Wednesday, September 23, 2015

August Giveaway . . . Better Late than Never

So, I just discovered I never posted this! Whoops! Story of my life!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my sweet, respectful, loving, happy and cheerful boy, Anthony! He turns 11 today!! I can't believe just two and half years ago he entered our lives. What a blessing he has been in our lives. I keep telling him to stop growing and sadly refuses. We love you, precious boy. 


This month I have this sweet book to giveaway! It is perfect for Eva as we work on her language acquisition and for counting and learning about God!

Count My Blessings 1-2-3, a fit-together shapes book

*ages 0-4
*Unique fit-together format features bold, colorful cut-outs that will engage small children
*A wonderful introduction to numbers for little ones
*Combines counting with a faith element, making a perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, or anytime


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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Billy Graham's God's Good News Bible Storybook Giveaway!!!

“Christianity is Good News. . . . When we open up the Bible it is Good News from cover to cover. It’s the Good News that God loves us.” —Billy Graham

Public Domain per Library of Congress

I would venture a guess that many of us who grew up in church have some memory associated with Billy Graham. His continued dedication to the work of the Lord and spreading the gospel has always been inspirational to me. I personally know several people including my husband who put their faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ at Billy Graham crusade. 

Billy Graham is now 96 years old. As time marches on, men of faith like Billy must not be forgotten. This book I am giving away on my blog this week provides parents the opportunity to share the his legacy with their children and future generations. It gives us the opportunity to point them to a man who sought to bring glory to God and not to himself, a lesson we all could learn. A man of faith who wasn't afraid to share the good news to all. 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV)

God's Good News Bible Storybook by Billy Graham

*ages 4-11

*First Bible storybook from beloved pastor and teacher Billy Graham

*Each story includes actual NKJV Bible text alongside devotional thoughts from Rev. Graham

*Helps children understand that the Bible is God's Good News for everyone

God’s Good News Bible Storybook is a collection of over 60 favorite Bible stories—including Noah, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, and the disciples—and each is equipped with a takeaway devotion from Rev. Graham.The takeaways will help children focus on God’s Word, apply it to their lives, and begin walking with God and sharing the Good News from an early age. The striking artwork from Scott Wakefield will help children connect with the timeless Bible stories and messages from Rev. Graham.
Trim Size: 8.5 x 9.75
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Caring for those who care for the orphans . . . Ayi For a Day

I work with the Sparrow Fund on the leadership team of their blog, We Are Grafted In.  It is a privilege to work with amazing organization who works to encourage and support families on their adoption journey. Additionally, they now take yearly trips to China to work in orphanages, caring for the precious children waiting for their forever families and helping provide support the nannies or Ayis who care for these.

In the adoption community, we have experienced a connection with those who cared for our children prior to their joining their forever families. My children had foster parents and Ayi's who cared for them, preparing their hearts for us. On our trip in May to pick up our newest daughter, Eva, we had the unique experience of spending time with precious people who loved on our little girl until her appointed time to join us, her forever family. My gratitude to these sweet people can be fully expressed in words. I think these pictures depict the love Eva received and we felt when we visited. I will be forever grateful for them.

One of Eva's Ayi's

Two more of Eva's caregivers

Eva's Foster Father

Eva's Foster Mother

Please check out this opportunity to join with the Sparrow Fund as they seek to care for those who care for children on a daily basis. Below is a post I am sharing from the Sparrow Blog detailing this opportunity. 


They are oft overlooked much like the children they care for. They live in a place where what you do and how much you make is everything which means they have very little. Watching over and meeting the needs of children with no known roots is hardly considered a career; it’s a job. Some of the ayis do their best to do that job well despite the meager pay they’re given. They braid little girls’ hair, make funny faces to make babies giggle, pursue the child who looks different. Others simply do their duty. All of them are in the hard and obviously broken corners of our world, and they cannot help but be impacted by it. They go by the name Ayi or, in some places, are all called Mama in painful irony of the purpose of what they do. Their purpose is to ready children for new mamas, to care for children well enough so that they can leave to be cared for by another, living in a seemingly endless cycle of nurture and departure. Surely, most ayis are glad to see a child leave as it means he has a future and will become something he could never become where he is now. We’ve seen ayis clap their hands and laugh aloud at the news that one of their children has a family coming for her. But, we can only imagine that their hearts bear scars as well from all the goodbyes. Those scars run deeper still for those who were once little girls there themselves but never got to say goodbye. We intercede for vulnerable children, but we often overlook these vulnerable women. His hearts breaks for them as well, as should ours. It is impossible for us to truly know what their days are like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to enter in. This effort launched today is to move us towards that and give us an opportunity to crack that door open and enter into the experience of a woman whose heart is not unlike our own.

