Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Making Gains

I really hoped that since she responded so well to exploring in the airport that we were turning a new leaf. I hoped that she would begin to feel braver and let go of the security of the bed in our hotel room. Well, she hasn't. She still will not leave the bed in our new room without getting really upset. The doctor yesterday was very unpleasant for her. She was crying uncontrollably the entire visit, but she let me hold her. SHE LET ME HOLD HER!! She wrapped her little, fragile arms around her momma and she let me hold her. I held her for almost two hours yesterday morning and while my heart was breaking that she was so upset- I LOVED FEELING HER IN MY ARMS!! She is rocking herself less and less and letting us soothe her more and more.

We did walk the island and explore. If Jill is outside, she is much better than if we go into a building. She is just so unsure of everything. So, we walked around taking it all in. This is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. It is lush and tropical. The surroundings are beautiful. In fact Em says the next time we adopt, we should say that we will only accept a referral from Guangzhou so we can spend the entire two weeks here. (Next time-love that girl's heart!!) I wish my baby girl was feeling well enough to get her picture taken in these beautiful surroundings. Poor Em is going to have to endure all of this momma's picture taking frenzy alone.

Jill is so much stronger medically already. Her bed sores on her head are healing and she is putting on weight in the middle. She is chugging down almost 32 oz a day in bottles now. :) She has several wet diapers a day too-many more than initially- and even has a dirty diaper regularly. Daddy had to change one alone yesterday as Em and I were out shopping. Funny sight to walk in on as he was a bit hysterical.

The joy this little girl has brought us already is beyond words. We love her so and can't wait to get her home for good.
Keep praying for Jill's little heart's healing.

Moment by Moment

One thing I am learning is this journey has to be lived in the moment because if you take it beyond that you are way to overwhelmed. In one moment you can be elated and overcome with joy and in the next you are driven to your knees in prayer.

We were taking off in the plane yesterday and Jill was recovering from a meltdown. My heart was hurting so because she was so upset. I say to DH PRAY!!!! Jill did amazingly well overall and only had a few meltdowns. I even got to hold my girl a lot because we were on the move and she tolerated it. The power of God was certainly present. She is walking me around everywhere holding on to my hand. She explored the airport like crazy and was very comfortable. She even showed a bit of determination in trying to get me to walk her in the opposite direction and laughed at me when I insisted we turn around. She is a true joy!!

The most precious part of the last day is watching Em fall in love with Jill. Jill walked with me holding one hand and big sis holding the other for hours in the airport. Em has started taking pictures of Jill doing everything and even put her socks on her without my asking for her to. She is going to be a wonderful big sis. I am praying that this journey is working in her heart and drawing her closer to the Lord as well.

We made it to Guangzhou and it is wonderful here. Soft beds, beautiful parks, English speaking hotel staff, other English families... Oh it is so good. Please pray we are headed to the doctor soon. She has to get a TB test-this will not be pleasant. Then we will spend a quiet afternoon here so we can all rest from our trip yesterday. Home with our baby girl in six days. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It happened the other night. It was a rough night. Jill had a couple of big meltdowns before bed and her sleep was restless at best. She was up most of the night in despair which means we were too and then it hit me. Fear. Do I really have what it takes to be the momma of such an extraordinary little life. I was thinking pediatric nutrionists, therapists... Can I really be the best for her? I began to sink into the pit of fear at the overwhelming thought of it all. Then God whispered his word to my heart.. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philipians 4:13). This job isn't about me and what I can do at all because I cannot do it. BUT Christ can do it through me and he promises that he will. Then Isaiah 26:3 came "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts you." Trust. Trust God who knows what he is doing. Who knows what is ahead on this road and who has equipted me to walk it from the beginning.

Beautiful Day with our girl on Thursday..

She played new games with momma and daddy. She let us hold her in a walking position and tickle her. She was giggling up a storm.

She let us rub her back to soothe her to sleep at nap and bedtime. She didn't have a meltdown before bedtime at all!

She found her belly button.

She recognized the equiptment momma uses to soothe her ear and laid down on her side when she saw me coming with it because she knew I was going to clean her ear.

She discovered Sis's DS and watched in awe.

She continues to captivate us with her little resilient spirit and those eyes.

