Join Me In The Garden


I have welcomed all of you to share in the joys and struggles of our family since our hearts were broken for the fatherless several years ago. We have now been home with our girls for over three years, and I cannot even begin to share with you how God has blessed us with our precious Chinese daughters. I have chosen to share our family’s journey with you for one reason, that is to give God glory, and that you may see that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things if we let Him.

God called us to adopt two older girls from China, and we have been blessed beyond measure by our obedience to Him. The road has not been easy, yet it is a path I would choose to travel again.

If you take with you one thing from my willingness to be open to you, I pray that it would be that God moves mountains when we step out in faith to meet the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. We can count on Him every time.

May God do the miraculous in your lives, and may our story inspire many to step out in faith to love a child who desperately needs what only you can give.


The Face of Redemption

My Facebook page is flooding me with memories of four years ago when we were in China getting our girls. Each picture brings back a sea of feelings that unnerve me. 

I feel the trauma our daughters felt more vividly than I did before because now they are my own, and I know the depth of emotion they carried in their hearts that day and all that they left behind. I know of the many friends and care givers they walked away from forever with a bravery that staggers me. 

I experience again my own trauma and feelings of inadequacy at the realization that the girls needs were so much bigger and deeper than I had even begun to imagine. 

As we had looked forward to traveling, I’d felt as though I’d been carried along on a current of God’s grace and guidance for our lives and the lives of our family, and I struggled mightily once I arrived in China and saw exactly where that current of God’s grace had led us. It had led us straight into the painful reality of all that our precious daughters had borne alone, straight into the depth of abandonment and loss. I felt the gravity of adoption, and perhaps I saw too a glimpse of the cost of redemption.

The faces of the children waiting had haunted us for years, faces with sad longing eyes and empty looks, faces of babies and toddlers and children and teenagers, faces that all shared one thing, a vacant lonely desperation in their eyes, a need that being parentless in a world where children are meant for families gave them. We’d prayed over each face. 

We’d given our yes to God, and when after months of preparation and waiting, our girls were handed over to our care, we’d found ourselves in the midst of the work God had called us to and had found ourselves wanting. We had come to the end of ourselves, and were realizing that all that we had learned about relying on God for His provision to bring the girls home was only just a fraction of the faith that we would need in order to face the years that still lay ahead for us then. 

I may not have expressed it on this blog, but the summation of my feelings while we were in China can unabashedly be best expressed as a fear that hit me in the pit of my stomach and clenched at my throat and remained for the two years that followed bringing our daughters home. If ever I had felt that God had called me to something I could not do, it was those early days and months with our new daughters, and as I see the photos of those far away days, I feel the pain and fear today as I felt it then. 

Yet today, juxtaposed against all of those feelings of fear and inadequacy, are feelings of peace and acceptance and pure joy at the amazing miracle God allowed us to be a part of. All of the angst is gone, and in its place is the peace and love and fulfillment that loving children brings. Today, I have thirteen children of my very own. I have nine biological children who are all in varying stages of developing, two who went to heaven before I ever had the chance to hold them in my arms, and two who came to me through adoption. Each journey has been vastly different for every one of our children, and I have learned that being a mother is more about getting to know each child and encouraging each one to move forward in the gifts and abilities that are uniquely theirs than about meeting all of their needs in our own strength.

Far too often, we believe our role as parents is to give our children the most perfect childhoods we can. We want to protect them from pain and even from their own mistakes, and yet it’s the times they’ve fallen hard and grieved and realized their need for God that have built character in their hearts far more than the hours we have spent amusing them.

Before we travelled to get our girls, I had to come to a point where I knew, in the deepest part of my soul, that I could trust our biological children to God, and that whatever challenges we faced as a family as we struggled to find our new normal would be within the boundaries of what God allowed for us, and would be tempered by His immeasurable grace. I’d be lying if I implied that there were never times as we travelled through these past four years when I didn’t question God’s plan for our family or question our choice to follow God’s will against the advice and concerns of so many who loved us. To say that the years we’ve spent merging our lives with the girls have been easy would be an injustice to all that we were called to and to all that each member of our family experienced as we moved forward into God’s will for our lives. 

We were called to rescue the fatherless, and that is what we did for two of the millions of orphans that still wait. Was it hard? Yes. Did our biological children struggle in the process? Yes. Did Mark and I falter as we endeavored to meet the needs and move forward with our large family? Absolutely. 

Yet, I can’t help but see the growth that our choice to follow God has brought about in our children’s hearts. 

Eliza and Evangeline will likely always require our care. We will spend our lives caring for and protecting them. They are safe and loved, something they waited for for far too long, and we are forever blessed to have the priviledge of parenting them. The safety and security that we have given them fades away when compared to the joy we know at having chosen to love them. They have enriched our family more than we could have possibly enriched their lives. 

