Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Game Time!!!!

I need your help.

You know, YOU, my readers.

While I don't know who all of you are, I do know how many hits I'm getting. Alot more than the comments I get.

Of course, alot of you don't take the time to comment. Or maybe you disagree with a post. Or maybe my writing just plain stinks sometimes. I'm good with that.

But just this once, will you come out of hiding, post a comment, and play along?


You can go back into hiding after today, if you like. :)

Okay. I have 3 questions. That's right, only THREE!

  1. What brought you to my blog? (link, google, FB, etc)
  2. What do you most enjoy reading about on my blog? (adoption, parenting, pictures, toddler stuff, etc) Be as specific if you can!
  3. What is one thing you'd like to know about me or my family? Here's your chance to ask anything you're curious to know about the Bergey Bunch!
You can introduce yourself---I'd love that!---or just answer the questions. Your choice.

Here's how the game works---every time I get TEN answers to these questions, I'll blog an answer to one (or more!) of your questions. So, the more people who post comments, the more blog posts you'll see from me this week. :)

I would SO love to meet the faithful readers who take time out of their busy lives to read my ramblings and about our family. I'm also looking to see exactly what people are coming here for, so I can spend my time more wisely in blogging.

Lastly, I just think it will be FUN!

Ready to play?


  1. I came to your blog through facebook, I love reading your post on your journey thru adoption. Do you menu plan?

  2. Hi! It's Roy from Lancaster, SC. I usually see your blog posts from Facebook. I love to read the parenting and adoption posts, and of course, we all love to see photos!!! I usually dont comment on the blog posts since it's just so much easier to comment in FB.

  3. Hi! I think I found you through RQ, but I've added so many adoption blogs to my reading list I truly don't remember how I found each one. I like reading adoption blogs to see how families are coping. Each story and each family is unique, including our own, but few people in my neck of the woods are walking this path of older child international adoption, so I do enjoy reading about and sometimes contacting families through cyber space who understand.

    1. Hi, I'm from Abbotsford, BC and I can't remember how I found your blog but I know it was around the time that Johanna came home. I love adoption blogs and to see these precious children find families and then to follow along and see how they and the family do. I love the pictures too of course. Are you planning any other additions?

  4. I read your blog because I know YOU;-) I love reading it and I do every time you post something! I love your intake on child rearing and you've opened up my eyes to a whole new world of adoption and what it takes to do that! I'd like to know a little more of how you homeschool so many different ages...I'm always looking for a more creative approach to educating our kids! Love you!

  5. Hi there! I came across your blog on FB...and this is actually the first time I've been here! (I tend to spend too much time on the web so I have to try to limit it. But I'm adding yours to my dashboard so I can check on it more often! :D) And I'm not sure what I would like to about would your family like to take a field trip to historical Appomattox and come visit us? ;D

    1. Lara,

      We love getting to know new people! I wonder how far away you are?

  6. We're at SIX comments already!

    Four more and I'll answer the questions above.

    Keep them coming!

  7. Hi Selena. It's Amy Smith! I found your blog on Facebook. Our lives are so different I guess I find everything about your family interesting! I enjoy reading about how you handle all the aspects of a large family and hope to make use of parenting/behavior modification advice when I enter the teaching field. My question for you and Brent is - How have language and culture differences affected Johanna's acclimation to America and your family? What has been the process for teaching her English and what has her progress been? On a personal note - I want you to know how much I respect and admire your commitment to your faith!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Amy! I know you'll make an awesome teacher.

  8. Hi Selena,

    I think I found your blog from a link from someone else's blog while we were waiting to adopt our son (this means, when I was reading every blog I could get my hands on).

    I like reading about homeschooling and training and God and adoption, since we like all those things around here too. :)

    My question: If you have an easily distracted child, how to you keep his/her attention on schoolwork- how do you motivate a child who hasn't found his/her inner motivation yet?


