Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Today was a pretty laid back day.  We hung out here at the hospital most of the day.  It's really a great place.  They have an indoor play area that Sarah Joy loves playing on, we spent a large part of our time there.  We did have to walk down to Children's for her ENT appointment.  Sarah Joy did great until the nurse needed to hold her down.  Luckily, it didn't last long and I was able to quickly hold her and soothe her.  That is one thing about surgery that I am not looking forward to.  I really don't want her to experience more trauma than absolutely necessary.  Well 5am report time comes early so I will leave you until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The adventure....

This trip for surgery has been an adventure.  We got to the airport and checked in.  As I was walking to security, I realized I had only checked myself in and forgot Sarah Joy's ticket.  So I turned around and back we went.  Finally we were ready to go through security.  Now this is stressful for me on a good day.  Today was super stressful!  Sarah Joy was off the chain and did not want to be in her stroller (was glad I brought it) and I felt like I was holding up everyone in line.  After sweating bullets getting through security, we were on our way.  We loaded the plane and little sister began checking things out.  I was able to keep her entertained for most of the trip.  However, the last few minutes I knew she was about to melt.

Soon we were able to de-plane and she was glad.  Only, we got to the door to find that our stroller was not there.  The Delta folks were super helpful, but the stroller was not to be found.  Oh well, it was off to the next terminal.  No time to stop and eat, so we picked up a sandwich and made it in time to board the next plane and eat while waiting for take-off.

As we are waiting to take-off, the pilot announced that we were waiting for TSA to come to our plane.  Then I look out the window to see Boarder Patrol there.  Soon a passenger was escorted off the plane by flight attendants.  At last, we can fly.

While we were waiting for TSA I text our pastor and worship leader to ask for prayer as I was pretty stressed.  As soon as they announced take-off, things settled down.  I could tell my friends were praying for us.  The rest of the trip was a breeze.  Sarah Joy did great on the final flight, Delta is working on finding our stroller and loaned us one for now, and we are settled here at Shriners.  Please continue to pray for us.  Surgery will be at 7am on Thursday.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Emotions run amuck...

Yes, that title would completely describe me right now.  Life has been be-bopping along great.  We've started school, getting in the routine with extracurricular activities and basically sailing smoothly.  Then in the middle of last week we received a call that they had scheduled Sarah Joy's first surgery.... that's when the sanity train derailed.


They called to let us know that surgery would be August 28th (ummm, okay, that's like two weeks away!)  My first reaction was "YAY!! We can soon begin speech and hopefully have progress."  The next reaction was, "Oh my, that is so soon.  I've got to get the other kids situated."  (Insert much gratitude for my dear mother)  Then it was, "I've got to drive to Cincinnati alone and then take care of baby girl by myself.  She already hates for me to be out of her sight, how will I ever go to the bathroom while at the hospital?!?!"  And then the worry sets in.  I've never had a child to have surgery before.  Jim nor I have ever had surgery.  What if something goes wrong.  And the "what if" game begins and I wind up a snotty, crumpled mess on the floor.  Hence the title.

Yes, I am super excited that Sarah Joy will have her first of many surgeries that will allow her to learn to speak clearly.  We communicate so well right now, but I know that once her palate is repaired she will be able to express herself much more clearly.

Yes, I am a nervous wreck thinking about driving the roughly 14 hours to Cincinnati by myself.  I'm nervous about being able to take care of her post-surgery.  And then that same 14 hour ride back home with a child who just doesn't feel up to par.

And of course, the "what if's" worry me the most.  I know that I shouldn't worry.  I know that God has this all planned out and it's already taken care of.  However, this momma heart worries about her baby.  In the short 5 1/2 months that she has been with us, she has won all of our hearts completely.

So, all of this to say, please say a prayer for us.  Please begin praying now for our journey and well as her surgery and recovery.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

3 months home

Sarah Joy has now been with us for three months!  Wow, how time has flown by.  This has been an amazing journey that is full of excitement!  Now, in case you misread that as always sunshine and roses, let me debunk that theory.  There are days like this:


However, those days are overshadowed by days like this:


More times than not, she is a happy little girl who is so fun to be around.

Since she has been home, she has attached really well to me and the kiddos.  This is because we are all together.  However, with Jim's new job and our odd situation right now, bonding with dad has been a little tougher.  In China, she bonded with him right away, but when he returned to work and she only saw him on the weekends, it became tougher.  I think this is tougher on Jim because he loves her so very much.

This weekend Jim was preparing for yet another trip after only having been home for two and a half days.  We all said our goodbyes and then Sarah Joy and I stood on the porch to wave as he drove off.  At first she was waving fine, then as dad got further out of the driveway, the meltdown began.  She cried long and hard for her daddy.   This was a first and for us a great sign!!

