Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Sunday, May 31, 2015


We weren't here long in Guangzhou, when my oldest was laughing her head off and saying this is heaven for you mom.  Here in this city, all families adopting must finish the US side of their paperwork and that means that Chinese children and their new families are everywhere.  I mean hundreds of them.  Most of these families are believers and just as crazy about adoption as I am .  The first morning at breakfast, we were approached by another momma who talked reusing her  dossier, orphan care, and special needs all within a few minutes of introducing herself.  It was when she left that Emily was laughing saying reusing dossiers, special needs, adoption...this is your heaven mom.  Truly, this is heaven for me seeing all these beautiful children welcomed into homes and sharing the week with these amazing families whose hearts are so close to mine is the icing on the cake.  I LOVE this place.  I LOVE adoption and I LOVE China.  Many have asked if this is my last trip here.  Only God knows, but I hope not.  I hope that God will continue to bless me with these children and that I will one day walk this soil again. 

More Pearl River

It is so special having Emily here.  I am so very grateful for all this time with her and for the love that is forming between she and her new sister. 

Pearl River

The  weather cleared up and it was beautiful just in time for our cruise on the Pearl River last night.  Molly Kate loved being on a boat again.  We heard her voice throughout the cruise.  Generally, she is stone silent, but she babbled away as we were on the upper deck watching the sunset and the lit up buildings and bridges passing by.  She loves the wind in her hair too, the children running about, and the other family who are our traveling companions.  It was a beautiful evening here.  They have a teenager about Emily's age so they enjoyed fellowship together while I listened to my Molly Kate talk away. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015


 We did a little photo shoot at the park before leaving Hangzhou in her Chinese dress.  This is the same one all my girls have worn in China and so I love looking back at each of them in it.


As we  flew through the darkness to arrive in this new city where my precious daughter will be given American citizenship, my heart was processing the events of the last week.  While we are taking steps that lead us closer to home in America, she is being led away from all that she has been.   We left her province for the last time this trip.  We left behind her dialect, the tastes of her local food, her surroundings, and are now entering in to a new city that is completely strange and foreign to her.  I thought about how that must feel being here as she has been ripped from all that is familiar to her while those whom she has trusted promise that this is what is best for her.  How can a little one endure so much?  Each time as I watch my little ones transform from Chinese to American and orphan to daughter, I am overcome by how unjust it is that these babes have endured so very much loss in their lives.   Because of this great loss and out of their deep hurt, God brings me some of the greatest blessings of my Iife.  I  also let the tears come as I flew through the dark skies on my way here because I thought about sharing all this with her as she grows.  The truth of what  I know about her story is heartbreaking and yet she is a pure beauty created by God with a great purpose.  I was praying she would believe that as she grows.  I was praying for wisdom and strength as I parent her.  I was praying that her true identity would not be rooted in her past story, though that is a very important part of who she is and God will use that, but in all that God created her to be in Him.  How I love this sweet, precious babe.  How I feel beyond blessed that God would entrust her to me.  She is such a treasure. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Molly Kate has just begun to eat for us.  She is finally taking a little of a bottle from me too, but not too much still.  It is pretty normal behavior after the trauma of gotcha day.  One thing I can tell is this little lady loves her native food.  In fact, for lunch today she devoured a bowl of "cats ear" soup made with shrimp, fish, and crab meat. She also loved the mango jelly dessert.  It was similar to jello with fresh mangos in it.  She kept pointing to the glass jar asking for more.   It was delicious and I am always relieved when my peanuts start eating a bit.  She is bone skinny.  I am guessing that she weighs about 18-19 pounds at 25 months.  I can't wait to get a little meat on her.  I think I might have to cook more Chinese though for this one as Anna Mei would eat any thing right away, but Molly  Kate doesn't seem so easy as far as that goes.

Tea Plantation

We visited a tea plantation this morning.  There is a green tea mountain that grows a variety of green tea that is known as their special variety here is Hangzhou.  We saw tea growing up the mountain, watched how it was prepared, and then enjoyed a cup.  It was an interesting tour and Molly Kate loved being out this morning.

