Boyz II Men Were Right: It’s Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday


I’ve procrastinated writing this post. I don’t really know what to say that I haven’t already said. I’ve contemplated a million different ways to wrap up this blog that has been such a joy to write, but none of them felt right.

So I ate a little chocolate and hummed this Boyz II Men song softly as I’ve made my way through my morning.

I find it somewhat apropos that I am writing this final post with my sick daughter laying next to me on the couch.  I started this blog a little over six years ago as a means to document this crazy thing called motherhood. When I wrote my first post, I had a 4 year old, a 23 month old and a newborn. I was tired, I was overwhelmed, and I thought that my life would be tantrums and poopy diapers from the rest of all time.

I never thought I’d have a career.

I never thought I’d have the opportunity to travel and develop as a writer and creator.

I assumed myself unambitious, not knowing that I was simply hard wired to thrive on inspiration.

I didn’t know all the ways that blogging would enrich my life as a mother and a wife.

Honestly, when I first started, I thought blogging sounded stupid. Write about daily life? WHO WOULD CARE TO READ THAT!

Here we are six years later. Life is still funny, and a bit surprising. I’m still doing my best to raise these children without inadvertently pushing one of them to write a scathing “Mommy Dearest” memoir. Although this morning I did drag my wrestling and crying six year old out of the house and place him firmly on the school bus much against his will, which should give him at least a chapter’s worth of material to share with the world someday.


Yay me…

It’s also a fitting symbol that my minivan, the one we purchased just a couple of months before I started this blog, is dying a slow and pitiful death. It won’t be long before she will need to be replaced by something…newer. Not better (still a minivan, yo!), but different. A fresh start to drive us both literally and figuratively into the future.

It’s like my entire life has become a symbol!

The new website will be a chance for to continue to expand and grow as a writer, as a wife and a mother, as someone who never wants to grow stagnant in life. There is so much still to see and do. So many opportunities to use the gifts and talents I’ve been loaned to bless and encourage others. Perhaps the biggest lesson this blog has taught me is that this life is so much more fun when it’s lived in service to others.

It’s not about me, and I would never want it to be.

So today will be the final post here on Minivans Are Hot. I shall drive my minivan into that goodnight, and when the sun rises I’ll find myself on a new path. Still in a minivan (hawt!), and with plenty of blog fodder to come.

Ugh…that sounds so cheesy, doesn’t it? 

In an effort to wrap this up, I’ve decided to share my Top Two favorite posts from each year I’ve blogged, and I’m hoping you’ll appreciate how difficult it was to choose only two posts from each year!

See you next week in an all new space, friends! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for cheering me on this journey.



Literal Art and the Worst Toy Ever Created – In which my husband made a massive Daddy faux pas.

The Same, But Different – In which my husband bludgeoned a possum to death with a crowbar.


The Master Cleanse: A Review – We tried The Master Cleanse. We failed miserably.

Can I Just Go Back to Bed? – The Haircut Heard ‘Round the World.


Boy and Girl and a Cricket Makes Three – When sharing my love story with Lee, I mentioned the time a voyeuristic cricket had his way with me.

The Day we Spent $127 on Soap – Because Lee and I are dorks and can’t add.


The Debate of Our Generation – The one where we try REALLY HARD to convince you that minivans are hot.

Don’t Go Disrespectin’ – Don’t mess with a mom in a minivan.

2012 – (I couldn’t choose two from this year – it was my favorite blogging year)

Hope is Slow – This post from Tanzania was a life changer for me. It’s still impacting me today.

Rise of the Planet of the Blue Monkeys – An open lunch box in the Tanzanian wild is a bad idea. Bad, bad, BAD idea…

It’s Like He Doesn’t Know Me At All – The day my husband dissed Target and invoked the wrath of the internet.


Mom of the Year: Not Looking Good – In which I sent Landon to school in pants caked with Nutella, and I forfeited my Mother of the Year title.