As I write this, one thing stands out in my mind. I am aware, perhaps for the first time with such lucid clarity, that our part in all of this was to merely walk through the stages of loss and grief, of healing and attachment, to walk forward in faith knowing that the One who called us is faithful to finish the great work He has begun in our hearts. It was God who knitted our family together. It was He who brought healing to hurting and wounded hearts. 

All we really did was keep walking. 

If you are in the midst of a dark place and see no way through, may I encourage you to just keep walking forward into all that God has for you. He is faithful to bring you through. 

Blessings All!

A Dream Come True

It was just a dream.

It was a tiny thought that kept appearing in my mind as I parented our daughters who came home to us through adoption, as I brushed their hair and held their tiny hands in mine. It was an idea that flashed across my mind when I’d see the girls smiles or as I’d watch them chat with their siblings in conversations redolent of connection, acceptance, love, belonging. It flickered brighter as I watched Eliza and Evangeline blossom in our oh so imperfect family.

It was just a spark of light that I hoped someday would ignite into a full blown blaze, yet I had no idea how to fan that glowing ember in my mind.

I’m a dreamer, a writer, a visionary perhaps, yet I struggle to see the path I must take to bring all those big ideas that flitter across my mind into reality. So there my dream remained, just a tiny spark inside my mind until I dared to give it words and share it with my precious, make things happen friend, Stephanie.

“I really want to start an orphan ministry.” I’d say to her from time to time amidst the craziness of our sixteen children.

She’d smile in that genuine, affirming way that has become such an endeared part of my life.

Then life would come at us, hard, painful, demanding, exhausting, and we’d get caught up in the present, in the seeming urgencies of the moment.

And the dream just flickered.

Over coffee and amidst the playful sounds of our children, I’d say again, “You know, I’d really like to start an orphan ministry.”

She’d flash that smile filled with love for my heart and empathy for the fact that I had no idea how to make any of it happen, and we’d move on to all the other things we wanted to share with each other in our limited catch up time.

The spark kept glowing inside me. I prayed and asked God to show me the way, but the needs of my family and children filled my time. For so long, I felt I couldn’t even write on my blog, let alone begin a ministry. I’d tell myself, someday, in God’s perfect timing, He’ll show me the way.

Yet in my mind the needs of the children waiting pressed with an urgency that troubled me, and I wanted so badly to begin.

Then our pastor preached a series of sermons about the fruit of our lives, about how while works won’t save our souls, they are the natural outpouring of the life of a Christian. He reminded us of the awesome blessing and priviledge we have as children of God to actually partake in His work and to allow our hearts to be broken with the things that break the heart of God. Our Pastor’s words spoke to me and reminded me of that blessed communion with our Heavenly Father that actually allows us to share God’s heart and desires, that makes us one with God.

I knew the dream inside me was one that God had placed there, and I whispered a quiet, “Please Lord, show me the way.”

The very next time I saw Stephanie, her eyes were bright and words rolled off her tongue with the energy of a child waiting to open presents on Christmas morning, “We need to start that orphan ministry. Let’s just do it.”

Today,  Let the Children Come, is an official ministry of Faith Bible Church. We are a group of mothers, many homeschooling, who gather together while our children play, on the first Tuesday of every month to pray for God to raise up families who are willing to adopt, to pray for the children who wait, to plan ways to support those in our community who may be adopting or fostering, and to seek God’s direction for our ministry.

We are a small group in the initial stages of developing with far more questions than we have answers, yet even now, God is moving. After just a few months of praying and sharing the needs, God moved in the hearts of John and Janette Feltes to adopt.

I am so excited to share with you that this very special young man has a family!


One day during a meeting of Let the Children Come and after I’d been rambling on about all the miracles God performed to bring our girls home, one of the members of our group shared through tears about her desire to adopt.

Below are her words.

After Diane shared her story with me last November, I felt God leading us down the adoption path. I felt that if I were to stand before God, He would say to me, “Well, I’m really glad you were comfortable.” We are not called to be comfortable but to serve others and show them His love. God has a heart for the orphans. John and I have a heart for the aging out orphans. Not only to save them from a life on the streets, but to share the love of Jesus with them. We started filling out the application in December and prayed if it was meant to be, that God would provide the application fee of $300 before we received our tax money. The day we received our tax money, I received an email from someone that said they had $300 for us. So we knew that this was the path God was leading us. We took a huge leap of faith and are trusting God to provide to bring Jeremiah home to us. Jeremiah ages out in January.

Our kids are so excited. Malorie wanted us to adopt a girl; she has always wanted a sister. We were at the dinner table one night and came across Jeremiah on the waiting children list. He wrote a letter that said he just wanted a family and a mom and dad who would love him. All I could do was cry. At bedtime, we were praying with the kids and Malorie got quiet. She turned to me and said, “Mom, I really want Jeremiah.” That’s when we decided that we wanted Jeremiah to be a part of our family. Mason is so excited to have a brother to share his room with. One day, we were all in the car and John and I were discussing some adoption fees that needed to be paid. Mason and Malorie were whispering in the backseat. Mason said, “Mom, Malorie and I each have $5 from our allowance and we want you to use it for the adoption, so you have ten extra dollars.” My heart melted. God already is growing our faith! I love that our kids get to be a part of this and see firsthand how God is at work.

