Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life; if not through me, and no one can come to the Father" (John 14:6)

Isaiah 43:5

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Did it hurt?

Every once in a while one of my kids does something or says something that throws me for a loop this was one of those conversations-remember she is only 4....
Lily-Did it hurt when I came out of your tummy?
Me-(After the initial saddness of the question)No, Lily remember you were born in China. You were not in my tummy.
Lily-Whose tummy was I in?
Me-A lady in China.
Lily-What was her name?
Me-I do not know.
Lily-Was it Xi XI (she was our guide for both adoptions)
Me-No sweetie, remember she was our helper in China
Lily-Oh yeah, that's right and then Lily runs off to play.

I try my best to always answer her questions as honest as possible and as age appropriate as I see fit but wow it is hard. I am so thankful for my Lily and how I wish I cane take all of her pain away BUT what an incredible opportunity she has to be part of literally two worlds in one life time. One day we will visit China again for her to see where her roots began.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wishes 2009

Dear Blog Friends,
Not sure how much time I will have to get on the computer in the next couple of days but I did want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. As usual this time of year brings so many emotions.
I think of Mary. Such a young girl she was when that angel appeared to her. How frightened she must of been yet so obedient. Where would we be if she turned away a child that was not "hers"or "planned"? We would all be lost with out a savior to call our own.
I look at my girls from a far off land that only God could have chosen for us. They have come so far in this year that they have shared together. They have grown to be sisters and Lily says best friends.
I look at all 4 of my teenagers and the paths that they are embarking on. The road is not always smooth or easy but it their road, their journey. I pray that through out this coming year that they continue turn toward Jesus,our perfect father.
I pray for those during this Christmas season that are lonely, sad, cold and feel alone. I pray that they search and find the comfort, joy, warmth and eternal life that Jesus shares with each of His children.
God Bless you all this Christmas season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Little Girl

Little Girl written by greyson

There you sit opening your presents
With family and friends around
While across the world there's a little girl
The room is filled with crying babies
Needing a mother
They think that a mother would be the best present ever
One little girl thinks about Santa
While the girl on the other side of the world thinks about how grateful she is to have a mother
After the season one by one
All the mothers lined up to get their precious babies

This poem was written by my sweet Greyson. What a great Christmas gift from her heart. I love her from the moon and back!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thansgiving!

God you are so good to me. You love me when I am not worthy. You comfort me when I am sad. You have given me the children I have always prayed for. You are the perfect father that I long for. You have given me a husband to hold me. I am so sorry for all the times that I am not good to you. I am sorry that I am not worthy of you. I am sorry that I am not always the mother and wife that you have made me to be. I am thankful that you found me long before I found you. Thank you for forgiving me and shedding your blood so that I can be forgiven.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful Day 24

I am thankful that Tylar surprised us last night for a visit. Lily had a really hard time letting Tylar leave to go back to school. I am so thankful for the love that I see growing in my family each and everyday. God has blessed me more then I could have ever imagined.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Day 23

In Chinese families they sometimes name their children in their birth order. Tylar therefor is "first daughter" Being the first came with perks and responsibilities. She had me to herself for a couple of years. When Peter was born she was an amazing big sister. Poor kid we kept adding to the bunch, I think sometimes she wondered why? She is now in college and doing great. When her one of her sisters calls to say "I miss you" she comes home for dinner. When Madi got hurt she made to the hospital before the ambulance. She took it upon herself to give the many people in the waiting room updates. When Peter is having a hard time he retreats to Tylar's apartment. When she had to write a college essay about a special relationship in her life, she chose to write about her and Lily's bond. My prayer for her is to always know that God has created her to be beautiful inside and out. Let people see that shine through you. Today I am thankful of the woman she is becoming.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful Day 22

I just finished reading Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood. I am thankful that I got a chance to read this book. It is a memoir of a woman that was adopted as an infant from Taiwan in the early 1970's and her journey in finding and building a relationship with her biological family. She writes with such ease that I really enjoyed her story. There are ofcourse some sad chapters in her family's past but she sheds new light on several issues especially for those of us who have adopted children. I am so thankful that she was willing to share her story.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful Day 21

