adoption, family

In the midst of preparing for an absolutely enormous garage sale to add to our adoption fund, we paused to work on a project that is at the heart of what we are doing:


We are tying heart strings with a precious daughter who was born and is being raised in China.  We will soon be on our way to bring her into our family. In the meantime, however, we are hoping that even as we prepare, her little heart will also be getting ready for this big transition, and that her foster family will experience peace and hope as they help her to prepare.

On our side of the globe, with the help of a wonderful app called Pleco, we are learning a bit of Mandarin, some Chinese characters, and the written pinyin that will help us remember how to pronounce the characters.


Rui Shan is the “mei mei” or little sister. We hope our handwriting is legible!


We included a note to the dear people who are caring for Rui Shan, some sweets to share with her family, her caregivers, or her class, and some cameras which we are hoping they will use to capture elements of her daily life in China so she can “remember” her baby days.


May this small package help her and her caregivers to feel the love that surrounds them from afar for now!




adoption, Uncategorized

We started this series of posts about the Five Ws and an H to try to answer some questions about this adoption. If you missed any of the earlier posts, you can check out who this story is about, what we are doing, when this is going to be happening, where this story is set, and why we are adopting.

Today we will answer – in part – how this adoption is going to happen. Honestly, there is a long answer and a short answer; this question is the exact question we asked ourselves and God when we heard the call to adopt Rui Shan.

I won’t speak for anyone else in our home, but my conversation with the Lord went something like this – though this list is far from exhaustive:

  • But God, how will I get on a plane and fly to China for two weeks?
  • And how will I find gluten free food in a country where I don’t speak the language?
  • How will I explain to our youngest child that I’m going to be gone for two weeks?
  • How will we ever survive jet lag when we return home to rested, enthusiastic children?
  • How can we ever save enough money in this short window to cover the adoption expenses?
  • How can we adapt our family’s activities to accommodate another child with some intense medical needs?
  • How will we meet the needs of our older children?
  • How will we be able to do this amazing, delightful, terrifying thing?
  • How, God?

And I got a very direct and clear short answer: Trust Me.

I am thankful we have a long history of reasons to trust God, even when circumstances are impossibly hard, because there are parts of this season and the upcoming season that already look impossibly hard, and we are now only in the push-paper-and-wait trimester. But God made it clear that we are supposed to be walking forward and trusting in Him. And as He always does, He has already shown Himself faithful, meeting needs in His perfect timing, which is sometimes but not always immediately before we become aware of a need.

The long answer is really a series of stories about His goodness, and I will delight in sharing these soon!


adoption, China, family, fundraising, milestones

to bring you a real-time update.

One thing you may not know is that our children would like to accompany us on the upcoming trip to China.

When we first started thinking about the configuration of what travel might look like, we came up with a number of possible groupings of who would stay and who would go. But the more we talked to people about it, and thought and prayed about it, the more clear it became that in this case, our very best scenario would involve all four of our children coming along to welcome their little sister into our family. Our agency identified a number of wonderful advantages to the whole family going, and we can think of several additional important reasons that would make this the best situation for Rui Shan, and each of the children. Obviously this will add additional expenses – for travel, particularly, and a bit for lodging – so our oldest three children formed a cooperative business called Operation: Adoption to contribute to the additional expenses, and our youngest son is collecting aluminum cans to recycle to boost the fund.

Through Carloads of Cans and Operation: Adoption, we have been blessed beyond our wildest imagination! Our big kids have offered their services to residents of nearby neighborhoods to perform all sorts of odd jobs, yard work, pet sitting, baby sitting, etc. in exchange for a donation to the adoption fund. And have they ever been blessed already! Not only have a number of neighbors offered them a wonderful opportunity to work, but through both of these ventures we have all had the chance to meet and get to know some amazing neighbors we otherwise might not have connected with. Best of all, we have discovered that we are definitely part of a community that loves and welcomes this little girl. We know that we are made to be in community, and this summer has already been a perfect reminder of the gift that we have in our neighbors and friends, old and new!

So our days look like this right now:


Preparing for a HUGE garage sale next weekend to raise funds for our adoption. (Please spread the word!) We are praying for an *incredible* number of customers to buy the things many of you have so generously contributed!


Operation:Adoption – weeding


Operation: Adoption – preparing a garden site



And in the midst of all this industry, look what arrived:




It’s our I-800! Today’s mail told us that we are one milestone closer to our trip, and we are trying not to freak out amazed by how quickly this is going!


Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:1-2, 12)


adoption, Uncategorized

Who is this precious child that God has called us to parent?  Who is the darling subject of most of our family’s conversations these days? Who is inspiring all of us to come together and work with all our might to bring her home?

We have called her Baby Patience, which is a fruit of the Spirit that is growing in each one of us through this process, but now that we can share her Chinese name, and her beautiful face, we are delighted to introduce you to *Rui Shan!



new photo2 7-30-15

This is the picture of Rui Shan that began this amazing journey.

*The correct Chinese pronunciation is a little hard to represent with English sounds, but it is close to “Rae Shawn.” She will also have an American name to pair with her Chinese name, but for now we are calling her Rui Shan, and we welcome you to join us in praying for her by name if you’d like!