Archive for May, 2013

  • The reasons I lost my heart….

    Date: 2013.05.10 | Category: Adoption, China 2013, Photos

    It was so unbelievable being there with all those little kids.  My heart hurt leaving them there.  Dan says we should share their pictures and find them families.  Has God been tugging at your heart?  Take a look maybe a picture will steal your heart too.

    China 2013 467

    Cassie’s favorite.  If only she had a pocket….

    China 2013 468

    Mema’s favorite.  She had him jumping up and down and giggling so much.

    China 2013 462

    The little one who stole Dan’s heart…..

    China 2013 444

    Entering the orphanage.

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    Her SpongeBob room.

    China 2013 485

    The view from her window.

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    Some of her friends waiting to say hi.

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    Nannies, teachers, director,  family and friends.

    China 2013 506

    This boy is a charmer.  He kissed Cassie right on the cheek.

    China 2013 527

    Handing out clothes to all her friends.  Mr. Charmer went straight for the spiderman jacket.  It was just like Christmas morning.

    China 2013 551

    What did I tell you?  Mr. C.H.A.R.M.I.N.G!!!!!

    China 2013 554

    This little guy leaves for America in a week.  His family is very, very lucky.  What a sweetheart.   Gave me a bunch of hugs!

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    The schoolroom funded by Love Without Boundaries.  They were very, very proud of their schoolroom.

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    The two girls Shuang (Sh-wong) shared a room with.

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    The tall girl in pink stole my heart.  She sat on her chair and looked sad.  I’m not sure if it was because Shuang was leaving or the fact that she wanted a family too or a little bit of both.  She came and sat by me.  She kept scooting closer and closer and when I put my arm around her she laid her head on my shoulder.  I put bows in her hair and wept when I left.

    China 2013 591

    Just had to add the pictures of the kids sitting on the guardrail on their long trek home.  It doesn’t seem that bad from this picture, but when you consider what the hills really looked like….

    China 2013 304




  • Stolen Hearts

    Date: 2013.05.10 | Category: Adoption, China 2013, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)

    We drove to her orphanage today. The scenery was unbelievable, absolutely breathtaking. Mountains and big deep valleys as far as the eye can see. We drove for 5 hours to get to the orphanage. It was all paved road except for one small stretch. This small stretch was like an amusement park ride. Potholes and bumps that almost knocked you off your seat.

    Have I mentioned how much fun the driving is here? I’m not sure why they have lines on the road. It’s more like a suggestion than anything else. In and out, barely missing another car, add a mountain with huge drop offs and it was just a party. As we were driving home, we saw little kids on the side of this mountain roads, where cars drive fast with all that in and out business, walking home from school with their book bags. I’m telling you there wasn’t a house to be seen for miles. I asked our guide Bill about it and he said these farm children want an education so bad that some of them walk 2 hours to and from school every day. We take much for granted.

    We got to her city, which I was told was a small rural community. Ha! It’s about ten Des Moines’! It is hard to explain what you see there. I’m just glad to be taking her home. I asked if they’d really put her on the street. They said sometimes, they put children in adult institutions. So she probably wouldn’t be in the street, but for a little girl who can do nothing for herself except eat and brush her teeth. It wouldn’t have been pretty.

    When we got to the city our driver and our guide were calling someone and driving around in circles. We were starting to wonder why they couldn’t find the orphanage. We were sitting in traffic and out of no where came Jack, her English tutor from the orphanage, he rode his bike and directed us to this small little shop. The orphanage director had invited us for lunch. The meal was unbelievable. So many different foods to try. We ate with chopsticks. It was a memorable moment full of laughter and good times.

    Then we headed off to the orphanage. The good news is the workers at the orphanage were wonderful. They all love her. First, they took us to see the babies. Their were a couple that stole our hearts with their belly laughs. One wouldn’t let go of Dan’s finger. If only he had a pocket big enough……..

