Tuesday, August 30, 2011


First of all, thank you for the prayers. We did not receive a call last night. On to next month. Actually I have a really good story to share, but I have to get off the computer. I will share it tomorrow. For today though, I want to share my current favorite song. It is especially dear to me today, when I have needed to hear just how He loves me.

*disclaimer* I was hesitant to share this actual video because .... well, honestly, I don't need to stare at David Crowder's face for 4 minutes and I am sure you don't need to either. LOL. However, the song is just so good, you have to watch. Or at least listen. When you are watching though, try not to be jealous of David's slammin fro. Somehow, I don't think you will be.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


In twenty four hours, the list will release. This time tomorrow my agency representative may be looking at the face of my little girl. Oh the excitement and anticipation of it is almost too much.

But here's the thing - tomorrow may be just like every time, with no Willa on the list. I know I will be so sad, but I also know there is a bigger picture. Bottom line, if we do not receive a call, my daughter wasn't on the list. One day she will be. One day, my phone will ring. My hearts desire is that it is tomorrow, but if it isn't, I still trust Jesus. He is never late!

I want to share a poem with you that my sweet friend Cheryl (also praying for a call tomorrow! If they get a call and we get a call, there is a good chance we could travel together! Wouldn't that be a HUGE God thing?) gave me.

Wait by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait".
"Wait? You say, wait! " my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign, or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry: I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait.
"So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut and grumbled to God,
"So, I'm waiting.... for what?" He seemed, then, to kneel,
and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you wan t~~ but, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams or your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, "WAIT".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I do not feel stable. LOL. I have gone from weepy hot mess to numb and indifferent. It started when I found my old scrap books under the couch. Just flipping though, I was over come with emotion. Just such sweet memories there. Apparently, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Tears flowed, and honestly, have flowed since.

I really think the tears were just a combination of many different things. It's clearly been building. I think a part of it is the anticipation of the list (with the current available waiting children) that is suppose to come out Monday night.  Just knowing it's coming, then the realization that this month will probably be just like the other months with no call.

Then I keep thinking of how short we are financially. I did lower the amount needed because I think I over estimated for airfare. I hope so anyway. I also had to use some of our savings for some unexpected expenses. So we are basically still where we were, but I look at our little fundraising bar and sheer panic sets in. 

Then I realize it's a complete moot point because we have not received a referral. I don't need money to travel if there is no little girl to travel for.... 

Then I cry again. It's a vicious cycle.

Don't get me wrong, I am still trusting my sweet Jesus. In fact a few weeks ago, I really prayed that He would guide me in a decision regarding our adoption. I was struggling with wondering what to do and I specifically asked Him to show me what to do. The very next morning, I had an answer. I don't want to go into specifics here, but that day after my prayer, I received just the answer that I was looking for. Jesus confirmed what I felt in my spirit in a very distinctive way. Then I got an encouraging email for our agency, that I took as another answer from Him. Bottom line - it is 100% in His hands. Not in America World's hands, not in mine. His. Then last night I heard such a sweet song about adoption. Some of the lyrics really stood out to me:

When we cannot see you moving
When it seems the dark has won
May you find us still believing
That you want this more than us
You will finish what you started
And your plans for us are good
Help us cling to what you promised

It is so easy to have a pity party for myself. It is so easy to wallow in despair and doubt. That comes easy for me. What takes work is believing, trusting, having faith. It have to keep reminding myself that He can be trusted.  Just because He isn't working on MY time table doesn't mean He isn't working. 

I have to trust that. Will you please lift our family up in prayer if you have a minute? Please pray that He reveals Willa to us SOON. My heart may just break in two if He doesn't.

Friday, August 19, 2011


It seems that Brad and I have gotten into the bad habit of never going to bed at the same time. Usually he falls asleep on the couch at like 8 (haha, he is so old), then stays up late watching SportsCenter. I usually go to bed by 11. Well, last night, we actually went to bed at the same time.

Here is the conversation that took place just before we fell asleep:

Me: Brad, I've been thinking and I've decided I need you to start calling me by a "pet name". I don't want you to call me Michele anymore. I was thinking something sweet - like babe, honey, angel, love - you know something really sweet.

Brad: Um. OK. How about crazy? or coocoo?

Me: (After I gasped, then pinched him) RUDE!

Brad: I can't help it if you are a freak show. Oh! Freak show! That would be a good one!

Me: Have I told you today that I hate you?

Brad: Nope. Not today.

Me: Then if not, I do. I hate you.

He thought that was the funniest thing ever. LOL! Such sweetness in my man!

We both joke like that all the time with each other. We don't mean a word of it. It's just the way we are. Fortunately, its the way we both are. God really knew what he was doing when he paired us up. I just thought I would share this story, just in case someone over hears him call me "freak show". Don't think bad of him - it's his way of calling me something sweet!


