Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts about China

Truth is. I want to go back.

I long to go back.

I can’t wait until the day I can step foot back in China.

I go there you know. I go there by scouring news articles, using Bandu and copy and pasting words into google translator, and using google maps to “fly” around China.

My heart's longing is to see Bo’ai County, Henan... where Grace was born. I regret having never made it there when we were in China. So I’ve used technology to find something, anything that can give me a glimpse. From aerial satellite images through Google Maps I have seen the mountains and the river, buildings and houses from the sky.

But, I want to smell the smells. I want to breathe the smoggy air. I want to walk the roads. I want to hear the tones of the language again all around me.

A bloggy friend, Johanna, just returned from China to adopt her precious little one. You can read all about their travels and family here.

On her last day in China she wrote these words that captured, so perfectly, my feelings about China. Thanks Johanna for your beautiful words.

(I altered the quote slightly to reflect our family but the rest of the words are hers)…

“China is where my [4th] child was born.

Where we first laid eyes on her.

To us, China will always be a magical and incredible place.

A place where faith became sight.

Where God answered prayers

and where [Grace] was finally and miraculously put into our arms.

Nothing will ever compare to China in our minds.

China is forever in our hearts.

and forever a part of us”.

Yep. That just about says it all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The rafters in our house were practically bursting with excitement in anticipation of Christmas.

After quite a whirlwind week with a fair amount of stress, we finally reached Christmas Eve. Thank goodness.

Here are a few pictures... most of which are of Grace, which I'm feeling a little bad about now. But, it WAS her first Christmas home.

The two girls on Christmas Eve.

This little guy has such a sweet heart! :)

Parents of children with cleft palate will appreciate the significance of this photo.

Braden was very excited about his new socks. or maybe not.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011


I look into Grace's deep brown eyes, that seem like they go on forever, and I just can't imagine a day without her.

My friend, who is adopting a little baby boy through domestic adoption, wrote on her blog the other day about what they would have missed if they didn't say yes to adoption.

and man, did it get me thinking and thinking.

What we would have missed if we hadn't taken the risk.

The risk of adoption.

The risk of special needs.

The risk to our finances.

The risk of change.

The risk, that now, looking back, doesn't even seem all that risky. Because when I see Grace I see nothing about risk. I see a nothing but the sweetest little girl that plays, cries, complains, giggles, gives kisses, fights with her brother, and loves. :)

I would never looked deep into brown almond shaped eyes.

I would never heard her sweet voice.

and I would never have known this love.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My little girl turned 7.


And lost a tooth.

Her first.

All in two days time.

That's a lot of excitement for a seven year old.

We went to dinner at a restaurant of her choice.

and we ate homemade chocolate cake. Also her choice.

and we painted nails in every color.

She's growing up.

It makes me a little sad to think back and remember how teeny tiny she was.

And how big she is now.

But, I also look forward to finding out who she will become!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Be the Difference

Wow. This makes me weep.

What I have learned in the last 10 months.....

the biggest special need these children have is NOT their date of birth (older child) or the medical condition listed on their records.

Their greatest special need....

A family.

I pray more and more families come forward to "Be the Difference".

Are you one of them?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Random thoughts this Christmas Season

  • Not sure how it is already December

  • It really annoys me when I get Christmas Cards right after Thanksgiving… those families just make the rest of us look bad.

  • Same with the people on Facebook that brag they are done shopping.

  • Yeah. Whatever people. Keep it to yourself. :)

  • Can you tell I’m cranky?

  • Members of our family have been sick for over a month.

  • I was sick for two weeks.

  • And Mom’s don’t get a day off.

  • Like Ever.

  • When little ones that have asthma get sick… it gets bad.

  • Asthma is a terrible, terrible chronic disease.

  • We’ve been to way too many doctor’s this past month.

  • None of whom seem to help.

  • Now you know why I am cranky.

  • I'm a total blog slacker.

  • Sorry to let down my loyal followers.

  • But, as you can see... I've got nothing useful to say.

  • We put up our Christmas Tree up on Saturday.

  • Homemade children’s ornaments are the BEST ornaments EVER. I LOVE the ones with their pictures on them from years past.

  • So sweet.

  • I keep listening to “Third Age’s – Merry Christmas” and cry every.single. time… thinking about last year when we were anxiously awaiting traveling to China and missing Grace SO much.

  • I am so thankful she is home.

  • With her family.

  • And not there. Alone.

  • I have three friends that will be traveling to China in the next couple months.

  • FOUR less!

  • I can’t wait to wake up in the morning and read their blog posts. I SO can’t wait!!

  • I have to get a shopping list together and split it up between them. Ha!

  • One can never have too many squeaky shoes.

  • Right?

  • I love Worship Service during Advent.

  • It would be even better if I actually could participate in Worship and not just yell at my kids the whole time.

  • I love hearing my kids sing Away in the Manger

  • I also love when they rock out to Go Tell it On the Mountain in our living room.

  • I do wish our lives could slow down a little in order to enjoy the season a little more.

  • All fun stuff - Christmas parties, cookie making, gingerbread houses, and carol sings - but it all ends up adding up to crazy busy-ness.

  • Our Christmas Tree is being held up with fishing line attached to the wall.

  • Not kidding.

  • We have TWO birthday’s in December.

  • Not well planned.

  • At all.

  • An almost 7 year old and an almost 5 year CANNOT WAIT for their birthdays.

  • I, however, can.

  • I think this also means that I have stop blaming my chubby belly on having babies.

  • Since I was last pregnant five years ago.

  • Grace wakes up at night and yells “MA!” “MA!” “MA!” until I come in to get her.

  • I haven’t posted on this blog in several weeks.

  • Now you know why.

  • I’ve got nothing to say.

  • Or actually, it seems I have a lot of nothing to say.

  • Grace has a lot to say these days… 100 words in her vocabulary, and growing every day!

  • “MA!”

  • We are going to change her middle name to “MO!” (Grace’s version of No)

  • We are going to change Devin’s middle name to “I didn’t do anything”

  • My car needs new tires and new brakes.

  • And that just stinks.

  • We are going to Disney in 199 days.

  • I know this because we are doing a count UP paper chain to 100, once we have a 100 links on the chain, we will then count down.

  • The second link on the chain is going up today.

  • This was NOT my idea.

  • Crazy people live in my house.

  • Braden plays Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Jingle Bells on his saxophone.

  • Love.

  • I found Kailey packaging up candy left over from her Halloween stash, and secretly putting the packages of candy in her brothers’ and sister’s stockings.

  • My cheerful giver.

  • Sigh.

  • I’m done I think.

  • For now.

  • Sorry for this post.

  • I really should be banned from blogging.

  • Merry Christmas Season!