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Heavy Heart

Thursday, December 31, 2009

With a heavy heart, I ask for your prayers for the Loux Family (http://louxfamilyblog.com/). Husband and father, Derek Loux was involved in a fatal car accident. He and his wife, Renee, have 10 children, 8 of whom are adopted. Though I did not know Derek, I do know that he was a lover of God and a champion for the orphan. He and his wife were involved in the International House of Prayer, and also started the the Josiah Fund (www.josiahfund.org), in an effort to bring life and prayer to orphans with special needs.

May God raise up many more champions in the faith, such as Derek Loux, who will pray (day and night) for justice and abundant life for the 143 million orphans of this world.

Oh my Lily-girl!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I tell you what...this sweet girl just gets to me. She is one complex little creature...full of true affection, love and boldness, with just a touch of spice. In the picture above, she had just finished singing a solo for the homeschool program. As I watched her up on that stage, with her beautiful voice, radiating the sort of true confidence that comes from within, tears welled up in my eyes. I thought of Lily's birthmother and wished that I could meet the sort of woman who would give birth to such a child! I thought of the loss that this world would experience if Lily were not in it. I thought of the great wonder and gifts that I would have missed out on if this Lily were not my daughter. I thought of the many other "Lilys" who will spend their lives in an orphanage...in a place where they will not receive love, without a chance to learn to love others boldly in this world.
The concert was almost a month ago, but I just can't get it out of my mind.
This sweet girl just gets to me...

On Christmas day, my Lily-girl gave me this card.
Oh, Lil! You just get to me...
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Jesus

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Doesn't His name just take your breath away? I find it absolutely incredible that The Altogether Lovely One chose to come down to earth to live among His people. Sometimes His goodness hits me so hard that I'm ruined for the day. It's one of those days...thank you Jesus.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

A sweet day

The Lord has been speaking to me about so many things lately--His Kingdom, His Church, relationships, love, money, orphans...the list could go on and on. I'm hoping to to get a chance to share some of it sometime in the next couple of days, because He is so good and I want to see Him glorified more!
But, since my time is short today (!), I just want to share a quick post about the sweet day that we had yesterday.
In the morning, David and the boys joined some other boys from our church to help clean up the yard of a single mom, who takes care of her grandmother. They had such a great time helping out this lady, and can't wait until they have another opportunity to do it again!
Since I had the camera, and was spending a morning of leisure (while the boys worked!) with the girls, I didn't get any pictures of the boys. But, I did get some pictures of the girls and my craft day. We had such a fun time making snowmen and snowflakes.






Didn't they turn out cute?

After David and the boys got home, I took Lily out for a date. We had such a nice time. We ate a late lunch together, talked, and Lily got some Christmas shopping done.
I took Lily to her friend's house, because they were celebrating her birthday. Don't these two look alike??! Well, they are alike--in so many ways. They have such a fun time together--they are two peas in a pod.

After dinner, the rest of us enjoyed reading the next chapter of Jotham's Journey. We love reading this book during Advent. I'd highly recommend it.
Hmmm...like a pile of cute little puppies!
Thank you, Lord, for such a lovely day--a precious gift from a loving Father.


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Love is...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13
14 years ago, in the midst of a Minnesota snowstorm, I married the kindest, humblest, most patient man that I know.

I love you, sweetheart. Thank you for making these past 14 years a joy and a pleasure. You are a gift to me every day.


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Thankful Thursday

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On Thanksgiving, David started a dinnertime topic of conversation: "What is one of the most loving things that someone has ever done for you?"

Lily immediately responded: "You and Mom adopted me!"
Oh my Lily-girl, you are such a gift to us! What would we ever do without you?!

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Don't let that cute, innocent face fool ya!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Jadon went to the dentist today. He has an incredible dentist. This dentist loves kids. He always jokes around with Jadon and makes him feel at ease. I don't go back into the office with Jadon, but I can see him through a glass window.

Today, I saw him giggling a lot...


After Jadon's appointment the dental technician called me back to talk about Jadon's teeth. She handed me the little bag that had his new toothbrush, floss and a toy in it. She also handed me some play money.


"Jadon won some extra money today," she mentioned.


