Thursday, March 31, 2011


help bring Kell home! for a $10.00 donation you can be "sporting" a KELL YEAH sweet friend, shannan berry is adopting Kell....please email me at if your interested in donating to help the berry family bring home Kell.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

kent & I went bowling with our 4th grade sunday school class last friday...we had so much fun! this was emma lael's 2nd time bowling...she was so funny...she walked in the bowling alley like she knew exactly what she was doing...went to look for a ball...yeah right little missy, remember most of the balls weigh more then you do my sweet girl ;) it was cosmic bowling night so the black lights were on with disco balls twirling around and around.... her high top converse bright green tennis shoes were even brighter she kept pointing to her shoes in Awww of how they were glowing...all the kids in our class just love her and she thinks she is in 4th grade....we were at the grocery the other day and an elderly man asked her how old she was she said "24" i said your not 24...she said "mama emma lael is 10, k" i can tell being around adults & older siblings has made her THINK she is older!

Ears & ipad

emma lael is surrounded by "big kids" as she calls them...natalie and her friends all have pierced ears a few girls in her pre school class have pierced ears...she has been pointing to her ears and say "emma lael ears" what she has been asking for is to wear was the day she got her ears pierced and in emma lael fashion she cried for a second then she was all smiles when she looked in the mirror and saw her earrings in her ears! she didn't like the lady much after she pierced her ears, oh well!

the ipad...kent & the kids bought me an ipad for was a great idea but i really wanted was a new vacuum, those of you who know me know how much i LOVE to vacuum...attempted to sell the ipad but with the new ipad out i have not had any luck....with my kids help they have taught me how to download apps... thanks natalie & garrett ;0) emma lael has many apps on the ipad flash card in mandarin & english plus several games in both cool is that!!!! i am embarrassed that i was so clueless to all the things you can do with an's now a family ipad so everyone can use it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dan Cathy said, “A God inspired dream will never fit in your checkbook or calendar.” That is so true. Adoption is a God-inspired dream for us.

i can't tell you how often people will ask "how much did it cost to adopt" or even "how much did you pay for her" only heard that once or twice and it about put me over the top UGH....i love the quote by dan cathy...i have found in the adoption world that the money is the biggest obstacle for families to overcome...many families have told me "we'd love to adopt but we can't afford it" what i say over and over again is "if God brings you to it He will bring you through it" i also, have found it to be true that adoptive families aren't a bunch of well to do families...actually that couldn't be further from the truth...we are all being obedient to what God has called us to do in His name.
you may have to fund raise
you may have to apply for a grant
you may have to take a loan
you may have to deplete your savings account
you may have to work extra hours on your job
sending out letters asking for donation

fund raising was the easiest and most joy-filled part of the journey for us. The process of hearing people’s hearts and stories and watching them be obedient to the call to give towards our family was humbling and amazing! i honestly can remember every person who bought an emma wear t-shirt...all those people who sent natalie money for her airline did more than you will ever know for a 15 year old showed her that you cared about what was important to her, you taught her to reach for your dreams even when it looked impossible...and you loved her.

YES! Adoption is VERY expensive. But, the trade off is complete reliance on the Holy Spirit to weave together a story so much bigger than you. You just have to decide for yourselves if its worth it. if you have been called by God to adopt the money will come...guaranteed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Daughters

this came from new day's blog.... i'd encourage you to check it out to see the beautiful pictures of vivian and cora....for some reason the pictures didn't copy & paste UGH

New Days VISION:Bringing Hope to the Hopeless and the Fatherless Home."
Alleviating the pain and suffering of Chinese orphans born with physical handicaps by providing for their every physical, mental and spiritual need, we give these children a future and a hope while they wait for their very own loving family.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Two Daughters

I thought of her the morning I first held my daughter, but I didn't yet know her name. Cradling new, beautiful, perfect life in my arms, I rejoice. Yet in that moment I remember: the sweet often has the bitter, and I think about the babies born that day who would not remain in their mothers' arms. Faceless and nameless, yet no less precious than my sweet Cora Eve.

Vivian... that is the baby's name. Cora's birthday-sister.

Her mother is a sister of sorts to me… Labor bore down on her at the same time it bore down on me, and life's first breath seared both baby's lungs for the first time on that cold January morning. For nine months, their lives formed in much the same way. Darkness, warmth, a mother's heart beating close. But on that day - the 5th of January - these two little girls' lives took very different turns.

