Sunday, November 22, 2009

Look who is 2!

Today we are celebrating Elizabeth's 2nd birthday.
I finished making her cake and took a few photos of her with it.
My sweet friend make her cute little tee and her birthday hat was worn by her sister Langley on her 2nd birthday!

And here are some photos from the party at home with family.....

Grand & Papou gave her this pretty babydoll

Our girly girls

Acting like a 2 yr old! She settled down once we showed her how to blow out the candles :) 

Loving on her new babies!

A princess among presents

We had Chinese food for dinner!
The kids all ate with chopsticks!

Pop & Softa with all 9 grandkids

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Raise money for Starfish

I was able to visit the Starfish Foster Home in Xian, China about 1.5 yrs ago. This is an amazing place, where an amazing woman named Amanda cares for some of the most fragile children from the local orphanage. I have a link to the Starfish blog on the right hand side.

Another blogger who is a supporter of Starfish is raising money on her "Thankful" blog post. For every "Thankful" comment left she will donate $1 to Starfish. What a great idea!

So please....any of the visitors here, go to this blog

And leave a comment under the thankful post to help raise money for the babies at Starfish!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Updates

I can feel the busyness of the season already filling our home!

We had an amazing weekend of inspiration at the Show Hope dinner and then at our church. John and I discussed how blessed we feel to be a part of the adoption community. Such wonderful families and amazing kids! The plight of the orphan is so big but we celebrate that our God is bigger! One thing I heard from the president of Compassion International, Wess Stafford that has stayed with me is him saying to might not be called to ADOPT but you are called to ADAPT. He discussed adapting our finances, our priorities, our churches, our missions to help the orphans. He also stated this is not an option for Christians....this is not an area you can say "that's just not my thing." I also agree with him as he talked about being so close to the heart of God when working in orphan ministry. Its so true! As I've watched others adopt....even years ago, as I've spent time in an orphanage, and even as we've experienced our adoption of Elizabeth. Truly....its such a blessing to be a part of the lives whom God holds so close to His heart.....the orphan. Its simply the gospel. We were all spiritual orphans whom God adopted into his Forever family. 

So on Sunday, our church acknowledge Adoption month and Orphan Sunday. We decided to celebrate our families multiculturalism and the kids wore some of their Chinese clothes. 

Tonight we prepared our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. The kids were really excited about doing this. So they packed their boxes with socks, candy, matchbox cars, colored pencils, watches, lollipops and several other things. Its amazing what you can fit into a shoebox! We also included a note with a photo of the kids. Langley added a note to her box and I thought it really captures the heart of Christmas. She is a neat kid. This is what her note says:
Dear Friend. I hope you like the gift I'm giving you. I am 9 almost 10. My name is Langley. Jesus loves you very much. He never forgets you. I love you. Now you know someone cares for you and always will. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God Bless Everyone!

Also today is Veteran's Day and I'm very proud that both my father and my father in law served in Vietnam. At Mac's school they do a wonderful Veteran's Day program. Mac and "Pop" (my Dad) went up on the stage and Mac introduced his hero to the whole school. He practiced several times yesterday how to say "Veee uht nahm". He really did a great job. I was so proud of both my Dad and Mac.

Finally some news about Elizabeth! We got her physical therapy officially started and I'm very excited to see how she progresses with our new PT. We are looking at splinting her hand so that we get her contractures less severe. Our PT is very creative and eager to work with Elizabeth. I'm so thankful to have someone so skilled working with us.

We also did an initially consultation with a pediatric orthopedist who referred us to a hand specialist who we also see this week. The exciting news is that the doctor thinks Elizabeth does have some muscles "firing" in her arm! So there is a possibility that surgery could benefit her. We have many more conversations and testing to go through but it feels really great to know we MIGHT be able to offer her some improvement through surgery!

Here are a few more photos.