A Boat Ride and Her Little Voice

 Because it was our free day, meaning we have no paperwork to complete, we enjoyed a local park around the beautiful lake here.  We took a boat out on the water and wandered the paths of this scenic place.  Molly Kate was very happy and we even heard her little voice for the first time today.  She was babbling away out on the deck of the boat.  We got it on video and I can't wait to share it with you when I can upload it.  She would even use her little pinky to point to all that she saw passing by..the trees, other boats, and water.  Have I told you how head over heels I am for this precious girl?  I am smitten.  She is perfect.  Perfect.  When we were walking today, she continued to draw a lot of attention, but for the most part, people are so kind to her.  Today, many said lovely girl lovely girl over her again and again.  We are certainly feeling your prayers and we have been so blessed by them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Train, Bus, Taxi, and the Subway

In order to make our way back to Wenzhou to get our Molly Kate's Chinese passport, we had to take a train, taxi, the subway, and a bus.  Traveling back there the last two days has been exhausting, but it is required by law in this province to return to the city of origin to obtain the passport for any adopted child.  Molly did great!  She slept a good deal of our journey on the train and for that I am grateful.  Neither of my first two girls felt safe enough to sleep in my arms so if we were out they never slept.  It is much easier having a little one who will sleep when she is tired.  After our third transportation switch last night about 7:00 PM, I looked at Emily and said I am thanking  God that we didn't have to do all this with Jilly because she would have never been able to take all this.  Molly has done so well, but I am so glad we have a free day today.  We now are just waiting for her passport to be processed and finished.  We leave province tomorrow evening and fly to Guangzhou to finish things at the US consulate.  We are using today to rest and are also taking in a tea plantation and going on the lake if it doesn't rain.  I am hoping for one last beautiful look at this city before heading out tomorrow.   We are almost half way through this journey.  I am getting anxious to come home.


 Yesterday, the administrators of the orphanage asked us to share a meal with them before leaving.  I was happy to have more time soaking them in, asking questions, and continuing to collect Molly's past the most, but the food was also delicious.  This is a water community with much seafood so we enjoyed shrimp (with the eyes still on), fried chicken legs, green beans with garlic, some local fruit, cashews, eggplant, more chicken, and rice.  It was a delicious meal and I was able to discover a bit more about the day Molly was found and brought to them.  I am grateful for all I can know about my precious treasure and sharing this meal with these women who have cared for her the last two years was very special. 


Yesterday, we traveled to Molly Kate's orphanage one final time.  I tried my best to hold myself together as I walked the halls of that place because I wanted to do all I could to collect as many pieces of my daughter's past as possible.  Someday, she may want to know her story and, for now, I am its keeper.  I thought I would struggle most with the faces of the other children waiting there looking back at me, but I couldn't get my heart away from my Molly's.  She was so sad.  Sad at the thought of saying good bye and leaving this place again that she sobbed and sobbed when she was handed back to me.  Break my momma heart, this girl has experienced so much loss and abandonment in her short life.  I do not regret that we took the journey to her first home, but I wish that I could have somehow shielded her heart from experiencing leaving it again.  We met nannies, saw the buildings, walked the halls where she walked, and saw her crib.  It was very well run and clean, but it was still an orphanage.  Her nanny even showed me hundreds of pictures of her that she had taken on her phone and told me she loved her.  I could tell my little girl was loved.  I could see it in her smile when she saw her caretakers again as they approached her.  How this life isn't fair.  I know that God has a plan for this and that He will bring much good from it, but seeing my darling girl suffering is not easy for this momma. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's Official

Yesterday was the approval "ceremony" when China officially pronounced Molly Katherine Ling ours!  Molly was all smiles as if she knew what was happening.  It is always so emotional to hear those words read from the official knowing the great loss that Molly is experiencing and the tremendous gain I have because of it. 

My Amazing Girl

Sweet girl showed much of what she could do today with those beautiful, designed by God hands she has to call her own.  I am amazed at all she can do.  She can pick up cheerios with two index fingers and get them in her mouth.  She can stack the cups, transfer them from one hand to the other, beat them together, and cause them to crash down.  She could turn the pages of a book, point to what she wanted, and she even spent an hour inventing a game with an empty water bottle.  She could twist the cap on and off with those amazing hands of hers  all by herself while we played it.  She is an incredible little one. 
She is breathing so heavy today though.  I would be lying if I didn't say I was worried.  Her little heart seems to be constantly pounding too.  I am no doctor, but these next two weeks can't go fast enough so I can get her home to one.  Please send up some prayers for us if you think of her.  She is darling.  Absolutely darling and I am crazy about her.  We were even out and about in the public today and she was treated quite well.  There was lots of staring which I am sure is to become a bigger part of our lives than it already is as we already create quite a scene when we are out with our current treasures. (One of our friends said we should have a reality tv show called SHANGHIOWA. It made me laugh.)  Despite all the attention, Molly Kate is calm and so mild mannered.  I mean so mild mannered.  She has cried only once when she was taking a bath.  She was not a fan.  Her worst cry doesn't even begin to rival normal at my house.   She also wore her hair bow all day!  Here this people this is important stuff!  She also sat happily on my lap for the last three hours during the train ride tonight too.  She is now passed out cold in her crib.  There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby with an adoring momma watching near by.  Thank you!  THANK YOU, friends for all you have done so that this baby would know my love.  You hosted magic shows, bake sales, prayed for her and us, donated to our accounts..Y'all this baby is sleeping within my arms reach tonight because of your faithful support!  I am overcome!  Thank you for your willingness to be Jesus hands and feet for us!  We are so very blessed by each of you because this little arrow is in our quiver!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