Momma enjoyed a wonderful time with her big girl too. Darling kiddo and I went to the Terra Cotta Warriors Tomb and a market. We even attended a tea ceremony and bought tea to share with her class when we get home. Em is growing into a fine young woman and I am grateful to God for every minute I have to enjoy being with her.

Wonderful day. Blessed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Momma's Treasure

I have spent the last six hours in the hotel room on the bed interacting with my girl. She is so amazing and it occurred to me that she has never experienced being a momma's treasure before now. She has never meant the world to someone and she has never had someone to call momma. We sang, tickled, read books, watched veggie tales, and I so enjoyed every minute with her. She is still only comfortable on the bed in the hotel room, but she is showing us more and more of herself. She even let me rub her back while she snuggled next to me to fall asleep for her nap just now. Oh the joy is bursting in my heart. Waiting no more for my girl to be by my side is more than my heart can handle today. I love her so much!! God is so good to let me be her momma.

More firsts today..

poopy diaper. You should have seen the silliness this family had over that. Darling Kiddo was the first to discover it. We acted as if we didn't know what to do. We were all laughing so hard that Jill couldn't help but laugh right along with us.

watching tv. That silly wide eyed picture is her reaction to the computer screen.

reading a book with momma.

letting momma help her fall asleep.

eating sissy's foot and discovering how fun it is to pull that long hair.

staying in her pjs until noon.

What a glorious morning with my baby girl! What a beautiful family God has allowed us to have. We praise him for all that He continues to do in our lives and for his promise to set the lonely in families. While this precious treasure is lonely no more so many are. Praying that God continues to break my heart for the orphan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bouncing Back

She is still struggling so much in so many ways, but at the same time she is bouncing back more quickly and exploring more.

She played with some of her toys today. Thanks to Z from my class who purchased the ones she likes the best. That made this momma's heart leap for joy!!

She wore a hair bow!! :)

She is chugging down bottles left and right. Praise GOD!!

She is sitting up more.

She slept soundly during her nap.

Daddy and Darling Kiddo also enjoyed some cultural time here while Jill napped. They went to the Xi'an city wall. I am so beyond thrilled that Em was able to make this journey with us. It means so much more to have our entire family here and the individual time that we are spending with her is priceless.

Thanks for your prayers. Jill is still really struggling and she needs them. I read scripture over her during her nap today and prayed for healing and restoration in her life. Feeling God's love and hand on her today. We also need prayers for that infected ear. It is bloody and draining. She does let me clean it out and put a warm towel over it to help her. She has figured out that she can soothe it herself by licking her finger and then sticking it in there. Sad because that is probably the only means of soothing she had in the orphanage. Momma's here now and loving her like crazy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rough Morning

We finished up the paperwork at the Civil Affairs Office and paid the fees so officially the China side of things for Jill's adoption are finished. WOOOHOOO!! It was a difficult morning though as Jill only likes being in the room on the bed. Anytime we leave or we have to pick her up she is very uneasy and cries uncontrollably. In the room, she is doing well. Allowing us to cuddle her while she sleeps and rub her little body. She is quiet as mouse though and while I feel like she has the strength to walk, she hasn't shown us that yet. She is so over stimulated though outside of the room. Way too much for her to handle. We tried to eat breakfast this morning and Sean had to bring her back up to the room.

Speaking of breakfast, Jill finally took a bottle about lunch time. I didn't make her take it in my arms because I was so desperate for her to eat something. I sat beside her and held it for her while rubbing her legs. She ate almost the whole thing. She is so small and I don't think she has ever had solid food. She doesn't even know what to do with it in her mouth.

She has an infection in her left ear that is really unpleasant and bothering her a lot. I will be so glad to take her to the doctor in Guanghzou on Saturday. She is also covered with bruises. So much healing that needs to take place.

Love watching Daddy with her. Darling Kiddo even spent some time rubbing her back while she slept today. Jill is such a treasure and one of the hardest parts of the questioning this morning was hearing the official say that she is significantly delayed and do we still want to adopt her. Of course, we do. Brought this momma to tears. Regardless of her delays, God has given her to us to raise up in Him the best that we can. Loving this little girl like crazy tonight and rejoicing that God has brought us together and we don't have to miss her anymore.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Life

I want so desperately to describe the moment we first saw her with adequate words-there simply are just none! We were in a small in descript government office with a hand full of Asian officials and she came in already crying her eyes out. In three sections or less, she was in my arms and I was her momma. She was filthy, smelly, distressed, and crying BUT it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. God placed this tiny little, hurting life in my care and instinctively she became mine. Daddy was soon by my side rubbing Jill's back and trying to soothe her, but she was really upset for a good hour or so. She was being ripped out of everything she has ever known and so I knew it would be hard on her. Darling Kiddo was great. She took pictures at the office and is settling in to the big sis role.

