Monday, November 19, 2012

5 years ago...

Five years ago today...

The Lord blessed us with a tiny, scared little girl named Feng Xiao Li.  She was too precious for words and I just had to stare at her because I could not believe she was actually mine and I still find myself feeling the same today about her.

We thank Jesus everyday for the awesome gift he gave us in Nanjing, China on November 19th, 2007.

Monday, August 27, 2012


This is my sweet boy.  I found out he was coming into my life when I was 18 years old.  I was told I had "options".  I ignored all the voices and opinions coming out to me as I knew this child was a blessing from God.  When I became a mother on January 12th, 1993 that was the first time in my life I felt loved.  Growing up, I didn't feel loved or wanted much of the time so when that big baby boy was placed in my arms, everything changed.  I made a promise to him the night before his birth that I would tell him everyday how much I loved him and how much he mattered to me.  And now, almost 20 years later, I still hold my promise.

I am pro-life.  I faced hardships as a young, single mother but I knew it was not up to me to choose if my unborn child lived or died.  He has a plan for his life written by his heavenly father and  I am so grateful to be an instrument in the works of God for the life of this sweet soul.

Yesterday, CJ and I moved him into his apartment at his new school in Chicago.  Unfortunately, I couldn't spare Trevor certain hardships that I had hoped to but God was faithful and blessed Trevor with CJ when he was 9 years old.  CJ always loved and provided for Trevor as if he was his own.  So you can imagine my delight as I witnessed yesterday how proud and excited CJ was (and is) for our boy.  It blessed my soul. 

Now I'm learning the new normal around the house, I've had a few several moments of the ugly cry but I'm getting through it. Thankfully, some other mama's have offered encouragement to me today which has helped so much.  I'm a big baby when it comes to the five treasures I call my kids and if you've read my blog over the last 4 years you know that's a true statement! 

So Tonight, even though not all my birds are in the nest, I am Grateful beyond measure, my cup overflows.

Thank you Jesus for Trevor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We have names!

This little peanut girl, Miss Gracie Faith is loved so much by all of us and in return, she loves us too.  However, she's been with her forever family for almost 4 months (hard to believe) and she has yet to refer to either CJ or me as daddy/mama.  Of course, this is not a big deal at all, we have learned bonding and attachment takes time and we're so stinkin grateful our baby is healing that calling us daddy/mama, well, it doesn't matter. There have been a handful of times she has called me mama and then would put her hand over her mouth as if she scolded herself and I have a feeling she's so afraid to call me mama as it would mean (to her) that her China mama isn't her mama anymore. This breaks my heart as we never want her to feel she has to choose.  So I asked Madelyn if she would mind telling her (in mandarin) not to worry about calling me mama that we would figure something else out. So she did and that was that...Until Thursday!  We were all out in the pool and little miss needed to show me her latest and greatest trick in the pool.  Well, as you can imagine with four girls swimming my eyes are all over the place watching every one's latest and greatest moves so little miss had to wait a minute (which tends to be hard for a 6 1/2 year old), well, she got impatient and said "Hey Mimi"!  EVERYONE stopped!  I found myself tearing up and laughing at the same time.  It truly never bothered me that when she needed me she would usually just say "um, I need..."  But to actually hear her call me by name did something to my mother's heart.  I was something to her.

By now, she had walked out of the pool to come near me as we were all laughing.  I picked up my teeny baby girl, hugged her and told her how much I loved her and how much I loved being her Mimi.  So there is it!  I'm mama, mom or mommy to Trevor, Madelyn, Rachel and Linzhi Rose and I'm Mimi to little Gracie Faith and that's perfect for this Mama/mimi.  So what a about CJ?  Well, Little miss was so excited she finally figured out what to call me that I asked her what in the world should we call dada? (because she has a China baba too so she will not call CJ baba, daddy or dada)... SO, CJ is Papa and we laugh about it because it seems as if we're grandparents!  I had a friend that called her grandparents Mimi and Papa.  And little miss?  Well, she loves finally having names for us and she will call out to us many times as she can and we answer as if it's always been this way.  And the other kiddos?  Well, Linzhi Rose thought it would be funny to call me Mimi and  I looked at her and asked...Do you really want to call me by that name?  She replied...Maybe once in awhile.  :)

<><  God is Good!  <><

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Madelyn Grace

July 19th marked two wonderful years with our Madelyn Grace.  Grateful to be her mama is such an understatement!  We LOVE you so very much!