Ayi For a Day.

The team at The Sparrow Fund has thoughtfully and carefully assembled 50 kits, each one slightly different in shades and tastes, to engage and unite 50 women in interceding for the ayis in China The Sparrow Fund serves at an orphanage in Shaanxi as well the innumerable ayis all over China. The kits include various items to use over the course of one dedicated day—shoe covers, sleeve covers, tea, chopsticks, Chinese snacks, Chinese money, and more—with specific prayer prompts to lead you in prayer as you do. But, the experience isn't over at the end of one day. Enclosed in each kit will be a postage-paid envelope you will use to return the sleeve covers to The Sparrow Fund in time to be hand carried to China on October 7th. The sleeve covers you will wear and pray over on your Ayi Day will become an ayi gift and placed on the hands of an another woman on the other side of the globe. The Sparrow Fund needs 50 women who desire to join their hearts and prayers for the sake of 50 other women in China.

50 kits for 50 women for a donation of $50 in 5 weeks. That's the goal. The money raised will be put into The Sparrow Fund's orphan care and ayi care fund. And, the prayers raised will change the world.

Click on the "Donate" button below to become one of the 50. It’s linked up to The Sparrow Fund’s PayPal account and will go directly to them. Please note #ayiday or "Ayi For A Day" in the notes field when you donate. Your kit will be sent to you next week with clear instructions on how to use it to engage your family and your own heart.

Only 50 kits are available, so don't wait to join. And, just to encourage you a little more, the first 10 women who join the effort will find a little extra gift in their kit.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Marvel of Language Acquisition and Adoption Realities

"I need to go potty." said a precious little voice said near me. 

"What?!" I replied, with more excitement than the normal for a jaunt to the potty while out and about. 

My Sweet Silly Girl Rocking Her New Bangs!

Yes, dear readers, this was Eva's first grammatically correct complete sentence, made on July 30, 2015. 

I apologize for the delay in relaying an update. We have been running from doctor's visit to work events to play time with friends before school starts again. I'm sure you all understand. ;) Having three active kids in middle of summer is quite the busy but fun time. 

Eva has been saying lots of things in English as we have reached the 3 month mark. She puts two or three words together as well as some whole complete sentences, out of the blue, without a question asked of her. I'm so proud of her work at learning and understanding the English language!

Our journey through language acquisition has been unique to each child. Grace was only 18 months when we adopted her so she never even learned Mandarin. She simply learned English 

Anthony was 8 when we brought him home so he was reading, writing and speaking fluently in Mandarin. It was much harder for him to grasp the structure of our sentences and to remember vocabulary. But, when you speak to him now, you would never know! He has done an amazing job of learning English and we have crossed a threshold with his Chinese as well. He can now think independently in one and switch over the other language with having to translate in his head like he was before. I'm so proud of him. 

Eva amazes me. Her ability to remember English vocabulary astounds me. I will tell her something and she repeats it a few times, with great pronunciation I might add, and remembers it! Oh to have the mind of a young child!

One of my favorite things she says quite frequently is "Nope!" Not "no", NOPE!! 

While the English language acquisition is going well, there are, of course, still struggles with discipline. This is the most difficult part of the transition this time around. Imagine being four years old, ripped from a safe and loving environment and then not only being asked to adjust and live with people who speak a different language but to also behave. I think we can all agree it would be hard. She gets frustrated daily which is completely understandable. She also is at the age where she sees things as black and white and needs clear direction but there is that tricky language barrier. We also definitely do things different from what she experienced in the foster home at the orphanage and require a certain level of respect that she is not used to as yet. She has a such a sweet spirit but is also constantly testing us (as toddlers do). "This is my toy, why should I share? I've never had my own toy, I don't want to share. I want things on my own terms." 

We would appreciate prayers for the continuing transition!

As summer has come to an end and our homeschooling has begun as well as the Pilates Instructor training that I lead, life is busy, but we will persevere through knowing when we we are weak (all the time!), He is strong!

Last Friday of Summer!!

First Day of Our Homeschool Coop!

