See you in Mei Guo!!!



We are about to board the plane in Seoul to finish the long journey home!!!!  We’ll be in Atlanta Thursday morning!!!!  As Anne Shirley said ” I feel broken down and green and provincial and only ten years old. For pity’s sake, please take me someplace where I can hear myself think!”  We love traveling and we have loved China but we are SO ready to get home!!!!!!  Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and supported us in this amazing adventure!  We have felt so uplifted, so encouraged and really words can not express our gratitude.  I do believe so much that the Lord created us to live in community with each other, to uphold each other and help each other with the callings He gives each one of us.  We have experienced that in such a deep and life changing way because of the dear family and friends who have stood in the gap for us in this time!!!!!  Thank you, thank you and we love you.  We thank God for you and pray His richest blessings on your lives!  See you in America!





More Pictures and A Whirlwind in Guangzhou

We have had so many appointments, activities and fun that it has been a whirlwind.  We leave this evening to start the long road back home!!!!!  I mean, really, how did that happen?  I feel like I blinked and we were boarding a plane to come to Ch*na and now we’re about to get right back on it and come home with two very special new treasures!!  And that’s just how I feel about them.  I had no idea looking ahead two weeks ago what in the world was going to happen.  How would they react and what would we do.  It has been amazing.  They’re just our kids, plain and simple.  With ordinary kid awesomeness and kid obnoxiousness.  We’ve seen their good moods and bad moods, etc.  It’s just family.  And it is a miracle!  The past few days we have spent time going to the last apts. we’ve had to get all of the last of the paperwork in a row.  We went to their medical apts. and to the US Consulate.  We have been to several shopping outings to buy some special things from our time here.  The thing I have absolutely enjoyed the most has been going to Shamian Island.  It’s a little section of Guangzhou that was the British and French concession during imperial Ch*na.  It was stepping into a dreamland for me.  I am such a ridiculous Anglophile.  Anything that even gives me a hint of the Victorians and I start to float away in a cloud of loveliness!!!!!!!  It actually reminds me so much of Savannah, GA.  With the palm trees and almost more colonial architecture.  It has beautiful garden areas and one can only imagine how spectacular it would have looked when it was in it’s heyday.  They have really done a fantastic job maintaining it and most of the buildings are in excellent condition and are in use.  There a lots of little shops and a few cafes and it is just SO pleasant!!!  There is a hotel on the island and I have been simply a grump ever since I saw it that we aren’t staying there!!!  It would have been a little haven from the busyness of the city.  We spent two afternoons there and took lots of pictures and just breathed in the atmosphere.  My only regret on this trip is that we haven’t gotten to do more of that in general.  I would have loved to get out of the cities into the countryside.  To really get to see the beauty of our girls’ land.  Anhui province where they are from has some stunning mountain areas and lakes.  When we come back we will do that.  We are a part of Ch*na now.  We carry it with us and always will.  When we were first here and walking around the Summer Palace I really tried to put that into the boys’ hearts.  A part of our family is Ch*nese now, our grandchildren will have Ch*nese blood, their nieces or nephews will be bound to this place and we are bound now to, because of what the Lord has done in our hearts and in our family.  I am so incredibly happy about that.  I want my children to really understand the meaning of the song “He’s Got the Whole World In HIS Hands”.  To understand it and to really live it.  To not shy away from people out of fear or desire for their own comforts.  We have embraced these children as our own and they ARE our own now.  Our family will never be the same.  And that is a GOOD thing!!!!!  Once again we thank Him that we didn’t say no to this, that we walked this road and that we are better because of it!

20131211-112341.jpg Our fantastic travel group!  We had so much fun with them and gleaned a bunch of great info. from the experienced adoptive families we have in this group!  We have a lot to learn from these wonderful people!

20131211-112433.jpg Fun times with Baba or Bobbeeeee, as they call him!!




20131211-112631.jpg I don’t know what I would be doing without my dear chum and fellow market bargain shopper Amanda!!!! Can’t imagine them not being here with us, it has been the best part!!


20131211-113944.jpg Shamian Island!!


20131211-112726.jpg So…we lost Rob for a time on the island.  This was the pair I was stuck with and neither of them handled it well. They eventually joined hands for comfort. We’ve learned a lot about which child needs to paired with the other on this trip… This picture is priceless!



