Saturday, November 7, 2009


We are beginning a new blog with a new focus.  Our new blog is called A Family Rebuilding the Wall. We will simply be journaling as our own family works to serve each other within the walls of our own home and then overflows that love into ministering to orphans as Jesus did. It is our desire to humbly serve where HE leads us, as we (similar to Nehemiah) encourage a brick-by-brick rebuilding of the walls of orphan ministry.

We will no longer be posting on this blog (The Road to Beautiful Grace), but we will keep it up for others to read about our adoption journey. If you'd like to keep in touch with us (and we hope you will!), please pop over to our other blog and sign up as follower.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three months ago...'s been 3 months since we first laid eyes on our bundle of joy. I know many parents use that phrase to describe their new arrivals, but I use it with deep conviction. This angel IS a bundle of JOY!

Here she is after a candy hunt last week. She had never been on a candy hunt, and she was confused about the bag full of candy she found hidden in the basket at the end of the hunt. She pulled a bag of candy out, then stuck it back in the bag and then pulled it out again. I snapped this picture at the exact moment that it donned on her: "Oh, this candy is for ME!!!"

Here she was on the first day we saw her. This picture was taken as she was watching her Daddy play the guitar in the orphanage. Now, when he plays the guitar, she dances and shakes her little musical bells. She's also been known to strum Daddy's guitar and throw the pick in the sound hole for fun. :)

What a difference 3 months in a family makes!

I've been gone from blog world for quite some time now. I've been working on a project that my Heavenly Father has given to me. Very soon I will announce what it is. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Show Hope to Orphans

I just removed our music from this blog and in its place, I put the new video from Show Hope. If you scroll to the bottom of this screen, you can view it. I encourage you to view this video and to pass it along to others, add it to your own blog and get the word out. A beautiful ministry for orphans with special needs!

Did you know that if only 7% of Christians were to care for ONE orphan, there would essentially be no more orphans? Only SEVEN PERCENT.

God may call some Christians to adopt, some to be foster parents, some to sponsor a child in a children's village (for a beautiful example of this, click here), some to open orphanages in other countries, some to give financially to help adopting families afford adoption (to help our friends who are adopting Ruslana, click here), and some to be prayer warriors for specific orphans (for an incredible opportunity to do this, click here). We all have different roles to play, but we are all called to do something. James 1:27 says that caring for orphans is pure and lasting religion. If only 7% of Christians were to take this to heart, we'd essentially have no more orphans.

Anyway, please scroll to the video at the bottom of the screen. This is another way we can step out to help orphans. Get the word out! Be part of that precious 7%!!! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's been 3 weeks...

Three weeks ago we walked into the orphanage in Taiwan and picked up our angel who didn't want anything to do with us. What a bittersweet day for all of us! But today was just bitter. I wanted to post some pictures from today...

Look at one of the sweetest faces on the planets! As our oldest daughter said this afternoon: "She's just so sweet, isn't she?" Truly genuinely sweet. It is honestly a JOY to be her Mama!
She was busy busy busy today. Here she is outside on her little slide. She didn't want to slide down but was happy as a lark to sit and look through all the "holes" in her playset. Peek-a-boo!'s the view I have...her reaching up for me. Pick me up, Mama! She started wanting up last week, and my heart soared. I always say YES when those little arms ask "up." :)

Every day we have quiet time, and Grace naps. Before she drifts off the sleep, we enjoy some cuddle time. Three weeks ago, she wouldn't make eye contact, wouldn't cuddle, wouldn't let me touch her arms while she took her bottle. Today she looks intently into my eyes, smiles, giggles and drifts to sleep (not to mention finishing a whole bottle!). Sometimes during her nap, she will start to cry an awful cry...she won't wake up and is "stuck" in some bad dream or bad memory...or perhaps crying over losses...I'm not sure what it is, but I just hold her through it. This used to happen every day, but now it is less frequent.

