Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Our TA arrived in just two days. TWO DAYS!!!  We may be heading out in the next two weeks if we are lucky.  TWO WEEKS!!!  We are just waiting for a confirmed consulate appointment and then we can book our flights.  I am over the moon excited to get to my baby.  I better get packing.  When they say go, I want to be ready!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Article 5

Article 5 has been picked up!
There is only one more piece of paper keeping me from my baby.  We now await Travel Approval from the Ch*nese Government.  It could be here in 5-10 days.  Then about two-three weeks until we travel.  We are so close!  Momma's coming precious baby girl!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Four Years

 Four years with this beautiful treasure!  It seems as if she has been a part of me forever.  I made her dirt pudding cups and put "flowers" with pictures from each of her gotcha days in them.  She smiled as we showed her each one. 
 She loves to blow out fire.  It makes her smile every time.

She chose macaroni and cheese for her dinner and I happily made it for her.

We are beyond blessed to have this amazing, little treasure in our family.  She is full of JOY and surprises each day.  I can't imagine life without her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last Night

 Last night, I walked this precious, amazing child into her elementary school so that she could perform in her kindergarten "moosical" program.  She wore a gourmet goat costume like all the other kids in her class and, though she can't "speak" or "sing" any words, she stood up with her peers in front, performed most of the motions, and made this momma tear up.  Because you see, four years ago I could have never imagined that the beauty I was handed, who was so close to death, could experience life so fully.  I could have never imagined in those long first months home when we couldn't leave the house, when she couldn't communicate a lick, or even eat from a spoon that she would come so far.  Friends, this baby, my baby, is a miraculous child!  She faces many, many challenges each day, but she is becoming more and more able to hang in there.  She almost lost it once and was signing "sad" to this momma in the front row as she stared at the somewhat scary looking face make up on her peer behind her and it was all this momma could do not to go up and rescue her from this challenging situation, but she recovered.  She participated in the entire program!
 Her mind is so amazing!  She is communicating up a storm, reading more than 50 words, is identifying numbers for us all the way up to 100, and today she asked to get a drink from the water fountain when her class did!  Amazing given the millions of sensory challenges she faces, the fears she lives with, and the enormous amount of anxiety that clouds her brain.  We have even noticed on you tube that she has seemed to memorize the complex "avenues" that lead to her favorite videos.  She can find them again because she has memorized the videos and paths that lead to each one.  It is truly amazing!  She is so complex and so incredible!  We are beyond blessed to have her as our daughter.  This special, special girl has taught us so very much and, somehow, she manages to bring us all to tears as we watch her sitting in her adorable goat costume with her kindergarten class.  What an incredible and amazing little blessing this 6 year old is to us!  As we prepare to celebrate her fourth gotcha day at the end of this week, I am in awe of how far God has brought her and just how far He has brought us because of her.

I Found This This Morning..

I found this, , this morning.  It was an incredible blessing.  The thoughts of this momma and her words are so heartfelt.  I can't wait to be walking on that side of the world myself, caring for my newest babe, and beginning my life as her momma.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eggs, Eggs Everywhere

 It was beautiful the week of Easter and leading up to it so we were able to spend so much time outside.
 We even dyed our eggs outside which is almost a necessity given this lady's love for liquids and mess. :)
 Jilly LOVES dying eggs.  She always has because she is a fan of spilling liquid.   The fact that the liquid is colored is such a plus in her book.
 Because Anna Mei loves everything, she enjoyed it too.

 Jilly could care less about eggs.  She doesn't eat candy and so Anna Mei happily collected them all.  Her basket was over flowing.
 Jilly just enjoyed a bit of time in her beloved sandbox while Anna did all the work.  We all enjoyed a beautiful, relaxing day together.  Of course, we can't wait to have a little two year old running alongside our girls reeking havoc in our backyard.  We hope to receive article 5 this week.  We are so, so close!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Years Ago..

Two years ago...
I was handed this angel for the first time. My, she has grown. Sometimes, it seems like these years have flown and I just got her yesterday.  Then other times, it seems like I have had her forever.

She wanted to celebrate her day with "angel" spaghetti so we took her out for lunch.  She loves being the center of the day for sure.

 Then we celebrated with a "rainbow cake" as was her request. 
 Two years in a family baby!  Two years of learning what having a momma and daddy means.
 Two years of growing and changing!  Two years of learning to receive love and give it.  Two years of wonderful memories and beautiful moments.

Here is to the rest of forever my sweet treasure.  We are grateful for the gift of you.  Your spunky, talkative little self fits perfectly with us!  I can't imagine life without you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

At the End of Myself

For two nights now, my peanut hasn't slept.  She had been up every hour, or maybe two if I am lucky, soaked with sweat, screaming, and tormented.  She kicks me away, screams, and rages like the first weeks home.  I had an early morning trip on Saturday, and while I tried to prepare her for my not being there when she woke up, I am guessing my absence is what triggered this sleep issue.  She is telling me that she is afraid I am going to be gone when she wakes, and I am grateful for this glimpse into her heart, but I am tired and selfish.  I want desperately to love her well.  I want to be Jesus to her, but my flesh is getting in the way big time today.  I am praying that God would give me His love for her and that I would look past her tantrums, controlling, and disobedience so that I might fully embrace her heart which I hope is being led to healing through Him.  These two days have been hard because all that I long to do and be for my sweet girl is dashed by my own need for me.  I want to sleep.  I want to be obeyed.  I want the tantrums to stop...I want.. Truthfully speaking, it is times like this that I think the Lord must be crazy to entrust another beautiful treasure to me, because my own inadequacy is blatantly apparent as I walk through this.  Then, as I was thinking through all of this on the way home from dropping my darling kindergartner off at school, my sleep deprived little one who has been so tormented by these emotions begins to sing at the top of her voice.  I LOVE YOUR WORD!  GOD!  WE LOVE YOUR WORD!!!  And it rocks me to the core because this job, this baby's healing, this life, is so much bigger than sleepless nights or nightmares.  Oh that my voice would be willing to cry out...I LOVE YOUR WORD GOD!..when the hard days come.  Another beautiful lesson delivered to me through a helpless, hurting, little soul who I am meant to teach.  My babies have, and continue to, teach me so much more than I could teach them.