20131211-112818.jpg The prettiest Starbucks I’ve ever seen and they had a great bathroom. Win win!!!!



20131211-113002.jpg In the Catholic church


20131211-113038.jpg The school kids came out to play and got a big kick out of Joshua and Andrew.

20131211-113110.jpg The Queen’s post in Ch*na…of course!





20131211-113332.jpg They have so many brides taking pictures everyday.  Some of them had on the most fascinating of Fascinators!!!





20131211-113443.jpg The US Consulate and what could possibly be more American than the Denver Broncos!!!




And then I walked in poop

Adventures in Eaker adoption land continue.  We are finally in the city of Guangzhou.  It is in the south of Ch*na and the last stop on our whirlwind adoption ride.  Time has passed so fast that I am trying to catch my breath.  We went to the orphanage on Thursday in Hefei but that’s a post for another day.  I need a little longer to process all of the emotions involved.  For now some of the crazier moments we’ve had in Hefei and Guangzhou.  On Wednesday we went to the provincial museum and really had a fantastic time.  It is a beautiful new museum with a lot of amazing old world items from Anhui province.  I loved the 1700s beautiful carved windows and delicate scrolls, Rob loved the antique tools, the boys loved all of the dragon carvings that are on everything and the girls loved the beautiful jewel collection on loan from the Forbidden City.  It was a lot of fun.  Of course, the most fun is our adventures in being the parents of a child in a wheelchair and learning how get her around the streets of provincial Ch*na.  We had quite the time trying to get across the street to Wal-Mart with the wheelchair when we got back from the museum.  This street is under major construction, as is everything in Hefei.  You just have to jump on out there with every type of vehicle and bicycle known to man.  There was a very narrow road way that we had to walk to get to Wal-Mart that also included walking around a very large puddle of running, raw sewage.  Yes, RAW sewage. The six of us set off on this adventure to get presents for the girls friends at the orphanage.  We made our way across pretty well, only took us 20 minutes to get across that one road.  But on the way back we had about 10 bags of stuff, a massive amount of stuff we had bought for the their friends and we had to carry all of that plus push the wheel chair, plus all of the Crazy amount of traffic whirling around us.  Lili Claire likes to hold on tight to one of our arms when we go somewhere new and gets disoriented by all of that chaos so I had her with me at the back of our line, trying to carry about six bags and not get hit by a car.  At one point I panicked and got scared we were going to get hit so I just started walking super fast and accidentally made us stomp our way right through the RAW sewage puddle!!!!!!  Raw sewage splashed ALL over us and I mean ALL over us.  On Lili Claire’s beautiful new coat, her new shoes, her tights, her hands, YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!!! This child is just as OCD as her new Mama and does not like to be dirty, let alone covered in POOP!  We made our way back up to the hotel room and don’t ask me how but I managed to clean and sanitize every thing without throwing up.  It pushed every germophobic button I have and she was thoroughly traumatized!!!! We did not venture over to that side of the street with them for the rest of the trip!! Blech!


Our trip to Guangzhou was another adventure.  These two girls have lived their entire lives in their province and have never been anywhere close to an airplane.  Everything was new.  The packing up and getting all of our bags to the van, the standing in ticket lines, the going through security, etc. etc.  The airline put Louisa’s wheelchair on the plane first thing so we used an airport wheelchair.  They insisted they needed to wheel her around another way that we could not come.  So off she went by herself, which I really didn’t like and we made our way the normal route. It took them a super long time to get her there and I was starting to get really worried. Thankfully she showed up again right before we were supposed to get on…note to self – always stay with your child!!!  We were hoping that perhaps since she was in a wheelchair they would put at least some of us up at the front of the section. Nope, Rob had to carry her all the way to almost the back of the plane.  Nice.  Once we got off the elevator down to baggage was broken so Rob picked her up again and jumped on the escalator with her to go down.  That one made my heart stop.  Thankfully she has a strong daddy.  She loves it when he carries her!!!!!  Lili Claire loved the plane ride so much.  She giggled and clapped and just starred in awe.  In some ways she is definitely like a toddler, very socially behind and shows the signs of a child raised her entire life in an institution.  But I love her enthusiasm and her excitement.  Maybe we should all be more like that.  After all, Jesus said we are to have faith like a child.