  9. 1. Even though I know you, I did not know you had a blog until I saw your link on facebook.
    2. I like reading all about your family and all your wonderful little munchkins. I love seeing your pictures too.
    3. What was the ultimate reason that you decided to adopt children?

  10. Hi, selena. I am friends with marianne barnett. I heard you speak at her ladies meeting. I love readung about how these kids assimilate into one family. How do you teach them a sense of family while at the same time respecting the culture they came from?

  11. I'm a faithful reader since finding a link to your blog from another adoption blog. I was particularly interested in your family because you adopted a teenage and I am, too. Also the fact that you brought home three children so fast was amazing to me and I like to see what CCCWA can accomplish for families.

    I am eager for the posts to write on your older daughter's adoption experience and integration into your family.

    I don't have any particular questions.

  12. Hi,

    My name is Linda and I'm from Canada. I can't remember how I found your blog although it was probably Rumor Queen. We are an adoptive family and have a 5 year old daughter from Chongqing.

    I really enjoy your parenting series. I appreciate your Godly view in how you parent your children. I wish you lived in my city because I would want to be your friend and I would love to watch you with your family. At least I get to follow your family in blogland.

    I would be interested in how you discipline (teach) the older children.

    I'm going back into lurking now! :)

  13. I'm cheating. I have more questions.
    How much is your grocery bill? And what are your favorite things to cook for your family?
    Also, how do you feel about college education money? Do you feel that should be provided by the parents, or should the child have to pay for college themselves.
    Thanks! These are the things I would love your perspective on because I struggle with them.

  14. I don't see my first comment.
    I know your from RQ.
    Favorite topic is adoption/homeschooling.
    I'm wondering if you ever have family members appose your adoptions. We have two adopted and two bio. We would love to adopt more but my Mom has forbid us to, saying we already have to many.
    Have you ever had to deal with that?

  15. HI Selina! I'm not always a lurker as I comment sometimes but I do check your blog all the time. I started reading your blog when you were waiting for Gabbey and we were waiting for Lily. You gave us such a precious gift when you visited the SWI and held and loved on our baby and then sent us the photos!! I love reading everything that you post about -- particularly the fun and dynamics of a big, homeschooling family. I love having another family that I can relate to!! :-) Some questions: Which curriculum do you use/suggest? We are using Sonlight but I am always on the lookout for other ideas. Meal plans/healthy menu ideas for large families?


  16. I'm Debbie. I have no idea how I found your blog, probably from comments on a blog I read. I have no questions as I just started reading it last week. My main interest is adoption. we have one domestically adopted child, 3 grown bio kids and we are leaving for China next week to adopt a special needs child. There is no one near me that I know doing what I'm doing so i like to read blogs!

    1. Have a blast in China! It's a trip you'll remember FOREVER. :)

  17. Favorite topics are adoption/homeschooling.
    Like seeing how your family is doing.
    Rose in DFW

  18. Sorry I have been away for so long-how interesting that today of all days is the one I pick to get back into the blog world.

    I think I started going to your site as a result of seeing that you got a referral. Don't remember now how that came to be. I kept visiting your site because your posts are so positive.

    I am a teacher, school board member (which is why I haven't been blogging lately), author, and mother of five (30, 28, and 21-bio; and 8 and 8-from China), grandmother (5, 3, 3, and 1). I grew up with six brothers and four sisters and love large family living!


  19. Question 1: Friendship
    Question 2: Updates on how the children are growing and learning; pictures
    Question 3: ?

  20. Hi Selina!

    1. I found your blog when you first posted the link on FB, and I normally check it whenever you post a link.
    2. My favorite thing to read is your family news, especially when you post pictures.
    3. When you began the process of adoption with each of your three girls, did you have them specifically in mind, or were you matched by an adoption agency? The reason I ask is because of my particular interest in adopting Sarah. Tim, on the other hand, feels that it is better to be matched with a child through an adoption agency. Of course, best way to go about it is to follow my husband's lead; but I am interested in your take on it.


