Friday, March 30, 2012

Adoption Overseas - Waiting for Katie Grace: THE WEAN IS ON

This is the little girl I asked you to pray for, little Katie Grace, a friend of Cassie's from the orphanage.  Please continue to pray for a complete healing of this precious child so that she may sing the Lord's Praises all day long for years to come!  Thank you and God bless you!  Adoption Overseas - Waiting for Katie Grace: THE WEAN IS ON

Monday, March 26, 2012

Expecting Something So Big From GOD: Katie Grace Hua Hua!

Little Katie Grace is a friend of Cassie's from the orphanage.  Please pray TODAY for a complete healing of the heart and lungs for this precious, little girl!  And pray for her mother and father who are just beside themselves with worry. 
Expecting Something So Big From GOD: Katie Grace Hua Hua!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Three Month Anniversary Home, Cassie!

On December 23, 2011 we left Hong Kong and arrived home the same day.  Happy three months home, Cassie!  The following pictures were taken throughout the day today.

Cassie learning to work with pastels for the first time in her life!
Good job, Cassie! 

You too. Sonya!
Cassie and Sonya's cat, Bibi

They started off like this...

And ended up like this!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Long and Winding Road - My Journey to Jesus

I write this to you today because I feel lead by the Lord to do so.  I believe He wants me to share of my long and winding road to Him because there are many people out there who will be able to relate to it.  My story is complicated, at least to me.  It is not a cut-and-dry salvation story.  It is not a salvation story where i can name an exact time and date when i met my Savior for the first time and then lived for Him from that point on.  I believe He wants me to share with you because like me, there are many people out there, perhaps some reading this post now, who have suffered or are suffering presently from a distorted image of Jesus Christ, not because of anything He has done to them but because of something that has been done to them by others.  And because of this skewed view of Jesus, they cannot or will not allow Jesus into their minds and all.   

This condition is a tragic one, for as Jesus tells us,  "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6 

Deciding whether or not to believe on the name of Jesus is not child's play.  It's serious business, a matter of life and death.  It's a matter of life and death.  Jesus shared with us over two thousand years ago, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."   Matthew 10:32-33

The Very, Very Beginning of Part II

On January 28th of this year I shared with you the beginning of what most people might refer to as a salvation testimony.  The title of that particular post - "How Was China?" 

How could i have anticipated that in the almost two months that have gone by since, i would struggle to find adequate words to share with you who Jesus is to me, how I came to know Him and why i choose to follow Him now?  Even as i type this, my words ellude me, my mind grasping for an image to hang onto and nail to the paper.  Not because i have nothing to say, but because i have so much to say and do not know where to even begin. "Please Lord, help me to tell Your story inside of me."

I hear many people share that when they came to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior their lives changed in an instant.  The Bible tells us this will happen.  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  II Corinthians 5:17

Accept when I was saved at the young age of thirteen I knew nothing of God's Holy Word so i didn't understand the reason for the change I experienced inside my heart and mind.  I knew only that my life was a disaster and that i had made it so.  I was so sick of myself, my negative attitude and the pain i had perpetually inflicted upon the innocent simply to satisfy my great need to deflect pain off of me and onto others.  Until those others wouldn't take it anymore.  I was then left with the choice to look at myself or not.  I cried out to God.  God, please help me!  Please forgive me!  I can't do this without you.  I am so mean without You!  Please, Jesus, please change who i am.  Take away my anger.  Take away my bitterness.  Take away my hurt.  Take away my grudge against life and please oh please replace it with Your Love.  Change who i am now!  And please help all the people whom I've hurt forgive me.

And i did change.  My heart changed.  My focus changed.  My vision of the future changed.  I began to desire a life filled with holiness and purity.  I had big dreams for my future, about going to college and never smoking, cussing or drinking.  About how i was going to let God bring the right man into my life, about how i was going to stay pure for that man.  