A Bridge Between Here and There – I responded to my friend Shaun’s post and invoked the dreaded ‘S’ word. *gasp*


Tenting with Shamoo – We went camping. In January. That is all.

Exposing the Real Issues in Sochi – This was an important post to me. I’m so thankful it got the traffic it did.

And then the road bends

Two days before “K” left, I found myself feeling sick. My stomach hurt, my head hurt, and I just didn’t feel right. I quickly chalked it up to the stress of putting her back on a plane, and the insanity of a month-long adventure that left me feeling run down and overwhelmed.

Just to be sure, though, I bought a pregnancy test to see if there was anything…bigger going on.


I tossed the stick in the garbage can and moved on, perfectly content with the knowledge that I was likely a little over-stressed. But there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind that kept rolling around, pushing it’s way out at night when the room got dark and the world quieted.

What if the test was wrong?

For years now (and by years, I mean yeeeaaarrrrssss) I’ve felt completely certain that our family was incomplete. The feeling was so strong that some days I would pull out of the driveway and look frantically in the back seat to see who I’d left behind. I’d look at photographs and feel so certain that someone was missing from them.

I knew the day I brought Landon home from the hospital that he would not be my last child. I just knew it. I was certain at the time, however, that I would not give birth to another child. So certain that I gave away all the baby stuff I owned except for the infant carrier and the crib because sentimentality wouldn’t give me permission to let go.

I was wrong.


It’s no secret that my heart lies firmly with adoption, and my first choice would have been to further expand out family in that way. But for reasons I don’t fully understand, God had a different plan.

And don’t think for a single second that I haven’t mulled over the irony of the fact that we conceived a child while hosting a Ukrainian teenager in our home. I’m fairly certain God chuckled to Himself as He knit that one into the tapestry.

I digress…

After we put “K” on her plane, the feeling that something was up intensified. It was a combination of feeling queasy and exhausted, so I decided to check just one more time for peace of mind. Lee went to church that Sunday morning without me, and I ran to the store, picked up the cheapest test I could find, and came home. After I took the test, I started cleaning, and…well, I forgot about it.

I was so certain it would be negative again.

I was wrong. (I mentioned that already, right?)

That was nearly a month ago, and in these last few weeks Lee and I have slowly adjusted to this new development. It’s not that I didn’t want this, because there was a part of me that always liked the idea of having just one more.

There was another part of me, though, that didn’t really want to start from square one. And there is was a HUGE part of me that did not want to go through another pregnancy. Some women love pregnancy – I am not one of them.

So yes, the part of me that liked the idea of having a baby is excited. The part of me that longs to adopt is disappointed. These are conflicting emotions that will need to be worked through. I don’t doubt God’s plan for our family one bit.

I also don’t think that He’s done leading us down the path of orphan care. I don’t know what form that will take now, but I know this:

I am open to anything.

When we started our adoption journey, we did so on a very safe path. We wanted a child as young as possible, with as few issues as possible. It was what we felt we could handle. Now?

I wouldn’t say no to anything anymore. This is a freeing place to be, honestly. I am so open to whatever path the Lord leads us down, whether that be raising awareness, working with a ministry, taking trips to serve children in need, hosting orphans, fostering, adopting older or younger or special needs. Nothing scares me.

I feel free.

I also feel pregnant. For the time being, this is our path. We will continue to raise the children that the Lord has blessed us with joyfully and gratefully, and with all the wisdom that He chooses to reign down on us. And who knows? Maybe I’ll have the privilege of being an adoptive grandmother someday. Wouldn’t that be grand…

So that’s the story of where we are now. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?!

(Come back tomorrow and I’ll share a bit of how our kids reacted to the news. I will also share my observations on pregnancy after having a loooooong break in between babies. Did you know at 35 I am considered of  “mature maternal age?” HUMPH…)

Nester Says Dance, and All I’ve Got is a Hobble

This photo embodies the carefree nature of childhood. That we could all be so free...