As I watch Madelyn grow up, it's sometimes bittersweet as we missed so much her "little" years.  We have lots of pictures but boy, I would have LOVED to cuddle that little girl.  We're so blessed to have her for this part of her life and look forward to watching her grow into a young women.  Thank you Jesus for Madelyn!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

life (post at the bottom)

Rachel loving her baby after surgery, the staff was so sweet to let them come in even though they were not of the permitted age. They knew Gracie needed them more that anything else.

Finally, Apple juice!

The pillow says...My heart was touched by HOPE PSHU (pediatric surgical heart unit-ICU)

Finally home, playing babies!

No, it's not halloween and Yes, Rachel is dressed like a witch.  Madelyn, the budding make-up artist dressed Rachel up for play.

Feeding their babies in the toy room.

Waiting for the parade to start.

These pics are out of order... The big girls trying to keep Gracie busy with sticker books. All the girls were with us during Gracie's 17 days in the hospital...GOD bless the Ronald McDonald House!!

My boy at work...Yes, his eyes are closed. :(

Playing cards in our room at the Ronald McDonald house.

Linzhi catching a movie at the RMH

Ok, back to home and swimming!

At the fair on the ferris wheel.  Linzhi and I are across from them freaking out!  I hate heights!  CJ, Rachel and a couple of our church friends were in another cart. 

Right after her scary tachycardia episode.  Precious baby, trying to smile.

Rachel and Madelyn going stir crazy at the RMH

Miss M swimming.

Rachel Cate

Madelyn Grace

Linzhi Rose

At the friends!

The other night, the girls were eating dilly bars from the DQ, we have to help Linzhi eat as she cannot hold the stick.  Then I got an idea of cutting a slit in the top of an empty coffee can, I then filled the can with a zip lock bag of sugar to keep it steady... WALLAH!   We're always thinking up new ways of doing things around here!  She can also eat a corn dog this way...well, anything that's on a stick for that matter. :)

Madelyn and Gracie Faith

This was a sweet day, all my babies in the hospital room.  Trevor took care of things at home (an hour away) but twice he was able to come up and help me with the girls at the RMH and visit Grace.

Going to pet therapy at the hospital and not happy about it.  This was her look the entire time we were there. 

Sisters holding hands, Gracie on the left, Linzhi in the middle and Rachel on the right, holding Linzhi's hand steady. I love how they love each other.

Praying over Gracie, my heart was full.
I have tried to blog over the last month and the words just didn't come to my mind.  Since our plane landed from China on April 18th, life for our family has been in fast motion and as grateful as we are that the we are now behind the first surgery, we as a family are so happy for to have some "normal" life this summer.  As life is, in a few weeks we'll be going through another adjustment as my first bird will be leaving the nest.  Trevor is off to Columbia College mid-August.  As happy and excited as I am for him, my heart aches when I think of him not being here everyday, not seeing his big (size 13) shoes at the front door, the sound of his voice in the house or finding he has eaten my leftovers that I had planned to eat for lunch the next day, you know...little things that make him special to our family.  *sigh*  I cannot believe we're here, it's time now for him to spread his wings and start his life.  I am so grateful he's a Godly young man that loves the Lord, it gives CJ and me much peace in knowing that about Trevor...So I will pray for him to keep close to Jesus as I know Jesus will stay close to him.  <3

