Saturday, February 28, 2009


When we first knew we were called to adoption we decided to name our daughter KayLi Faith.

"Kay" from my mother in laws middle name. Plus "Li" which I read has several meanings, one of which is "beautiful." And I simply LOVE the name Faith.

So as corny as it sounds I love that her name has a family tie and can be roughly translated as "Beautiful Faith."

We also plan to add her "Chinese" name as soon as we know what it is. Until then we keep calling her
KayLi Faith "Something Chinese."

But I didn't realize how surrounded by the word faith I was until the other day.

I was walking through my house and it seemed like it was everywhere. In the living room, my craft room, our bedroom, and even on my keys. It makes my heart smile to see it in her sweet bedroom.

A few of these reminders have been gifts. Thanks Emily, I LOVE my necklace! And Priscilla for painting it for me, it means so much!

But most of them are reminders that God is faithful and
that without faith it is impossible to please Him.

So until the day that we bring our daughter home, we will continue to have faith in her Creator. And have faith that He will show Himself to be the powerful, covenant keeping God that He is!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Our sweet pastors wife (Hi Donna Sue :0)) has a fun tradition of wearing something red and eye catching the Sunday before Valentines Day. It's her way of reminding her husband to remind the men in our congregation that Valentines Day is coming. Or maybe she's just reminding him...hhhmmm?

This year she looked TOO cute when she wore one of HIS red ties.

Emily completely fell in love with it. She is all about the accessories these days, so this was just the coolest!

After the service when Donna Sue took off the tie and gave it to her, Emily was elated! But she really beamed when Donna Sue told her that she was thinking of her when she picked it out!!!

Thanks Donna Sue, for making my Fashionista feel so special!!!

Maybe I should buy my pastor a tie?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thanks isn't enough!

I think it's official that my mom has lost her mind...but in the sweetest of ways.

She and I have both enjoyed scrapbooking and card making for years now. So, when we first felt called to adopt and I was overwhelmed by the financial aspect of it all, I started to think of ways I could turn this hobby into a fundraiser. I started making cards and a couple sweet friends of mine allowed me to put baskets of them in their stores. It worked out ok but eventually, was a lot of work for a little profit.

Then we relocated. The whole "Why get overly involved with anything when I'm going to have a toddler around soon and will just have to give it up" argument was in high gear. So I had a lot of extra time on my hands. I started making cards again and had so much fun! Friends at church were kind enough to place orders. I was happy to have an excuse to play with all the scrapbooking toys and it was nice to put a little extra in the adoption account.

Until, the wait really began to grow and I saw opportunities to get involved with what God was up to in our church. Now I don't get to play as often :0(

My mom on the other hand has turned into an adoption fund raising, card making machine! Her brother in law (Hi Uncle Cal!) lives on Long Island and has taken on the position of Sales Manager for their enterprise. And I just gotta say, they are kickin' some greeting card hinny! He is selling them at hospital gift shops, local libraries and a hand crafts boutique. Not to mention anyone that happens to sit next to him at the local coffee shops. These two people are using their retirements to help bring our daughter home and I can't love them more for it!!!

A couple weeks ago she was getting a package ready to send him and I asked if I could take a picture first. Look at them all, aren't they cute!!! They are all rubber stamped and embellished with all the oh so fun scrapbooky stuff I just love. And she sends him anywhere from 30-100 cards every few weeks depending on how many local orders she has. It amazes me to think of the time and effort they are putting into these little works of art and that people are buying them!!!!

Somehow "Thanks Mom and Uncle Cal", just doesn't seem to say enough but thanks for losing your sweet minds!!!! And if you have ever bought a card (or 75!!!)...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm back...Kinda

Kinda. After such a heartbreaking start to the week I thought I would top it off with some out patient surgery...ya know just for fun! Actually, it's a surgery I have been looking forward to forever but you don't really want the details :0) The timing has just been pretty lousy.

I'm trying so hard to play catch up and read what everyone has been up too for the past week. You've all been busy, busy people! If my comments are late and sorta out of touch I'm so sorry.

