Friday, June 28, 2013


After about 3 months and many vials of blood later we finally have a diagnosis for Miss Anna Grace.

Let me go back a little bit.

About 2 months ago, Anna Grace went to the Dr and tested very very low for iron. (About 9.7)
We were told this looked like an iron deficiency issue and she would need to start taking iron. This was no big deal and we hoped that if she took the iron everything would be just fine.

So for two months Anna Grace took very big doses of iron religiously. She may have missed two doses. Our sweet girl prayed and took the nasty iron in stride and was very hopeful she would be better come her next doctors appointment.

Sadly, this was not the case.

Last Monday we had the "Big Appointment" to get more blood drawn and more tests done to see if her iron had improved. After a very, very traumatic finger prick the doctor came in. The doctor was so kind and so very sweet to our delicate flower girl. Instead of the iron helping and raising Anna Grace's levels, her levels were even lower.

This was a very sad thing for us, not because it is a big huge deal but because we were hopeful that we had figured out what exactly was causing her problems and this put us back at square one.

Our only option was to draw more blood and run more tests. After four tries and a lot of tears from nurses and Anna Grace they were able to get enough blood for tests.

We left after two hours and waited for the results.

Yesterday we received a call from the doctor and thankfully, her report was hopeful.

Anna Grace was diagnosed with Thalassemia. It is a blood disorder very common in asian children.

What does this mean? Well right now, she just has to be monitored pretty closely to make sure her levels stay okay. It also means she gets to stop taking the nasty iron (Yay!) Right now, it is no big deal and we pray that is continues to stay that way.

Please join us in praying for our girl. We are so thankful to finally have a diagnosis and to know exactly what was going on.

Friday, June 14, 2013

letting go

I find the saying "God never gives you more than you can handle" to be about as true as the saying "I have a pet unicorn I have in my backyard." 

Get my drift?

See, I believe that God all the time gives us more than WE can handle. See, we're flawed humans who are in desperate need of Jesus. God can handle all things, we humans cannot. 

Recently, God has been giving us quite a lot. Most of the time it feels as if it is more than we can handle. So we must lean on Him. We've been praying a little more. Being thankful a little more. and mostly been enjoying the [small] [insignificant] [usually unnoticed] blessings. 

If I claimed to be enjoying this season of life, I would be telling a very bad lie. 

God has been teaching a lot lately. A lot of what He has been teaching has been punching me in the gut. Gotta love good 'ole wake up calls. 
One of the biggest lessons is letting go. Oh, how hard that is. 

I love control. I am most definitely possibly considered a control freak. My way or the highway. No in between. I like it my way and I like it organized and perfect and pretty, but that's not how life always goes. Actually, it rarely goes that way…especially not right now. 

God is stretching and molding us. 
We're gonna make it and one day looking back, though it may be extremely painful, we'll be okay. We will be more than okay. 

But right now, if you would like to lift our family up, we would be so grateful. 

Jesus, bring the rain. 

Monday, June 10, 2013


Because I linked up with No Greater Joy, I thought our adoption story might be something good to share. 

Our lives have forever been changed by three precious little ones who look a little different than us, but our ours nevertheless. 

God perfectly orchestrated each of our adoptions and for that we will forever be grateful. 

In 2005 our lives changed forever. My parents felt called to adopt a Little Girl from China. At the time we had no idea how long it would take to bring her home but through God's perfect Grace we would receive this precious blessing. 
On August 21, 2005 we started the paperwork for our sweet Anna Grace. It usually takes 6 months or longer for paperwork and then 6 months for referral and travel! A baby in a year! We were SO excited! After only 2 months we had completed all of our paperwork and became DTC on October 20, 2005. We were so excited! My Mom zoomed through all of our paperwork but we soon realized that it would not be a year long wait...
After 2 years of waiting, tears, praying, and being skipped 3 times on May 1, 2007 we received the referral for our beautiful Anna Grace for the very first time. 
Her name was Xiu Fu Lai and she lived in Xiushan China. She was 7 months old and we were head over heels in love. 
We left for China on June 29, 2007. What a wonderful day that was! We all could NOT contain our excitement! We were finally going to have our beautiful baby girl that we had waited and prayed SO long for!!! On July 2, 2007 in the Civil Affairs Office we met our Princess who would soon rule our hearts and worlds and teach us how to love in a whole new way! 
We came home on July 13, 2007 to a welcome home party of over 100 people! God is SO good. We didn't know that bringing Anna Grace was just the beginning to God's work in our family.

