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What Now!?

This is going to be another post about my health.  As most of you know I've had a rough year, but I've gotten steadily better and was miraculously well while I was in China.  I came home with a bit of a bacterial stomach issue which I got over fairly quickly and I felt really great...

Until about a week and a half ago.  My hip joints started giving me problems.  This is not that unusual, so I didn't worry about it.  That is until it seemed to move to my back and the pain increased greatly.  Sitting became impossible, there was no comfortable position to lie in, I was pretty much most comfortable standing, which gets a bit tiring.

After not sleeping much for a couple of nights I was at the end of my rope by Monday morning.  We headed to the Emergency Room where they gave me some blessed pain relief and stronger anti-inflammatory medicines and sent me home with the diagnosis of sciatica/possible lupus flair.

Which leaves me with some questions.  This really seems like a back issue.  I've had a ruptured disc, this seems so much like what I experienced then.  And, while the pain is better than it had been, I'm still really struggling.  And my left leg is numb from the knee down.  Bad feeling that!  So... what now?  The doctor in the ER told me to follow up with my rheumatologist,  but when I called in she said it would be better to follow up with my family doctor.  And really, I'm wondering if I should just go straight to a neurosurgeon, considering I've got a wooden-feeling foot.

Anyway, that is where I am right now.  It is not easy, but God is still here.  He is, once more, near and holding me close through the pain.


Cheering You On From Here

Six families are traveling to adopt children we just met while we were in China.

SIX.  Six of my babies (OK one is twelve years old, but you know what I mean!) coming home!

Several of these children we met last year, then advocated for them, spoke with their families, rejoiced when they were matched, and then delivered packages from their families when we met them this year.

And now we watch from here, reading each post from each family with great interest.  Right now they are traveling, sight-seeing, etc.  but some of the next posts will be of them meeting their children.

I hope they all know how we are cheering them on from here.  I am praying for each parent, each child, each sibling.  I know how wonderful and difficult those first days can be.  And I know that I have done what I can for these sweet babies, so now I cover them in prayer as they are handed to their families who will love them forever, knowing that they no longer need another advocate, and my heart is full.


Two Worlds

My world.  Their world.  Two different worlds.  I entered their world for a brief time then returned to my world.  And I cannot reconcile the two.

They are too different, these two worlds.  I return to the comfort of my home and family.  And it is good to return to these familiar comforts.  They do not know this comfort.  Can you wrap your mind around that?  They don't know what it is to have a family.

I go about my normal, everyday life.  Dishes, laundry, errands, children... all the normal stuff. Then something reminds me of one of them and I'm suddenly half a world away in thought.

I sort through the pictures I took.  Thousands of pictures in an attempt to capture their everyday life.  I smile, I cry, I work diligently at editing and uploading these pictures because it is the one way I can merge the two worlds.  My photos transport them here and take me back there in memory.  I hope and pray that these photos help to make the children "real" to people, that they show the precious value of each and every child.

Already some of our children's families are finding them.  It is exciting and rewarding, but always, always, there are more children, more needs.  It is why we do what we do.  Working in every way we can to bring these two worlds together for the good of our children.


A Rare Find

Pictures of me with one of our sweet children!

This is "Michael" from the Butterfly House.  He is such a sweet, smart little boy!  Our whole team loved meeting him and interacting with him.  We are super excited that he is going to have a family of his own soon.  He is sure going to be a blessing!

Since I'm always the one behind the camera I was surprised when I found these pictures. Apparently someone picked up my camera and snapped a few shots.  So here you go, proof that I do more than take pictures when we visit orphanages!  :)


Little Faces...

Re-entry back in to normal life can be difficult after a trip like the one I just returned from.  I am so glad to be back among all of the familiar things.  I'm glad to be with my family, in my house, where I belong.  But, again, I'm changed.  And the little faces I've seen are engraved on my heart.

All day, every day, I  think of them.  The twelve year old boy who seemed so much more nervous and awkward than he was last year.  The four year old girl who was so sweet and quiet.  The baby who was sick.  The little boys who loved kicking balls.  The precious little faces of children as we delivered packages from their parents waiting to bring them home.   All of them, on my heart, all of the time.

Soon I will get organized enough to begin sharing their stories with you.  Right now I'm trying to wrap my mind around going on with normal life while always remembering the precious little faces that fill my mind night and day.




I am sitting in a silent house.  Hannah and I arrived home after mid-night last night.  Our crazy delays and adventures will make a great blog post sometime, but right now the house is quiet.  My mind is not.  Keith and the children have not yet arrived back home from the trip they took while I was gone.  Bless Keith, I know he will be glad to get home too!

I got up a bit ago and made some food.  I was so hungry after the long day traveling.  I brought it back to bed and am lounging here intermittently eating, thinking, and writing.  my mind wanders back through the days.  I smile at some memories, I cry at others.  But my mind keeps coming back to one day, one child, one moment.  It was such an overwhelming moment for me that haven't been able to tell you about it, but...

I think I'm ready to tell you about "Samson".  We met him last year.  He was so tiny and helpless, he was struggling to live with a serious heart condition.  The memory of handing him back to his nanny and walking away is forever seared in to my memory.  None of us expected him to survive long enough to get the surgery he so desperately needed.  We got little updates for a while.  We knew that Gongzhan got him moved to a hospital in Shanghai.  But then we didn't really hear much.  We asked, but there were no clear answers.  I prayed for this baby.  As I lay on the sofa sick I prayed for him.  When I couldn't sleep at night I prayed for him.  And I loved him from afar, comforting myself that he mattered to someone.  We heard that they had been unable to operate on his heart, I prepared myself to hear that he didn't survive the year.

Soon after we walked in to the orphanage where he lives, they carried a baby boy in.  He was tiny and frail looking.  Could it be him?!  I didn't even want to hope.  I tried to piece his information together the whole time we were there.  He had a scar from a heart surgery, he was the right age, etc., etc.  Finally it was his turn to be evaluated.  It was him!  My miracle boy!

I always try not to cry in orphanages no matter what I see, the children don't need the added burden of a weeping adult.  But that time I cried.  And I cried again as I once more handed him back to the nanny.  He is still frail.  He needs a family.  He needs medical care.  But he is alive, and that is enough for now!

We were talking about what advocacy name to give him, and Mark Melson suggested Samson.  We all thought it was so fitting for this little one!  God has certainly been this little one's strength!  Will you join me in praying for his health and safety?


I Think the Stories...

Will takes months to tell.  I haven't been keeping up with blogging very well.  By the end of the day if I can get my hundreds of photos downloaded and one or two sent to anxiously waiting parents before falling in to bed I think I've done pretty well.  Some days I haven't even gotten that much done.

But I've been well, miraculously well really.  This trip was a leap of faith for me.  I knew how exhausting and stressful this trip can be and I knew that I don't always handle that type of schedule well.  {For those who don't know, I have Lupus.}  OK, who am I kidding?  I never handle this type of schedule well.  But again, God has been so gracious in giving me strength and health to be here and do hat I love to do.  I believe it not only shows God's great love for me, but also for the sweet children I am here to serve.

So I will have to just keep telling you all the memories and stories after I get home.  For now, how about a few photos?

We are going to an orphanage again this morning for the last time.  Then fly home tomorrow.  Please keep praying for us.
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