By the time we got done with all this week of adventures plus the plane ride to Guangzhou we were almost sick with exhaustion.  We completely passed out.  I have experienced terrible jet leg before on trips and am just so, so thankful it hasn’t been bad at all on this one.  Each night we have felt very refreshed and renewed.  The Lord is so faithful when it is says in His Word that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion!

20131207-171907.jpg Fun in the hotel room in Hefei!

20131207-172018.jpg She made Daddy a princess!  She laughed so hard.  She loves him so much!

20131207-172044.jpg Lili Claire loves to take pictures of her bears.  So glad they are still young enough to have “little” girl things.  It makes it so much easier to parent them.

20131207-172111.jpg They put their princess crowns on their stuffed lovies.  Sweet girls!

20131207-172139.jpg One last picture in front of the tree.  Andrew is the photo bomb master by now.  He thinks its so funny!

20131207-172240.jpg At the airport ready for their very first plane flight.  Louisa was up at dawn packing her bag!  See ya Hefei, she is outta here!!


20131207-172324.jpg Our fantastic guide.  I just love this woman.  She has such a special heart for these kids and has worked hard for them.  She has a very sweet bond with Louisa and was the first to advocate for her several years ago.  She was so excited and just thrilled that we adopted Louisa.

20131207-172357.jpg They love each other!

20131207-172410.jpg She is beyond excited to be on her way to Mei guo ~ America!

20131207-172425.jpg My amazing, sweet boy.  He has risen to every crazy thing we have asked of him.  VERY proud!!!!

20131207-173405.jpg Matching glasses and headbands!  It’s mommy love!

20131207-172517.jpg The Garden Hotel in Guangzhou.  LOVE it!  This tree is awesome.


20131207-172618.jpg The fountain in the gardens.  We can see this from our window.

~ k


First days with our girls

The past few days have been a total whirlwind!!  The girls are doing so well and we are having so much fun with them that we’re just having time to breath.  The first night together the girls wanted me to sleep in the twin bed with both of them.  Quite the experience… The only time they have been fussy has been when they get too hot and that first night they were sweltering.  The orphanage is absolutely freezing so I’m told.  Louisa has pressure sores on her ankles because of the lack of movement in her legs and the cold has a history of making it much, much worse. I tried my best to cool the girls down.  Gave them tons of “Shui”- water, that they were asking for and then layed down in between them.  As soon as I did they both rolled over and wrapped one arm around me tight and just held on while they fell asleep.  Absolutely melted and crushed my heart at the same time.  Even in my imagination I never would have thought they would have been so in need of a mother’s love, after all, they come from a super good orphanage.  It just can’t compare.

Tuesday morning we went to pick up all our official documents at the civil affairs and the girls put their names on the dotted line and had their finger stamped in red ink.  We have their passports and this part of things is all done.  We had the guide drop us off at the local park because with this many people in a hotel room it is no fun to sit around.  Thankfully I have been absorbing enough Chinese to know how to get around in public fairly well and get taxis without being taken for a song, that kind of thing.  Thanks in part to my fantastic Ch*nese teacher in the US and my amazing sister who barters so well with the taxi drivers she practically had them howling with fits of laughter.  They love good bartering here!  The park was more like a little amusement park, not so much the strolling type place I had envisioned.  Oh my goodness, it was perfect.  All the kids loved it!!!  They rode rides, played games, won prizes, bought junky trinkets and tons of fun junky snacks!  The girls and boys were in heaven.  Rob even carried Louisa up a flight of stairs so she could ride a ferris wheel type thing.  I am so proud of him!!! We drew lots of crowds because yes, we stand out like a sore thumb but also the kids were having so much fun together.  What started as stares of bewilderment usually turned to smiles and kindness.  I’m so glad to see that.  It is a very deep prayer of ours that the girls will be able to one day minister to their birth country and people in a mighty way.  Ch*na is just still not very sympathetic as a whole to people with special needs.  Louisa being so amazingly beautiful and yet in a wheelchair is something that is very powerful and healing for them to see.