On May 1, 2009 {the 2 year anniversary of seeing AnnaGrace} a new list with our agency came out...My Mom looks at these a lot just because it brings her joy, I assume.

Well this time was no different she was just looking at children after all Our family was COMPLETE. heh. My Mom opens the list and scrolls down to the very last number...46. She clicks on it, sucks in her breath and automatically knows, that is her son. He was 3 years old, Lived in Beijing China, and had a Cleft Lip and Palate. He was beautiful and she was in Love. She sent an email to our agency asking for his file only to find out that there was a list of people waiting. (The list had only been out FIVE minutes!) So we prayed. For over a month we didn't hear anything. Until on June 5, 2009 we got an email that said "Apparently God has other plans for this Precious Child's Life. Would you like to view his file?" My Mom was at work in her crowded office and started saying "No! No! God, you already told us No! We can't take another child!" My dad works at the same place with my Mom because they own a business and talked her into viewing his file. For days we all prayed over this sweet child and with every moment passing we grew more certain this was the child God intended to be in Our Family. On June 15, 2009 we said "Yes" to Chang Jian Hui's referral! I was thrilled. For THREE years I prayed that God would allow our family to adopt another child. My dream was coming true!! I was SO excited! 
So the Journey began...
On June 17, 2009 we sent our LOI to China and waited. On June 25, 2009 we got our PA. What an AMAZING day that was. We were thrilled to say the least...
The wait drug on and soon we got our DTC, LID, and after 63 days of waiting LOA! 
On December 31, 2009 at 11:01 we received an email that said we were going to CHINA!!! What an amazing Christmas/New Year! We got the email right as it became 2010 in Beijing where our little man was!! How GREAT is our God. 
On January 19, 2010 we left for China. It was so amazing to see how God's hand perfectly orchestrated our ENTIRE Adoption. On January 21, 2010 4 sweet little ones walked off an elevator in Beijing and into the arms of their Forever Families. It was a magical day. 
Andrew Hudson JianHui was now ours! He did SO well and adapted amazingly to us...God is faithful! 
We spent the next 3 weeks in China getting to know our precious boy and finishing up our paperwork!!
On February 6, 2010 we came home!!!

The journey to Andrew was not easy but seeing his sweet face everyday makes it SO worth it. We will be forever grateful to the surgeons who did his surgery and the Nannies in the orphanage. God is Faithful, Always.
Once home with Andrew we were sure we were done. I mean 7's heaven right? Not to God.
Ainsley's story begins before we brought Anna Grace home from China. While waiting for Anna Grace my Mom would always say she knew she had two little girls in China, named Anna Grace and Ainsley Faith. she knew.She wanted two sweet Chinese Princesses that she could put big bows in their hair and dress them just alike. It would be so very perfect.  

May 13, 2011 my dad was driving in the car and he prayed "God, when we are supposed to adopt again let Angel bring it up and ask me what country" This was his prayer with Anna Grace, too.

The very same day my Dad walked in from work and my Mom says "Since you are sure we are going to adopt again, which country will it be, Africa or China?" My Dad automatically told her about his prayer and they started looking for an agency--My Mom , Anna Grace and I went to NC for the weekend to celebrate one of my Mom's close friends daughter's birthday. On Saturday my Mom got an email from a friend saying "this is my agency's list and I felt compelled to send it to you" so my Mom opens it and automatically finds a little girl, J. She is smitten with her. She Called my dad gets him to pull up the list and without saying who she chose, he chose J as well. We called the agency and told them we wanted her.
My Dad had prayed over the past few weeks that not only would God show us where we were going but he would show us our child on Friday, June 3. My Dad revealed that to us on Thursday, June 2. He told us he had been "throwing a fleece" out. "God please reveal not only the country we are supposed to go to, but our child as well" He got this from John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

On Friday, I got up at about 8am and just glanced at Rainbow*Kids* to see if J was still there and if there were any new kids. The first child on RK was a little girl with CLCP {which is Andrew's SN and a need we are very comfortable with} and born on my birthday. I jokingly showed my Mom and was like "Oh look here is a baby!"

