Sunday, May 31, 2009

Win a beautiful quilt!

About a month ago I shared with y'all that our new friends who are adopting Lilly are hosting a quilt "give away."  It is a handmade (BEAUTIFUL!!) quilt, and they are raffling it off.  Tickets are just $5 each.  If you haven't taken the time to buy some raffle tickets, PLEASE do.  It gives you a chance to win an awesome prize (and who wouldn't want this gorgeous quilt?) could even give it as a Christmas gift (to me!  LOL!)...and at the same time you are helping to bring home Lilly (every dollar goes toward her adoption expenses).  You can go to their blog  and on the right side you will see the beautiful quilt.  You can donate right there online.  Easy!  The drawing will be in 6 days, I believe, so hurry! :)   

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Heartbeat day!!

 Today we had one of those days in our adoption journey that made me SMILE (well, actually, I was crying and smiling at the same of THOSE moments!).    The FedEx man delivered a box of goodies from our adoption agency!!  This is our "toolbox" to help us navigate through the preparation for receiving our little Grace.  Look at all the great things they sent!!  Tons of books for us and for Grace!  And look at that T-shirt and teddy bear.  Very special!

Some days of this adoption journey are "slower" than others...where we know we are adopting, yet it seems somewhere far down a road...something we simply BELIEVE is happening, without having anything tangible to grasp.  And then there are occasional days like today when we can "hear the heartbeat" of Grace.  Whether it is new pictures of her or a box full of goodies like we received today, it's something tangible that connects us to her.  It's like hearing her heartbeat for a few minutes and realizing, "Yes, this really IS happening.  We really are 'pregnant' with this precious little girl.  And we really are getting closer to the day when we can scoop her up in our arms and never let her go."  Today was a HEARTBEAT DAY!  And I thank God for such sweet moments along our journey.

I almost forgot to mention that we have homework to do in these books.  This is part of our "training" for international adoption.  It may look overwhelming to see all those books at once, but for us, it's one step closer to our daughter.

Oh...and if you want to see a "visual" of the beginning process of adoption, please visit my new friend Elisabeth's blog.  I love that she captured this on camera and in words.  They are in the beginning stages of their adoption process...preparing the home study paperwork.  Pray for them, as that can be an overwhelming time of running all over creation getting things on "THE LIST" done.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Round #2 of paperwork

Two weeks ago we were told that we needed to submit more paperwork.  All of it had to be notarized and authenticated by the county and then the state.  So we went through the series of hoops all over again.  More papers to sign, more cover letters to type, more fees to pay, and more parking garages than you can imagine!  :)  This time we were at least familiar with the buildings and procedures, so we knew which garages to park in, which elevators to take, and which suites to go into (and in which order to do it all in!).  Busy day! 

But all is well, and our paperwork should be resubmitted by now.  Please pray it smoothly through the court process. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gift of Grace!

Just look at this beautiful treasure God is leading us to!  :) I find myself constantly overwhelmed by God's grace...his gift of grace that adopted US into His forever family...and His gift of our little Grace who is awaiting her adoption into our forever family.  Amazing sweet the sound!

 We received Grace's new pictures and her latest update.  She seems much happier and more comfortable this month than she did last month with her fractured arm.  From her update, it appears she's doing well.  Apparently she loves her music class and doesn't want to "go home" after class but would rather sit and learn music all day!  Her Daddy was very happy about father, like daughter!  :)

There is a family who is traveling to pick up their daughter from the same orphanage, and they have graciously offered to take a gift to Grace from us.  So, I hopped on the sewing machine to make the blanket we had planned for her.  I'm posting a picture of it.  This is the first gift we've given to Grace, and we wanted it to show her how much we love her.  I'm washing it this morning and then plan to pray over it and sleep with it (to get our "smell" on it) for a couple of nights nights...then I'll take it to the post office.  In two weeks, Grace will have a blanket that I made for her...I cannot express in words how much that means to my maternal heart.  It's the closest I can get to her right now, and my very heart is in that blanket!

So there you have it...the gift of Grace and our gift to Grace!  :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our cup overflows...

It has been an action-packed 2 weeks!  Almost every day something has happened in our adoption journey, and each time I think, "I need to blog this."  But the days all fell into each other and became weeks, and here I sit on a quiet Sunday afternoon to finally catch up on blogging.  So, HI!  Pull up a comfy chair and a cup of tea (or coffee)...and buckle your seatbelts for a tour...this is going to be a lengthy one!  :)

As I said in my last post, all of the Grace Bears were bought by a precious family who have asked for me to keep them anonymous.  They bought the bears and then sent them to special needs children.  Imagine how FULL my heart is in knowing that these bears were donated to us from a sweet friend in our home school community...the next day a sweet home school mom bought 25 bears to bless nursing home residents...and the next day, the rest of the bears were all bought by another sweet family to bless special needs children!  And to top it all off, the whole thing brought in $847 towards our adoption!   I still stand in awe that we never asked for this blessing...we never expected it...but God moved in people's generous hearts and willing hands...and the blessing was MULTIPLIED to affect many people.  Words cannot express the depth of what my heart has felt in all of this.  Thank you to everyone who played a role in this miracle.  You are PRECIOUS to our hearts, and we will never forget your "love in action."