This photo embodies the carefree nature of childhood. That we could all be so free…

Friends, I’m afraid my time on this blog is drawing to a close. It hurts my heart to write those words, it really does. It’s so bittersweet for me to think of moving on, but the truth is, this blogging journey is evolving for me, and I’m slowly allowing myself to be okay with that.

I’m not done yet. I have a few more posts set up for this space in the next couple of weeks, then it will be time to officially say goodbye. That’s the bad news. The good news?

I’ve got a brand new site under design right now that will be ready very, very soon.


I’m not leaving the internet. Oh heavens, no. I like it too much here to walk away. But life has changed, I’ve changed, and honestly…I’m kind of tired of the race.

I wish that I was leaving this site on the top of my game. Not too many months ago, I had thousands of people visiting each week, and I enjoyed writing and sharing my life with everyone. Then, life got hard and something changed. People didn’t want to stay around and read the hard things, and I get it – I really do. The title of my blog insists on light-hearted humor, and I broke that rule, and it simply wasn’t fair.

The truth is, I feel like I’ve had a chair at the “big kid’s” blogging table for awhile, but I’ve never quite been able to scoot my way in. I’ve sat on the fringes, knowing the right people, offered amazing opportunities, and yet still I had to fight to be heard, fight to be seen, fight to stay relevant.

I got tired of fighting. That’s not why I started this journey. I started because I wanted to share the journey of motherhood with others who would laugh at with me. Motherhood is hard, especially when the kids are young and you are literally crawling through crap most of your days. Young mothers, hear me on this: YOU MUST LAUGH THROUGH THESE DAYS!

It is imperative that when you walk into your child’s room and find poop smeared on the wall, that you throw your head back and laugh. Trust me, the journey will be so much more fun if you do.

I loved writing those posts, but I can’t do it anymore. I cannot tell my kid’s stories, because…well, I just can’t. And really, the title of my blog dictates that I continue to tell these humorous stories of motherhood, but to do so would be to compromise my children’s trust in me, and I’m not willing to do that.

So I’m winding down, and I’m preparing to launch Kelli The way that I write will likely not change there. I still love to laugh, and every opportunity that I can do so, I will. But I’ll feel less encumbered by the title of my blog, and I feel like I’ll have more freedom to share this place that the Lord has led me to:

A place where I’m motived by the inspiration of the world around me. A place where I get back to my first love, and the dreams I held as a wide-eyed college graduate – writing books. I traded that love for blogging some time ago, and while I don’t for one second regret the journey I’ve taken these last six years, I do feel like it’s time to move forward in my craft.

My friend Myquillin wrote a beautiful post today in which she processes her return home after a second trip to Africa with Compassion International.

“Dance in your kitchen.

Do your thing well.

Share what you have.”

Nester writes these words, and they stir in my soul. I haven’t been dancing in this space of mine. I’ve been trying so hard just to keep up, to be noticed by those sitting around the “big” table, and somewhere along the way I got tired. I’m sorry for that.

I don’t feel like I can dance here anymore. All I’ve got is a hobble. But can I share where I have been dancing?

Yesterday I wrote the first three pages of my second novel. My first novel is in the hands of an editor, and my heart hopes and prays it will be picked up for publication by the end of this year. Words make my soul dance, and stories give me song. In my new space, I will continue to let the words dance, and I’ll do so less encumbered by the title of the site, and more free to dance in the inspiration that moves me.

This isn’t my official goodbye. I have a few more words left to document here. But I’m getting close, and as I do I feel a dance coming on. I do so hope you’ll join me there.

Blessings, my friends.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Blogging is a funny thing in that it gives everyone the chance to stand up tall on their soap boxes and boldly declare I AM RIGHT ABOUT THIS AND ALL THE THINGS!

I say this with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek because, Hi! I’m a blogger.

That said, even I find myself weary of all the chatter online sometimes, but I find that the chatter only frustrates me when it pertains to subjects for which I feel a significant amount of passion.


Orphan care  – For me, that’s a big one, and more and more I’m seeing posts that frustrate me.

