Friday, March 23, 2018

The White Swan

Posted on January 30th

He called me "Mama" today! There are certain things we have been working on and this was one. 

Will has found it hard to call us anything but "hey, hey, hey" when he needs or wants something. 

When we talked to him about it last night, there was some push back and some quiet. I know there is a long road ahead but today was a big first step!

Now, on to the pictures! Most older adoptive families will recognize these pics!

We went to Shamian Island today...

and to the White Swan Hotel...

and to the famous "red couch"...

and to Lucy's, where we were seated at the exact same table we sat at 10 years ago!

It was hard not to get emotional as I walked through memories of our very first adoption, 10 years ago this June!

The moments that started the transformation of our lives began to flood my heart...

and I wanted to step back in time and hug my baby girl just a little bit tighter.

Oh how the Lord has used the last 10 years to mold and shape our hearts and our lives!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Amusement Park

Posted on January 29th

So the one thing Will wanted to do for his birthday was go to an amusement park. He told our guide that he had been to one before but was not allowed to ride any of the rides.... 


So, today he got to ride and oh my gosh, did he love it, even the scarier rides!!!

First was the bumper cars. I let him drive... 

we laughed... 

a lot!

Second was a ride that only Em and Dad could do. 

Em's screams attracted a crowd... 


Third was a small roller coaster. Em was screaming and Will was laughing.

Forth, the swings... again, Em was screaming and Will was laughing!

Fifth, the pirate ship. Um yeah, Em and Lizzie screaming... Will laughing!

Finally, back to the roller coaster again and again, Will asked to ride with Em and again, Em screaming and Will laughing!

It was a good day and one that I am so thankful Will got to have... with his family!

Please keep praying as reality is starting to sink in and we have had some times of quiet and of pushing boundaries at bit. 

Nothing that we did not expect but my heart hurts so much for him as I watch his heart process all of this. 

This should not have to be but this is a fallen world and even though I know that God will take all of Will's hurt and transform it into something beautiful, there is still hurt and pain and fear.

Thank you all!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy Birthday Charlie

Posted on January 29th while still in China

So Charlie's 18th birthday was yesterday. 

I hated not being there but I think Lucy may have made up for it. 

Y'all, look at the card Lucy made for Charlie, three pages front and back! Oh how I love my kids and love how they love each other.

According to my awesome Mom in law who agreed to come and stay at our house for the entire two weeks we are gone, Charlie has been amazing! He is getting the girls up, fed, dressed and off to school every day as well as picking them up and just managing our busy home.

She is threatening to take him home with her when she leaves

Sweet, funny, awesome Charlie... We love you and are so incredibly proud of the man you are becoming!

Oh and Lizzie says, "and we incredibly DON'T want you to go to Hawaii!!!!"

It never snows there!


Happy 18th birthday sweetie!

Aren't you excited!

You got a brother for your birthday!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Chen Family Temple

Posted on January 28

Chen Family Temple... 

Chris and I had been here twice before...

but seeing it through Lizzie's eyes was like seeing it for the first time.

she seemed to want to know everything about it.


then healing...

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Posted January 27th 

Will's mobility is amazing! I have seen more of China this time than ever before. 

We are walking and climbing stairs and running and dodging traffic and Will is keeping right up!

As long as he has a hand to hold or an arm to lock with, he is good!

What trust and what courage! It is hard to wrap my heart around it all. The girls even tried closing their eyes as we walked to get a feel for what it must be like because we just can't believe how well he maneuvers.

One adventure that I missed out on last time is the Chinese Walmart!

With Maggie and Lucy, it was just too hard.

With Lizzie, we were on Shamian Island and Walmart was not!

This time, I think we were there just about every day!

So interesting.

We weren't brave enough to try many of these foods...

but they sure were fun to look at!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Leaving Guiyang

Posted January 26th 

Will's very first plane ride! He was excited and a little nervous. Does he grasp that this is much more than just a plane ride?  Does he realize all that he leaves behind and all that lies ahead for him?

I don't think he truly understands what is ahead but does seem ready to start his new life.

So many emotions as we leave Guiyang and head to Guangzhou.

Bonding and attaching with older kiddos and even with younger ones, can be sloooowwww. It is a process and sometimes a long one. Today was a huge step forward for Will, and for us! Just as the plane started to take off, Will grabbed for both of our hands and seemed to be comforted by knowing we were near!

It is a step, the first of many and now we know. We know what lies ahead. We know the hard that is to come but we also know the joy and the laughter and the growth that comes from the intentional act of choosing to love.

A few things about Will:

He is happy.

He is so agreeable - so far.

He has the best laugh ever.

He is a stinky boy - yep got some work to do there! 

He talks fast, eats fast, drinks fast and walks fast!

He can run when he knows that he and Mom are in the middle of China traffic! Yikes!

He loves his Ipad.

He is worried about the language barrier.

He gets along so well and is so capable!

He LOVES spicy food and I do mean SPICY!

Keep praying for his heart as he transitions from the only world he has ever known to a completely foreign place that offers him a hope and a future but is still not "home", not yet... 

So many changes yet to come!  Trusting in the One who never changes!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Happy Birthday Will

Posted on January 25

"What is happy birthday"? This is what our 14 year old son asked me tonight as I once again wished him a Happy Birthday and told him good night.

Can you imagine?

We had a small celebration in our room tonight and as he blew out his candles, he told us that he had never had a birthday cake before...

Can you imagine?

Will didn't even know how old he was.

Can you imagine?

We can't make up for the last 14 years but we can try our very best to make the rest of his life one of hope and love and lots of birthday cakes!

This breaks me y'all. This just should not be, but it is and it is for so, so many children. 

The door to Will's future could have closed tonight. 

It was so close to happening. 

Lots of emotions swirling in my heart tonight.

Please pray for all of the other ones, the children just like mine and just like yours, who will never know what it is to have a birthday cake or to be celebrated...  to matter to someone...  to be loved.