Wednesday, September 28, 2011


As time goes on, I become more and more aware of the giant mountains in front of me. I thought that all of the mountains were gone.  Naively, I thought that once we began our adoption journey for the second time,  it would be smooth sailing. I thought it would all fall into place, because after all that happened, we deserved it. I couldn't have been more wrong.

We can't "buy" good times, just because we endured bad times. Unfortunately, when we left China without Xiao Xiao, little did I know our bad times were just beginning. Exactly a year ago today I wrote this post, Frantic. Here I am a year later feeling the exact same way - except worse. Today, I am more aware of all the obstacles and fears that invade my every thought:

*Fear that we will never find our Jocelyn Willa.
*Fear of timing.
*Obstacle of finances (we are still way short).
*Fear of losing my sanity from all of this.

Seriously, it is beginning to feel like the walls are closing in on me. How in the world are we ever going to overcome all of that?

Truth is, we can't. In my own power I can do nothing. I do not stand a chance. I do not have the power to overcome all of that on my own. Are the odds against us? Absolutely. I do not have authority over the CCCWA. I do not have endless amounts of money.

But, I know someone who does. I have a Father that can MOVE MOUNTAINS just by speaking. My Father has authority over Heaven and Earth - and that means the Ch*nese Government, too.  You know what else? My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).

When we do finally receive Jocelyn in our arms (because we will!) - you know what? It will be only because of Jesus' power. His authority. His finances. He alone will receive the glory! And you know what else? That makes every minute, every doubt, every hardship of this wait worth it!


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Well, we actually have been home since Tuesday. I have been busy fall cleaning. I am not sure why, but I couldn't wait to get home and embrace FALL! Cooler temps, pumpkin pie candles, soup, fall decorations - you know, all the great things that come this time of year.

Not much else going on. Unfortunately.  Actually, that isn't entirely true.

On our trip Brad tells me that he doesn't love the name Willa. Um, ok. LOL. He said it's ok, but he agreed to it because he knows how dear it is to me. So, I asked him what he wanted to name our baby girl. Without hesitating, he said, "Jocelyn."  We have talked about that name before. In fact, we considered it for Jameson, before we knew he was a boy - that was a long time ago!

So after a lot of discussion, we have decided that our little Chinese treasure will officially be named Jocelyn Willa. I truly love that name, and I love that it is a J name, just like my other little treasures.

But, the best part? The giddy look on my sweet husband's face when we made it official. It truly makes my heart smile to know that our little girl was named by her daddy. Her BaBa.  Love. It!

Oh, one more thing - could you pray for us these next few days? We need a lot of prayer about something specific, I just can't give the details here. Jesus knows though. If you have just a minute, would you please pray that God will move in a mighty way, and that His will, will be done in a specific matter for us? THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Ahh... relaxation... It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? Brad has a work conference this week in Orlando. At first, I just assumed that he could come alone, while I stayed home with the kids. With us saving every free penny for our adoption, there was just no way we could plan a trip to Orlando.

I told Brad I would help make arrangements for him. You know, back in the pre-adoption days, we would come down to Orlando a couple times a year. I know my way around here better than I know my way around the town I live in!

Anyway, I started looking for hotels and such. Brad had a set conference budget, so it was important to stretch his money as far as it would go. The hotel that is hosting the conference was offering rooms for $129 a night.  I knew I could do better than that. So I got busy, and I actually found him a condo to rent for $62 a night! The beauty of that? It is a three bedroom condo! So we decided that we would all come. We could hang out at the condo, just as easily as we could hang out at our house. So here we are!

We started planning this trip months ago. Since we knew that we were coming, we decided to use our Disney Visa like a check card to accumulate points. We were very careful to pay off each transaction, and use it just like we would a debit card. Right after we decided to do that, we got a promotion in the mail offering like 3 times the rewards. So we racked up the points! We ended up with enough to do something really fun while we are here. We aren't 100% sure what that will be yet. Brad is tied up all day tomorrow, but he will be free some on Thursday.  Then on Friday, his conference is over at noon. That evening, my in-laws are coming to spend the weekend here with us. I am so excited. We always have a great time with them.

It really feels good to get away from "life" for a little bit. We just got here today. I went to the grocery store and bought us food. For dinner, the kids had a lunchable and I had a can of soup. You know what? It was delicious ! LOL! Now I am sitting here with my laptop, resting and enjoying just being here. Plus, my kids were so beat, they went to bed at 7:30! It's so quiet!