How great is our God! 

John and Janette have twin children, Mallorie and Mason. 

Aren’t they just the cutest?


The Feltes are stepping out in faith, just like most of us do here in the adoption community, trusting God to provide all that they need to go and get their son. They have set up an account through Adopt Together where they can receive tax deductible donations. 

Janette has started a blog at Journey Full of Blessings. Please follow their story and join us at Let the Children Come in praying for the Feltes as they trust God to do the miraculous in their lives. 

I just can’t wait to watch God move mountains to bring precious Jeremiah home to his family!



I stand in my kitchen, filled to overflowing with the clamor of children. Victoria has brought Rita’s water ice home from work today, and the joy and excitement of her gift to her siblings is palpable. 

My feet and legs feel heavy and tired, my back is aching, and my hands move methodically, robotically, clearing the counter for the umpteenth time today and filling it again, this time with brightly colored ice cream dishes and scoops and spoons for my brood of eager children. My body is present, right there in the midst of all my precious ones; yet my mind is far away in some distant place where joy resides and where peace fills me. The sound of the children’s voices jumble together in my mind like the sound of the wind rustling in and out of the trees behind our house as it whistles through the leaves like the song of a dozen whippoorwills chanting endlessly on a summer night. 

My spirit soars somewhere distant and detached. Perhaps I am praying, in that deep, wordless, place inside myself where God communes with me, or perhaps my brain is resting from the endless chatter of the children. Perhaps I am weary and tired and thankful and blessed all at the same time and the feelings are all jumbled together in some wordless place that finds rest in the midst of the never ending busyness of my days.

Something calls me back from that far off place inside myself. I hear the children’s words, now cohesive, purposeful, intentional, distinct.

“David wants more strawberry.” 

“Jonathan wants cotton candy.” 

“Make sure you save enough coconut for Evangeline! Coconut is her favorite.” 

“Andrew, you can’t have all the flavors together! That’s gross.” 

“Mommy, Eliza fixed the gate and now Sebastian can’t get out anymore, but Mr. Bunn can.”

“No, Eliza doesn’t want any. It’s too sweet for her.” 

“Mommy, Livi, wanted chocolate, and there is no chocolate.” 

“Who is going to carry the water ice downstairs to the freezer?” 

“Not me!” Another hollers.

And from another, “No, not yet.  Where’s Sophia? She didn’t get hers yet.”

And then I see it. 

Somewhere in the midst of the children’s voices all tumbling out together, in what feels to me like the well thought out rhythm of some flawless symphony, right there, in the ordinary, in the simple, in the common, I see it. 


I see what I have hoped for and prayed for and sometimes wondered if I would ever see. 

I see the children, integrated, united, one, not separated by the years they spent apart, by the diversity of their pasts, but instead, conjoined, banded together by the commonality of their lives now, by the new history we have built together. A history that belongs to all of us, a history that is ours. 



I see how God has interwoven our lives. I see the connectedness, the cohesion, the bond that exists between all the children. I see how God, and life, and the passage of time has knit us together as a family. I realize too, that I can no longer see the forced and uneven, awkward stitching of the seams that once tentatively held us together as an evolving family and stood out uncomfortably when our pasts mattered more than the present, when the histories of our biological and adopted children were as different as the winter snow is from the warm dew of summer that glistens on the grass, reflecting its iridescent light off the common, the ordinary, the familiar.

I wonder. When did it happen, this feeling of normality? When did it return to us?


The answer comes to me amidst the chaos of the kitchen, amidst the dipping of the water ice, amidst the ordinary.


It was coming all along. It was happening like the magic of the skin horse becoming real in that famous book we all know and love, The Velveteen Rabbit. It was on its way that day we were tired and short tempered and quarreled, and then cried together and were sorry. It was coming on the days we baked together and colored and rushed out the door to church, impatient and scattered, and on the day daddy and I were weary and needed their help, on the day Livi fussed and forgot her bible and Eliza offered to run upstairs and get it for her. It was on its way the day we all climbed into our crowded van after church and it was hot, and we impulsively abandoned routine and went out for ice cream together instead of getting our lunch. It was growing in us the day mommy forgot to turn off the garden hose and we giggled together over the forgetfulness of their mommy.


It was welling up inside of us on Christmas and birthdays and on all the normal days that came in between.

And I believe it arrived when we shared the brokenness of ourselves with each other, our weaknesses, our inadequacies, our imperfections. It arrived when we needed to forgive each other, when we had wronged each other and found that afterward the love and bond was stronger than it had been before for having shared the hard.


“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


We became a family, bonded together by the stuff of life, the hard and the happy, the laughter and the tears, over time and after we had loved, “for a long, long time.”


I Have a Dream Too

I, too, have a dream, Dr. Martin Luther King. 

I have a dream that someday every orphan will have a family. 


