Sunday, October 11, 2015


I could really use your help! I learned this past week that my agency is doing everything possible to align my travel with another single mom! While this is a huge blessing and an answer to pray, it means I will be traveling sooner than expected! 

I'm still so far away from meeting my needed travel funds. If God has laid it on your heart to give toward my adoption now would be the time!

If my agency is able to align my process up with this other mom then I will travel the last part of November, before Thanksgiving. I look forward to meeting this other mom and her daughter! It will be nice for our daughters to have time together since both are being adopted as singles and from the same orphanage. You know me, I prefer to adopt in pairs as I KNOW the girls do better having someone with them during those first days of facing the unknown!

Guess what? This mom lives in Alabama meaning my girl will have an orphanage sister nearby! Four of my five girls will have orphanage sisters in state! Isn't that amazing, especially for these girls that were chosen at a later age! God does some pretty awesome things, how I thank him for this added blessing.

In addition to the travel expense there are other needs as well. I have two dressers on layaway, Avery still needs a few more clothes, shoes, and then there are gifts! Yes, for those of you new to adoption I must take gifts for the orphanage director, officials, her foster family, and the guides!

Please pray with me about these many needs! 

On a lighter note, the girls and I along with the other grandparents celebrated Jackson 5 and Kayte 2 birthdays!

Kayte is not sure if she likes the moon bounce!

My girls love selfies!
Getting braver!
Mom still close but totally sitting alone! Progress!
By the end of the day she was in and out without Mom! 
Jordan loving on her big boy!
It was a FROZEN and CAPTAIN AMERICA party!
The party wouldn't be a party without a Captain America piƱata !
Kayte with two of her favorite gifts!
Her daddy could not get Peppa Pig out of the box fast enough!
Jackson's favorite gift can be seen behind Kayte!
It was a Thomas Track Master!
I had to share Kayte's pouty face! 

She loved her snack/drink cup! She wanted her purse set opened and Mama and Daddy told her to wait until she got home so they wouldn't loose anything! In this photo she is carrying the set to Pops to see if he will open it for her!

The good news, Kayte didn't pout long, she was back to her happy self in no time! I love when I get time with my family and its rare these days that all of us are together at one time! Blessed!

Until next time . . .

Monday, October 5, 2015


This past weekend we visited Huntsville, Alabama! We were there for the wedding of my nephew!

I had lunch with my friend, Amanda! I treasure this time as I don't see her often enough! I think we could talk for hours. Our daughters are from the same orphanage, Huainan. Kendall loves Phoebe like a true sister and this was her first visit with Lyric. We also had the pleasure of meeting Amanda's new daughter Tilley!

After lunch Kendall spent the afternoon with her Huainan friends. They picked up another Huainan "sister", Yun Ya (Victoria). What a sweet time for all these girls!

Eden spent the day with her Nanjing "sister" Esther! Eden had such a good time! A special thanks to Kim and Amanda for taking time out for our daughters to spend the day together!

The wedding has prompted several questions today! Who will they dance with for the father daughter dance? I told them we would make it a mother daughter dance! Then they asked about the slide show of baby photos. I had to tell them that we would use the earliest photos that we had and make them work. Adoption is hard yet these girls continue to grow and mature. I'm so proud of them and their accomplishments!

The girls loved "living" at the hotel and wish we could live at the hotel all the time. I think they would grow tired of it after too long, it was fun to get away for a few days!

All the girls except Mackinley have visited with an orphanage sister or sisters this year. We know of no one that has adopted from Wuxi! This is hard at times especially when she sees her sisters meeting their China friends. 

Mackinley cried on the way home from the Lifeline Reunion after watching her sisters visit with their friends. My heart breaks for her and the only thing I can do is to love her and tell her that I totally understand, which I do! I love this girl and am amazed at how far she has come since coming home two years ago.

Each new experience seems to trigger questions and growth! One step at a time! My girls are amazing and I love them dearly! I am beyond blessed by adoption and wish that others would open their hearts and homes!

My I-800 has made it out of the lock box and is on the way to Missouri to be approved! Love this progress!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trust God . . . not man!

I do believe that God is doing his best to teach me to trust him, not man during this adoption journey!

I know that he is my source and nothing is impossible for him.

Like my previous adoptions I have had several fund raisers! Unlike the past adoptions these have not been as successful as I had hoped! Again, God is doing things differently, trust him, not man!

My first fundraiser was somewhat of a flop for me, the money from the Thirty-one event and body lotions was not shared with me as promised. Things happen for a reason, I'm guessing God had something else in mind.