Here is what we know about our girl so far..

She sucks her thumb. I mean really sucks her thumb.

She loves to be tickled.

She snorts when she giggles.

She is tiny-barely filling out the 12 months cloths and growing into 18. She is swimming in most of the clothes I brought for her.

She is fascinated with lights-outside,inside and all around!

She hasn't eaten a thing since we got her last night. Please pray about this.

She is really quite mobile and moved from the sitting to standing position on her own. I bet she is walking, but she hasn't shown us yet.

She thinks her daddy is so funny. (Don't we all.) He was the first to really crack her up.

She hated her bath, but loved being massaged with lotion when she was done. She likes touch a lot and is responding well to it..

She has slept through the night so far although it is just now 2:30 AM.

She fits perfectly with us and was created to be ours by God from the beginning.

Please pray for her and us as we care for her. We love you and can't wait for you to meet her. What a blessed Easter indeed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

We Are On Our Way

taking off in less than an hour. plenty of waiting time to consider all that is in store for us in the next two days. so beyond thrilled to be able to be a momma again. pray for us as dear hubby is holding it together while waiting to board the dreaded plane. also pray for a smooth transition at shanghi as we will be navigating alone and cant speak mandarin. good times. quite an adventure.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Welcoming Us Home

Some have asked if we are inviting people to welcome us home when we fly in. We would love to have you there if want to make the trek to Chicago O'Hare.

Here are the details..

We are coming in on Thursday, May 5 on American Flight 154 @ 4:15 PM if all goes as planned.

We Are So Ready!!

Car seat installed.

High chair waiting.

Diapers and books in the livingroom.

Her rocking chair is in place.

Gates installed.

Now all we need is her here. :) Three more days until we meet her. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What to Say?

After months of waiting, the day is finally here and tomorrow afternoon we will begin the first leg of this journey by checking into a hotel in Chicago. WOW! There is so much on my heart and so much that I am thinking that it is difficult to put into words. I know though that God knows every inch of my heart and my mind and that He is in it all. In it all because with out Him this journey would never be. Blessed beyond measure to know the Lord tonight.

His blessings continue to be poured on through His people. So much encouragement received even today.

A six grade girl and her little sis dropped off $22.50 for our journey to Jillian even tonight. They made duct tape pens and sold them for my girl's sake. Thanks Abbie and Makayla. :) You rock!

A high school senior in youth group praying over us, for safety, for our new daughter. One of our youth (whom we are supposed to lead) praying over us..

A card received in the mail from another youth expressing her heart so beautiful that I can't read it without bawling.

Another wonderful young youth who took time to write me a letter and share her heart. One who is always sure to tell me how much she loves me.

Sweet youth leaders who love our kids and stepped up to teach, preach, and take over while we are gone. A leader who even came right from signing their first mortgage to be there tonight.

Oh Lord as unworthy as we are..You are so good to provide so many who love us and love our little girl who is waiting a half a world away. Blown away continually at the way that you show us your love through the people of God walking alongside us on this journey. You are so good! You are so good!

Packing, Packing, and More Packing

Her sweet dresses, those tiny socks, and even her diapers are waiting to make the journey to her. Her momma is waiting too-ever so anxiously. Only two more days until we start the first leg of our journey. Oh the JOY!!

Please pray for..

DH is terrified to fly and has never even considered doing it before this trip. Sixteen hours on a plane should break him in pretty well being it's his first time.

our family's health that we would not get sick and we would be 100% in order to take care of Jill's needs when we are united with her.

for a clear communication of our love to Jill and her heart's healing.

that we will bond securely as a family.

that we will survive this traveling adventure, jet lag, unknowns.

AND ABOVE ALL that God would be glorified through our lives and that others would see Him in us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Off (and Not Running)

Yesterday was my last day at work! WAHOOOO!!! I am so blessed to get seven weeks paid off and then the summer to bond with Jill. I know we will both need it to get really attached to each other.