Thank you all so much for your kind words & encouragement. Even though we have peace over the decision we made, it was still one of the hardest things I've ever done. I have always been a pretty open mouth/book kinda girl, so keeping secrets is not easy for me. We were so excited!!! It's odd though that so many people receive referrals that they choose to decline and yet no one really writes about it. I guess because I've never been much of a private person I just don't get it when other people are. This has given me some understanding though. I have soooo much respect for those of you who wait until all the paperwork is officially done before you tell anyone.

Maybe, it's not a matter of privacy. Maybe people worry that this part of the process may shed a negative light on the program in general. Oh, how I pray not. There are so many children with special needs that need homes. It's just part of the process. Social workers and family coordinators are trying to match parents and children together and sometimes the matches just don't fit. I can't imagine trying to do the job they are faced with. But over and over families are formed and lives are changed in amazing ways. Please, don't let our enemy use this to cause confusion or doubt. Praise God for special needs adoptions, even when they are not easy!

I know beyond all doubt that we simply got swept up in the emotion of it all. When I look back on it now, there were red flags going up everywhere and we choose to over look them. We fell so in love with her, so fast. We'll learn, maybe we're just slower than others :0)

This much I have learned.
  • God is still God.
  • It WILL all work out for the good.
  • There is a family that is rejoicing over a VERY beautiful little girl, right now!
  • We will praise God for our daughter, in His perfect time.
  • When we receive another referral, I will TRY and be patient before I scream it from the roof tops.
  • God is worthy of our praise in ALL our circumstances!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Praising in the Storm

It's with such a heavy heart that I write this post. As you saw in my last post, we received a referral for a little girl with a special need last week. Oh, how we fell in love with her pictures and wanted her. But after receiving new information from her orphanage, researching like crazy and much, much prayer we know this is not the daughter God has intended for our family. She simply has needs we can't meet.

We wanted her so badly. But more than we wanted her, we want her to have a full life with unlimited possibilities. Living in a somewhat rural area, hours away from the type of school she will need, we can't give her that. I trust that God has a family waiting eagerly for this precious child and ask that you please pray for her...God knows exactly who she is. And if you would pray for our family as well, we would appreciate it.

We still feel God leading us to a special needs adoption and we will wait for God to bring the child into our lives that he has intended to bring from the beginning of time.

I can't seem to get the words to "Praise You In This Storm" our of my head.

"I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Thursday, February 12, 2009

O' Happy Day!!!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile...I've been too busy looking at pictures of the cutest little girl in all of China!


Oh, how I wish I could share her precious face and chubby checks with you. But most of you know how this works. Please know that I will SO share as soon as I can.

My mind has been so scattered I can't even remember what information I can and can't share on the internet. So I guess I'll have to wait on the details too. At least, until I have a minute to think clearly or look over the "rules" again. I had just posted my last post when we got "the call." But I'll have to write more on that later...really I can't think!

In the mean time please be praying for us!

She is so adorable and to say we are in love with her already would be an understatement!!!!

Praise God! He is faithful to keep his promises!!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Expecting is such a funny word! The dictionary defines it as "To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of." It's just funny right now! Like really laugh out loud funny!

Last night Allie came home and said "There are four guys at work whose wives are pregnant. It's contagious. They are all expecting babies at once. Well, five really because we're expecting too." It was SO funny to see him think of it that way! He had seriously not thought of us as "expecting" in that way. Too Funny!!!

We have been "expecting" for a VERY long time. God laid adoption on our hearts in Dec. 2004! By February 2005 we were certain of "The Call" to adopt and contacted adoption agencies. Like I mentioned in the last post, we were told we had to wait until July 2005 to officially apply to our agency. Then it took a year (Ryan's crazy senior year of high school & the year we were relocating to West Texas) to compile our dossier. We submitted our dossier to China (DTC) in July 2006. We have been "expecting" for five years!

Ok, maybe it's not that funny.

You would think that because it took seven years to conceive Emily that waiting for a child would be easy. But this whole wait has been anything but easy. In the beginning there were so many rumors about why the wait was increasing that it was easy to think it would speed up or at least level off. Watching it continue to increase has been heart breaking to say the least. At times it has felt as though an enormous pause button has been pushed on our lives.

