Wednesday, June 29, 2011


First of all - I want to say thank you to everyone that left a kind comment! It means so much! And hello to the new people stopping in! Glad you are here!! Thanks guys!

We did not get a call on Monday night. Honestly, I have no clue when we will get a call. I did send an email to my coordinator at America World asking her to be brutally honest with me. What are we looking at here? Where am I on the list? Ok, I didn't ask that last question, but I wanted to. I will let you know what she says. Surely to the precious lord, we are getting close. Ya know? Dern.

Something else has been occupying my mind today.  Remember a while back I posted this post on spiritual warfare? It talked about how when you are doing a big thing for God, a lot of times you fall under attack? Um, yeah. We are so there. Let me share my last two weeks with you:

*weird skin rash
*terrifying breast lump
*fever blister
*a cold
*never ending menstrual cycle (in spite of being on the pill)
*kidney stone
*two very, very painful hemorrhoids (haven't had those since I was pregnant) - told you I am keeping it real here, folks.

All of that. In. Two. Weeks. Seriously?

Not to mention some issues that my poor hubby is struggling with - and his wife is falling apart with the most random list of illnesses. Poor guy is sure to have an ulcer. 

All of that *on top* of our ever so long, stressful adoption journey. Could it be coincidental? I think not. 

I can say that Iamthisclose to losing my marbles. Like I keep hearing sirens and I am for sure they are coming for me. They have a white jacket and a padded room with my name written all over it.  Of course, in a padded room, it wouldn't be as painful to sit. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011


As much as I am trying to not think about it... I can't stop thinking about it. It's that time of the month again. The list release from China. Tomorrow night, around 8pm, China will release the "list" of available children.  I have a love/hate relationship with this time of month. Love it for the excitement and hope, hate it for the disappointment and let down.

Things have been different this month though. I can't really put my finger on it, its just been different. I sort of have a renewed sense of hope. Our agency said that the longest anyone has waited in the Waiting Child Program is a year and a half. Clearly, our family excluded because it's been 2 years for us. I know we can't be counted in the averages, but regardless - it's still been a long time. We have to be close, right?

In the past, some agencies have "manipulated" the system to match the young, minor needs kids unethically. Because of that, agencies that were doing things the right way, lost out on chances to match their families with young kids (0-2) or minor needs kids. It wasn't fair, but there wasn't much that could be done. If you happened to be with those particular agencies, then you got matched super quickly. While some families wait and wait for matches. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that Jesus has hand picked my daughter for me, so regardless of people abusing the system, if my daughter had of been ready, nothing would have stopped us from finding her.  My point is it was an unfair advantage to the families with the agencies that were working ethically.

However, you can't continue to cheat the system and never get caught.  Last month, my agency emailed and said that there have been some issues with the list and other agencies. They didn't go into specifics and they didn't share which agencies were at fault (which I totally respect the way they handled it. They never once said anything bad about another agency.). They merely shared that there were some issues but they have and will continue to do things ethically and were not involved with whatever happened.  Anyway, I found out today that these agencies are on suspension from using the shared list. I don't know how long, but for sure for June.

All of that to say, that maybe now that the system is working the way it was intended again, the families that are waiting will find their children!

Interesting huh?

So if you are willing, will you please join us in prayer? This road has been long and so very hard. We are trying to be obedient to the calling that Jesus asked of us. Here are some specific requests if you would be willing:

1. That our baby girl, Willa is ON THAT LIST!
2. That her file would be accurate and up to date.
3. That when we see her face, we will know that she is the one we have been praying for and waiting on!
4. That no one else would be able to lock her file but America World for US!
5. She is being taken care of and is healthy while she waits.
6. The finances. Oh the finances. If she is indeed on the list, we will need $18,000+ in FOUR MONTHS (OK, that makes me physically nauseous).

If we get a call, I have to be honest, you all will probably hear me screaming. LOL. Please, please take a moment and lift our family up in prayer. None of this is possible without Jesus' favor and mercy.