So I am off, but not running. Isn't it funny how having less to do makes you feel like you don't have to do anything? Maybe its just me but I run like crazy and plan out every minute when I'm working because with my life-I have to or I won't fit it all in. I have been up 4 hours already and since I'm not working..I have been moving slow. I should enjoy this pace because I think when my precious girl is home and running around-slow may not be in my vocabulary. (Simply can't wait!)

Please pray for the last minute details. I can't believe we are so close now. God continues to provide all that we need and I am in complete awe of His provision.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I have been up since 3:30 AM thinking that next week-at this very time-WE WILL HAVE OUR DAUGHTER!!!!!!!! I can hardly stand it!! I could leave tomorrow, but we have to wait. We appreciate your prayers as we travel. :) Have a blessed day of worship.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Her Last Saturday Alone

Dearest Jill,

With daddy and sissy snuggled next to me this morning all warm and cozy...I said, "Today is the last Saturday that we ever have to wake up without Jill home." After all these months sweet girl, there is only one more week until I take you in my arms. To say that I am overwhelmed at the thought that God has allowed me to become your mother is a huge understatement. I love you so dear one and you are beyond precious to me. I dream of the day that you will be walking next to sissy and I through the mall picking out new shoes or trying on clothes as we did last night. I think of all the birthday cakes, Christmases, and many other memories that are ahead of us. Darling child, you are so loved and I long to tell you that. I want you to know how God has such a plan for you and I pray daily already for your salvation. I can't wait to introduce you to the Lord, read Bible stories to you, and teach you to pray. I can't wait to learn who you are..what makes you laugh, hold you when you cry, and see the excitement in your eyes when you learn something new. I wonder... will you love sports like your big sister, will you like to cook with mommy, and will you keep your hair bows on or throw them to the ground? Above everything, I just want to see you smile and know that you feel loved and part of our family. Just seven more days my more days until you are placed in your family forever. Praying they fly by and we are to you in the blink of an eye. Until then, know that we are loving you from across the world and buying you tutus that you are going to look sooo cute in.

I love you.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Shower for Jill

Oh the goodness of it all. It is just far too much for me to comprehend. A shower for my Jill! Thank you dear friends. You mean the world to me. How I wish I could show you my thanks adequately. How I long for you to understand what a huge part of this journey you are and how I could have never done this without the encouragement, support, and prayers you have so readily offered.

A beautiful cake...

Sweet gifts...

A shower crasher...

Wonderful friends...

God is so good! In ten days, we will meet our little girl. Can you phathom what the Lord has done? I continue to stand in awe of all that He is doing. One amazed and blessed momma I am!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our flights Are Booked

We received final confirmation from the US side of things and we bought our plane tickets. We will be heading out for China on the 22nd. Oh the thought of it makes me want to jump out of my skin!!!!!!!!! I can't believe we made it here!! We are really going to see that sweet face and hold her littleness in our arms in just 12 short days. Oh God is so good!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

For Real? On Easter!!

Just received an email late last night that the Ch*nese government has moved our day up. Yes, they have decided we should get Jill sooner. Can you believe it? We will meet Jill in Xi'an on Easter-Sunday, April 24.

The most miraculous thing is that I have a dear, praying friend who has told me since early fall that she had clearly felt God telling her that we would have Jill by Easter. When she said that I continued to say... that is impossible...that would be unheard of super fast..there is no way. Then when we got our intial date-she said well it is still Easter here when you get her. Indeed, it was going to still be Easter here..BUT..God is so much more powerful than halfway because we got an email yesterday evening saying we would indeed have our daughter on Easter. It will be about 3:00 AM here Easter morning when she is placed in our arms for good. What a memorable Easter indeed. What a powerful picture of the blood of Christ and the power of our God to redeem what is broken. Praise God for this gift! An Easter momment that we will never forget.

Sharing this journey with you has been a blessing. If you would, continue to pray as we pack, prepare, and plan. We are so lucky to have so much support. China here we come.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


April 25 our daughter will be in our arms for good. I will celebrate Mother's Day with her home!!! Our TA arrived just 6 days after our Article 5. Super Fast!! Almost unheard of. My socialworker called today and commented about how fast this has gone and how lucky we are..She is so right. God is so good and He has lead us to Jill at top speed. I really can't believe that this is really happening!!! Please pray as there are a million details to take care of and a little bit more money to square away! God is so good! We are so beyond excited!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blessings Abound

We were sharing this week with friends during our sale set up about the adoption process. The paperwork, the ups and the downs, and the cost. DH said that he knew the cost was an issue for most people and that he wished it didn't cost so much. I said..BUT if it didn't cost so much God wouldn't have had to show up in such a miraculous way. God has provided us with as much money as my DH makes in a year already to bring this precious girl home. He has done it! With man this is impossible BUT with God all things are possible! I am forever changed by this journey and all that God has done.