I have a dream that the sex slave industry will be exposed and brought into the light, and abolished, forever. 

I have a dream that every child would cease to be vulnerable to the darkest evil in the world today, the human trafficking industry, because of the protection that having a family provides. 



I have a dream that the body of Christ would rise up and, on the deepest level, trust God to determine what their families look like. 

I have a dream that the blinders would be broken away from our eyes and that we would see God’s children waiting, cold and alone and vulnerable in the world.


I have a dream that words like developmental delays, autism, heart defects, HIV, would no longer scare us. 

I have a dream that we would see the face of a child, dearly loved by our Creator, behind every diagnosis. 


I have a dream that God would raise up an army of people who refuse to let the circumstances of their lives stand in the way of rescuing the children. 

I have a dream that God would fill each one of us with a servant’s heart, with the same heart that led Jesus to the cross to lay down His life for us.


I have a dream that we would begin to see ourselves as truly one family and recognize that children of our very own are waiting all over the world for us to come for them.

I have a dream that our eyes would be opened to the fact that while we are amusing ourselves, planning vacations and building our bank accounts, focusing on our retirements and on building our nest eggs, on making our lives easier, the children are waiting for medical care, for food, for a blanket, for someone to call them their own. 


I have a dream that men’s hearts would be as broken for the orphans as women’s hearts are. 

I have a dream that all people who call themselves Christian would have a servant’s heart, be willing to make their lives harder, to give of their finances and time, to make room around their tables, to make room in their homes and in their hearts for one more child. 


I have a dream that the body of Christ would run to the children, pick up their heavy burdens and carry them on our backs, just as Barrabas picked up Jesus’s heavy cross and carried it for Him.

I have a dream that God would grow the faith His people. 


I have a dream that noone would be limited by their finite thinking, but see God’s limitless ability to place every child in a family. 

I have a dream that we would not see obstacles, but only God’s might and power. 


I have a dream that the church would take that one tiny step of faith into God’s waiting arms, and bring the children home. 



It was one of those long days. 

It was the kind of day mothers everywhere have experienced.

It was a day when sleep had eluded me, when I’d spent the sleepless hours praying about the burdens that weighed too heavily on my heart, when the problems felt like mountains before me and so unequally matched to my abilities. It was a day when breakfast started early and quickly turned into one long seemingly endless string of meeting needs and pouring myself out until long after the sun had gone down. 

I stood there in my kitchen, weary, exhausted, staring blankly into the void as my mind raced with all that awaited me, wondering what next thing I needed to do first. Then I felt her tiny hand on my back, gentle, soft and loving. I recognized the touch of her hand, the rhythm of her breathing, her presence was as familiar to me and as deeply embedded into my senses as any biological child’s could ever be. 

I turned to see her dark brown eyes shining at me, somehow shining more brightly because of all the loss they’d seen, and shining even brighter still, because the lack had made the having so much more precious. The years she’d spent without a mother, a father, without sisters and brothers and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, without belonging, had somehow deepened her present joy. 


“Mudder,” she spoke in her loud voice, her slow, deliberate words exposing the effort it took for her to form them. “Mudder, you tired. I do it!” 

It was late. The fatigue showed in the shadows under her eyes. The others were in bed, and Mark was out running taxi service for one of the older kids. Yet, here she was wanting more than anything to be allowed to stay up late to help her mommy. 

“Mudder, I can do it!” She repeated with the innocence of a child who longs to show off her skills. 

“I know you can, sweetie. But you have school in the morning, and you need to get to bed. I can do this.” I said as I looked at the counters covered with dishes, school papers and lunch boxes, with the stuff of our day. 

“No, Mudder! I do it! You go lie down!”

Her eagerness to help melted me. “Okay. Let’s do it together.”

The smile spread accross her face like morning sun begins to fill the sky. “I help you, Muddder. You like me help you?”

There it was again, the need for reassurance of her worth, of her value to me. 

“Oh yes, you do help me! And even if you are too tired to help me, I love you.” 

We worked there in the kitchen for a long time, talking, sharing, laughing, taking time for hugs.

Then, in the quiet, she told me. 

“Mudder, I couldn’t read in China either. Something wrong with me. I can’t remember. I try hard read, but I can’t.”

Her words filled me with thoughts of how hard we’ve tried to help her learn to read. Images of her face, looking at me with pleading eyes, hoping that I would be able to find someone to help her learn to read English, flooded my mind. The many times I’d asked her if she had written the letters she had sent to us from China by herself stacked up in line, one after the other in my mind, like a trail of dominoes, each one knocking the next one down. For three years I’d thought she had an amazing ability to write flawless Chinese as the translators had told us, and that all I needed was to find the right way to teach her. For three years…


I was overwhelmed with sadness for my precious daughter who had taken three years to come up with the nerve to tell me she had never learned to read. For three years she had been afraid that I might not love her if I knew that she had never learned to read. Sadness washed over me like a wave floods the shoreline. Tears filled my eyes as I took her in my arms. 