I seriously considered aborting this adoption due to the lack of funds. I shared this concern from the get go with my social worker and China advisor, and after  my poor fund raising efforts I sent them an email saying I was going to have to stop the process due to a lack of funds. I put my first agency payment on a credit card and was determined not to run up and more new debt! At that time I learned that someone had anonymously donated a huge amount for my adoption fund! Wow, God is awesome. If this was you, thank you again! I can never truly express my gratitude! After praying I felt sure that God was telling me to move forward!

My advisor told me that she rarely asked for grants and that she would ask for one on my behalf. She also told me that she would help me find organizations that grant to singles! At this time there are no extra funds available for grants from my adoption agency and she has been much to busy to help me find a lead an organization that assists singles! Okay, I know this seems like I'm complaining, I'm not! I think it is God at work again, telling me to TRUST HIM, not man!

The girls and I began praying about the needed funds and within a few days, God laid it upon two different families hearts to give and oh my, the blessing of their gift is indescribable! Thank you Lord, for answered prayers and the love you bestowed on us and Avery!

Yes, God is working differently this time and the lesson of trusting Him has become quite clear. Look to him and trust him for his provision! In the natural, I look at the needs and I'm overwhelmed, yet when I look to God and place my trust in Him, I am at peace!

It all comes down to focus, keeping my eyes and trust in Him that can do far more than I can hope or imagine! I mistakenly placed my hope in what man said and promised, only to be disappointed time and time again! I hear you, Lord! My hope and trust is in you!

I praise God for this lesson learned! You would think after all these years I wouldn't need these reminders! Just like the children of Israel in the desert, I forgot the miracles and provision of God in the past! 

Pressing forward with a renewed hope in Him that is able!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Lifeline is hosting ten precious children from Nanjing, China. As I met these children last week, I could not help but wonder what might be going through their little minds?
Kendall with her Huainan Sister!
Traveling to a different country, experiencing so many new and wonderful things, receiving needed medical care, and being loved on for possibly the first time!
Eden with our beloved guide, Nancy!
What happens when they are faced with cruel reality that they must once again return to their orphanage? Will they be chosen or will they face years of being passed over? Will they watch their friends leave one by one only to wonder if they will ever know the love of a family and the joy they knew while visiting the US?
Our family minus Kendall with Nancy and another guide, the lady next to Eden in the red shirt is the orphanage director in Nanjing!

Avery was one of those camp kids, she visited the US approximately one year ago. She had so many first while here. It seems at this time all the children from her camp have forever families save one! It breaks my heart to know that this child will watch each of his friends leave. He has tasted what it is like to be loved and cared for, how his heart must long for a family to call his own!
Rebecca and Kendall
Rebecca was our guide in Guangzhou
Rebecca is amazing she still remembers the girl's Chinese names!
Is it fair to bring these kids here and then have their dreams crushed by not finding their forever families? Would it had been better for them to have never known love and freedom than giving them a taste of what should be? I know that there are arguments pro and con regarding these camps!

This is Eden with Joy the little camper that I love!
I pray that she finds her forever family!

As we visited my girls were able to reunite with some of their orphanage sisters! Eden and her friend Esther talked nonstop! Eden loved seeing her orphanage directors and some of the Nanjing children. There was one little girl that remembered Eden and wanted to stay with her for a while! She was precious, I met her and while we talked she allowed me to reach over and rub her back! This girl is ready for a family! I’ll be watching to see if a family steps up for her. If not then I may have to go one last time as I do not want this child to age out!

Eden with her friend Esther!
It was well worth the trip to B'ham just for these two to have time together!
Sweet, sweet girls!

As you know, I have adopted 4 older girls, ages 11- days of turning 14. Their past vary from the poorest of poor orphanages to living with foster families for 12 years. My two girls that had foster families love and miss them very much. I have come to understand and respect the fact that while they have grown to love me. They will never love me like they did these families that were to them their "real" family for so many years. I'm okay with that as I totally get it!

All the girls enjoyed the chalk and drawing!
My newest waiting daughter's history is somewhat different. It is the same in the fact that she was abandoned, lived in an orphanage, and now foster family. The age of her abandonment makes her story uniquely hers. With that knowledge I must be prepared to understand and help her through any pain and healing that may be needed.

On the adoption front my LOA was issued in China, Monday, September 21st! My LOA arrived today, September 24th in Birmingham! That means I will get it and sign it tomorrow on the 25th!