After the park we made our way across our first major traffic filled road with the wheelchair in tow to eat.  Lili Claire wanted food off the street and the rest of us ordered at the restaurant. Rob and I are wheelchair carrying champs at this point.  We’ve lifted Louisa in that thing up big flights of stairs, over crazy big road barriers, into ridiculously small bathrooms, etc. etc.  We just go for it.  Yikes… She is very patient and trusting!  We got our first taxis with the wheelchair and our very large group and it went surprisingly well.  When they heard my “tai gui la” and saw me barter down their proposed 30 RMB, they automatically assumed I can really speak Zhong wen – Chinese.  Um…nope.  That driver laughed his head off when he realized that when I said I spoke “yi dian Zhong wen” I meant I spoke “yi dian Zhong wen”!  Just a little Chinese.  Ha, ha.  All of those activites were just about enough for us, we pretty much just passé out when we came back!  The girls did so well being out with us.  They were sweet and helpful.  The boys are just champs, plain and simple!!!!  They have absolutely amazed us at how well they are doing.  They adore the girls.  Give them huge hugs everytime they see them.  They play with them, do google translate together and have so much fun.  They have been super patient and willing whenever they are asked to have their picture taken by the Ch*nese.  They give the victory sign that people love here and smile.   Even though they can’t stand it.  How are they my children, I would have loved to have been treated like a movie start at their age!!! Feeling very upheld by the Lord right now.  It is His grace, His mercy and His Spirit that is the reason we are walking through this with such ease and grace.  I don’t want to ever forget that.  And we’re praising Him!

20131204-230343.jpg Having so much fun together!



20131204-230523.jpg At the Hefei park!!! Lili Claire stylin in the all yellow outfit she put on and LOVED!


20131204-230556.jpg This sweet Ayi “Auntie” put batteries in her wand for her.  She loves to watch it light up and play and she dances around.

20131204-230613.jpg I mean, she could not be more proud of herself!


20131204-230641.jpg Louisa May is definitely more mature socially than Lili Claire but she still loves that sparkly princess stuff every bit as much as Lili.

20131204-230709.jpg Andrew was so excited about this ice cream but it turned out to be a huge disappointment.  Poor Andrew.

20131204-230737.jpg The crowd we drew playing games! We were all laughing. Ch*na feels so communal and I love that about it.

20131204-230751.jpg Their stuffed animal prizes



Gotcha Day


Gotcha Day!!! (More pictures at the end)

When we woke up on Monday morning we were definitely a combination of extreme nerves and extreme excitement.  It is hard to describe how it feels to have something materializing that has been such an illusive dream for so long.  We were actually a little early to meet the driver which shows how unusual this day was!!  We met the driver in the Hotel lobby and then rode in what they called the “mini van” to the civil affairs building to meet the girls.  The “mini van” is actually a huge bus that we wish we could transport back to the US for our expanding crew!  Our guide met us at civil affairs and told us they were already there and waiting… OH MY CRAZY NERVES.  I thought I would pass out. I think we are the only family in Hefei adopting right now so the building was very quiet.  They brought us into a familiar room that we have seen tons of pictures of from other families adopting.  And there they were…it was really happening!!! It’s so funny but there’s almost a part of you that wonders if it will ever finish, this race that we’ve been on to bring these children into our family.  They were shy and sweet and giggling and every bit as anxious as we were.  It was probably one of the most awkward and most wonderful moments of our lives.  We just walked up gently and started patting their arms and telling them that we are Mama and Baba, daddy.  And that is pretty much how the first twenty minutes went.  All of us just standing there, barely speaking, just looking at each other and trying to figure this moment out.  The guide went straight to paperwork so if it wasn’t for Amy being there we would have had no translation at all.  Thankfully she was able to translate a little bit for us and talk some to the girls.  Then Lili Claire let go of her reserve and started bouncing around and being happy and excited and silly and that broke the ice for everyone.  We brought them new backpacks which they loved and Daddy had bought them sparkly, Hello Kitty necklaces for Gotcha Day.  Oh my sweetness.  They LOVE those necklaces.  They immediately wanted to put them on and were admiring them.  Joshua put the one on Lili Claire and that was the most precious moment.  The rest of the time passed with them showing us all of the papers and pictures they had brought with them, signing all the official documents and talking a little bit to the orphanage director about their medical needs.  Louisa was so proud of these pictures she had painted for us and a very sweet letter she wrote us for Gotcha Day about how excited she is to have a family.  She is so sweet and stunningly beautiful!  She signed all of the papers she brought from this past year with the name Louisa May.  Lili Claire always calls her Louisa May and she responds to it immediately.  It definitely seems they have been calling her that at the orphanage and she loves the name.  Hanli loves being called Hanli Claire or Lili Claire.  When they say “Claire” their accent is so beautiful.  It’s so funny to me how much I fretted over whether to give them English names or not.  They love them and totally own them.  After we finished, we took the official adoption pictures that I have seen hundreds of over the past year and a half.  Now it was finally our turn!!!  Then we all went back to the hotel.  Loading Louisa May’s wheelchair up for the first time was a little bit of an adventure but really not a problem.  It was so precious to see Rob lift her up for the first time and see her hold onto her Baba!!

