Monday, October 5, 2015


This past weekend we visited Huntsville, Alabama! We were there for the wedding of my nephew!

I had lunch with my friend, Amanda! I treasure this time as I don't see her often enough! I think we could talk for hours. Our daughters are from the same orphanage, Huainan. Kendall loves Phoebe like a true sister and this was her first visit with Lyric. We also had the pleasure of meeting Amanda's new daughter Tilley!

After lunch Kendall spent the afternoon with her Huainan friends. They picked up another Huainan "sister", Yun Ya (Victoria). What a sweet time for all these girls!

Eden spent the day with her Nanjing "sister" Esther! Eden had such a good time! A special thanks to Kim and Amanda for taking time out for our daughters to spend the day together!

The wedding has prompted several questions today! Who will they dance with for the father daughter dance? I told them we would make it a mother daughter dance! Then they asked about the slide show of baby photos. I had to tell them that we would use the earliest photos that we had and make them work. Adoption is hard yet these girls continue to grow and mature. I'm so proud of them and their accomplishments!

The girls loved "living" at the hotel and wish we could live at the hotel all the time. I think they would grow tired of it after too long, it was fun to get away for a few days!

All the girls except Mackinley have visited with an orphanage sister or sisters this year. We know of no one that has adopted from Wuxi! This is hard at times especially when she sees her sisters meeting their China friends. 

Mackinley cried on the way home from the Lifeline Reunion after watching her sisters visit with their friends. My heart breaks for her and the only thing I can do is to love her and tell her that I totally understand, which I do! I love this girl and am amazed at how far she has come since coming home two years ago.

Each new experience seems to trigger questions and growth! One step at a time! My girls are amazing and I love them dearly! I am beyond blessed by adoption and wish that others would open their hearts and homes!

My I-800 has made it out of the lock box and is on the way to Missouri to be approved! Love this progress!

Until next time . . .

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trust God . . . not man!

I do believe that God is doing his best to teach me to trust him, not man during this adoption journey!

I know that he is my source and nothing is impossible for him.

Like my previous adoptions I have had several fund raisers! Unlike the past adoptions these have not been as successful as I had hoped! Again, God is doing things differently, trust him, not man!

My first fundraiser was somewhat of a flop for me, the money from the Thirty-one event and body lotions was not shared with me as promised. Things happen for a reason, I'm guessing God had something else in mind.

I seriously considered aborting this adoption due to the lack of funds. I shared this concern from the get go with my social worker and China advisor, and after  my poor fund raising efforts I sent them an email saying I was going to have to stop the process due to a lack of funds. I put my first agency payment on a credit card and was determined not to run up and more new debt! At that time I learned that someone had anonymously donated a huge amount for my adoption fund! Wow, God is awesome. If this was you, thank you again! I can never truly express my gratitude! After praying I felt sure that God was telling me to move forward!

My advisor told me that she rarely asked for grants and that she would ask for one on my behalf. She also told me that she would help me find organizations that grant to singles! At this time there are no extra funds available for grants from my adoption agency and she has been much to busy to help me find a lead an organization that assists singles! Okay, I know this seems like I'm complaining, I'm not! I think it is God at work again, telling me to TRUST HIM, not man!

The girls and I began praying about the needed funds and within a few days, God laid it upon two different families hearts to give and oh my, the blessing of their gift is indescribable! Thank you Lord, for answered prayers and the love you bestowed on us and Avery!

Yes, God is working differently this time and the lesson of trusting Him has become quite clear. Look to him and trust him for his provision! In the natural, I look at the needs and I'm overwhelmed, yet when I look to God and place my trust in Him, I am at peace!

It all comes down to focus, keeping my eyes and trust in Him that can do far more than I can hope or imagine! I mistakenly placed my hope in what man said and promised, only to be disappointed time and time again! I hear you, Lord! My hope and trust is in you!

I praise God for this lesson learned! You would think after all these years I wouldn't need these reminders! Just like the children of Israel in the desert, I forgot the miracles and provision of God in the past! 

Pressing forward with a renewed hope in Him that is able!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Lifeline is hosting ten precious children from Nanjing, China. As I met these children last week, I could not help but wonder what might be going through their little minds?
Kendall with her Huainan Sister!
Traveling to a different country, experiencing so many new and wonderful things, receiving needed medical care, and being loved on for possibly the first time!
Eden with our beloved guide, Nancy!
What happens when they are faced with cruel reality that they must once again return to their orphanage? Will they be chosen or will they face years of being passed over? Will they watch their friends leave one by one only to wonder if they will ever know the love of a family and the joy they knew while visiting the US?
Our family minus Kendall with Nancy and another guide, the lady next to Eden in the red shirt is the orphanage director in Nanjing!

