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 27, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I have it. I will confess. Not to cleaning. Not hoarding. Not gambling. Not shopping. It is checking my email for an update from China or our adoption agency. The estimated time to wait for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China is now 2-4 months. So why do I check my emails several times a day, just in case it is there?? The addiction is horrible now that iphones literally make all info or lack there of right at my finger tips. Wonder if there are meetings I need to go to? Hello my name is Jo

dy and I am addicted to checking my email for adoption updates. Who will be my sponsor out there?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So excited to be DTC (documents to China), officially! The happy dance was short lived.
I received an email from our adoption agency informing the new DTC families that the wait from DTC to travel is now estimated at 5-9 months. I was and still am so sad. So many emotions within just a few hours, but that is adoption. I should know the emotional drill by now.
But there is such a beautiful God that prepares us for the lows too. The past few weeks at church our pastor has been teaching us about what was going on before the birth of Jesus (it is now less than a week before Christmas) basically in the lives of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother. Just points that are so clear to me this morning. Elizabeth had to wait over 50 years for a child that she most likely had prayed for each and everyday until the hope was gone. She was now most likely in her 80s, well past her child bearing years. She was gossiped about and even perhaps shunned because in those days you were considered to have done something wrong since you could not conceive a child. Perhaps she had some deep dark hidden sin so God was punishing her. Poor Elizabeth. Until, ALL IN GOD'S TIMING Elizabeth did conceive-John. John, cousin to Jesus and the one who would tell 1000's about Jesus. John was literally the one the God chose to prepare people for Jesus, and he was the one Elizabeth was to deliver!!
13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
So yes, I am sad that our family and Mia may have to wait a few extra months to be united BUT I do have the hope, trust and love of God that I know he has great plans for each of us.
And honestly after writing this, in this short time. I am not nearly as sad as I was. I am excited to see the plans that God has for me. Thank you, God for making this so much clearer today than it was last night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas by Third Day

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dossier to China-DTC

Our agency called tonight. I was expecting an email confirmation that our dossier had been sent to China sometime this afternoon. When the caller ID on my cell said it was our agency, I have to admit that in the split second of looking at my phone and actually answering, I began to sweat. My mind went to , "oh my there must be a problem if they are calling". We have had a series of unusual delays in the paperwork so my mind went right to "uh oh" But nope, our dossier consultant, who has been great through the entire process, was just calling me to say that Fedex had just picked up our dossier. What a sweet thing for her to do!
Our dossier (paperwork) should arrive in China on December 19th. Can't imagine how international adoption was conducted prior to email, and Fedex. Literally a slow boat to China? Now it is China's turn to sift through all of our documents. Hopefully they can do it faster than the US did it this time around.
Happy dance tonight!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mia's first Christmas gift

I can't help myself.I just ordered matching suitcases for Mia, Cali & Lily. Purple polka dot, monogrammed. But SHHH...don't tell, it is a surprise. I just could not help myself!

I think I just needed some retail therapy.
Oh so cute!!! Now let's travel....

Monday, December 05, 2011

One more time

Our documents were being process at the Chinese Embassy in DC and they flaggd one of our papers. Of the many pages of documents and signatures, they did not like one of Greg's signatures so they sent the paper back to the agency, they sent it to me, I brought it to Greg's office to sign, took it back to FedEx, sent it back to the agency. They will forward it to their DC courier, he will bring it back to the Chinese embassy, they will (please pray for this part ) approve the document this time around. Send it approved, back to our agency and this final document will be placed in an envelope with all of our other documents and be sent to China!!! Please pray for all of these final little but very important steps to be successful.
Then once China receives all the documents, we wait for them to look over the documents, hopefully approve everything and then issue us our Letter of Acceptance, and then,permission to travel. This next process can take another 3-6 months.
I am so excited to see when God has chosen us to travel.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Jewelry Party to benefit Mia's adoption!

Dear Local Friends,
Tomorrow is the day. Please join us to grab a sweet treat and celebrate together!

Open House Jewelry Party: Drop in from 2pm - 4pm at our home on December 4th.

