Sunday, January 29, 2012

yet again...

...God has given us a little nugget of encouragement, hope and promise.

Just down the road from here.

Yet originally from China, too.

Click here.

The brightest future lies ahead for our boy.

I can't wait to start it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the super bowl & adoption?

Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, have created a video that they'd like to have shown at every Super Bowl party this year.

Man, God is so working to make His people aware of the millions of orphans across the world.

And I think it's working.

Just as they say in the video, not everyone can bring an orphan into their home forever, but everyone can get involved in some way.


By the way, the video can be easily burned to a DVD to show during halftime.  Just sayin'.  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

the ripple

Something is becoming abundantly clear to us.  The only thing I know to call it is the ripple.  

James', sweet little life, is reaching people far and wide.  

Friends of friends of friends are moved by our boy.  And the story of his young life.  

Here are some examples that I know hunch is there are lots more I don't know about.
  • Many of you came together to assist us with our adoption expenses -- including a sweet woman in Australia who doesn't even know us.  Frankly, if it weren't for the financial help of friends and family, we wouldn't be able to adopt James.  Period.  
  • Furthermore, God moved so mightily in the hearts of very dear and precious family of ours, who were once not sure about our decision to adopt, that they came through for us enormously several months ago.  Let's just say that because of their generosity and love for us, when we weren't quite sure how we were going to pay our balance for our adoption fees, we were able to write a check and call it a day.
Let me insert something here...we never doubted for one second that God was going to provide the means for us to adopt James.  Not one single second.  But what's cool is watching Him do it in an over-the-top, holy cow, unexpected kind of way.  Awesome.
  • Some friends of ours have created a jar and every time their children pray for James or our family they get to put a penny in the jar.  Then the jar's contents will be a gift to us to help with James' medical bills or any other needs for him.
  • These same friends had an extra check show up to them right before Christmas.  They weren't expecting it, so they felt it wasn't theirs to keep and that God wanted them to give it to us to relieve adoption costs.  (I very likely may've said, 'Thank you, Lord!  Right before Christmas?  Awesome!  We needed that!' and promptly placed some orders for a couple of gifts we wanted to buy).  Mm-m-mm.
  • Another friend was involved in an event in her community in another state that led her to work closely with a photography gallery and the man who was running it.  During her time working with him, she told him about James.  He was so moved by James' story that at the end of the event, as a thank you gift for all her hard work, he gave her the gift of an original photograph.  Of what?  The silhouettes of two African men standing with a glorious sunset behind them.  But...each man was missing an arm. 
  • A former co-worker that I worked with over 10 years ago said her nine-year-old son was so moved by James and worried about how he'll get by in life that he picked out toys and balls for him that he can pick up easily with his one little hand.  
  • In November, two of my dearest friends threw James a shower because in their words, 'Every child needs to be celebrated.'  I was in awe of the outpouring of love that we experienced.  Amazing thought and care went into every detail.  There was a Chinese theme with Chinese food served, the color red trickled throughout, homemade fortune cookies that had prayers for James as the fortunes (how ridiculously creative is that?), there was even a collection taken as a donation for James' orphanage.  Just incredible.  
  • Payton's Girl Scout troop has been spreading the word about our need for frequent flyer miles and their relatives and friends have been offering them up.  Complete strangers.
  • One of Payton's troopmates came into a 'Pay It Forward' Visa giftcard.  Just guess who she was excited to pay it forward to?  Yep.
  • Friends have told us story after story of their children praying for James.  Tucking their children in at night or saying their prayers together as a family and the children ask to pray for James.
The children.  

There's an awesome verse repeated in the Bible where Jesus says to let the children come to Him and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to them (Luke 18:16).

Children have the most amazingly pure faith.  And children's hearts are really touched by other children, aren't they?  It's amazing to see.

What a blessing it is to have a community of love and support here and afar to wrap its arms around us!

Yet again, 'thank you' just doesn't seem sufficient.

Counting down the days...

Monday, January 16, 2012

travel update...not travel approval :(

Hello, hello, hello!...

Wanted to post a quick update regarding our prep to travel.  More specifically around the 'shout out' for unused frequent flyer miles or Capital One travel rewards.

We are amazed at the love and generosity of folks who are near and dear to our hearts and folks we don't even know.

We have been offered over 200,000 miles!

Yes.  You read that right!

Two-hundred thousand.

To give you some perspective.  A roundtrip ticket from anywhere in the United States to anywhere in China (according to United Airlines) is 65,000 miles!

A prayer request...we need all these miles to be on one airline and a large percentage of them are indeed on United Airlines, but are being offered to us by about five different people.  And there's a $15 fee per 1,000 miles transferred.  If you do the math, that comes out to almost the cost of a plane ticket just to transfer the miles to us.  And obviously, if the miles are owned by several people then we need to get them transferred and consolidated.    So, we're planning to contact United and go up the chain of command and ask that fee to be waived.  Please pray that will happen!

Thank you, thank you.