I no longer wanted to gossip, condemn or make fun of people.   I wanted to be good.  I did not want to do bad things anymore.  I did not want bad in my life.  What i wanted above all was to be a "foot soldier" for Christ.  I was raised inside a church who did at least teach me this one thing, and i clung to the image of who i became through it - just to be a simple foot soldier for Christ.  That is all I really wanted.  

The only problem was there was noone in my life, in my circle of influence, who wanted these things for me too.  Instead, i was surrounded by those encouraging me to do just the opposite of what my godly vision showed me.  I was considered an idealist, and this was not a good thing in their eyes.  And i did not know anything personally about the Bible.  I did not know that i could just pick up the Bible, read it and be inspired by God Himself to stay the course inspite of conditions.  So you see, even though I was saved, my soul was saved, I lost my way for a long, long while.  I lost my purity.  I lost my vision.  I lost sight of who I had become through Him in the instant i came to know Him.  Hence, began the downward spiral.  First, very slowly, but by the time I was sixteen i was running so hard and so fast away from me that I soon lost sight of the One Who Saved me.  i also lost sight of the person He made me to be, and I denied myself that hoped-for future.

And before you know it, in order to stay the new and destructive course I had systematically carved out, I felt i had no other choice but to deny Him. 

Fast Forward a Few Years

I was nineteen and in my second year of college. I had enrolled in an Anatomy class, and to my dismay or surprise, we had an actual cadaver to work on in order to learn our muscle groups, bones, ligaments, etc.

At this point in my life, I totally threw the concept of God out the window. I had it all figured out you see. Because my childhood, and hence life, had been so traumatic, I decided there just couldn’t be a God because in order for me to believe in a God, I would have to further believe He actually placed me in the family in which I found myself. No God would ever do such a horrible thing, right? Or if there was a God, and He allowed me to be born in such a family, then He was a cruel God, one I would have to be angry at forever. Due to such erroneous thinking on my part, I found it either nobler or just easier to believe in no God at all - until I witnessed the actual workings of the human body via the cadaver in my Anatomy class that is. the intricacy and complicated mechanism found in the human body, a body in which I realized with glee that Chance had played no part at all. And I stood in AWE!  The human body became proof positive to me that there was a God, and not just any God, but a MIGHTY GOD whose imagination stretched far beyond the scope of human comprehension.

I worked at Pizza Hut at the time, and would go to work every day and update my coworkers about my new discoveries in regards to this human machine and proclaim with gladness that I KNEW there was a GOD and He was MIGHTY and AWESOME and filled with LIFE and CREATION. Just by enrolling in that Anatomy class, a class which I did not need to graduate, my life and perceptions of life changed dramatically and completely. I will tell you, my coworkers at Pizza Hut thought I had flipped my lid. You see, they were used to the cynical me, the flippant and sarcastic me, not the me who got all wound up over something she couldn’t actually prove or see. I was surrounded by naysayers, agnostics, atheists.

Yet even though that Anatomy class changed my life for good for the better, I remained lost and extremely self-destructive because... there was a missing component in my newly formed thought processes involving God, and His name is Jesus. Jesus, whose GOOD NAME and HONOR had been stolen from me due to some pretty warped and twisted meanderings of a couple older brothers (the oldest of which, due to years of sniffing glue, actually thought he was Jesus Christ) allowed by my parents to spew out verbal rampages concerning Jesus and the Bible even on the youngest of us twelve at will without rebuke or reprisal of any kind - and thus setting in slow motion a type of confusion over the name of Jesus that i battled for years.  It became a constant struggle for me to not lose sight of WHO HE REALLY IS.  And for a time, I lost the battle and declared openly to anyone who would listen that He did not exist.

Until that night when I was twenty two years of age…. Having lost everything that mattered to me, I felt utterly alone and absolutely petrified for my future. And I turned to Him. And He showed up. Even after I rejected Him, He showed up. As I sat on my bed in my little efficiency apartment, rocking myself back and forth as I had done countless times previous through the years, weeping bitter and sorrowful tears, I looked over at the mirror hanging over my bureau and saw a picture of Jesus, a picture I had held onto since childhood and one in which I hung up in every place I lived. Ironic, isn’t it?