Here are a few of the most miraculous ways that God has shown up in the last week...

Sweet girls (ages 9-12) working by my side day after things to be sold, moving things around, painting signs, making help get Jill home.

Generous friends and fellow believers making donations to our paypal account all week-$1,000, $250, $300, $500, $100, $150-in tears and humbled each time I see just how many people are willing to partner with us to get Jill home.

So many who parted with stuff-some of their best stuff-to sell for my girl's sake. There were more than 30 families that donated stuff to us.

My incredible, amazing friends-who have faithfully prayed and walked this journey right alongside me-waking up and coming to work the day of the sale at 6:50 AM and staying until after 3:00 PM. They took money all day, packed up, and helped in a thousand ways!!! I am blessed beyond words by your friendship!

Two sweet girls and their grandma making cupcakes to sell.

A precious sister, and adoptive momma, selling lunch for us. A friend of hers, that I had never even met, coming along and donating too-all to get Jill home!!

A wonderful ministry in town offering the use of their building, handing us keys, and asking for nothing in return so that we could have a great facility to have our sale in.

So many people who turned out for the sale. Many who came because they know and love us and wanted to support us. Thank you! Many others who were adoptive families themselves. Blessed by the many who shared with me glimpses of their own journeys and how God has used them. Sweet to see the little hands putting a dollar in the buckets for the orphanage donation and music to my ears to talk to the seven year old whose foster mother has adopted her.

Seriously bent over in awe of God's grace and goodness this week!!!! He has provided over $8,000 in just one week-seven days..I wish there were words to adequately describe my God and how I love Him. Speechless..I am speechless..Thinking of the words of David as he is speaking with God in 2 Samuel "Who am I and what is my family that you have brought us this far?" Oh Lord that all could experience you in their lives this way!! How blessed I am to know you and how excited I am to see what you have in store for my girl's life. I Praise You Jesus with all that I am!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Drum Roll Please...

The totals are in and while I know God is beyond powerful, amazing, miraculous, and incredible..HE CONTINUES TO BLOW ME AWAY!!! Our total from this week's fundraising sale is... That is right-$8,011!! Can you stand the goodness of God? I simply must take time this week to revisit the hundreds of blessings that God poured on through His people as a result of this sale. We are almost there. Almost to our daughter my friends and without each and every one of you it simply wouldn't be possible. From the bottom of our heart..THANK YOU for your willingness to be used by God to get our girl home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Please Pray

Tomorrow is our Sale.

7:30-3:00 @ Camp of Champions Building

3009 Broadway Pekin, IL

Serving Lunch Gondolas, chips, dessert for $5.00

We have soooo much to sell! Lots of everything 40+ tables. Please come out and check it out!

It has been so busy and let me tell you my body is physically exhausted. We have been going, going, going...

All this business is making my quiet time to sit, pray, and read the Bible even more cherished because it is the only time I get to sit down. I had some sweet time alone at Camp yesterday morning with my Bible and the Lord. I prayed specifically for so many things, gave praise for so many people, and asked God to stay present in that place-to change lives, meet our needs.... You name it-I prayed it. Love that I can do that. Love that God invites us to do that.

Could I ask you to stop and pray?

Pray for our Jill. Pray that she is being cared for until we get to her. Pray that her heart is being readied to join our family. Pray that she will grow to accept Christ as her Savior.

Pray for Darling Kiddo. Pray that she will be a loving big sister. Pray that she will feel our love and just how special she is as her world is turned upside down in the next few weeks.

Pray for DH and myself. Pray that will be the parents God intends for us to be. Pray for renewed strength as working this week on our feet has us exhausted. Pray that we continue to grow in God's word and that we would pass that along to our children.

Pray for those who attend the sale. Pray that God might open their eyes and hearts to the orphan and that they might respond by getting involved to serve the least of these.

Praise Him for the way He is providing for the our family and how He is bringing Jill home!

We are blessed by you! Thank you dear ones for your prayers.