Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seventeen Years.

17 years ago today, God changed my entire life when He allowed me to become a Mommy to the most precious little girl ever born. I am still in shock that the beautiful baby girl I brought home from the hospital 17 years ago is growing up before my eyes. I love this girl so very much. She made me a Mommy. My dream when I was a little girl was to be a Mommy and my precious Ashton made this dream come true.
I truly cannot believe that she is already seventeen years old...How does that happen!? How do you blink and right before your eyes your baby grows up. 

Before I know it she will be a senior in high school. then to college. then getting married. having babies. and she will be right where I am now. It's amazing to watch and even though I will have tears in my eyes, I cannot wait to see her fly. 

Ashton inspires me daily. She loves Jesus. She loves orphans, special needs children, China and Uganda. This summer, Ashton was blessed to spend two weeks in Uganda. I was blessed to get to watch her blossom in the place she loves so dearly. Ashton had a glow in her eyes while in Uganda that I have rarely seen. I can't wait to see where God leads my girl in the future and I am sure it will be great. Ashton loves her family and her siblings. {They do fight though, trust me} She embraced our adoptions from China and it truly changed her life forever. With her help and God's guidance we brought Andrew and Ainsley home. She amazes me. 

She shares her special day with her sweet sister, Ainsley. How full circle and amazing is God? He gave me my first baby on September 20 and he is giving me my last (I probably shouldn't say that) baby on September 20. Ashton posted a blog about Ainsley here. Ainsley and Ashton are the best of friends. Even though they are fourteen years apart, they adore each other and can almost always be found together. It's a beautiful bond these sisters share.

Happy Birthday to the greatest blessing in my life, Ashton. 
You made me a mommy ♥ Every year I realize how blessed I am by you-You are one of a kind. I am so proud of the young woman you have become. You have a heart that amazes me and I cannot wait to see where God will lead you-Whether it be to Uganda, China or right here at home, I know you are going to do great things. This summer was so hard as we watched you board a plane to live out your dreams. I can't imagine being that brave, yet you changed lives forever. Our lives are better because of you-I love you more than you will ever know and I am so grateful to be your mom. I hope this is the best birthday ever!

Would you guys do me a favor and wish my girl a happy birthday? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Tomorrow will be Ainsley's THIRD Birthday. That, my friends, is huge. 
Three years ago in Xi'an China a little girl entered the world. What would happen to this tiny bundle for the next 28 months was unknown to her. She would be transferred from place to place to place.
BUT God had a plan for this little girl known as Ting. He knew that Ting would live through the unimaginable for the first 28 months of her life. She would soon..oh soon be rescued from this and become beloved!

God did not leave this baby girl to fend for herself. I am CONVINCED that the entire 28 months this little girl spent in an orphanage she was in the hands of the Almighty Himself whose love for this precious gem is far more than we could EVER Fathom. Redemption came for this little girl on December 18, 2011. When she was placed forever in the arms of her FOREVER Mama and Daddy. She finally had an Earthly Daddy to hold her and love her to the end of time. Finally. 

The picture on the left was taken almost exactly a year ago today...

December 18, 2011 was the first day of forever for Ting. Her new forever began in that crowded Civil Affairs office. The little girl who was considered "worthless" soon became the most priceless, and beautiful gift in the entire world! She was finally right where she belonged. Right where God had always planned she would be. 

Now, 9 months later this little girl is simply blossoming and doing beautifully in her family. We love her to the moon and back and simply cannot imagine life without this beautiful treasure in our every day. 

Today we celebrate Ainsley's very first birthday at HOME. {It's my birthday, too..yanno} and we are gonna celebrate big! For every thing our girl is and the amazing journey she has been on to get here. Three years ago today, a little girl entered this world. We may not have been there for the first two, but I simply cannot wait to celebrate the many, many more than are going to follow. 

We love you so Ainsley Ting! Happy 3rd Birthday, Princess! You are priceless! 

She is more precious than rubies. Nothing you desire compares with her! -Proverbs 3:15

Would you please wish our beautiful girl a Happy Birthday for us?  You only get a 'first' birthday once :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Years. {belated}

One Year Old.
LOOK at that BABY.