    Then we went & saw her bedroom. It was a nice little room with Sponge Bob blankets. They had the rest of the children in a room waiting for us, all lined up on their little chairs. One little boy smiled up at Cassie and said ni hao jie jie (hi big sister) so she kneeled down to his level and he kissed her on the cheek. Pocket number three filled. Cassie was smitten with a giggly little baby too. This boy had so much personality. We met another little guy who leaves for the states next week. I don’t know who these parents are but they are in for a treat. Oh what a big hearted little guy, who had hugs and smiles for everyone.

    We brought tons of clothes with us for Min because I had two different sets of measurements. Some of the smaller clothes will not fit because her scoliosis is so bad she needs a larger shirt. I pointed to the clothes and told her, with our new made up language – signenglishbadchinese, “too hot, too small” and then pointed to a picture that I have of her two best friends. They share a room together in the orphanage. She shook her head yes very enthusiastically and said “thank you”. Linda had also brought one of those fleece blanket kits to make with Min. It had two pieces of fleece that you tie together so we just let her hand the blankets and the bag of clothes to the girls in another room so the others wouldn’t see. Thy skipped down the hall to their room after giving Min a huge hug. It was a wonderful moment. And mommy would bring those two girls home too. I need to find them a family. They were sweet with no visible defects. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I’d need a suitcase for these girls, a pocket just wouldn’t cut it.

    The tall girl looked so sad sitting there. I had her come sit by me so I could put a bow in her hair. She snuggled in next to me and just looked at me with the saddest eyes. She just wants a mama and if she doesn’t get one where will she be? Man, I wish I could clone myself. I wish I could do more. I can’t stand it. It makes me want to build a house with lots of bedrooms. I’d have a classroom right there with a teacher. I’d have a maid so I didn’t have to waste my time on things that didn’t matter and I would be a mama to as many as I could. So right about now I can hear you say “wouldn’t that just be another orphanage?”. No! Because what is missing from those places isn’t love or caring. It’s the feeling of belonging, of mattering, of family. Knowing you have a family is something an institution just can’t give you. Every time Min leans in to me and looks at me with those big eyes and says “mama”, I know what matters.

    Right now, I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, texting out this post on my phone, at 3 am again. I should try to get more sleep. Later, I will download the pictures and you will see what I mean. Be prepared to have your heart stolen.

  • Contemplating

    Date: 2013.05.09 | Category: China 2013, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)

    I’m awake most mornings at 3 am here. I wish that would stop but at the same time it’s quiet, just the sounds of the city, and I have time to think about what I’ve seen.  What I’ll take home with me. It’s easy to talk about the things you miss from home: ice, water from the faucet, familiar faces, privacy, smiles on the street.

    But there’s more. We are in a relatively small city by their standard and it’s huge. I haven’t seen the end of it yet. There’s just so much anonymity going on. No greeting people. No smiling hello. Just staring and glaring and scowling. You’ll probably never see the person again so it doesn’t matter.

    I want to take Min shopping. I want to buy her something new, show her the city, but every time we go out they surround us, big circles of people – way inside your personal bubble, and they stare and the mama bear in me is none too happy. It’s not a “oh there’s a girl in a wheelchair” stare; it’s hard to even explain the animosity felt.  Yesterday, while waiting for the van, a gentlemen glared (not stared) at her for 20 minutes. And her little heart hurts from it. She hangs her head in shame. It just breaks my heart.  She’s been through so much. I try to contemplate what your little soul must be like to know that is how your community thinks about you and yet your first thought is still to care for others. Friends of mine have asked to have a get together so others could meet our new children after we get home.  At first I thought no, then maybe, now I think yes. I would love to show her the love of complete strangers. I would love to show her how many people have supported her and care about her.  What a gift that would be for her.  Just look at the outpouring of love she has from the LWB community alone.

    She is much sicker than we thought. We went into this prepared for anything. It’s ok. We knew no matter what we could give her the love of a family and she so deserves that. But it’s been a little bit of an adjustment. I’ll share more after we have a confirmed diagnosis. Being married to a pediatrician has its pluses, like no running to the ER for an ear infection in the middle of the night, but it has its downsides, especially for Dan. He knows too much about what can happen and what will happen to our children. That’s a blessing and a burden at the same time.

