Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pulling the Red Thread - WE FOUND HER!

**Originally posted September 2, 2014.  We have edited the publish date so that this post remains at the top.**

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet: regardless of time, place or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."
Chinese Proverb


You might want to read those first.  Without those two pieces of the story, you will be VERY lost.

Boy do I have a story to tell you.  Sit back, relax.  Maybe get a cup of coffee and a muffin.  This is going to be a complicated story, but will leave you in awe of our Creator and His mighty plan. Again, read the two posts listed above before you dive into this.  

Oooohhhh am I excited. 

With our first two adoptions we did NOT scour the internet looking through pictures.  Our adoption agency matched us with our boys based on our guidelines we listed on our Medical Conditions Checklist. 

This time we did have very specific guidelines set up for what medical needs we are open to and what we are not open to for our family. 

On August 15 our social worker came to do our Home Study update.  While speaking with her she encouraged me to look everywhere for our daughter.  She said, "When you see her, you will just know she is your daughter.  Just like dating.  You may date several men but when you see your future husband you will just know."

Following her advice, I put a post up on an adoption advocacy group on Facebook, looking for my daughter.  I did not list special needs or age specifications, as I did not want to create a box for people to only work in.  

Within an hour there were almost 75 sweet faces in the comments below that post.

By the end of the day there were over 100.

It was heartbreaking to look at all of those sweet babies needing a mother's love. 

There was one little girl who caught my eye... I'll name her Anna.  

Anna had a 5 minute long video that was just ADORABLE.  She was 10 years old.  Older than I thought I would be looking for, but she immediately grabbed my heart... AND SQUEEZED.

Hubs and I were watching her video together.  I burst into tears and thought:
"This could be my daughter... but it's not Lili Beth."

I didn't say a word to Hubs. If Anna was my daughter, God would have to lay her on Hub's heart, too.

I didn't have to wait too long.

I watched Anna's video every single day from Saturday the 16th - Thursday the 21st. 

Hubs said, "I can't get that little girl out of my head.  I've been watching her video every day this week."

That gave me the green light to find out more about her!!!  Woo hoo!

I contacted the agency she was listed with and they said she was no longer with that agency and they could not tell me where she had gone. 

First thing Friday morning (the 22nd) I called our agency and requested her file.  They gave me the file.  Same birthday month, same special needs, same hair cut, same facial features.  

We found her!!!

We decided to lock Anna's file. 

Right after locking Anna's file we found out that the file we locked was NOT ANNA'S!!!  

What the what?!?  We felt like a rug had been ripped out from underneath us. 

So who was this girl's file we had in our hands - and, more importantly, how on earth did this girl's file end up in our hands?!?!?!

We stopped.  

We prayed.  

We read each and every word in this mystery girl's file. 


and again. 

and again. 

Since we had already locked her file, we had until Sunday afternoon to say YES or NO to her.  

I noticed something in her file that hadn't immediately been apparent to me.

She has a foot that had undergone surgery and was now fixed.

Her Chinese name translates to english as Beautiful Flower.

Her file ended up in our hands - 

Only at this point did I remember our daughter's dream from three years prior:

What was her name?

"I can't remember.  It was either Lilly, or Elizabeth."

Later, as we were sitting at the breakfast table, she was telling her brother all about her dream, quite excitedly.  

"... and they were all so nice!  And our little sister was so nice and quiet and shy, too.  She is going to be a great little sister.  OH!  Mom!  I forgot to tell you!  Her feet were fixed!"

Beautiful Flower.  

Feet Fixed.  

How did this file end up in my hands?

We got on our knees and prayed for peace.  We prayed for peace to cover both Hubs and I; and for a clear direction as to YES or NO.  

That evening our oldest daughter was reading Beautiful Flower's file.  She put the pages down, looked at me and said, "This is my sister."

Later that night I was reading the file to our oldest son and he burst out, "That's our girl!"
I looked at him and he had big, wide eyes and a shocked look on his face.  "I don't know where that came from, I just KNOW that's our girl!"

By Saturday night the entire family was at peace - and all of us were completely in love with this 10 year old girl in the file in front of us.  By Sunday morning - deadline day - we had an excitement and joy that we had found our Lili Beth. 

Today, September 2nd, 2014 we received Pre-Approval from China to make Lili Beth our daughter. 

We couldn't be more excited.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Some thoughts.... from one mom to another.

My musings were featured on the No Hands But Ours blog. 