Thank you! The next time I blog could be to sharing some good news!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I spend so much time blogging about my daughter that is not home yet, I hardly make time to blog about my babies that are with me! So this post is for them!

My firstborn - Jackson. It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he is EIGHT. At the same time, it seems like a life time ago that we were a little family of three.  Jackson is the sweetest, most tender hearted kid you will ever meet. He loves his Savior with all of his heart. He trusts and follows Him with absolute faith. He has a natural curiosity of the bible. Mark my words, this little guy will follow in his daddy's footsteps and will choose a career path in the ministry. He already knows more about the bible than I do! He loves his family and loves being home. He is so joyful - he laughs all day long!

My second born - Julianna. Julianna is six, going on 21  - my little firecracker. That is one spunky girl. She loves all things girly - glitter, pink, dresses, fingernail polish. As hard as I am trying to keep her a little girl, she is working just as hard to be a teenager. LOL. She has such a natural beauty. She truly is stunning. But she is just as beautiful on the inside. Her heart for others is inspiring. She has a heart for the orphan and she has even a bigger heart for the special needs children. I know that Jesus has planted a little seed in her heart and I can not wait to see what He does with it. I have said it a 1000 times here - but she loves China. She loves the people, the culture, the country. God is going to do big things through her - I honestly believe He has already started.

And my baby - Jameson. Jamey is four. I have to tell you, this child has me completely wrapped around his finger. There is just something about him that melts me. Maybe because his is the littlest. Maybe because he is a momma's boy 100%.  I am not sure, but I could stare at him all day long.  Honestly, he has that affect on Jackson and Julianna, too. He is still trying to find his place in our family - he desperately wants to be a big boy like Jackson, but he isn't quite ready to give up being the baby. He loves his siblings so much and they love him the same. He is just so versatile - he loves wearing princess dresses with Julianna (which is killing his daddy!) and he loves rough housing with Jackson.  He loves singing and dancing. Maybe he will be the only musically inclined child we have. Hehe.

So those are my children. I spend 100% of my time with them. We homeschool, we co-sleep - we are literally with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I could not imagine my life being any different. Praise Jesus that my husband and I are on the same page as parents. He wants them with us as much as I do. We truly are so very blessed. And we can't wait to have our newest blessing home with us as well!

Monday, June 20, 2011


On Friday, we took a little trip to the mall (the most glorious mall in NC, by the way). There was a really cool toy shop there that my kids were dying to destroy check out. So we headed that way. As soon as we walked in the door, I spotted the most adorable little Asian girl standing at one of the play areas. She was playing with who I assumed was her father and older brother. All of a sudden, the father quickly escorted the boy out of the store - leaving the little girl behind playing. I kind of stood there frozen, wondering why he left her? It took her about 2 seconds to realize they had left. She started hysterically crying - bless her heart. You could tell she was terrified. As soon as I snapped out of it,  I started toward her. About the same time,  I see her mom come flying over from the other side of the store. She scooped her up and was loving on her. She looked at me, and just gave me this, "It's ok, I am her mom" kind of look. I couldn't stop staring. I know she probably thought I was some crazy stalker or something, but I my heart was breaking for that baby.  I wanted to snatch her out of her mommy's arms and comfort her myself! LOL. Anyway, it took her a minute to calm down and even minutes later, she still had these big tears just hanging on her bottom eye lashes.  Heart. Breaking.

I know this is silly, but I thought about that little girl all weekend. It just made me think. Obviously, I have no idea why the father left so abruptly, but he came back. Her mom was just a few feet from her. She was ok the whole time, but she didn't know that. In her little heart, everything she knew ran out of that store in an instant. In her little heart was breaking. It just made me think about Willa. Not only will she experience this  - she will have to experience it twice.