When we got back, we were on our own and it was time to dive into this adventure!! The girls immediately were sweating and hot in the extreme.  The orphanage is so cold so they were wearing thick layers and I don’t think have ever been in such a warm room in their life.  They got flaming red cheeks and were fanning themselves at a great rate.  They took one look at their clothes closet and wanted to get those thick old clothes off and put on some of their pretty new things.  Thirty minutes later we had totally de-orphanaged them.  They had on fresh, beautiful clothes.  Mama and Mami braided their hair and they picked out pretty new fascinator headbands to wear.  When we went downstairs to eat they were like two new creatures.  It was precious.  By the end of the night they just already felt like our children.  I gave them a bath and they were only shy for about two minutes before letting me just be their Mama.  All of the awkwardness about those type of moments with adopting older children that I pondered how to deal with were just really not there.

That is pretty much our experience with them over the past couple of days.  They just are our children.  Yes, it is a bit odd when we really stop and psychoanalyze it, so we’ve chosen to just have no psychoanalyzing of this situation.  But for the most part from moment ONE they have claimed us as their family just as much as we have claimed them.  The guide said that all of these months of waiting they have asked when were we coming every single day.  That they were just beyond ready to leave that orphanage and have their own people.  And we can absolutely tell.  They have been so loving, so happy, smiling so big constantly.  They say I love you all the time, give hugs and kisses, act silly, let us help them, tell us their needs, etc.  Of all of the scenarios we have been educated about this is the very best one!!!  They just feel like ours.  It’s a good thing too.  They both have medical needs that are going to demand a certain amount of trusting us on their parts for us to deal with and get through successfully.  I am so thankful to the Lord that the bonding has been easy since that part will be so hard.

I can not express how much we are grateful that the Lord has allowed us to become their mommy and daddy.  To love and serve Him in this way.  We know that they are blessed to get a family and will have a life so completely better than they would but we are just as much blessed to have them in our lives.  To be stretched in this way.  To trust the Lord and find Him faithful.  Our lives and faith will never be the same.  They boys are already showing a remarkable change in their desire for the Lord.  They see Him in this, they see how much these girls needed us and they get “it”.

The girls are so, so happy to finally be with us-that is very apparent.  Our hearts are broken to see how much they desperately wanted to be with a family, to see how they crave love and attention, to see how proud they are to hold our hands and claim us as their own.  There is nothing that can replace the love of family.  That since of belonging.  I am so sad they had to wait so terribly long for it and am amazed at their resiliency.

Gotcha Day was just amazing, nothing short of amazing.  We are so, so happy to finally have these two precious gifts to add to the four we already have the privilege of loving.  It is a blessing and a miracle.


Sweet welcoming cards from friends waiting to meet them back home!  Their clothes!!

1403637_10153591696195026_1171764228_o775708_10153591696230026_1030809161_o On our way!

20131204-212925.jpg And then there they were!!




20131204-213948.jpgGetting to know each other through video games


Baba has been all of our HERO!!!

902547_10153591696485026_583054847_o The orphanage director.  I know she truly cares for these girls.

1425255_10153591696225026_479260346_o Our precious new daughters and sisters.  They’re matching snow white sweaters were so sweet.


778753_10153591707285026_325633670_o Our official adoption picture!!  They are legally ours!


1401910_10153591707235026_751756192_o Singing and clapping as we leave that building for our new life as their family!


1398721_10153591726540026_805257806_oAfter we put on some of their beautiful clothes and fascinators.

885335_10153591726550026_1266739990_o Maybe one of my favorite pictures ever!

1402913_10153592416070026_1817995297_o This is how they ended the night!  Lili Claire poured out the sparkling water and they toasted their new life!!


Thank you so much to everyone who prayed and supported us!!!!




