Friday, April 3, 2015

My Second Home

In the eastern part of Asia lies an amazing country.  This country, which I have three sisters from, is widely known as China.  Mason-Kate, who is eight years old, is from Chongqing, China.  Maddox, at five years of age, is from Guizhou, China.  Last year, when June rolled around, my parents and two sisters traveled to Guangdong, China, to bring home my third little sister, Maryn. (However, my brother, Colin, and I zoomed over to Papillion, Nebraska to visit some friends.)  This country needs help such as Christianity soon.  This super country acts as part of me.

Mason-Kate, who is the oldest of the three, was happily adopted in 2008 when I was five years old.  We did not know what to expect, but God showed us the path.  During our time in China, we met some great friends.  Thankfully, their daughter stayed in the same orphanage as Mason-Kate.  As friends should do, we still keep in touch today, and there is a possibility they might move to Augusta.  We keep our fingers crossed!  The eight year old can be a challenge, but although adopted, she is still our Mason-Kate.   

Maddox, who stands in the middle, joined our family in 2011 when I was eight.  Depressingly, her orphanage is located in the poorest province in China, Guizhou.  Like last time, we eagerly toured around China with a mom from New York.  On pick-up day, Maddox cried non-stop until we were on the way to the hotel.  She fell asleep.  When she woke up, we gave her a bath, which she did not care for.  Maddox, who acts very wild for a five year old, remains loved by everyone.

In June of last year, my family, who again trekked to China for the third time, left me and my brother, Colin, behind.  Since we had already experienced the things my parents and sisters were to experience, my brother and I aimlessly hurried over to our great friends in Papillion, Nebraska.  We had so much fun!  In November of this year, my mom and I will fly to Shaanxi, China, on a mission trip to help out an orphanage.  I am asking you to pray for two reasons.  First off, pray that my mom and I have a safe trip, and that we will spread the Gospel to these children.  Secondly, pray because I am the only kid and the only male on this trip!  I hope this third trip to China will not only impact my life, but these orphans as well.

China is an awesome country.  When we traveled to adopt Mason-Kate, God kept us in His hands, and we made it through.  Including Maddox, on the other hand was easier because we all knew what to expect.  God, who played a huge role in all three adoptions, kept us safe and gladly answered plenty of prayers.  China is a superior country and my second home!

By Pryce Drafts
Age 12
Institute for Excellence in Writing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drew's Big Day

Drew Gentry
I was there just minutes after she was born
She was the cousin I had always wanted
 And on Saturday, it came full circle....she married the man of her dreams and my little Maddox was her flower girl
 Such a sweet time being together to celebrate Drew's big day
 It was a time for our family to be together and share in the joy of her marriage and her life
 The boys were honored to be a part of the festivities as well.....
 These are Drew's girls, her friends for life
 And sweet Maddox took it all in often referring to the day as "her wedding day"....however, Maddox was very concerned with the kissing part and said to Drew many times, "Tell me you aren't going to KISS him!"
 Laughter, tears of joy, tears of change, and much more laughter.....
 My dad, "Pop," embraced Maddox for her job well done
 It was a bit chilly and the wedding was outside but all involved smiled and enjoyed the ceremony as if they were in the warmest, coziest place ever
 Jay was the ring bearer and quite the entertainment of the weekend....his dance moves are incredible!
Though I am sure it is against all wedding etiquette, I snapped this picture with my phone as Drew was walking down the aisle....Kenny's face says it all!
 Drew just minutes before she made her debut as Mrs. Strack
 After it was all over, the excitement continued for our girl as she went through a few gifts and surprises she received throughout the weekend.....
and within minutes of leaving the venue, this little one was all snug in her carseat dreaming of her own big day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Bridal Luncheon

On a day in late May, almost 23 years ago, a very special girl was born.  She was the cousin I had always prayed for and a dream come true.  She was perfect in every way!  
 What a privilege it has been to watch her grow up into a beautiful young lady!
 Friday, March 27, we all gathered together to begin a weekend of celebrating her marriage to the love of her life, Kenny or "Kenneth" as she often calls him.
 These young ladies have been her right hand for many years.....from high school and then on to college....
 And sweet Maddox was happy to be in the middle of the party!  She was asked to be Drew's flower girl for the special day and she could not have been happier to be a part of the wedding festivities.
 With mothers, aunts, cousins, and friends, Drew embraced her day-before-the-big-day with arms wide open.
 What a privilege it was to be a part of the day that will shape their lives forever!  

Ice Cream Anyone?

Independent is one word that describes this one well.  And she knows what she wants.  And she will go to all measures to get it!  Case in point....late one evening, I was sitting in our closet finishing up a conversation with my sister on the phone.  In walks Miss Maryn holding a half-gallon of chocolate moose tracks ice cream....
 and a ladle!  No need for a spoon, ladles are much larger and do an even better job when eating ice cream, right?!  
Needless to say, we had a few laughs!  She keeps us on our toes!  Even the physical therapist asked today if she tries to do things that are a bit less than age appropriate....why, yes, she does!  She is the youngest of 5 and is always trying her best to keep up!