“Oh honey, It’s okay. It doesn’t matter to me if you know how to read. I love you. You are my precious daughter, and I love you no matter what.”  

I began to feel angry for the things we hadn’t known, not because I loved my daughter any less, but because I was unaware of the burdens she had carried all alone, the fears she had borne. I felt angry that somewhere, someone had felt that they had to lie to us, that they feared if the truth were shared, Eliza would never have had a family.

But then my thoughts took a different path, one that made me angry with myself. I began to wonder if I had known that my dear Eliza had such cognitive differences, would I have still chosen to be her mother? That’s a question I honestly can’t answer. I don’t know. I hope it wouldn’t have mattered to me then, as it doesn’t matter now. 


Much is written about the lack of information in our children’s files from international orphanages, and I, too, have often lamented the fact that far too often, vital information is left out of these files, yet I wonder if the problem lies in our own hearts, in the view that pervades our world that those with cognitive issues are somehow less valuable, less worthy, less lovable. 

I am suddenly filled with thankfulness for whomever it was who dropped the information from our daughter’s file. It wasn’t so vital, was it?  Perhaps it was someone who loved her very much. Perhaps it was due to a deceitfulness on the part of her first agency. You can read that story here. Or perhaps it was the hand of our loving Heavenly Father who loves all of us with an infinite, perfect love. Whatever the reason no longer matters to me now. I am thankful for God, who knew, far better than I could have ever known, that Eliza was our daughter, no matter what.

The most vital information in her file was that she needed a family. 


And now she has one.

Blessings All!

What Does it Take?

“What does it take?” She asked me from the sofa we shared. It was her mother’s sofa, the one upon which we’ve sat so many times before and bared our souls, the one from which we’ve poured out our sadness and our pain, the one that has cradled us when life has seemed too hard, the burdens too heavy. It’s the couch from which we’ve shared our hopes for our children and our dreams for an orphan ministry. It’s the one that’s held us safe and cozy on cold days as the children have played all around us, and quarreled and fussed at our feet and then found their way again.

It’s not a day that particularly stands out in my mind as separate from any other day in which we squeezed a couple of hours into our crazy schedules to reconnect. Yet these words she spoke have resonated in my mind like the seemingly endless reverberations of a triangle as it hangs freely from its leather strap. “What does it take?” She asks me. And then she perisists, earnestly, urgently. “Tell us what it takes. You need to write a post about what it takes to adopt a child. The world needs to hear it. You need to tell it.” 

Again and again the question fills the corners of my mind. The answer comes to me amidst the quiet moments, and I hear it among the clamor of my kitchen too. I hear it when the children are playing and quarreling and hungry, and when the dogs are barking and Mr. Houdini Bunn is chasing Cappuccino, the cat, and the guinea pigs are squealing for carrots. It seems to poke at me as I go about my days, and it interrupts my thoughts as I care for my children. Always, the answer is the same. Always, the same deep inner conviction and knowing wells up from within that Holy place inside of me where God lives and dwells, and by His immeasurable grace, daily makes my desires His own. 

It takes one step, just one tiny step. 


The words begin to take shape in my mind. 

It only takes one step. 

But it is not merely one easy step into the light, not one step onto solid ground. No. It is one tiny, fearful, uncomfortable step that leads us beyond our comfort zone and into the vast unknown. It is one timid, quivering step that causes our lungs to suck in air as if our life depends upon it and sends our hearts galloping hard within us and fills us with a fear that shoots through to our finger tips like electricity. It’s a Lord Jesus, I give you my life and I lay it in your hands no matter what that costs me, no matter how hard it is, no matter if I must care for this child for the rest of my days, no matter if I feel ready, no matter what kind of step.  

It takes one tiny step beyond all that we know and all that we think is safe and certain. It is a step that takes us beyond ourselves to a place where our inadequacies become clearer than they have ever been before. Indeed, it requires a step that takes us to the end of ourselves, to our deepest weaknesses, our greatest needs. It’s a step that leads us to rely on the imeasurable power of God in a way we never have before.  

It takes one tiny step of faith.

The just shall live by faith.

We walk by faith, not by sight. 

Oh friend, not one of us is ready. There will always be a need we are praying about. There will always be needs our own children have that we do not have the strength or resources in ourselves to meet. There will always be a leaky pipe and a refrigerator that somehow has forgotten how to keep things cold. The car will always be accruing miles on the odometer, and the children will get sick and the walls will need to be painted and we will grow weary and sometimes falter and need to rest. There will always be another mountain to climb, another need that still dangles dauntingly in front of us and reminds us of our desparate need for God in our lives.

And NONE of that matters.

God’s children are waiting all over the globe for the Body of Christ to put action behind their faith and take that first step.They are waiting for us to take Jesus at His word and believe that He meant what He said when He said that He will care for us and meet every need as we step out in faith to meet the needs of the fatherless. 


25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  – Matthew 6:25-34, Emphasis mine.