Why We Said Yes


We are finally, finally in CH*NA!!!!!  I feel so excited, nervous and amazed all at once.  As we start the last leg of this long journey to adoption, I’ve been doing a lot of  thinking about when the Lord first called us to this. The summer of 2011 to May 2012 was a very hard time for me emotionally and spiritually.  The funny thing is we were financially prosperous.  We found ourselves with a great blessing of money but all I could think of was, “it’s not enough”.  I felt this sick ache.  I’d never been hungry for money before but all of a sudden I was.  I looked forward in my future and saw all the things I wanted, all the places I wanted to go, all the experiences I wanted to have.  I knew we would never have enough for all those things.  That we somehow needed much more.  I spent almost a whole year with this terrible, silent wrestling in my heart.  A desperate gnawing in my soul for how I could get more.  There was a little bit of Gollum coming out in me.  Except my “precious” wasn’t a gold ring, it was myself.  And the things I was craving and desiring were not wrong.  They were beautiful.  Beautiful, lovely things that only make life sweeter.  I stumbled because I wanted the beauty more than I wanted the beauty Maker.  It made me greatly dissatisfied and anxious.  We went to Colonial Williamsburg that May 2012.  I thought it would just be a wonderful time to enjoy history as a family… what I found was deliverance.  On Memorial Day there is no better place to be to remember and celebrate.  The magnificent Fife and Drums band marches all around the town and you can step right in with their procession.  I’ll never forget the first time we heard them!  As they came playing up the street we could not sit still, we stepped into the street and followed them…and then I noticed something.  My boys immediately straightened their backs and became serious and determined.  They were really marching, not just pretending.  And in my own heart…I felt my own heart start to leap…start to WAKE UP!  We marched up the street as those beautiful, stirring old battle songs rang loudly in our hearts.  And I started to cry. Tears just streamed down my face.  At that moment I caught a glimpse of what it means to march spiritually, marching with His army.  I felt my Lord and Captain waking my cold, bitter heart up!  And a battle cry swelled in my whole soul.  The battle cry to serve Him with passion and determination.  Gladly laying down my life, no matter what the cost.  To lay down even the most beautiful, harmless desires if they were not desired for His glory but my own.  I just started saying, “Yes, Lord…Yes, Lord…Jesus You have ALL of me!”  Over and over again.  He woke my heart back up that day and renewed in me the JOY of my salvation!  It is an Ebenezer in my life.  A marker of God’s help.  A memorial moment in my own life when He intervened to pull me out of the darkness where the selfish, human desires of my own heart would leave me.

Williamsburg Fife and Drum Band Video 

When we came home I randomly read an adoptive mom’s blog that gripped me. Adoption had always been an idea in the back of our minds but at that point it was not something we had even discussed or thought about in a long time.  She did a blog entitled “If not us then who?  http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/2012/02/if-not-usthen-who.html  I watched the horrifying video of the way orphans were treated in one orphanage which represents many around the world. It was heartbreaking and I could not shake the thought of the life some children are forced to live in this world.  A few days later I watched a video with Katie Davis, a young woman in Uganda who runs a ministry in a very poor community and has adopted over 10 girls.  She was 21 years when she started adopting the abandoned children the Lord would bring into her life.

Katie Davis YouTube Video Link

Katie said that when she looked at what to do with her life she found it in God’s word.  He tells us to treat our neighbor as we treat ourselves.  If we don’t want to be hungry and abandoned why should we look on that plight in another’s life and not help them.  I heard her words and I wanted to serve the Lord like this.  I watched the video of those kids and thought what if I really lived the way I say I BELIEVE.   I started trying to think of what was different about my self and this girl and so many others who serve the Lord with this great passion and love.  Why did I watch videos like this and hear these words and yet go on about my business, not changing anything about the way I live my Christian life.  I thought maybe they have a special calling and I don’t.  Maybe they are naturally just more equipped to serve God and people in such a selfless manner.  I started really praying about it and the Lord spoke to my heart.  He told me there is nothing different or more special about this girl.  She probably is a naturally kind hearted  person no doubt but the reason she serves the Lord with such effectiveness is she was just simply willing to say “YES”!!  Willing to say yes. This was another Ebenezer moment for me.  A marker of God’s imprint in my heart.  I started thinking back to the other Ebenezer moments in my life.  When I was a young teenager, the Lord led me one night to the book of Isaiah in the Bible. I still have the old Bible I used then and these were the verses I underlined,

“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.” Is. 55:5

“For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Is. 55:12.