Two Years Old
That smile. oh goodness.
Three Years Old
she's gorgeous. so gorgeous.
Four Years Old.
My growing up. Going to cry now.
FIVE Years Old

SIX years old.
Oh, baby please stop growing up. 
Happy, Happy Birthday, my beautiful Anna Grace. I am so thankful and humbled that God would choose to bless US with the beautiful miracle of you. You are a joy to every single person you meet and I cannot wait to see the plans HE has for you. I love you so! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

How was Uganda? 

This is the question I am asked oh so frequently by family, friends, strangers, and everything in between. They mean well, really they do, but they don't want to see me break down into tears, share my entire heart, all of my trip, and tell them how Uganda was. 

My trip to Uganda was absolutely amazing. I love Uganda with everything in my heart and I long, literally long for the day I return. BUT Uganda was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. My heart shattered into fourteen hundred million pieces. I prayed before going to Uganda that God would break my heart for what breaks His, and He did. He ruined my life process. Completely. 

Now, ruined life might sound bad to most people, but it's not. I promise it's not. He ruined me for the better. I want Jesus. I want Uganda. I want to dance with tons of dirty little brown feet on bright red dirt and sing loudly to Jesus thanking Him for what He has done. In the midst of nothing. I want to kiss dirty little foreheads, and hold sad little ones, and bandaged cuts and scrapes and love. Simply Love. God ruined me for Uganda. 

He gave me a new view on life and the things that matter...that TRULY matter. Not my clothes, or shoes, or friends, or anything else. He made me realize that i'm spoiled, selfish and usually only consumed with myself and the things of this world. It's sad. I want to have a heart like Ruth. Ruth lives in Uganda with her family. She loves Jesus. She has very little on American standards. She eats about one meal a day and lives in a small house made of brick. She has no electricity or running water or even abundant food. She has nothing, but to her she has EVERYTHING. She has Jesus and parents and siblings. She sings beautifully and lifts her voice to Jesus thanking HIM for the blessings in her life. What if we lived like that? Thanking God for our air condition, electricity, abundant food, family, cars, schooling, and everything in over abundance that we have? How different would life be? What if we were truly Jesus to those around us? What if we loved recklessly, the way HE calls us to? What if. What if. What if. 

I said this to Ruth my last day with her in Uganda this; "Ruth you are always so happy and you sing so beautiful" and she responded; "How could I not be happy? Do you see how Good God eees? He loves me and you! He blessed me with my voice." 
I was taken back. This little girl at 9 years old understands more about God and His love than I could ever hope to. I'm in awe of God's goodness. In Awe. 

I saw Jesus in the face of a little boy. A little boy who has known nothing but this broken world. For 2 weeks I was blessed to be this little boy's 'Mama' and if given the chance, I would be his Mama for the rest of time, but God's plans aren't always ours. R is an orphan and will be an orphan. If God sees fit, HE can move mountains and give R the forever home he is so desperate for and if He doesn't, I will praise His name for knowing the days of R's life long before he was ever formed in the womb. While in Uganda, I made sure he knew he was loved. I would cuddle him and rock him and sing to him. I told him I loved him and that Jesus loved him, too. I spend my days dreaming of his big brown eyes and his little hand holding mine as he waddled along beside me. I miss him. I miss his smell and his voice and everything about him. I saw Jesus when I saw R and I am forever grateful. 

Since coming home from Uganda, I have been taken back. I love Uganda. It's all I talk about. {seriously, ask my friends} All I think about and it is simply the place my heart belongs. I know it.  I love America. I love the American life. I love my car and my family and my home, but I love Jesus even more. I fight with myself daily over a life in Uganda or a life in America. I have time, I know but I am a planner. I love to know how things will go, but that's not God's plan. In church I was inspired by our music directors prayer. "God please help us to realize you don't care about our happiness, you want our holiness." 
"Wow, how true" I thought. God is so not concerned with Ashton and her American WANTS. He is concerned with my love for Him and His people. He wants His holiness through me and all of me, all the time. 

and that's how Uganda was. It was amazing, beautiful, messy, perfect, and so hard. I'm in love. 

"i consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task that the Lord has given me." -Acts 20:24

Thursday, September 6, 2012


A certain little girl's FIRST birthday HOME is approaching....

and we are simply too excited! 

Sorry, for my lack of posts the last few weeks. School has definitely kicked us all out! More on life and such soon!