  21. I have your blog listed on the side of my blog as "blogs I read"...I always journey over here when I see you have updated the blog. I didn't know you had it on facebook, I will have to check that out. I found your blog back when you were in China getting your oldest, I think, that's when I found you. I just enjoy reading about other China adoption families with a mixture of bios and adopted children(like us we have 3 bios 1 adopted). I love reading whatever you've got going on, whether it be kid adventures, home tours, or whatever...Y'all are just a sweet friendly godly family, I like to read your updates. My question is: What does your husband do as his job/career?

  22. Hi Selina,
    I am Kieren from Ohio. I found you on RQ if I am remembering correctly when you were bringing Joanna home. I have enjoyed your blog ever since because it focuses on three of my favorite things; God, family, and adoption! We just brought our little guy who is now two home in March and I have especially enjoyed hearing your parenting toddlers tips and how you always put Christ first in how you parent. We are believers as well and with this being our first adoption I want to instill that belief in my child too. I also enjoyed watching Joanna come home because I would love to go back for an older child someday. I love the joy you have in your family, it is very uplifting and positive! Oh, and who could resist the adorable faces of ALL your children! My question is how you keep a clean house with toddlers? I find it difficult to do anything around the house with my little guy and there is only one of him! :)

    Wishing you many continued blessings!

  23. Can't remember how I found your blog. I was looking for a Christian blog with larger families, so maybe a google search, maybe a link from someone else's blog (that I didn't follow).
    I love your Christ-centered focus and Godly ways. Its encouraging and uplifting. And when I struggle with my 4 kids, its nice to know someone else's struggles are bigger. I mean it gives me perspective that maybe my stuggles aren't so bad.
    Question? How do you get a babysitter for such a large group so you and Brent can have some time alone? And how often do you get that?

  24. Guilty! I'm a faithful reader but rare commenter. I found you from rumor queen when you were adopting Johanna. I like reading most about her adoption and acclimation to your family. Yours was the first older child/aging out adoption I'd followed. I also love you are a Christian and parenting that way. I don't really have a on!

  25. My name is Maria, and I found your blog through Rumor Queen. I am a Christian adoptive mom of virtual twins, three years old now. We adopted our boys back to back from China. I enjoy the pictures of your family and your home/organization/decorating. I love the toddler parenting series. I am interested in learning more about how you incorporate your Faith into everyday family life. For example, do you have Bible study with the kids? Do you and Brent do a Bible study? If so, any materials to recommend? I would also be interested in any favorite recipes and learning more about your time management for cooking/cleaning/dishes/laundry/shopping. I am also wondering how you have managed such beautiful family pictures. Do you use a timer and tripod, or is someone taking them for you? Blessings to you and thank you for sharing!

  26. I found you through Rumor Queen. Adopting from china has always interested me, I'm not sure if we'll ever go that route but I'm constantly following other's journey. I like your adoption and parenting posts the most. We have a daughter through domestic adoption so that topic is on my mind a lot. Thanks for your blog! Your family is so cute!

  27. Blessings to you! I was given your blog while waiting to adopt our 10 and 13 yo girls. I love the support and connectivity of the adoption blog community. It is a blessing to me to have you witness through example. Thank you for sharing your heart with us all.

  28. I've been reading your blog for several months now and am so enjoying it :) My husband and I are putting together our dossier right now to adopt a little one from China, and it's such a blessing and encouragement to me to read about other families who have walked this road before us.

    1. I think it was a link on another blog of a family who has adopted.

    2. I love reading about your parenting of both your biological and adopted it's different and how it's the same. We have a bio toddler right now, and one of the things I think about a lot is how our parenting of our next child will look compared to the ways we parent our current child.

    3. I'd love to know how you stay connected to others in your church community or friends or other moms that you know in person, to benefit from that community and their encouragement and exhortation. As we continue to add more children to our family, I wonder what that will look like for me.