Gracie had her bilateral/bi-directional glen operation done on May 24th.  The surgery was a beautiful success!  As she was healing she hit a few bumps in the road as she experienced two episodes of tachycardia, one being severe.  Poor baby, had a panic attack as her heart rate went to 230 for 1.5 hours.  CJ was with her for the first mild episode and I was with her for the biggie.  CJ was across the street with the girls at the Ronald McDonald house as he waited for my sister to arrive, as soon as she got there, he ran over to us.  By the time he met us, she was back is PSHU (Pediatric surgical heart unit-ICU), before CJ arrived, I laid my hands on her head and went straight to the throne of God, begging to snap her out of this.  I had been praying all the while but all of a sudden, I found strength bursting out of me calling to our heavenly father to save my baby and just like He snapped His mighty fingers, she was out of it and back to a better heart rate.  The attending heart physician looked right at me and said "I think mom just flipped a switch", my reply...I must have through my prayers"... I had kept my cool, until that moment and then everything hit me and tears flooded my eyes as I looked at my angel laying there, exhausted, scared, depressed, most likely needing her China mama, sweaty and shivering from all her little body had just gone through.  I felt total peace knowing Jesus came to the rescue.  After a few days, we were able to move her back down to the telemetry unit, within a day of being there, Gracie's arm swelled three times her normal size, she had an IV in that arm which was not being used so CJ and I asked the nurse to take it out and page the attending to come look at it, which she did.  After an ultrasound, it was discovered miss Grace has a blood clot in a superficial vein.  *sigh*  They immediately started her on heparin (blood thinner) through her other IV, she would remain on this drug for 3 days, then they switched her to an oral drug called cumodin but once we met with the hematologist, he suggested injections of a drug called lovenox which she remains on to this day.  So mama and daddy, give our little one a shot twice a day for the next 2 months after which, she will have another ultrasound to check on the blood clot.  With all of this, the glen operation was a success, she will have her second surgery (fontan) in the spring of 2013.  Basically, before her surgery, Gracie has one common valve (no tricuspid or mitral), so her blood mixed, so the lungs which needs blue blood got a mix of both and her body which needs red blood got a mix which of course is not a good thing.  So the Glen operation that took place in May, Dr. Ilbawi, disconnected her Superior vena cava (she had 2-normal anatomy has 1) from her right atrium, then connected to her pulmonary artery, so now the head and neck flow drains directly to both lungs giving it the blue blood it desperately needs....Clear as mud?  The Fontan, next spring will plug in her lower body in to get the red blood it needs, as of now, it is still getting the mixed blood.  There are a couple of other things that will need to be repaired, like the whole that is present in the center of her heart.  To meet her, you would never know what she has gone through or what still needs to take place.  She is a mighty little warrior and fears NOTHING except a thunderstorm, she's tough as nails!  She is learning about Jesus daily, she loves to play babies with Linzhi, LOVES to swim, ride her bike and new scooter that Grandma and Grandpa bought her and Linzhi from a garage sale, she is loving life, loving her sisters and brother, opening up to her mama and daddy.  She won't call us mama or daddy, she doesn't call us anything yet, although I hear her talking to the girls and she refers to us as mama and daddy behind our backs...too cute!  We'll get there, that is the least of our concern for our baby.  She's so loving to all of us, hugs and kisses and telling all of us she loves us...that's totally enough!  We put her China family pictures in frames which adore her shelves in her bedroom. She will look at them and kiss the frame and then off to play some more.  Her grieving has been minimal, but she's does experience it here and there, she is not afraid to ask Madelyn about her experience leaving her China family, in fact, Madelyn said to me one morning "Gracie came in my room and we talked for hours about China and being adopted".  Madelyn needed it just as much as Gracie.  See how Jesus works?  He always knows what we need and placing these two together was all His design.  All my girls are doing wonderful, Rachel and Madelyn are the leaders of the pack.  They tend to do their own thing together, as much as they pick at each other at times, they are very tight.  Linzhi and Grace as we loving refer to as "the littles" are two peas in a pod!  They love everything baby and play for hours with their baby alive dolls.  it's so precious for us to see Linzhi finally having a partner in life.  Rachel and Madelyn, of course played with Linzhi but the age and maturity differences posed challenges in finding common interests but again, God had a perfect plan for Linzhi and Gracie and now, I have two sets of girls...the bigs and the littles and I love every exhausting, minute of it!  I kid, It's not exhausting but at times, I will sit there and look at them and think to myself...I am totally out numbered!  With adding Grace, CJ and I both decided it's time to start giving the girls more responsibility and they all stepped up to the plate, not everyday they are happy to help but they do it anyway which teaches them, we all have to work together for our family. 
I Can't believe we are already starting the second week of July!  Linzhi, my sister and I are leaving for Delaware on July 22.  On the 23rd, Linzhi Rose is getting fitted for her WREX (robotic arm devices), our prayer and hope is for this to give Linzhi what she needs most, assistance in eating, grooming and day to day help for all the things people with one or two normal working arms take for granted.  She never complains, she even tells us she loves her hands, Rachel, in fact,  ADORES Linzhi's hands/arms and tells her all the time.  We are all so excited to see how this will help our precious girl!  I will be posting from Delaware with videos and pics! 
This coming week, Trevor, his friend and I are heading to Chicago for his orientation at Columbia.  We'll see his apartment and possibly meet his roommates.  It will be a fun day for sure but Please keep me in your prayers...I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!!!  :(