He opened up my world view with those words and gave me a heart for people all over the world.

As a freshman in college, I was in a place where I felt a little bit lost in this new adult world.  But the Lord was Faithful!  I was on a trip with my college choir and one afternoon I stood on the beach by myself and just gazed out on the ocean.  All of a sudden I felt such a sense of His presence.  His Great and Holy presence.  He spoke to my heart again that day, so clearly.  He whispered, “Look out across this ocean, as far as you can see.  As great and wide as this ocean is, I will take you to places even farther…farther than you can even imagine if you will just come with Me”.  I knew He wasn’t just talking geographically, but spiritually, about my life in Him.  I wept that day with joy that HE would speak to me!  An Ebenezer, an imprint, a marker.  But I had to be willing, to say “YES”, to go with Him!  I went back to practice and drew out this very simple little picture.  A reminder I’ve held onto always.


Rob has similar moments in his life.  Moments when God changed his direction and led him further in following Him. So that is why we said “Yes” in this season to adoption and following Him even deeper in His purposes in our lives.  We said yes to saying “yes” together when we married on that beautiful, rainy, amazing November 4th day 13 years ago.  This is one more time of stepping out on the water like Peter, with nothing to hold us up but Him.  It’s probably the scariest time and the deepest we’ve ever gone, the deepest water we have ever tried to walk on but Hallelujah!!!  It is the prayer of my deepest heart that nothing will stand in the way of my saying yes to Him when He calls.  Because I know one thing, we will never regret it.  We will never regret acting in obedience.  We will never regret the financial sacrifice.  The trip we didn’t get to take, the item we didn’t get to buy, the nights we stayed up into the wee hours to get it all done.  The space in our home given over.  The space in our hearts pushed to bursting to let more children in who require all we have to give.  We will never regret it.  I pray we keep saying “yes” to our King!

This has become our song for this adventure!  These are words really express what is in our hearts right now.

Oceans by Hillsong United Video

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine



Letter Of Acceptance!!!!!!!!


This means we are now officially allowed to be the parents of Louisa May and Lili Claire!!!!!  SO happy and relieved!  This step in the process took longer and was way more complicated then we thought it was going to be.  A computer issue in their country was at the heart of it and affected so many waiting families.  We really had no idea when it would be resolved.  So… hopefully around Thanksgiving we will have two more beautiful and precious children with us to celebrate and be thankful for!!!  Praising Him!



Waiting Faces


“A family is everybody all together.” ~ Russell Hoban, A Baby Sister for Frances

We are in the midst of an intense and difficult waiting time for our daughters.  Paperwork caught up in wretched computer systems and unknown workers’ whims.  It is frustrating and irritating but this is the purifying fire the Lord has placed us in.  To turn our hearts more constantly to the only One Who can truly make a difference, Who can truly bring change!!  It is a privilege to serve Him in this trial.  We are filling our days with massive home organization ~ the nesting urges have taken over in such a rampant way that I might as well have a humongous belly to show for it!  Homeschooling, which is consuming all in itself and organizing exciting fundraisers that I think will be a great deal of fun for whoever attends!!!


While we wait we are greatly enjoying every video and picture from our dear friends visit with our girls!!  These daughters are such treasures.  So highly valued by the Master Creator and so highly valued by us who will have the honor of being their family, when we have “everybody all together”!






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Lucy, Zoe, Louisa and Lili Claire



Faithful Friends

“A faithful friend is a strong defense; and he that hath found him hath found a treasure.” ~Louisa May Alcott

