Second day at PHF

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thanks so much for all of your emails and comments. We've been able to get email access and internet access very easily so far, so I've been able to check my messages. You're all so very encouraging. We so appreciate your prayers and well-wishes. You are a blessing to us!

We had another good day spending time with the children here at PHF. David is building a dog house for Stevie (the dog). So, Lily and Yana will feel a little bit better about leaving her. Some of the older kids here are responsible for taking care of her, but she definitely getting some extra loving from our kids!!

We had lunch with Tim Baker (and the Florida folks). He has a fervent heart for our Lord, for the Chinese people and for orphans. The Lord has definitely orchestrated he and his family being here and the very existence of PHF in China. We're planning on having dinner with he and his family tomorrow night.

We're off to get dinner now, so I'll post again tomorrow. Blessings to you from China!!!

Pictures from Wednesday and Thursday

Thursday, October 30, 2008

See the post below. I posted the pictures separately.

Greetings from PHF

We are at PHF now and so enjoying the children here. There are some little sweeties who have really touched my heart. Tiffany is a heart baby. She is 4 years old and very blue. There is nothing else that can be done medically for her heart. But the Father can certainly do EVERYTHING for her. Please pray for this little girl. She is so bright (she was repeating everything that we said to her, and learned my, Lily's and Yana's names right away), but she hardly has the strength to walk.

The girls and I spent quite a bit of time with the "medically fragile" children today. Yana and Lily had such a good time holding the babies. We all fell in love with one little boy who had a great smile and lots of laughs for us.

There is also a little dog whom the kids have carried around with us wherever we go. They would really like to take "Stevie" home with us for Rosemary to have a buddy. The two cats have been getting a lot of love from the kids, as well.

There is a group of folks from Florida who are also here. It has been fun to visit with them. We're looking forward to two more days here.

Thanks for your prayers for Adam. He's been doing great so far! Now, if we could just get the boys to sleep later than 4:30 a.m. We'd sure appreciate your prayers for this!!

Our visit to the Forbidden City was really interesting. We had a good tour guide who gave us a lot of the history of the buildings and the emperors. Adam was not feeling real well that day, so he and I went back to the hotel and the rest of the family went for bike rides (can't think of the correct term right now) where there is a "driver" and two passengers. They really enjoyed that and were able to see a bit of the old part of the city that way.

I'm going to try to post some pictures from the past two days, but it may end up being a separate post.

Only 3 more days until we meet Grace!!!!!!

We're here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We're in Beijing!!!  The kids did wonderfully on the plane.  We're off to see the Forbidden City today.  I'll write more soon.  Thanks for your prayers!!!

Prayer requests

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We are leaving our house in less than 12 hours! I think that we are pretty much ready (or as ready as we will be!). As we prepare to go, I ask you to entreat the Father on our behalf.

1) Please pray for Adam. I just love, love, love this boy! Please pray that he would not be affected by any peanuts and that he would be allergy-free for our whole trip.

2) Please pray for Grace. Pray that God would continue to prepare her heart for a family who is already wildly crazy about her (and sometimes just wild and crazy). And pray, especially, that God would be preparing her heart to learn about Him and His great love for her.

3) Please pray for Yana, Adam, Lily and Jadon. I am so blessed by these wonderful kiddos. They are so excited to meet their sister. I know that there will be some transitions (especially for Lily and Jadon). Pray that Love would lead and guide them.

4) Pray for good sleep for all of us, for close fellowship with the Lord and one another, and for a heart of gratitude for this wonderful gift (Grace!) that He has given to our family.

Prayers from a child's heart

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I was looking through Lily's prayer journal yesterday, and since I needed to test out my picture reader (thank you so much, Tina and Kim for the suggestion!!), I thought that it would be a worthy subject for some photographs. Have I told you that I just LOVE this girl?! (And, by the way, I have no idea why everything that I am writing is underlined.)

Is she cute, or what?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We were so grateful to get these wonderful pictures of Grace with the birthday cake that we had sent to the orphanage! I can't wait to hold this little darling in my arms! Twelve days...!!!

Two weeks!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In two weeks we will finally meet our precious little girl! We are leaving in 8 days and plan to visit LangFang Children's Village ( for the first four days. Then, it's off to Guizhou to meet Grace!

Although the obvious highlight and purpose of this journey is to have our daughter join our family, we are also really looking forward to visiting LangFang. When we adopted Jadon (almost 6 years ago), we met a woman who was adopting a little boy from LangFang. Since that time, we have had contact with some of the folks there. The precious children and their wonderful caretakers and advocates are frequently on my heart. We have been praying for them and are so glad to have the opportunity to meet some of them soon.

Here's a practical question for anyone out there who is good (or even just adequate--unlike me!) with computers. I am not sure how to post pictures to our blog on another computer. We are not taking a laptop, so I'm not sure what to do. Anyone have a suggestion?

They've got the music in them!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So, you thought that it was loud enough in a house with 4 kids (soon to be 5!)? Well, we didn't think so, so we decided to encourage our kids to focus on music. We now have two violinists, one keyboard player, two drummers and a guitarist. There's never a dull (or quiet) moment around here! We do, however, love hearing music from every room in the house! (Sorry about Yana's sideways picture. I'm having computer woes.)

Happy Birthday to our little darling!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sweet Grace, we love you so much! We wish that we could be with you on this special day. You are already such an amazing blessing to us. We pray that this fourth year of yours will be filled with the blessings of our dear Savior, Jesus. You are blessed, dear Grace, with all of the spiritual blessings of heaven! May you know the love that the Father has for you. May you have peace and joy overflowing, deep from within. May your heart be filled with the love of God. Happy Birthday, our precious girl.

