Archives for March 2013


DSC_0065“I’m ready”, Julia said last night when I asked what she wanted to pray for,  “To ask God to come into my heart”.  What an amazing Easter gift!

We already knew our little girl believed.  Her favorite stories of the Bible are the ones surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus.  She has been able to explain clearly for quite some time now how God planned these events to save us from our sins.  And it is personal for her.  She knows just how much Jesus loves her and that she can always count on him.  She has such a mature understanding that we thought Easter week would be a great time for us to specifically ask her if she’d like to pray to invite Jesus into her heart.  Friday was the big night.  We were a little surprised to hear her simply say, “No, thank you”.  Hmmm.  We just told her that was fine, and that if she felt ready at some time we would be happy to pray with her.  We never wanted her to do it for us, but only once she was ready to make her own decision.  We figured it might be months or years, but we were confident the time would come, because God has been clearly working in her for so long.  I was happily surprised when she said she had been thinking about it yesterday and had decided she was ready.

Watching a little one grow in their faith is such an amazing experience.  Sometimes their faith seems to outpace our teaching and what we could even imagine they could understand.  Just the other night I asked Rion what makes him happy.  His first answer was “Jesus”!  After that came Mama, Julia, Olivia, and Baba (Daddy).  The fact that Jesus could come first tells me that Jesus is actively doing great things in his heart.  This little boy is only just learning to formulate sentences that don’t contain Chinese words.  The hugs, kisses, comforting, games and everything else he gets every day come from those of us he can SEE.  Yet Jesus is already so real to him that He gets first ranking.  Oh please, let Jesus keep that position in Rion’s heart!

We’ve prayed for each of our children before they came into our family.  But God has loved each of them long before we even knew about them.  The Bible tells us that caring for the fatherless is at the very heart of God, that he is a father to the fatherless and that he sets the lonely in families.  Adoption allows us to understand him and know him in a whole new way.  God pursued each of us when we were destitute and alone and he himself adopts those of us as his children who turn to him and trust in his son, Jesus.  Despite the pain and loss that goes along with adoption, I pray that their adoption experience will help our children understand God in a profound way.

Now we get to see that God is already taking care of Olivia.  She is in the care of wonderful Christians who are hopefully already giving her a glimpse of a loving God.  Now we just need to get her home to her forever family!

Happy Easter everyone!

Buy Stuff at Amazon? You Can Help Olivia Jade

Everybody buys stuff at Amazon, don’t they?  Personally, I’d be a little afraid to tally up my lifetime of purchases from Amazon.  I’ve bought countless (actual paper) books from Amazon.  Tricia and I both have Kindles, and we love them.  If we buy a new book, we try to buy it in Kindle format.  You can really take them anywhere.  It’s so easy to slip a Kindle into your bag or jacket pocket anytime you know you’ll have to wait a little bit (unless you have toddlers with you).

But, I’m not trying to sell you a Kindle.  Anytime you buy something from Amazon, you can buy it through our affiliate link.  You pay the same low Amazon price, and you get the same quick Amazon shipping.  But, Amazon gives us a small slice of the sale.  It’s a small slice, but it adds up over time.  Here’s how:

  1. Click on or the one on the right hand side, which will always be there.
  2. Once you’re at the Amazon page, bookmark the link.  We recommend putting it in your bookmark bar across the top of your browser so it’s very handy.  Label the bookmark something like “Amazon Olivia.”  Then, you can easily click the bookmark next time you shop at Amazon.
  3. Or, you can use the short link
  4. Shop away at Amazon.

Amazon thanks you, and Olivia Jade thanks you!

P.S.  If you do buy a Kindle, buy it through our affiliate link.



We Celebrated Olivia Jade’s Second Birthday!

Olivia birthday gift

Monday night we went to our favorite little hole in the wall neighborhood Chinese restaurant to celebrate Olivia’s second birthday.  We’ve actually had a birthday for each of our kids before we adopted them.  Olivia should have received the package of gifts above by her birthday.  Hopefully, pictures of her opening the presents will show up soon.

It was so cute to see how excited Julia and Rion were for Olivia’s birthday!  It probably didn’t hurt that we gave them each a present instead.  Julia’s got a big grin on her face because she got an “Olivia dress,” which makes her look like Olivia’s cartoon pig alter ego.  Rion got his very own mini camp chair.

The kids are so excited they’re getting a little sister and can’t wait to go to China and get her.  They’d leave tomorrow if they could.

Julia Olivia dressOlivia birthday poster



Happy Birthday Olivia Jade!

Today in China there is a little girl celebrating her second birthday.  We have already grown to love her and very soon, she will be ours, so we wanted to introduce her to you.  This is Olivia Jade (aka Hannah), and she currently lives at the very aptly named House of Love in Guilin, China.

Happy Birthday Olivia!  We’re coming for you!

We hope that along with a little party with her friends in her foster home, that she is getting a very special gift.  She has probably already opened her presents, including a little “Olivia” doll, because that’s going to be her name, a recorded book with some voices she doesn’t know yet, and most importantly a photo album full of pictures of her new family: her sister Julia, her brother Rion, her daddy, and ME, her mommy!  If you’d like to help celebrate her birthday, you can help us give her the best present ever, a forever family, by making a tax-deductible gift to her adoption fund.


The “Olivia” doll is of her literary and television namesake OLIVIA.  Isn’t it great to have your own theme song?

This will be the first time she sees her new family.  Perhaps it will be the first time she’s even told about that she has a new family.  We sure wish we could be a fly on the wall.  In this scene, Olivia’s friend Lydia recently saw her family for the first time, and you get to see the beautiful place, Guilin, where Olivia is being fostered.  Olivia’s other little friend Emmie also recently found out about her family!

Something Beautiful from Loss


I was putting Julia, our oldest adopted, to bed the other night when she asked me, “Baba, when did you come to live with your family.”  My heart hurt a little as I tried to explain that I had always lived with my family from the day of my birth, because I wasn’t adopted.

We’ve been very open with Julia about her adoption, and we work very hard to put a positive light on it.  Plus, she observed the entire process when we adopted Rion.  But, no matter what I do, Julia’s adoption carries with it the loss and hurt of abandonment and rejection by those who should have cared for her.  In China, it very well may be a societal rejection as well.

I think this post from Michael Monroe offers some beautiful but heartwrenching thoughts about adoption.  He quotes an adult adoptee who reminds us adoptive parents that, “There is no adoption without loss . . . but sometimes adoptive parents tend to forget that.”  Monroe continues to say, “God is not writing a fairy tale with our lives, no matter how much I wish it so.  Instead, He’s writing a real life story that involves real people living in a broken world.  But it is also a story of hope.”

Logged In!

Today we received a pretty, formal letter from our wonderful adoption agency, Great Wall China Adoption.  The letter gave our log in date with CCCWA, China’s adoption oversight agency, of February 26, 2013.  This took a little less than two weeks after our agency sent our dossier to China.  Now, the wait begins for receipt of our official letter seeking confirmation, which is the official referral of Olivia from China.  (Then, we can post pictures of this adorable little girl for you to see!)  Great Wall says referral is taking between 5 and 12 weeks right now.  To be honest, we’ve almost always received things faster than the average or estimated time.  God works in the details, thankfully.