    Back to my girl, she’s so very sweet. She’s so excited to go to the orphanage tomorrow and hand out clothes to her friends. She asked me if we could bring soccer balls. I told her when we go home we’ll send some. I’ll take her shopping where people will smile at her and not make her feel less than.

    She is so very bright. Jack, her english tutor taught her well. She can count to 20 and write the numbers. She knows colors and loves pink! She says all her brothers and sisters names.
    She is picking up on more English so quickly. We are teaching her sign and English and she is teaching me Chinese.  She spends a lot of time giggling at my inability to say the words right.

    We, as a family, are an oddity here. We laugh and giggle a lot. Well, Dan doesn’t giggle but Linda, Cassie and I do.  We find lots to laugh at everyday. Yesterday at the registration office, Bill our guide, told everyone there about us being a very happy family. I asked him why that was noteworthy and he said most people aren’t like that, which led to more contemplating. Did he mean here or families in general? Our family laughs all the time. The kids are silly. Dan, who can look so serious, could be a stand-up comedian. I’m happy I live in rural Iowa where it’s okay to laugh together and be silly. I didn’t realize that silly was such a big deal.

    Well, my mind knows I should try to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. A five hour drive there and five hours back. It will be worth it so we can see where she has lived for the past six years. They cried over her leaving. People have loved her and I am so thankful for that. I’m sure there will be even more to contemplate after tomorrow.

  • 2013 China Adventures: Today’s the Day!

    Date: 2013.05.08 | Category: Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)

    First off, I’m having trouble posting to my blog directly so if you’d like to see pictures and hear Cassie’s telling of our story, then head on over to

    Today was the day, we had to wait all morning long and that was such a hard thing to do. I was nervous. Worse than getting ready for a first date. Couldn’t find the right clothes and it was a bad hair day.  I know that she just wants a mama but I wanted it to be perfect and I’m so far from perfect.

    Dan had the great idea to get her an iPad. We downloaded a video of the kids saying they loved her, who they were, and how they couldn’t wait to meet her. We had it translated by Ali, a friend of Cassie’s. It was a huge hit. She played games and drew pictures. She then showed us all the English words she had learned and I showed her my really bad Chinese. Then she started writing on her iPad. She wrote that Cassie was beautiful and daddy was handsome.  She also wrote mama is pretty but then she wrote it again and said “my” mama is pretty.  Did you hear that? My!!!!

    She is truly the sweetest soul.  God has blessed us again. She is much worse off physically than we initially thought which made me sad.  But mentally she is A smart as a whip and so, so sweet.  How do I know you ask? Well, when she first met us she said we sent her a lot of stuff and she kept what was really important to her but she gave the rest to her friends in the orphanage and she wanted to know if that was okay.  Then we told her we bought clothes for the children at the orphanage and she said it would be so much fun to hand it out. We will be making the 5 hour trip to the orphanage so she can hand out the clothes.  Can’t deny her the handing out of presents to her friends.

    We had our translator ask her what she wanted for dinner and she said “KFC and a coke”.  Considering that is Dan’s favorite place to eat, I think she’s already proven she’s part of the family!

    All in all a beautiful day. Love the translator apps. Love her beautiful flowing dark hair. Love her smile. Hate, hate, that she was there as long as she was. But she has a family now and that’s what matters.

  • 2013 China Adventures: Part 1

    Date: 2013.05.07 | Category: Adoption

    What a day it has been. We left Hong Kong to head Guangzhou, where we were to catch a plane and fly to Guiyang, which is where we will meet Min.

    First, I realized I was off a whole day and I had 24 extra hours to wait to get her – which was heartbreaking. As I write this now, it is 2:33 a.m. here in China. We leave in exactly 12 hours to go get her. Now I am positive I have my days straight. Anyway, while we were crossing the bridge from Hong Kong to China we were stopped in immigration, not for the 6 large suitcases we carried but because there was something wrong with my mother-in-law’s passport.  We sat in a hot van for 2 1/2 hours while we waited and in the process missed our flight.  We finally were allowed to leave and headed to the airport. We were originally set to fly out at 12:30.  We now had a flight for 18:15 and they wouldn’t let us check our luggage until 16:00. Three hours to wait. The out of place Americans with their boatload of suitcases.  Boy, were we a sight.

