Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I almost let fear creep in just now.  I have been looking at the precious face of a special focus orphan on our agency's waiting child profiles for weeks now.  She's beautiful, and she could be our daughter, but she has a special focus designation which can translate into a pretty significant special need. (Jillian was a special focus kiddo.) Because of that, I have been fighting with myself everyday for the last weeks as I have stared into her little face.  I have been thinking there is no way that I could bring home another treasure whose special need is so involved.  I don't have the wisdom, the know how, or the strength to do it.  I am crazy to think that with all that Jillian needs I could ever mother another treasure whose needs seem so daunting.

And then...I tip toed up to my sleeping baby girl's bedside.  I gazed into her face, watched her suck her thumb, and my heart overflowed with love for her.  Yes, she may need my care for the rest of my life.  She may never be able to speak, may never read, may never live a "typical" life..but oh I see Jesus in her everyday!  She is made in His image and so valuable to Him.  

I shutter at the thought that fear could have scared me away from loving this girl. 

I cringe to think that I could have missed this. 

I shake my head at my ignorance and remember that God has not called me to do any of this on my own. 

I pray.  Asking God to guide my steps as we wait for Him to show us exactly who we will call daughter over the next months. 

I rest.  Knowing that He has it all planned and will equip me every step of the way.  

I long.  Long to do His will, to see His face, and to love Him more. 

He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.  1 Thessalonians 5:24 (in spite of me and my doubts)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Amazing Day

It is seriously hot in these parts.  This is great for little miss because she loves her some water play.  It makes her so happy, full of joy, and leaves her smiling so wide her eyes disappear.  I love me some giggling smiles from my girl.  Just watch her...

And just so you know that she does in deed own a swim suit..Here are some photos of this morning in the baby pool. 

Naked or not..She is the cutest Chinese baby in our backyard.  This new, slower pace of life is so good.  I am really enjoying it.  Big Sis even spent most of the day outside making sand castles in the sandbox.  Don't tell her I told you though.

Enjoy your weekend!  Take some time to do something that making a sandcastle with the ones you love.

The Love of A Family..

Knowing the Love of a Family Means..
you will always have a hand to hold,
a momma to untangle your slinky,
and a daddy to snuggle you close.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blood and More Paperwork

We each had our physicals today for our next adoption.  This required about four tubes of blood drawn and more paperwork.  Oh the Joy of paperwork!  We have a new doctor this time around because our insurance has changed and so I am hoping the office can figure out the required documents and all can be done without a hitch.  Last time, we had to redo the doctor's report three times.  Don't get me wrong, all of this is very worth it to get our daughter home in the end, but frustrating as it draws on.  Hoping this time, we will only have one visit and be done with this doctor. One more item checked off the dreaded dossier checklist.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing in this World I'd Rather Be Doing

I was explaining to the social worker at our last home study visit that prior to bringing Jillian home I had many preconceived notions about how it would be to have her here.  I was 100% willing to enlarge my life and include her in it.  In my mind, I would continue along on the path that I was going all the while adding a set of small footprints next to mine on that path.  I was totally willing to do that.  I was looking forward to it in fact.

Then, we had her here and I realized that God was not calling me to enlarge my life so that she could be included in it.  He was actually calling me to lay my life down  for hers.  He has called me this year to give up just about everything that I thought was most important before bringing her home.  He has called me to be 100% about Jillian most of the time.  Some days have been hard.  I miss teaching.  I miss youth ministry.  I miss the things of my former life that I once held dear.  Many of those things brought me great joy and defined who I was, but laying them down..laying them all down..has been so worth it to be able to see every minute of this sweet treasure's redemption.

You see it isn't always easy to be in God's will.  There were days that I mourned my old life as it faded.  Days that I longed to just eat out with my family again or sit in on Bible study on Wednesday nights.  And while I can't exactly explain the peace and joy that I had amidst the mourning, I can tell you that it is better to be in God's will then to be walking on your way. 

There is nothing in this world that I would rather be doing than playing in the sandbox each morning, shuttling my little one to therapy, holding her when she is hurting, singing to her as she is swinging, feeding her as she is spitting out her peas..NOTHING.  This is God's will for my life.  This is why He made me.  I have felt that again and again as I have mothered this hurting babe this year.  For me, this year has been one of incredible and amazing growth.  It has enlarged the heart of my entire family and altered the fiber of who we are.  I am so very grateful to God for the new path He has set me on.  So grateful to spend each day in the trenches of mothering my little.  So overwhelmed by the part that He has given me to play in her life and overjoyed that I get to add one more.

Could it be that God has a new path for you?  Does He want to take you somewhere that you have been reluctant to go?  Though I would never have guessed this would be where He would call me to's beautiful and I'm so glad I didn't miss it.  Don't let your reluctance rob you of your purpose.  Listen and Obey.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

She Ate Out

There she is.
Signing Eat.
Calmly sitting in a strange place.
Thriving with noise and craziness all around her.
Eating her dinner.
Socializing with those of us at the table.
Sitting between her friends and momma.




