Sunday, May 17, 2015

Starfish, Sting Rays and Dr. Seuss!


 We just returned from a wonderful and amazing trip. 

Matt spoiled us all rotten with a wonderful cruise to Jamaica, Grand Caymen and Cozumel.

It was a celebration of life and love and triumph over the last 18 months. 

We had incredible fun and made some memories we will never forget.

I also might...or might not...have turned 40 while we were on vacation!







We climbed Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica 
and learned some new phrases like 
"ya mon' and "no problem mon."














In Grand Caymen we went snorkling and
 kissed sting rays in "Sting Ray Alley" 
which is seven years good luck!









We found and held starfish at Starfish Pointe in Grand Caymen.


 
We enjoyed our time on the ship. 
The kids especially love ordering their own sodas from the bar 
with as many cherries and umbrellas as they'd like.




There was a Dr. Seuss parade on the ship. 
They were told  to chant "Dr. Seuss 
is on the loose" to all the 
"boring grown ups on their iPads reading" 
they would pass on the way through the ship.


Matt enjoying a Red Stripe.

This was an interesting character we met in Jamaica.
Notice the pigeon he had tied to a string that landed on Lauren's head.





The kids enjoyed swinging from this 
incredible swing on an 
enormous Banyon tree in Jamaica. 





The kids loved the Dr. Seuss 
"Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast. 
Green eggs and ham.



Us with "Thing One and Thing Two."

The Cat in the Hat and Sam I Am.

In Cozumel we swam with the dolphins and manatees. 
It was incredible!












We are grateful for every day
but these days were extra extra special.

So grateful for all God's blessings and provision over the last 18 months
and for the opportunity to make these memories.

Monday, March 9, 2015

We Could Have Missed This...


 This blog post has been started many times
 in my mind over the last few weeks. 

It is hard to find the words. 

It is hard to paint the picture of the intricacy 
of God's weaving in this story. 

Lily and Mei were crib mates in China.


When I took Lily from the 
orphanage that day in China
my heart broke into a thousand pieces. 

The term heartbreak is over used. 

On this day my heart literally broke. 

Lily's orphanage did very few adoptions.
The likelihood was that Mei would not be adopted.

I wanted so desperately to bring Mei 
home with me. 

To preserve this piece of Lily's history. 
To care for this child.

I've said many times once you walk in an orphanage
 you are never, ever the same.
This is my all time favorite picture of Lily.
She was so scared of everything when we first got her
 because she hadn't been outside the walls of the orphanage,
so she covered her eyes.
Then once and awhile she'd peek out to see what was going on.

You can see my last post about 
Lily and Mei here. 

Well through the wonder of God 
Mei was adopted after Lily. 

Through the wonder of the internet
Mei's mom and I met.

Through intricate weaving of God
we move across the country, 
where we know no one, 
and end up living in the same area as Mei's Grandma.  


We have stayed in touch and these girls have an absolute soul connection.

It had been more than a year and a half since they'd seen each other...
and eight years since they shared a crib.

But they see each other and they are instantly connected.

They instantly pick up where they left off.

There were Hungry Caterpillar tea parties...

  


 
lunch of mac and cheese...




...fierce rock paper scissors games 




...and time at the park. 




I was on the verge of tears the whole weekend...
because here's the thing...
we could have missed this.



We could have missed Lily...
and Mei. 

This adoption made NO worldly sense.

NONE.

First, three kids under the age of three 
and two with medical needs...who DOES that? 

Who commits to adopt another child six months after coming home with the last? 

Economically...we won't even go there. 

We know many of our family and friends thought we had TOTALLY lost it.

Here's the thing though. 

We were absolutely, positively sure of God's call to adopt Lily
despite the fact that it did not make any worldly sense.

So for all of you who are in the process of adoption,
who are doubting God's call.

To those who are thinking this doesn't make any sense.

To those who are thinking how will I manage another child.

To those who are thinking where is this money going to come from.

To those who are thinking what if the medical need is too great.

To those who are thinking did I hear you right God? 

Stay the course.

Trust the story God is weaving.

Stay open to seeing the miracle.

We could have missed this...