Sunday, May 30, 2010


My kids are crazy!  Hudson is the most craziest of all!  Tonight, no lie, I was on the phone and found him standing by the toilet, lid up, water all on the floor, holding the toilet scrubber-----------LICKING the toilet scrubber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AHHH, he is insane.  Then, after I threw him out of my bathroom, he went straight to the kids' bathroom.  Guess what I found him doing?
                 Brushing his teeth with Carter's toothbrush!  It is in the trash now.

Tonight we were looking at Abby's end of year little scrap book they made in 3rd grade.  There are sweet stories she wrote, verses they memorized as a class(she goes to a precious Christian school). One picture was of the cross.  Above the cross was a sign that said "King of the Jewels" HA!  We got a huge kick out of that :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

my friend

I keep thinking about posting a shout out to my good friend Susie.  She's such a fun friend.  Susie is one of those friends who is always ready to go.  No matter what I have going on, she's ready and excited.  She sees everything as fun and doesn't hesitate to join in--from swimming, to lunch while Hudson sleeps, to handing out diapers in a low income, ethnic minority neighborhood--she's game.  How fun is a friend like that??  Thanks Susie!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I love the TB clinic at the Health Dept.

Hmmm, I'd bet a million bucks nobody out there has heard someone say that before!  Let me explain.  Hudson was exposed to TB in Korea.  No, he isn't contagious or does he have TB.  But, he must take 9months(yep, that's right, I'm supposed to remember to give him a medicine every night for 9months UGH) of prophylactic anitinfective tablets.  Now, I'll be honest--as always, you guys know I like to keep it real--- the first visit there I hated it!  We had to drive into the city and go to the TB clinic inside the Public Health Dept, in the hood!  You know how in every city there are street corners that most of us drive down only if absolutely necessary, and don't make eye contact with people??  Well, that is where this place is.  I was a bit afraid to inhale when we visited the first time, just in case germs where flying around.  So, my heart has done a 180.  Or, to be more accurate, the Holy Spirit has melted my haughty heart and opened my eyes.

Our last visit was so fun and I left smiling.  In the little waiting room were 2 young women I'm assuming were from Africa(I'm not stereotyping, I work at a very large hospital in the city with people from all over the world and am used to hearing the languages and seeing people from many nations), an elderly couple from what I think is India(my friend adopting from Nepal thinks they may have been Nepali)-she was wearing a traditional Sari, a few Hispanics, an African-American gentleman, Hudson and I, and a lady that looked to be from Cambodia-wearing traditional colorful skirts that don't match, flip flops,and large woven purse.  There are posters in the waiting room advertising help for people caught in human-trafficking.  It is a horrible reality that many many of the young women promised "good jobs in America" are actually forced to work in the sex industry.  Sick indictment on the US isn't it? I was thinking what a humongous ministry opportunity it would be if a group could couple up with the public health dept and get connected with these new immigrants.  So, I marched up to the the lady working at the counter and asked her if anybody came in to minister to the immigrants.  She looked at me like I'm off my rocker and mentioned only one group, Catholic Charities.  Hmmmmm, my mind is developing something kinda nutty but really fun!  Any ideas out there?

Oh, and I must mention church this past Sunday.  We have just gotten a new pastor.  We've been waiting a long time praying for the man God wants at our church.  The place was super charged Sunday.  The music was totally rockin.  I was looking around at the praise team and congregation.  I saw sweet friends from Brazil, Ecaudor, Korea, Hong Kong, total of 6 children adopted from South Korea, 8 African American children with white parents, many biracial couples, a woman from India in a Sari, a 14yr old girl in front of us in a wheelchair, a young woman across the aisle who has Down's Syndrome, a lot of Hispanic families.  Ohhhh, it makes me smile and think how amazing heaven will be.  Revelation 7:9 says
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Then, just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the Pastor spoke on the cost of discipleship and quoted David Platt's Radical book.  I nearly jumped out of my chair! :)  This is gonna be an awesome ride!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Race, Reproduction, and Release

Race:  First off, that is me in the picture above :)  I love it to death!  Dillon's kindegarten class drew pictures of their moms for Mother's day.  I think it speaks volumes.  Notice I'm dark brown.  The funny thing is that another little boy in Dillon's class is a Korean adoptee.  He drew his mother literally white--all her skin was colored with a white crayon, too cute!  I love that so far, Dillon still sees me just like him.

