Thursday, August 15, 2013

JOHN 14:18

Did you read my blog post yesterday?  It's ok, if not.  I realize when you are an inconsistent blogger like me, your followers fall away.  



You need to carefully read the following words:

"we are submitting our paperwork to start the approval process with Ch*na."  

Yes, these words are in regards to the little girl I prayed so hard for while in China.  

The one I described on my blog THE VERY NIGHT BEFORE who has the serious heart condition and needs a family ASAP!

 Her future family(NOT OUR FAMILY in case you are wondering)contacted me yesterday morning!  

I was beside myself excited and know it is only GOD who can orchestrate this beautiful process!  PLEASE KEEP THEM IN PRAYER!

This would be a great time to leave me a comment or click on the "follow" tab to the right and hopefully soon I will be able to show you pictures of this wonderful family I am lifting up in prayer in the days ahead!  

Oh, and this morning these were the words in my Journey devotion, 

I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you." John 14:18  

I love His promises, don't you? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Sorting through all of my emotions after returning from our trip has been more challenging than I ever dreamed, along with the added jet lag. Did I really think I could go love on babies for a week and not be changed? Who was I kidding when I thought I was going to help the orphans on the other side of the world? Is it possible that I made half as much of an impact on them as they did on me? They rocked my world in a way I never expected and I will never be the same.

Since we are not allowed to post photos of the children, I hope my words can help you visualize just a small part of what we experienced.  Visiting places like The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tiannamen  Square and the Terracotta Warriors were all amazing sites that I feel so privileged to have had the chance to see.  However, the more impressive sites, though,  that will leave more of an impact on me came from the faces of little children who just wanted to be loved.

 The one most difficult site will be those of a little girl toddling to me with arms open wide and a smile plastered on her face calling me Mamma. Then that same little girl standing with tears streaming down her face as I walked out the door for the last time.  I will remember her little hands caressing my face and those sweet baby lips that kissed me a million times.  I bought her this precious dress when we went shopping and loved to watch her little bottom shake as she danced around showing if off to everyone.

Then, I will remember another little girl who sat silently as she watched the other children play, so weak from her heart condition that the slightest smile took too much effort for her.  Her sweet baby lips were so dry and cracked and her little chest struggled for each breath.  I held her and cried, and begged my Lord to spare her little life until a family came for her.  She listened carefully as I softly sang, "Jesus Loves Me" and whispered in her ear how I loved her. I wonder if a family will come quickly enough for her as I pray for God to continue to hold her in the palm of His healing hand.

 Each little foot that wore these socks and shoes just longing for attention and love.
 These sweet Nannies carefully folding each cloth diaper, 4 thick, so they could
 try to keep little bottoms dry.
I will always remember this sweet Nannie who LOVED with all of heart and had the most gentle spirit with the babies.  She hugged me and told me in her very broken English, "I Love You," with tears clouding her eyes. 

I learned what it means to give until it hurts and for that I am thankful. I gave away part of my heart and tears flow a little easier now.  That, however, is nothing compared to what my Savior gave for me, when He gave His ALL! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My birthday boy

August 7 
On this day in 1991, I gave birth to my third beautiful baby boy who has forever changed my life.  On that same day, God gave me the second chance at life after a near death experience during childbirth.  It was a very difficult journey after I suffered with HELLP syndrome and then an even longer journey as Brandon suffered with sleep apnea.  For eight months he wore a breathing monitor and there were many nights we slept with the lights on so we would be ready when he stopped breathing.  Yes, every gray hair on my head was earned through many nights of little sleep!  This story is so much longer, but for now, I want to highlight my third, and last born son,  on his birthday today.

The past two weeks have been such a remarkable time to share with Brandon as we went on this trip to China and spent almost 24/7 together as we roomed and worked alongside each other.  I often asked him as we were ready to go, "Are you ready?" to which he always answered, "I was born ready!" Then my comment would typically be, "You were NOT born ready!" Of all of my kids, he was the one born the least ready! But, praise the Lord, he grew and has become and incredible man of God who today celebrates 22 years!