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A dear friend met her new daughter today for the first time!!!  Not through the miracle of childbirth but through the amazing miracle of adoption!!!  I can hardly sit still I’m so excited!  When we started this journey a year ago, I knew that Laura and her family were adopting with the same agency we were considering.  In fact, seeing Laura post about Lifeline Child Services was another confirmation to us, among many, that they were the right agency…whenever the time came.  Well, the time came quickly when we saw our Louisa May and the Lord opened our eyes to this amazing child.  Laura was one of the first people I wanted to talk to after we got the process started.  It was wonderful knowing someone right around the corner was going through this same experience and we could talk about all the children waiting for families and pray for Laura and Sean as they waited to be matched with a little girl.  In the late fall Laura called me one day so excited ~ they had been matched with the most adorable 3 year old!!!  Texts flew back and forth as they reviewed her file and prayed to make sure this was their little girl.  They settled on it pretty quickly because Lucy Love is just so beautiful and sweet, no one could resist her!  Laura called to tell me all her details and at the very end of the conversation I asked where Lucy was.  Laura couldn’t remember the exact name of the city but she remembered in her file it said Lucy’s last name was the nickname for the city where she lives… then she said the name… I started freaking out~ No Way!  That is Louisa’s last name and that’s exactly the same way they wrote about it in her file too.  I thought my heart would beat through my chest.  I knew it had to be the same city, Laura looked it up and it was.  No WAY!  There are a lot of orphanages in Ch*na and there are thousands and thousands of precious children waiting for families.  Out of all those children the Lord has these two crazy ladies in Mayretta end up adopting two little girls from the exact same place at the same time.  It’s just too wild, it IS a God thing!!!!!  We spent a lot of time laughing and crying about this awesome craziness!  But it got even better!

As both our families were trying to move as quickly as we could through all the Mountain of paperwork, Rob and I had been praying hard about adopting Louisa’s precious, beautiful, sweet little best friend from the orphanage, now our Lili Claire.  It was a huge decision to adopt two little girls at the same time, a completely crazy, out of our minds decision.  But the Lord, who loves these children fiercely, would NOT let us sweep this decision under the carpet.  Oh, how I praise Him for not letting us push His prompting away, so soft and gentle yet steady.  Our agency offered to ask the orphanage for updated pictures or video of Lili Claire.  The orphanage had been saying they wouldn’t do videos or pictures right now, so we didn’t know if they would have luck.  Just a few days later we got the most adorable and endearing videos of Lili Claire, not with Louisa but with Lucy!  Laura and I had hoped and prayed that somehow the girls would get to meet before coming home, we had no idea if ages even mixed in the orphanage, its a really big one.  These videos not only convinced Rob and I that this little girl is a treasure that we could NOT say no to but also was an amazing gift to see our Lili Claire and Lucy forming such a special bond!!!!

Lili Claire and Lucy

You have got to go watch these precious videos!!!      https://vimeo.com/70990842  and   https://vimeo.com/70992825

Well, as if our girls being at the same orphanage, bonding and getting to know each other wasn’t enough fun, we get to go even deeper!  Laura and I belong to a social media site for our girls province.  An adoption video was posted of a family we didn’t know at all.  But I LOVE watching adoption day or what people call “Gotcha Day” videos, so I was definitely watching this one, especially since they had just adopted their child this year.  So, I’m watching, totally loving it because it is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen and there lo and behold Lucy’s beautiful little face pops up.  No Way!!  This family is sitting with their daughter, a foster mom and a few other children ~ one of them being Lucy Love herself!  So of course I called Laura immediately and she watches and we’re so excited and trying to figure out how in the world to contact this woman we don’t know who’s video we’re watching over and over again.  Laura finds out how to email this family and so I send her an email too, with my girls names and their pictures.  Her daughter is a little bit older, so I thought she might recognize them.  The sweet mom, Kim who is my new friend and is so awesome, wrote Laura and I back together to tell us that her daughter got super excited when she saw Louisa’s picture and that Louisa was her foster sister and that Lucy was her foster sister too.  Which means…that Louisa and Lucy have been cared for and raised by the same foster family at the orphanage!!!!!!  They only have a few of these foster family situations on the orphanage grounds, so it just really is NOT likely that Louisa and Lucy would have been in this same family.  We’re not sure yet if they were both living there at the same time BUT for Louisa and Lucy to have this even deeper common bond just blows my socks off!!!!!!!

photo 3 Lucy and Lakelin

Kim’s daughter pictured with Louisa on left and Lucy on right. Please go see her adoption video, it’s beautiful!!!

Adoption Video

 I mean, come on…God YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!  I truly weep at His goodness.  He loves us so, so tenderly.  He loves these dear, precious children without mommies or daddies.  That He would allow Rob and I to become part of His kingdom work in loving His children is quite simply the highest honor I could ever ask or hope for.  There is no house, car, experience, earthly glory I would EVER trade this for.

God, You ARE good and Your love endures forever!!!!! Psalm 136