Babies are lying in cribs all over the world longing for someone to hold them. Children are watching parents come for their sons and daughters and longing for someone to come for them. Teenagers are watching the days pass like ticking time bombs that will explode the day they age out of the adoption program and are forever left to join the ranks of the unadoptables, the ones who were never chosen. 

I see their sweet faces like a sea of need that stretches far beyond any resource that I can even imagine. And again, I hear my friend Stephanie’s words, prompting, probing, “What does it take?”

The answer fills me with the same boundless, infinity as the endless sea of the children’s needs. It fills me with the simplicity of my Savior’s words.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have recieved it, and it shall be yours.” Mark 11:24

It takes faith. 

It takes faith to lay our needs, the needs of our children and the needs of the orphans all over the world, at the feet of Jesus.  And it takes one tiny step of faith into Jesus’ waiting and willing arms to begin the process of adoption. Once we take that first, faltering, tiny step into the vast unknown, we come face to face with the very power of God. 

It takes a willingness to trust Jesus’ words.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

The children come home by faith and by nothing that we can do in our own strength. 

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord. ” Zechariah 4:6 

“What does it take?” The words reverberate in the recesses of my mind, and the still small voice I have come to recognize as the Spirit of God within me echoes back in gentle reverberations of His own, “It takes faith, faith, as tiny as a mustard seed.”

Oh Lord, Jesus, raise up an army of people who are willing to believe in Your power in 2016!

Blessings All!


Things I Would Tell Them 

I’m thinking of them today.

I’m thinking of them as I peel the garlic and the ginger to prepare the paste for the Chinese food I’m learning to make for our daughters in some, undoubtably, woefully and inadequate attempt to fill the craving that still burns deep within each one for the delicious smells and flavors of their homeland, for their people, for their biological mothers.

Their mothers would know how to make the soup they want. They would know how to flavor the rice and stir fry it perfectly until its wonderful redolence filled their home with a familiar incense that is as indelibly imprinted on their minds as the smell of the salty sea is on mine.

They would know how to teach them the names of the spices and the words for the fish they desire.

They would know the meaning of the words my daughters use when they speak to each other in the lovely tonal language of their mother tongue.

They would know.

They would know the sound of their cries when they were born, if they did cry. 

They would know their real birthdates…and their names.

I can still hear the words take shape and stumble out of Evangeline’s mouth, haltingly, stunted, pained, only months after she had come home.  “That wasn’t my real name, Mommy. And my birthday isn’t my real birthday. They took our names away and our birthdays.”

She spoke the word, they, as if it referred to some nameless giant, some gargantuan monster that had come and snatched away their names. Yet she knew the people who chose to keep the secrets, to take away their very identities. Perhaps she even loved them.

Again and again my mind fills with questions. Did that make it harder? Was it more confusing to love and depend on the people who raised you and cared for you in your parent’s stead, and, at the same time, know they had taken away your very identity and replaced it with a name like ‘Dang’, one that forever would identity you as an orphan in your own country? Did she beg the Ayis for answers the way she begs me to call her orphanage, to take her to visit China, or the way she asks me again and again for a cell phone?

I wonder. Did they know? Were there people there who remembered her name? Do they still remember?  Were there people who worked in the orphanage who knew her grandmother, who remembered the day she dropped her off when she was five and told her she was coming back and never came?

China Bans Names That Signal Orphan Status, NBC News, 2012

Their mothers would know the answers to the questions that pass through my mind on days like today, on all the days.

They would know how to teach me how to cook for my daughters.

I wonder how they are. I wonder if they are well, if they are alive?

I wonder if they yearn to hear news of their lost daughters. I wonder if they can still feel the softness of their baby skin the last time they kissed them.

And I wonder if they ever had the chance to kiss them. I wonder if someone brought them hot soup while they laid in bed empty, hollow, bereft of the child they had carried deep inside for nine long months of waiting while a midwife secretly smuggled their babies away to abandon them instead of snuffing them out for a fee.

I wonder if they cried. I wonder if they were hoping for a boy or if they didn’t care at all. I wonder if someone made them feel worthless because they bore girls instead of boys. And I wonder if they knew that their tiny babies had special needs they could not care for. I wonder if they left them on the steps of the orphanage or street corner while they prayed a private prayer to a God their spirits longed for but whom they never knew.

I wonder if their mothers know there is another mother, on the other side of the world with light skin and light hair who loves them now and holds them close and tries to cook soup the way they like it, the way they would prepare it for them if they could.

I wish I could tell them.

I wish I could tell their mothers how much I love them and how they bless our lives and how we are richer for their incomprehensible loss.

I wish I could tell them so many things.

I wish I could tell them that even though their daughters are loved so very deeply, even though they are among the far too few who have been chosen by a family, even though they have brothers and sisters and a mama and baba, there is a hole deep inside of each one, a dark and hazy place where they know they are missing the mother who bore them, a secret place in their subconscious where they remember, where they will always remember.