Enjoying a little(big) deep dish pizza in Chicago on our long layover to Beijing
Soaking in a little art in Chicago
Always ready for a little fun!
Accomplished climbing The Great Wall with his new friends

Brandon loving on  Corrie at Morning Star

Loving on a sweet heart baby, Noah

Never have to ask him to clean his plate twice!
Happy Birthday, Son, 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Internet troubles

If you were attempting to follow my blog you may have noticed that I stopped posting on day two of our mission trip.   It seems that although I paid for a VPN before leaving it would not work once we got to Baoji so I was not able to blog at that point.  We have finally arrived back in Xian and this hotel is wonderful!  We actually have working internet and air conditioning again!  Fortunately, one of our other team members was able to email her blog post to her husband, since things like blogger and facebook are blocked here and he posted our information to her blog.   David wasn't too sure about posting to my blog.  I can't wait to post some of my pictures and thoughts from our trip, but for now, I want to make sure you have the blog address where she has been posting.  Her blog can be found at:


I hope you enjoy her blog posts and I will post more later.  For now, God is good and we have definitely seen HIM at work this past week.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our Journey-Day Two

...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint. 
(Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

This is my prayer for tomorrow! We all need renewed strength after jet lag and sightseeing! Today was a wonderful day of seeing some amazing sights and eating many different foods. 
I don't think anyone in the group should have trouble sleeping tonight!

I am going to post a few pictures but more will come another day after a little rest!

The group who attempted to climb to the top of the Great Wall
The group who actually survived climbing to the top of this portion of the 
wall and now have the medal to show for it.  

 The day was very hazy and overcast so the photos are not the greatest.
This is truly an amazing sight to behold!
Our day ended with a few more foods that were very interesting.
We shared lots of laughter and many stories with so many new friends today.
What a blessing God has given us! 
We can't wait for tomorrow as we head to another area to love on some 
precious children.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Our journey-Day One

Once the rest of our group arrives you will get to see some other faces, but for now Brandon has been very cooperative posing for photos! Today he had his first experiences with some real Chinese food, and in case you didn't know, it doesn't look at all like our Chinese food in the US! We ate a very good breakfast in the hotel and he tried chop sticks and sushi for the first time.

After breakfast we met a precious lady, Lyndsay, and spent the day with her family.  Lyndsay and her husband Bill, do an amazing work being God's hands and feet as they operate the Morning Star Foundation Children's Home.  We had the opportunity to go play with the babies and love on them for a little while.  Then we had a great lunch with Bill, Lyndsay and their two darling daughters.  All ten of the babies in their care have very serious congenital heart defects.  Due to confidentiality reasons I am not posting photos at this time.  However, PLEASE click on the link above and look at their website.  This is a wonderful organization to support monetarily and through your prayers.  They are working hard to save these babies and love on the ones who can not be saved so that they know what it is like to experience the love of a family.  We heard some wonderful stories and thank God for this family and how He is using them to change lives. 
                           After lunch we got a good laugh at the lack of spell check going on here.

Tonight the rest of our group arrived and we had a nice dinner typical Chinese style. Sorry if I cut some of you out...I never claimed to be a photographer.

Travel time

For those who may be new to my blog and may not know, my sweet husband works for the airline and  thus the reason we fly standby.  It has its perks and it also causes some moments of tension wondering if we will make it on a flight.  We were very blessed this time to have the opportunity to fly business class, thus giving us much more room to rest and plenty of food.  The time passes so much more quickly when you are sleeping, eating and watching movies. 

Once we arrived at the Beijing airport, with its cute little characters, we were met by a sweet guide named Summer and a driver who took us to our hotel. The Metro Park Lido Hotel, where we will wait on the rest of our group to arrive. 
Before going to bed, our family was just waking up and we had to take a little time to skype and see those sweet faces!  I may get frustrated with technology at times, but I LOVE IT at times like these.


Chicago layover

After getting only a couple of hours sleep Tuesday night we headed to the airport for our 5:45 am flight to Chicago, arriving there at 8am.  That gave us MANY hours for a layover before heading on to Beijing at 7pm.  So we made the most of it and took the metro into the city to do a little sightseeing.  We had some authentic deep dish pizza, toured Millennium Park and the original library now turned museum and still had 3 hours before our flight.  The following are just a few pictures of our day in Chicago.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Glory in the garage

Goofy title? Yeah, maybe, but when you read how God showed His glory in my garage I hope it will strengthen your faith like it did mine!

As Andria and I talked about going on this trip, Brandon decided he wanted to go. That was great news, except for the fact that the cost was listed as $3,900-4,200 and multiplied by two it was an amount far beyond what we could even imagine! He really wanted to go so he was willing to help raise the needed funds. During the meantime, we enlisted another traveling partner, Beth.  

As we worked, prayed and planned how we would all afford such a mission trip we made plans for a garage sale at our house a few weeks ago.  The kids all had a great time selling lemonade and helping raise money for their "friends in Ch*na" with no mommies and daddies."