I called out to Him in human desperation, and He showed up. Rocking me gently in His arms and promising me He would never leave me, I had a renewed HOPE for my future, no longer filled with fear and dread.  As I felt His Loving Presence and Gentle Arms around me, I knew that what i was experiencing in that moment was  REAL.  This supernatural experience filled me with such a deep sense of gratitude that i have Loved Jesus ever since! 

There is more, and I will share it soon.  It is all written and ready to go.  When you visit again, I will share my journey from the moment Jesus came to my side to the present day and what I have learned about His Undying, Unending LOVE for ALL of US!   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is This Your Son?

I met this young man while visitng Cassie's orphanage back in December.  The orphanage adoption coordinator asked me to get my picture taken with him and let people know here in America just how badly he wants a family of his own. Just recently I asked Cassie if he is a nice boy.  She said he is very nice boy and would even make a good brother to someone.  He "ages out" in June which means in his case, after June 21st, he will no longer be adoptable.  

Below is more information along with a video of "Oliver" showing you his skills with a yo yo while sharing more about himself.  Please, please spread the word to get this boy out of that orphanange!  I have learned that when a child really wants so desperately to be adopted, as in Oliver's case, he/she becomes very teachable in a family to learn a new way of life.   Please, please give him a chance!

Precious 13-yr old boy "Oliver" (DOB 6-21-1998) from Zhongshan SWI is longing for a family! He put his heart into a video with the hope that a family would be moved to adopt him!

Here is the video link

A little after about 3:50 in the video, he shares his desire for a family. It will touch you deeply. "Oliver" has repaired cleft lip and palate and ages out June 21st, 2012!

He is on the shared list, however, WACAP has up to $9500 in financial aid available (including a $4200 Promise Child grant for eligible families for this adoption and the possibility of up to $5300 in fee waivers).

The note below is written by the orphanage staff who does the dossiers for children.

"His Birthday is June 21, 1998. He is Cleft Palate after surgery. He had not been suffered any serious injury.

He is outgoing and open. He likes sports, e.g. Basketball, run, badminton, pingpong, soccer, rope, yoyo, etc… He is very good in basketball, badminton and yoyo.

He likes to help young children.

He is studying in Special Needs School which is just outside of the orphanage.

His school result is not so good, though, he is so good in physical achievement and dancing, he attends to school sports game and do performance on festivals events every year.

He is dying for being adopted by family, he is eager for having a warm home which belongs to himself.

When I first talked to him, he dare not look at me, he is so shy with blushed face. Now we are like good friends. Every time we talk, he is very happy. He has many questions to ask me, always ask me whether there is a family to adopt him or when he could go abroad. I tell him that him that I am working hard to find a family for him."

Please consider Oliver and spread the word. I know of some who have gone from scratch to adopting an aging out child in 3 mos.  Donna O is a wonderful resource on how to successfully sprint! See her blog and info under "pages"  at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Expecting Something So Big From GOD: Single Mom Adoption

I met Vicky on my journey to Cassie.  Vicky is a wonderful Christian woman with strong moral values and convictions.  Very soon, Vicky will be traveling to China to adopt two girls whom the LOrd has blessed her with loving from afar.  Because Vicky is single, she is not eligible for adoption grants.  I do not know the reason for this, only that it is true. 

For the adoption of Cassie, adoption grants paid for more than 50% of all our adoption expenses. 

I know the Lord will be faithful to Vicky because He has called her to care for the orphan, not just one but two!  I know that the Lord has a plan for Vicky, and I know it does not include her going into burdensome debt over doing His will.

On Vicky's blog today, she is sharing about a couple other women in the same boat as she is, and she is asking for help on their behalf.  That is just like Vicky.  She looks out and cares for others without thinking of herself.  Well, Vicky is a nurse so what can you expect, right?   So please take the time to visit Vicky's blog and read about her tirals and triumphs along the way to meeting and caring for her children.  And if so lead, please help her financially to pay for two adoptions.  If not, then pray for her and other women like her.  Please.