Then sometime in the midst of the Grace Bear miracle, we also received an email from Reece's Rainbow, telling us that someone named Lauren wanted to help raise funds for our adoption and that she wanted us to contact her (that reminds me...there's no "contact me" button on this blog...I may get around to working on that someday!).  So, I emailed Lauren, and WOW what God blessed us with!  Lauren does not know me...we have never met...and yet we share the same heart for orphan ministry.  Somehow she learned about us and decided to go out of her way to help us raise funds for our adoption.  This touched us deeply.  It's precious when family supports our's amazing and beautiful when friends support our adoption...but we were blown away that a person we had never met would go to quite a bit of trouble to help us in such a tangible way!  Really...what do you say when someone does something that will affect your life so greatly?!  We are so blessed!  Please visit Lauren's website (it's an incredible thing she's doing!) and spread the word! And, Lauren, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts (and I FINALLY got to blog it...YAY!).

If you think all of this is just wonderful, keep reading...I'm not finished yet!  :)

Also in the same time frame, we traveled to a nearby town to buy some yard sale items from a precious new friend named Elisabeth.  We recently met, and actually, though I didn't know her at the time, she is the person who sent out the original email about a "Hoe-Down for Downs" last's a ministry her family does every year to raise money for Reece's Rainbow's children with Down Syndrome.  That was the first time I had ever heard of Reece's Rainbow, and I fell in love with that ministry...and that's where we found our little Grace.  So, Elisabeth is special to my heart because God used her to bring us to Grace. A couple of weeks ago we met her and her family for the first time.  They had a yard sale to help them raise money for their own adoption (so of course, I HAD to buy when it helps someone else adopt!).  :)  She gave us great deals on some developmental toys as well as the cutest toddler slide that will be perfect for Grace.  And blessing of blessings...she sold us an EXACT MATCH little end table/dresser that matches a dresser my grandma bought me when I was a little girl (imagine finding the mate to it 30+ years later!!!).  We wanted a little dresser for Grace that matched her big sister's dresser, and there at a yard sale we found it!  Now, if you don't believe that God cares about the little details of your life, read that again!  Anyway, Elisabeth and I share a heart for orphans, and our minds and hearts run in similar tracks.  It was wonderful to meet her!  And she blessed us with some cute clothes for Grace, including the pajama set I posted a picture is PRECIOUS...I can already imagine Grace in it!  And Elisabeth also gave us several bibs and burp cloths and other things to take to the orphanage when we go.  Not only did Grace get gifts, but now other orphans will have beautiful handmade gifts all the way from Georgia.  I cannot wait to give these to them!  THANK YOU, Elisabeth.  And if y'all want to "meet" Elisabeth, please see her blog...

There are actually so many incredible things that have happened that it is entirely too much to blog!  But a quick run-down off the top of my head...  We had a check given to us from a lady in Wal-Mart who was in front of us in line and heard us talking about our adoption...we have had sweet people on limited incomes give us generous gifts to "bless Grace" (my heart just cannot tell you how humbling these gifts are to us)...a mom in our homeschool group recently emailed to tell me that her mom's Bible study group had collected $80 AND her son's Tae Kwon Do master is giving some money raised in a tournament to our adoption.  There are more stories, but I'm running out of time to type!  Chris said the other night, "OUR CUP IS OVERFLOWING!"  And I'm not kidding when I say that AS he was saying this, the phone rang and someone had called to tell us that they were giving us more donations.  God is SO good and cares so very very deeply for these children who are fatherless...He is truly the one who places them in families.  One thing this adoption journey has taught me in concrete terms is that it is GOD who places children in has not been US doing this...we simply follow Him, and HE does the rest. 

As I type this, I am brought to tears AGAIN.  It's just so overwhelming to watch God put this whole thing's like watching Him orchestrate this huge complex symphony...bringing this person to do this and that person to do that...all entering the symphony at the exact precise time they are needed...and all the little parts playing together seemlessly and beautifully...all unfolding to the finale when Grace is brought into our arms.  Really...God Himself, creator of the universe cares so deeply for this child that He is moving mountains to bring her home.  And He is full of mercy to go to great "impossible" lengths to place this treasure into our hands.  His Grace overwhelms me!!!