Posts that take unnecessary digs at adoption, at Christians who work to make orphanages more comfortable, crop up now and again, and I find myself terribly annoyed at this idea that the “Christian Orphan Care Movement” is actually doing more harm than good for children in the world.

This attitude incites a sense of shame and guilt for those people who really just want to help. To be clear, it’s not the topic that I disagree with, it’s the attitude that families who want to adopt, or to help bless children in orphanages, are contributing to a world-wide problem that leaves me with a sour taste.

Here’s the thing – there is no one size fits all solution to the orphan crisis. In a perfect world, yes – all children would grow up inside their own families, their own countries, their own cultures. Absolutely, I believe that that is the ideal.


This world is not perfect, and the solution to children growing up in institutionalized care is convoluted. It will look different for every child, for every family, and for every country.

Photo by Keely Scott

Photo by Keely Scott

There are children all over the world who have been orphaned for a thousand different reasons. Some are orphaned by drugs and alcohol, some are simply abandoned. Some are orphaned by tragedy, others are orphaned because their physical needs are too great a burden. Some are orphaned because their culture and government dictates life in such a way that parents have little choice.

The reasons for a child to be left in an orphanage are far too great, and they each require different solutions. While I do not want to assume that adoption is right for every child in every orphanage, I do want to say to parents who are hoping to adopt, in the process to adopt, dream of adopting – you’re doing a good thing! You’re offering a child hope for a future outside the confines of the orphanage. Don’t ever feel guilty for that – ever.

To those who are working to restore children to families who simply couldn’t afford to raise their children – you’re doing a good thing! Thank you for working so hard to reunite children with their families. Don’t ever feel guilty for that – ever.

To those who are working to make orphanages more comfortable and livable – you’re doing a good thing! Providing a stable shelter, offering clothing and supplies, funding renovations and better equipment – these are all necessary to making sure that children inside orphanages are receiving the best they possibly can given their current circumstance. Don’t ever feel guilty for that – ever.

To those who host orphans for a brief period of time then send them back to their homes – you’re doing a good thing! Many of you will move forward to bring those children into your homes permanently. Others will love those children from afar, and give them the hope of knowing that they are loved and valued inside this world. Don’t ever feel guilty for that – ever.

I do believe that children orphaned by poverty are some of the most devastating, because I feel the heartache of a family who simply cannot afford to raise a child. This is a travesty, and in areas where this most often happens, let’s keep working together to help these families stay together.


Next week, a team of bloggers will head to Uganda to talk about the work of Compassion International. This is the 5-year anniversary of Compassion Bloggers, and it will undoubtably produce amazing words and images that will allow us to see what orphan prevention looks like. Because of their hard work, Compassion International is keeping families together, keeping children out of orphanages, and keeping communities in tact. I’ve seen them do this, and I’ve never been the same for it.

There are so many solutions to the orphan crisis that people are working on around the world, and I’m grateful for each one of them. We need to keep working together to defend the orphan, in whatever capacity that may look like. This isn’t a battle of Conservative Christian verses Liberal Christian and who has the best solution. Rather than continuing the argument about who is doing the best/worst job in defending the orphan, let’s work together to be part of the solution to orphan care (and prevention).


The One Where I Brag on My Kids

Last night Lee and I took a little time to debrief. We haven’t really had time to talk this last month, to process all that was happening. It was sort of survival of the fittest around here, and since he went down hard with the flu, we’ve just passed each other in the house this past week with little more than a few mental high fives, and withered looks of fatigue.

2013 was a big year for us. Now that we’re on the other side of it and can look back and take stock, I’m amazed to see at all that happened in those 12 months. They were undoubtably the hardest months of our lives, and at the same time, with hind sight providing some clarity, I can see just how blessed last year really was.


And my kids? You guys, they were just amazing.



My kids saw and experienced more in the last year than they ever have before. They witnessed abject poverty when we went to Dominican Republic in June. They served many Saturdays at our church’s food pantry, and they helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in desperate need of assistance. They helped make shoes for children in Africa, and they delivered a car full of toys to children in the hospital.

