Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Posting videos on here has become a little labor intensive.

Not to mention that if I ever want to have this blog printed (yes, you can do that!...isn't that cool?) the videos obviously won't print, but photos will.  So I think I'll stick with mostly photos.

The videos are going on YouTube.

I can do it directly from my phone -- easy, breezy, beautiful.  And 'easy' is the name of the game these days.

So, here's the YouTube page, if you're interested.

And, oh my, is Jimmy Jam getting theatrical with his singing!  Especially with his Tinker-Toy-constructed microphone and microphone stand.  Thank you, Payton and Avery.  They used to build these for themselves when they would pretend to be Hannah Montana.  How is it possible that those days are gone already?

More soon on how fast Payton and Avery are growing.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

a home for girls

Our church has supported and loved on a community of people in Hato Major, Dominican Republic for many years.  Team after team have gone there to meet the medical and dental needs of the local people, to construct buildings, assist in the implementation of water treatment systems, and more recently, plant a passion fruit farm to create sustainable income. 

In fact, HOPE sent a medical/dental team there last week.

In December, JD went with a small team for a different purpose.

To meet with locals about the need for a children's home.

It seems the need is great.  

So great that this land was donated by the government to a local ministry that HOPE partners with.

The specific need?  A home for girls, ages 9 to 18, who have been abused and need refuge.

Funny how when you start asking questions, God already has the details laid out: the need, the land, the people.  Just one inquiry led very quickly to a 'Yes!' and a trip was made.

Rental property is being identified to try a pilot home for six months or a year.  

Anyone for some Rosetta Stone Spanish?  

Friday, February 22, 2013

from the mouth of a child

It was a typical early evening.

James was climbing in the bath.

He loves his baths.

I got his bath toys out and was plopping them in one-by-one when, out of no where, he touches his finger to his 'wing' and says,

No arm, Mommy?

With a smile, my mouth replied: Yep, Buddy, no arm!

Yet in my mind I'm thinking: Whoah, where did that come from?  

So then I decided to see what else was stirring in that little head of his, so I asked,

James, what happened to your arm?

In a fashion only befitting of a three-year-old, he replied simply with a smile,

It fall off!  

Love that kid!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the day is drawing near

March 4th is drawing near.

The day we met James in that hotel conference room so many miles away.

It was the day we took James in our arms and marched right out of there never looking back.

The anticipation was so great.  We were so excited!

But I have a confession to make.

Despite photos like this one...

where I appear to be in pure bliss...

I was freaking out.

Perhaps I deserve an Oscar.

Don't misunderstand.  I was very excited to finally have James with us in the flesh -- no longer just a photograph or video we watched.

But seeing him in person, seeing his malformed hand, seeing with my own eyes that he really is missing an arm, and witnessing that this child couldn't walk at all, but instead scooted across the floor, was a little more than my emotionally-fragile-freaked-out-mama-heart could take.  

The enormity of what we were committing to was pressing in on me.  

Many who've seen us over the last year with James, may not believe it when I say that while we were in China, I spent a lot of time in my head; deep in thought.  Having thoughts like:

This is all wrong.

I'm not cut out for this.

I'm not that kind of mom -- I don't have the patience, the grace, the capacity to love.

What have we done?

Is this the biggest mistake of our lives?

How can I possibly love him well enough?

At the Created for Care Retreat I attended a couple of weeks ago, I heard an encouraging 'Gotcha Day' story from another mom who said she had it all planned out: this beautiful photo-perfect time at her child's orphanage in Africa; her embracing her child for the first time with tears of joy running down her cheeks.  It was going to be a YouTube-worthy-moment that they would cherish forever.  But it was just the opposite.  She wasn't crying tears of joy.  She was freaking out inside.  They'd traveled so many hours she was weary and exhausted.  They thought they were going to have a night to catch their breath, but were told immediately when they arrived at their hotel that they would be heading over to the orphanage in just a few minutes to meet their child.  She told all of the moms waiting to bring their children home that perhaps all the tears we see on YouTube adoption videos aren't exactly tears of joy, but tears of feeling overwhelming fear and trepidation.

That was the moment I knew I wasn't alone because I had spent a good amount of time in China praying and asking God to carry me.

Asking Him to build my trust in Him.

Asking Him to expand my heart to love James well.

It is such a joy to say that, almost a year later, I am in love with this little Jimmy Jam of ours!  

In fact, I now love his masterpiece of a body -- his 'wing', his little hand, his mismatched feet, his legs: one shorter than the other.  

This is his unique composition.  

Created by the Master Crafter.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

love is in the air

What perfect timing.

This week, James started the most precious new thing.

For the past 11 months, we've had the pleasure of telling him we love him and kissing his cheeks and squeezing him tight.

Often times, after I tell him "I love you" I say, "Now, say 'I love you, too, Mommy'" so he'll understand how this sweet exchange can work.

He has obediently repeated after me.

But now he says his own version.

On his own accord.

On his timing.

Straight from his little three-year-old-heart.

And always with a leg hug or a laying-of-his-head-on-our-shoulder immediately after.

I love Mommy.

I love Daddy.

I love Payton.

I love Avery.

I love Jackson.

I love Brooks.

Oh, this boy of ours.  How blessed we are.

A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:34-35


Thursday, February 7, 2013


This child.

Cracks us up!

Just unbelievable.

We've known for a long time that he loves, loves, loves music, but when Avery decided to let him use her ipod last night -- like actually afix it to his body -- he transcended to another realm.

We lost him.

He is absolutely crazy about this ipod business.

It's now the first thing he asks for when he wakes up.

He wants to listen to it wherever he goes.

We have to prepare him (at least five times!) that he'll have to part with it when we arrive at our destination.

No, you will not listen to the ipod at the dinner table.

No, you can't take the ipod into church.

No, you can't listen to it during lunch. 

Things I never thought I'd be saying to a three-year-old.


He actually has the right beat and we can figure out which song he's singing by listening to him.  He's come so, so far.



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