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In 1 Month...

The last time I was in Taiwan I got a text from Keith. Now remember, it is a 13 hour time difference this time of year, so it was sent in the daytime here meaning it arrived in the middle of the night. I tend to wake up more often during the night while there (thank you, jet lag!), so one of my awake times I glanced at my phone to check the time and saw these words:

"Do you mind if I buy a business?"

At that point I was just like, "Whatever, sure, do it."

We did speak more about it over the phone when I was actually awake and he was really excited. I was a little blown away. Before I even got home, and I was only gone a week, he had gone to see the business and had made our interest in buying it known.

A few days after I got home, while I was still a bit fuzzy-headed from travel, we had a conversation with the sellers and got a tour of the business. And I got excited too.



There are a lot of steps that come in next. The waiting to hear if we would be the ones they would decide to sell to was a little hard. But when the answer came it was a YES!

So here we are, working through all of the legal steps to having a family business! I'll give more details soon, and {hopefully} some cute pictures. For now, we are looking at a real change of pace in about 1 month when we actually take over the business.

For those who don't know, what type of business do you think it might be?

And for those who do, please don't say quite yet! 

Pictures From Panama

We have been here in Panama for almost a day now. Our hotel is gorgeous and comfortable. We have an ocean view room with a balcony on the 26th floor. The view is mind-blowing. We can see ships waiting to go through the Panama Canal from our balcony.



We walked around a little today. We went inside a basilica, which was lovely.




Then we found ourselves wandering through some non-tourist-y parts of the city. I think my favorite part may have been when we saw people gathered in a shaded area playing dominoes.









I love the way photography is such an amazing way to bridge cultural differences. I could not speak with them, but I could understand that they wanted me to take their pictures. And I wanted to, and I loved showing them. The whole interchange was so fun!







The heat got to us and we headed back to the hotel for a cool, restful afternoon. Tomorrow I have my first appointment.

She Said Yes!

A few months ago Douglas talked to us about his desire to marry his girlfriend, Kayla. We gave him our blessing and through the last few months we have known that the time he was going to propose was getting closer.



Last week he talked to her dad and went to the jewelry store to buy a ring, fully expecting to need to order it and wait 3 weeks for it to arrive. Well, that day they had a jeweler in the store, this one happens a couple of times a year. So Douglas got to watch him make the ring and he walked out with it that day! He FaceTimed me later that day and the grin on his face said it all. He was so excited!




After some talking he decided that last night would be the night and that he would like to have pictures of the event, so I was more than happy to fill that role! It was sweet to see the smile on his face and her response... well, it was perfect.




She had a phone call to make to her best friend shortly after. Had to show off that ring.





We celebrated at Rita's where Kayla's mom joined us. The whole time Kayla kept looking at her hand, admiring the gorgeous ring. I gotta say, this boy of ours has done well!





We are so happy. So happy...


And yet... I'm still not finished telling you about the big things going on around here! :)

Resurrection

It's been a long time since I posted. I've been busy. Life has been challenging. Isn't it always? But we have so many things changing and happening in our life that I want to resurrect the blog to document it all. And to have a place to process it in the way I process best- writing.



I have thought a lot about resurrection recently. It is that time of year. We just celebrated Easter. Every day the world around us is showing new life. And I want to tell you a little story about another resurrection taking place in my own heart.



Keith and I went to the Together Called marriage retreat for adoptive parents a little over a month ago. It was a refreshing time in many ways, but more than that, the weekend held one recurring theme for me: healing. As we opened up about my health issues people offered to pray for me then and there. One person even anointed me with frankincense she had in her purse. A sweet friend told me that God put on her heart to pray for me one night and she stayed up praying and claiming scriptural promises for me.




I went into the weekend in a great deal of pain. And I ended up handling it all well. I believe that God heard those prayers and touched a specific place in my back that was causing exceptionally high pain levels, but I also believe He used that weekend to resurrect hope in my heart.



I came home and made some calls about a treatment we had been looking into and occasionally talking about for a long time. And we decided to move forward.



Keith, Freeland, and I leave for Panama where I will be receiving stem cell therapy on Saturday. We plan to be gone for 1 week. I will be receiving, God willing and if everything goes according to plan, stem cell from cord blood or cord tissue from live, healthy births by IV and injections directly into my worst joints. Please pray that God uses this for healing!



I'm throwing some pictures from my recent trip to Taiwan in this post just because they are pretty and I am so grateful to be able to do what I do.



Y'all stay tuned. This is not the only big thing on the horizon for the Martin clan!

My Heart{s}

They say that when you have a child you... "decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." 




This past week has been one of moments where I have been reminded how much I love my tribe. We picked up the children from school before noon on Wednesday and all headed to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. Douglas met us there. The room was so nice, we had a suite to accommodate all 7 of us. Having Douglas there just added to the magic.








The children played hard in the waterpark. I had planned for this trip for quite a while, including getting matching pajamas for the children. They were such good sports going out to the main lobby for pictures. As we stood there between the little performance and the bedtime story in front of the fireplace real snowflakes started falling from the ceiling. The next day Kayla (Douglas' girlfriend) came to join us. I had fun watching the kids and taking pictures. As I looked though these fun pictures my heart was just  bursting!





On Sunday Douglas and Kayla came right away in the morning so that we could celebrate Christmas with both of them. The children opened gifts from them. I think it is safe to say they loved them! Timber got to open his gift and some really great pictures happened again!











Douglas and Kayla had driven back to PA from SC where they had visited Kayla's grandpa, they were pretty tired and snoozed a bit off and on throughout the day.





We all went to a Christmas service at the church Kayla's family attends. This is also the church Douglas has gone to since he moved out, so it was nice to visit there. 

And so these children of mine keep marching on, never realizing that I look at them with such a combination of joy, pride, and bittersweet pain. I hang on to every moment, knowing how quickly they change and grow and knowing that the sweet moments of this year will be outgrown by next year.