And then, to top it off, we asked them to make the biggest sacrifice of all – we asked them to open their hearts to love a 17 year old girl from half way around the world, and they did it without hesitation.

roomSloan gave up his bedroom for a month, letting me turn it into a pink and grey girl room. He never complained, never asked why. He didn’t whine, and he didn’t once make us feel bad about the decision to put her in there. I could not be more grateful for his attitude. 

Tia sacrificed being the only princess girl in the house. She gave up a bit of her autonomy as the coveted female, and she willingly shared her daddy with K for four weeks. We had less time to spend watching her do gymnastics, and when it was time to play with makeup or paint nails, it was always three of us participating in the activities. She didn’t complain or react in jealousy, but freely gave up her coveted one on one time with us. I’m so, so proud of her.

Landon did what Landon always does. Pulled out a ball and asked K to play. The language barrier didn’t matter to him, and he willingly and daily asked her to play with him. Most days she said yes to his inquiries, but sometimes she said no, and when she did he moved on without complaint. He was so gracious and loving toward her. What a precious boy he is.

I’m bragging on my kids today because they deserve it. They aren’t perfect kids, and they have their moments, as any child does. But they gave up a lot this past year. We asked them to make sacrifices of comfort and time and material things to the benefit of others, and every time we placed a challenge in front of them, they met it.

When we began the adoption process a year and a half ago, we were warned more than once to be careful that our children weren’t sacrificed in the quest to bring someone new into our home. While such warnings are wise, and should be considered, the fact is this: our children (mine and yours) are a heckuva lot stronger than we often give them credit. Kids love to know they’re being helpfulthat they’re being used to make someone else’s life better.


I saw this not only in my own children, but also in their friends while K was here. So many of their friends wanted to be a part of blessing K, and they really, really did! They gave her rainbow loom bracelets and 1 Direction cards. They laughed with her, and shared smiles and waves that communicated so much love. K went home blessed by more than just my kids, without doubt.

If you’re looking at stepping outside your comfort zone this year and trying something different – something that might be hard – I encourage you to let your kids take the journey with you. And as you do, watch and observe how they respond.

I can almost guarantee they will surprise you.

The Story of Goodbye

Tonight was hard.


There were a lot of tears shed, puddles of salty grief washing soft cheeks, all dotted with freckles. As I held them close, all four of them, I couldn’t help but feel like I caused all of this. I know it’s not true – that such a feeling is a lie from the pit of hell meant to bring about the unholy guilt that stops one from taking action against the injustices of this world. But it didn’t diminish the pain I felt as I watched them cry.

This saying goodbye thing is not a fun ride.


It’s interesting, though, to watch my children embrace this act of sacrifice, even in the very worst moments. It’s a chance to share with them what we all must learn at some point in our lives – serving others requires sacrifice, and sacrifice is rarely easy.

We sacrificed time and energy this last month. We sacrificed funds, and sleep. I don’t say any of those things to publicly pat myself on the back. On the contrary, there were some days when I was so fully overwhelmed by the sacrifice that I wanted to scream…and cry. Then scream and cry some more. I didn’t enjoy every moment of the sacrifice, but if I had, would it really have been a sacrifice?

Sometimes I wish that God could have placed an easier call on my heart. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t feel a passion for something that’s so hard to fulfill. Sometimes I wish that I could just stop and be content with where we are – to enjoy the ride in the fast lane for a little while.

But only sometimes…

Sacrificial love requires that you shave off a piece of your heart and offer it freely. But can I share a little secret?

When you do this – when you give away pieces of yourself without any expectation attached – you’d be surprised at what you receive back.


When we signed up to host “K” for a month, we naively thought this would all hinge upon what we had to offer. We had no idea how much she would give back to us. She brought joy and laughter, and a wholeness that was entirely unexpected. This wasn’t about us, and it wasn’t about her.

This was about all that God could do with hearts willing to submit, and with broken people willing to take a chance.