I stand in awe as I see how God made her just for our family!  She is melds in so well with the craziness that is our life.  Part of that melding is her love of music.  Being that music is Jim's profession and we spend a lot of time in the music world, it is nice to know that she loves it just as much as we do.  She has already fallen in love with the guitar and has her own.  Evidence of her love of music is how she gazes up at our worship team:

 (She stands at the bottom of the stage every week and sways to the music while the guys practice)

Sarah Joy is quite the little character and so full of spunk and life.  She really does brighten up our world and I can't wait to see what God has in store for her!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Waiting.... it's so hard to do.  Do you remember being a child and waiting for Santa or your birthday.  It felt like the day would never arrive, but even so, you knew that eventually it would. 

Now imagine waiting for something bigger than any gift you could get at Christmas or your birthday.  Imagine waiting for a family to call your own.  

A mom and dad to love you and tell you how special you are.  Those who are there for you forever!!!

Well, little Rong Rong is waiting for just that, a family.  

Here is a little about this precious treasure: Rong Rong is a sweet boy who is adored by his caregivers. He is a very curious boy. He can crawl on the floor and is now able to take a few steps on his own. His special need is Spina Bifida for which he had surgery. The orphanage reports that his feet do turn in and he is receiving physical therapy for this at the orphanage. He enjoys playing with toys and wants to be the one holding the most toys. Rong Rong is described by his caregivers as a smart determined little guy. He needs a forever family to love him.  Could he be your son?

If Rong Rong's family does not step forward this week, his file will be sent back.  Please pray and consider if this treasure could be yours.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All he needs is you...

I'm not sure how to even begin this blog post.  The emotions swirling around in my head and heart are soon going to consume me if I don't share them, so here goes.

As most of you know, we recently completed the adoption of our youngest child, Sarah Joy.  This was a long journey that started over 10 years ago.  You can read more on that story here.

We've now been home for about a month and a half and I can't help but think about all the children still waiting. 


 I think of all the precious faces of the treasures we were able to visit at the orphanage.  Oh, such sweet smiles.


 I think of how they wait, day in and day out to be loved and told how special they are and that their life matters. 


Soon I begin to think about a particular little boy, Rong Rong:

Rong Rong is about Sarah Joy's age and is in need of a family.  Yes, he has a medical need, but his greatest need is for a family.  If you would like more information about this precious treasure, please leave a comment or email

Monday, April 21, 2014

He's in the details....

Yesterday was Easter and a time for celebration.  We all get so excited because God sent His Son for us.  Jesus died and rose again for us!!  It's that simple, yet so very complex.

Most of us wouldn't deny God's love for us in sending His Son, but somehow we think the love and care for us ends there.  Well, I'm going to share a story that shows He cares about the details of our lives (even those details that others might not notice).

Every year for Easter our family dresses up in color coordinating outfits.  One year, Grace had a polka dotted dress, so each of us wore a top that matched one of the dots.  Samuel's first Easter we all had blue and the boys even had ties that matched Daddy's.  Last year, the girls' wore pink and the boys wore green.  This year was to be no different.  


I started looking in mid-March for outfits.  I knew this year would be tough to find an appropriate dress for Grace, as she is older and doesn't want frilly, so we started with her.  She found a lovely dress and was super excited because she could even wear her boots with it!  Next it was Sarah Joy.  I searched for a few days before deciding on a pretty smocked dress that had not only Grace's dress color, but also yellow.  Whew, this is moving right along.

I began looking for a yellow top for me.  I was going for yellow so that I would also coordinate with Sarah Joy, but yet not have to match Grace's color exactly.  That's where progress slowed.  I went to our area mall and searched.  Nothing!!  I ventured into several boutique stores, only to be met with corals and mints.  Then last weekend, while in a metro area for Blake's honor band, I decided to search high and low there.  The results:  a tired momma and a cranky toddler, but no Easter top.

Finally, I gave up all hope.  On Wednesday, I bought the boys shirts that would coordinate with their sisters. On the Saturday before Easter, it was rainy and cold, but I went out one more time to our little town that had one possible chance at success.  I decided Jim would wear a white shirt and I would change my search to white, since I knew they didn't have the color I was looking for.  I tried on several white tops, but none were my style.  I was sad at not finding anything in white, but was glad I had found a red chevron top, so at least I had something new.  My hopes for coordinating were dashed.

Saturday night I began ironing all the clothes and getting them ready for church.  I went to our closet to pull Jim's shirt out to be ironed when lo and behold.... there was his red dress shirt!!!  Now this may not sound like a huge deal, but Jim has taken a new job that requires him to stay out of town during the week.  This meant that his dress clothes are at his parent's house where he stays.  I knew he had at least the white shirt, but was so very tickled to find his red one hanging there also!!

What does this have to do with God???  Well, God cares about the details of our lives.  He cares that on one day a year I like for my family to dress in coordinating outfits.  Would it change my perception of God if we didn't coordinate for church?  No.  However, just like I as a parent want to give my children gifts that make them happy and bring a smile to their face... so does God.  He knew it would delight me to coordinate and He made it happen.  The kids were all in blue/greenish hues and Jim and I were in our reds.  

God cares for you just as much!!  He wants to give you good gifts and poor blessings out on you.
  First, you must allow Him into your life and let Him be your Father

Oh and the boots Grace was so excited to wear... they were red!!