Can you belive she did it?
I even got to eat!
I think she enjoyed herself too.
Looks like this momma is cooking a little less now on.
Another milestone.
Another miraculous moment.
A year ago, I never dreamed she would ever do this.
There were days that seemed like normal could never return, but here it is and it is good!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Photo Shoot

I visited a beautiful park last week and loved these poppies..
I desperatly wanted to get photos of the girls in the garden.

 Emily did not enjoy the photo shoot, but she cooperated.
 And she is stunning..
 I just wish I could stop her from growing up so fast.
 This little young one, however, was not interested in stopping to pose.
She spent most of the morning running away from the camera.
 But it's worth it to get this one smile.
Oh to see this smile..
 When our little sister arrives, we are never going to get group shots.
Alas, it won't stop this momma from trying.
Waiting on one more..Can't you just see her there?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Paperwork, Paperwork, and More Paperwork

The printer is humming in the background as I type.  Man kind of like the way you forget what it feels like to gain 50 pounds when you're pregnant, I have forgotten what  it was like to look over mounds of paperwork, checklists, and requirements as we complete our dossier.  Can I just say YUCK!  Really, I don't know how I ever did it the first time.  Perhaps I was so ignorant that I didn't quite understand just how much I had to do.  This time, I understand and it is so much!  Still, I am beyond thrilled to make every check mark indicating that the paper required is complete because it gets me one step closer to my baby girl!  We have another meeting with our local social worker this afternoon.  We need five meetings to complete our home study requirements and this will be meeting number two.  We are on our way friends!  It usually takes about six months to finish a dossier and this time I swore that I would not put "deadlines" on each step as so much is out of my control.  BUT, I just can't help myself.  I'm shooting to have this first step done by the end of July so we can submit our I-800 to the NBC.  Time will tell.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Official..We're Waiting On One More!

Right now I am holding in my hand the beginnings of our next child (the dreaded dossier checklist).  The paper chase has begun.  We have signed our contract and paid our first fee...So officially today the wait for our one more begins.  We are heading back to China for a little girl (We need more hair bows..right?) and again adopting a little one with special needs.  God knows the details of who she is and how she will come to us.  Now, we wait in anticipation for Him to reveal His plan to us.  Join us on this crazy journey as we know that God has a whole lot of miraculous laid out ahead of us!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Daddy Love..

Our daddy..
Well-he is the best, Godliest daddy in the world.
He loves our girls so much and is a picture of Christ to them.
Jillian is nuts about him.
She thinks he is the funniest man around.
She laughs hysterically if he just looks at her.
She can be found most days sitting on the couch with her daddy
or running with her daddy.
She loves her daddy for sure..

I am grateful to have this daddy to raise up these beautiful girls with me and can't wait to see him loving on our newest treasure.  We are truly blessed to be able to call this guy Daddy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Wonder

Dear Jillian,
I wonder if there will ever be a time that I don't marvel at the opportunity that we have to get to be with you in this life.  I wonder if I will ever begin to take for granted the fact that you have so much life in your smile and that you are able to enjoy the ordinary.  I wonder if I will ever forget that your start was so far from ideal and loose sight of just how far you have come.  I wonder, when you are grown, if I will remember the exuberance I felt having you sitting there next to me at the church birthday party Sunday knowing that you would have never been comfortable enough to be connected to us in this environment even two months ago.  I wonder if I will begin to feel as  thrilled as I am now every time you wear a hair bow, look me in the eye, or come to me when you are hurting.  I hope that I don't loose it.  I hope that God uses all of these feelings to continue to change my heart.  I hope that He allows me to continue to see just how marvelous you are and how powerful He is to restore you.   I can't believe how you are changing.  I am enjoying you so much and you are taking on the world more and more.  To God be the glory my baby girl for great things He has done in your heart.  I love you sweet one! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

She's Getting It

She is getting motor modeling!  She's getting it!  This is huge for a million reasons..
1. She is connecting more to the world that she used to have to shut out in order to survive in.
2. She is seeing people as people that she can watch, learn from, and interact with.
3. This is the number one way that infants watching and modeling.  Our sweet one missed that.  She needs to get it and if she can't go back and pick up those is going to be nearly impossible for her to learn high level thinking.

How do I know that she is learning this important skill?

