Monday, September 30, 2013


/grās/, noun

1.  the free and unmerited favor of God

I couldn't help but chuckle the other day when someone said to me, "Man, you have such amazing faith to be going through this adoption process.  I wish I could trust God like that."


Well, my friend, let me pull back the veil on my unbelief...

There are days when I'm not walking by faith, but fear.  Fear that it's not all going to come together.  Fear that the funds won't be there.  

Fear that our special needs child will require more than I know how to give.  

Fear of the many judgements of those that don't support what we're doing.  Yes, we know y'all are out there...

Fear because we were praying for more envelopes to be claimed.  

Fear that our son won't adjust to our family.  Fear that my 3 precious kiddos won't adjust to him.

Fear that it just won't happen.  

Every day I open the mail with great expectation as the envelopes from our fundraiser have started arriving.  (Side note - I thank God for each of you, by name, that have given!)

Today I opened the mail only to receive a nice bill from when Sam was in the hospital last month.  I was immediately gripped with fear when I saw how much we owed.  I mean seriously, how much did those banana popsicles cost that they fed him all night?!?

Shall I go on or do you get what I'm saying about the constant struggles with fear and doubt?

Yes, I have days when my faith seems so tangible, so real, so strong.  And for those days, I'm thankful.

But on the other days, I have to cling to this truth, even though my emotions and feelings are SO VERY far from it...

God's grace covers my unbelief.  God's grace covers my fears.  God's grace covers my doubt.

I am confessing this because I am asking for you to pray for our family as we journey down this road again.   I believe strongly in being transparent and honest and vulnerable.  So this is me, telling you, that we covet your prayers.  

be still my soul, the Lord is on your side

Sunday, September 15, 2013

this is unbelievable...

I'm super excited about our first fundraiser for the adoption and I really think the result is UNBELIEVABLE!!

This is how it goes..


We have a basket of 150 numbered envelopes (#1-#150)  that we're hoping to be claimed. 

Here's what will happen if you say "YES" to an envelope...

1.  I will send you a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a number on it ranging from 1-150.

2.  You will place the coordinating dollar amount in your envelope and drop it in the mail. (For example, if you get envelope #37, you'd put in a check for $37.00)

3.  The checks will be made payable to our agency, NOT US!! (Bethany Christian Services.)  We are - IN NO WAY- hoping to benefit personally from this, or any fundraiser, we're doing.  ALL the money goes directly to our agency. do I get a number??

1.  You can simply say "send me an envelope" and we (probably one of my munchkins) will draw it out of the basket.  It will be totally random but you'll be assured that IT WON'T BE OVER 150.  

2. OR request an range.  For example, tell me to send you an envelope ranging from numbers 10-20 or 50-60 or something like that.  (This has been the most popular way so far.)

3.  OR request a specific envelope number.  

*You can donate the money as an individual or get a group to join you - a sunday school class, small group or friends!


If all 150 envelopes are claimed, we'll raise over $11,000!!!

WHOA!! I find that absolutely crazy!!  My skeptical self did the math a few times because I just couldn't believe it!  But it's true!

So we pray that you'll say YES to an envelope and help MAKE ONE LESS ORPHAN!!

*You can send me a Facebook message

*You can email me -

*You can leave a comment at the end of this post

Please just let us know your mailing address and if you'd like to request a range, a specific number or get a random envelope.  

EVERY SINGLE ENVELOPE MATTERS!!  ALL of them - from #1 all the way to #150 - so please don't hesitate because you need to request a low range of numbers.  

**And please feel free to pass this along to anyone you know that has a heart for adoption and a heart for helping make one less orphan**

thank you, thank you, thank you

Thursday, September 12, 2013 of 6

"We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do, everything changes."  -David Platt

To say that "everything changed" would be a ridiculous understatement for our family.  

When we brought our Sam home in March of 2011, we had no idea how our lives would be completely altered.  Wrecked, really.  And in the absolute best way ever.  We had no idea that the passion that burned strong in us to care for orphans would be ignited into a roaring flame.

It's true - we can ignore the orphans of the world.  We can look away from the images.  We can enjoy our comfortable and secure life without a thought, much less a burden, for the "fatherless."

the orphanage in Korea where Sam was
But once you see them.  And once you hold them.  And once you stare at a room full of beds with babies - babies that have probably not been held in days or weeks or even months - everything changes.

