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!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An adventure....

Today, I started a new adventure.... cloth diapering.  

Let me just say up front, I almost quit after the first diaper!  

Yes, the first diaper that I put on little Ms. Sarah Joy was soon filled with poo...  Even with the little insert that is supposed to help with that, I was still having to clean out a diaper.  However, after a nice chat with my friend Sabrina who encouraged me greatly, (she is super mom and does this with her toddler and 1 year old twins!) I decided that I could do this.  

I now have a new found respect for the older generations who had to use cloth diapers without a choice.  My mom recalls being 5 years old and changing her younger brother's diaper while her parents worked in the field.  She had to not only hold him still to get the diaper on, but had to PIN it on!!  

Thank goodness for the invention of Velcro and little snaps that make it easier.  Hoping now that little miss will soon want to potty train :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Weeks...

We've been home now for two weeks.  In some respects, I feel like we are simply babysitting.  It's so very different having a toddler in the house.  I feel like at any minute all of this fun will be over.

Then again, it feels like she has been ours forever!  The joy and excitement we all feel is just so overwhelming.  She has brought so much more life and entertainment to this household.  To watch each of her siblings interact with her is priceless!!  I truly am blessed!!

This is what two weeks in a loving (sometimes crazy) family will do to you:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What to say...

I've had thoughts rolling around in my head for a few days, but have been unable to find a spare moment to write them down.  Being home with Sarah Joy is absolutely grand!

Anyway, many of you know a bit of our story on adoption.  I have wanted to adopt for over 10 years, but Jim was hesitant.  I even took him on a mission trip to Chi*a to visit orphanages in hopes that he would see the need and be moved.  Nothing! 

I prayed for years before he consented to Samuel's adoption.  Jim loves Samuel just like the other two.  He loves to wrestle with him and finds his humor quite entertaining.

Then I found Sarah Joy's picture and knew this was our daughter. Jim was very hesitant now.  Again I prayed and sought the Lord.  I assured Jim that at any point we did not have the funds, we would stop.  He watched as God provided every cent!  Finally it was time to go get our little girl.  Daddy was smitten!!!  It's absolutely amazing how he interacts with her.  It's so different than any of our other three children.  I can tell God has done much in his heart.

Sarah Joy's orphanage is much nicer than any orphanage we visited before in Chi*a.  Yet, it was here that something really clicked with Jim.  We were visiting one of the rooms and there was a precious little girl sitting in a walker with only a rice cake to play with.  There was no visible toys to be played with or even a television to distract the children.  Jim got down and talked with this angel while I visited with the other sweet girl in the room.  This began to break his heart.

Later we were talking with someone who was very open and honest about what women have to endure.  He told us how women are forced into having something inserted into their bodies for birth control (I'm assuming an IUD).  It doesn't matter if they want it or not, or even if it harms their bodies, they must have it.  He also went on to tell us about women having a health check every three months.  This isn't to ensure their blood pressure is good.  No, it's to ensure they are not pregnant.   This totally jumped up and slapped Jim in the face.  He was so taken aback.  Even after returning home, just the mention of a rice cake brings back all these thoughts and memories.

God has truly been moving in this man's heart and it brings me such joy.  While we were out and about many people asked if Sarah Joy was our first.  We explained that no, she was our fourth.  Of course the next question was if she was our last.  Jim was quick to respond with "No, I think at least one more."  WHAT?!?!  Oh happy day!!!!!   I am singing praises as God has moved in my husband's heart.  I'm not sure when or how, but he is open to adopting more!!!

God is faithful and worthy to be praised!!!  It has been 10 years of praying and crying out to God, and He has answered.  It was not my time frame, but His perfect timing!!!