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gracie's surgery

Dear friends and family,

Please keep our baby girl in your prayers.  Tomorrow, May 24th at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, Gracie will have her first of two open heart surgeries.  This first surgery is considered the "bigger" of the two as Dr. Ilbawi will repair much of her defect.  At one point of the five hour surgery, Gracie will be put on a heart/lung machine as he repairs her leaky valve.  Being on the heart machine means Gracie heart and lungs will be stopped for about an hour.  I'm going to be truthful, those words make me shutter.  This is much harder than I ever thought it could be.  We knew before we brought her home, this day would come.  Now that she is here, in our arms and home, I cannot imagine our lives without her.  For 10 months, she was a picture on our mantel but now she is flesh and blood here with us which makes this even more difficult as my heart now belongs to her as if she was always mine.  So you can imagine, we are not holding on to Jesus, we are CLINGING to Him for dear life and trust without a doubt that He is in total control.

As I ran to my bible this morning, this sweet message spoke right to my heart and brought peace to my mind.  I would like to share this and I pray that it brings you peace as well. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
~Hebrews 12 1-3

Thank you for praying, we can surely feel it. 

In Christ,
CJ and Amy

Monday, May 14, 2012

My mama's day

What a blessing to have all these kids wrapped around me, I am so blessed!  I was spoiled for the entire weekend with special treats, a nice lunch out and lots of precious gifts made by my baby girls.  Thank you Jesus for Trevor, Madelyn, Rachel Cate, Linzhi Rose and Gracie Faith.  My cup over flows.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Coming up for air...beware, it's a long post! 

Waiting for the doctor to tell us what to do after she consulted the Cardiologist.

At the doctor before everything came to a head.

I have started this post a few times in my head but for the life of me I have been to exhausted to type.  I'm going to way back to Guangzhou... 

We had an absolute wonderful time in China.  I loved almost every minute of it!  CJ and I both got a little under the weather the last couple of days which kept us from having a good-bye dinner with our new friends Ken, Gina and Naomi.  What a blessing to us to meet this precious family!

The evening before we left, we ordered room service and took our time packing.  It was an early evening as we had to be in the lobby at 6:15am to meet our guide so we could head to the airport.  If you've ever stayed at The Garden Hotel in Guangzhou, China you will understand our desire to have one last breakfast  in the cafe.  Thank goodness, they opened at 6am so we had a few minutes to enjoy some hot tea and a little breakfast.  Once we got in the van and started heading to the airport, I got a little teary thinking about Grace leaving her homeland.  I have felt this way every time I have traveled home with one of my China girls, Rachel felt the same way too as she enjoyed her time discovering where her sisters once lived.  Overall, it was a precious time and we are so grateful to God for allowing us to bring another treasure home.

being goofy.