"Oh...?"


"Dr. Greg was telling the kids that he'd give them $100 (play) dollars if they would tell him a secret. Jadon said, 'I have a secret! I have a secret!"


"Hmmm...what was his secret?"


"Well, he said that he blew his nose with his underwear today. The other kids all thought that it was hilarious!"


Yup. You read that right...my son blew his nose with his underwear. And yup...he told the whole dentist's office about it.


I hope that it was a clean pair of underwear...


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Through different eyes...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We had such a nice time with my parents visiting us in Colorado. On the second night after they arrived, we were sitting at the table after dinner. Suddenly, Yana exclaimed, "Grandpa! You are so cute. Mom, take a picture!"

Yana and my dad have always had a special relationship. He appreciatiates her servant spirit, and she appreciates being appreciated! I had never really thought of my dad as "cute" but obviously Yana has the eyes to see something that I could not see.
Thank you, Yana, for helping me to see my dad through different eyes. What do you think? He really is cute, isn't he?!

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Keep praying

Monday, November 30, 2009

Please, please keep praying for Sarah in India. She is fighting a battle that truly is the Lord's battle. Pray that He would give her supernatural strength as she receives these 39 children. One of the precious little boys died recently and instead of receiving 40 children, there will now be 39. This should not be!! This little one's life was cut short! But the Father sees and cares. And He is and will be victorious!!

It is truly miraculous how God has worked in the lives of the children who are already at Sarah's Covenant Home. They are being transformed by the love of God! If you haven't already, please visit http://sarahscovenanthomes.blogspot.com. Take a look at the beautiful children who live there now, pray for the ones who are coming, and ask the Lord how you can help.
Thank you so much, friends. Truly these little treasures are worth it.

40 new kids!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our great God, the One who is the Father to the fatherless and who cares for the neediest ones, is doing great things in India! Please stop by http://sarahscovenanthomes.blogspot.com. Pray for Sarah, the 40 (!) new kids who will be joining her, and all of the staff and workers at Sarah's Covenant Homes. May God be greatly glorified!!

Having fun with Mandarin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lily and Grace have been taking a wonderful Mandarin class on Sunday afternoons. The teacher is very good and also very patient. I'm so glad that we started doing this (thank you, Linda, for encouraging us along!). Grace seems to remember most things, and Lily is really enjoying learning her native language. Here they are practicing on the website at home.
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Lily is doing a great job learning to recognize and write the characters, as well.

"The balloon flew away."

Zai Chien!

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What fun!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We got the absolute sweetest box of surprises in the mail today! Jennifer, over at http://ourchinastarfish.blogspot.com/ sent us a bunch of incredible treasures.
The box was filled with beading supplies, a really neat puzzle, beanie babies (which Jadon was so excited about!), a Chinese jump rope (which Lily and Adam loved), cookie cutters and fall sprinkles for the cookies, Wendy's frosty gift certificates, a book of Bible word searches, a sweet letter from Jennifer's daughter Morgan to Yana (Yana was thrilled and started to write a letter back to Morgan), and I'm sure something else that I missed. It was amazing how much fit into that box!!
But for Grace, the sweetest surprise of all was five packs of gum! All of the kids had a piece, and Grace kept saying, "Aren't I nice for sharing my gum?" We just smiled and humored her.
By the way, I DID NOT dress Grace today. The outfit was her choice. lol!

We spent the evening by the fire, working on the puzzle.
Thanks so much, Jennifer! We are so blessed by your thoughtfulness!


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My virtual twins

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When we brought Jadon home from China, he was 23 months old. Lily was 29 months old. To say that things were sometimes rocky between the two of them might be a bit of an understatement. On the other hand, they had some serious moments of bonding while unrolling multiple rolls of toilet paper, and emptying out all of our cupboards. And after a few months, when Jade had learned who was in charge (er...that would be Lily), they truly began to become the best of friends. They loved to play together.

And they learned to bond through all sorts of girly activities (I told you that Lily was in charge of this relationship!).
I will spare Jadon the embarassment of posting the picture of him in the green tutu that he loved to wear around the house.