Oh, and as far as Payton and Avery traveling with us goes, we have decided to only take Payton now.  After much more conversation with Avery, she wasn't all that excited at the idea of being on a plane for an entire day -- she just wanted to go because Payton was going.  And the idea of staying behind with Brooks and Jackson has become more and more appealing to her.  Payton, on the other hand, hasn't wavered.  She doesn't care what she needs to do to go with us (even possible vaccinations!).  I feel so, so, so sure that Payton coming on this trip would be a blessing to us and her and especially James.  I think it will be an enormous blessing for a child to be with him after he leaves all his friends and caregivers behind.  The thought is that although we may be creepy, scary adults to him, Payton may be a safe haven.  That's our hope and prayer!

More to come soon.  Love to all!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

article 5

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.  

Daniel 7:13-15


Covered me in goose bumps.

Or as they say in the South, 'chill bumps.'

A ton of college students from our church went to this conference last week.  So awesome.  Makes me pumped for our kids to experience the power of the Holy Spirit through events like Passion.


And an update on our little James...

Our Article 5 was issued yesterday!  This is the last step before our travel approval will be issued!  Normally, we'd be about a month from receiving our travel approval, but because of the Chinese New Year, it'll be more like 6 weeks until we get it.

As Payton would say, 'But still...'  :)

I'm fixin' to pull out our big red suitcase and start putting James' stuff in it!

You think I'm lyin'.  

Friday, January 6, 2012


I realize not all adoptions are created equal.

But I can be a bit neurotic in times like this.

Ask JD.

But when you're crazily trying to anticipate something that you can't really anticipate well at all, it's helpful (for me) to hear other's experiences.  It just helps for me us to talk to other families who've been in our shoes and hear how things panned out for them in this final stage of this long, arduous process.

So, here's my hypothesis:

We're not traveling until March.

This is why...

It seems from others that the time between the Article 5 being issued (ours was *supposed to be* issued yesterday) and receipt of the Travel Approval is about a month.

Article 5 to Travel Approval = 1 Month

Travel approval to getting on the plane = 2 weeks

I know what you're thinking because I'm thinking it too...

A month from now, is mid-February.  Perhaps you'll travel by the end of February!?

A-ha!  There's a huge wrench in the plan one problem.

Chinese New Year.

It seems China kind of shuts down for a couple of weeks as they celebrate their grandest cultural tradition.  In fact, our agency doesn't even allow families to be in China traveling during that time.

So, my heart of hearts says it's gonna be March.

And that's okay, you know why?

Because A) it'll be here before we know it, and B) by the time we get back, it'll practically be Spring!

Glorious, life-giving, get-us-out-of-this-house, put-James-in-the-stroller-and-let's-go, Spring!

I cannot wait!  It'll be the best Spring ever!

Monday, January 2, 2012


My goodness.

Christmas was wonderful.  Maybe one day I can post a few photos.

New Year's was all snuggled in at dear friends'.  Perfect.

Now, things are back on the move and I'm jumpin!  I so want to ramble on about the details of the last couple of weeks, but I just don't have time right now.

Back to school we curricula additions to figure out, new, new, new.  And some old and familiar.  Thank God.  Still trying to figure out this homeschooling thing, though.  I think I always will be because, darn it, these kids of ours won't stop growing and changing.

I literally almost broke down sobbing today as all six of us enjoyed a lunch out together.  JD casually made the comment to Brooks and Jackson that one day they'll have to grow up and say good-bye to each other.  Brooks jumps right in (in his loud, I-must-talk-over-everyone-else voice) by saying,

"Yeh, Jackson will always be my best friend, but one day we won't live together any more and I'll have to call him and say, 'Can I come over to visit?' and then I'll go to his house to see him."  


This is more than this mother's heart can take.  The tears just quietly rolled down my cheeks as I ate my waffle fries.  JD almost burst out laughing at me!

I digress...

The reason I hopped on here real quick is to put the word out that we're slowly gathering information and getting our heads around all that will be involved in our traveling to get James.  After talking to various friends and relatives, it's been suggested to us that we try to make the option available for folks to donate frequent flyer miles to us.  What a gift!  But, clearly, for this to work, we need to get the word out to folks who might like to participate (and thank you in advance to anyone who wishes to help us out this way!).  We've already had some friends offer us their miles on various airlines, but we've also opened a Capital One Venture card so if anyone has rewards on Capital One cards that they're not going to use and would like to share them, they can be transferred/donated to us.  How incredible.  This is literally dollars saved for us.  We feel so fortunate to have everything to this point paid for (!), but have this one last hurdle to cross!

Please feel free to email me with questions or ideas at  We're hoping if miles with specific airlines are donated that one airline will dominate and we can utilize that airline.  God does this kind of thing, so that would be cool.

I'll be back soon to write more!  We got the most incredible videos and photos of James the other day!  Oh my...I am speechless!  The best video yet of him!  It's a long video and he is on the move!  I can't tell you how much I want to post it here, but we've been told we have to wait until we have him.  Well, you know when that day comes, you might get tired of all the photos and videos I'll have to post!  Soon enough!

More soon...

Design By Sour Apple Studio | All Rights Reserved