Funny conversation on reproduction
Dillon:  "Momma, where you grow when you baby?"
Me:  "I grew in Ma's tummy and lived with Ma and Poppa, they are my mommy and daddy.  Where did you grow when you were a baby?"
Dillon:  "Korea.  Hudson too."
Me:  "Yes and like Abby."
Dillon:  "How you know?!!"
I really loved that conversation--adorable!

Hudson is releasing his fears and really attaching himself.  For the very first time since coming home( nearly 8.5months), Hudson has awakened from  his naps cheerful and calm.  Seriously, every single stinkin day he'd awake from his nap like this.  Sleeping peacefully, start to awaken, eyes open, sudden wail and thrash to get off bed!  Now, he awakens, sits up, looks around and says "momma".  Oh Praise the Lord for releasing of fears of abandonment and feeling secure.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Leaving her behind

Mike is home, thank the Lord!  Remember the little toddler girl he texted me about Monday?

(pics of the kids are not allowed, this is the boys room)

Her name is Adriana.  She has a brother, about 3yrs old, named Edwin.   He told of the last day at the small orphanage in Peurto Rico.  After spending a few days with the children, everyone in the mission team group had fallen in love with and was playing with the children.  Imagine, 30 children with 2 caregivers(and for oprhanages, those are fantastic odds--believe me, I've seen worse!).  But two caregivers, employees, can't play with each child and give individual attention.  Adriana attached herself to Mike and he to her.  A gorgeous dark-skinned toddler girl with a big grin.  Mike held her all afternoon Wednesday.  He doesn't think she's been around many men, she kept stroking the hairs on his arms.  She nuzzled up her little face to his stubbly cheeks and put her cheek against his when he sang.  She squeezed his neck tightly.

Then it was time to say goodbye.  He put her down and she screamed.

She lifted her arms up for him to pick her up and cried.

He turned, walked away with a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes knowing all she wants is her very own mommy and daddy, and boarded the bus.   Marcus, one of the senior boys with the group, had children clinging to his legs and they had to be pried off of him at the end of the day.

That's it, there's no happy ending to the story.  It kills Mike and I

Friday, May 21, 2010

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, and several organizations (including Focus on the Family, Hope for Orphans, and Show Hope) are encouraging people and churches across the country to gather together to pray for the 500,000 children growing up in the foster care system.
Several hundred prayer vigils for children and youth in foster care are expected to be held across the country during the week of May 16-23, 2010 for this national effort. These prayer vigils will provide an opportunity for communities all over America to remember and pray for these children and the families, caseworkers and judges working hard to help them find loving homes.
To learn more about this national movement and find a vigil near you, visit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

already fell......

off the bandwagon, that is!
Bought dinner at Sonic, Mike's gone, didn't want to cook(my sacrifice to be able to give more to the poor was fast food)

Watched a commercial for  flipflops at Old Navy and planned to get some.(my other sacrifice was no new clothes for the year)

Well, I need a little work for my Radical Experiment! Couldn't even make it 2 days!!! 

Radical Experiment

Who's up for something totally radical??  Well, I have just the thing for ya.  There is an awesome experiment/challenge proposed in Radical, the incredible book by David Platt. If you are totally pumped about growing your faith and seeing what God can do in and through you, this will be up your alley. First, here are 2 quotes from the book
"What happens when radical obedience to the Jesus of the first century becomes the new normal for us in the twenty-first century? Are you willing to see? That’s what this book is about. And it involves an invitation to join in a Radical Experiment— a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring."

"This is how God works.  He puts his people in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then shows his provision in ways that display his greatness"

So, here is the challenge he proposes:
1.  pray for every nation to have the light of the Gospel(there is an amazing resource called that helps you pray for every single nation during the year.)
2.  read through God's entire Word in a year, cover to cover
3.  sacrifice your money, for one year, for a specific purpose that ministers to the poor and cares for their spiritual needs as well (not just give what you have laying around that is extra, make it sacrificial.  I'm not looking forward to sacrificing --it's gonna hurt!)
4.  spend your time in another context--commit the equivalent of one week to go serve needy people, hands ON, somewhere away from your usual circle in the next year
5.  commit your life to multiplying community(in other words spending time in discipleship and training with a church body)

Oh, and I really think you should keep a journal to see what God does in your life.  I can't wait!  It's gonna be so cool to look back and see how we've grown, changed, ministered, learned to live on less and give more.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here, cause I've been walking with my Jesus for a while now, there's going to be some crazy radical miracles in our lives!