Her mom or dad left her somewhere. She could have been that two year old. The two year old that in an instant her world came to an end. Abandoned. Her mom didn't rush to her to comfort her and tell her that it's going to be ok.  She was just left. Then she was taken to an orphanage. She once again, has to learn to trust and find comfort in her surroundings. Then one day, in the not so distant future, she will be left again. She will be put in the arms of strangers and her world as she knows it will come to an end.

Now in her little mind, she doesn't know that it will be the very last time. She doesn't know that she will finally be coming home - never to be abandoned again. All she will know is everything and everyone familiar will be gone.

It is a wonder that these children ever overcome their abandonments. How resilient there little hearts must be. Even though I know that we will be giving Willa a good life - it still breaks my heart at what she will be leaving behind. Her family. Her country. Her culture. She will experience such a loss in such a little amount of time. No one should ever have to endure what these children endure.

I couldn't stop thinking about it... then something else happened... it was like the Lord was showing me a story in stages this weekend.  I was sitting at the kids flag football game on Saturday. I was just people watching when I saw my friends little girl (4 years old, adopted from China) running in my direction with a huge smile on her face. Then I saw her daddy going toward her - he scooped her up in his arms and she beamed. She laid her head on his shoulders and just smiled - absorbing his love and comfort.

So yeah, these kids do lose everything they know - their worlds are turned upside down.  But we serve a redeeming God!  He gives us beauty from ashes!

Isaiah 61:3 bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor.

He redeems them! He gives them hope for a future! You know, honestly, how many times does he do the same for us? Praise Jesus for his mercies! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I was thinking about money for the adoption today. Usually its so overwhelming, when it comes to mind, I quickly push it away (funny how I can do that with this, but with health stuff, I get a little nutso).  Today, I decided to "tackle" it and figure out exactly where we are.

I am super excited to say that we have enough money to cover ALL of the fees (new agency post placement fees, visa fees, orphanage "donation" fee). So all we are short now is our travel expenses. Unfortunately, that is the biggest expense. Time is on our side though! We haven't even received a referral yet - so we hopefully will have time to raise/save the remainder.

If we all travel, the total travel expenses will be somewhere around $18,000. I know that seems outrageous. I know that taking our children is controversial. But I believe in our heart that it is the right decision for OUR family. After my trip last year, I just can't bear to travel without them. I really needed them last July, and the thought of being there again without them breaks my heart. I have said all of this before, and I am sorry to repeat myself. I just also believe that they have been on this journey with us for the last 2+ years - they are anxiously awaiting Willa's arrival as much as we are. It's their journey too. We have never left them before, why would start now? Anyway.... so. $18,000. That is our new number.

If we get a referral this month (Jesus willing!), we will have about 4 or 5 months to come up with that money. GULP. Ok that makes me feel a little panicky. It's time to pack up these thoughts and file them away for a while. LOL. I've had enough anxiety this week to last me a lifetime.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I just have to blog about this ... I am just in awe.

On Saturday, I found a lump in my breast while I was showering. My first thought was, hmmm... that doesn't feel right. Well, it didn't take long for full on panic to set in. I am young, 36, no family history of cancer at all. Most normal people would be a little concerned but would just make a mental note to call the doctor on Monday if it wasn't better. Most normal people. I clearly do not fall into that category. I fall into the "I am an absolute lunatic with no hope of ever being normal." category. By lunch time, I was absolutely consumed with fear. I was convinced of the worst case scenario. Every time I looked at one of my children, I burst into tears. My mind went crazy.

So fast forward to Monday morning. I call the doctor and they are willing to see me at 2 (2? GAH!). Two o'clock finally rolls around and I see the doctor. He felt the lump and says, "Let's schedule an ultrasound." He hands me my check out paper, and that was it. WHAT? No kind words to talk me off the ledge? No statistic like 80% of breast lumps are benign? Nothing? So go check out and the lady calls the diagnostic center to schedule my u/s. She looks at me as says, "How about Thursday?" I just dropped my head and didn't say a word. I could not speak. I hear her ask the lady on the phone if she had anything sooner. So the lady tells her to hold on... for 1000 minutes. Ok, not really, but it felt like it. She finally comes back and says I could come right then. During that 1000 minutes, I was praying, literally begging God to let it be today. I would surely die if I had to wait until Thursday. Did I mention that I lost 3 pounds since Saturday? Anyway, praise Jesus, I could go then.