The Jewelry is made by Ellie Mayes. The jewelry is beautiful and unique. Ellie's website is www.butterbeads.com. She accepts Visa, M/C, Discover and Amex. If you order on line just let her know you would like a donation to go towards Mia's adoption, just so she knows.She can take custom orders! Or you may purchase the many beautiful hand made pieces of jewelery that Ellie will have on display for sale. Ellie has graciously offered to donate 20% of all purchases this afternoon towards Mia's adoption. Please visit Ellie's website or-
Join us Sunday 12/4 from 2-4pm at our home.

Come buy special gifts for the holidays or a treat for yourself, while helping a great cause! Feel free to bring friends, the more the merrier!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One more....we think

Just a little paperwork update. Of all the papers we have sent to the embassey to be approved, they are sending one back :(. In the big picture not a big deal, just another delay. They want Greg to resign a document. Then we have to send it back again ( with another mOney order) it will be done but another rediculous delay. So yes I am anxiously awaiting the mailman once again. We were in DC this weekend, perhaps we could have gone into the embassy , introduced ourselves and corrected the flagged paper. Or been arrested for trespassing! Lol!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Being Thankful

Tonight I was "teaching"my three year olds in AWANA craft class the theme was "being thankful" which goes with the season of Thanksgiving. But I really tried to focus on the fact that we should all be thankful each day, not just Thanksgiving. Not just good days, not just bad, sad, happy days but we should be thankful each day simply because God has created each day and for that we should be thankful! Now I am home and I really think that although I was "teaching" this to my very captive audience of three year olds, I truly believe God was teaching me the lesson of thankfulness!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to understand

For the past couple months the girls and I have been doing some field trips with a local homeschool group. It has been nice watching Cali and Lily grow a bit in the independence, knowledge and relationships. Cali and I have kinda clicked with one mom of six children. Her sweet youngest daughter is about the same as Cali. This sweet, happy, feisty , independent,smart little girl has downs syndrome. It has been such a blessing for me to watch Cali play beside her new little friend and has never asked or looked at her new friend differently than her her other playmates. The innocence that Cali still processes is a beautiful thing to be a part of.
Lily has also made a special friend. this little girl is Lily's age and the oldest child in her family. Her mom was about 7 months pregnant when we met in September. So I enjoyed the tail end of my new friend's pregnancy. Always such an exciting time! This week she delivered her beautiful baby girl. Her sweet precious baby girl is now with Jesus. I know where she is but the pain of this family. So sad. Hard to understand sometimes the plans God has. Praying for them tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gotta love fed ex tracker!

I was able to track the package that contained our last document being sent to our agency. Our dossier consultant emailed me today and told me she did receive it, and sent that along with our other documents to Washington to get authenticated. She feels that we should have all of our paperwork in China in the next 3 weeks. Then basically China does the same thing with all the paper work that the US just did. Once we get our "DTC" (date to China) delivery date I will know for sure our file is there! Barring any earthquakes and or huge snow storms(both of which slowed down our last adoptions) we should be traveling within the next 3-6 months. It seems a bit more real now!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New book to read by Kay Bratt

If you have adopted,especially from China, Kay Bratt has written three books that you should read.Chasing China: A Daughter's Quest for Truth (Volume 1) is her newest release. Kay Bratt lived in China for several years. She volunteered in an orphanage. Her writing depicts her experiences while in China. Her was first book Silent Tears.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Approval arrived!!

We are one step closer. The US sent our approval letter to adopt. They received the request on August 24 and we received the approval letter today November 12th. This is one of the last steps on the US side of the paperwork. Hopefully all the documents can be authenticated and translated and sent to China by Christmas. Once the papers reach China it can still take up to 6 months to travel. This time can vary so of course I do hope we can travel earlier but...God knows exactly which day they will put Mia Caili in our arms. Happy dance today!!

Mail today??