Avery was one of those camp kids, she visited the US approximately one year ago. She had so many first while here. It seems at this time all the children from her camp have forever families save one! It breaks my heart to know that this child will watch each of his friends leave. He has tasted what it is like to be loved and cared for, how his heart must long for a family to call his own!
Rebecca and Kendall
Rebecca was our guide in Guangzhou
Rebecca is amazing she still remembers the girl's Chinese names!
Is it fair to bring these kids here and then have their dreams crushed by not finding their forever families? Would it had been better for them to have never known love and freedom than giving them a taste of what should be? I know that there are arguments pro and con regarding these camps!

This is Eden with Joy the little camper that I love!
I pray that she finds her forever family!

As we visited my girls were able to reunite with some of their orphanage sisters! Eden and her friend Esther talked nonstop! Eden loved seeing her orphanage directors and some of the Nanjing children. There was one little girl that remembered Eden and wanted to stay with her for a while! She was precious, I met her and while we talked she allowed me to reach over and rub her back! This girl is ready for a family! I’ll be watching to see if a family steps up for her. If not then I may have to go one last time as I do not want this child to age out!

Eden with her friend Esther!
It was well worth the trip to B'ham just for these two to have time together!
Sweet, sweet girls!

As you know, I have adopted 4 older girls, ages 11- days of turning 14. Their past vary from the poorest of poor orphanages to living with foster families for 12 years. My two girls that had foster families love and miss them very much. I have come to understand and respect the fact that while they have grown to love me. They will never love me like they did these families that were to them their "real" family for so many years. I'm okay with that as I totally get it!

All the girls enjoyed the chalk and drawing!
My newest waiting daughter's history is somewhat different. It is the same in the fact that she was abandoned, lived in an orphanage, and now foster family. The age of her abandonment makes her story uniquely hers. With that knowledge I must be prepared to understand and help her through any pain and healing that may be needed.

On the adoption front my LOA was issued in China, Monday, September 21st! My LOA arrived today, September 24th in Birmingham! That means I will get it and sign it tomorrow on the 25th!

On the home front, my little mama fell and broke her wrist. She will have surgery on Monday! She is 80 years old and I'm thankful it wasn't her hip! I am extremely blessed to have both of my parents! I pray that she will heal quickly and do well with her surgery!

Mackinley had her braces removed today! Now we are down to one in braces, Eden! Just 7 weeks ago there were three and now one, I can hardly believe all the changes going on around here!

Until next time!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Eden's Birthday and more!

A few weeks ago the girls had a play date with some friends, all from China! I enjoyed visiting with the other moms while the girls played!

Vikitoria in the white shorts is from Kunming! I don't remember where Faith is from, she's in the Navy tee!

Daniel was the only guy, he is Vikitoria's brother!

We all had such a good time and hope that we can arrange another get together soon!

September 2nd, we celebrated Mackinley and Eden's Gotcha Day at Mr.Chen's!

Today is Eden's 16th birthday! She is the sweetest girl and I am more than blessed to have her as part of my family. She started her celebration in Dothan, Sunday morning before we left with a gift from Nena and Papa along with ice cream cones!

This morning we celebrated by going to the zoo! We all enjoyed our time together as we celebrated Eden!

As you can see from these photos three of the girls are about the same height! Then there is beautiful Mackinely nice and tall!

We took this photo as it reminded us of the waterfall at The Garden! Still waiting, no new news on the adoption front!

I don't have to tell you who had my phone taking all the selfies! 

Just to prove we were at the zoo, one animal photo!

As you can plainly see, Eden wanted a cookie cake for her birthday!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Our days!

Adoption news: None! China is on holiday so it seems it will be a while before I learn of any progress! The waiting game continues!

I have been neglectful in the photo department! Last week the girls and I went to see War Room! We all loved this movie! The girls asked to go buy a copy as we were leaving the theater! One of the girls started her prayer list before going to bed that very night!

Our school year is off to an excellent start! Eden wanted to do Pre-Algebra this year and it has been a bit of a challenge yet one that has not defeated her. My afternoons are busy grading the daily workbooks, test reviews and administration, plus reading!