I am grateful today though for sleep as my dear girl actually slept last night since I am just updating this post today.  Please cover her in prayer as this momma being gone for 14 days to pick up her little sister is sure to rock her heart.  Praying and Trusting!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Night Time Reflections

Last night, my dear four year old was plagued with nightmares.  It happens to her quite often even after being home two years.  Generally, she is screaming in her sleep, sweating, and her heart is racing when I go in to calm her.  Somewhere around a year and a half home, she let me comfort her during these times in the night.  Last night, as she was sleeping in her fear, I swaddled her in her favorite blanket and took her to the rocking chair whispering over are safe, momma is here, I will care for you, you can trust me..again and again.  Her biggest sissy was still up and brought this momma her little sister's hot milk in her sippy cup. While I rocked my smallest babe in the darkness of our living room, I held her long after  her dream had passed.  I cuddled her rubbing the face of my precious daughter whom I have had the pleasure of mothering two years now.  Then, I began to cry my eyes out because I thought of those two long years of her life that she lived without a momma to care for her.  I let myself imagine what it must have been like to wake in the night so afraid and have no one to come for you. I let my heart hurt for  that part of my daughter's life last night as I held her and I prayed that God wouldn't let me forget that while two of my babies are home, and one soon more soon will be, there are many others who wait.  I prayed that He would help me stop thinking about myself and my own comfort and that He would demand that I give my life away for the least of these living all around me.  I want to remember the privilege it is to care for these babes when I would rather be sleeping.  Forgive me Lord for the many, many times I am too busy to be your hands and feet for others.  Forgive me when I don't have the patience or kindness to truly stop being about myself and live for those who most need you.  Thank you that you have given me the amazing opportunity to love one more orphan in your name.  I am humbled and honored that you are about to bestow such a huge blessing on me again.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Her Ransom is Paid In Full

Seven months ago, we said yes to bringing this precious treasure into our family.  We said yes, but knew it would be impossible to pay the $35,000 it would take to get her home on our own.  We moved forward knowing that God could.  It is so fitting that on this day, Easter Sunday, we have reached our fully funded mark.  Her ransom is marked paid in full!  We are so very grateful to the many of you that have made this possible.  We can't wait to see this peanut home and experiencing the love of a family.  We are so anxious for her to hear the stories of her beginning and how God provided a way for her to be a Masterson.  THANK YOU for your faithful support.  Now, to get her home.  CHINA HERE WE COME!!!  Our I-800 approval arrived on Friday.  We are on target for a early June Gotcha Day!  Praise Him!  Praise Him!  Praise Him!

Easter Reflection

I don't have time to sit and type.  I have Easter dresses to put on my girls, mouths to feed, and a whole lot of other business that is trying its hardest to steal the joy of this morning.  Today, my ransom was paid in full by a Risen Savior who willingly gave up His life for mine.  How I long to just sit in His word this morning and give thanks for this life I have because of the life He gave up for me.  There have been so many sweet moments this week as we have approached this day.  Palm waving madly as Anna and I studied Palm Sunday.  The explanation of resurrection cinnamon rolls made in school in sweet four year old language relating to the Easter story.  Sweet, sweet talk of sin and forgiveness, heaven and hell, love and bible reading..precious memories that I cherish in my heart as I raise these littles up to love and serve my Lord. Yesterday in the car, Anna Mei said I don't want to talk about Jesus only Easter.  Of course, she meant all that surrounds the commercial Easter that our culture has created because, despite our not celebrating with an Easter Bunny, you can't escape it. Every store, every commercial, every corner has eggs and bunnies.   As I took time to explain all that Easter really means and how special it is that Jesus died and rose again, I thought that while I might not say it aloud, my thoughts are very much the same sometimes.  I don't want to talk about Jesus right now only ....(fill in the blank) probably on my heart all too often.   Oh that I could live each day worthy of this gift that I have been given by a Savior who created me, died for me, and rose again so that I could have abundant life!  To whom much is given much more is expected (Luke 12:48) is constantly on my heart these last weeks as we have been given so very much!  Oh that I could live to truly give my life for others because so many are celebrating Easter morning apart from knowing this amazing, incredible Savior who I call Lord. My prayer is that all will come to know this one whom loves me so much He willingly gave up His life for mine!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Another Glimpse of Our Girl

 These were waiting in my inbox today!  My word I am overjoyed to see a smile.  She is so BIG!  She looks loved, cared for, and well.  They have even let some of her hair grow.  She is wearing a barrette!  This momma loves her some hair accessories!
 After seeing these, my heart is overflowing with JOY.  I can't help but think of the hundreds of you who have given so that this precious treasure could be mine.  I can't help but think of all that has stacked against this little one in the two short years of her life.  It is her story to share someday, but in so many ways it is impossible that she is coming home at all!
Lord willing, in 8 weeks she will be in this momma's arms!  We have about $5,000 left to raise and I believe we will because this little sweetie needs to be home with her family.

Chick Filet Fundraiser

Join us for dinner and support our adoption! 
Tuesday, April 7 from 5-8 
at Chick Filet in Cedar Rapids
Mention our fundraiser when you order and we will receive a portion for our sweet Molly Kate's adoption.