I am praying that the mail man will deliver our approval letter from USCIC today. Then I will have to have it notarized and authenticated and then it (I think) will be the last piece of paper to be collected for our dossier be complete and ready to send to China.I am so ready to board that plane...
Please pray with me me for
Her foster family
My dear dear friends working in China
My patience

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

Today is Veteran's Day. My father proudly served in WW 2 (he was 15 years old with a fake ID) and then re enlisted during the Korean War. Today we attended a wonderful service at my daughters high school honoring those who have served our country. There were men there that may have been about the same age as my Dad would be today. Hard to believe my Dad has been gone for so many years. He passed away when I was 16. His death changed the course of my life. I still miss him and love him dearly. As a Christian, we all want to hear "well done " one day. I wish I could hear that from my Dad. I did hear that from a dear dear older gentleman this summer and when I closed my eyes I pictured my Dad.
So today I thank my Dad and all the other men and women who have served this country.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I love these almond eyes!

Guess who
is looking at you?

Sunday November 6th, Orphan Sunday

So here I am again, it is Orphan Sunday. Why is there a day we call Orphan Sunday? I am assuming someone started this to raise awareness for the plight of the millions of orphans around the world. For me right now I feel like I am on stand by. I read other blogs and they are so on fire. On fire to help, to adopt, to raise funds, to go and be missionaries in orphanages in far off lands. I look at my two girls and I am amazed at their resilience, strength, love. I know it all comes from God. Other wise it would simply be unexplainable. As we embark on another adoption i feel so many emotions-excitement, fear, uneasiness, frustration, sadness, happiness, love, loneliness, togetherness, overwhelmed, sure, unsure ...do you get the picture...a bit of everything...I know that Satan fills me with all the negatives and God is all good.
Today our Pastor was teaching us that all of the bumps, u-turns, struggles, valleys, are orchestrated by God so that we can see His glory in everything. Some days I feel like I am in a valley, on top of a valley, traveling on a smooth road and then on a "caution ahead" flashing sign ahead. But I need to remember, believe that it is ALL for the good of God, all of the time!
Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I am glad I know his purpose for me, for right now anyway...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


A few weeks ago we received some updated photos of Mia Caili. Although we are not allowed to share her photo at this stage in the process, I figured this cant hurt!And i love sweet fingers, don't you?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

After I read to the girls at bedtime and after they pray, Cali has started to ask each night, "why isn't Mia home yet?" God knows the day sweet Cali, that I can assure you!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

USCIS update

Well we did have our homestudy reviewed. Drum roll please...I know what you are thinking"they have 4 biological kids, they have adopted twice, they have sent in all the post adoption reports , we are US citizens, the government works for us, surely they will be approved... No problems here...
The USCIS has requested proof of evidence that our beach (vacation) home is sufficient for children. Really wow! We will need to have a homestudy update ($) and more wasted (in my humble opinion) time. This will delay our process a few weeks. I have spoken to our social worker, and adoption agency and they have never heard of such a thing.
I am following someones blog that is actually traveling to China to bring home her TWO sons from China. The incredible obstacles that popped up literally the days prior to their travel was incredible. Even as I type this there is a problem with their last flight and they are switching planes! But in all the drama , gods provisions are so evident. I am sure she did not want all the stress in the past few days but had she not and had she not share her needs, then she and everyone would not have seen the glory and power of our God so clearly! I just love it.
So no I would not say I enjoy all the bumps in the journey but would I have seen the glory of God if I thought could do it all myself??
So if you are reading this I pray that I can glorify God in my posts and still share the ups and downs of the adoption process. All I have to do is look at my sweet girls face staring at me. I hope I encourage you to take chances and follow where God is leading you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have figured out a simple way to explain to people about this adoption process to people who ask and then explain the stage we are at.
First we found our sweetie
Second we ask China permission to adopt her
Third we ask the US if we can bring her into this country
Forth we ask China permission to travel and adopt her
Ofcourse this has been very simplified but I think it kind of explains the process, for China any way.
Each of these steps can take several weeks or months. After 5 months we are still at step 3. Our paper work has been in a lock box at USCIS(formally homeland security) since August 24. I called (again) today and we have finally been assigned a review officer, her message said "she can not answer her phone right now...." Do you think that perhaps she could be reviewing our file right now? Could be... I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More LWB photos

LWB Walk-what a blessing!