How do you make long term plans or commit to anything when you have no idea what the future holds? You can't really. So, you don't. You learn, some of us more slowly than others, to take each day for what it is and to trust God with the future. I think I had gotten to a place where I could comfortably say I was able to do that. Just live for today and trust.

Then it was as if God whispered "Lesson learned." And he began to place special needs on our hearts. A whole new level of trust had to take root and grow. It had to take some time to grow in me, anyway. Allie was a different story. His faith is so much stronger than mine! I'll never forget asking him what he thought about special needs. "God said China. He said nothing about a "perfect" child from China." For him that was it. I told you...his faith is stronger than mine!

Since we had been waiting for a healthy referral forever, we didn't think the wait time would increase for us. We were amazed to learn that we would likely only have to wait two or three months. Which puts us to NOW! Suddenly KayLi is all I can think about! I refresh our agencies web page constantly hoping to see if special needs referrals have been posted. Every time the phone rings, I wonder "Is it The Call?"

It can be so all consuming. If we hadn't been so clear of God's will for our lives and so certain of his promises, we would have jumped ship long ago. But He is faithful! His timing is perfect, we have seen it over and over! That's the peace God offers. Peace that he is who he says he is and does what he says he will do, no matter what! Praise him for his faithfulness!

So I'm working on KayLi's room (between loads of laundry, sink fulls of dishes and homework) trying desperately to distract myself. And for the most part it's working. At least until the phone rings...then I'm reminded that we are "expecting" all over again. And I can't help but laugh at how funny that word is!!!

"We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield."

Psalm 33:20

Friday, February 6, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

We have friends in South Texas who raise exotic deer on their ranch and Emily loved going to "play" with them! I love the photos of this day!

As I was looking through pictures for a Favorite Photo, I noticed that this one was taken on June 27, 2005. Exactly one month before I hit the two year mark from when my cancer treatments ended. For cancer patients the two year mark is a significant date because your chances of cancer returning after two years drastically drop.

For us it also meant that after waiting since February of 2005, we could apply to AWAA and begin the adoption process. So, we actually started the adoption process waiting....hhhmmmmm!

When I see pictures of how young Emily was when we started this process (seven years old) it blows my mind how LONG we have been waiting to bring KayLi home!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Crazy Weekend

We finished turning Ryan's room into Emily's room back in November and she loves it!

We've been calling it her "I Dream of Jeanie" room. It's still strange to me that soft coral, red and purple all work together in one room but I think it turned out great.

Well, this weekend we finally started turning Emily's old room into KayLi's room. Lets just say that her pink loving Aunt Susan will really like it. I have my eye on crib bedding and regular bedding that will work with the new soft pink walls. You're going to have to be patient before you can see the whole room though. When we know KayLi's age and whether she'll need a crib or a bed, then we'll move forward with the decorating process. I'll let you all see it as soon as it's finished. We may know her age soon but I'm trying so hard not to get too excited! Our adoption agency is "hoping" that SN referrals will post this week or next. Oh, how I pray that KayLi is in this "batch" of referrals!

Emily helped paint by priming a little doll bed that was hers. She would have painted the whole room if I had let her! My sweet friend Priscilla helped A LOT! I wish I had a nice picture to show you but there was only one and it wasn't a very good picture of her :o( Since I would NEVER put a picture of my friend on the internet that wasn't flattering (note the sarcasm...she has an awful picture of me on her myspace) you'll have to wait until I get a good picture of her. Hopefully in the room when we get it finished! She brought KayLI the cutest little dress hangers!!! They are so sweet, I think I'll find a place to hang them on the wall!!! They have scripture on the back but I forgot to take a picture of the back :o( Thank you so much Priscilla for your thoughtfulnes and hard work!!!

As if painting wasn't enough for one weekend, Emily got a new pair of glasses. I love them on her!!! She broke her last two pairs in ONE month, so please pray these last a little while!

I almost forgot, we took a huge leap of faith and applied for Emily's passport this weekend. We're not sure if the timing or finances while allow for her to travel to China with us but we are praying that God decides to make it happen!!! It would be so awesome for both her and KayLi if she were there!!! So please pray with us!!!