And We Are Off to Be A Family

All is Well!  She is here!  After such a short time, she is with us!  She is napping like a rock.  She hasn't spoken a word, hasn't cried at all, and hasn't eaten a thing.  All pretty normal stuff for the first hours after Gotcha Day.  She seems to be the go inward and shut down type of peanut, but we will see how long that holds out.  I am praying for her little heart and loving every minute with her! To God Be Much Glory for all that He has done!

Introducing Molly Katherine Ling (Part 3)

Then her smile came.  Be still this momma's heart, I love this little girl.  She had her first poopy diaper right there in the office and really loved having her pants changed.

Introducing Molly Katherine Ling (Part 2)

Baby girl was thirsty and this momma happened to have a bottle with water nearby.  She finally came to me.

She had a nice nap after having a little water all while safely snuggled in my arms.

Then she woke and gave us some smiles.  I am making strange voices from her doll here and Emily calls this Molly Kate's "you must be crazy lady" face.

Introducing Molly Katherine Ling (Part 1)

Sweet girl was already there when we arrived.  Isn't she just precious? She did not want to leave her nanny.  I didn't push her as I knew I had paperwork to do.

I filled out all the paperwork for both Sean and myself.  I feel as if I am old hat at this by now.  I can write and stamp my thumbprint in red at the same time.

She was inching closer as I was finishing up, but looked sad. :(  She didn't make a sound though.


This city, where tomorrow I will meet my baby girl for the first time, is like a tropical paradise.  Tonight as I walked the streets with Emily taking in the sights, I imagined her strolling down these very paths tomorrow..a daughter loved and cherished..being photographed in the qui poa that I packed for her.   God is so so good to bring me to this country again!  I am overcome with much emotion and ready to welcome that baby in my arms in this beautiful place.   I was teasing Emily that I didn't know of Molly Kate's location before choosing her as our own. :)  Such a tremendous blessing to be here and share this with my oldest girl.  Tomorrow, there will be pictures of Molly Kate!

My Prayers For You Tonight

I had some quiet time on the domestic flight today.  The seats weren't even full around us.  Emily was napping and I was having some time with the Lord praying over the next few days/weeks/months in my daughter's life.  If  you are praying for us, I would love for you to petition the Lord for them as well.
For Molly Kate's heart as she grieves leaving the only life and "family" she has ever known.
For the attitude of others in this culture toward her physical features.  She will understand what others speak about her in her native language as we are walking and out.  This momma doesn't want her heart hurt by others especially when I won't know/understand them.  Pray for her identity to be firmly planted on who she is the Lord as she grows and that she will face this world with a sense of confidence knowing God made her exactly as she was meant to be.  Pray that she would grasp 1 Samuel 16:7..The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart... all the days of her life.
For my own selfish heart as I put her needs in front of my own in the weeks and months (heck her whole lifetime:) before my own that I might serve her and love her like Christ has served and loved me. 
For Molly Kate's health as she may have additional heart or kidney complications associated with syndromes she may or may not have.
For traveling mercies as this week has so much running all over province.
For our time together to be bonding and peaceful.
For rest in Him as Emily and I begin to graft this little one into our family.
For my teenager that God would use the events of the next two weeks to draw her even closer to Him.
For my little girls and husband back home that they would feel love and peace as we are gone.