Tomorrow there will be more tears, and more heartache, and my children will be separated from someone they’ve come to love deeply. “K” will board a plane and will be separated from a family she’s come to love deeply. We’ll all go our separate ways broken, and also more whole.

Isn’t it spectacular how God can both break and heal all in the same breath?

I’m trying to guard how many of the stories I share publicly – how much of the heartache and pain that we all feel to open to the world. Some stories need to be told, and others need to be protected. But I wanted you to know, my friends, that we are all going to be okay. This month was part of a design set into motion long before any of us drew breath.

It doesn’t make sense, and it isn’t easy.

But sacrifice never does, and it never is.

Thank you for your prayers, and yes, please keep them coming. But know without doubt that we’re all going to be okay.

This is only the beginning of the story…



Imagine waking up each morning surrounded by people, but totally alone.

Imagine walking to and from school and home each day knowing that you could disappear and no one would really care.

Imagine going to bed at night without saying goodnight to anyone.

Imagine the doors being opened for you, and walking out into the world without any support system, without anyone to advocate for you, anyone to fight on your behalf. 

Imagine being thrust into adulthood without the tools necessary to survive.

Imagine a world full of light into which you cannot walk.

Imagine being trapped in darkness with no real hope.



The plight of those without family is more real to me than it’s ever been before. I’ve known the statistics for a long time – Girls who ago out of an orphanage are 60% more likely to end up in prostitution. Boys who age out are 70% more likely to end up in prison. The suicide rate for children who have exited an orphanage without a support system are sky-high.

I knew these things, but I’d never touched them.

This is a fight that we cannot ignore. I’m a huge proponent of adoption. I absolutely believe that adoption is a necessary and important tool in orphan care. I’m also, however, passionate about supporting orphans within their own countries. We must help them from both ends of this spectrum.

I do believe that it’s best for children to be raised in their own countries, amidst their own cultures. I also believe that’s not always possible, and for those who are called, I fully support you in your quest for adoption.

There has to be more, though. We must advocate for the fatherless with zeal, and we cannot give up on this quest because too much is at stake. I heard it said not long ago that growing up without a family is toxic to a child’s soul. There is, perhaps, no greater loneliness than that of knowing that no one cares. 

This isn’t a post that’s meant to incite guilt. The truth is, I don’t really know what the next step is for our family. When we put “K” on the plane next week, what happens next?

I don’t know. But I’m asking and I’m seeking, because now I know and once you know the truth, action is required.

The orphan crisis is big – it’s so big. Bigger than any one person, or any one organization. But results are tangible, and there is hope to be found. (<—Click this to tweetHope may be slow, but it’s alive and it’s real and it’s the only thing that can shatter the darkness.

All I ask today is that you imagine the feeling of being totally and completely alone. Imagine,  just for a second.

What can you do?

What can I do?

What difference could we make in this world if we weren’t afraid to try? 

Scenes from a Holiday

Remember when we were kids and all the futuristic movies we watched were set in the 2000’s? The year 2025 seemed to be a popular setting for movies filled with flying cars, highways in the sky (skyways?), and robotic keepers of the peace.

Basically what I’m saying is car makers only have 11 years to get that flying car up in the air or Hollywood is going to lose all credibility.

Flying minivans?



Also, it’s high time someone came out with the Hoverboard. The future is now, people! Get on it!!!

Happy New Year, everyone. This is a year of expectation for our family. We are looking forward with great expectation of all that God has for us to do. Last night I rang in the New Year with a kiss from the most precious 17 year old old who has stolen my heart right away, from the man who has been a rock through a couple of rough years, and from a ten year old with a heart as big as the ocean.

This morning I kissed the freckled cheek of a six year old who giggles his way through life in a way that projects sheer delight. Soon I will welcome home a seven year old who got to ring in her new year with a sleepover at a sweet friend’s house, and I will force her to hug me because she’s not really the touchy-feely type.

I’m so blessed it’s ridiculous.

Here’s to a great 2014! I am thankful to have 2013 behind me. Looking forward to this new year.