  29. I'm Heather from Georgia. My family had a difficult "getting started" time, but in the midst of all the infertility and miscarriages, we knew God had it all under control (some days I had a harder time believing it than others but overall my faith was strong). The beauty of all the difficulties is that without those struggles my family would not be what it is today. God knew the perfect picture and was working to create it in His time. After our first miscarriage, we sought adoption in the states. Anyone willing to stand still long enough was told about our longing to adopt a child. God placed Samuel in our lives and the JOY of motherhood began. Samuel was 18 months old and had lived 5-10 minutes down the road. He had the most wise 13 year old mother. While negative influences surrounded her, she knew she wanted a family for Samuel. She knew she couldn't and wasn't willing to be that family. So she made the very unselfish decision to give him his FOREVER family. Few miscarriages later, God lead us to the long road for China. Lily became our precious baby #2 coming home Christmas Day at 21 months old. She had a significant heart defect which had required open heart surgery in China. I can still see the first photo of her full of character smirk from her referral photo. PURE love! While awaiting Lily's arrival, God surprised us with a pregnancy that didn't end sadly. George was our birth miracle. He came home 8 weeks before my husband left for China alone to pick up Lily. God saw the big picture-- I thankful He gave me the patience to wait for it to be stitched together. Now my heart longs for another adoption, but my husband says 3 makes a perfect picture (although he still references adoption from time to time). We trust God to continue leading us towards his plan.

    1. I found you from another adoption family link.
    2. I LOVE reading your daily struggles that you beautifully lace with Christian faith. I loved loved loved your post about mothering being your mission field.
    3. Homeschooling? What do you use? Where do you start? How do you do it with little bitties around?

  30. G'day from Oz

    Started following your blog when Johanna was adopted. Linked from one of the many adoption blogs I have been following from about October last year.

    I am always amazed at how earthly adoption mirrors our own heavenly adoption, both the good and the not so good. It has made me think more about my own attitudes and behaviors to my Heavenly Father's love and correction as well as my own interaction with my "Brothers & Sisters" in Christ.

    Thank you for allowing us to have a peak into your family life and sharing your thoughts and motivations.

  31. I'm Eve - I have a lovely little girl from China who I adopted 12 years ago next Wednesday! I found you through my friend Kathy. She was adopting her first daughter at the same time I was adopting mine and now she has six girls from China and you met in China when you were meeting Johanna! I love reading yor blog and hearing about your family. Would love to hear more about how Johanna is doing.

  32. I read your blog when you post links on Facebook. I remember when you were bringing Gabbey home, and I was mesmerized by those posts. It was so fun to watch you bring home Alyssia and Johanna after that, and I would check every day to see if there were any updates. It was through you that my mindset went from "It takes a special person to adopt" to "Wow, Christians are called to care for the fatherless, and we're not doing it! I don't have to be special, just obedient." I'm not sure exactly how that's going to play out in our family, but we are keeping our eyes wide open and actively looking for what God has for us. This isn't really a question, but one thing I would like to see more of is your boys. If your boys are like mine (or any normal boy for that matter!) you probably just don't get many pictures of them because they don't slow down long enough!

  33. Hi,

    My name is Heather and I live in Wisconsin. I came to your blog through another adoptive family's blog (not sure which one) during your last adoption. I love reading about your insights, joys, and struggles with the adoption aspect of parenting since I am an adoptive parent too. We adopted from Kazakhstan and now are going back a child in the SN China program! I also love reading about how you parent such a large and lovely group!!! I always wanted TONS of kids, but God had another plan I guess. My question is how you could afford so many adoptions so quickly (I'm sure the adoption credit helped - wish I had done this earlier - but did you take out loans or fundraise, etc.?) LOVE reading your blog. Thank you!

  34. OK Selina, here I go!!! :0). Found your blog because of Facebook. I love reading everything about your family. Growing up with Brent was a blast, but we lost touch once I headed to college. I would be interested in knowing how you and Brent met. :0)

    Amy Saunders Hager

  35. I enjoy reading your blog because I know you....and used to pen pal with your sister Ruth....ages ago! lol
    Also, adoption is close to our hearts since my husband is adopted. Whether or not God will make our dream come true is yet to be seen, but meanwhile I love reading about yours! :)
    Question: how do you afford family vacations?