Going Before Us

The Lord's got this journey.  He's got it and I can rest in that.  As we exited the plane this afternoon, our new guide approached us.  She was polite and walked us out to her personal vehicle to drive us back to our hotel in this new place..this place where tonight my Molly Kate is sleeping in a hotel near by!!!  It didn't take me long to notice the fish with a cross inside on the back of her vehicle.  It wasn't hard to miss the cross dangling from her mirror either.  She is a believer!  She attends a church with nearly 12,000 members in this city.  Then, she went on to tell me that she worked mostly for CCAI, but fills in for our current agency when there are gaps.  CCAI..The very agency we used for Anna Mei.  The agency I trust with my whole heart.  The agency that I think is truly top notch.  But since our Molly Kate wasn't listed with them, we had to use someone else this time around because, well, Molly was who we were after.  I don't know how many times I have told Sean I was worried about the organization of this trip because of this and that that has happened along the way as I have gathered paperwork with our current agency.  I can't tell you how many times I told him I just wish I knew that I had the expertise and organization of CCAI backing me this journey as well.  Well friends, I do!  AND tonight somewhere in this city my dear, sweet treasure has already been ripped from her life because she is sleeping in a hotel here waiting for our meeting tomorrow morning.  Praise Him!  Praise Him!! Praise Him!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hu tongs

We took the rickshaw back into the Hu tongs together just the two of us.  We had lunch at a home with a housewife of a family who lives in them.  It was primitive and dirty, but a wonderful experience.  The food was authentic and delicious.  One more special memory with my oldest.

A Full Heart

I spent the day with my precious, oldest treasure loving on some even more precious Chin*se Orphans.  Orphans who are lucky enough to call an amazing foster home here in Beijing their home.  The care these incredible fatherless are receiving is so heartwarming.  They are loved, cherished, and cared for because they matter.  Their stories are awe inspiring.  Their special needs are bigger than most would take on.  Yet, this organization says yes to the most vulnerable, special needs treasures from across Ch*na who need to have someone fight for them.  Open heart surgery, liver transplants, cancer treatment, hydrocephalus, down's, and so much more has been experienced by those who walk these halls, but these diagnosises do not define these children here.  Love defines them.  Today, I was absolutely blessed to carry them, stroke their faces, and walk them in the back courtyard.  One angel had autism.  Oh how I miss my Jilly watching him.  Two years ago, at six, he came to live at this place.  He weighed only 6 kg then and now, that he is cherished, he is thriving.  So many, created by God, little ones who were once disregarded, but who,now, have hope because  they are in this place.  I left a piece of my heart today.  It is there at ND foster home with those beautiful children who I fell in love with today.  There are many pieces of me over Ch*na these days and, by God's grace, I get to keep three of those pieces with me.  I am grateful for my Ch*nese daughters, but all the more broken for those millions who wait here for a forever family to call their own.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A "Great" Day

We have been soaking in all things China.  I love this place that is the origin on my littles so very much.  We have experienced squatty potties, crowds, traffic, the wall, chopsticks, jade, and much more already.  I have most enjoyed having my oldest treasure with me though.  We have walked alongside one another the last few days and just gotten to be.  These moments are priceless as I know she will be gone from me all too soon.  We have talked life, our Lord, orphan care, and the quirks of this culture.  We have drank it in and enjoyed every moment so far, but the best is yet to come.  Two more days until Molly Kate.  We can't wait!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


After nearly 25 hours of travel, we are here and settled on the same continent as our Molly Kate.  We are waking up after a full night's sleep and ready to embrace this journey!  Truthfully, there is nothing I love more than good cup of hot tea in the early morning and being in China to drink it is the best feeling ever.  I love these few days of each trip when we wonder the countryside living in this culture.  Emily and I visited the "grocery store" down the street and walked through the city before collapsing for the night.  I just want to soak all this in as I never take my time here in this beautiful country for granted.  Somewhere on this same soil the women who carried my three precious treasures from this land are likely going about life.  Being here, walking these streets, makes me long for a glimpse of them even more.  I find them constantly in my thoughts while I am here.  It is my prayer that one day in eternity, I will come to know them because I pray for their salvation daily.  Until then, I will do my best to love their babies well and lead them to eternity so that they, too, might get a chance to reunite with them in the presence of our Lord, who made us all, and wrote this beautiful story for us. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dear Molly Kate,
In just a few hours, I will begin my journey to you.  While it breaks my heart to be leaving your daddy and sisters here for 17 days, I am overcome with joy that I am about to welcome you in my arms.  Tonight, you received a gift.  It is a soft stuffed lamb that sings Jesus loves me.  Anna Mei was holding it in the hallway outside my bedroom door and retold the story of the shepherd who left the 99 sheep for the one in sweet four year old language.  It was precious to this momma's heart because of what I blogged here at this link on my journey to her nearly two years ago.  There are so many emotions as I look forward to the weeks ahead.  I can't wait to  examine your little belly button, feed you a bottle, pray over you, and watch you sleep.  I can't wait to soak in all that you are and begin to fill all those spaces that are empty in your heart because you have not known a family.  Dear girl, you are about to embark on quite a change and, while I wish I could tell you that you will be just fine, I know it will be so hard on you.  I hope that as you look back at this journal, you will know how very much I love you, how desperately wanted you are, and that you are perfectly formed by a God who loves you even more than I do.  Until we meet for the first time, I will be praying for your little heart along with many others here who love you and can't wait to meet you.  Momma's on her way to China for you dear baby girl and I couldn't be more excited!