    I spent quite a bit of time at the KFC counter trying to order chicken.  This was no small feat considering no one spoke English.  I pointed to what I thought were chicken nuggets and got a Pepsi because no one understood diet Pepsi and there was no cute little picture for it.  Come to find out they don’t sell diet, probably because everyone is a size double zero here.  (See back to the size issue here.  I feel like a giant here. It’s just the way it is.)

    Anyway, back to my story.  I sit down and take a bite of my nugget which is in fact some breaded, hot, spicy, fish bite. I was a bit confused since the picture clearly looked like popcorn chicken bites but hungry enough to try a couple more. Went back up to the counter and tried again. I pointed to the two pieces of chicken. I paid my money. They handed me two wings. I’m ordering chicken for my husband, seriously, how hard can this be?  I am at KFC for goodness sakes. Our guide finally comes back and I beg her to help me. She argues with the girl about me getting two pieces of chicken and we finally do.  Dan was happy, I was relieved, and Cassie was in tears laughing at the hilarity of it all.

    We waited and waited and waited. We walked around with our three trolleys of luggage and everyone stared. I am absolutely positive we were conversation and laughs for many people today. Even our guide asked if we brought our whole house. I explained again that we were getting four and we brought two suitcases of clothes packed in those “suck out the air” bag things to donate to the orphanage. We learned that the orphanage has no heat and asked if there was anything they could use. They informed me one summer and one fall outfit for each of the children. I have quite a few sets of clothes in my luggage. My worst fear was immigration opening those bags to search them. There is no way all of those clothes would have gone back into those suitcases.

    We were tired and we were hungry. I’m not even going to go into the horrors of the “squat toilets” or the fact that the American toilet had a sign on the outside that said “only for the weak”.  We were obviously frustrated and heading towards cranky. I hate days like this. Days that should be joy filled but little things keep chipping away at your happiness.  We like to call it “the attack of the mosquito”. We all know where those doubts come from. Attacks like this are just the same.  Chipping away at our joy so we lose sight of what a blessing we have in front of us. I don’t like when I lose sight even for a minute.  My eyes are where they should be and after a good dose of reading a very good book, I’m back to feeling happy and excited!

    It is now 2:59 am and at 15:00 tomorrow, 12 hours away, I will be seeing her in person for the very first time. I didn’t expect my journey to get her to be easy and today didn’t let me down. The really good things in life are never easy.

    We will post pictures tomorrow. What a joy it will be to finally touch her sweet face and say “wo shi ni de mama” – I am your mama!

    My heart feels such love for this little girl. Dan and I were sitting in the airport talking about how we both saw her picture at the same time, on different computers in different rooms, and fell instantly in love. For parents who had agreed to never adopt an older child, this was no small miracle.   Someday she will hear this story and hopefully fully understand just how much she was loved from the very first moment we saw her face.

  • Hello from Hong Kong

    Date: 2013.05.06 | Category: China 2013

    It has been an interesting day.  Learned a lot about the culture and life here in Hong Kong.  6,000+ people per square kilometer as compared to our 31/sq km in the U.S.  Land is at a premium so they build skyscrapers 50-60+ stories high.  The average size apartment is 300-400 sq foot for a family of 3-4.  The average yearly wage is $1,300 for workers.  There is no middle class here.  You are poor or you are rich.  There is not much for middle ground.  It is beautiful.  Everything lies down in the harbor.  We went to Victoria’s Peak today and we were in the clouds.  Actually breathing clouds.  Couldn’t see a thing when we looked down but saw a shirt in the window for sale that said “blessed”.