On the home front, my little mama fell and broke her wrist. She will have surgery on Monday! She is 80 years old and I'm thankful it wasn't her hip! I am extremely blessed to have both of my parents! I pray that she will heal quickly and do well with her surgery!

Mackinley had her braces removed today! Now we are down to one in braces, Eden! Just 7 weeks ago there were three and now one, I can hardly believe all the changes going on around here!

Until next time!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Eden's Birthday and more!

A few weeks ago the girls had a play date with some friends, all from China! I enjoyed visiting with the other moms while the girls played!

Vikitoria in the white shorts is from Kunming! I don't remember where Faith is from, she's in the Navy tee!

Daniel was the only guy, he is Vikitoria's brother!

We all had such a good time and hope that we can arrange another get together soon!

September 2nd, we celebrated Mackinley and Eden's Gotcha Day at Mr.Chen's!

Today is Eden's 16th birthday! She is the sweetest girl and I am more than blessed to have her as part of my family. She started her celebration in Dothan, Sunday morning before we left with a gift from Nena and Papa along with ice cream cones!

This morning we celebrated by going to the zoo! We all enjoyed our time together as we celebrated Eden!

As you can see from these photos three of the girls are about the same height! Then there is beautiful Mackinely nice and tall!

We took this photo as it reminded us of the waterfall at The Garden! Still waiting, no new news on the adoption front!

I don't have to tell you who had my phone taking all the selfies! 

Just to prove we were at the zoo, one animal photo!

As you can plainly see, Eden wanted a cookie cake for her birthday!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Our days!

Adoption news: None! China is on holiday so it seems it will be a while before I learn of any progress! The waiting game continues!

I have been neglectful in the photo department! Last week the girls and I went to see War Room! We all loved this movie! The girls asked to go buy a copy as we were leaving the theater! One of the girls started her prayer list before going to bed that very night!

Our school year is off to an excellent start! Eden wanted to do Pre-Algebra this year and it has been a bit of a challenge yet one that has not defeated her. My afternoons are busy grading the daily workbooks, test reviews and administration, plus reading!

We celebrated Eden and Mackinley's two year Gotcha Day on the second. Kendall and Journey joined us at Mr. Chen's where the girls enjoyed soup, egg rolls, spring rolls, dumplings, duck, and bubble tea! This second year home was so much better for the girls less grief, stronger English skills, settling into their family roles with real bonding to me.

My bonding to them improved this year as well! I don't think this is something that is addressed very often but parent bonding takes time too! While I loved the girls, they didn't always feel like my child. At times it seemed as if they were merely guest in the home. Not anymore! Last year we implemented a mother/daughter date once a week for one of the girls. That one on one time as done more to increase our bonding than anything else!

I have to brag on my grandson, Gavin. As many of you may or may not know, he has hemophilia! For those of you considering that special need, don't be afraid of it. It is easy to manage! Anyway, Gavin has had an infusaport since he was 18 months old. It clotted off! He has learned to stick himself to give his factor replacement. This is huge! At 12 years of age he can stick his own vein with a butterfly needle! I'm so proud of him! He is doing to Birmingham next week to see if they can give him a "clot buster"! I hope it works or he might need a new infusaport.

Last night I was so productive. I was able to set up the girl's school records for our online grade reporting for this year. I also entered all my nursing contact hours and renewed my CNOR (Certified Nurse Operating Room) for another five years. My old certification expired in December of this year and I wanted to ensure that I renewed prior to traveling to China.

I'm feeling the need to start buying clothes for Avery yet I don't really know where to start. So far, I have clothes that were given for Addison, and a few of the things will be good to take with me to China while a few of the items will have to wait until spring! I have purchased a winter coat, a fleece jacket, a night gown and p.j.s! I need to get a dresser and really I could use two! 

In the next week I'm going to change closets with the girls, clean out the hall closet for winter jackets and look for a spot to for the dresser(s)! We have a full house and I wouldn't have it any other way!

We really lead a very ordinary life one day at a time! I'm thankful that I get to share it with my girls and older children, (although I don't get to see them often enough). I am blessed to have been called for this journey!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What must she be thinking?

It has been months since this adoption journey began! Last fall we knew we wanted to adopt again when a very special little girl asked us to adopt her. How can one say, no? Unfortunately, that door was closed!

At the same time, I truly wanted to bring two older girls home, I believe and know from experience that the two are a huge comfort to one another during those early days in China and at home.

