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I’ve been feeling reflective and looked back and found several pictures that are like “little milestones” in our adoption journey that I thought I’d share with you. 

These two pictures are from one of the play dates we hosted with our friends the Wickershams when they were visiting in Frankfort, IN probably 4ish years ago…? (They live in China, but both parents are Hoosier natives)



The beautiful children in the photos are my Clara & Fritz and their friends – Rose & Grace. Their beautiful momma, Megan, generously spoke her heart for adoption and answering the call God has for us to care for the “orphan.” She sweetly answered my shy and curious questions. And Clara…Clara fell in love with her girls. After their visit… Clara(who was at most 3 yrs old at the time), “Gwace is my sista!” And she would beg for them to come again. And incessantly “when can we go to China to see Gwace & Wose?!” And then at Thanksgiving she picked out a chair for Miss Megan to sit in at mommy’s table. 

This is their family a little more recently. 



This picture is of Clara in an outfit that the Wickersham girls had outgrown. She loved to put it on. 



This was a sweet treasure I had kept from one of Miss Megan’s talks in Frankfort at FPC I think when I was in college… I set it on my dresser every Christmas season. 





Then we decided to adopt our own lil daughter that would be born in China. 



And along the way I met a sweet friend, Helen, who happens to have Chinese heritage. And sweetly shares her heart and friendship with me…has taught me some Chinese cooking…what it is to grow up with a Chinese heritage in NE Tennessee. She has taught me much and I’m blessed to share this season of life with her. 



This is a book I read to learn some of China’s history and culture. I won’t do a lengthy critique here, but it opened my eyes to things I didn’t know and I am glad to have read it. 



And this is a picture of the quilt that I made for Katie Ann in January of 2013. I had made 2 matching quilts for the boys while living in Indiana and then after we moved to Tennessee, I made 2 matching quilts for my girls. Clara sleeps under hers and has since it was finished. Katie Ann’s quilt has patiently been waiting for her as it lays softly over the bottom bunk in what’s currently Clara’s room…that she will soon share with her sister. 



And then of course the picture of our sweet girl. Dearheart, how you are loved. SO. MUCH. We can’t wait to come get you. We pray every night together for your safety and health and for you to know and feel that you are loved. 



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Through the eyes of a first-timer…

I went to my first C4C (Created for Care) conference for foster & adoptive moms just over a week ago (2/6-2/8). It was held at a lovely lil conference center in Buford, GA called the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center. Click here to see the webpage for Legacy Lodge.
And here for the Created for Care webpage.

It was AWESOME people!! As a first-timer, I was incredibly blown away, overcome, overwhelmed. I can’t say it was “relaxing or restful,” but that’s because I didn’t want to miss anything. It could have been restful if I had made choices to do things like take a nap or do a craft break out session…but I wanted to learn! And I did.

I learned about how God cares for us as His children. How He adopts us as His own. How He calls us to care for the orphan & widow. How He cares for us as we carry out His call…responding in obedience to His call. How He exchanges our cares for a crown. How we are His treasures.

And how my love alone will never “fix” a person, a child… How God is sovereign. How He knits us together in relationships with each other & with Himself. How only He can fix the broken. How refinement only comes through fire. How blessing can be seen & felt in the hard. How we can choose joy in any circumstance but it is our choice. How we have to withdraw with Him daily to be renewed.

And then things like-
Behavior is the language of children who have lost their voice.
Lying is a fear based behavior.
Early life trauma is real & needs to be dealt with.
How important it is to have a circle of support for adoption.
Attachment.
Managing expectations.

And I’m …. Still …. processing it all.

I’m so grateful for the adoptive mentor moms in my life, for friends that listen and care, for supportive family, for a local church to come to for authentic worship & growth for my family.

Disclaimer-I realize this post has terrible grammar & may not even make a lot of sense. I apologize for this. Please know that just by doing this bit of typing here-you are allowing me to further process all that I saw & heard. And I believe that if the Lord speaks to you, He speaks through you…so I’m sending this forth for whoever’s ears it is intended for.

Happy birthday today to our Clara!

She is growing into a kind and compassionate girl. Clara loves school, friends, gymnastics, playing with her brothers and she can’t wait to have her baby sister home. “Mommy, let’s talk about Katie Ann…how big will she be? When will we go get her? What if she can’t understand us because we speak English?” She is a good helper, a sweet daughter, a fun sister and friend.

We love you so much sweet girl! Happy birthday!

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So much is happening so fast and it’s hard to stop and put it down in words here. I desire to continue writing the memories here so that we can come back…and remember. So I will keep trying.

In the last couple weeks we have received our child match, officially written our letter (LOI) that requests we be her forever family and officially received our official letter that says China accepts us to adopt her (LOA). {That’s a lot of “official”-ness going on…}

And in the meantime we have submitted (thru our agency-CCAI) our I800 form to the U.S. Government to request that Katie Ann be ours and thus a U.S. citizen.

And I’ve been working on gathering things to send to our sweet daughter in China. With the help (read BIG HELP) & permission to copy the idea from my generous friend Megan Wickersham, we put together a special picture book for Katie Ann in her care package that will begin its journey towards her tomorrow.

We hope & pray that her caregivers will show it to her, read it to her, (let her chew on it if she wants…) 😉 And that her little heart and mind might begin to know who we are and that she is so loved.

Here are the pictures of her little book:

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Here is a photo of the rest of the goodies we are sending.

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After I got the lil book finished today, I showed it to the kids…made my heart smile y’all. They beamed and grinned. And each took turns reading it several times.

Love makes a family. And we can’t wait to get her in ours to love on. 💗

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