After Coop! LOL

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Just for Me Bible Giveaway!

Our new sweet girl has been a Meledeo now for almost three months. Her attachment is growing in leaps and bounds as well as her English acquisition (more on that in a different post). She does a wonderful job of sharing toys with Grace who is only 13 months older, but she asks all the time is this mine or Jie Jie's (Chinese word for big sister). Many times it is something I have deemed both of theirs. Coming from a place where she had very little of her own, she was excited to discover that this precious little Bible was just for her!! We have been reading it to her even though her lack of understanding the English language precludes her from truly comprehending the gospel message right now, but one day she will, so we will press on. She loves being read to and wants us to read from her Bible every night. She loves the little handle is has and carries it around with her daily. It's really the sweetest thing. We are so excited to see her language and understanding grow each day. Soon, she will understand these Bible stories and the love God has for her. I excited to share with one of my readers a copy of this Bible from Tommy Nelson!

Just for Me Bible

This padded board book with handle features the most popular stories from the Bible with bright art and kid-friendly text—all for a low price perfect for Easter basket purchases.
Parents love introducing their favorite Bible stories to young children, and this book of Bible favorites is the perfect way to share these timeless stories with kids. This padded board book features twenty of the most popular stories from the Bible with short, kid-friendly text paired with bright, engaging art perfect for little ones’ attention spans. With a padded cover and a carry-me handle, this book is easy for kids to take on the go. 

Bible stories include Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Moses, Samson, David and Goliath, the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lions’ den, Jonah, Jesus’ birth, Jesus and the children, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus’ parables, the Crucifixion, and Jesus’ Ascension.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

One step forward, two steps back . . . the attachment roller coaster

I love my sweet girl.

I love the sound of her laughter.

I love it when her face breaks into a smile.

I love hearing her precious little voice sing and prattle endlessly.

I love lying beside her as she falls asleep, looking at me with droopy eyes, whispering, "wo ai ni". 

I love you too, dearest one.

I hate seeing fear in her eyes. 

I hate that she can't quite comprehend yet that we are her forever home. No one will ever take her away. But in time and by God's grace she will understand. 

Some days are good, some days are bad. 

Some days are easy, some days are hard.

Right now, I am her safety blanket. 

Am I tired most of the time? 

Of course, but just to see her smile when I enter the room makes my heart melt and the weariness fall away. 

Sometimes my wrist tendinitis flares up from holding her all the time, but I don't care.  I cherish every minute holding her. I missed out on so many. 

She is a precious gift from God and we are so grateful that God choose to let us walk with her during this time. 

She grows in leaps and bounds each day. She parrots our English phrases with astonishingly excellent diction and she learns the meaning of new English words daily, but without Anthony, we would be even more lost in the sea of miscommunication. 

As her two month anniversary with us approaches, I am amazed at her progress. She is right where she should be. She is learning to trust, rest and relax in our love. 

One day soon, I pray she will know and comprehend the love of Father in heaven. He has great plans for her. I can't wait to see them unfold. 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Reflections on attachment one month in . . .

My heart is filled with love, love for a little girl.

The site of her smile makes my heart leap.

The sound of her voice saying "Wo ai ni, Mama" is truly a blessing from the Lord.

But it didn't start there; it was a process. A process that has only just begun.

In those first few minutes, hours, and days, it sometimes felt like we would never hear those words from her, even though we knew we would.

I wondered, will she ever run to me and love me, even though I knew she would.

Then, as God worked in her sweet little heart and in our hearts, her eyes were opened to the us.

She understood.

We are here for her. We want to take care of her and love her unconditionally.

We are her forever family.

There is still a long journey ahead, and I can't wait to see it unfold.

I am excited to see how God works in all our lives, knitting us together as a family.


Many have asked me how she is doing. Is she learning English? What food does she like? Etc. . . 

She is doing great! She is a super sweet, helpful and loving little girl. Each day her love for us grows as does our love for her. Just in this past week, she has started to saying I love you in Chinese constantly and hugging us when she does. It just melts my heart. She loves to be held and snuggled by us. While she is still very small for her age, the good news is she loves to eat. She likes pretty much everything except for cheese (in certain cases). Anthony communicates well with her in Chinese, but she is also starting to wrap her mind around the connection between certain Chinese and English words. As a side note, she loves helping me with the dishes. Score!! ;)

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we work on attachment and bonding with our precious new gift from the Lord.




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