Dear birth mom, 
I am like you; a birth mom.  I am also an adoptive mom.  Growing up, I wondered how a family with biological children and adopted children could love each other equally.  Now I know.  There is no difference.  My children are my children just as if they were all born to me.  It is a love that goes beyond all understanding.  A love that knows no boundaries, no limits. 
As I stand here watching my son, I am thinking of you, and tears fill my eyes. He has no idea I am watching him as he happily plays with his building block set. He carefully chooses each one and stacks them one upon another in a pyramid of color.
In his construction, he accidentally pinches his finger.  He gasps and begins to cry. A tear rolls down his cheek.  He comes to me and I am able to soothe him with one of my healing, magical mommy kisses.  He happily returns to his work. 
Thank you for that moment.
I remember the look on his face when he saw his first birthday cupcake.  His beautiful two-year-old face was full of awe and wonder as he gazed upon the lit candle.  The flame danced and cast happy glimmers of light upon his bright eyes and plump cheeks.  As we sang happy birthday he looked at each of his family members in turn; with a smile playing at his little lips and a giggle daring to bubble over.  He happily… and neatly… enjoyed each and every bite of his birthday cupcake.
Thank you for that moment.
His three year old brother spent almost an entire year dressed in a superhero cape, eye mask and wrist cuffs.  He was proud and stood with his chest puffed out when he wore it; ready to help with anything that needed a superhero.  He proclaimed his Superhero status to all who would listen.  At church, the grocery store, the doctor’s office.  For that year he made the world a safer place, and put a smile on the face of all who saw him. 
Thank you for those moments. 
My husband and I are getting ready to return to China and adopt our daughter.  I imagine how our first meeting will be with her.  A day full of nervous excitement and fear, signaling new beginnings; yet at the same time, immense sadness as she leaves behind the only world she’s ever known to travel to her forever home.  Even though I have not met her yet, I cannot wait for that moment, and I thank you for that.
Because of you I have the privilege of kissing his cheeks, rocking him to sleep, being the object of his affection and pouring Jesus into him. I can only imagine the heartache you feel when you think of your child. Your loss. Your grief. Because when I think of him I experience joy. Acceptance. Peace. I want you to know that I adore him with every ounce of my being. 
I admire you; the courage you must have had to desire a better life for your child. The tears of sorrow, not joy, as you placed him in another’s arms, hoping and praying that your decision was for the best; that the months you carried him in your body and the sacrifices you made for him – they were worth it.
I want you to know that he is safe, he is happy, and he is loved. 
Thank you… for my child.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2 days. 800 miles. 21 hours. The best travel buddy ever, Nitz, and LOTS of coffee. 

All documents have been sent to the adoption agency. 

The ladies at FedEx had a mini dance party with me when they found out what I was sending.

T- minus 4-5 months to get my Lili Beth. 

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

If you got this in your mailbox, you'd be jumping up and down, screaming like a little girl at the end of your driveway, too.

It's the i800a approval we have been waiting on to get our paperwork to China!  Weeeeeeeee!

Monday, September 22, 2014

We have an update... with a smile!

 We received two videos and pictures of our precious, 
precious daughter!  
It is very obvious she is quiet and shy; a beautiful flower.  

Oh how my heart longs to cup my hands around her gorgeous cheeks, look into her eyes and tell her how wonderful she is.  
How wanted she is.  
How precious she is.  

Big sister and I are literally catching ourselves saying, "I'm ready to go to China..." while wistfully looking into space.  

It can't come fast enough. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ways to Donate

I have had several people contact me asking how to contribute to our adoption fund.  Apparently if you check our blog on your smart phone the sidebar of the site does not show up, so I'm putting the info here as well.

The first way is to go to and send a donation to
When you send a donation through paypal there are zero fees taken out!  We will get 100% of your donation if you send it and mark it as a donation through paypal.

Another way is GoFundMe:

Go Fund Me takes 7.5% of your donation for themselves.  

Either way you choose to donate is fine with us, we appreciate all of the help we have gotten so far!  God is so very good and continues to use you all to bless us!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Garage Sale MADNESS!

Never in my life have I ever seen so much STUFF in one place.

So much we took over the neighbor's garage AND driveway, AND had to borrow that trailer in the background to store all of the STUFF.

We had people calling/emailing/texting left and right, wanting to bring goodies to us for the fundraiser.

I would look out my window and see random people unloading donations in my driveway.

Be still my heart.

The outpouring of love and support overwhelmed our entire little family.  

We had support and help from people in all walks of life.  

Donations, donations, donations.

We decided to have our garage sale on two days (Friday and Saturday) since there was SO much stuff.

Only problem:  60% change of THUNDERSTORMS predicted for BOTH days.

We decided to go out on faith and hold the garage sale rain or shine.

It rained and stormed ALL AROUND US.  Just about all of our customers said they drove through rough weather to get to us.

We didn't get a drop of that rain.

We had a pretty consistent gentle breeze that gently kept the storms away from our street.

OH the outpouring of love and support we received!  

The wonderful friends who volunteered their time (and their kids' time) to help out with all of the back-breaking work just overwhelmed us. (You know who you all are!)

