Wednesday, December 30, 2015


What a wonderful year!
As much as my little blog has grown infinite cobwebs, I haven't given up completely on my hope of blogging more often... Perhaps 2016 will be the year I figure out how to update it more regularly in the midst of crazy chaotic regular life!  

Unfortunately this is not a snailmail-card-sending year for us but we wanted to share some bits and pieces from our year here. One of our biggest highlights was marking one year home for our little Vera! She has an incredible spunk and lively spirit... There's so much I would like to say about this year and about her, but I will have to save that for another time.  For now, I will say, with a very very humble and grateful heart, 

She fits into our family SO very well ~and~ 
we cannot imagine our life without her!

I do not say these things lightly, as I know that there are certainly families raw-into adoption, at this very moment, who would not honestly feel or be able to say either of those things. And prior to our actually meeting this sweet treasure of ours, I fought hard against the insidious fear that my heart would be in that boat.  So while I'm grateful to be able to honestly say those blessing-feelings are true, I know, and I think it's important to remember, that even if they did not feel true in the first month...first year...whatever, that would NOT be an indication that this precious child was Not meant for our family and us for her.  Adoption is just hard.  Sometimes very hard.  But this initial adjustment and first year together for the six of us has been relatively smooth and delightful. I do not take it for granted.  

This year our family is also grateful for the abundance of smiles, laughter, music, shows, travel, books to read, people to connect with, activities and projects and subjects to learn, mess... and even the mistakes, missteps, misunderstandings and missed opportunities that daily remind us we are in need of, and grateful for, the immeasurable grace, love, light and hope that Jesus brings.

We hope 2016 is filled with opportunities to develop a new habit or two, get inspired one way or another, clear the table, cherish the time and hearts entrusted to us, change over the laundry, deepen friendships...

And remember that everyone who crosses our path, whether at the dinner table, on the screen, or in the checkout line--everyone has a story, a heartache, a hope.

Let's learn to limp out loud together... (thank you, sara! -a friend of a friend who writes so thoughtfully!)

I'm also learning not to try so hard to carpe the diem- seizing 15 minutes in a row is hard enough, let alone 24 hours! But if I, and if you--maybe if we notice a Kairos moment once in a while... and also maybe if we use our words and ways to be a just a little more gentle with ourselves and others, seize that instead.  After all, we belong to each other. (thank you, glennon)

Why do we belong to each other? FOR THE LOVE, of course!! (thank you, jen! -her book, for the love, has quickly become one of my very favorites...released right around my birthday! maybe a kindred spirit??)

Before I share a few highlights from our year in photos, I want to share one more link. Glennon has a beautiful way of expressing a Christmas contrast, compelling & stirring hearts & hopes around the world.

Here's to new mercies & new hope in a brand new year.  Happy 2016!
Now here, in random order, are some highlights of the past year for our family...
Thanks for checking in!

Oh! P.S. If you are looking for another way to bless others this season, we learned this year about an incredible group helping sick babies in China and Uganda & India to stay with their first families... Orphan prevention: what a BEAUTIFUL thing!!!... Check it out here.  


Sunday, May 10, 2015

hero mamas don't come from a factory


moms who are surprised this week with flowers & presents
moms who are surprised this week...with difficult news
moms who wait for months & months
moms who wonder for years & years
​moms who cry
moms who belly laugh
moms who are weary
moms who are missed
moms who are lonely
moms who are lost
moms with lots of children
moms with empty arms & huge heartache
every mom in between

moms who wish
moms who remember every detail
moms who just. can't.
moms who have a clean house
moms who don't
moms who take time
moms who don't have much left
moms who were there for you
moms who didn't know how
moms whose children all grew up
moms whose child didn't get to
moms who are the lighthouse
moms who feel in the dark
moms whose children have enough food, clothes & opportunities, & whose homes even have "decor"
the millions of moms who don't

moms who (we think) have it all together, and
the other --100%-- of the rest of us
moms you can eat ice cream with
moms who prefer cheesecake
moms who give grace
moms who need it

mom, you are loved....

Friday, May 8, 2015

doing great!

in case you didn't catch it on facebook, we got home in good time and in good shape on Wednesday afternoon and you wouldn't know this little girl had anything out of the ordinary happen to her on Wednesday morning!  more pictures later, but just wanted to say she's as busy (and cute) as ever!!!!  everyone was incredibly kind, helpful and efficient.  things went as smoothly as we could have hoped. thank you for the prayers and love and support!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

prayers please?

Well hello May of 2015!  Seems like it was Valentine's day just yesterday, and Christmas a day before that. Obviously, it is a near to impossible task for me to keep up with blogging. I compose posts in my mind rather often. But there they stay. In life in general I am always trying to manage/juggle/find peace with the vast expanse between my visionary/huge expectations for the day/project/week/self/year, and the ridiculously humbling way that even some daily mundane tasks can be regularly unattainable!  Who needs clean laundry, I say!!! Wait....

So, one year ago this week we got a life-changing call about this sweet little treasure.  Ensue a big nervously-confident-thrilled-wild YES and a 3 month whirlwind all things getting ready for beautiful brave new toddler, and a magnificent trip halfway across the world. Whew.

Then- will she have a voice?
Now- does she ever have a VOICE! singing in the car, yelling at her brothers, echoing anything we ask her to say, bedtime "La-La"s that I fall asleep to before she does. ;)

Then- what will it be like to embrace a toddler we have never met and bring her into our family?
Now- this. just this. a clipping that has been on my fridge about a decade. [just have always kept it even in non-toddler years--a good reminder of what is wonderfully NORMAL-but-exasperating, and only-a-season toddler behavior.] :)

PLUS our little dear heart eats well, sleeps well, laughs easily & plays all-the-time!... Huge little-girl hugs, Big LOVE, many moments of (hopefully) temporary insanity for mom, and lots of Grace and Hope for everyone.

So we are praying prayers of soul-sized relief not just that we are on the "other side" of this part of the journey, finally, after 2 years of wondering and waiting... getting to be a family of 6. But moreso that she does happen to eat well, sleep well, laugh easily and has a loving and playful heart.  It would be harder, but completely normal/fine/understandable if any of those were not the case, but we are thankful there has been so much joy already in this first season together.  And, of course, this is only a miniscule part of the beginning of the real journey of raising another dear precious child.

AND- today we are praying for a peaceful procedure! Vera is getting her skin tags removed by her fantastic-(& fellow-adoptive-parent)-plastic-surgeon-from-China, who speaks tenderly to her in Chinese when we visit.  If you would like to, please join us in praying that everything goes smoothly and recovery is swift and all the doctors and nurses are filled with wisdom and clarity... Thank you!!!

I'll close with this video of just a few of the many words our Vera NaNa has been saying these days (without even wearing her hearing aid)! 


Thank you for your love and prayers this year!!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

love that will not let me go...

i'm sure i have profound thoughts stuffed somewhere
on this title, on this month, to share
but for now
it's a season of

-if it's 7pm and a task's not done
it won't be unless i stay up til one

which has been happening far too often
with little productivity to show for it BUT

i must not let another month go by without some pictures!

we have been crazy blessed by God
with this life, a party of six
sometimes grumpy lumpy bumpy folks
but always giving and living
to grow and know
more Love

So here's a quick hello!