I've written a novel here, and I didn't even get to the part about our extra paperwork, our second trip to the county courthouse and the Secretary of State's office...and our latest update on Grace.  But that will have to wait for the next blog.  Right now I have to sign off and go work on a blanket I'm making.  Another unexpected blessing...someone who is adopting from the same orphanage asked us if we'd like to send a little care package for them to give to Grace when they travel, so I'm making her blanket earlier than expected.   Did I mention how GOOD God truly is?!   :)

Monday, May 11, 2009


It's been SO BUSY here lately!  I have so much I want to blog...about going to the Taiwanese Cultural Festival...and about the cute pajama set that someone gave many details I want to catch up on.  But that will have to wait.  We are heading into a really busy week of MORE (and unexpected) paper work.  Just pray for us!  And I will catch up on blogging many neat things to share!  :)

I did want to jot a quick note to let you know that the bears that were donated to us last Wednesday were ALL SOLD on Friday!  I have no other explanation than to simply say that God put together some huge miracle.  So, for anybody who wanted to buy a bear, I apologize, but we are all out!  :)  

Let me tell you...  If God is calling you to do anything and you are afraid to step out onto "thin air," I can ASSURE YOU that God is faithful and will do more than you can imagine if you are walking in faith.  And if any of you have felt led to adopt a child but haven't (for any number of reasons), I'm here to tell you that there are miracles in adoption.  If God calls, step out...HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST!  We are living proof of that.  Never in my entire life have I seen such obvious and visible signs of God's fingerprints as I have in this adoption journey.  

Please pray for us as we tackle extra paper work and a list of unexpected things to do this week.  Your prayers are powerful!


Thursday, May 7, 2009


For everyone living in the north Georgia area, we have a sweet gift we are giving to people who make donations to Bring Home Grace.  If you go to GATEWAY ANTIQUES near the square in Dahlonega, you will be able to give donations to our adoption; and they will give you a beautiful GANZ brand bear (these are really nice bears!).  I'm posting a picture of the bears so that you can see them.  

For a donation of $5 or more, you will receive a small Grace Bear (this one has a gift card holder and makes a really sweet gift!).  For donations of $7 or more,  you will receive a medium Grace Bear (this one has an "I love you" pillow in his hands).  And for donations of $10 or more, you will receive a large Grace Bear (he is precious, with a heart-shaped pillow that says, "I love you, Mom").  ***While supplies last***

We apologize, but we can only give these bears away to people who live nearby and can come into the antique store. We cannot afford to ship them out of town.  :)

With all our hearts we thank Karen who DONATED all these bears to "baby Grace."  :)  We thank Wenda for finding a wonderful store who would help us out.  And we thank the owners of Gateway Antiques who generously offered to let us "set up shop" at their store for adoption donations (go shop there!).  :)  We are overwhelmed with such precious support.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Local adoption information

I just wanted to drop some information for any families who feel led to adopt an American-born child.  This is also a WONDERFUL way to step forward to provide forever homes for children who need a forever family.   There is a long waiting list of adoptive parents wanting to adopt an American-born baby with Down Syndrome.  BUT there are many other children in the United States who are in desperate need of forever families.  They deserve forever families.  It is my heart to advocate for ALL CHILDREN who need forever families. 

When we first stepped out to adopt, we pursued a foster adoption here in Georgia, but that door closed.  We were sad, but God in His infinite wisdom, already had our Grace waiting for us on the other side of the globe.   Who knew??!  :)   God knew...He always knows.  It's about HIM, so we all need to follow where He leads.

I have a wonderful friend who is instrumental in orphan ministry across the globe, and she once told me, "We have to pray for God's Will for these children.  He has a plan and a purpose for each child."  We have to seek our Heavenly Father's Will.  So, whether you choose to help a child here in Georgia, in another state in the United States or in another country, the heart of the matter is to follow where GOD leads.  For us that meant Taiwan; for others that will mean right in your own town or county.  EVERY child deserves the home God has planned for them.  EVERY CHILD.

I was reminded today that there is a huge need for CASA volunteers (court appointed advocates for children).Their goal is: Advocating for Safe, Permanent Homes for Abused and Neglected Children  If you are interested in helping in any way, please see  

The following links (some national, some local) were provided to me this afternoon, and I wanted to pass them along....  This is a NATIONWIDE organization which helps children and families find each other.  Also sensitive to children's need for a family.  Works to help pregnant women find adopting families and vice versa.  Christian based adoption agency and helps pregnant women with placement for their children  Has services for families which includes group, foster and adoptive homes.  Will also counsel on a as need basis both adopting families and children.  New office in Gainesville.
This is just for starters.  OF course there is the list of Georgia's waiting children which list children from 17-3.  