And it's safe to say that change came for every member of our family.

Even our sweet girls began to feel the burden of caring for orphans and began asking {over & over} when we could adopt again.  

We knew, almost immediately, that we desperately wanted to travel the road of adoption again, but just didn't know when or how or where.  

And honestly, we still don't know much.

But I do want to fill you in on the very few details we have because so many have asked...

*We have been approved for the China Special Needs Program.  This does mean our child will have some sort of special need or disability. To quote our agency..."The special needs of the children vary from minor, correctable medical issues, such as cleft lip/palate, to more significant, lifelong needs, such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy."  We are a part of the minor special needs program.  

* We are requesting a boy that will be between 6 and 24 months.  Our understanding is that our request should be easily met.  

*The time frame varies depending on how quickly we move.  In a perfect world - ha! - we could bring our son home in 12-14 months. 

These are just a few of the details for now.  However, the only certainties of adoption are the uncertainties!  So we'll continue to walk by faith.

Unfortunately, our biggest mountain will be the same as it was last time - the finances. 

But Lee and I agree with something we've been told recently - adoption is not for the wealthy, it's for the called.  

So we invite you, family and friends, to join us again on this journey.  I ask that you begin praying with us and for us and for our son.  We're excited to see how the Lord works.  

But we are also a little anxious.  And a little nervous.  And a little fearful.


"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."

Isaiah 43: 1-3

Saturday, September 7, 2013

saying I'm sorry

Any parenting advice worth its weight (from a book, blog or person) should include these words:

be ready to apologize to your children when you do wrong

That advice, however, can be one of those "easier said than done" kinds of things.  

Saying "I'm sorry" {to your babies or to a friend} is tough stuff because it forces you to not only see your ugly sinful heart, but to then admit it to someone else.  Our pride pushes pretty hard against that.  

And when your kiddos are involved, it can be even more difficult...

There are days when my patience is just non-existent.  I find myself feeling frustrated and aggravated by things that are really just "typical kid behavior." 

Now we're not talking about disobedient behavior here. We're talking "But Mom, I wanted the princess plate and she took it." Or "Mom, but I don't want to wear those shoes (as we're rushing out the door 5 minutes late already)." Or my favorite - "Mommy, I just spilled my juice...again...all over the floor you just mopped."  

Many days I'm able to smile and say "it's ok, accidents happen." But some days I have these crazy expectations that my 3, 7 & 9 year old should be able to function like adults and the end result is me loosing my temper and acting like the wicked step-mother.

And then the "mommy guilt" sets in.  If you are a mom, whether it's to one child or 8 children, whether your babies are 6 months or 26, you know what "mommy guilt" is.  Ugh.

In my short years of parenting, here's what I've come to realize...

Those moments are going to happen!  Go ahead and accept the reality - You. Are. Going. To. Loose. Your. Patience.  

You just are!  Don't get sucked into facebook and blog world by these moms who lead you to believe that every single parenting moment is pure bliss!  It just ain't so...

The "defining" moment is what you do after you realize that you've had one of those ugly spells.  Do you brush it off as just a bad day and assume that your kids aren't affected by your behavior?  Or do you go to them and apologize for your behavior?

Just today, I got frustrated with my Ellee girl while I was braiding her hair.  She is so very particular about every single strand of hair and this morning I just wasn't up to dealing with it.  Now I didn't realize that until I talked to her way more harshly than her behavior actually warranted.  

After she walked out of my room in tears, I was gripped with conviction over how I had treated her.  

I called her back in and told her how sorry I was for the way I had talked to her and asked her for forgiveness.  Of course that sweet child said it was ok and snuggled up to me and melted my heart.  Those big, brown eyes...

Not 10 minutes later, I heard her fussing at her brother for who-knows-what!!!  Sam is very skilled in how to annoy her and get under her 7 year old skin!  After giving him the run around for a minute {or two...or three} there was a long pause.  Then I heard Ellee repeat the words to Sam that she had just heard - "Sam, I'm sorry for talking like that to you.  I shouldn't do that.  Please forgive me."


They are listening.  They are absorbing.  They are mimicking.

Demonstrate humility.  Say I'm sorry.   And ask for grace.

grace, grace, God's grace
grace that will pardon and cleanse within
grace, grace, God's grace
grace that is greater than all our sin