God provided us with Carolina blue skies and lots of folks with the heart for the orphan. Our walkers ages ranged from in the womb (Charlotte was born the next day and might add that her mommy came in 1st place), Samuel 3 months old, to my mom-close to 80!
I just have to brag for a moment about my friend Lisa (she will not like me bragging!, but hey it is my blog) Lisa is a busy mom of 4 young children (none adopted) and works full time outside of her home. She is committed to the Lord and committed to doing His work for Him, not for any one else but for Him. She chooses to remain behind the scenes but does an incredible amount of work to make the Cary NC Love Without Boundaries a possibilty. She called me a couple of years ago and literally challenged me to put my passion of caring for the orphans to a bigger project that could include of local community, so was the birth of the Cary NC Love Without Boundaries annual walk. So to Lisa, I truly say thank you because if it weren't for you, I would not had the knowledge or the courage to have started this tradition!
Me and Lisa
Greyson & Samuel

3 of us "pregnant in China"
Charlotte in her mommy's womb,born the next day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Click HERE for a link to the LWB Walk!

Love without Boundaries Walk Sunday 10/16/2011 in Cary NC!

Dear Friends!
We are excited for the Second Annual “5K Walk for Hope and Healing” and hope that you all are as well! According to the weather forecast it is going to be sunny and 78 degrees. Perfect walking weather!
The order of events for tomorrow will be as follows: Registration will begin under the tent behind the Amphitheatre at 1:30 p.m.. There will be a few signs on the streets to direct you in, as well as some at the venue. The address for the Amphitheatre is 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary, NC 27511. Parking will be at the Amphitheatre gate entrance. Around 2:00 p.m. we will say a few words and then the walk will be underway! The path for the walk will be contained to Symphony Lake. It will be three times around to total the 5K. Light refreshments and water will be provided.
Any donations that you have received in the form of check or cash please bring them with you to the walk. We will be collecting those when you register and sending to Love Without Boundaries. The top three participants will be announced the following week and prizes will be sent in the mail. We want to be sure we allow enough time for all donations collected to be counted.
As you make your final push for donations we want to share six more photos with you of the vulnerable babies you are working so hard to raise funds for. Without your love and support so many of them would not have a chance to be in a “forever” family. So thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to work on their behalf.

We are looking forward to seeing so many of you there! Thank you again for your participation and support of these beautiful children!
As always, please continue to keep these children, as well as all God’s children who are in need involved in your prayers.

Jody Brannon & Lisa McNutt
Event Coordinators

James 1:27

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Sweet Cali!

Yeah for Cali, she turned 5 today! Sweet, nutty girl. You bring so much spunk into our house! Love my girls!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Mia updates!

Because of new regulations, we can not post photos of our sweet Mia Caili but we received updated photos and can I say oh so pretty! Smiling, giggling, jumping, playing... Oh to my delight! She looks wonderful. The note included"they are calling her both Mia and her Chinese name and she answers to both". One of our considerations in choosing the name Mia,was trying to find a name that would be easy for her to say (both because of the cleft and Chinese). Mei Mei (pronounced May May) means little sister so I thought it would sound some what familiar to her, not thinking they would start calling her Mia but this is super. Any little thing that may make the transition smoother is welcomed!! So happy dance for me today!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Parenting Class Check

One more item to check off the adoption list...12 hours of Hauge (government) mandated parenting class. Yes, that is right we had to go to parenting classes...my poor first 6 kids-we parented them without a class, how did we do it?
One more step closer to Mia...Yeah!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finger prints check!

Finger prints complete!!!! Need I say more???
Do I have to include that PB "almost" went to the wrong airport or that his flight was delayed or that all the remainder flights from NY were cancelled that day or that we could not find the USCIS office ??

No, I will just say YEAH YEAH! Finger prints done!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finger print Friday!

