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).



So this the rest of yesterday's post.  Less pictures, more of just what God has been teaching me in recent weeks...

We have a journey ahead.  Mei's diagnosis is more complex than we originally thought.  Sometimes fear creeps in and I wonder if I will be able to do the things necessary to care for her well.  

But God has been whispering to me one simple word - look.  

He's teaching me to look up.... When I wonder about my abilities, He reminds me where my help comes from:

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121: 1-2

He's urging me to open my eyes look around... When I worry about tomorrow, He reminds me He has it all taken care of: 

"Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matt. 6:26)

I've been studying this verse as a part of the Sermon on the Mount.  And that word - look- stuck out to me. Oh, how much wonder and good I miss simply because I do not look.  So I decided to start looking more... at the birds of the air.  Only problem is that I am inside mostly, here at the hospital.  But can I just tell you that every single opportunity I've had to get outside, one of the first things I have seen is... you guessed it, birds.  (Oh, how He loves me...)  In fact, as soon as I stepped out of the hospital on the first day of my bird hunt, I rounded the corner and looked over in the grass and there was this beautiful bird.  Then the funniest thing happened.  He looked right up at me and we just sat there staring at each other for a minute.  It made me laugh and gave me a moment to stop and look and remember how God cares for me.

Writer Ann Voskamp says worry is "practical atheism".  I remember this and pray that I will not just say I am a believer in things unseen, in hope unending ... but that I will live like what I believe is really true. 

And ultimately, He's compelling me to simply look at Jesus... When I am wrapped up in all that is going on around me, He reminds me that what I focus on is what I come to believe.  When I focus on all the trials around me, life seems burdensome.  When I focus instead on the abundant blessings I enjoy each day, life is gift. 

 And when I look at Jesus?   … Really, how do I put it into words?
 Have you ever done this?  Just sat for a long time and focused on Jesus... on who He is... what He has done?
I sing this hymn around the house a lot, and maybe it says it well...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim.In the light of His glory and grace. 

So this is what I am looking for here.  Here in the hospital where my baby cries out in pain.  Here at the Ronald McDonald House where I almost drop my lunch tray when she tells me she’s been here for two years with her son.  Here where we're surrounded by children who are sick... and some are dying.  I hear their stories, and honestly, my first thought is that I want to run.  Far away from all this suffering.  

But when I want to run, Jesus says to me: "Look".  Look for me here.  Where hurt and healing collide.  So I turn and I don't run, and I look for Jesus... for God's glory to be revealed... And I am not disappointed.

"Jesus come and break my fear Awake my heart and take my tears Find Your glory even here When the hurt and the healer collide" (Mercy Me)

 "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..." (Ephesians 1:18a)


Mei's Surgery Update

This may be my last update from Cincinnati as Scott leaves tomorrow.  Since Mei calls for me even when I attempt to use the bathroom, I am thinking I probably won't get much computer time!  So I wanted to update really quick.  (Actually, it didn't end up being quick, so I broke this into two posts!)

Mei's surgery was this past Tuesday and it went really well.  The first 24 hours following surgery were really tough.  Tuesday night as I held her down for the *third* long and grueling attempt to get her on a catheter, I just broke down and cried.  It is so hard to watch this precious child suffer.  Especially when I consider how much of her life has already been marked by suffering.  After a week of all this testing and then the surgery, I was watching her withdraw a bit.  She would turn her face away from my affection and just stare like I saw her do in those pictures from the orphanage.  So I cried.  And, honestly, it felt good to cry with her.

Thankfully, the next day, she began to turn a corner.  And now, she is well on the road to recovery.  We are seeing her smile again, and yesterday we even got her up and walking.

Mei was excited to get an e-card from Evie.

 Thrilled about the huge Dora balloon Daddy bought for her!

 This special shower cap washes her hair with shampoo, and we don't even have to rinse.  I want one of these for home!  Heck, with this I could wash my hair while driving.  Talk about multi-tasking!

