This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

5.13.2012

What I've Learned From My Mother




Dear Mom,

I just want you to know how grateful I am that God chose you to be my mother.  So many things I took for granted growing up… and I didn’t know you were teaching me then.  You probably didn’t either.  You were just living it.


Love-love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things”…   this kind of love I first learned from my mother…
I lived under the protection and freedom that kind of love brings.   I can see now how much of my security and confidence as a teen stemmed from the respect and support I received at home.  I rarely felt like I needed to conform to the pressures of other teens, because I genuinely felt valued and that I did not need to prove myself.  Wow.  When I look back on that I think… what a gift!
And you still live this today.  When it hurts and when it seems to bear no fruit and when the pain seems to be overwhelming.  You chose… you still choose… to love.  And “the greatest of these is love”…


Sacrifice-  Mom, I want you to know that I saw all your sacrifices.  And they have made me much of who I am today. 
I can see now how you laid it all down for John and I… and you did it gladly.  You are the strongest woman I have ever known.


Forgiveness...   I don’t even want to imagine the bitterness and wounds I would carry around to this day… that would weigh me down and stifle the joy in me… if I had not learned from your example that the hard work of forgiveness is worth the freedom it produces.


   Mom, for all the things you taught me… for how you have lived… for who you are…  For all these things, I want to thank you today.   I have always been proud to call you my mom.  This year you enter a new decade of life… still the gorgeous, loving, giving woman I have always known you to be.   




Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

1000 Moms Project

5.08.2012

122 Days

122.

That's how many days MeiMei spent in the hospital in the first 18 months of her life. 122 days. That we know of.

I remember the first time I read her medical file and counted up all the days from all the hospital stays. And I felt this heavy sadness as I thought of her all alone in her suffering.  I just sat there and cried.  I cried for all the days my baby girl was suffering and I was not there to hold her and comfort her.

 But the truth is, Mei was never alone. Never Once.

 It is hard to wrap my mind around the idea that our sweet daughter lie in a hospital bed and went through painful procedures, surgery and illnesses without anyone there to hold her close and comfort her. But she made it through. And I often wonder about it all. Did God send extra angels to keep vigil by her bedside? Did He offer His very presence and comfort in a way that her little one-year-old heart could understand?

 I don't know the answers to these questions for sure. But I do know that He's given little Mei a strength and adaptability and resilience far beyond what most kids I know possess. We've certainly seen that over the past five months.
These things I recall as we prepare for Mei's upcoming surgery in Cincinnati next month. As we have begun to make the plans more solid, I sometimes find myself worrying about it all. Three weeks away from the other children. Away from all the incredible support we would have here. One week alone just Mei and me. Ten days post-surgery where Mei cannot eat. Pre-surgery testing that could reveal more problems. Not to mention our little lovie being in pain, being scared...

 I'd be lying if I said that these things don't frighten me a bit. But the truth is that, most of the time, I have an incredible peace about it all. I'm grateful that we can provide this surgery for Mei. I am grateful that I can be there with her... that this time God chose me to be there to hold Mei and remind her she is not alone.

 And yet I know she never has been alone really. Yes, Mei had a life before we even knew her name. And it was a difficult... very difficult life. But there is One who has always known her name... who formed her in her mother's womb. Long before Mei was ours, she was HIS. And she still is. The same God who was her only consistent source of comfort during those 122 days in the hospital in her early life will be with us in Ohio. When I look at the child that Mei is now, there can be no doubt that there is a God who has walked with her, comforted her, healed her and redeemed her in the midst of all her suffering.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 42: 1b-2
As I thought about these verses this weekend, I was reminded of a song that I love that says all of this so beautifully. It is called "Never Once".   I love it when a song says so perfectly what I long to say to God.  (You can go here to hear it yourself...)

Scars and struggles on the way 
But with joy our hearts can say 
Never once did we ever walk alone  
Carried by Your constant grace 
Held within Your perfect peace 
Never once, no, we never walk alone
Never once did we ever walk alone 
Never once did You leave us on our own 
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

 I can see that this experience, away from all of our support here, will be yet another chance to rely completely on God... another chance for Him to reveal to us that He really is all we need. Will you pray for us? Will you pray for sweet Mei? We would be so grateful...