Please pray that PB gets home tomorrow uneventfully and that our finger print Friday goes off without a hitch. I have sent in all the additional items to the adoption agency. Now it is back to waiting for approvals, authentication of documents and then some more waiting. Hopefully all the paper work will be approved in the next month or so and be sent to China!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just a moment to complain

I would assume most people who read my blog have some interest in adoption, perhaps adopted, thinking about it or maybe you are my friends and have walked down the adoption journey with me. I am going to say now that I am going to complain but I hope that once it is off my chest I will be done with my pity party and put big girl panties back on and continue the incredible journey that God has allowed our family to be on with Him.
We have our finger print appt set and the airline ticket purchased for PB to come home from college because the US government requires that any one over the age of 18 is required to have finger prints taken for international adoption. I sent an email to our adoption agency telling them that our appt is set and casually said , "just checking to make sure this is our last item that needs to be checked off before sending all the documents to China". Well I got back an entire page of NEW requirements that the US just initiated for adoptions. Are you kidding me?!?!? Nope she is not kidding!!!!! Believe me CB and LB keep me busy busy busy but the fact remains there is a little girl across the ocean that is part of this family!!! I am so very blessed to know that she is being loved and prayed for in China. But as she gets older each day I know it will be harder and harder for her to separate from the life she knows in China to the new life as our daughter. Her pain will be my pain.
What is going on with international adoption? That is not really a question , I do know. The secular anti God world that we live in is against all things good and right. But I do find peace in knowing that we are doing what is good and right. Nobody ever said it was an easy path.
OK I am finished complainig. tomorrow is a new day and I will get that list done from the adoption agency! Good night sweet friends!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One more step

We have our little check list of details that need to be checked off in order to bring Mia Caili home.
Recent items to be checked off-
1. We got our finger print appt, yeah! New requirement, PB and TB need to have their finger prints since they are over 18, even though they are in college. So we have to fly PB home from college for a day. Weekends do not work since government offices are closed weekends.
2. We went to one session of the parent/adoption education class. We are required 12 hours so 6 down and 6 to go. We drove 1 1/2 hours from home for the class. The info was actually very well addressed and the day was well worth the time and drive!
So two more things to check off, but neither one actually complete and so the list goes on...
But it will all get done.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Three years ago!

Three years ago, my have you changed!

Our sweet Cali was handed to us today for a 24 hour harmonious period. Well 3 years later I can say not every moment is not harmonious but every moment is RIGHT!
It is right that she is part of a family, our family,
right that she has 5 sisters(4 home, 1 waiting in China) and 1 brother,
right that our family has shades of different colors,
right that for her gotcha day lunch she will want Chick fila,
right that she her roots are from Southern China and she grows in the south of America,
right that her face, once thought of as a curse now lights up a room,
right that her giggle that was once silent now makes everyone giggle too.
Thank you God for making it right.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How can we help?

Every once in a while people ask me how they can help in our adoption or adoption in general. I know not everyone is called to adopt but you all know that I believe all of us are called to help the orphans of the world. First and foremost I would say pray for those who have no family, no warm bed, no one to hold them in the night. Support families who are called to adopt. Do not pass judgement on what may look different than the "normal" two child family in the USA. Another way is to financially support incredible organizations that are in the "trenches" helping these kids.
Half the Sky
Love without Boundaries
Show Hope
These are just a few great organizations. Check out their web sites.
If you want to know how you can help us specifically...There is a $5000 donation that we are asked to donate to Mia Caili's orphanage. This money goes to care for those children left behind. They need to be fed, clothed, educated and hopefully to training to their caregivers. I have had the incredible honor to visit Mia Caili's orphanage (it is the same as Cali's) and they really do care for these kids. There really was preschool for the younger kids, it was clean and they really do care about the kids. They are trying to improve the lives of the children there. Since we were there in 2008, Half the Sky is working there to teach the staff how to care for the little ones and educate the older children. If you would like to help us with the orphanage donation, you can send us a check and we will deposit it to our account that will be holding these funds until we travel. WE really need your prayers more than anything but if you want donate towards the orphanage donation, you will be a blessing to our family and the children left behind.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I 800A

It is in the mail. Our I800A has been sent off the homeland security,USCIS, the wizard of Oz behind the curtain. Whoever the packet is going to, please look at it, approve it, schedule our fingerprints. Another piece to the puzzle. One more step closer to our sweet Mia Caili.
Funny notes for today...
We went to Walmart to pick up some stuff. Did you know that footy pajamas are in the stores. Well they are. Cali and Lily both got a pair and wore them all day. Yes it is still 90 degrees. Yes we went on errands, no they did not get out of the car. When we picked Greyson up from school she asked the girls why they were wearing their PJs. Lily informed her that it was "wear your pajamas to school day!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Paper work update....finally!

