rewards come from challenging circumstances. This girl has rocked our world. She is amazing. Beautiful. Sweet. Fun. Happy. Warm. And Loved.

And so we thank our Heavenly Father this year for His Christmas blessings!

Merry Christmas!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Glasses in three weeks

We turned in the prescription for the glasses today but were told that because the lenses are so thick and unique they have to special order and make them by hand so it takes longer…

No Big News…yet…..

Well, today we went to CHLA to get Hope fitted for a contact lens. She had fun doing the eye exam where they shined a light into her eye to determine which prescription to give her. Then it came time to put the lens in… Forget it! She screamed her head off and made it completely impossible to go near her eye, much less put a contact in. They even had to papoose her, which was agonizing to watch, but she wouldnt keep her head still or open her eyes. I was realizing the extent of her inner strength, and thought about all that she has endured in her little life… Anyway, once they determined that there was no way to get that contact in, they wrote up a prescription for glasses, and it will take about a week til we get them. Bummer!~ We were so excited for her to see today! Updates to follow…….

Sharing at the River

We shared a bit of Hope’s story yesterday with the River Church of Tustin, CA:

December 10

That’s the day Hope is scheduled to visit the optometrist and will either be fitted with a contact or glasses. We are so excited and can hardly wait for the day! We will keep the updates coming! 🙂

Hope is going to see!

Hope was scheduled for her second eye surgery today as the doctor wanted to go in to remove more scar tissue from the retina. Kim left for doctor’s office in downtown L.A. at about 4:30am and at around 8:30am she called me (Todd) with good news!

The doctor put Hope under anesthesia and examined her eye to discover that it has no remaining scar tissue as he thought it would have, and that it actually has healed to a degree that he has never seen anything like or even thought was possible! He said that the retina in her right eye has fully reattached and the eye looks completely normal and he thinks that she can now be fitted for a special contact lens or maybe glasses and then be able to see with fully usable vision out of that eye! Kim said that she then reminded him that she had told him we’d be his first miracle back in July! (To which she said he gave a slight chuckle of acknowledgment) 🙂

As far as the other eye, the retina is still completely detached and torn and and the eyeball is noticeably smaller than the other, so Hope will probably be fitted with a prosthetic eye for it sometime soon. But we are very excited about the report for the other eye and the next step is to schedule an appointment with a specialist pediatric optometrist who will guide us on getting Hope her corrective lens!

Well Kim may have more detail/corrections to add to the post later, but I couldn’t wait any longer! 🙂

Love Art? Love Adoption?

We have friends in Kansas City who are in the process of adopting a sweet little boy with Downs Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They are hosting an online art sale from today through Saturday to help raise the money needed to complete the adoption. Please take a look at their site… They are amazing people and have so much love to give to this little boy. They just need the funds to make it happen!

Their family blog is here:

Here is the sweetie they are adopting:

For Aidan,



Hope continues to amaze us. Just when it seemed like she wasn’t progressing at all in her speech, she has suddenly been starting to talk! Over the last week or so she began to sing the tune of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ the whole way through using the “Ra” sound. Then yesterday she said “Pat-ty-Cake”. Just a few minutes ago Jonathan was changing her outfit for me and pointed to her belly button and said, “belly button!” and she immediately started repeating him. She has said it at least 10 times so far and thinks it’s so funny. I think she is enjoying all the cheering and clapping and attention she is getting!

Here is some audio from this morning of Hope and Abigail singing:

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On another note, we are off to the dr. today to get a kidney ultrasound. With the melamine scare from China with baby formula, it is advised that any child born 2005 and later gets an ultrasound to check for kidney stones. We pray she doesn’t have any and will keep you updated regarding what they hopefully do not find!

Next week she goes in for another eye surgery to remove more scar tissue from her retina, and hopefully restore a little more vision ability. The dr. wasn’t too excited about a huge improvement the last time we saw him, but maybe this time! Updates to follow!


hope at irvine spectrumhope shineshope at parkkids at parkhope at the beachhope at irvine spectrumjonathan and hopehopejonathan and hopejonathan and hopekids slidinswinginhope at irvine spectrum

view more pictures at

Kimberly checking in…

Things have been so busy these days! Hope is doing really well. Two weeks ago I went to visit a friend in Connecticut and Todd happily watched the kids for four whole days! He did an amazing job, and I was able to get some much needed rest and relaxation and girl time! Todd got some great bonding time in with Hope too while I was gone. He was an on the go dad, and took them all to school, to the park, swimming, the mall, to Abigail’s American Girl club meeting, to the beach, out to eat, and even to Disneyland! Way to go Daddy!

We had our first big meeting with Hope’s preschool recently where they gave us an update and also told us the various goals they have set for her to meet this year. They were really impressed with the way that she has developed an understanding of English so quickly, and also with her desire to please. She is very motivated to learn, and they all continued to remark at how smart she is. That’s my girl! 🙂

She just said her first sentence the other day. When she was playing ball with Daddy she said, “kick it.” and kicked the ball. It’s so cute to hear her little voice forming words. She has a sweet little breathy kind of voice. She has also been becoming much much more relaxed these days. Many of the aggressive behaviors have completely stopped, and she is generally a happy girl it seems. She loves to giggle, and will often giggle out of the blue for no apparent reason. I always wonder what she is thinking about!!! She also loves to be swung up in the air like a flying trapeze. She is pretty daring, and isn’t afraid when she is in motion. Todd is going to post a video showcasing some of Hope’s acrobatic abilities soon so stay tuned! She loves spinning around, going on swings, doing somersaults, flips, just about anything that involves moving. She truly is a treasure!

Well it’s past midnight, so I’d better get to bed! I will try to write more frequently!

Love, Kim

Hope and light

Here are some cute snaps of Hope playing with one of her favorite toys the other night. She repeatedly shakes it to make the colors flash, then puts it right in front of the one eye that seems to get some perception. Then she presses some buttons that make little clicking sounds that she likes. We darkened the room and that seemed to make it even more enhanced for her. Shake shake shake… Click click click… giggle giggle…

“…having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich His glorious inheritance is…” (Paul of Tarsus)

The God Kind of Love

My heart was swelling with emotion this morning after reading the latest post from the family who just adopted the little girl with heart issues from China. If you haven’t been following their story, they went to China to pick up their daughter and upon arrival learned she was in the hospital fighting for her life. They didn’t know if she would live but they prayed and made it out of China. Now they are in the hospital and she is getting surgery this morning. In the meantime they have been trying to bond as a family in the midst of nurses, wires, monitors, and a hospital bed. The kind of endurance this mom has shown has rocked me. It’s a display of the love that God has for us. Even when we are unable to return it, He is right there loving us through our deepest challenges. You can follow their story here, but get your tissues out first:

A bundle of Hope

Abigail and Hannah were in their room with Hope a couple days ago and decided they were going to make a movie, so they began dressing Hope in a costume to prepare her for the starring role. At first it was just a jacket on top of her regular clothes, then they added another jacket… Then they put a skirt on over that… then finally they added another jacket, and put a bonnet on her head… When they came out to show us, and we saw how excited Hope was, the movie production got put on hold, and Abigail took these cute pictures for us! We think Hope might have enjoyed it because the Chinese like to over-bundle their kids, so maybe it was familiar to her, and/or it reminded her of getting bundled up for a cold winter outing in China… Whatever the reason, she loved it and waddled around happily in this outfit for at least an hour…

This family ROCKS!

Our friends the Bohlenders from Kansas City have a huge heart for adoption. So when they heard that twin girls were just born and were about to be placed in state care they jumped on it and are now in Florida adopting the girls! You can follow their story here:

tri chi