Expecting Something So Big From GOD: Single Mom Adoption

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Happy Birthday to Mommy!"

"Happy Birthday to Mommy" is what Cassie likes to say these days because today is my birthday!  Cassie started getting excited about my birthday last week when she found out it was soon coming up.  I am forty six today, and for the first time ever, i see the true importance of celebrating birthdays because I for the first time, am getting a chance to see them through the eyes of my newly adopted daughter.  A daughter who only recently had the opportunity to celebrate her own birthday, the first birthday ever where she was recognized as an individual who received her very own cake with her very own presents, seated at the head of the table as the guest of honor.

Apparently, in China, the orphanages celebrate all the children's birthdays just one time a year in that they simply do not have enough time or resources to accommodate each child separately, but China as a whole does celebrate birthdays if you belong to a family.   So for Cassie, as with other orphans, she was painfully aware of the reality that she was not like the people living outside the walls of the orphanage.  She was different, less than, less significant.  And her birthday each year was a constant reminder that as an orphan, noone seemed to notice that she was ever born at all.

Below is one of the first pictures where i spotted Cassie and recognized right away her need for her very own birthday cake, and knew that if we could not be there for her on her birthday, we would most assuredly send her a birthday cake and presents just for her.
Cassie is the one to the far left with her body propped up on the table so she could get a better view of the cake.  That picture told me all I needed to know about her great need to be celebrated too.  In the orphanages, when children receive their forever families, that is the first time they can receive their own cake sent by their own forever family.
 As you might recall, Cassie was certainly made to feel special on her birthday this year at the orphanage.  Notice in the next picture who is blowing out the candles.  You would have to know Cassie to know she is just like that....  A VERY SPECIAL little girl!  ALWAYS sharing and letting others participate.

As a child and all through my growing up years, my family mostly did not celebrate birthdays.  I recall only two birthdays where I received a cake, one when i was five and one when i was thirteen.  In the latter, while many family members were seated around me, the guest of honor, at Pizza Hut while singing Happy Birthday, i felt the ritual to be rather odd..... It was embarrassing to me actually.  As with everyone else in my family, I learned that birthdays bore no significance and thus have lived out most of my life with that belief beneath the current of my analytical mind. 

As a matter of fact, in our first year of marriage, i asked Randy what he wanted for his birthday and when he didn't comment, i figured he didn't want anything at all, so not only did i work all day on his birthday while he took the day off, i got him nothing not even a birthday card.  When i called him in the afternoon from work, he barely spoke to me, he was so hurt.  I for the life of me couldn't figure out why. I only knew that I blew it, so after work i ran over to L. S. Ayres and picked out five matching slacks and shirt outfits, had them gift-wrapped and took them home to him later in the evening.  That was one of the most expensive lessons i've ever had to learn and that was, while i didn't see birthdays as necessarily special, perhaps the rest of the world did. 

On Saturday, my husband and two beautiful daughters surprised me with my very own little birthday party.  Just the four of us, and it was SWEET.  With a bouquet of wild flowers, homemade gifts from the girls along with a few strands of licorice, birthday cards and a chocolate cake, we celebrated me and the day i was born forty six years prior.  And Cassie was so pleased for me.  She was so happy to sing Happy Birthday just to me!  And that is when i realized for the first time that birthdays indeed are significant and special and priceless because that is the day we celebrate the birth of those we love.  We celebrate the day our loved ones were born, and it's as if to say, "Glory Halleluiah for your life!  What would we possibly do without YOU?!" 