The travel home was long and uneventful (thank you Jesus).  We did have a bit of a lay over in Beijing but nothing too bad.  The flights were pretty much smooth and both girls did great!  Arriving in the USA was a wonderful thing, we made it through immigration with no issues and our baby girl became a US citizen on April 18th, 2012.  God is good!

We came home to lots of family, food and presents!!  Both Linzhi Rose and Madelyn did some garage sales with Grandma and Grandpa and spoiled all of us rotten!  Once everyone went home, it was time to get everyone down to sleep so mama and dad could fall into our beds. Like tradition, we pulled their mattresses into our room so everyone could be together and thanks to Trevor, they were all set up for us.  Trevor being 19 now, opt to sleep in his own room! :)

Our first night was short as both CJ, Madelyn, Rachel and Gracie were all up at 1:30am...Yes, Madelyn was up too!  It was funny some of our kids that didn't go to China experienced some jet lag too!  They all finally went to bed around 3am as I was walking down stairs because I was wide awake.  I kind of enjoyed this time alone, I was able to read my bible, sip my tea and completely organize my downstairs.  When I finally got tired around 8am, my house was clean!

Our first full day home (Thurs) was sweet as little miss looked around and explored her new home.  Of course, all the mother hens in the family were right next to her every minute of the day.  I made myself get up at noon so I could get to the grocery store and get stuff going for dinner.   Everyone hit the hay at 8pm and we were all mostly up at 4am.  Good times!
Getting discharged from her cardiac cath.

Comfort food for my baby at Panda Express.

Friday proved to be a different kind of day.  Gracie had her appointment with the pediatrician at 1:30pm.  I was still not feeling 100% but I knew she needed to get her check up for China regulations.  If I had it my way, I would have rescheduled for Monday but I pulled myself together and brought her in with Linzhi.  Things started to move very fast from this point on.  Little miss gave us all a scare as her pulse/oxygen levels were dangerously low at 76, normal and healthy is 100.  Our pediatrician knew we had an appointment with a cardiologist referred to us by Linzhi's surgeon the following week but told me, she could not let her leave the office with her pulse/ox that low.  I said to her "do whatever you need to do, I will follow your lead" and are we ever grateful for Dr. Z and Jesus!  Within minutes, she had a pediatric cardiologist on the phone and he quickly started ordering test...Echo, EKG, blood work and chest x-ray.  Once things started, Dr.Z grabbed by hand and said to me very seriously, "you need to pray she's treatable".  I reassured her, we have been praying for her health for over a year.  I stayed calm, got my phone, called CJ and within a few minutes he was at the office, Trevor was able to stay home from work with the other girls and someone from church was bringing us a planned meal.  God had everything under control.  We were able to do the blood work and EKG at the doctors office but for the Echo and and chest x-ray we went to the local hospital as directed.  Gracie's new cardiologist, Dr. G, wanted up to the minute images sent to him (bless his heart), by this time it was well into late afternoon on a Friday and both doctors stayed in touch with us the entire time.  We felt God's hands holding us the entire evening.  Poor little miss held it together until the time the tech began the Echo of her neck.  She was in an awkward position and the poor thing couldn't take it anymore, she let herself go and this was the first time we saw our baby girl cry.  Mama couldn't hold it in either so I held her tight and both CJ and I prayed for our little brave flower.  In the back of our minds, we knew there was a great chance she would not be treatable, not even healthy enough to discuss transplant, we had to wait for our doctor to call us back the next day after she and Dr. G had a chance to discuss her diagnosis.  Once all the tests were finished it was around 8pm.  Gracie was starving and CJ and I both needed to sit for a minute without too many interruptions to just process all that took place within a matter of 6 hours.  As we sat at the table waiting for our pizza we were both amazed at how quickly God moved.  We knew He was in total control and we needed to feed our baby, go home to all our kids, get them to bed and pray we could sleep too.  I knew it was going to be a long night with jet lag, praying and maybe some lots tears.  But the Lord had other plans for His weary children.  He gave us rest in some beautiful words that came from a call on my cell as we waited for our pizza.  Dr. Z. called and I could tell in her voice it was diagnosis.  She talked a lot and very fast, please don't ask me what she said because I can only remember one word. *treatable* Yes, Praise JESUS!  Our baby is treatable!  TREATABLE!!!!!!!!  I will never get tired of that precious word!!!  PRAISE THE LORD, GRACIE FAITH IS TREATABLE!!!