    I wanted to buy it and advertise my life everywhere I went.   Blessed, blessed, blessed.  I feel so blessed.   I know I am blessed and not just by things. It’s true, I have too many things.  I’m having a hard time dealing with this fact especially after Francis Chan’s Crazy Love book.  I have felt this way for a long time.  How much is enough to spend on yourself?  How much should you give away.  Read about what he has done.  It is amazing.  He downsized and has given away so much.  That is what we should do.  I recently read a verse in the bible that talked about this in new testament days.  Acts 2:42-47   Wouldn’t it be great if that is how we all lived?  Those with help those that are struggling.  True brotherhood.  True loving your neighbor as Christ loved you.

    Anyway, I’m sure I will talk about this later.  What I’d like to talk about is Min.  I can’t believe that we are a day away.  I know we will change her life.  I know that she will come to know how much she is loved.  But the truth is this must be a very hard week for her.  She was abandoned during the next week, two weeks before her 8th birthday.   What must that have been like?  Did her family try hard to care for her?  Was she in an accident that lead to her paraplegia?  Was she abused?  Did they want to take care of her and had no money to do that?  They live in a very poor rural community.   We can’t even wrap our heads around what that means.  No insurance, no aid to help care for her, no paved roads for a girl in a wheelchair.  So they left her in a very visible spot, outside, near the dam.  What kind of dam?  I don’t know.  I just know she was found and taken to an orphanage.  An orphanage that loves her but just can’t provide for her.  She isn’t able to walk nor is she able to be carried by the very small workers.

    That is a whole other post.  If you want to feel huge, go to China.  My weight has always been an issue with me, but today I am happy I am strong.  Today I am happy that I have carried and moved Codey every day for the last 26 years.  My father-in-law used to say I reminded him of the story of the boy who grew up carrying his calf.  He gradually grew stronger the larger the calf got.  Anyway, because I have carried Codey all these years, I will now be able to carry my little 80 pound, 13 year old daughter.  See….all things work together for good.  It’s amazing when you stand back and look at it.

    But today I want to talk about Min and what this means for her.  Can you imagine the courage this girl has?  She will be taken to a land where she knows no one and will have to learn the language.  She is a brave, brave girl.  She has been asked if this is what she wants and she says “yes”.  She wants a family.  She is excited about her big family.  She has no idea what is about to hit her.  We are all so ready to love her.  The girls, especially Cassie and Grace, have been dreaming about her for weeks.  They were fighting over who gets to brush her hair first, style it first, paint her nails first.  Oh boy, Min is in for some loving.

    But imagine what that must have been like for her, two weeks before her 8th birthday, left beside a dam.  Did she cry?  Did she understand?  Did they leave her without her knowing they were going to?  Did they discuss it and decide it was for the best?  So although I know how much her life is going to change for the better, she doesn’t know.  For that reason, please cover my little girl with prayer.  Prayers for peace.  Prayers for understanding.

    One more day and you will be forever mine.  Although, truth-be-told, she’s been mine since the day I read the article about her in Love Without Boundaries.  God makes families in the most wonderful way.

  • As ready as we can be…..(part 2)

    Date: 2013.05.03 | Category: Adoption

    As I sit here contemplating what this trip means, it brings tears to my eyes.  It was during this week 26 years ago, that I sat in the hospital, very sick because I had become infected after my emergency c-section and prayed for my two little boys.  All of my dreams had come crashing down in just a few short hours.  I had been life flighted (air helicopter) to Des Moines.  I had been told so many horrible things about what the outcome for my boys would be.  Life moved in slow motion and I was in a daze.  They allowed me to go into the NICU on this day to hold their little hands.  I know now it was because they knew how sick Kyle was.  They called us in later that night and he passed away.  I remember it clearly because it was an open bed unit and they pulled this little white curtain around us to give us some time with him.  Have I mentioned that I absolutely detest white curtains?  And I wept.   I doubted I could go on.  I didn’t even have the words to pray.   I felt as if a part of my heart had died with him.