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Apparently, the six years I have lived in a somewhat rural area of NC (actually becoming less and less rural every day!!) has shelter me. We do not have a mall, so it isn't very often that I go to one. Yesterday, I met my mom and step dad at a mall in Charlotte. They were in Charlotte visiting family, so I met them to spend the day.

We were walking around with my children, when we passed by Spencer's.

You know the store - it's the one in every mall with completely disgusting and inappropriate things.  I remember as a kid, I loved that store! It was the only store that sold gross things that kids think are hilarious - like fake poop or little flushing toilets. 

Apparently, the store has evolved. It appears to more of an adult store now. A nasty, sin filled store that wreaks of Satan.  It has been years since I have even been in one, but I can tell by the entrance they are not selling anything I need. I most certainly have never taken my children in there. 

Well, yesterday, we were passing by when I noticed their posters display. They typically sell posters and display them just inside the door. Usually the posters are of the latest heart throb (like the Biebs) or of the hottest summer movie.  Yesterday however, the posters were awful. 

The posters were of half naked girls and one poster was of said girls about to make out.  I was mortified. Fortunately, at that moment, my children were busy looking at other things. They did not notice them. However, all it would have taken was one glance. One general glance for that image to forever be burnt into their minds.  

Don't get me started on the fact that it is forever burnt into my mind. It could have easily been seen by my husband too. However, my concern is my children. Their innocence. 

When did it become acceptable for such sexually explicit images to be imposed on my children? When did it become ok for my babies innocence to be stolen by just a glance?

It grieves my heart so much that this is what my children are facing. On the way to Charlotte yesterday. was a billboard with girls in negligee's. On a huge billboard on interstate 77. How can I compete against the world this way on behalf of my children? Don't even get me started on the check out at any grocery store.

I can only pray daily that Jesus will protect their eyes, their ears, their minds. I pray for their innocence and for Jesus to protect it for as long as possible. And hope and pray that He returns for us quickly. I long for eternity with Him where sin doesn't exist. 

Oh, while it may not help, I did write a letter to Spencer's and the Mall. I shared with them that my family will not be returning to that mall until the posters are removed. I also told them that I will make it my personal mission to tell as many people as humanly possible, so they can also boycott the mall until the situation is corrected. If I don't fight for my children's innocence, who will?

Friday, August 12, 2011


It is hard to put into words what my heart is feeling. This is going to be one of those posts that mean more to me than to any one that may read it. The whole reason I started this blog was to journal my days with my sweet babies. I want record my experiences and my thoughts. So years from now, when I don't remember this feeling or this moment, I would have record of it. That is what this post is all about.

Some friends of Brad's from college received devastating news this week. Their 8 year old son was diagnosed with leukemia. I personally don't know them, but I can't stop thinking about this family. My heart aches for them. When I read their news, it was like a giant hand slap across my face. I have an 8 year old son. What if it were us? Seriously the thought brings tears to my eyes. 

How quickly life can change! In an instant, your world can come crashing down. How blessed I am to have my family for this moment. 

I had to take Jackson to the dentist today. It was just him and me. Sadly, we don't get an opportunity to be alone very often. After the dentist, I decided to surprise him by taking him out for ice cream. I made him swear to secrecy! LOL.  I was sitting there just watching him, and I thought my heart would burst. His little life just flashed before my eyes.  Memories of him as an infant - rocking him and going on walks with him. Memories of him as a 2 year old playing trains. And I could just see him walking around as a 4 year old with a light saber attached to his pants - all the time.  I started crying right there in the ice cream shop!

(edited to add a photo of his sweet little face!!)

I read something this week that was profound to me - one day, I am going to miss this moment. I sat there in that ice cream shop thinking, one day, I am going to long for my 8 year old sharing an ice cream with me.  TEARS!!

Oh my heart breaks for Brad's friends. I can't imagine that hurt, that fear. When I looked at my baby today, I thought about how his future is wide open. He can do anything he wants. What a precious blessing. What a gift. 

I am a weepy, hot mess today.  I hate being this way. At the same time, it is nice to be reminded how precious life is and how richly blessed I am.

Monday, August 8, 2011


The more this sinks in, the more I realize just how special it was. I'll share from the beginning...

Brad and I got into a discussion last night about our adoption journey.  I know this road has been way more difficult for me that it's been for him. I am much more emotionally attached to the process than he is. It is my every thought, it seems. My heart longs for our baby to be home. I long to be in China. Brad, on the other hand, is more like "let me know when we get a referral and when travel is imminent". Otherwise, he doesn't think about it, breath it, like I do.