As time went on, and Yana joined our family, things have become a bit more gender separated. The girls like to play with their animals and dress up (Jadon no longer joins in with his tutu!), and the boys are seriously into legos and street hockey.

Still, my two little virtual twins have a special relationship.


And now sometimes, Lily...

even follows...
Jadon.


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May Your Kingdom come...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Psalm 72: The Reign of the Righteous King

May He judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thine afflicted with justice...May He vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy...May He come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth...let all kings bow down before Him, all nations serve Him. For He will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy He will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; and their blood will be precious in His sight...Let them bless Him all day long...May His name endure forever; may His name increase as long as the sun shines; and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call Him blessed...And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.

I dream of a day when God's Kingdom will break forth on the earth. I dream of a day when the Righteous King will be blessed on the earth, day and night. I dream of a day when the whole earth will be filled with His glory. I dream of a day when our beautiful, merciful King will hold all the precious, afflicted ones in His arms, and their will be no more mourning and no more tears. I dream of a day when our King's justice and His compassion will come crashing down upon this earth. I dream of a day when all nations will bow down before our Righteous King and give Him all honor and glory.

I see our Righteous, Glorious, Merciful King continually before my gaze and I beg of Him, "May Your Kingdom come quickly, Lord Jesus. May Your Kingdom come!"



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Happy Birthday, wonderful friend!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You've just got to meet Meredith! She is such an incredible woman of God, she is a true friend and she is so much fun!! She's also got two of the cutest little guys that you're ever going to see (and I am not biased at all, even if one of them is my godson). If you get a chance, go visit her blog and say "Happy Birthday!" It's on my sidebar (The Crosland Capers). For some reason, I can't cut and paste the link.
I'm looking forward to a fun day tomorrow, Meredith! Happy Birthday, my friend!!

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coming home

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For those families who have traveled to China more than once, the final leg of the journey in GuangZhou, can feel like coming home. Since Lily is from Guangdong province, we spent almost all of our time in GuangZhou on our first trip. Then, when we adopted Jadon, we spent the last few days in GuangZhou, finishing up the U.S. side of his adoption. For this third trip to China, we again ended our time in Guangzhou to complete Grace's adoption. While there, we met two more AAC families. We already had an incredible group, and these two families simply added more fun and good conversation. Here's our group photo, taken at the White Swan.
We had stayed at the White Swan when we adopted Jadon. It was beautiful, but we were actually glad to be back at the Victory for this third trip (we stayed at the Victory when we adopted Lily). We had a very large room with 3 comfortable beds, filtered water in the room, and a great breakfast buffet. Here are Lily and Grace after a shower in our very clean bathroom (aaahhh...so nice!).

The restaurants in GuangZhou are incredible. What a beautiful view off the balcony of this restaurant. We were so blessed to have Morgan order for us!

We went to the zoo outside of GuangZhou and Lily got to see her pandas.
One of the highlights of our time in Guangdong province was visiting Lily's orphanage in ZhaoQing. God worked some incredible miracles to bring this about. First of all, Lily had a high fever the night before we were to go to the orphange. We all prayed (and some of you prayed!), and she was totally fine in the morning! God is so good!!
Here we are in front of the old ZhaoQing SWI (this is where Lily lived).
We also visited the new SWI. Here's our precious girl, outside the gate. We waited and waited while our incredible guides, Morgan and Judy, tried to get us into the SWI.
They were successful! Here's we are with some of the nannies and the old director. What an emotional time for this mama. The nannies were loving and kind to our girl, and we were so very grateful.
A very special spot for our family.
There is a beautiful park in ZhaoQing. A perfect setting for our beautiful girl. We hope to be back to visit again some day.
Back in GuangZhou, we did a little shopping. Here are Grace and Yana outside one of the little shops.

We spent a lot of time at the playground in the middle of the island. The boys had a good time!
So did Grace!
And no trip to GuangZhou is complete without a visit to Lucy's.
Or maybe two visits...or three, or four...

After a busy few days in GuangZhou, we boarded a plane to take our little girl to her new home in Colorado. She did great on the flight, and charmed us all with her smiles.
She's still charming us today with those same smiles. Thank you, Jesus, for this amazing journey, and thank you for this amazing little girl! We love you, sweet Grace!

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