Elizabeth fell asleep in her high chair one day...chasing her older siblings is very tiring! : )
Also....had to get in Daddy's alma is our Vandy cheerleader!
And some cool shots of my big kids playing soccer. I LOVE to watch my kids play their fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November is Adoption Awareness Month

In case you weren't aware....November is National Adoption Awareness Month. We are fortunate to live in a community that embraces adoption and we are able to participate in several events.

One organization that we are honored to support and be a small, small part of is Show Hope. This organization was started by Steven Curtis & Mary Beth Chapman, who adopted 3 daughters from China. Most in the Christian community are familiar with SCC's music. There are several of his songs playing on my blog : )

SCC has released his new CD and the first track is simply amazing. Its called "Heaven is the Face of a Little Girl". Here are the lyrics:
Heaven is the face of a little girl 
With dark brown eyes 
That disappear when she smiles. 
Heaven is the place 
Where she calls my name 
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile.” 


God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more, 
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for. 
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door. 
So right now... 

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep, 
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing. 
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms, 
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams 

And God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more, 
But God, You know, that this is what I’m longing for 
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door. 

But in my mind’s eye I can see a place 
Where Your glory fills every empty space. 
All the cancer is gone, 
Every mouth is fed, 
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed. 
Every lonely heart finds their one true love, 
And there’s no more goodbye, 
And no more not enough, 
And there’s no more enemy (no more). 

Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss 
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone. 
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand 
And leads me to You, 
And we both run into Your arms. 

Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream. 
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive. 
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see 
Heaven in the face of my little girl, 
Heaven in the face of my little girl.

Most of you know the story of the Chapman's and their daughter Maria, who died tragically May 2008. So these lyrics are just so powerful knowing their story.

When I first heard and then read these lyrics my heart paused and pondered on the "bridge" section. I know that place of longing for heaven and the weariness of this world's suffering. Several times, in the face of suffering I have prayed "Jesus come quickly". 

When I sat in the orphanage in Hohhot and saw the hopelessness, lonliness, hunger, and disregard for human life...Jesus come quickly.

When I visit adoption and waiting children websites and daily encounter more and more and more children who spend another day alone, with no family, no love, no future....Jesus come quickly.

When I hear of another friend, another parent, another child dying of disease and pain...Jesus come quickly.

When I think of my baby girl left alone at a hospital gate in the cold night of New Year's eve and then lying in a crib, belonging to no one...Jesus come quickly.

I do long for that day when Jesus returns and we are with our Lord forever and He will "wipe every tear". But as I have sat in prayer about "Jesus come quickly"...He has revealed something to me.  I am to "go quickly" into the these sufferings of His beloved. I can take with me His story of Hope, Love, Peace, Salvation and tell the story through serving, feeding, clothing, befriending, speaking Truth, and adopting His beloved. 

This is Adoption Awareness month. Go quickly! Love His Beloved! He calls YOU Beloved!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We have conquered the first "major" holiday! Whew!! 
Elizabeth was a trooper as always. She has gotten so much more comfortable with so much of life in the past month.

She allowed me to put the costume on her as I told her it was a "hat" and a "dress". She likes to dress up and likes accessories....definitely a girly girl. So she went along with the costume. She did not like seeing Langley greenified as Elphaba (aka Wicked Witch) from the musical Wicked. She also does not like people in mask or just "scary" looking in general. I've shown her some of the Christmas stuff and she's not crazy about Santa or anything animated.....can't really blame her when you think about it!

Here is Elizabeth the Pink Poodle, Langley as Elphaba, Mac is Batman, Gray is Spiderman, John is the Wizard, and I'm Dorothy.

We had our "small" group from church over for a pre-trick or treating party. Elizabeth did great with the crowd in the house and had a great time running in the backyard with the big kids. We then went trick or treating. It was really fun "introducing" this odd little tradition but as soon as Elizabeth figured out that something to EAT was going into her pumpkin she really got into it! She happily approached each door and held up her little pumpkin. And she has learned to say thank you "sank ooo". What a sweet girl!

When we got home we barely got her out of her costume and she was sound asleep as we sat her in her bed! I think she had a great time!