I do not know how a tragedy begins, but I do know it must have started in love. As my body swelled and belly fluttered, so did hers. The heaving sickness, the aching back, the feeling that your body is no longer your own… This journey to life is not completed by accident. Life is far too easy to end, so when Vivian gulped air for the first time it must mean she was birthed in love. And for nine short days, maybe she remained there.

I want to know the mother's story. Beyond the hard cold facts of "Baby girl born January 5th. Abandoned at a store on January 14th." So much lies between those dates - a whole lifetime, really. The only life this mother knew with her daughter. Nine short days. I know how I soaked in every detail of my baby in those same days; memorizing Cora in the darkness of early morning feedings - the shape of her nose, the curve of her toes, and the way she nestled into my chest as she slept. I can still hear the sighs and groans; the little snores of a fresh babe recovering from the work of being born.

Did she have those moments, too? Quiet moments in her room, alone with her baby? Did she imagine a future for her little girl? Was it different than the one they both face now? In those early days, did she know that a painful separation was only days ahead? And baby Vivian… did she rest in the comfort of her mother's arms? Did she hear the whispers of love spoken softly in her ear? Does she carry that with her today? If her heart weren't broken, would this story have ended differently?

Driving home from a friend's house on a cold, windy night in early February, we passed darkened storefronts and shuttered shops. Out of nowhere, the image of a small box sitting on a step came to mind, filled with blankets and a most precious cargo… and then I imagined Cora in the box, wrapped tightly in a blanket to shield from the cutting wind. Unimaginable, really. A nightmare beyond description. The pain of it made me shake my head; to shake the thoughts away, and I reached over and touched her hand… felt her fingers curl around mine. But this nightmare is Vivian's reality; her mother's reality. For that is where she was placed. In front of a shop… her newborn fingers grasping wildly in the cold air, but no mother's finger to hold. Unmoored, unconnected… abandoned.

Who left her there? How did they walk away? I wonder what happened to their heart as they turned away… I know part of it must have been left in a box on a shop's step. Did her mother know what was happening? Was she the one walking away or was it another who did the deed? Maybe she had been told the baby was dead? Did she get to say goodbye? How? Why? My soul aches… it is so unfair! I shout it to the heavens. The scream may not be audible, but it comes from my deepest places. This is not right! Babies and mamas need each other! What drives a mother, a father, a family to wrapping up their baby in a blanket, putting her in a box, and setting her on the front step of a shop? How do they ever recover from that?

I think about her mother on the tenth day. On the eleventh and the twelfth… Her chest swollen with milk, swollen with the life she is supposed to be able to share with her daughter. Yet her daughter is not there to receive it… Her body still raw and exhausted from birth, yet her daughter is not there to fill the hours of resting with the sweetest of joys. And Vivian… sweet Vivian. I dress Cora in a pink dress from my infancy and a bonnet and cardigan knit by a great-grandmother's gnarled fingers for me, 29 years ago. A legacy stitched with love… her story in creamy yarn and frilly pink organza. Cora will always know her history. Vivian will never know… she'll never even know the name her mother called her; she'll never wear her grandmother's dress. Cora has a book filled with photos of her first days, of the many people who love her. Vivian has a case file. Cold, hard facts telling the saddest of stories…

Sadness tastes like anger in this kind of broken story, but I know there are only victims in this tragedy. Unable to blame, unable to point fingers, unable to know the why or imagine the how… I lay it all down and let my heart instead turn to hope, the only place it can really go…

There is always hope… His work of redemption in a broken and bruised world. We only need to look to see the goodness… to see the places He dwells and moves. Vivian was abandoned, but she was also found. She now lives surrounded by love in a small foster home on the outskirts of Beijing. And someday I believe she will be adopted into a family of her own. But just because the hard work of redemption is transforming this young life doesn't wipe away the tragedy of her beginning. And as I cradle my own daughter, my heart grieves for Vivian and her mother - who have both endured a loss that defies my words. A loss that leaves me aching… hoping and praying for a day when there will be no more orphans.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

before and after

you can see how her teeth have shifted after her fall...she once had no gap and an overlap (the dentist called it) now she has a gap and they are tiled back on the outside...her upper lip and gums are still swollen...she has no bruising which is surprising...once again emma lael is a HAPPY camper showing off her big SMILE! even with dried blood on her teeth...still is oozing a little blood every so often when the teeth are moved...she can't use a sippy cup because she says it "huwts her teeth" my poor baby ;0) good thing she can use a big girl cup! it's mommy who doesn't like big girl cups because big girls have a tendency to spill big girl cup drink on the OCD self likes things neat & tidy.