I haven't written any updates about the adoption because well there was not too much to write about : (( But finally I can see some advancement of the collection of papers stacked on the dining room table are moving! They are being certified, authenticated, homestudy was just approved and checks are to be written. Yes did I mention checks. That is just another piece to the puzzle. There have been new regulations put in place by "the Hauge" that makes this process several months longer than our previous adoptions. You really can't fight it but I just have to say some of it is ridiculous! But we are getting there. Once all of our papers are in China which I would think will take another 2 months, it will then take another 4-6 months for China to review all the documents and then allow us to go to China and bring Mia home.
I went to an awesome adoption conference this past weekend. Great speakers and super worship music by Geoff Moore. Did you ever watch someone sing who looked so happy so then it made you happy? It was just him on stage with his good friend playing guitar. I hope it inspired some people to adopt and others to continue to support adoption through prayer,financial contributions and foster care.
I loved the quote "adoption is tragic beauty" you can't really deny the fact that adoption includes tragedy. Someone has been given up, abandoned...due to
many circumstances, could be poverty, disease, unwed mother, shame, politics.. Many reasons but all tragic. But the beauty comes when we can see the gospel come alive. Just as we were adopted out of our diseased flesh and soul, we became a new creation in Jesus Christ so do these children when they have a family to call there own. There is the beauty! I am honored, literally, to be a part of this beautiful plan designed by the greatest artist of all.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Missing in the picture

As I have mentioned before I never pictured myself with 7 kids. Maybe 7 kids in my class but not in my nest. But God had different,better plans. I made myself a family collage for mother's day. On the frame it is written "life takes us to unexpected places...love brings us home", when I found it I thought perfect! I spent that weekend carefully arranging our family photos. Some old, some new. Placed it on the shelf. I was happy, satisfied.
At that point I had already known about Mia Caili . I knew there was beautiful little girl waiting for her family in Xiamen,Fujian, China. I was praying for her since January. Praying that her family would come and bring her home and she would no longer be an orphan. Honestly I prayed some during the week but on Sunday when I was still sitting church, I dedicated that time to sit and be still and pray for Caili. I got up at the end of the service and walked out with the other 1000s of folks who were walking out of church that same Sunday somewhere in the world. Even walking out with the 100s at our church I felt like my private time with God and Caili was over. Back to the hustle and bustle of life. But that quiet time was precious. Wow, that was stray walk from the post...any how where was I?
Mia Caili is not an orphan any longer but she is missing from my collage (temporarily) . When I take our beach photos there is someone missing. I imagine her running with the girls or being thrown up in the air by her big sisters and brother. I look at my Mother's day collage and some how now I am less satisfied because some one is missing. God is not finished with the collage yet. God is not finished with any of us yet, now that is exciting!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mia Caili

That is it her name is picked out. Mia Caili (pronounced ki lee). Her name in China is Caili so we are leaving it as her middle name. It is kinda like half Cali and half Lily. Mia Caili has the same birthday as my mom. She turned two in May. She is from the same orphanage as Cali. She has a cleft lip and palate. Her lip has been repaired in China. Her palate is open and will require surgery when we bring her home. I wish I knew when we were traveling but there is an incredible amount of paperwork that needs to be completed. And then approved by both China and the US. I am hoping to travel in December but the reality is it so hard to anticipate some of the things that need to fall into place in order for us to get on that plane. I am blessed to know that Mia Caili is being well taken care of right now. She is currently in foster care and is brought back to the orphanage each day for "preschool". Since Cali has come home, a fabulous organization called Half The Sky is operating the preschool. I better get to schooling Cali and Lily so that their little sister is not ahead of them in school : ). Please continue to pray for all of us...lots of changes ahead!