Monday, May 18, 2015

45 Hours and Counting!

In 45 short hours, we will be on our way to China!  That God should bless me in this way again is often too much for my heart to process.  At the same time, I dread the hard that lies ahead in the coming months.  I know God is in this and He has a great plan to use our journey to make us more like Him.  We are packing our bags people.  It is almost GO time!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Today, we had the privilege of attending worship with a young couple, whom we love so dearly, as we were traveling back home for the weekend.  What a HUGE blessing it has been to watch this young one grow into such an incredible, Godly young woman.  At the service today, they had a baby dedication and, as I watched, I cried.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy about little lives.  I rejoice inside that the four precious babies dedicated today are being dedicated to the Lord in this scary, dark world.  Even more, I am thrilled that such a passionate, enthusiastic church is coming around them supporting them as they grow, but it is the ache in my heart that I just can't escape.  The ache that is there because for every one of the four that was dedicated today, held lovingly by their parents and surrounded by huge extended families, there are hundreds of thousands who will never know the touch of a mother.  Over one hundred forty million children around the world will never know the voice of a father praying over them as those four precious ones did this morning.  Rise up in me Lord!  Lead me in your way!  Give me your heart!  Demand I be your hands and feet for these least as I am about to travel to minister to some precious ones who wait .  Today I praise You that I can welcome one more precious orphan in my arms as my daughter.  

Friday, May 8, 2015


I gently woke my youngest from her nap yesterday, cradled her in my arms, and just held her rocking as I kept her close to me for a long while.  I lingered there so long because soon we are inviting hard back into our lives.  As excited as we are to travel and adopt this newest treasure, who is very loved by us and so very wanted, I know that we are again inviting trauma back into our family as we say yes to parenting her.  I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that adoption is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Traveling half way across the world to claim a young child, who has never known a mother, doesn't speak your language, or understand family isn't a rosy picture of unicorn and rainbows.  There are ashes.  Lots of ashes that over time will be turned into something beautiful as God grafts our lives together, but in the beginning (and for months,even years after gotcha day) life is hard.  Parenting her will take time, energy, patience, and love that will take away from most every other area of my life.  I will end each day empty and exhausted.  I will fight my own selfish tendencies daily and have to rely on the Lord like never before because my own life is full of brokeness as well.  Many nights will likely be spent dealing with sleep issues and night terrors.  All of this, I can bet is coming.  I have walked this road before and I know that what we are about to face is going to rock us to the core.  I also rest in knowing that Jesus is already there.  I know that He has ordained this journey for us and, though it will be hard, He will use it for something beautiful.  Years after gotcha day, I will gaze at my daughter and marvel at just how far we both have come together.  I will be amazed at all the Lord has done in both of our lives and how He has used this hard for good.  It is no coincidence that I am doing a study on spiritual warfare right now.  I am beefing up my spiritual armor and going into these next days, weeks, months, and years thinking that I am ready for a good fight.  After all, nothing worth getting is easy and my daughter is worth it, but I covet your prayers as I prepare for and fight this battle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Turning Two in China

 We sent our baby girl a little party on her birthday!  These are the gifts we sent her.
 She also received a cake from us.  She doesn't look so sure about that fire.
 She must be wondering what in the world is going on?
 Birthday parties are probably not ordinary practice for the hundreds of orphans who call her institution home.
 But soon, they will be old hat for her because she is coming home!
 It looks like she has a small smirk on her face.  She must have liked how that tasted.
 Precious little one, you are loved beyond measure.
Soon, I will kiss those precious cheeks for myself.  Maybe, there will be more cake and candy coming her way too as sweets are an adoptive momma's #1 best tool for bonding.  Soon, sweet one!  Soon!


Adorable is our little soccer player.  It is her first time playing an organized sport and, truthfully, she has rocked it.  She has done a great job of playing and that smile..well it lights up my insides.  She runs after the ball with all her might.  She even scored three goals.  One in our goal giving us a point and two more in the oppositions goal giving them a point. Details people. Details.  I am beyond blessed to call this beauty mine.