The beauty of mistakes

Monday, October 13, 2008

For the past year or so, God has been teaching me about the beauty of making mistakes. Now, I am not talking about purposefully making mistakes (I guess that if they're purposeful, then they aren't really mistakes, are they?), and I'm not talking about making mistakes that are clearly a result of seeking to fulfill my own selfish desires. Rather, I am talking about making mistakes in pursuit of His Kingdom.

It all started in September of last year when our pastor asked the question, "Are you making a lot of mistakes for the kingdom?"

Very simply, my answer was "no". The reason: because someone might think negatively of me. Ouch! Talk about misplaced values!

Another thing that our pastor said that day was that we must, "Give ourselves away for the love of the world. We must trespass the edge of decorum."

I determined in my heart that day, that I would no longer live the lie of the perfectionist (that keeping everything "just right" is the true road to happiness and control in one's life), but that I would follow God "to the edge of decorum."

Well, God has been helping me along this road in amazing ways. He has been showing me His unconditional love even amidst all of my faults and mistakes (and there have been quite a few of them!). Of course, I have always made mistakes, but I have never thought that was o.k. and I definitely tried to avoid them, even if that meant not following in the way that I thought God was leading. It has been a painful time of learning, but God has been patient and has never given me more than I could handle.

The other night I was awoken by the Lord. I was in turmoil because of a misunderstanding that I had had with a sister (as the result of pursuing the kingdom). In the past, I would have run right out to talk to this sister and make it clear that I had really done nothing wrong (she couldn't think that I had made a mistake)! But, God spoke to me. He said, "I allowed the misunderstanding."

What a beautiful thing! God gave me complete peace. So much so, that I knew that even if I never talked to this sister about this issue, it would be o.k. Even if this sister thought that I had made a horrible mistake, it would be o.k. What freedom to not be locked into the pressure of being seen as always good and never at fault.

I did talk to this sister yesterday. It was a beautiful time. She was gracious and kind, and God's mercy was shown to me in exceptional ways. But, it could have been different. She could have been angry and upset. And you know what? That would have been o.k. God is giving me the freedom to accept that He uses mistakes to teach us. And even if everyone else were to think negatively about me, He is pleased by a heart in pursuit of Him (even if that means a bunch of mistakes!).

Today, I read this passage from God Calling:

"The Beauty of My Kingdom is its growth. In that Kingdom there is always progress, a going on from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Be in My Kingdom, and of My Kingdom, and there can be no stagnation. Eternal Life, abundant Life is promised to all in it, and of it.

"No misspent time over failures and shortcomings. Count the lessons learned from them but as rungs in the ladder. Step up, and then cast away all thought of the manner of the making of the rung. Fashioned of joy and sorrow, of failure or success, of wounds or healing balm, what matter, My children, so long as it served its purpose?"

Brother Yun

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One book that has really impacted me is The Heavenly Man. It is the biography of Brother Yun, who is a Christian man from China. He loves the Lord with a passionate love and has given his life in pursuit of knowing the Lord more deeply and sharing that love with others. This devotion has cost him dearly, but he counts it as nothing as compared with the glory of God.

Brother Yun has recently written another book. It is called Living Water and is a written account of some of the sermons/talks that he has given since leaving China. These talks are treasures. He talks about everything from forgiveness and boldness (good one for me!) to suffering for the sake of the gospel. This man is totally authentic and completely in love with the Lord. Praise God for men such as this! May God continue to mold us all into the image of His Son!

Precious gift

Thursday, October 9, 2008

God has given me a precious gift in my friend, Linda. She is the one on the right in this picture. Both of the beautiful girls in the pictures are Linda's daughters. David is in love with their newest little girl, Sophia. Look at those cheeks! And Anna is such a bright and precious girl. She is an amazing little pianist, as well.

Linda is our source for all information about China. We've always got some question to ask her. Linda is very excited about our adoptions, in part, because her two cuties are also adopted from China.

Linda gave us this beautiful jacket for Grace. I can't wait to see it on our little girl.

Birthday Package

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ann, at Red Thread, put together this little birthday package for our precious girl. She will also send a birthday cake for Grace and her little friends to share. Grace's birthday is on October 15th. She will be 4 years old.

Quin is one of the friends who will be sharing some of Grace's birthday cake! Isn't she adorable?! We'll be traveling along with Quin's new family (and two other families) to adopt our little girls. In the video that we have of Grace, she and Quin are playing together. They are absolutely precious!

Oh, the beautiful love of God

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry:
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Tho stretched from sky to sky.
-Words found scratched on the wall of an insane asylum in California, 1917

Please pray today for little Teddi, who is 3 years old and just had palate surgery. Pray that she would experience the love and peace of God today, that she (and her mama!) would get restful sleep and that she would be able to eat. You can read about precious Teddi (and her wonderful family) at

Uh...what exactly are they doing?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My friend, Lisa, teaches science to my children and also to the children who come to our house for tutoring. She does such great activities with the kids! What a blessing to have her here.

By the way, they're studying deserts and pretending to be camels (think very long eyelashes) in these two pictures.

We have plane tickets!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

We are very excited to say that after HOURS of telephone calls and internet searching we have our tickets to China. At one point, we were looking at $2,330 for Grace's one-way ticket back to the U.S., but right at the right moment (God is always right on time!) our travel agent called with a $700 ticket! We got great rates and were able to fly into Beijing and out of GuangZhou without an increase in price. We are so very grateful.

So, we will be leaving on October 27th (just over 3 weeks away!), and will return on November 14th. October 27th will be here before we know it! Soon...very soon!

Lily's post

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I am very excited to get Grace ! We have to wait a long time to get her. Mommy said I will sleep with her!

I love her.


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