We celebrated Eden and Mackinley's two year Gotcha Day on the second. Kendall and Journey joined us at Mr. Chen's where the girls enjoyed soup, egg rolls, spring rolls, dumplings, duck, and bubble tea! This second year home was so much better for the girls less grief, stronger English skills, settling into their family roles with real bonding to me.

My bonding to them improved this year as well! I don't think this is something that is addressed very often but parent bonding takes time too! While I loved the girls, they didn't always feel like my child. At times it seemed as if they were merely guest in the home. Not anymore! Last year we implemented a mother/daughter date once a week for one of the girls. That one on one time as done more to increase our bonding than anything else!

I have to brag on my grandson, Gavin. As many of you may or may not know, he has hemophilia! For those of you considering that special need, don't be afraid of it. It is easy to manage! Anyway, Gavin has had an infusaport since he was 18 months old. It clotted off! He has learned to stick himself to give his factor replacement. This is huge! At 12 years of age he can stick his own vein with a butterfly needle! I'm so proud of him! He is doing to Birmingham next week to see if they can give him a "clot buster"! I hope it works or he might need a new infusaport.

Last night I was so productive. I was able to set up the girl's school records for our online grade reporting for this year. I also entered all my nursing contact hours and renewed my CNOR (Certified Nurse Operating Room) for another five years. My old certification expired in December of this year and I wanted to ensure that I renewed prior to traveling to China.

I'm feeling the need to start buying clothes for Avery yet I don't really know where to start. So far, I have clothes that were given for Addison, and a few of the things will be good to take with me to China while a few of the items will have to wait until spring! I have purchased a winter coat, a fleece jacket, a night gown and p.j.s! I need to get a dresser and really I could use two! 

In the next week I'm going to change closets with the girls, clean out the hall closet for winter jackets and look for a spot to for the dresser(s)! We have a full house and I wouldn't have it any other way!

We really lead a very ordinary life one day at a time! I'm thankful that I get to share it with my girls and older children, (although I don't get to see them often enough). I am blessed to have been called for this journey!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What must she be thinking?

It has been months since this adoption journey began! Last fall we knew we wanted to adopt again when a very special little girl asked us to adopt her. How can one say, no? Unfortunately, that door was closed!

At the same time, I truly wanted to bring two older girls home, I believe and know from experience that the two are a huge comfort to one another during those early days in China and at home.

My agency said no to two, they did not believe that I could handle two more! Really? Oh well, enough of that!

During the heartbreaking process of China refusing to give the first girl a file, I was being drawn to another girl. I can remember the exact moment when my heart was quicken for her.

My precious girl has a diagnosis that concerned me and my initial thought was, "no way"! Yet, I kept coming back to look at her and her file! After the moment that I referred to above and talking with several people multiple times I knew we were to proceed.

This journey has been plagued with many lets say, "issues"! More hurdles than the past two adoptions combined! I feel that she must be a pretty special young lady if the enemy is doing all he can to hinder this process.

It has been months since she received our photo album and told that she has a family. What must she be thinking as the time continues to tick away without any word of how close or far away we are from coming after her! Has she given up hope? Does she think about what her new life will be like? Is she ready for the loss of her foster family, her homeland, and friends?

With all the Chinese holidays coming up, I know that my LOA will most likely be delayed! This is hard! I'm not worried about getting there in time as my agency will work like crazy to make it happen, as they did during my last adoption.

My heart is sad for Avery as she waits. I am sadden that I do not have the funds to take the girls with me on this trip as they would all love to return to their homeland for a visit, and their presence would give Avery someone to communicate with during those first early awkward days.

Waiting is never easy, yet it is part of the progress! I am thankful that God knows the exact moment when we will receive LOA and travel approval! I can take comfort in knowing and relying on God during this waiting period.

Praying for Avery's precious heart, may she continue to wait in peace and hope for what will be!

Until next time . . . waiting!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Grief . . .

Having adopted 4 times now, I can say that I have seen grief express itself in many different ways! Listen carefully, the first year is H-A-R-D!

One child showed very little grief, I believe that it was due to where she came from. She was on the low end in the pecking order, and life was really tough for her. She told me recently that she would be dead if she had stayed in China! 

While she showed little grief she had to learn to accept love and hugs and kisses! There was a time when she was hugged that she stood stiff as a solider at attention! Not now, she loves to give big ole bear hugs!

Another one of my girls kept her grief bottled up, never knowing or allowing herself to express her thoughts and feelings. After many years home she is beginning to open up! The years of self-survival are hard to over come! I love seeing her expressing herself more openly and coming to me even for a moment for reassurance in new surroundings.