A lot took place as we were waiting for that pizza!  What a blessing to be able to bring Amazing-God news to our worried children at home. Thank you Jesus!
true love.

Crazy Hair girl!  Rachel designed this picture from my iphone.

We were quickly scheduled to meet with Dr. G the following Monday at his office an hour away.  During the weekend we all needed to to just decompress and just process all that took place.  We had a visit from Grandpa and Grandma and my sister Sage and her friend Lindy.  They brought a big bag of sweet little outfits for Gracie and some sweets for all.  Sunday, we went to church and then our dear friends, the Blair's cooked us dinner at their house.  We had a wonderful visit with them and their daughter and son-in-love.  And before we knew it, we were sitting in Dr. G's office going over details of our little one's heart.  CJ and I are so very grateful we were directed to this particular doctor.  He is amazing.  Sweet and tender with our baby girl.  He has worked with orphans from China before so he was not surprised at certain things.  While we were on the flight home, I was able to have a lot of time in prayer and the one thing I kept asking the Lord was where?  Where do we bring her?  Where is the right hospital?  Where is the right Dr.?
Well, that Friday afternoon on April 20th.  He showed us exacted WHERE HE wanted Gracie to be.  No doubt in either of our minds.

So... here it is...

Here is little peanuts diagnosis... and it's a biggie!

  1. Heterotaxia.
  2. double outlet right ventricle.
  3. pulmonary stenosis (this is the reason she is treatable-THANK YOU JESUS!) 
  4. Common AV valve (she has no tricuspid or mitral valve, just one common) 
  5. Unbalanced AV canal.
  6. The right side of her heart is enlarged but Dr. G is not concerned at all. 
  7. In the center of her heart is a hole, we were assured it can be closed.
And we discovered through an abdominal ultrasound, Grace has no SPLEEN!  (this was not a surprise to Dr. G, that's why he ordered the ultrasound).
My baby Grace.

Gracie's first bike ride, yes she's wearing her heart monitor and NO, I did not let her over do it.  :)

May 9th, 2012

Last week, Gracie had a cardiac cath done and it required her to stay overnight in the hospital.  As much as I wanted her to be home but the Lord wanted us to stay and  I am so grateful to have been able to stay with her and meet so many of the doctors and nurses that will be taking care of our flower post-op.  I was also able to give our testimony and share our burden for orphan care with 2 doctors and 3 nurses, all of which have the heart to adopt!  How Great is our GOD!!!  One doctor even gave me the biggest hug for bringing little miss home.  I couldn't  express to her enough how blessed WE are for the blessing of this child. (all of our Children).  It was so cute to watch as I explained how our family was knitted together, by my womb and through our hearts.  And they were all shocked to find out my eldest child is 19!!  That made my day. :) 

Once home, we spoke to nurses Katie and Julie, they went over what is going to take place during surgery and gave us her surgery date. 