If you'd like to read some testimonies, go to and see how this experiment is impacting lives.

So who's in????  If you are ready to jump in drop  me a comment and I'll cheer you on!

Monday, May 17, 2010

That's MY man!

Hello sweet husband of mine.  I don't know if you can log in while in Peurto Rico or not.  But, I want to tell you that your text to me today made me love you all the more!

You see, my husband took 14 seniors to serve in an orphanage in San Juan, Peurto Rico.  At lunch time, he texted me saying he had found our 2nd daughter, a gorgeous 1 yr old with curly pigtails and he wished he could bring her home.  No, there is no way he can bring a little girl home with him.  And, for that matter, we are in no way ready to add a toddler girl to our mix(even if she has rosebud lips and huge brown eyes).  The text was a half-joke. The fact is, that simple text spoke volumes to this woman's heart.  That text meant more to me than if he'd surprised me with a luxury trip to vacation in Peurto Rico.  Know why?  Cause it showed me his heart.  A man who loves the forgotten baby girls out there in orphanages and would love to become their daddy is the kind of man I want to spend my life with.

  I know, I'm super blessed, ain't I???!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ode to a minivan

Your joined our family 5years ago
A little used but with a shiny glow
As life would have it, only 2 months later
A 2yr old Dillon broke the cd player

You've taken us on many trips afar
We need  you cause we don't fit in a car
Spills, food particles, toys, and junk
Seem to find their way from tip to trunk

Now you're paid off and nearly worn out
However we trust God and do not doubt
That "new caritis" would be a selfish decision
Because finding contenment is only in Him!

So, dear minivan whose taken us so many miles
Please help me avoid car shopping aisles
We'd be unable to save or generously give
Being beholden to a car is not the way to live!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Waiting Children

FYI, if anyone out there is feeling a tug to adopt a waiting boy in Korea, the Dillon International Waiting Child page has a couple.  There are some fairly strict qualifications that you must fit and you can't see pics without filling out a questionarre and getting a password, but they are sweeties.  Just want to throw that out there.......ya know, just in case a little boy would complete your family..... like our little Hudson did! ;)

Okay, I'm back(had to go do dishes.  I wanted to keep talking about Korea.  I just told Mike and Abby yesterday that I felt a  little homesick.  You ever have that feeling?  Kind of an itch to go.  I was reflecting on walking the crowded streets of a city of 10million, yet  never once feeling worried or unsafe.  I'm remembering the cool street markets and the food we'd buy from street vendors.  No big box stores on every corner like here.  Hundreds and hundreds of years of history.

Of course, I think part of this feeling is just me.  I seem to get a discontented "itch" to go somewhere every 6months to a year.  It's been 5months since I got back from Haiti.  I'm too broke to go anywhere further than taking the kids to Korean Heritage Camp in Tulsa this July.  Guess that will have to do for now.  You bet your bottom dollar I'm gonna start saving and praying for a trip next year.  We are seriously considering going to Panama over spring break with a friend who works with Soul Seekers Ministries.  Mike gets to take the seniors from his school to Puerto Rico all next week and serve in an orphanage.  Yep, suffering for Jesus and its even all paid for!!  Just joking, you all know I am.  I'm the one suffering--here with 4 kids all alone! Hmm, no cooking all week--PARTY!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

miracles of life

We have always regarded how each one of our 4 kids came into our family as a miracle and gift from God the Father.  This statement puts it into a whole stratosphere of different perspective!
An article in the Korea Herald yesterday stated that
According to the state-run Korean Women’s Development Institute, 96 percent of unmarried pregnant women receive abortions. Of those who choose to give birth, 70 percent give up their children for adoption.