Today I was reminded of a very special person who has become my friend. Her name is Erin Hunlock. She worked with the special needs adoption program at our adoption agency. She was the one person who God had sent to bring Cali into our lives. Our agency has since closed due to the increasing slow down of adoptions in China but Erin is embarking on a new and wonderful journey to once again help the least of us. Please follow her journey and help her do the work that God has called each of us to do.
So today I am thankful for people like Erin. I am especially thankful that she is in my life and that I can be a small part of this journey with her. Please be part of it too!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful Day 20

Today I am thankful for my husband and son. They are away together this weekend looking at colleges for Peter. I just spoke to them and they sound great! Honestly I am a little sad that my boy will be a few hours from me next year...but I am so very thankful that he is so excited for his next journey. My prayer for him is that he knows in his heart that God has great plans for him and that he has the confidence to know just how much God loves him.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankful Day 19

God puts us each in a place that He wants us to be. Sometimes I am not sure what or where He wants me. And sometimes it is so clear. Today I am not so sure where He wants me, but I am thankful that He does have a plan for me because I would be lost with it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thankful Day 18

This week I needed some shopping therapy. I know that is not right but I needed it. When I did get a couple of hours free I ran over to the mall. Well I tried on tons of things, or that is how it felt and guess what happened. I literally got stuck in a shirt. Yes that is right I pulled this shirt over my head and then I could not get it off. So there I was alone in the dressing room,in my undies, stuck in a shirt that I did not even like. After several minutes of wrangling with the evil shirt I got it off and threw it to the ground. I was promptly declared the winner of the match. Today I am thankful that God released me from the bondage of that shirt,literally and spiritually.
PS No pictures for this post,it would not be too attractive.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thankul Day 17

I am thankful for the incredible autumn colors that God had created for us to enjoy. I love everything about the fall, the crispness, the chill in the air, the colors I even like it getting dark earlier. It just makes me want to snuggle more at home. Yummy I tell you!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thankful Day 16

Madison continues to need rest and heal. She had an EEG and a MRI yesterday. We will meet with the doctor tomorrow. Today I am thankful that God has surrounded us with believers that have bathed our family in prayer. We are not alone in this journey.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thankful Day 15

This will be short because this mommy is tired but I am so very thankful. Madison,our 14 year old daughter had an accident while cheering at the JV football game on Thursday night. She was dropped from about 8 feet in the air, landing on the back of her head. She had an impact seizure on the field and suffered a concussion. The neurologist ordered strict bed rest and a series of more testing this week. She will be out of school for a while.
I am thankful for the incredible support we have received.
I am thankful for the medical staff.
I am thankful for the quick action of the school staff.
I am thankful that we still have our Madi.
God is so good to us at all times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thankful Day 14

Sometimes it is simple things that can make us thankful. I took the little girls to their routine dentist appt today and I have no news to report. That is what I am thankful for. When it comes to the dentist, no news is good news. Cali has this funny tooth next to the opening in her gum line. The last time we were at the dentist they said to keep an eye on it because it really does have a funny look to it on the outside of the tooth. I wish I were more diligent about brushing their teeth twice a day and I wish I could say that Cali does not still drink that yogurt drink everynight before bed, I wish I flossed their teeth twice a day, I wish I could say they drink more water than any other liquids but that would be well...lieing. I guess I can stop feeling the guilt that was raising up inside me as we pulled into the dentist's office because, as the dentist told me "They are looking good, with no changes to report!" Now.....what else can I feel guilty about......