My agency said no to two, they did not believe that I could handle two more! Really? Oh well, enough of that!

During the heartbreaking process of China refusing to give the first girl a file, I was being drawn to another girl. I can remember the exact moment when my heart was quicken for her.

My precious girl has a diagnosis that concerned me and my initial thought was, "no way"! Yet, I kept coming back to look at her and her file! After the moment that I referred to above and talking with several people multiple times I knew we were to proceed.

This journey has been plagued with many lets say, "issues"! More hurdles than the past two adoptions combined! I feel that she must be a pretty special young lady if the enemy is doing all he can to hinder this process.

It has been months since she received our photo album and told that she has a family. What must she be thinking as the time continues to tick away without any word of how close or far away we are from coming after her! Has she given up hope? Does she think about what her new life will be like? Is she ready for the loss of her foster family, her homeland, and friends?

With all the Chinese holidays coming up, I know that my LOA will most likely be delayed! This is hard! I'm not worried about getting there in time as my agency will work like crazy to make it happen, as they did during my last adoption.

My heart is sad for Avery as she waits. I am sadden that I do not have the funds to take the girls with me on this trip as they would all love to return to their homeland for a visit, and their presence would give Avery someone to communicate with during those first early awkward days.

Waiting is never easy, yet it is part of the progress! I am thankful that God knows the exact moment when we will receive LOA and travel approval! I can take comfort in knowing and relying on God during this waiting period.

Praying for Avery's precious heart, may she continue to wait in peace and hope for what will be!

Until next time . . . waiting!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Grief . . .

Having adopted 4 times now, I can say that I have seen grief express itself in many different ways! Listen carefully, the first year is H-A-R-D!

One child showed very little grief, I believe that it was due to where she came from. She was on the low end in the pecking order, and life was really tough for her. She told me recently that she would be dead if she had stayed in China! 

While she showed little grief she had to learn to accept love and hugs and kisses! There was a time when she was hugged that she stood stiff as a solider at attention! Not now, she loves to give big ole bear hugs!

Another one of my girls kept her grief bottled up, never knowing or allowing herself to express her thoughts and feelings. After many years home she is beginning to open up! The years of self-survival are hard to over come! I love seeing her expressing herself more openly and coming to me even for a moment for reassurance in new surroundings.

My two girls that had foster families expressed their grief more openly! Tears, lots of tears! Different family events triggered their emotions! Their first year home was so hard for them as they had truly lost their "family"! My heart grieved for them!

After being here I see a different type of grief as the communication lapses with their foster families. They often feel that they have been forgotten and that their past there meant nothing to their foster families. 

Now that they have had a time to grieve they are opening up their hearts to me! It is so sweet and a gift that I do not take lightly! The girls are so different, one is very quiet and reserved and the other is a precious chatterbox!

To go from being called mom to mama is a sign of love and oh so treasured!

I would encourage you to not to give up and to hang in there! This too shall pass, days will turn to weeks, and weeks months and months years! Look for the positive and focus on all the things that are right in your relationship! Keep on loving and being there, one day you will turn an expected corner and things will begin to get better, for you and your grieving child!

Grief is real and grief is hard! Expect it! Be prepared! Unconditional love and God above will see you through the hard times! Remember too that when a child is in a state of grief and anxiety they don't learn and remember as well,  don't expect to much of them during this season. It's all about baby steps!

As I prepare to adopt one last time, I know that I too will face another season of loss and grief with my new daughter. I pray now that her heart will heal and that God will comfort her during the process of learning to love us!

Until next time . . . waiting for my LOA!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Yeti Cooler Winner!

We have a winner!

We had 126 entries!

Using the computerized 
Random Number Generator,
the winner is number 82!

As seen below, # 82 is . . .
Brandon Yarbrough!


A huge thank you to all that donated, your donation made a difference and will most definitely help bring Avery home!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Progress, friendships and raffle

My dossier has been moved to translation! This phase usually takes a month. I'm praying it will move through a little faster!

Journey was able to visit the some of her Zhongshan sisters and I enjoyed visiting with their mamas!

Journey and her friend Kylee

The Mom's

Kylee with Kendall and Mackinley

The Zhongshan Sisters!

All the girl's! 
Zhongshon, Huainan, Nanjing, Wuxi

Don't forget the Yeti Cooler raffle! The last day to enter is August 15th! A donation of $10.00 receives one entry and a $25.00 donation receives 3 entries!

Waiting on the news that we have moved (OOT) out  of translation!

Until next time . . .