  36. I found your blog through facebook I think! I enjoy seeing how you and Brent are doing and love reading about your family!

    I have enjoyed hearing about your family journey - and learning what all is involved in adoption and integrating these children into your family.

    I don't really have any questions. But I will say that there are some precious little ones here in South Africa. So poor and often neglected. I have no idea what is involved in an adoption from this country (or any country in Africa) but I love these precious little ones. If I were married I would love to adopt!

  37. Hi Selina!

    I usually click through from FB to your blog. My favorite things to read about on your blog are: child rearing and home care/decorating.

    My question for you is "What homeschool curriculum do you use? Do you use the same thing for each child or do you tailor your curriculum choices to each child?"


  38. I am from the Midwest. Since I met my now husband, I have received comments and felt strongly I was meant to have 3 sons. I have 2 bio sons, a 3rd bio child does not look to be in my life story. My husband feels 2 kids is enough. I strongly feel the pull of a special needs of adoption of a boy (dwarfism, spina bifida, limb difference, arthrogryposis, OI, I find myself endless reading about).

    1. I found you from a link on another adoption blog.
    2. Your adoption journey. I'm attracted to anything that isn't an infant adoption, and although as a child I was drawn to domestic adoption/foster care, I find myself researching international. Go figure.
    3. Is there any reason you have adopted all girls?

  39. 1. I ran into your blog initially on RQ, then realized I had seen your family at the zoo in Guangzhou when you adopted Gabbey.
    2. I think what I most enjoy is that your family is so different from mine in so many ways. Yet, I think you have a very level-headed, respectful approach to things in your blog. I love reading about your adoption experiences. I also don't think I'll ever have a large family, but I am fascinated by large families and sometimes dream of having one. (My DH is adamant that we are stopping at two kids, however. :-)
    3. I don't any any specific questions, except perhaps how do you find time to ever do anything for yourself that requires you to be away from the home (like going to the dentist, visiting a friend, etc.)? Do you have friends or family near by that you can leave your kids with so you can do things for yourself?

  40. My name is Erin Martin. We live in Pine Grove, PA. I think I found your blog through RQ. I really enjoy and appreciate so many of your posts! I think our families have a lot in common. I love big families! We ae planning to homeschool next year for the first time, so I enjoy your homeschooling posts. My question has to do with church. I know you said you have visited the Charity church in Leola, PA.(We were just there last Sunday:) I also know you said you are changing churches. What are some of the most important things you look for in a church? We are also changing churches, but we were members of a conservative Mennonite church and they do not support our decision to homeschool so we are visiting around right now. We so hope to find a conservative church that supports adoption and homeschooling! And one more question. If you ever visit PA again would you come visit us?!:)

    1. Hi, Erin! I'll answer your church question in a blog post, but I just wanted to tell you that YES we would love to visit you and your lovely family when we come to PA again. We're hoping to make a trip up there within the next six months, so I'll contact you when we do! :)

  41. Hello, Selina! My name is Sarah Hefner.

    I originally found your blog on facebook when one of my friends shared one of your blog posts. I sat for about 2 hours and read through almost your entire blog! You are so real and so inspiring.

    We are a Christians too and I have the desire to teach my children about Jesus and the wonderful things he has done for us! You have been an encouragement to me through your blog to be a better mother and wife.

    My husband and I attended Ambassador Baptist College and I think that you attended there as well. Is that right? My Father, Jim Ogle, is the youth pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, NC and we are currently helping as an adult couple in the youth as well.

    I have two children of my own and my husband and I LOVE children and desire to have many more if the Lord allows. To be honest, I hadn't given adoption much thought before I read your blog. We now have a desire to adopt in the future if the Lord provides. We will have to wait and see. Now doesn't seem to be the right time with certain circumstances we are facing.

