Blog

  • Having "Fu"n at Chinese New Year!

    If you're a China adoptive parent like me (or someone who enjoys celebrating other cultures), you're like, "Huh, what?! It's Chinese New Year again! What are we going to do?!?!"

    As a bi-racial family, we desire to celebrate our son's (and soon-to-be sons'!) birth culture. We actually lived in China and have so many wonderful memories celebrating with friends, so you think this wouldn't so hard...but it is! It's hard to remember when we've just finished Christmas and they aren't exactly decorating at Walmart for Chinese New Year (or often called Lunar New Year). It's hard when there feels like a million other more important things on your to-do list and this can be just one. more. thing. 

  • A Letter to My Year-Ago Self

    I wrote this letter at the end of 2018, as I reflected on how far we'd come in a year. I'm sharing it again, as we are knee-deep in the adoption journey once more and battling the very same fears of the unknowns and knowns.

     

  • Next Christmas

    We all have our favorite Christmas songs. The ones we get a little teary-eyed or have goosebumps when we hear the first strands played.

    Our family's favorite Christmas song by far is "Silent Night" for many different reasons, but especially because it reminds of someone who is now at the feet of Jesus singing this and many other songs of worship.

    And we all have those Christmas songs that we're not too fond of. That for whatever reason we hope the radio will hurry up and finish playing so that we can get back to belting out our favorite carols.

  • Helpless, But Hopeful

    It felt like deja vu. 

    Same store.

    Same box.

    Same boy toys.

  • Our Rollercoaster Ride to YES!

    "Mom, can we adopt the loneliest boy or girl in China?" 

    I turned from making dinner a few months ago and ran over to our precious daughter coloring at the table. There will be so many moments I'll forget about this adoption journey, but that question. Never.

    "Yes, of course sweet girl. God will show us who the loneliest little boy or girl is and He'll bring him or her into our family."

  • 365 Days & Ways

    365 days.

    That's how long he's been in our arms. 365 good night kisses. 365 good morning snuggles. 365 days of smiles and laughter.

     

    365 days seems like a long time to have a child in your life, until you calculate how many days there were before you: 1,020 (or somewhere close to that). 1,020 days divided between his birth family, the hospital, and his orphanage. 

     

    And all the sudden, those 655 days we didn't get to hug or kiss or snuggle or watch him grow seem like a long time. But we're grateful that for one year he's been ours. We still have time to make up, but each day with him is precious. This year has flown by at lightning speed and yet it seems like we can't remember life before this little ray of sunshine entered our lives. We have 365 days and ways to be thankful we didn't miss out on this precious blessing in our lives.

  • I Honestly Forget

    "Pregnancy brain" is hitting hard these days. In the last month or so, I've forgotten...

    ...to write a church event on the calendar (and scheduled to work instead!)

    ...a doctor's appointment (and then realized I wrote it on the wrong day anyways!)

    ...a meeting for work (that I was supposed to speak at!)

    ...what I really needed at the grocery store (but leave with a cart full of everything else!).

    ...to write a check for notarizing important documents (Praise God, I remembered right before the envelope was sealed and sent!)

     

    And these are just a few of the things I realize I have forgotten lately! Who knows what other balls have been dropped the past few months as we journey on this adoption road again, with all the papers and deadlines and appointments and important information we need to juggle! I distinctly remember about a week before we flew to China to bring our son home opening our refrigerator one bleary-eyed morning and being perplexed why an ice cream container was sitting in there (insert face palm and then sad face!). Yep, adoptive moms crave ice cream and accidentally put it in the fridge too! 

     

    But there's one thing I honestly forget every day and I'm OK with it.

  • Invisible Stretch Marks

    "Mom, come play with me!" I heard a little voice plead from the backyard.

    "Sorry, honey, I can't. I'm busy," I responded. Again.

     

    Some days, that's all I feel like I say. Busy with adoption paperwork. Busy with grant applications. Busy with business work. Busy with working to make extra money. Oh, and then there's cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, and the list of endless chores a mother juggles every day. 

    The adoption process is hard and it takes tolls on your body, just like pregnancy. But the difference is the tolls are invisible. You can't look at a woman and say, "Wow, you really look like you're adopting!" Or "Adoption looks good on you!" (But I'm actually glad no one comments on my appearance these days, because if they were honest, they would probably say, "Wow, you really look tired!" Or "Adoption makes you look exhausted!")

  • If God is Good, Then Why are There So Many Orphans?

     Is the cup half empty or half full?

     

    Personally, I remember this question mystifying me as a kid. You look at the top of the cup and there’s nothing there, so obviously it’s half empty. I’m not sure when my perspective changed, but I do remember it being a light-bulb moment, “Oh, I guess there is water in the bottom half of the cup!”

     

    When you jump into the ocean of precious faces, names, and stories of numerous orphans around the world, it is easy to get into a half-empty type of mindset. Of all the heart-shattering images and stories I’ve encounter, none has wrecked me more than “Rosie,” a precious small soul we saw briefly at my son’s orphanage in China. 

  • The Scariest Word

    What's the scariest word in the English language?

     

    Sky-diving. Bungee-jumping. Crocodile-wrestling (or "wrastling" for our Texan friends).

     

    Yes, these might be some scary feats, but we believe that the scariest word in the English language is also one of the shortest and simplest: yes.

     

    Y.E.S. Yes. Really?

  • Who are You?

    "There are no small parts, only small actors."

    .

    Somewhere in my elementary years, I delightfully encountered bossy Mrs. Armstrong and the motley Herdman gang of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I remember feeling outrage as each unruly child bullied their way into the Christmas pageant roles, only to breathe a sigh of relief at the end as they truly portrayed their characters that first Christmas: messy and scared, but willing to give all they had. They might have been small actors in that play, but they definitely played a big part in helping that community to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

    .

    Recently, I was studying the book of Acts in a Bible study and we were looking at the lame man being healed in chapter 3. It's a well-known story of Peter preforming a miracle for a beggar who then leapt and praised God. However, the leader posed a new question that struck me, "What if Peter did have money?"

     

  • The Hardest Part

    "What's the hardest part of adoption?"

     

    We get asked this question often. Oddly enough, it's the easiest question to answer. If you would have asked us this two years ago before we dipped our toes in this amazing, but difficult world of adoption, our answer would be the same as it is today. It's not the paperwork or the money or the travel or the trauma.

     

    The hardest part of adoption for us can be summed up in two words: only one.

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