And I want to tell them how thankful I am that they gave them life and that I am the light skinned woman on the other side of the world who has the unspeakable gift of being their mother. 

I want to tell them it’s a role I treasure.

Their lost daughters are cherished treasures of my own.

I want them to know that I wonder about them and that every single day I am aware of their loss.

I want them to know that their presence is never far from my mind and my prayers.

And I pray that God will hold them close and fill them with a peace that only He can give.

Blessings All,

Take My Yoke Upon You

Thank you all for such an awesome welcome back to the blog-world. Your kind words have encouraged me so much.

God is working in my heart, and I have so much to share with all of you. 

And I will.

When I wrote my last post, I didn’t have the details to share with you about Ruthi Joy that I do today.


I had seen her picture on a friend’s feed, and something about her sweet face reminded me of our dear Eliza, her plump little rosebud mouth wih those full lips and that lovely peaches and cream complection.


But I didn’t know her name.

So I wrote and shared all that I knew, and a precious facebook friend shared more information with me, and I share it with you here.

My heart just breaks for this sweet young lady who wants to be a daughter so very badly. 

I think about the secret things her mind holds deep inside in that private place within her where she dreams and hopes for things too deep to share. 


I think about holding each one of our children, my heart swelling with all the love and compassion a mother’s heart holds, and I long deep within that private place inside myself to make a difference for Ruthi Joy and the many nameless children who are hoping and dreaming and crying alone for the love and security of something so very basic that most of us take it for granted.

They long for a mother and a father, for brothers and sisters, for grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. 

They yearn for something so base as to be called daughter or son. 

Abandoned children have never had the amazing blessing of being sons and daughters.

Let that sink in

They know nothing of the love, the rank and belonging, the value and priviledge that being a son or a daughter provides for each one of us in that quiet center of ourselves.


They are children of an oppressive government perhaps, a culture that has never known the love of the Heavenly Father who reaches down to each one of us in the midst of our muck and failure and brokeness. They are children of despair and need and pain. 


They know nothing of the reality of being a cherished son or daughter. They know nothing of a love that transcends the brokenness and need, a love that isn’t dependent on anything we can do, a love that is faithful merely because we are its own, because we belong, because we are son and daughter, child, family.


And they have no earthly picture of our Heavenly Father’s love f0r us.

They do not know a love that is faithful when we are lost and weary and so deeply wounded that we can’t catch our breath, when we are treading water and the sea of the struggles and burdens of life, of our own humanity, is rising and growing more turbulent with each passing day, and when that dreadful sea of concerns and pain and anguish threatens to envelope us, a love that waits ready and willing until we have come to the very end of ourselves.  


They do not know how very deeply God loves us.

They know nothing of a love that fills our deepest need, an infinite parental love that reaches down to us in the midst of our darkest valleys and lifts us up to stand beside Him, a love that is strong and mighty and will fight for us when we cannot fight for ourselves.


And they may never know that limitless love of God if we will not look beyond ourselves and our own limited abilities and circumstances, if we will not step out in faith and set our sights on the One who promises to do all things if only we would ask in His name and believe.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – Jesus, John 14:12-14 (Emphasis mine)

Jesus reaches out to us when we have nothing to offer HIm, invites us to come, broken as we are, and calls us to share in His work, to be His hands and feet, to love the most wounded and needy among us. As we begin by faith to trust Him to be strong in our weakness and to use us to meet the needs of these precious children whose lives and bodies bear the scars of a fallen world, somehow, in a mystery I do not understand, He fills us with immeasuable joy.

He calls us to come, 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11;28-30

to take part in His work of loving and serving,

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. – John 9:4

and to be with HIm forever in eternity.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

There is a joy we cannot know if we are too afraid to step out of our comfortable lives to meet the needs of someone else. 

It is the joy of God.

Time is passing. The sand is far too quickly slipping through the hour glass for Ruthi Joy and for so many others. And the time to do the work of our father is passing too.  Our lives are but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. 

And I wonder, when our last breath lies directly before us, will we have waited too long? 

The children are waiting. 

They are waiting for us to believe, to make a space in the busyness of our days for them; they are waiting for us to be willing to make our lives harder, to pick up their heavy crosses and carry them with Jesus, and they are waiting for us to be willing to yoke ourselves with the One who came to serve.

Yet, Jesus says, “Ask whatever you will in my name and believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours.”

What are we waiting for? 

The Most HIgh God has already promised that He will be strong in our weakness, that He will go before us and prepare a way when we cannot see one.

The children are waiting. They are the most vulnerable among us. 

There are no obstacles to God. 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

We can trust Him.

We won’t be alone.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15

He calls us friend. He invites us to come.

And He urges us to work for the night is coming.

Blessings All!

An Urgent Matter

I’ve felt this post brewing for a long time now. 

The days have passed so quickly these past weeks and months that it hardly seems like it’s been as long as it has been since I’ve written here. This old blog has gathered a lot of dust. So many of you have written to me and shared your precious prayers of support for our family, and many of you have inquired about how we are doing.   