And here she is being a "Mama" to her baby doll. She can say "doll" and can make the sign for it. She loves her baby and is a very good Mama, patting her baby and covering her in the blanket. Amazing that she herself wouldn't let us hold her like that 3 weeks ago, and today she lets us hold her and also mimics this with her baby doll! :) Really...could she get any sweeter??
What an incredibly amazing 3 weeks! God is GOOD!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our big adventure

We've been home for almost 2 weeks, and I still haven't found time to blog about our trip. We've been busy with a certain little princess (as well as 3 of her siblings!). Everyone adores her, and she keeps us BUSY! And then school started. We are homeschoolers, so that means REALLY BUSY now! Anyway, today while the older children are busy with a building project this afternoon, I've sat little Miss Grace in her chair beside me with a good we'll see how much I can blog today... :) She's HAPPY...especially when she sees the pictures of herself, so I plan to post several!

Our trip to Taiwan was great! Because of heavy rain at our airport, we left several hours late and only had 20 minutes to catch our connecting flight in San Francisco. God truly intervened as we were running through the airport at person radioed another person, and they held the plane for us. By the time we got to our gate, they had given away our seats, so they put us in FIRST CLASS! WOW!! First class on international flights is an amazing experience...chairs that lay down into beds, slippers, fine dishes, the works! We were SPOILED! How many of you know that God has amazing connections??!!

Taiwan was an amazing place! The people were so friendly, and we had the very best driver in the world. He went out of his way to help us several times. We were never lost in Taipei because of Nick. He let us call him any time we had any questions or problems. The streets of Taipei are very very busy...people everywhere...and the buildings have signs all over them! Reminded us a bit of New York City except with Chinese signs everywhere.

The experience in the orphanage was bittersweet. We ministered to the children through music (my husband took his guitar), and that was wonderful. The orphanage is really a good one. The caretakers really seem to love the children, and the orphanage was extremely CLEAN. They even asked us to take off our shoes before we went into the room with the children (no outside shoe germs...I love that!).

Our daughter, LeLe (nickname) did NOT want to have anything to do with us. She loved her favorite caretaker and didn't want to leave her. This made a very rough time. They put us in the playroom alone with her so that we could acquaint, but she's a girl who knows what she wants, and she knew she did NOT want us. :( We tried every trick...snacks, treats, toys, smiles, etc...she didn't want us to touch her at all. Finally, they suggested that my husband just pick her up and let her cry in his arms. She cried herself to sleep, and that is how we left the orphanage. This is not the vision we had dreamed of for months, but it also didn't surprise us as we expected this "Gotcha Day" to be a shock to her. So, as we left with her asleep, my heart broke thinking of her waking up in the taxi or the hotel with new people, new environment, etc. And sure enough, she awakened on the elevator up to our hotel room. Poor baby girl! She was so confused. The rest of the day she just sat with her back hunched over and silent tears flowing down her noise at all. BROKE MY HEART!!

But the next day was better, and every day has been better. She still has a couple of rough points every day, but overall, she is adjusting very well. She did fabulously on the flight, and we even flew out in a TYPHOON! I'm telling you...God had us on an amazing adventure!

Grace is really one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. She makes us all smile, even when we don't feel like smiling (like last night when she decided she didn't like her dinner...she threw the breakable bowl across the room...we gently but firmly said NO...and after she looked at us for a few seconds, she grinned her big grin...and that was the end of any bad feelings we had about the bowl!). :) She has reminded us over and over about the JOY in life. Even when she is having one of her sad moments and she withdrawals from us to cry silent tears...when she comes back around to feeling a bit better, she will stick out her foot for us to kiss. And, YES, we DO kiss that sweet foot (you would too if you saw how cute she is when she does this!). That's when she smiles again and life keeps marching on. She teaches us in her own little way that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed...she has taught us to cry when you're sad but don't marinade in it...come back out and join in on life's joys again. :) She's definitely a strong little girl, and we have learned a great deal about LOVE from her!

I'm attaching pictures, but for some reason I cannot seem to get them to post in any certain order. Someone help me on that! :) Pics are: A view of a street in Taiwan (taken from our driver's car), Grace waving at us the first time she saw us, the sad picture of her not wanting us at the orphanage and then a happy pic at HOME! Thank you for all the support and prayers!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Guess who is home???!!! she is... I have so much I want to share when I have a chance to write more. But for now I'll just post a quick note and a couple of pics. Gotcha Day was August 4th. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Her bed!

Just wanted to give a peek at Grace's bed. Perfect for a princess full of grace! And the doll on her bed is a gift from our friends, and it has an amazing wonderful story that I hope to share someday soon when I have a chance to write more. :)