My two girls that had foster families expressed their grief more openly! Tears, lots of tears! Different family events triggered their emotions! Their first year home was so hard for them as they had truly lost their "family"! My heart grieved for them!

After being here I see a different type of grief as the communication lapses with their foster families. They often feel that they have been forgotten and that their past there meant nothing to their foster families. 

Now that they have had a time to grieve they are opening up their hearts to me! It is so sweet and a gift that I do not take lightly! The girls are so different, one is very quiet and reserved and the other is a precious chatterbox!

To go from being called mom to mama is a sign of love and oh so treasured!

I would encourage you to not to give up and to hang in there! This too shall pass, days will turn to weeks, and weeks months and months years! Look for the positive and focus on all the things that are right in your relationship! Keep on loving and being there, one day you will turn an expected corner and things will begin to get better, for you and your grieving child!

Grief is real and grief is hard! Expect it! Be prepared! Unconditional love and God above will see you through the hard times! Remember too that when a child is in a state of grief and anxiety they don't learn and remember as well,  don't expect to much of them during this season. It's all about baby steps!

As I prepare to adopt one last time, I know that I too will face another season of loss and grief with my new daughter. I pray now that her heart will heal and that God will comfort her during the process of learning to love us!

Until next time . . . waiting for my LOA!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Yeti Cooler Winner!

We have a winner!

We had 126 entries!

Using the computerized 
Random Number Generator,
the winner is number 82!

As seen below, # 82 is . . .
Brandon Yarbrough!


A huge thank you to all that donated, your donation made a difference and will most definitely help bring Avery home!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Progress, friendships and raffle

My dossier has been moved to translation! This phase usually takes a month. I'm praying it will move through a little faster!

Journey was able to visit the some of her Zhongshan sisters and I enjoyed visiting with their mamas!

Journey and her friend Kylee

The Mom's

Kylee with Kendall and Mackinley

The Zhongshan Sisters!

All the girl's! 
Zhongshon, Huainan, Nanjing, Wuxi

Don't forget the Yeti Cooler raffle! The last day to enter is August 15th! A donation of $10.00 receives one entry and a $25.00 donation receives 3 entries!

Waiting on the news that we have moved (OOT) out  of translation!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The latest adoption news!

My dossier is logged in, LID (log in date) is just another step in the process! Next up - translation, then OOT (out of translation), review and the LOA (letter of acceptance)! This process could be weeks or months! It is a waiting game now!

This weekend I'm having a garage sale in Dothan to help fund this adoption! I'm praying that it doesn't rain! I have several large appliances (washer/dryer/stove) for sale and hope the right buyers come along! 

I also have 100 Avery's Angels of Hope for sale! I will feature these on the blog after the garage sale! Trust me, they are beautiful! These were donated by a dear friend's mama  I cannot thank them enough for blessing me with this wonderful gift!
We are about 15 days away from the Yeti cooler drawing. I know you don't want to miss out on this fabulous cooler. Remember each $10.00 donation receives one entry while each $25.00 donation receives three entries! Wouldn't it be great to have this cooler in time for football season and/or hunting? It is a chance to win while supporting the adoption of a precious teen girl!

We have been busy getting things ready for our new school year. I'm proud of the girls and how hard they work. Our public school system did not meet their individual needs hence we elected to homeschool. This has enabled the girls to learn where they were rather than an established "grade" level! For those wondering, we use Bob Jones distance learning DVD's! Each day the girls have a video lesson for each subject! They love the teachers. The girls have their own DVD players with headphones so that they can all work at the table without being disturbed by each other's videos. 

We have slowly been adding to Avery's wardrobe! A winter coat and PJ's are the start! There's so much to get when you are buying for a child that comes with nothing or very little! It's just like providing for a newborn except she's nearly 14!

I have been blessed beyond measure with the addition of the girls! Truly, only those that have walked this road can totally comprehend the blessings I refer to! I would encourage anyone that has a heart for the orphan to not be afraid to step out in faith and adopt. God will lead you to just the right child for your family! Trust him!

Until next time . . . waiting!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Last chance to order tee shirts!

Last call!

We are selling tee shirts to help bring our Avery home! I have had a few people ask to order shirts. There were two shirts that didn't arrive and will have to be printed. SO….that means you have one more chance to order!

Ways to order! 
#1 You can place your order via the donate button on the right side of this blog. Once your order is placed I will send you a message asking about your size and color choice.