I am not sure what we will be doing tomorrow. The condo we are staying at has a really nice pool. We had to close our pool at home because the water temp was just too cold. So, the kids are looking forward to swimming here. Maybe I will drag my kids to Ikea. HAHA. Whatever we end up doing, I am just glad that we are here.

I really needed some away time. Life has been hard for a while.  I am looking forward to enjoying my children and enjoying my favorite city on Earth!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Sorry it's taken me so long to post this story. I have no excuse. LOL.

edited to add - this post got long! Sorry! Read it through, if you have a minute. It is a good one. Hopefully one that will encourage you in your time of discouragement!

After Monday night came and went with no call, I was pretty down. Actually, Monday night wasn't even done yet and I was down. Went to bed teary, woke up teary. I was really struggling with some self doubt. As I fell asleep that night, my mind was going crazy....

Have I made a mistake?
Maybe God never spoke to me at all.
If we are on the right path, why has it gone so wrong?
Why did we seem to be on the only family on the planet that wasn't getting a call?
What if there wasn't a Willa after all?

The doubts and questions just kept coming. Before I went to bed, I asked Brad what he thought. Could we be totally blind and this wasn't what God was asking of us after all? He told me he didn't really believe that. He asked me if I thought my heart would be so burdened for Willa if we were on the wrong path? I didn't think so, but I really was beginning to wonder. I did tell him that the thought of giving up hurt my heart more than the thought of waiting month after month (which hurts pretty dang bad in and of itself).  It was a pretty rough night.

Let me say, just to clarify, I never, not for a second doubted my God. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. I was doubting myself. What if my own desires were clouding God's desires for us? I was never doubting Him.

Anyway, when I woke up on Tuesday, it wasn't any better. I cried off and on all morning. In the early afternoon, we were on our way home from an errand and I decided to call my mom and cry to her. She is always willing to listen and encourage. I was spilling my heart out to her, sharing all of the doubts above. All of a sudden, my son (8 years old) says from the backseat of the van, "Mom, you are doing what you are meant to be doing." I told my mom to hang on a sec, and I turned to him and asked him to repeat himself. I heard him just fine, but I wanted to know what he meant. He was sitting looking away from me, his eyes never met mine, his voice never changed, and he said, "You are doing what Jesus wants you to be doing." I sat there for a second, kind of floored. He doesn't offer words of wisdom very much, but I have to tell you, that's the second time that kid has blown me away.

I told my mom and she immediately said, "Michele, there's your answer right there! God used that baby to speak to you. You have to know that." I couldn't agree more. In my moment of absolute heart break, He used my child, His child, to minister to me. To encourage me.

As soon as I got home, I checked my email (I actually had checked it on my phone about 30 minutes earlier) and I had a devotion waiting for me from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was titled, "A Ram Is On The Way". Intrigued, I opened it. As I sat there reading, tears filled my eyes. Jesus was speaking to me again. Confirming the words from Jack and confirming the truths in my heart.

The whole devotion was about hopelessness. Are you in a situation that seems hopeless (YES!)? It went on to tell about Abraham and Isaac. In case you don't know the story, Abraham and Sarah had prayed for a child for a very long time. Finally, in their old age (oh LORD, please don't let me find Willa in my old age! LOL!), God blessed them with a son, Isaac.

One day, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as an offering to Him. Without question, Abraham was obedient. He packed up his things, along with Isaac and started up the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. The devotion pointed out that while Abraham was obedient, surely his heart was breaking. Surely he couldn't understand why he had to sacrifice Isaac. He just took each step up that mountain in absolute faith and obedience. I can't imagine what must have been going through his mind.

What he didn't realize was God was there. He had a plan. A plan that Abraham could not see. God, saw the beginning and the end. He was preparing a way. He was working. On the other side of that mountain, at the exact time Abraham and Isaac were making their way up, was a ram. A plan. When Abraham got to the top and was about to sacrifice his son, and angel of the Lord stopped him. He then saw the ram entangled in the thicket. A replacement for the sacrifice.

His faith and trust paid off. Even when his heart was about to break in two, he was obedient. Did he have doubts? I would say so - what man wouldn't? But God had a plan. He was making preparations all along so that Abraham didn't have to sacrifice Isaac.

My ram is on the way. His plan. His provision. He is working. And soon, my ram will come and we will see His faithfulness. We will see His glory.

I happened to look at the time stamp of that email. It said 9:30 am. I got it at 2:00. I checked at 1:30, and it was not there. It came exactly 10 minutes after Jackson shared with me in the car. Just the confirmation that I needed. Seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

My ram is on the way!

By the way, if you want to read the story (and believe me, you want to read the story) of Abraham and Isaac for yourself, it can be found in Genesis 22.