She was drawn to her and asked me to get on her email and request her file-{She was with the same agency as the other little girl who we had just found out was gone} I sent the email and we just waited.

We got the file and the email header said "Chinese Name : CLCP and Special Need"
My Mom almost didn't open the email because of her second SN, We opened it, prayed over it, and started really looking. God was changing hearts. We got more information and talked to numerous peds, surgeons, international doctors and neurosurgeons.

We had a lot of questions and the agency sent us to a great woman who helped us out a lot {and had a whole lot of patience!} So we talked to her and found out the orphanage is very very cautious and they send kids for things at the smallest problem. So she could have fallen and had a bump so they sent her for a CT. We then found out that in just a few days there will be a family going to her orphanage. They said they will get her pictures, size, take our care package and cleft bottles so she can be properly fed. It was amazing and so God.
Friday night while still so unsure of what we were going to do my Mom said "If she had her palate surgery, I would say let's go now..No stopping us"
My dad prayed that Friday night God would give us a sure sign of what to do. My Mom sent a few more doctor friends her file and got some opinions. She was a little discouraged by a comment so she go0gled Ainsley's name China and Cleft. It pulled up a site that is called China*Care* which gets the sickest and most need orphans their surgeries. Ainsley had been FULLY funded. She would have her lip surgery and 6 months later have her palate surgery...That means that RIGHT now she is preparing to have her palate repaired. We KNEW at that point God had all but filled the LOI out for us. We had to send it by that Sunday night which is the day we got Andrew's file two years ago. {hence this post}
Right before my parents decided to definitely say "YES" to Ainsley, they asked all of the kids what we thought about her. No matter what we said we would not be judged and I could not harm them for saying no. {ha.ha.ha} Anyone of us could have been selfish and said "NO! I do not want to bring her home. She may just change the life I am living right now. We may lose some things and we may not get to do and go as much. So, no no no. " But, none of us did. I have been blessed with an awesome Jesus-loving family. We know that this life is not ours and it is only by the grace of God I am typing this to you right now. He has blessed us. He has shown us a need. What are we going to do? Turn away? Leave her in an institution and refuse to help her? We clearly SEE the need and KNOW we can take care of her, yet we say no? That was not an option. We as a family refuse to leave a precious child, OUR sister and daughter to live a life in an orphanage. It just would not happen. Adam {12 year old brother} said it beautifully, "Mom, if we know she's there and she needs a family, then how could we ever say no?" We couldn't. Regardless of her future, she is ours. She needs us, but we need her so much more.
Our adoption process flew by as we journeyed to Ainsley. It was unheard of. We received our PA on June 9 and we got our LOA after waiting 69 days.
We left for China on December 14, 2011.
And the day we had awaited so long, December 18, 2011 Ainsley Faith was FOREVER in our arms! SIX months after we saw her face.
We were beyond thrilled. Once in China we saw why our adoption process moved so quickly...Ainsley was in desperate need for a family and we were in desperate need for her! God truly blessed us with a very spicy, beautiful and oh so sweet princess! We love our darling girl and cannot wait to see God's plans for her life unfold. Thank you for praying her home!!

We have finally have our girl, our dream, our answered prayer. Ainsley has great needs, but she was created in the image of a GREAT God. She is perfect, so beautiful, and worth more than rubies.
You can read the journal of our trip to China for Ainsley HERE

We are now a very happy family of EIGHT and look forward to seeing where God leads us in the future. We say we are done for now...but y'all know how that goes :) We cannot wait to see where He takes our family!

Anna Grace, Andrew, and Ainsley are not the lucky ones, we are.