I never realized how miraculous it was that my Korean born kids's birthmom's chose life.  It must have been so hard for them.  Thank you Jesus for these 4 little miracles(even if they aren't so little anymore)

Monday, May 10, 2010

look out strip clubs, Jesus is comin'

No, I'm not joking and I haven't lost my mind!  Well, that may be debatable :)
  Here's the deal.  My youngest sis went to some training at her incredible church.  Two Saturday nights ago, she and 5 other women, who had all been trained, went into a strip club in the city to minster and befriend the girls working there,yes with the managements approval.  They gave the women pedicures and basically treated them with dignity and worth. Katy and Jess's sweet hubbies sat in the car waaaaay in the back of the parking lot and prayed for them for 2.5hours.  Katy said it was just amazing, exhilerating, very dark spiritually, and the women so undressed! But, despite outward appearances and the fact that these women are selling sex to make a living, they were just like any other young women.  Katy and Jess made friends and promises of more time spent with them.  That is exactly what Jesus preached.  He didn't stand in the middle of a new sparkling church gym or sanctuary and wait for people who needed him to come.  He went TO them!  I'm so excited.  Katy said I can go to the training and come too!!!  One special young woman that they really connected with is a mom of 3 young children.  The next time Katy and Jess visit the club, they are taking diapers and baby supplies for the young woman, I'll call "A".  Please pray over this ministry as the powers of darkness would love nothing better than to sabotage and keep the women who work there under oppression and hopelessness!  Their goal is to show the women the love of Christ, help them get out of working at those places, and be whole and healthy women and mothers.

Now, I know what many are thinking.  Is that safe?  Why would young Christian women want to go to strip clubs and make friends with those girls?  That sounds weird, radical and risky. 
Glad you asked my bloggy friends(to coin a term used by one of my favorite bloggers  To answer, I'll just type in a long quote from my new fav book  "Radical, Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" by David Platt
      How many of us are embracing the comforts of suburban America while we turn a deaf ear to inner cities in need of the gospel?  How many of us are so settled in the United States that we have never once given serious thought to the possibility that God may call us to live in another country?  How often are we willing to give a check to someone else as long as we don't have to go to the tough places in the world ourselves?  ...................We live decent lives in decent homes with decent jobs and decent families as decent citizens.  We are decent church members with little more impact on the world than we had before we were saved.  Though thousands may join us, ultimately we have turned a deaf ear to billions who haven't even heard his name.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day, shout out to our moms

To my mother,
You always help when we need help.  You laugh much and have fun.  You love all the grandkids and enjoy them.  You think it is funny when they pull out all the tupperware onto the floor(I surely dont!).  Your life teaches our kids to love the Lord and people and that even grandmas go to Africa and China on missions.

To Mike's mom.  You always help us when we need help.  You love all the grandkids and enjoy being with them.  Your teach them about faithful service to the Lord, Sunday after Sunday, year after year.  You still carry the kids around when they wish to be held, even when they are too big for you!  You are the most generous person and bless us greatly.  You are my second mom, not my mother-in-law.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fostering, adorable kids, and advanced notice

As most of you know, my sister and her husband are foster/adoptive parents.  I asked her to write about some common misconceptions people have about fostering.

From Foster to Forever

When first considering adoption as a route to expand our family, my husband and I quickly became overwhelmed and confused. Almost enough for us not to pursue it. Foster care kept coming up in conversations and situations and we figured out that God was not-so-subtly telling us to be foster parents. At our first informational meeting, we realized that there were many misconceptions about taking the foster-to-adopt avenue. Allow me to play the role of a myth-buster:
It’s cheap, if not free. As a foster parent, the state pays you a monthly reimbursement for every day you take care of a child in CPS care. The rate is based on the level of care the child requires and varies with agencies. Once your foster child becomes available to adopt, the legal fees can be between $500-$1000 to finalize adoption. Now with my daughter, the state reimbursed us for those fees because she qualified for state subsidy. So not only were we paid to take care of her while fostering, but the adoption was FREE
You can get a newborn! Foster-to-adopt is the only way to adopt a newborn other than private adoption. Foster parents can specify what age, race, and sex of children they would like placed with them. You can even narrow it down to “legal risk placements” only, which means the goal for the child is adoption. I have many friends that have gone to a hospital to pick up a newborn foster child, that became their forever child.
Adoptions through CPS do not have to be open adoptions. Sometimes birth parents request an open adoption for them to stay in contact with the child, but you do not have to consent to it. The law does not require you to keep in touch with them.