    Thanks for all your encouragement and testimony for the Lord.

    My question for you:
    Do you have any ideas for encouraging children to be kind and respectful to others/strangers?
    My daughter is two years old (almost three) and tends to clam up and not want to talk to anyone when they speak to her. She even turns away from them and won't make eye contact. I want her to be respectful to adults and I know it is important for her to be friendly and make eye contact etc. We do not want her to hide behind her "shyness". I would appreciate any advice you may have!

  42. Hi! You have convinced me to de-lurk and finally comment on your blog. My husband is on staff at Ambassador and I think that we have a lot of mutual friends. I am pretty sure it was one of those friends who knows we plan to adopt soon who told me about your blog and I've been a huge fan ever since. :)

    I love the adoption and child rearing posts most of all, but I enjoy just about everything on your blog. So keep it coming, please!! I love the child-rearing ones because you are so down-to-earth and practical and always encouraging.

    I don't think I have any questions that haven't been asked already, but thanks for putting yourself out there are being willing to answer these questions! If you ever make it back down to ABC, I'd love to meet you in person!!

    1. Holly, I'm so glad you decided to de-lurk. :)

      Feel free to comment more as I'd love to get to know you better!

      We were hoping to come to ABC for the alumni reunion a few weeks ago, but our trip to CA conflicted with the dates. If we are able to head that way this year, I'll let you know---I'd love to meet you as well!

      I'm excited to answer your question when I have time!

    2. Holly, I just realized you didn't actually ASK a question. I was getting you confused with Sarah (post right above you).

      I'm sorry! :)

  43. Hi, I'm Brandee from North Alabama.
    I have no idea how I found you, but when. I'm pretty sure you guys were in country for Johanna then I followed Alyssia's addition and have really enjoyed seeing how different the two adoptions have been. Thank you for allowing us to join in your journey.

  44. I found your blot from the forums at RQ. I love most all your posts especially those about training and adoption. We are a Christian Baptist family from Fl we had five bio children the oldest 11 and youngest 18 months whennl we adopted our first daughter from China last year. We are in process for our second now. Praying about bringing two home this time. I am blessed by many of your posts. Thank you.

    1. So glad you're here! Thanks for introducing yourself. Sounds like you've got a house full of blessings! :)

  45. Hi Selina! Remember me? :) I first found your blog through Facebook, back when you first started blogging. I enjoy keeping up with your family, so every post is interesting to me. I love the pictures - your kids are adorable! I have five kids now, and Kaya is about to head to ABC this fall. (Kody is in the Air Force). Anyway, since you wanted everyone to say hi, here I am :) I imagine you wouldn't put a number on it, but I'm curious how many children (ballpark) you are hoping to have? I love having a bigger family, and find your blog very encouraging. I still remember when you were teaching piano to my kids and we had a long talk about homeschooling with unit studies. It was a very helpful discussion, and it made school a lot more fun for everyone. :) If you're interested in what we're up to my blog is

  46. 1) RQ/ChAT
    2) I love seeing pictures and reading stories about other larger than average, bio/adopted mix, homeschooling families

  47. Hi Selina
    I know this is an old post, but I couldn't resist commenting because I have been reading some of your posts and feel like I should say Hi!!
    1.I'm not sure where I found your link - maybe somewhere you left a comment. Your name stands out to me as my closest sister has the same beautiful name!!!
    2. I have been gleaning from your parenting wisdom. I also am interested in adoption!
    3. I do have a question. You mentioned you suffered from infertility before eliana was born - how did you deal with the daily pain?? We have not been able to conceive even though we are praying for another baby and even though Dave (my husband) is sad about it,for me it feels like my heart is breaking. Please don't get me wrong - I am abundantly blessed with the precious four we have and am thankful for them and know I don't deserve even them. I have Asked God to take my longing away if it isn't His will.
    Thanks Selina


I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!