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).


When I Became Your Mom

The other day you were crying, and I ran to you and held you in my arms.  And this strange happiness flooded my whole body.  It was because you were crying.  And I was holding you.  And I was exactly where I wanted to be.  And I realized how far we’d come, you and I.

When you first came home, sweet Beniam, you cried a lot… at night, especially.  Crying babies had always made me feel powerless.  What should I do?  I would try to feed or rock or change you, but sometimes the crying persisted regardless of what I did.  We rocked in that old rocking chair endless hours, you and I…  and I wondered if you would ever sleep through the night.  Or if I would ever have what it took to comfort you just right.

Slowly, and I do mean slowly, you began to cry less and sleep more.  And I was grateful for the sleep.  And I was happy that you were content and more peaceful.

Then there was this day.  It had been some time since our wild nights. You had had a minor toddler-type-accident.  I forget now what it was.  And you were there crying and calling out, “Mooommmmy!”  And I scooped you up.  And that flood of happiness.  What was that?

I was holding you close to me and I was actually glad that you were crying. ( Oh, and by the way, when you cry- you cry really loud.)  But I didn’t care.  I just sat there and held you, and thought this:

                It was here that I became your mother.  Not a ‘mother’ on a paper, signed by some court. 

                But your mommy.  The one you would call for when you fell.

                It wasn’t earned, but it was lived… just lived out night after night.

                Through the tears (yours and mine) and the snot and the rocking back and forth of that chair.

                There I became your mommy and you became my son.

So, my Beniam, if you notice a huge smile creep across my face next time you skin your knee and call out for me, please don’t be alarmed.  I’m just really, really happy to be your mom.

-          (This incident actually occurred about a year ago, but I was inspired to write about it tonight after listening to this song.   Definitely worth a listen…)


What Really Makes Mei Smile

Thanking God for awesome nurses, like Julie...

                                               ... for our 'home away from home' at the Ronald McDonald
                                          House Cincinnati. (Oh, how we were blessed here!)

                                         I was just thinking how it would be literally impossible for me to even begin
                                        counting the number of volunteers that served us at the hospital and the House.
                                        From countless meals to all kinds of entertainment to keep our little ones
                                       enjoying childhood fun while in the hospital...

                                       Honestly, I was overwhelmed by all of the strangers who took time to
                                       bless us...

                                      ... like the professional event planning company that came in and threw
                                      an 'Un-Birthday Party" for all the kids at RMHC.  Such a gift as so many of these
                                      kids are here for months on end and are surely missing parties back at home.

                                               Plus, it just so happens that birthday parties are truly one of Mei's
                                                favorite things ever... and the party just happened to be the first
                                               night she was out of the hospital and staying at the House.

Thanking God for all the notes and cards from family and friends back home.  It sure brightened Mei's day (and her Mommy's, too!)

But as grateful as we were for all of that, nothing could match the gratitude and delight in my heart the first morning we were home.  Scott had let me sleep in, and I awoke to a sound I hadn't heard in three solid weeks- Mei's loud, uncontrollable, squealing laughter!   She came lurching into my room chased by her adoring sister, and she had that smile back.  That full-of-life, "I am just so darn happy to be home playing with my siblings again", face-splitting smile.

While you do see Mei smiling in some of the pictures at the hospital, I must say that her smiles were rather rare there and only momentary.  One of the hardest parts of our time there was realizing that she was struggling a bit with depression.  And the real source of it was the intense longing she had for her siblings.  (Evidenced by the fact that we had to talk about them every 14.5 seconds...):

"Where Ben?"
"Ben's at Ms. Karen's house today."

5 seconds later-
"Where I-yak"
"Isaac is also at Ms. Karen's house today."

...then she asks about Zoe....

then we play with play-do for about four minutes ...  then she says:
"Where's Ben?"... and we start all over.

And, yes, that picture right up there is one of my favorite pictures in the whole world and it says it all so beautifully.