By now you are thinking, “What if I get attached to a baby and then they are taken away.” How many times a day do I hear, “I could never be a foster parent because I would get too attached.” Well….let me explain. It’s not easy. Being a foster parent doesn’t mean that you have to be a hard-hearted person that doesn’t care. There is only one thing that you need to be, and that is willing. You say “Yes”, and God takes care of the rest. After pouring your heart and soul into a child for months, you’re going to cry when they leave. But it’s not about you, it’s about doing what God calls you to do. God equips you and prepares your heart. He also mends it when it gets broken. I knew almost immediately after my daughter was placed with us at four months old that she was our forever baby. So far, the love that I have for my foster sons have been totally different than the love I had (and have) for my daughter. Are there days I want to quit? Absolutely. Is the pain or hardship worth the cause? Well, I have a beautiful daughter to prove that yes, it’s worth it!

So, there's a honest look at fostering.

Now, just for the sake of smiles.  Here is my neice Kylie Faith.  I think she is the next face of Gerber!

And, now, an advanced warning.  Warning:  if you like your American Christian ideas about how your life, church, faith etc are supposed to be, and you are not interested in being stretched or challenged for and by God, you'll want to ignore some upcoming posts.  So, I'm reading David Platt's new book called "Radical, taking back your faith from the American dream".  Oh Man, is it counter-culture and gonna blow some socks off!  I cannot wait to post some quotes from it. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

End of an era

My grandparents are 93 and 94.  I'm super blessed to have them around still.  They are fairly healthy and completely sharp mentally.  But, the time has come.  They have sold their home.  They've lived in a darling little 2 bedroom 1 bath white wooden home for over 50years.  It is so sad to see them pack up and move into a senior living apartment(cracks me up that the minimum age to live there is only 55 and they are 40 years past that!).  My childhood memories of holidays are in that little house.  My sister Emily and my cousins and I would sit on the swing in the immaculate back yard and sing Debbie Boone(You light up my life) and the songs from the Grease album--yep record album, not cd or dvd!  My grandmother, mom, and 3 aunts would sit around the kitchen table with JC Penney catalogs or sewing patterns, eat Fritos, and exclaim "How cute!" over the clothes.  At Christmas, my grandfather would give us kids savings bonds. 
I'll sure be sad when the movers come to move their few old belongings to a sterile apartment.  But, in a way, this is good.  This was their decision.  They get to move with dignity instead of being forced into leaving. 
My grandfather has been a bit irritable and dramatic the past week.  Saying things like "we  may as well just give up."  To them, this is the end of being independent, functioning members of society that matter.   He is a WWII vet, they have very sharp minds, tell stories of the Depression, remember all the grandkids' birthdays and are amazing people.  What a wonderful heritage we have!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

tips for successful toddler adoption

We are speaking at the adoption preparation seminar hosted by Dillon International and Buckner International on Saturday.  Our social worker with Dillon International always says that it is their plan to prepare you for the worst and be happy when that doesn't happen!
 We are a "been there done that" family coming to share and let the families Q and A with us.  I've been considering some tips to share with the families and thought some of you out there could benefit from them.  Don't think we are completely adjusted, bonded, and smooth sailing.  Hudson is amazing and attached very well.  But, it is still hard sometimes.  He has zero coping skills for frustration and cries a lot.  I get tired so much quicker now and am grumpy.  Heck, it has only been 7months.  These things take time.

Read "The Connected Child"

prepare your family and friends for a tough transition, for them to give the kid space and not compare this child's joining the family to the way other kids may have joined

travel to receive your child

sleep with the child for several months and remember to sleep when toddler sleeps

accept help

treat him as a young infant, carry him in a sling(I love my Hip Hammock), bottle feed(You hold the bottle), rock and sing to him

remember, he doesn't have a clue if you are to be trusted
he doesn't know what it is like to be in your family

discipline--stinks cause you aren't bringing home a sweet baby who sits in a bouncy seat.  You are bringing home a mobile and curious child who WILL touch everything unsafe to touch.  I felt like all we said was "no" those first few months.

Give yourself a break for losing your cool and being angry at times.
schedule?  what is that?

don't compare anything or any milestone that the newly adopted toddler is doing with a birth child--totally different ballgame

Punch anyone in the mouth if they are stupid enough to say "you are lucky, you didn't have to give birth to him,  you are still skinny"

Remember, PLAY and have fun.  Toddlers are adorable!!!!!