I want to thank all of you for every comment on my blog, for each prayer lifted on our behalf, and for every email you’ve sent.


You have blessed us. 


You have blessed me.


I thank you for your patience and support as I have travelled through a space in my life where words have felt inadequate to me, and have even failed to take shape in my mind. So many times I’ve sat before this keyboard wanting to reach out to all of you with kind words of encouragement and with updates from this glorious garden of life and children and family in which I spend my days working and playing and loving, yet every time I walked away devoid of the words that once flowed so freely through my fingertips. 



More recently, I’ve felt the deep yearnings and feelings again that once overflowed into words and onto the blank pages of this blog. I’ve felt an awakening within the once quiet and fathomlesss places of my mind, a burgeoning of life and hope and desire urging me to write again and share my heart with all of you. A restlessness and urgency consumes me.

I feel the urgency for the children who are waiting. 

I am compelled to write, to once again share the deepest groanings of my spirit with you, my dear blog friends. 

Today, I read a report from CNN about a darling little boy who was paralyzed by a spina bifida surgery gone awry who has waited nine long years for a family. Jia Jia’s family is finally coming, yet millions more still wait.

You can read about Jia Jia and watch his video here.   China’s Abandoned Children

And I can’t go to sleep tonight without writing about the children.

I can’t let the sun go down one more time without sharing the need of every child to have parents who love them, without sharing this sweetie’s picture with you. This young lady is already thirteen. She has less than a year to find a family before the opportunity to be a daughter is lost to her forever.


She has such a sad story.

I pray that someday she will share her story with a family who loves her; I pray that someday she will have a family who will make a new story with her, and I pray that it will be one of love.

I tend to stay away from the news stories that circulate through social media. While much of it is upsetting, and I most certainly have an opinion, I prefer to spend my time loving my family, and writing, if I can squeeze it in at all amidst all the work of mothering and loving that fill my days.


Yet a couple of recent stories have struck a chord inside of me and tapped into the depth of emotion that I feel for every precious child who sits in an orphanage and waits for a mommy and daddy to love them.


When a dentist shot and killed Cecil the lion in Africa, the story travelled through cyberspace with the rapitity of a shooting star. And the videos showing the horrific crimes of the people from Planned Parenthood dismembering and selling body parts of the abortion victims flashed accross our video screens for days. And we rightfully stand united in righteous indignation at the careless disregard for human life. 


Yet I can’t help but feel that we, as the body of Christ, are far too apathetic about the ophans who wait. We have food pantries for the needy, shelters for the homeless, and we send missionaries to foreign countries to spread the gospel and share God’s love with a world that desparately needs a Savior, yet it is a rare church that has a thriving orphan ministry. 

We close our eyes to the children.



Because adoption is messy.  

It’s rooted at its very beginnings in loss and pain. And it takes leaving the security of our manageable lives and opening our very homes, our own personal sanctuaries, the inner sanctums of our neat and orderly families, the deepest part of ourselves, to welcome a child that bears the wounds of a broken, fallen world, indeed a child that is imperfect and comes with baggage.


Adoption is inconvenient.

It’s painful.

It takes a willingness to abandon our own desires and personally lay down our lives to care for these deeply wounded children. And it also takes a willingness to entrust our biological children to God, to trust that He will meet their needs even when we as parents fall short, that He will work whatever hardship lies ahead for them together for their good as we obey God and step out in faith with willing hearts to be His hands and feet and meet the needs of the fatherless.

It costs us ourselves. It costs us our lives. 


And perhaps even more than all of these things, adoption demands that we disregard the conventional wisdom of the world today that teaches us to think small, to care for our own, to limit our lives to what we can manage in our own strength. The world tells us to care for our own first. God’s word tells us to walk by faith and to care for others before ourselves. 

Adoption is the ultimate gift we can give another. 


It’s the very gift God offers us. 

Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we have been elevated to sonship with Christ. 

Jesus gave His life so that we could be brought into the family of God forever.

And we are called to nothing less.  

35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:35-37

The children are waiting. 

Yet we rest.  We pray and we ponder and we beg God to make it clear to us whether we are called. We act like there is all the time in the world. 

Yet God led by example. Jesus laid down His life so that we could be adopted.  We don’t need signs and wonders.  

We need to obey. 

We need to do the work of Him who sent us.

There are many ways to support adoption. There are primary roles and supportive roles. There is a role for all of us. And there is a role for the church. The question is not are we called, but rather how we are called. 

God’s precious children are suffering and alone. 

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  1 Corinthians 9:24

May God fill us with an attitude of urgency, and may we run to welcome His children into our lives.


Fourth of July

Happy Birthday to our sweet Sophia and to the United States of America! No matter what choices we make as a country, I will always choose to put my faith in God and thank Him for His blessings! 

“In God we trust.” May we never forget the cost of the freedom we’ve known. 

In God I trust, for eternity.

So very blessed! 

Wishing all of you a very blessed Holiday weekend!


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