Happy Birthday America!

Cali has a slight obsession with birthdays. I have tried everything.last year when it was Lily's birthday I actually bought two cakes, one for Lily one for Cali. This year we had a big gymnastics party for Cali. At lily's birthday, offered Cali to open her presents with her and Cali still ended up in tears. At least once a week Cali asks "whose birthday is next?" In our family there is always a birthday coming up! We were at the grocery store yesterday and there were lots of decorations and cakes for July 4th. Ofcourse Cali wanted to know"whose birthday is it?" My answer it is "America 's birthday! Cali you are American!" Cali says, "I am from China!" yes my dear you are from chinaand you are Chinese-American. Will that always be a struggle for my girls? Am I Chinese , American, Chinese-American, American-Chinese?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I lost my foot!

Cali is a funny kid. She sometimes looks at the world in a different light then the rest of us. I am not sure if there are still some language gaps or she just thinks differently but in either case she makes me laugh out loud sometimes. I was getting her her the car tonight and she says something that sounds like "I lost my ele foot" so I think , did she have an elephant toy that she left at my mom's house. So I ask Lily, did Cali have an elephant toy? "nope" . But Cali insisted she lost her ele foot. Now I need to try to think like my sweet Cali. Well she was trying to say she lost her other foot. Which translated for today means she lost her other shoe...hope that made you chuckle

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Open The Door!

Sometimes when things are going along God knocks on your door. You open it slightly, maybe out of curiosity. Then walk away. Then He knocks a bit louder and opens the door a bit wider and still I look and think hum,interesting. Then a few weeks again, a knock then again a few months later until finally I say "Oh, You were talking to me?" I guess I didn't know you were talking to me, or I guess I did not know what exactly you wanted me to do about her. Until the last piece of the many pieces of the puzzle and I got a call that literally said, "Jody, we have a file with your name on it!" And so the story, our story, her story continues. If you have not guessed by now we are adopting...again. Please don't role your eyes...I see enough of that in my real life. I rolled my own eyes about this too , at some point but then I prayed for God to open the door or close the door and I will be obedient to Him. And He burst that door wide open so here we go again. This will make seven children for us, never in my plan to have seven children. I know we are not the perfect family nor and I the perfect mom. One day I was really feeling like the "very not perfect mom" and a commercial came on about foster care and it said, "These kids do not need the perfect parent, they need you". So yes I know we are not the perfect parents with the perfect kids but we are the parents and the family that has been chosen, blessed, given the privilage of, given the honor of adopting this little girl. And for that I am thankful. I can honestly say (and for those of you who know me from my teenage years) can attest to that I have regrets. But I have be forgiven, we are all forgiven. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ. For that I am thankful. One thing I have never regretted is is the gift of my children. But I know that if I did not obey God about this adoption that I would live with the regret for my lifetime. The paper work is incredible, the financial commitment is large, the adjustment may not be easy but the blessings will far outway all of these obstacles. Why do I feel like I need to explain all this,not really sure. Guess I don't want to see your eyes roll in person. Maybe because one of my prayers through all this would be that you, my friend, also listen and do what God is knocking on your door and telling you what He wants you, his adopted child, to do for His kingdom.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today brings me such joy and yet sadness. I am so thankful for the gifts that each of my children are to me. They are unique and beautiful ,created in God's image. The possibilities are endless, follow your dreams, follow your heart, my prayer for all of you is to follow Jesus.
My sadness is with those who are sad today because they feel empty without children. Please if you have ever considered adoption, please be assured that you will love adopted children no different than biological children. God has a plan , perhaps the stork has a different delivery method. Do what is right, do what is good.
I will also be praying for those mother's who have given life to these children and then given them to adoption. Most Mother's in China will never know the fate of their children. All I know is that these moms literally risked their lives to complete the pregnancy and placed their child were they could be found. How could I thank someone for that? Do what is right, do what is good.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Did she kiss me?