    The next few days were a blur.  We drove Kyle the 90 minutes to our home town, after his autopsy, because we couldn’t afford to have the funeral home to come get him.  We thought we could pay for the funeral because we had the child rider on our life insurance policy but Kyle only lived 5 days and you have to live 7 days to collect.  Everything was such a nightmare.  The picking out of a little outfit. The little white casket.  The forever of letting go.  It was just so hard.  It is still hard during this week, 26 years later.  My heart still aches for what could have been.

    So as I get ready to leave on May 4th, the day that Kyle died, I am so happy and yet heartbroken at the same time.  I know that these things have worked together for the good of God, but that doesn’t make it easy.  It doesn’t mean that it was good.  It just means it worked together for good.  I was very fearful after the boys.  I had always dreamed of having a big family, but I didn’t want to take the chance.  God knew better and even though I took all the precautions that I could, I got pregnant with Zachary.  Anyone who knows Zachary, knows what a gift that was.  God blessed me with the sweetest, smartest, little boy that I could have ever dreamed of.

    Dan and I were talking about this yesterday.  We were discussing how we know for a fact that we would not be who we are without all that we had gone through.  That doesn’t mean we have it all together.  I still feel like such a baby believer.  I still make so many mistakes.  I still don’t get all that I know I could get done, done.  I still have areas of weakness that I fight with all the time, like my weight.   But I do now know what is important.  I wish I would have woken up sooner to the fact, but I finally figured it out.

    Many times during this year, I have questioned whether I can really do this.  It doesn’t help when people question your sanity.  It makes you question it yourself.  Most people have been very encouraging, but they still say they are glad it’s me and not them.  So when they ask about extracurricular activities for the kids and whether or not they will have enough time it does make you question what you are doing.  Then I stop and I reread James 1:27 – “…to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   We think being polluted by the world is stuff like watching R rated movies, or listening to the wrong kind of music.  But the reality is we are polluted by the world with our American ideals.  We don’t rely on God because we have everything at our fingertips.  We don’t pray to God for our food, our home, our car.  We take all those things for granted.  We provide for them.  It’s all about “we” or “me”.  I deserve a nice vacation.  I deserve this new toy.  Well, why do we deserve?  What have we truly done to deserve anything?  I know I’ve done nothing.  I am no better than that mother sitting in China with no hope for her child with a cardiac defect.  She cries and wants nothing more than to love this baby that grew inside her, but she has no choice but to abandon him.  She has to.  There’s no big bank account.  There’s no health insurance.  There’s no public aid to help.  She has absolutely no choice.

    But I do have a choice.  I have a choice to do without my vacation.  I have a choice to go get this child and love them with all my heart.  I don’t know why these bad things happen.  I don’t know why any child dies or is born with problems.  I don’t.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  But just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean I should not pay attention to  it.

    So even though I am afraid.  Even though I wonder if I can do it all.  I know through Christ I can do all things.  I will keep my eyes on the Lord.  I will repeat over and over again the phrase – caring for the least of these.  I don’t have to have it all together to love them.  I don’t have to be perfect to truly change their lives.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can let them know they are loved.  I can let them know that I will always be here for them.  I can show them the love of a family.

    I can’t even begin to put into words what it has been like this past year.  Watching Ben and Maisey grow and thrive.  Maisey loves with such abandon.  I can’t believe that she was a discarded child in China.  6 pounds at 6 months.  No one cared if she lived or died and then the Hills found her.  She is such a joy.  Truly a joy.  She throws herself into your arms and she loves you so much it almost hurts as Dan says.  Just yesterday, she put a hand on each side of my face and said, “Mama! Mama! I happy here.”  She is 3 and profoundly hard of hearing.  Hearing those words come out of her mouth perfectly….well, that just says it all.  She is happy here.  It’s not about dance and being the best in school.  It’s not about providing every single item that they could possibly want.  It’s about providing a warm bed to crawl into and arms that welcome you every morning.  It’s about knowing that they matter.