Then something totally unexpected happened!  While we were talking,  a man came up and asked if David's car was for sell.  This is the car that was parked in the back of our house that was NOT for sell!  David came in the house and told me about it and I said, "SELL IT!"  

David decided to sell it and The best part was that the young man bought it for the same price David paid for it THREE YEARS AGO! Now, that is ONLY GOD!

Thank you, Lord, for providing what we needed above and beyond what we could have ever dreamed.

It reminds me of the awesome song with the lyrics, I know who goes before me, I know who comes behind, The God of angel armies is always by my side.

How it all began

Three years ago God took part of my heart and left it in a country for a reason I did not understand.  As we prepared to return home with our precious daughter in June 2010, I had no intention of returning unless it was just to bring Lia back to see her culture someday.  God had a different plan though, when I said I would follow Him wherever He leads.  So, earlier this year when I learned of a mission trip to Lia's homeland my heart was immediately drawn to this trip.  While at Falls Creek during spring break, with our youth from church,  I mentioned to a friend how I would love to go on this mission trip.  She quickly said she would love to go also.  Thus began the prayer and preparation for the journey that we began yesterday.  I don't know what lies before us, but we have already seen God go before us and work out details that only He could have orchestrated.  My next post will tell a short story about just one of the details of God's provisions in a way far beyond our imagination in the days leading up to today. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting ready!

It has been quite some time since I have blogged and I know many of my followers my have dropped off but I plan to be doing lots of blogging this next week. Tomorrow morning my youngest son, Brandon and I will board a flight for Chicago and then later in the day we will fly to Beijing, China.  We will meet up with the other 6 people in our group on Friday where we will begin a wonderful week of work in an orphanage. Would you please pray with us as this trip begins and follow along on our journey?

Since I know pictures are what most people are looking for, I will leave you with a few of my favorites!

                               Ten days of not seeing these sweet faces my be rather difficult!
                 The newest addition to our family, Ranger, is getting spoiled very quickly!
God has given me five wonderful blessings who call me MOM and there are so many around the world who do not have anyone to call by that name.  I can't wait to love of some of them and pray I never take the gifts I've been given for granted!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

As Sunday morning arrived and all of the preparation began to unfold I thought of the importance of this day and how God has been so faithful.  I think most moms would agree that one of the most incredible days of her life was the birth of her children.  For those of us fortunate enough to be blessed by adoption, we tend to wonder what our child's first days and moments were like.  Consequently, today was even more special.  You see, I may not have been there for Lia's first birth and may have missed out on 4 years of her life, but God spoke to her little hear,  and with her childlike faith she accepted Him as her Savior, and today I had the privilege of witnessing her second birth. 
Knowing that all five of my children have made this decision is a joy that overwhelms my soul!  I can't think of any better way to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord than to watch my baby girl's excitement for Him! Every day for the past week we counted down the days until Easter, a day we would celebrate Christ's resurrection, Lia's baptism and Aunt Sherri and Aunt Lee Ann's birthday.  Wow, did we celebrate!  We had food galore and about 30 friends and relatives to share our day.  God blessed us with perfect weather and plenty of memories to last a lifetime.  And now....our day in pictures.

 The whole crew
 Mimi and the girls
 Love these girls, silly string, silly hats, confetti and all!
Boys, watch out!  She has two more big brothers in addition to this one!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day


I hope you will take a moment to watch this beautiful display of LOVE from some of the survivors of CHD and see the LOVE for life in each little smile.

And now these three remain: 

faith hope and LOVE. 

But the greatest of these is LOVE.

I Corinthians 13:13 

 What an awesome Valentine celebration in honor of Congenital Heart Defects and the little lives touched by it.  We celebrated Tuesday night with a dinner for the CHD kiddos and families at Cook's Children's Hospital 
provided by a man, gifted by God, who 
actually held my baby girls heart in his own hands.  
For this man's LOVE I will forever be thankful.
 Then, I was surprised last night with beautiful flowers from one of my sweet sons,
 in an ever so creative orange juice bottle.
And this morning we awoke to find that Daddy left his three favorite girls a long stem red rose and a dozen chocolate covered strawberries to show his LOVE
He then had a carnation delivered to each of us at school today.  For this man, I will always and forever LOVE you from the very depths of my heart. 

And the greatest LOVE of all gave HIS life for me on an old rugged cross 
and because of that LOVE my life will never be the same again.