Saturday, May 23, 2015


Oh, Seabrook, how we love thee!
 After the ups and downs of life this past year, a week at Seabrook was just what the doctor ordered to collect our thoughts and replenish our souls.
 It took Maryn a moment, but she soon realized that sand is not the worst thing to walk on.....she went to bed each night saying, "Mommy, mommy, we go to beach....sand....swim?" and as I assured her that we would do all of the above on the next day, she drifted off to sleep.  
 Our bigs enjoyed walks on the beach....
 and jelly fish catching???  
 A highlight was having our friends, the Butchers, with us for the week!  It was great fun to have some friends to enjoy our happy place with us!
 The children spent some time concocting their own "living room" complete with recliner chairs! 
 I am pretty sure this guy could have relaxed there all day had the tide not eventually come in!
 Maddox was the designated crab catcher....
 and Pryce taught our littlest bit all about the joys of catching minnows!
 So glad for this time with our family!  
 This baby girl.....she changes daily and is the sweetest little heart ever!  I love watching her grow....this image is the perfect shot....she is twirling her hair, something she does when she is tired or just relaxing!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Mommy, I don't want to be from China."

Tonight, as I came in late from a meeting, I was met at the door by a little girl who calmly asked, "Mommy, can I speak to you in your room?"  There was a toddler at my feet so excited to see me, two boys wanting my ears to tell me about the baseball game, one little girl who, at 9:00pm still had not eaten dinner, and one little girl who clearly needed me more at that moment than the other four combined.  We stepped away from the chaos and into my room we went.
Immediately, the tears flowed.  Feeling as though she needed this moment, I let her cry and then asked what was wrong.  She looked at me and through sobs she said, "Mommy, I don't want to be from China.  I don't want to talk about my lip."
And I sat dumbfounded. I wanted to scoop her up and protect her from everything and everyone who was to ever question her adoption and her cleft lip and palate.  I wanted to tell her over and over how beautiful she is but in that moment, I was speechless.  Here was my baby, crying real tears, sobs, because a little girl, a stranger, had asked, "what is WRONG with your lip?"
Instead, I let her cry and I held her as tight as I possibly could and I tried to come up with just the right words in my head to make it all better for her.  And I prayed that God would give me the right words to comfort her tender little heart.
I am so thankful she came to me, she needed me to hold her and love her in her sorrow.  She is so tender and so shy.  We recounted together the evening and the encounter with the child who asked about her lip.  I told her she did the right thing by walking away.  I assured her that walking away from someone who is making her uncomfortable is ALWAYS the right thing to do and she has our blessing in doing so.....we also talked about how, although being kind is always best, if someone asks a question regarding adoption, her story, her lip or anything of the sort, she can tell them politely that it is none of their business.
Most importantly, we talked about her - her beauty, both inside and out; her love for her sisters, her ability to lead, her gift at being able to do anything she tries well - she is a fabulous dancer, swimmer, and artist!  I told her that she must always hold her head high, knowing that her cleft is NOT at all what defines her but, instead, it is a mere part of who she is.
And then we looked at pictures of our beautiful girl, young and old.  And we researched cleft lip and palate so she knows exactly what she was born with and what has been repaired.
This girl has taught and continues to teach me so much.  Please join me in praying that my girls will always embrace their heritage, their stories, and their lives.  All three of them are precious in His sight!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We had the opportunity to spend a few day in Atlanta.....and the girls were all on board with riding on the luggage cart and indoor swimming!  The boys were all about having their own room - adjoined to ours, of course - and having unlimited TV and electronics for a teens, this is their utmost thrill.
 All five kiddos have been begging to go to the World of Coke so we obliged....
 there was a little something for everyone....
 Colin thought the whole idea of a museum dedicated to Coke was awesome.....
 MK found this pic of China and immediately gave a huge smile.....
 Trips to Atlanta always consist of a meal at our favorite Cheesecake Factory....
 Maryn had no trouble buttering her bread....reminiscing on how things used to be, I would have never given Colin a butter knife and an entire thing of butter at the age of 2.  Five children later, I could not give it to her fast enough!  What better way to occupy her time while we waited on our food!
 The American Girl doll store is always a sight to see too.....thankfully, no one melted down when we said there would not be any purchases!
 This little miss got a new float for the pool and she was all ready to go swimming!  She loves the water!
 The unfortunate part of this trip was when we all piled in the van to go see the laser show at Stone Mountain - NO AC!  Eek!  Totally gone. 
So, we did as any other family of 7 would do, we made it an adventure, rolled down the windows and carried on with our trip!