I am trying to model new signs for her to help her communicate more specifically for things that she is very motivated to get.  One of those new signs is on.  She loves our sensory motor play in the bathroom sink each morning.  She loves sloshing, splashing, the bubbles, the toys, and especially the water.  She plays with the sink full then pushes the drain and watches the water run down.  Then she communicates to me that she wants more water.  Up until recently, she has used her hand to push mine toward the faucet.  I wanted her communication to be more specific so I wanted to make her sign for it.  Water is a hard sign to make.  I knew it wouldn't be one that she could do easily so I started to model on.  I say in the morning as she is want the water on.  Making the sign each time.  I then use hand over hand to make her sign it.  Well, she has been trying to do whatever sign I show her without my doing hand over hand!  Motor's coming!


last night we were playing in the water in the backyard.  (Yes she is naked in her diaper again.  This truly is our life and I love it!)  I have not modeled the water on routine with the water in the backyard.  (I don't know why.  I just haven't.)  She finished in the sandbox and walked me over to the water bins and table.  She took me by the hand to the hose and then she did it!  I didn't give her any language prompts at all.  In fact, it caught me completely off guard and I was ecstatic with joy when it happened.  She picked up the hose handing it to me, looked me in the eye, and signed on.  She used her language spontaneously to sign on in a situation that was appropriate! I wish I could have it on video, but it was just she and I in the backyard.  I bet the neighbors heard me screaming. I was so excited!

I did set up the situation again and have daddy get the video camera so I could capture it. 

Here she is discovering that I had dumped her water out. (Sneaky momma trying to make her communicate!)  She goes to the table, presses her hands down, and doesn't feel the water.  Look at her shake her little head no.  SOOOO cute!

Then she comes to me to say on...water on..
Now she wants her bins filled up too...
Apparently, I'm going to need to learn some more sign language.  It seems to this momma, who only dabbled in speech and language development in the classroom and as a mom to Emily who had speech and language delays, that her oral motor deficiencies are really keeping her from producing speech sounds consistently.  I think she has language in her brain..she just can't seem to get it from her brain to the muscles in her mouth that produce the sounds.  This is a big hurdle to overcome and probably the number one reason she isn't talking yet, but she wants to communicate.  I am confident that even if her speech sounds are never intelligible, she will find some augmentative means to talk with us.  Until then, studying sign so I can empower her even more.

Happy Monday! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sensory Play Galore

This Momma got out the paint and the shaving cream yesterday. 
You might be thinking..Why in the world would you do that?
Maybe I did it because we were going stir crazy after three days of rain and being stuck inside
or maybe because it is therapeutic for our girl...I'm not sure which.
Whatever the cause..she is stinkin' cute in her diaper with that cream all over her.

I had a couple of big girls (one being sissy) out there playing too.  They liked it even more than Jillian did.  Look at Jillian on the left striking a pose.  This is her newest game with sissy.  She makes the arm motions and sissy copies her.  Her big sissy in under her control completely and Jillian insists on it!

More game poses..
Eventually, Jillian grew tired of the mess and moved on to other thrilling backyard fun.  She played on her swing set and didn't let those creamy hands slow her down.  She also played in the water table.  She thought it would be more fun to hang upside down while putting her hands in the water.  Gotta love my dare devil. 

We are never going inside this summer.  The backyard is the place to be for loads of fun! I love it out there just as much as the girls do so if you need us in the next three months..just come around through the gate and we'll be out back.  Happy Thursday to you all!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I was sitting in  a chair across the room from my treasure who was working with the OT and speech therapist that she sees in the school for therapy each week and  then it happened...SHE DID IT!

The OT and speech therapist have been introducing pictures that match all the objects that they have available for play during the last two sessions.  Generally for kiddos who are not able to speak, you use a picture exchange communication system to give them a voice and so that they understand communication is a back and forth exchange.  This is what we are working up to and this is the first session that they were requiring her to give them a picture to get something.  In this case, she was very interested in the OT spinning the sit and spin. Our little miss wanted her to keep spinning that thing around as fast as she could while she watched from a distance.  Jillian began communicating by throwing the OT's hand up.  (This is pretty typical for her to begin with..using gestures and we are thankful for that, but need her to be more specific.)  The OT modeled her giving her the picture and then spun the sit and spin for her. Jillian caught on to the picture exchange idea very quickly because well...she is a very bright girl. :)  They exchanged a few times and my Jillian was really digging that spinning sit and spin..

AND then it happened. 

She looked at the picture on the floor and then straight into the OT's eyes AND SHE SIGNED MORE!!!!!! 

She realized that she had "language" to communicate what she wanted and without any prompting from the therapists, all on her own as if a light bulb turned on, she signed more!  I said with a gasp..that's more.  She's signing more!!!  It was all I could do not to bawl right there in that chair. 

She has only been signing independently, without hand over hand, for a week.  A week ago today, I realized she was signing eat as we walked to the park pavilion to eat and well since then she has taken off at home with those two signs.  She is signing eat and more and trying to model others I show her. 

And now after just a week..She did it with a new person in a completely new place without any prompting..SHE SIGNED MORE TO COMMUNICATE with someone other than me!!

I was still tearing up over it when we got home and I told Daddy who was waiting lunch on us.  It is so incredible to be able to walk with this little girl in this life.  Seriously, she is amazing and watching God restore her is sooo beyond any words that I could type.  I am in awe of her.  I am in awe of God who chose me to be her momma and has allowed me to stay home with her each day so that I could witness it.

Here are two videos that I shot of her signing.  She is so darn cute.. Isn't she?