Friday, March 21, 2014

A Chance

It has been beautiful here the last few days.  Sarah was anxious to get outside today so we headed outside to the play set.  As we sat there in the sunshine I found myself with tears in my eyes.  She was laughing and swinging and all of sudden she threw her little head back and straightened out her arms and just leaned back and laughed.  And I as much as try not to dwell on where she's been I couldn't help in that moment to think how very thankful I am that she is out in the sunshine laughing and swinging.

And I couldn't help but remember those left behind.

Those who don't get the chance to throw their head back in the sunshine

and tell their moms to stop taking pictures and sit in the other swing.

Please pray for those who wait. 

Is it hard some days.

Is it all worth it?

Oh my goodness.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Four months

Four months ago today we arrived back home with Sarah.  She's been busy this last month!

Learning to blow bubbles with her cousin Dory

Enjoyed some walks in the early spring weather.

In light of the US win in ice dancing she and Will practiced some new moves just in case there is a future for them in that sport.

 Remembered to pray before bed every night.

Enjoyed a shoulder ride from her awesome big brother!

Discvered the riding toys at any shopping center we happen to be at.


Tried on glasses at Walmart.
I was there looking at glasses for myself and turned around and she was wearing these.  Pulled them off the rack and put them on like she needed them.

She has turned into quite a shoes and clothes girl.  Her favotite thing to try on was her sisters shorts.
(please ignore the state of the closet)

That is until she discovered the bag of clothes a friend had sent her!  
Thank Katie!
7 shirts, 1 dress, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 skirt, 1 pair of pants and a dress!

Had her first picnic in the playhouse.  She has developed a deep love for peanut butter sandwhiches!

Dressed up in Chinese dresses with her sister and her cousin Dory.
Beautiful girls!

Took in a movie with her big sister and one of her friends.  She just pulled her little chair in there like she was 13 years old too and was supposed to be up late watching a movie!

Baseball is just around the corner gotta get in some batting practice!

To round out the month we took a little road trip to Memphis Zoo with some friends.

Friday, March 7, 2014


We are in the home study phase of our adoption of Emily.  Not my favorite part.  Especially since we just did this.  I told our social worker that there wasn't really anything that different from last time.  Well, except we added a kid and I quit my job.  Okay, well maybe a few things have changed.  Hopefully it won't take too long and we can get the show on the road.

This was one of those weeks where I questioned my ability to effectively parent anyone.  Monday was a hard day.  From the 15 year old bogged down in exams, to the 13 year old daughter being a 13 year old daughter to the 5 year old who was sick and incredibly frustrated at her inability to communicate.  We are all fighting the crud and not feeling great and it's safe to say I was not feeling like mom of the year.  I've said before that I feel like all my children are on the precipice of things.  All in important phases of their lives.  I was feeling the weight of being their mother  this week.

I am part of an active Facebook group of China moms with our agency.  It has been a source of great encouragement and friendship for me.  Facebook can be bad I know, but this group has been so great for me.  On Tuesday several moms adopting children from the same orphanage that Emily is in posted new pictures.  It appeared that Lifeline had visited the orphanage and while there had taken pictures for the waiting parents.  I did not get any pictures on Tuesday and just assumed that we had not gotten approval by the time the trip was made.  Oh well.  It's okay.  I was planning on ordering an update soon and we have really good pictures from November.

But God knows what a mother's heart needs and on Wednesday morning I got an email from our social worker with the news that I did indeed have pictures!!!  I was so thrilled to see her precious face.

And as if this wasn't enough to brighten the week I received a message I was hoping for last night.  I had contacted a family that I knew was there adopting an older child from the same orphanage.  I didn't know them but asked if they were going to be at the orphanage and happened to see her would they snap a picture.  What a blessing was headed our way!  Several pictures including one of her in her wheelchair which I was desperately hoping for.  And not only that but a precious video with her telling us she was waiting for us.  And as added bonus, the family's guide translates what Emily is saying on the video.  We immediately recognized her voice as our wonderful guide Aron from our time in China. 

In addition to all this great stuff was the news from this mother that our girl is just as precious as we have heard.  Every single person that meets her tells of her joyous spirit and her peaceful nature.  Every single person tells us how special she is.  I can not wait to get her home and see what the Lord is going to do through her.  

We have several videos of her singing.  She has a precious voice.  One of the first times we went to church after being home with Sarah I walked in as everyone was singing.  I had a sort of vision of her sitting there in the aisle in her wheelchair singing praises to the Lord.  I can not wait to see that in person.  I can not wait to introduce her to Jesus.  

I still need to write out the story of how we got to this point.  In the beginning of our first adoption we reviewed the file of a precious little girl.  I wanted the answer to be yes to this girl but there was no peace in it at all.  It was a resounding no.  She has a family now and I am grateful for that.  I am also grateful that the Lord gave us a no because we know what a no feels like and we know what a yes feels like.  Sarah was a yes and Emily is beyond a shadow of doubt a yes.  

I had already ordered an update through a service when we got all these great pictures.  We were able to ask Emily some questions and send her a gift and some pictures.  We should get those in the next little bit.  

I still feel so inadequate as a mother most days.  I have asked the Lord for years to cover my short comings.  There are days I feel like I have done the very best I could possibly do and there are days I feel like I have let them all down.  But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was meant to be their mother.    All four of them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


We have learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretent they aren't real before you hold them in your arms.
But once you do…
Everything Changes

When I was in college I came across a picture that made me catch my breath.  It was a simple black and white picture of a kitchen table with four children sitting around it.  I remember thinking I was seeing a glimpse of my future.  Four.

After Jenny was born I knew I was done birthing babies.  I just knew.  Shane did too.  But we weren't done having children.  God had planted the seed of adoption in our hearts and although it took many years and lots of prayer God gave us the desire of our hearts.  

and yet….

God also broke our hearts for the fatherless.  Our eyes were opened.  We have seen them and held them and we have left them behind.  Nearly every night as I lay by my precious daughter who is finally home I see that room full of babies in my head.  I see those older children whose chance for a family diminshes with each passing day.

And God reminded me of the picture in my mind of a table with four children around it.

And He is a God who fiercely loves the fatherless and He is a God who loves to give you the desire of your heart.

And so….

We are headed back to China.

For a precious 12 year old girl we knew we would be back for. 

A girl described by those who have met her as lovely and peaceful and precious and joyous.

We are calling her Emily Marie.

God has shown Himself faithful already in His perfect timing, allowing us to lock her file just in the knick of time.  We will share the details of how we found her and how God led us to her soon.  For today we simply ask for your prayers for her and for us.  And we want to show you her beautiful face.

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!
Psalms 126:3