Garage Sale total:  $2,895

My cup overflows.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thoughts about Fundraising

You know, 

I'm not one to complain, 

or assert myself and be bossy, 

or point my finger at people and tell them what I'm NOT going to do....

But I did.

I did that to God.

You've never done that, have you?  

After the boy's adoption I told Him I was done.  





No more fundraising.

Ever.  Never ever again.

And then He said Lili Beth was ready and waiting for us.  He lit a fire under our feet.  

... So now I fundraise....

It is a HUGE blow to your pride to have to fundraise.  Period.  Everyone has needs, desires, wants.  And here I am, in your face, saying HELP ME!

And I don't like doing that.  

So I've been praying and wondering WHY God would have us fundraise.  I mean, really.  Why?  

I remembered our last journey to adopt.  We pounded the pavement and got the word out about orphans and the need for forever families.  Since then I have seen several families add to their homes because they saw how we raised funds.

Now I'm cool with it.  Let's fundraise.  Let's shout it from the roof tops if that is what we need to do.  

Use me, Lord.  Let's tell everyone about the need.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How I know...

How do I know my daughter's name is Lili Beth?

Well, actually, it's not.

It is Lilian Elizabeth, and the Lord gave me her name many years ago. 

My now 12 year old daughter has been praying for her little sister for many, many years.  She KNEW she was going to get a little sister, even when her father and I scoffed and told her, "good luck with that."

God was listening to her.

When we submitted to God three years ago to adopt, we didn't know where to start.  
"Ok, Lord" we said, "There are orphans everywhere.  Where do you want us to go?"

Hubby and I separated for 1 week in prayer.  At the end of that week we compared notes and realized that China had been laid on both our hearts quite heavy. 

Then THIS happened.

And we didn't quite know what to do that.  

So we pushed forward and were matched with a bouncing baby boy..... and 30 days later, ANOTHER bouncing baby boy.  

My precious boys have been life changing.  

Fun with Silly Selfies:

Love in Daddy's arms:

Keeping big sister in line:

Enjoying nature:

These boys are my sons. 
 They fit in my family like they have always been here.

And now God says its time to go get Lili Beth. 

So we go.

That's how I know.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Here we go.... again!

We are going to adopt again!  

I have a lot of words rolling around in my mind.  Every time I reach up to grab one or two to put them on here, I freeze.  My husband put his thoughts into words, so I'm going to share HIS thoughts for now.


One of the most common questions I get from folks is, "Why did you choose to adopt?"  The answer, though to many, may seem complicated, is really quite simple.  You see, we are faced with choices.  Thousands of choices - daily.  

Do I want to hit the snooze button?
What should I eat for breakfast?
Should I fix my hair a certain way or wear a hat?
Do I drive the speed limit?
etc., etc.

The choices are endless. While on this rock, we have the choice to be comfortable or obedient.  Our choice - obedient.  Adopting isn't easy.  In fact, it's very difficult.  Mounds of paperwork, fundraising, waiting, travel- and that's all before getting our children.  Then comes the re-building phase; establishing trust, bonding, sickness (physical and emotional), and healing.  But in he end it all becomes worth it.  

You cross over the threshold from adoptive family to just... family.

So if you haven't heard, we're going back.  This time God has told us that our Lili Beth is ready for us and waiting.  I'm not sure what that looks like or how long it will take, but I have a choice - comfort or obedience.  Honestly, I'm nervous; make that very nervous. It's not an uncertain nervousness, it's an excited nervousness.  So if you've been called to adopt and you're waiting for the "perfect" time, it will never come.  If you're expecting the utopian "Annie" adoption, it's not going to happen.  Prepare yourself for many sleepless, screaming, crying nights.

And then expect those same nights from your children.  

But honestly ask yourself, "Would I want someone to hand me over a championship title when I didn't work for it?  Would I want heroic accolades for a job that had no meaning?"  If your answer was no, then you are a perfect candidate for adoption. 

Hosea 6:6 says, "For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." (NASB)

Ben Sternke writes, "Sacrifice in this sense is actually an attempt to gain independence from God.  If we sacrifice for him, then we have put him in our debt.  If we sacrifice for God, he owes us something (so we think).  Sacrifice is a way of "buying" whatever we want to get from God (protection, deliverance, provision, favor), while at the same time remaining independent from him.  Obedience, however, is the response of someone who is in a relationship of trust with God.  We trust God, we depend on him, we are interactive with him, but he takes the lead.  Obedience is better than sacrifice because we are letting God be God and staying in our proper place with him, the place of dependence and surrender to his goodness."

So now what?  Well, our commitment is to God.  And if that means discomfort now for comfort later, then so be it, because I know that even in discomfort my family will be blessed.

We're coming, Lili Beth!  As God's timing is perfect, we're coming!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

2 Years Home!

Two years home.  

They have changed our lives so much.  

They have shown us what the love of our Savior is all about. 

We cannot imagine life without such wonderful blessings.