I know that, and I get it. He was very much like that with each of my pregnancies, too. He went with me to my appointments, because I think he was scared not to. LOL. Really though, he wasn't the dad that wanted to go to Babies R Us with me to register, or to sit on the couch with his hand on my belly.  So his lack of "involvement" in the adoption, especially the ever so stalled adoption that it is, is not surprising to me. Normally it doesn't even bother me. But, last night it did.

I was already feeling emotional and doubtful. After our conversation, I was reeling. What in the world are we doing? Am I wrong? What if the adoption is "stalled" because it just isn't God's will for us? All these questions ran through my mind. I was heartsick.

So I went to bed praying. Just desperate before Jesus saying, what in world are we suppose to do?  Before I went to sleep, I thought I would do my daily devotion on my phone. I have the Bible app and it has a daily Rick Warren devotion. It is really neat. At the end of the devotion, there is a bible passage that goes along with it. When you click on the suggested bible reading, a new screen pops up that takes you straight to that passage. Once you read it, you click on the little devotion icon and it takes you back to the previous page. It will check off the bible verses showing you completed your reading for that day.

So I decided to read my devotion and then go to sleep. The main point was patience and persistence. When I got to the bottom, it suggested that I read Genesis 24:21. So I clicked on it and started reading. I immediately noticed that it included a lot of verses (instead of just the one), but I kept reading. The more I read, the more I thought, "Hey, this is long!", but I kept reading. Here are the main points of the passage:

*Consider trials pure joy.
*If you seek wisdom, ask God. He will tell you (hello! Like right now!).
*God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.
*Don't just listen to God's word, DO IT!
*Do not hear His word and not obey it.

And I not sure why it took me so long to realize I wasn't reading Genesis, but rather James. It wasn't until the very last verse that it hit me.

**James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

As soon as I read that I realized that God, Himself, was speaking to me. You have to understand, my phone can be glitchy sometimes, like it will freeze periodically. I can tell you that my phone has never, ever pulled up a random bible passage. This app was written to pull up the passage it is assigned to pull up. It doesn't just pick some random other bible passage to share.

Was it a coincidence that my prayer minutes before reading this, was asking God what we should do? Are we on the right path? If we are, why is it so stinkin hard?  Then my phone randomly pulls up James 1? Seriously, if it was a "glitch" - of all the passages in the bible, it pulls up the one that tells me to care for orphans? To consider my trials joy? To obey what He tells me? And that if I ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to me? For sure NOT a glitch!!

Thank you Father for speaking to me, even when I come to you with doubts and fears. Thank you for working on my behalf, even when I don't deserve it (which is always)! Thank you for loving us enough to give us the blessing of another child. Thank you for keeping your promise to Willa by placing her in a family.

In your time, Sweet Jesus, you will show yourself glorious! You will move mighty mountains on our behalf. I trust You. I trust Your timing. Until that time, I will rest in Your light and love. I can't wait to see what You are going to do!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We started school two weeks ago. It blows my mind that I have a THIRD grader and a FIRST grader.  We use Sonlight and we love it. This year, we are using Core B - which is geography, history and literature. It works well for us, because Jack and Anna can share. We do the Core, bible and science together and individual math and language arts. It really helps having them together for a large part of their school day.

Core B is Intro to World History. So far, it has been very interesting and the kids genuinely seem to like it. It will tie in nicely with a trip to China. If course, at the rate we are going, my kids may be in high school by the time we make it to China, but that is neither here nor there.

My issue has been motivating Jackson. He honestly just can not be bothered by school work. I know he is smart. I know he is capable. What he is not, is willing. For example, we had a worksheet on capitalization. Now, he has been doing capitalization since kindergarten. So he knows when a capital letter is needed. He got the entire worksheet wrong. The entire worksheet. I am not going to lie, I threaten to put him in the car, and drive to the elementary school that is 3 miles away to enroll him.  That scared him to death - but I haven't seen a change in his effort yet. I get that he is a boy and has lots of other things vying for his attention, I really do. However, school takes about 3 hours. He has the rest of the day to do whatever it is he does. It is taking him longer because I am making him redo the stuff he is doing wrong. You would think that alone would motivate him to do it right!

Here is another example - he has always been gifted in math. So far, I had not had to teach him any math concepts. He just gets it. We started multiplication last year, I shared the facts with him once and then he just knew the answers.  This year? Oh lawd. This year, he can't seem to add double numbers. He told me he didn't understand the "carry the 1" concept. What? I am so not buying it.

I am not quite sure what to do to motivate him. I went this weekend and bought a boat load of candy. Good candy, like blow pops! I am going to try rewarding them with candy when they do their best. I think that will be effective with him. I sure hope so.

Nothing new on the adoption front, unfortunately. I do have a huge praise - we have raised $700 with the T-shirt sale. Can you believe it? I have people every day asking me about them! What a blessing!

So that is it for now. Sorry it isn't more exciting. Maybe soon, I will have some exciting news. Maybe. Jesus willing.