#2 You can also send me a message and I'll send you my address and you can mail in your order.

This fundraiser will end July 1st! Once the tee shirts are delivered to me I will mail them out ASAP!

Short Sleeves
Small - XL $20.00
XXL $21.00
XXXL $22.00

Colors: Ant. Heliconia, Ant.Saphire, Cherry Red, Charcoal, Dark chocolate, Heather Irish Green, Heather Navy, Heather Purple, Light Blue, White

Long Sleeves
Small - XL $25.00
XXL $26.00
XXXL $27.00

Colors: Black, Cherry Red, Charcoal, Dark Chocolate,
Navy, White

Youth Small - XL $20.00
Colors: Black, Heliconia, Cherry Red, Dark Chocolate, Lite Blue, Purple, Navy, Charcoal, White

Youth Small - XL $25.00

Colors: Black, Charcoal, Red, Lite Pink, Lite Blue, Purple, Navy, White

I will close out this order on Tuesday, July 28th!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Answers to some recent questions!

It has been brought to my attention that some of you have tried to donate via my donate button.

I've learned that it will not work from a cellphone. The donate button takes you to a paypal account. Once the donation is made I receive an email at my yahoo email address.

I have also been told that some email attempts have bounce back. The address on the blog is not right! I somehow messed it up. 

If you need to email to ask a question you can use my yahoo email address.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions here on the blog or PM on Facebook!

I hope this helps!


Monday, July 20, 2015


Be still and know that I am God
Psalm 46:10

My dossier is on the way to China and now I wait! There is nothing to do at this point! After months of paper chasing, appointments, and home visits it is time to BE STILL!

God even reminds us in his word to BE STILL! How easy it is to forget this command, especially in today's society.

Now, is the time to BE STILL and rest in God's love, timing, and provision! As I wait I will worship, honor, love, and trust Him. 

The wait becomes one of peace while resting in the arms of my Lord and Savior, Jesus! Yes, while I wait, I choose to BE STILL!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good News . . .

It is official!




Now the wait begins for LID (Log In Date)!

What we have been up too . . .

It has been a while since I last blogged and I'm way behind on my photos.

 Kayte is growing up way to fast! She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it! Strong qualities that will serve her well in the future!

Kendall never misses an opportunity to have her photo taken, especially with Kayte!

Jackson is 4, where did the time go?
He is such a sweetheart! Jackson has such a kind loving personality and such a joy to be around!

In June the girls had a long weekend at the beach with Aunt Shery! Shery is a wonderful hostess and they really looked forward to their time with her!

The girls love the park near my sister's home!

Time for a little putt-putt!

Silly photos!

Mackinley, the "fish whispher"!
She caught this fish with her hand!
No fish were harmed in this outing, 
it was released back into the ocean!

My sweet sister with Eden!

A visit to the beach isn't complete without ice cream!

Shery took the girls by to see where she teaches Middle School, their mascot, the Dolphin!

The girls had a wonderful time visiting Shery at her home in Gulf Shores!

International Children's Day was celebrated!

Chinese Dumplings and Bubble Milk Tea
 from Mr. Chen's

Chinese Cookies, Candies, and Frozen treats!

Each also received a new summer tee shirt in their favorite color!

This was so much fun, the girls had no clue that I was going to surprise them with these treats on Children's Day!

On a warm summer afternoon

there is nothing better than

visiting with friends!

Vikortia is from Kunming, China!

For all those that worry about the girls not getting enough social skills, we are visiting Viktoria again next week!

We reached another mile marker on our adoption journey!

We witnessed God's beautiful promise after a hard drive in the rain!

We had a visit from a dear friend and her children!

The 4th was celebrated with family in Dothan

Family and Friends

Art work


More selfies!


and more games!

The evening ended with fireworks, I was working and missed the show and the photos!

The girls worked on this puzzle and completed it in two weekends while at Nena and Papa's!

Another first, staining the wall!

Bobie and Don have been helping the Reams with their home construction! Mr. Ream started the project before he was diagnosed with ALS!

The girls volunteered to help along with Aunt Shery!

 They are great workers and join in anytime there is a need! I'm proud of their heart to serve!

We are waiting on our dossier to be sent to China! In the mean time we continue to fund raise. Our latest fundraiser is a Yeti Tundra Cooler!

Each $10.00 donation receives one entry and each $25.00 donation receives three entries! We are a long way from being completely funded and could use your help as God leads you.

Until next time . . . waiting for our tee shirt order and our DTC!