Mei is back to wearing her signature glasses and bow.  We also brought "Baby Serenity" (that's what she named both of her dolls- after our neighbor's baby).  Here she is telling Serenity to "look at the camera"!

Many have asked how the other children are doing.  They are staying with my dad and Mary, my step-mom, who refers to herself as "the crazy grandmother".  I believe she has fully earned this title the past two weeks. Seriously y'all, I was getting worried.  The first time I called to check in, I got a wild and enthusiastic (insert serious Southern accent): "HEY!  Can't talk right now... we're about to get on the Tilt-A-Whirl!!  Ohmygoodness, what am I doing?!  We're all gonna puke!  Don't worry, Isaac's holding our stuff!!  Gotta go!!"

Mind you, I am calling her while Mei is sedated for her MRI, hoping for a nice little chat about how they are painting doilies in the playroom or something.  Instead, I am left wondering if I should worry about Mei or about Beniam, who is only four, and is apparently getting on the dad-gum Tilt-A-Whirl and there isn't a thing in the world I can do about it!  (Everything turned out fine).

The next time I called, this is what I got.  "HEY!  We are out riding scooters on the Greenway!  And guess what, I rode one, too!  OH NO... OH NO...!!"  (enter crackling, rustling noises, and her voice fading out) "Somebody come get the phone!! Quick!!  Come get the phone quick!!"  Phone drops.

Of course, I am thinking that one of the kids took a nasty spill and broke their arm.  Instead, Mary was apparently riding her scooter while we were on the phone.  And she fell.  And did you catch that?  Her scooter.  When she told me she was riding one, I assumed she borrowed one for a few minutes from one of the kids.  Oh no... not Mary.  She bought herself a kids' scooter, which she proudly reported was purple and had princesses on it.

Now I know that you are all thinking I must be loony to leave my children with this woman, but it turns out they had a great time. In all seriousness, Mary, along with the five other grandparents my kids have (not to mention great-grands!)... is an incredible gift from God.  She has jumped in with enthusiasm to help with both of our adoption trips as well as this trip.  She is wild and fun, but always protective and caring with her grandkids.


Mei Takes On Cincinnati

I'm sitting here by Mei's bedside. She's up on her big hospital bed playing with a toy... propped on her daddy's lap while he enjoys watching a soccer game. Her PICC line and NG tube are in and she's doing so well with them. She was admitted this morning and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. We've been in Cincinnati a week now. Last week was filled with lots of tests and procedures followed by a weekend full of fun. Some days were hard. Especially Friday when we reviewed the tests with the various doctors and found Mei's medical condition to be more complex than we thought. We hate that our baby girl has to go through so much, and yet, we know that God has a good plan and purpose for *everything* He allows in her life. We continue to have a tremendous peace through all of this, and I truly believe Mei does, too. I hope that one day soon I can sit and share a little here on the blog about what God is showing us and how He has blessed us in the last few days. But that would take a good bit more brain power than I currently possess, so I thought I'd share a few pictures, instead!
MeiMei is ready for take-off!

Nurse Mei checks out her patient while she waits for her MRI.

Mei loved being outside on Saturday! We enjoyed walking over the Ohio River on the "Purple People Bridge". We started in Kentucky and walked to Ohio!
 All loaded up on the surrey ready for a ride along the river! Mei was so happy to get to wear a helmet. 
 Enjoying the Butterfly Conservatory in Eden Park.
Highlight of the weekend- seeing my friend Preethi, her husband Chriswin and beautiful son Jai. They drove from Columbus for a day visit... Preethi's smile and laughter can light up any day!
Mei loved "Baby Jai" and was so proud of herself as she "helped" feed him! 
MeiMei played hard at the Cincinnati Museum Center's Children's Museum! 

Can you tell she loved the water tables best of all?

MeiMei loves to make dinner for Daddy!