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thankful Day 13

I went to the beach this weekend with a group of ladies. We are different but we are united in two things that guide our lives-we are daughters of Christ and we have heard the call for the orphan. Although there were only 5 women, we have over 20 children,9 thru adoption from 4 different countries and we represent 3 different local churches. Our weekend was spent building friendships, telling stories about our children and sharing our adoption journeys. What I came away with was also a sense of sadness that we all share towards the church that has left the call of the orphan unheard. Why is that?????? It is so clear in the bible that we are to take care of the orphan. Where is the church leadership where are its people????
I am thankful that God has given me sisters that share the same passion for Him and His children. Pray for the orphan today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Day 12

Most days there is some one who tells me,"wow,I could never do what you do...How could you start all over when your other kids were all in school"..or something like that. I am used to it now and usually answer with something like how much I love being a mom or if I am wanting to go down a deeper path I try to explain how it is a calling from God and I was simply being obedient so it really is not about me. Any how looking at this picture...such sweet,innocent joy in sliding down the slide. What a joy takes over me when I can be a part of that pure happiness. I am so thankful that I can still be in the life that is so full of that young, pure emotion.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thankful Day 11

While we were in AL we visited the Botanical Gardens. They had it decorated with different gourds as various people. Some of them were incredible. This one was called "Desperate Housewives" They had me down to tee. Two asian preschoolers hanging on me,pink sweater, cell phone and looking well a bit desperate. I am not pushed to the edge very often but I will admit, there are times. So today I am thankful that I can laugh at myself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thankful Day 10

Sorry I have gotten off my list. I was out of town for a few days and then travel delays but I am home so I want to get in my Thankful list...
We visited our dear friends that we met in China when we were adopting Cali. Their little Sophie is the same age as Lily and has the same gotcha day as Cali. Sherrie, Sophie's mommy has become a dear friend to me. When we were in China people asked if we were sisters adopting together. While we we in AL a friend of Sherrie's came up and gave me a little tickle thinking I was Sherrie from the back. Poor girl she was so confused for a moment. We got a good laugh out of it. I do now consider Sherrie my sister- sister in Christ. She is a wonderful wife, mommy to 5 and a great friend to me and my family. I am so very thankful that God chose to have Sherrie and I meet. Now He just has to move her closer to me! Yes me, always wanting a bit more...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thankful Day 9-Happy 3rd B-Day Cali

Happy Birthday to my sweet Cali. How far you have come from the first birthday we got to share with you. Your smile is easily seen and your kisses are delicious. I thank God for all He has given me. I pray that some how your birth mother in China can one day feel peace. I am so very thankful for the people in China that cared for you until God sent us to bring you home. I am thankful that I can send them back some of your sweet photos and that they send back priceless notes to you. My baby is 3 years old today!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thankful Day 8

Last night we went to watch Madison cheer for her high school football team. As I was sitting there I was so happy for Madi because she is so happy at her new school. It was not an easy decision for us to have her change schools. But we are thankful that we did and she has been so welcome there by the staff and her fellow classmates. It is a school that strives for academic excellence but more important than that it builds relationships and cares for the individual.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thankful Day 7

Not really sure how to make this post. Since I have started this thankful journal/blog posting I often go through my day thi
nking hum...what will I be thankful for at the end of this day, what will I post about. My phone rang about an hour ago and it was my husband. A friend of ours called him to give him the news that their 6 month old baby had died this morning. From what I can tell it sounds like SIDS since as far as all of us knew the baby was a beautiful healthy baby. I can not imagine their pain right now. The confusion for them as well as their other children. The what ifs, the how comes, the whys...I do know that in times like this we must still be thankful. As believers we know that we will be reunited at the feet of Jesus. This does not mean we do not suffer the loss and feel immense pain. I have followed along Mary Beth Chapman's blog through the incredible pain of her loosing Maria Sue last year. Mary Beth shares the deep pain yet her faith in our Savior is amazing. I ask you to pray for this family in the coming hours, days, weeks and months. I am thankful that in dark, sad, painful seasons in our lives ,as believers, we do not have to walk alone.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thankful Day 6