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

About Sonya

Over a month ago, while driving around in the car with the girls, i heard over the radio that Casting Crowns was planning on coming to our town at the beginning of March.  Almost under my breath, i murmured how nice it would be to go to that concert with Sonya, ALONE.  Just to get away together, all alone.  Sonya overheard me, and ever since, every time it has been mentioned on Star 88.3 that tickets were being given away to the right caller, she would encourage me to phone in.   Knowing i never would, less than two weeks ago, while again driving in the car with the girls and 88.3 announcing more ticket give-aways, I told God that the only way we could go to that concert was if someone offered us tickets to go for free

Well, that very day, I received an email from a representative from Show Hope looking for volunteers to man their booth at the Casting Crowns concert.  For those volunteers, they could watch the concert for FREE!  I immeditately responded to this email with an emphatic, "We'll do it!"  And "There are four of us available."  When i heard back shortly afterwards, i was informed that there were only two spots left.  At that juncture, I did not hesitate to sign Sonya and myself up for the opportunity to share and educate our community about the work of Show Hope and adoption and the blessings therein.

Digressing, i felt it imperative at the time that Sonya be allowed some alone time with her mother.  Although Sonya is not perfect, i will say she's been a perfect gem while helping Randy and i, with the Lord's leading, weave Cassie into our family over the past what will be close to three months by now.  And as Sonya's mother, i have missed her.   My heart has ached at times for the opportunity to experience Sonya all to myself, and in all honesty, the thought of spending time with a child who speaks English and who not only understands me but obeys me (okay, okay, for the most part) was beginning to sound really good at that point.

By me admitting this, i do not feel i am in any way taking away from the incredible experience of Cassie and all the BEAUTY and LOVE and Humor she brings to our family.  I LOVE CASSIE.  We ALL LOVE that girl!  BUT, adoption is HARD.... on everyone, including and more specifically the child being adopted.  So while I am not looking for your sympathy, I am asking for perhaps some understanding.  Generally, adoptive families only share amongst themselves just how incredibly difficult the process of adoption is, even with our God at the helm.  Why, without Him, adoption would not be difficult, just IMPOSSIBLE.  So with Him, still a parent, a family, sometimes feels like they walk around with their insides showing, completely vulnerable and exposed to the dissection of the populace at large while the newly adopted child and the core family members try to work it all out, sometimes with flying colors and sometimes in dismal failure or at least what appears to be so from an emotional and mental perspective.    

So.. back to the topic, which is "Sonya".  On March 1st of this year, not only did Sonya get an opportunity to hear her mother share with others about the miracle of adoption, more specifically, the miracle of HER adoption, but she got to eat pink cotton candy and a whole bag of popcorn while listening to beautiful, uplifting and captivating songs about Jesus, her Lord and Savior.  And she got to do all of this in the company of one of her favorite people in the whole wide world - her mother.  And let me just say, it was SO MUCH FUN! 

Thank you, Lord, for making a way for Sonya and I to spend time together and serve You and what You hold dear at the very same time!  Lord, You heard our hearts' cry, and You answered it.  You met our desire even though we did not anticipate that You would!  But You did it anyway!  What an AWESOME God are You!  How can we ever repay You for all that You have given to us, done for us?  Help us, Lord, to know You and serve You more fully.  Even little Sonya, although only eight years old, i ask You Lord to touch her and be with her always and kindle in her a desire to know and live the Purpose You made her for.  Lord, Help me, to be an example to her and Cassie of dying to self so that I can LIVE FOR YOU in ALL that i do.  Amen

Cassie and her daddy getting ready to go out on a date of their own while Sonya and I attended the concert.  Had Cassie known that Sonya and i would not be returning home until 11:30 that night, while she was sound asleep, she would not have been smiling.   In the middle of the night, she came to my bed and threw her arms around me crying "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" and the next morning gave me the business by chiding, "Mei Mei sleeping, and Mommy gen (and) Sonya bye bye!  Mei Mei bu happy, Mommy!"  Thankfully, she's over it now.  

Sonya and I at the Show Hope booth.  Sometimes I forget Sonya was once an orphan.  Seeing her stand under this sign reminds me of how she started out in life and the redemptive power of REDEMPTION through ADOPTION, first in a forever family and then ultimately at the feet of Jesus when we ask Him to be our Lord and Savior and then allow Him to work miracles through us by first breaking the chains that bind us.

Thank you all once again for allowing me to share my heart with you!  I love you because He showed me how!