Newspaper article highlighting our adoption

Our local newspaper did a wonderful job of putting together an article about the Walk-a-Thon. I love our little town and our little newspaper. The reporter was very nice and did a wonderful job writing the article. We were so pleased. :)

I did want to make some minor corrections that could have been misinterpreted when we did the interview...

Grace is NOT in danger of being institutionalized in July. She is "on hold" for us and will be awaiting our arrival to the orphanage. She is so blessed to be in a good orphanage with caregivers who do their best to care for her. Many countries institutionalize children with Down Syndrome if they are not adopted before their 4th birthdays; however, we do not know what Taiwan's view is on that (this may or may not be how it works in Taiwan). All we know is that Grace's orphanage has cared wonderfully for her and is holding her for us until we can come get her. We are so blessed!! But for MANY MANY children, the clock truly IS ticking. If anyone reading this feels led to look into adopting one of these precious children, please go to Also, if you will scroll down on our blog, you will see RUSLANA'S photo on the left side of the screen; she is in desperate need of her forever family stepping up to adopt her, as she is headed for institutionalization very soon. Ruslana is also available through Reece's Rainbow...she is on the page of At-Risk Girls.

For those readers who are new to our blog, welcome! You can find our adoption fund by clicking on Grace's photo in the upper left corner. You can donate online or can send in a check to Reece's Rainbow. All info is on that adoption fund page. THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive! And thank you to the newspaper for doing a wonderful article! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grace has a little friend named Lilly...

Grace and Lilly are at the same orphanage.  Though we live in different states, we have become online buddies with Lilly's parents, and we are all hoping to travel together to pick up our girls.  :)  Lilly's parents are hosting a "give away" drawing for a GORGEOUS quilt.  You can purchase tickets for the drawing, and all money will be donated to Lilly's adoption fund.  I told them that we'd put their information on our blog, so here it is...  Their blog address is  You can go to their blog to see the beautiful quilt and to donate into their adoption fund to help them bring their sweet Lilly home.  :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wonderful Walk-a-Thon!

Yesterday was our Bring Home Grace Walk-a-Thon, and we couldn't have had a better day!  We had 8 families who spent about a month collecting donations for our adoption fund.  Yesterday was the big day when we all came together at a beautiful local park for the walk-a-thon.  The weather was beautiful...nice and overcast...and the walk was a lot of fun!  We even had our friend Robbie bring his dog Winston all decked out in a cute bandana and a sign on his back that said, "Bring Grace Home."  Winston walked that mile for Grace too!  :)

We were overwhelmed by the support we had from our friends who worked so hard to collect donations.  And they all had such sweet encouraging words to share with us.  

We gave a fun Grand Prize gift bag to the Carter family, who collected the most donations for our adoption fund ($543!!).  The Carter family is precious.  They all have very sweet spirits.  And they also have a child who has an extra 21st chromosome just like our little Grace!  :)  So, they've been a big support and wealth of information for us.  In fact, yesterday at the walk-a-thon, they brought us a bag filled with binders of information about our local Down Syndrome Association.

We also awarded a 2nd place gift bag to the Nunley family who raised $270 and a 3rd place gift bag to the Peerson family who raised $250.  We were especially touched that both of these families had children who gave out of their own personal money.  I'm telling you...we have such sweet friends!

EVERY family who participated is so special and did such wonderful hard work, and in total, they raised $1719.  We gave each family a bright pink bag that says, "'s amazing!"  My mom and dad found those bags in Texas and sent them especially for our walk-a-thon.  Chris's mom hand-stamped some bookmarks, greeting cards and candy bags for the walk-a-thon prizes.  And Chris's grandmother donated some prizes for the gift bags.  Such sweet help and support from EVERYONE!!  Thank you!

We had a bonus because the local newspaper was interested in our story, so they came out to the park to interview us and take pictures.  We pray that God will use this for HIS GLORY.  It is all about HIM!  We were also able to tell the reporter about Ruslana, who is a sweet little girl who has already been moved to an institution because she has not been adopted before the age of 4.  Time is of the essence because mortality rate is so high in these children who are transferred to institutions.  Please pray for Ruslana, and pray that her forever family steps forward for her soon.

Thank you again (and again!) to everyone who helped us with the walk-a-thon!  We have come so far by God's grace alone.  This adoption cost about $17,000 in total, and now we only lack $5481.  We have NO IDEA how God did that, but He did!  :)  It wasn't US, but HIM who made that possible.  It's truly a very real miracle!  We have no doubt that He will continue to provide every penny we need.  These are the fields of the fatherless we are working in, and God is busy at work in those fields.  He CARES deeply for these children, so He provides everything we need when we step up to love one of His children.  Adoption is truly a journey of miracles!