Gracie is now scheduled for her first open heart surgery on May 24th.  She will then have her second open heart 4-6 months after that date.  CJ and I both feel completely in awe of how quickly the Lord has moved for His little girl.  Exactly one month ago today, Gracie was placed in our arms and to think now, one month later we know exactly what her heart condition is and a plan in place to repair her precious heart!  Knowing how the Lord is working on behalf of little one sure puts me in my place once and for all about fear and doubt.  I cannot even think to disrespect Jesus by questioning or doubting anything about this situation. We have complete trust and faith in our Heavenly Father. As a mama,  I do carry a very deep pain in my heart and that is for my children.  The girls are so in love with their baby sister and of course Trevor too.  We're doing our best to comfort and prepare them for what's to come as far as recovery but there have been moments of tears and expression of worry,  so all we can do is hold on to each other and pray.  I know by witnessing how the Lord is working will strengthen our children's faith in Jesus even more. 

Getting ready to play outside in the beautiful weather.  Love the background of Trevor's old car and the neighbor's trash cans.  sigh...

Linzhi, too cool for school with her shades. Gracie has crazy, hard to tame hair!

This Friday, May 11th.  We are meeting with Dr.I.  He is the artist that will repair our baby's heart. We were told, Gracie needs an artist to repair her heart and Dr. I is that indeed!  Every person I have spoken to, whether it be a CNA, Nurse, Doctor or the gal that scheduled our blood donation appointment had nothing but WONDERFUL things to say about Dr. I.  I cannot wait to meet with him on Friday.  He likes to meet all his kids before surgery and meet their families.  We decided to bring the girls, unfortunately, Trevor has to work otherwise he would be coming too. 

Do you ever scratch your heart in bewilderment at how the Lord works so personally in your life, like to the very last little detail?  Well, the day of Gracie's cath.  My mother and father in law came down to babysit and before we left grandpa prayed over little Gracie (as she cried) and we all prayed for an opportunity for a mandarin speaking nurse or doctor that would be able to explain to Gracie what is going on.  This is a little too advanced for Madelyn as they are both from different parts of China, the dialect is different so there are times when Madelyn has no idea what Gracie is saying and vice versa.  So, the day of the cath, we did not meet anyone that spoke mandarin however, a couple days later, Dr. I's nurse Katie called me and wanted to know exactly where in China little miss was born.  She stated to me that Dr. G. does not want Gracie to be under any added stress pre or post op so they are going to locate a mandarin speaking translator that knows Taiyuan dialect.  This translator will be at our disposal when Gracie is in the hospital.  Ok, really!?!?!? 
WOW!  Thank you Jesus for your attention to all the little details that help us so.
Gracie proud of her school work. 

Gracie and Rachel playing "listen to my heart"  Gracie knows exactly where to listen.

So now, we wait for May 24th.  It's nice to be able to come up for air.  We're wrapping up our school year, playing outside, doing crafts and just being still together before our world changes for a little while.  Gracie is such a little doll!  She fits in so well at our home.  We all love her to pieces, she definitely fits the bill as far as being the youngest in the family.  We are so grateful to have followed Jesus into the unknown of Gracie Faith.  I spent several months agonizing over how Gracie would be healed and Jesus had it all figured out and WAY BEYOND what we expected.  Growing in our faith, loving the children sent to us from above,  bonding our marriage even more in Christ, well, it brings me to my knees praising the Lord for all He has given me.  When I think about where I came from and where I am today.  I find myself in awe of God's never failing forgiveness and love. 

Please pray for our family, especially Gracie Faith and the little girls that love her so very much.  I will be updating on Facebook and my blog post surgery so please check in with us.

Thank you all for the prayers.

Stay strong in Christ,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gracie Love

The Lord always knows what we need and he knew this mama needed to see her baby girl. Last night, I could not sleep so I read my bible, prayed, cried a little too. My phone alerted me to a email and to my sweet surprise it was little miss.
Thank you Sweet Jesus!
7 days until this angel is with her mama and daddy and sister too!
16 days until she is home, safe and sound under our roof.
God is so very good all the time.

We sent her this fruit basket to share with her foster family.