Every once in a while Lily hits me with a question that makes want to sob right there on the spot but I know that God has given me the responsibility of protecting Lily and holding her heart so delicatly so even when I want to sob, I wait until I am alone.
So today Lily asks me, "Do you think my Chinese mommy kissed me when I was born?"
Me, "Yes, My Lily I know she kissed you when you were born. She is such a blessing to us"
Lily," Do you think she knew that you were a mommy who needed me?"
Me, "Yes, my dear Lily"
Oh how my heart aches for Lily, she looked sad today asking me those questions. I ache for a mother who has no idea what has happened to a daughter that she once kissed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mother's Day

Why is it that when I read Mother's Day stories in magazines I always tear up? I was reading a story today about a family that had 4 children and then adopted a 9 year old daughter. The story was not about adoption it was really about being a mom. In it the writer says "just like to be surrounded by the ones I love and the ones who love me back. For me that is motherhood" I couldn't agree with her more. I love being a mom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pray for Japan!

Not much more I can say except....pray for Japan...so sad..

Friday, March 11, 2011

More IA News

Just as I feared in my last post, IA will be severely effected...this article is about Ethiopia...
Click in the pick title "More IA News" and it will send you to the article

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Recent news

If you have adopted from China and keep up with current events/trends/news articles then you may have seen some recent articles about baby trafficing in China. there have been articles before but these articles have some outrageous claims on the number of adopted children that have actually have been stolen then trafficked for profit. these reports have upset me for obvious reasons,since we have two adopted daughters from China. The writers of one particular article claims huge numbers of stolen children without the proof to back his claims.
These claims may have results that some may not realize
-the focus maybe shifted from helping the children left behind
-adopted families will carry unwarranted shame
-orphans will never be adopted because families will fear that they were stolen and they will remain orphaned
-people will stop donating to awesome organizations like Show Hope,Love Without Boundaries,Half the Sky and others
-China will close it's doors to IA
-those working in the world of adoption will be doubted and scorned
I am not a fool I know there is corruption in the world of adoption. For some it is a business.But honestly I have met the most gracious, generous, Jesus loving people in the world of adoption. If shame shrouds adoption as it did it past,children will be the ones to suffer, either because they are left in the orphanages or because those who are adopted will be judged by something they had nothing to do with,there beginning. It seems that in everything pendulums swing from side to side, whether it is in the church, education, politics, fashion, and now adoption. Years ago adoptions were kept secret, shame and guilt was the result for many. I know that adoption is the call for all of God's children. HE adopted us and HE calls us to adopt. I pray that man does not corrupt what God calls the true religion. James 1:27
I am wondering what are your thoughts? Adoption for me is so very personal, my adoption in Christ and His gift of the adoption of our two daughters.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Click on this link to an interesting film that is being made. Just the click makes me think, squirm and a bit sad for the angst that may/will lay ahead for our daughters.I so pray that their identity lays in Christ alone and not being Chinese and or American. Tough days may lay ahead.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Questions to ponder

DH and I went out for dinner last night. Our conversation was good and one topic that we discussed was adoption,shocker I know. We already knew the final answer is "God's plan" but we discussed how strange it really is that he and I have adopted two children from China. Really there is no "manly" rhyme or reason to it. Some folks tell how they were always facinated/interested in Asian culture, some had others connections to China so for them China was a logical country to adopt. But not us. We had talked early in our marriage about adoption but really a Central or South American adoption would have been more logical.DH is from the west coast so his exposure to Hispanic culture was everyday. His best friend is of Mexican heritage with a large loving vibrant family.Greg spent many days in their home. We both love Spanish culture and the language. So why China?
And on the flip side why has China allowed so many of their children to be adopted into the US, many into Christian families? Why is this door open for us? How long will the door stay open? There are always rumors of international adoption (IA) being closed. But not for us. We have the most beautiful girls in the world that we call our daughters.But why, what is China thinking? After all the years of isolation? Oh, I do not know. I read and read to try to grasp some answers. Both for me to understand and because I owe it to my girls.
But in the end I do know the answer-GOD. He always has a plan. Could I have ever imagined this for us? No, but it is so right!
Guess it is human nature to ponder the what ifs or whys...