Today there is a family that is flying across the ocean to adopt a little girl from China. I do not know this family except through emails and her blog. They brought home a little girl last year just before we traveled to bring home Cali. Now they are traveling yet again to bring home another sweet sweet gift from God. I am thankful that although the adoption process has become more and more difficult and more and more expensive that people are still heeding the call to adopt. It is funny how many times I am asked whether we are "finished". How can I say a definite YES! There are definite reasons why we "should" be finished but "finished" really closes that door. Is that right for us, I do not know for sure. But I am so very thankful that others are picking up the one star fish and giving him a home, giving her a forever family, giving him a warm bed, giving her a sweet kiss good night, holding him when the imaginary monsters are abound, putting bandaides where there are no boo boos, reading books, telling her "I love you when you are happy, I love you when you are sad, I love you when you are mad, I love you when you are bad, I love you when you are good. I love you all the time". Thank you for adopting and hearing God's call.
PS I added the family that is traveling today to my blog list on the side bar.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thankful Day 5

Today I went in the capital to get Cali's certificate of foreign birth. I hope I do not insult any one here but I was not anticipating a pleasant experience. I felt this way because of the finger printing,DMV and other various gov't agencies. When I arrived I was greeted by an older gentleman that was actually helpful. Then the process took only 1 hour from start to finish, with each person greeting me with a smile. I noticed as I was waiting that each employee was cheerful when they were walking in and out of the gov't building. I know I should not be surprised but sadly I was. But I am thankful for the nice folks who helped me.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Thankful Day 4

Today is Sunday, therefore we go to church. Today I am thankful for the commitment of Sunday school teachers. They are often overlooked as parents drop off their preschoolers and go on their way to be fed by the pastor. Mr.Scott and Miss Cathy are Lily and Cali's Sunday school teachers. They are a married couple that has raised a family and each week for more than one year, they have taught Cali and Lily. I have known them for almost 15 years and I am so thankful that we are sharing another season with them. They are wonderful servants that are bringing glory to God.
Next Sunday, thank your child's Sunday teacher.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Thankful day 3

Today I am thankful that it is a beautiful Carolina blue sky Saturday. We have lived in many cities but God had brought us here some 16 years ago. It is an incredible community to raise kids. Today I got to watch Lily and Cali run around and play "soccer". The weather was incredible and the Carolina blue skies could not be any more beautiful. Only our Creator could have created such an incredible color blue and splashed it across our sky for us to enjoy. Thank you God, the one and only Creator.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thankful day number 2

I am a wife, mother,sister and daughter. Today I am thankful for my mother and all she is to me. She will never read this because she does not own a computer, does not use the ATM, no drive-thrus and just learned how to use her cell phone. She is beautiful and full of life. She spreads mulch in her garden and scrubs her windows. She was a widow in her mid 40's and never dated again. She said she found her one true love and that was enough for her. She had to get a job and raise the 3 of us on her own. Her future plans changed but she eventually rose to the occasion. She moved into Manhattan for a fresh start and lived there for about 15 years until she retired and moved south to be closer to me and her much loved grandkids.She bought her first house at age 65. She started to drive again (not much need to drive in NYC). She loves each of my children equally. She still worries about me. She cooks dinner and leaves it in my fridge once a week. We have coffee together and catch up on family gossip. She attends most of my kids sporting events. She always has a basket of candy for my DH and children in her frig. She makes us Sunday dinner and takes such joy in serving us.I look at her and marvel at all she has been through in her life and I am honored that she is my mother.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thankful continued...

My darling daughter Greyson has complained to me that I have not updated my blog enough lately. She is right. So I have decided that between now and Thanksgiving I am going to update my blog each day to express one thing I am thankful for in my life each day (and then throw in random stuff that might be amusing)
Today I am thankful for Greyson.
I am thankful that she has the heart for the under dog.
I am thankful for the way she helps me with her younger sisters.
I am thankful that from the time she could pray out loud, I can count on her to be my pray warrior.
I am thankful that she prays with Lily and lets her sleep with her.
I am thankful that she thinks it is nice when other families' speak kindly of eachother.
I am thankful she is now taller than me-LOL!
I am thankful that she tried a new sport this fall.
I am thankful that she is my daughter-I love you more than all the sand on the beaches!
PS-random item number one-as I sat down to write this post, Cali had to peeeeeee and Lily was sure there was a monster in the laundry basket. So I took Cali to the potty and placed the monster in the washing machine. All is good now, for the moment....