So I get there and I wait maybe 10 minutes. They were so kind and comforting. I ended up with a mammogram and an ultrasound. The radiologist came in and said that it was a benign cyst. In fact, there were multiple cysts. He also wanted to do another ultrasound on the other breast just to have a baseline. So all is ok.

It made me think... why was it all ok? What did I do to deserve to be cancer free when so many other women are not so lucky? Then it occurred to me that it had nothing to do with that. I don't deserve it. I don't deserve any of the blessings that my sweet Jesus gives me. That is the beauty of it - I serve a God that doesn't give me what I deserve. Instead, He gives me grace. Mercy. Favor. Salvation.

I am humbled and eternally grateful for His favor today. I have to tell you though - if the outcome were different, I would still trust Jesus. I would still know that ALL things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in devastating moments, even in losses that cripple us, even in the times when we think we can not handle another minute of it. He is still GOOD. He still has a plan. He is still showing us His favor and faithfulness.

Ultimate worse case scenario - I would be with my Savior face to face. If we set our hearts and minds on Him and eternity, it changes our perspective. Don't get me wrong, I am so delighted to receive my good news today. So relieved!! I am just saying that it just made me re-think things.  If in His presence is my worst case scenario - then that gives me such Peace!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I just found this post from April 2008. It cracked me up. I thought it was worth reposting. I am glad since then, Miss Priss realized that her mommy does not roll like that. 

Oh no she didn't!

So little Miss Priss comes into the kitchen this morning to ask for more fruit loops. I told her no, we would have lunch soon. She decided it was a good idea to demand more, "I WANT MORE FRUIT LOOPS!" I looked at her like she had lost her mind and told her she was not allowed to speak to me that way. She then threw the bowl on the floor and kicked it across the kitchen. GASP! I think my eyes about popped out of my head. I told her to pick the bowl up, put it away and go to her room. She sat down on the kitchen floor. After I threatened to beat her, she got up, put the bowl away, and stomped off (with flip flops on which made it evenmore dramatic, like it needed help). She went to her room, where I can still hear her yelling, "mommmmmmmmmaaaaa". Sigh. It is only 10am.

***Edited to add*** She comes out of her room, I kid you not, with a rosary on and talking about Jesus. Maybe He appeared to her while she was in there and told her if she kept acting like that, her mommy may send her to live with Him.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


It's hard not to think about my life this time last year.  We were anxiously waiting on travel approval to travel to China to bring Xiao Xiao home. I can't believe it's been almost a year. The pain of leaving Xiao Xiao behind is still very raw. I think about her and our time together every single day. I am so glad that her family is working to bring her home. I hope she doesn't have to wait much longer. I hope she is healthy enough to travel (last year, my doctor did not recommend allowing her to board a plane). I am so thankful that she is getting her happy ending. That sweet girl so deserves to be home already.

I've been thinking lately about our journey and how we've gotten to where we are today. I met Brad for the first time 12 years ago this month. TWELVE YEARS! June 1999 was such a sweet time for us. June 1999 is when "we" began. The very start of our journey as a family. Fast forward 10 years to June 2009 - we began our adoption journey. The start of becoming a family of six.  So the month of June has become very dear to me. 

I remember feeling like I would never meet a Godly man. I remember asking God why? Why did he not have a Godly man for me? Did he want me to be alone? Then He sent me Brad. In June. 

Then I remember feeling like we would never embark on our adoption journey. I remember asking God why? Why did he not want us to adopt? Then He changed my husband's heart and we embarked on our journey to Willa. In June.

So I have to ask Jesus, what does He have for me this June? Wouldn't it be SUH-WEET if He showed me my baby's face this June? It totally wouldn't surprise me!

I have Hope.