4 wheelers, trucks, trains & cars

that's my girl!!!! she loves all things that go FAST....she likes to dress like a girl with hair bows & necklaces the more the better ;) but she doesn't have much interest in dolls right now she prefers trains and cars....she and garrett were having fun riding there own 4 wheeler...she thinks her car is a 4 wheeler...she went for a ride with garrett on his 4 wheeler...garrett even made a home made seat belt that belted her to him so she would be extra safe....garrett had a brio train set when he was little and it hsa been in the attic for years...i brought it out this week and she LOVES it! she can sit and play with that train set for 45-60 minutes without getting up! she is now enjoys watching thomas the train and several of the trains garrett has are thomas choo choo trains and his friends.

crash and burn

let me first explain...emma lael is flat footed and when she runs her run is a bit unsteady...i have imaged several times her falling and knocking her two front teeth out...her two front teeth protrude out quit a bit so i am always telling her "be careful" when she is running....yesterday afternoon she was running and BOOM down she went i knew exactly what i was going to see as i picked her up...keep in mind i was right behind her when seh fell...when seh fell she fell flat on her face her little hands weren't even scrapped so she didn't brace her fall with her hand it was all FACE...bless her heart....blood pouring out of her mouth like a faucet....kent isn't the one you'd want helping in any situation were blood is i brought her in the house he saw her immediatly put his hands over his mouth as if he was going to get sick, typical kent reaction...thank God the kids have me other wise they would be taking care of themselves while daddy is on the floor passed out ...her lip a little scraped but not bad...lip already beginning to swell...i take her inside to get a wet cloth to look inside her mouth and i am SURPRISED at what is see...her two protuding teeth that over lapped one another are no longer protruding and now she has a gap between her teeth...called the dentist (who couldn't of been nicer) he said not much you can do unless they are "flapping in the wind" they are both loose but not has changed her look completly... my little girl has a FAT lip with a gap between her teeth (these pictures for some reason don't show how fat her lip really is) in emma lael fashion she was such a trooper as i took her bloody clothes off her...wrapped her in a towel and held a cool wet cloth in her mouth...she's so brave!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


spring has sprung...even though it's not official until sunday the signs of spring are very evident around our gardens are beginning to wake up ;)...doors are decorated for the spring season Easter is on it's way YEAH! Happy Spring!


Yellow is a GREAT color on my little princess! she seems to gravitate to bright cheerful colors...yellow represents her personality BRIGHT & CHEERFUL....emma lael gets an A today for effort....she tried several times to pick up our cats today....frosty weighs 17 lbs emma lael weighs 22 she tried several times then she said "frosty to heavy mama" then she trotted up the driveway to pick up holly ;) she never caught holly...she then decided to sit in the chair and guess who pop up on her lap.... frosty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

radio flyer fun

emma lael's and anna have fun playing together anna is babysat by our next door neighbor...yesterday they wanted to be pulled in the wagons...emma lael is in garrett's wagon that was bought when i was pregnant in 1992...emma lael and anna are 6 weeks apart in age....BIG difference in size but that's it.... they just started to hold hands when they are playing ;0) ruby is close by her best buddy ALWAYS.
we are enjoying the pre-spring weather... i have been showing emma lael all the spring flowers that are popping up everyday in our yard and gardens...i will ask her to smell the flowers and she will blow OUT not breath in ;) she will then mimic me and say "smells nice" .
the last few weeks she sings "jesus loves me" all the natalie's volleyball tournament this weekend all of a sudden she busted out singing "jesus loves me" in her loud tone of voice she caught the attention of many by standers bringing SMILES to them all.
her pre school teacher is in aww of how smart she are it an asian thing? i honestly don't know but what i do know is that garrett & natalie weren't this sharp at 3 years old...she speaks in complete sentences...she just recently refers to people in the 3rd person she has grasped the english language very easily...God knows what is best for each child and each family who is going to adopt.
i use to pray before we were matched with a child that God would bring the child to us that needed OUR family the most...He heard my prayers she fits perfectly in the sisler of the workers at new day would tell me often that she talks A LOT and she is very loud she was 100% correct....we are a talkative & outgoing LOUD family...matter of fact, when garrett was little family members would call us the Loud Family from saturday night live...emma lael is i have said hundreds of times talks CONSTANTLY that's what makes her fit so well with us plus many other characteristics she has.
emma lael goes friday for her second cardiologist appointment she'll be seen every 3 months to assess her cardiac status...these appointments will determine when she'll need her next open heart surgery...she's been off all her cardiac medications since november 2010...garrett is going with us to take her to the doctor...he worries about her like her daddy does...please pray that no changes have occurred since her last appointment...she jumps & runs like any other 3 year old would.

what can you i say she's PERFECT!