Monday, September 07, 2009


Yes folks I know it is way too early for Thanksgiving decorations. My mom would kill me, she hates when the stores decorate for Thanksgiving in September,Christmas in October,Easter in February but since she does not own a computer this will be a secret kept from her LOL! I was really looking for an autumn background and this one popped up. I did not see the Happy Thanksgiving until I put it up on the blog but I decided it was meant to be... and it is right because I should be giving thanks whether it is September, November, February or June! Lily had eye surgery this week. I was a mess! She went into the OR like a champ but she was WILD coming out of the anesthesia. Kicking, screaming, punching. My mind went right to Cali who underwent her cleft lip surgery in China. Did she have some one to comfort her, some one to monitor her pain, to hold her if she was screaming? I do not know... then I thought of all the other orphans with medical needs. It makes me so sad. There are great organizations-Love without Boundaries,Half the Sky Foundation, Maria's Big House of Hope (founded by Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman in honor of their Maria Sue) that do care for those most in need. It is my dream one day to be able to help these children through one of these groups. I am so thankful to them and the sacrifices that they make everyday. Really incredible people. So that is what I am thankful for today, in September.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our One Year with Cali!

Not sure how far I will get on this post but I am going to give it a try. One year ago we were in China anxiously awaiting the arrival of Cali. I was excited yet scared. I was sure but not sure. I was a confident parent, I was a challenged parent. I was saying goodbye to one child heading off to college and saying hello to another child that God was giving me the privilege to call my own. I was stepping back into a foreign country that this time around did not seem so foreign. I was reuniting with old friends and meeting new friends. I was praying for the days to go quickly so I could hold Cali and was wondering if Cali's foster mother was praying for the same days to go a bit slower as she knew the day was coming that she would have to say goodbye. We as mothers are the ones to hold our children when they are sick, hurt, scared-this is what Cali's foster mother did for my or should I say our daughter. God chose her just as He chose me. Cali's biological mother was also chosen and brave. She could have aborted Cali, hidden the pregnancy, perhaps nobody would have even known of the baby that God had placed in her womb. But no, held that baby until delivery and then placed her safely to be found. Who could ever know the pain of never knowing...
The ladies and men that I met in the Xiamen orphanage were remarkable. They worked with the children who are the least of all of their society. Who do we care for that are lesser than us?
Cali's one year with us has had its challenges. Adjustments were made, sleep was a privilege. Lily had many pieces of hair pulled out... Cali has learned to say, "I so sorry." Lily has also gained a sister. Yes, a REAL sister, just like her other real sisters-Tylar, Madison and Greyson. I just had some one ask me me today if they were "authentic sisters" humm....what are you really asking... YES that are real sisters! All six of MY children have been chosen be God to be real siblings and real children of mine and Greg's. Lily has come between Cali and other kids and announced proudly "Hey, that is MY baby sister!" I have seen Cali soften the hearts of many people. She loves to be carried on Peter and Greg's shoulders and she loves to dance around. Her favorite music is Hannah Montana-you should hear her belt out "The Climb"
She asks me to pray at night when I lay with her. I pray that I can be all that God has put before me, for you my dear Cali, I thank you for letting me in your heart and calling me mommy.

Scroll down and look at how she has grown!

Gotcha Day 8/31/08 and today, one year later!

This was the first photo on gotcha day!

China 2008-A walk down memory lane....

Fall 2008

Winter 2009

Spring 2009

Summer and early Fall 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Beautiful Day with my Girls

Greg and Peter are in Costa Rica so I wanted to find some thing fun to do with the girls today. We went to the Butterfly Museum and it was really beautiful and totally hands on for the kids. I told Greg that there was a little piece of Costa Rica here in NC.