Happy New Year fist bumps to everyone!!!


Enjoying one of our many morning walks.


So cute! The birds are fun, too.


Playing with “The Girls.”


I love these kids!


Florida + December = Awesome


Exploring a new park.




New cowboy boots, which she has worn every single day since Christmas.


Tampa Aquarium


If only they had some personality…


Rainbow Loom – It’s universal…

One Year

One year ago, I sat on the edge of the bathtub and I sobbed.One year ago, my heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces, and it has taken a full twelve months to reassemble those pieces in some order.

Twelve months is a long time. Healing takes a long time.

With the space of 365 days between then and now, I’ve had time to gain a little perspective. There are some who have said that it wasn’t meant to be for our family. God clearly didn’t have it in His plan for us to bring home a child from a Russian orphanage. While there may be some theological truth to that statement, I can say with no uncertainty that that is not a comforting attitude to hold, and the thought has brought little peace to my heart.

The fact is, God led us down the path of adoption, and He led us right into the fire of a disrupted adoption. This was so that we could be refined, so that we could know Him a little more.

It was so that we would step forward out of the fire with courage and not abandon the fight for children living without families.

One year later, our situation is different. We’re in for more heartache in two weeks when we put K on a plane back home. Our kids will be broken hearted again to say goodbye – our precious children who still hope for another sibling. God is refining them as well – teaching them to give sacrificially, even when it hurts.

While this year has provided a blanket of healing for our family, there are still many families living with the deep pain of separation. There are parents who actually held their children in their arms, who promised they would return to get them, and who cannot go back. There are children in institutions who could have had homes.

These are the people who need your continued prayer. These are the people who still sit in the unknown. Pray for the children who are left behind. Pray for the families in America who want to adopt them but cannot. Pray for the families in Russia who would like to adopt, but don’t have the resources or the help necessary to take in institutionalized children.

No child should grow up without a family. I have evidence of that sleeping in a room down the hall.

Watch this video, and keep praying everyone. A New Year awaits.

A lot can happen in a year…


Processing it all


She opens the gift and a light turns on inside her eyes. It’s art supplies and new cross stitch patterns. We know what she likes because we’ve watched and observed. We’ve taken the time to get to know her – not just her needs, but also her wants.

For a child who’s spent most of her formative years in a children’s home, this is more than unique. Someone took time to know her, not just about her, but really know her. Isn’t that what we all want at the very core of our being?

Don’t we all want to be known?

Our internet has been down all week, which has actually been a good thing. There are so many emotions to process right now, and I’m not sure processing them out loud, online, is the best choice.  This experience hasn’t been anything like what we thought it would be. We haven’t run into any of the issues that we were told we might face.

Grace abounds in the form of a 17 year old girl with a smile to light up a room. She’s well adjusted, kind, thoughtful and sweet. She asks for little and is so grateful for everything. She tells her story matter of factly, but not in a way that’s robotic. In a word – she is content.

We’re learning so much from this sweet girl. Yes, there are some behaviors that give evidence of the hardships of the past, but those behaviors are slowly fading as she experiences the gift of unconditional love each and every day. Slowly she becomes more comfortable, the walls lower, and we see a natural inner beauty emerging, and I cannot help but be affected.

There are stories to tell and emotions to process, but for now I’ll just share a few photos. It’s the best I can do today. Thank you all for praying for us, and for blessing us with encouraging words, and with gifts for “K.” People have told us we’re amazing for doing this, and while I appreciate the sentiment, the truth is – I don’t feel amazing. 

I feel scared.

I feel blessed.

I feel honored to have been led down this path.

I feel overwhelmed.

I feel like I don’t really understand God the way I thought I understood God. Because I’ve never been an orphan in the physical sense of the word, it’s so hard for me to fully grasp my adoption as a daughter of God. These kids who grow up without the comfort of parental love possess a strength far beyond that which I can understand. I’m praying that we are able to send her home with so much more than simple material blessings.

Undoubtably, she’ll leave us with much more than any of us anticipated.