    I may not be able to do it all but together, with the rest of my crew, we will do the most important thing.  We will give them family.  We will give them love and a safe place to fall.  They will know they matter.  They will see the love of Christ and they will know that their lives have worth.  What a beautiful thing to get to be a part of.  I have come full circle as a mother.  I started out on May 4th, 1987 saying goodbye to my dream of having a big family, with my white picket fence, and fairytale ending.  And now 26 years later, I am saying thank you to God for allowing me to have my dream, when I had given up hope of it ever happening.   So with tears in my eyes, I set off knowing I will not do this perfectly, but that I know I can love them with all my heart and be the best mommy that I can be.

    Yesterday, after hearing what Ben had said to me about Eli, Dan said the sweetest words to me.

    “Your conversation with Ben brought tears to my eyes. He truly understands what “mommy” means – and he knows what it will mean to Eli.
    I want to share a quote from Katie Davis: “Mommy.” She said it and I knew. She was mine. I was captivated. Because Mommy is forever. It’s such a powerful name. Mommy means “I trust you.” Mommy means “you will protect me.” Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing when you are excited; Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort place, a safe place. Mommy means you are mine and I am yours and we are family. (from the book “Kisses from Katie”)

    Lisa – My children are so blessed that YOU are their Mommy.”

    I can be a mommy to them and for that reason, I am as ready as I can possibly be…..


  • As ready as we can be….

    Date: 2013.05.02 | Category: Adoption, Elijah, Evangeline Faith, Lainey Rae, Photos

    Little did I know, over a year ago, when I had that feeling God wasn’t finished with us and adopting, that it would lead to these four beautiful souls.

    babies x 4

    We have filed all our papers and the very last check has been sent to our agency.   We have spent months, upon months, upon months, praying and hoping that all would work out the way we hoped.  We have watched God unfold miracle after miracle on our behalf and we are feeling blessed beyond measure.  We have dreamed and cried and laughed with joy with each new update including the newest picture of Ben’s didi, Eli!  Isn’t he the sweetest little guy?


    We have put together five little booster seats…..


    along with five little beds….

    And before anyone says anything about it looking like an orphanage or wondering why all the beds would be so close together.  I feel the need to say that when Ben and Maisey came home they wanted to be in the same room.  Plus, every time I place the beds in different positions in the room, this is what Ben does.  He pushes them all together and tells me who will sleep where and how he is going to hold everyone’s hands and then he yells, “Mama, this is gonna be so much fun!”  We  have six bedrooms in the house.  There is more than enough room for them all, but this is how we are going to start out…..together, having so much fun!


    We have added a mural to their bedroom wall….


    We have bought three new car seats……  and I have answered “No, I don’t need gift receipts.  Yes, they are mine.  No, I’m not crazy!” more than a few times.  🙂


    We have packed all our suitcases and are hoping we haven’t forgotten anything.


    We have added on Cassie at the very last minute due to our agency’s request.  Believe it or not with a week in which to do it, she got her finals moved and taken, her work covered, her visa, the tickets are bought, and she is packed.

    The siblings are excited….

    excited siblings

    The countdown chart has been made.  Dan told Ben that we were going to China to get our treasures and somehow Ben has decided we are traveling on a pirate ship.


    The have gotten in their bonding time with daddy…..

    bonding time

    Everyone adores Zachary so I know they will be loved and well cared for.

    Jan. 28th 2013 067

    So there is nothing left to do, but bid you all adieu.

    What’s to worry about….earthquakes, nuclear war, bird flu?!?!  Nah, God’s got it covered.

    Thank you so much for all your prayers, well wishes, encouragement, and offers to help while we are gone.

    God bless you all!

    In just two short days, we will be off on our great adventure to bring four more children into our family.  It is our greatest wish to give them a warm place to fall and love for the rest of their lives.

    Ben’s conversation with me today says it best:

    Ben – “Mama, Eli is going to say xie xie (thank you).”
    Me – “Why would Eli say xie xie Ben?”
    Ben – “Cause he gets a mama, mama.”

    Every child, even one who has never had one, understands what a mommy and a daddy are.  Family is a beautiful gift that should be every child’s right.  So we leave the comfort of our home and our children, to head half-way across the world to give that right to four more beautiful souls.  God is good and we are blessed!