Friday, March 11, 2011

chuck taylor & UK

sporting her new fluorescent green chuck taylor high tops in honor of the SEC basketball tournament...kent & garrett spent the day at the SEC tournament...cheering on Kentucky Wildcats! the trio kent, garrett & emma lael were all decked out in there Kentucky Blue today!
emma lael brought a pair of nattie's converse outside she wanted to have a picture of her shoes with nattie's converse...the picture doesn't really show the HUGE difference in size...emma lael's are size 4 infant very tiny and very cute!

Monday, March 7, 2011

pucker up

emma lael first taste of a lemon...emma lael, lala & i picked lemons, grapefruit & oranges while in AZ...she likes all fruit so i thought i'd give her a taste of a lemon wedge..yes, that is a lemon they grown em BIG in AZ ;)...she licked it...laughed...licked it again laughed some more...puckered her little lips and laughed again...all the while, i have a piece of grapefruit in my mouth that i had drawn teeth on...emma lael says "mama silly willy"....she continues laughing her sweet infectious laugh that makes everyone around her smile & laugh...we had fun today being simple & silly together...thank you God for the little things in life they truly are what makes my life so WONDERFUL! i don't need the glamour...glitz...fame or fortune i just need YOU and my friends & family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

5 months

it's been 5 wonderful months since we have been home from china...prior to going to china i'd read several books...talked to several people who had adopted hundreds of blogs (it seemed like hundreds at least)...most of the stories were very good results with some minor bumps in the road...2 families had to put there children into an institution because of the neglect they experienced prior to being adopted each of these families stories went to my inner most core...i had many sleepless nights after hearing their stories...they both are strong christian women who said God has us in our girls lives for a family chose to adopt again the other did not...these two mom's are amazing women and i admire them both very goal and intentions was to obtain as much information from those who had gone before and read as much as i could to be prepared for the good bad and the ugly...i would journal my prayers & thoughts daily...i did know that not all of it would apply to our family and emma lael...praying some of the stories would NEVER apply to emma lael or our family....most of the information was about how to adjust your life with a new child and prompting bonding and attachment...preparing your marriage and children for the new life that God has gracious trusted us important it is for an infant to have all their needs met immediately this is what creates a sense of love, security, bonding & attachments...i chose to read books that had a positive spin on adoption...i again, chose to only focus on the good...not allowing satan to place doubts in my head...i would pray daily asking God to prepare emma lael heart knowing that God was the only One who could place peace in her heart....take away her fear replacing it with trusts...letting her know how much we had prayed for HER and for God to bring us the child that needed our family the most....God knocked it out of the ball park with ms emma lael she fits PERFECT!!
new day (the foster home emma lael was at) prepares the children very well to be adopted...they allow the adoptive parents to skype weekly...we skyped emma lael 17 times prior to meeting her...we would walk around the house showing her all the rooms in our house...we'd have ruby & sisco (our dogs) skype with us each week so she knew we had 2 dogs...she knew what her bedroom looked like when we came home on october 1, 2010 we took her to her bedroom she pointed to her crib and smiled...i think she remembered it from the skype sessions....she knew our faces and voices she was familiar with us...of course, she is 3 and it still would be a surprise when she first saw the people from the computer standing in front of her...i believe that this is one reason emma lael had done so well bonding and adjusting to her new life...she knew what to expect...15 days prior to us arriving in china her pre school teacher (love her) made a calender and she'd place a sticker on each day on the day we would arrive they had put our families picture so she knew when she put a sticker on that day she'd meet us...everyday at school she would be shown the photo book we'd sent and they would talk with emma lael about her family and that she was coming to live in america....the pre school class all participate in this with emma lael...THANK YOU new day for all you do for the precious children in your care...we could never thank you enough for all you did for emma lael.

i am so HAPPY to say that emma lael came to us with a heart that knew what being loved felt like...thanks to her wonderful foster parents.
a heart that is joyful
a heart that will pull your heart strings :)
a heart that is open to love and being loved
a heart that is pure
a heart this is unique
a heart that is beautiful
a heart that is listening to God
a heart that is miraculous
a heart that filled with LOVE
a heart that is happy
a heart that was born with 4 defects but is now HEALED
as she says her prayers at night i am reminded how much Jesus loves the little children.

Jesus loves all the little children
all the children of the world
they are yellow black and white
they are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

as you say your prayers please say a prayer for all the 147 million orphans who wait for a many of these orphans have never heard of Jesus...i'd say quit a few, unfortunately...let's PRAY for them all.