full heart. full hands.

A few weeks ago I shared about all that God has been doing in and through So Loved.

And today, I get to share even more good stuff.

Pictures.

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Pictures of some precious people wearing their So Loved at Morning Star Foster Home.

Some so tiny they have to wear theirs like a little blanket.

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And some so busy they don’t have time to put on their shirt, but they want to be in the picture anyway.

The absolute cuteness.

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My heart is so full, y’all.

My hands are full, too.

Just received over 300 more So Loved shirts – kids sizes fully stocked, fitted and classics for women back in stock and I even got a few more of the long sleeve for those who missed them – all ready to go just in time for Easter.

Or whatever reason you might choose to support the sweet kiddos at Morning Star. (Earth Day, Arbor Day, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, National Garlic Day, May Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Teacher’s Day and Mother’s Day are all around the corner, just FYI.)

Really, any day is a good day to gift someone with a So Loved. Amiright?

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We’ve also created a simple prayer card that will be included in every package. A tangible reminder of the tiny recipients of your support, with hopes that you will pray specifically for one or more of the children at Morning Star.

Because He asks us to love the least of these, care for the orphan and widow.

But ultimately it is Him who does the work. And answers the prayers.

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He is Faithful and True.

I hope that those of you who have purchased your So Loved shirts will continue to partner with us, and consider sharing with others how they can get involved, too:

— Pray for Shalom, who is in the hospital with pneumonia.
— Pray for Kate, who continues to struggle with fragile health and a heart that will require additional surgery.
— Pray for Meredith, as she does her very best to make wise decisions on behalf these children.
— Pray for all the babies at Morning Star Foster Home, and around the world, who go to bed tonight and every night, without a father or mother.
— Buy a So Loved. Give a So Loved. Share about So Loved – about orphans in China with broken hearts, about the fact that $15.50 of each purchase goes to charity – and be part of the healing these babies so desperately need.

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105 days

105 days ago we stood in a police station in Changsha, waiting not-so-patiently for the first real-life glimpse of our daughter.

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And as I have shared, that first meeting was far from storybook.

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Amazing what 105 days can do.

And so, in an effort to record how far she has come and all she has accomplished, buckle up for a voracious brag on our girl.

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Clementine was non-mobile when we met her. She could sit, but she wasn’t going anywhere.

105 days later she can scoot (not crawl because what she does to locomote is not crawling, but I digress), pull to stand, cruise along furniture, walk in her walker and stand to play without holding on.

She is a girl on the move.

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Clementine was able to hold only one thing in one hand when we met her. No concept of using both hands, much less both hands together.

105 days later she can use both hands together to do a multitude of things (including, but not limited to, all kinds of mischief). Just recently she has learned to use her pointer finger to press buttons and can now do things on my iPhone I can barely undo.

She’s a girl who is learning that she can make things happen.

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Clementine almost never cried when we met her. Only two times in China did she cry and then very rarely in those first few weeks home. She just seemed content no matter what.

105 days later and the girl can fuss. Fuss to be picked up. Fuss to go outside. Fuss to get a bottle. But she’s fussing, y’all. She knows what she wants and she feels safe and loved enough to ask for a snuggle or a bottle.

She’s a girl who is learning to express her feelings.

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Clementine had no concept of self-feeding when we met her. In fact, if you put a cheerio in her hand, she dropped it immediately.

105 days later and she is feeding herself like a pro. I still get to help her with bottles and the majority of meal times, but she can hold a cup of cereal in one hand and grab them out one by one with the other.

She’s a girl who is learning to be independent.

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Clementine was quick to turn away to play alone when we met her. In fact, our presence was more of a negative than a positive when she had a plaything she didn’t want to share.

105 days later, Clementine shares willingly and spontaneously. She shares toys, kisses, even her beloved Goldfish. When she feels like it.

She’s a girl who is learning what it feels like to have enough to share.

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Clementine was almost non-verbal when we met her. We had been told she could say mama and baba, and believe that to be true, but she made no efforts to communicate with us.

105 days later and she is babbling up a storm. And can sign dada, mama (on occasion), more, please, choo-choo, dog and outside. Okay, outside and dog look pretty much identical, but she’s signing. And learning new signs all the time.

She’s a girl who is learning she has something to say.

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Clementine was 30.75″ long and 17.6 pounds when we met her. 105 days later she is up almost 2 inches and 3 pounds – to 32.5″ and 20.5 pounds.

She’s a girl who is growing like a weed.

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I was scared and anxious and not at all sure I could mother Clementine well when we met her.

105 days later, I have no doubt. I can mother this child.

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I’m a mama who is learning that, even with a fearful, wobbly-kneed yes, God can do beautiful things in this heart of mine.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4

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more than just a few pictures.

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When I asked my girls who wanted to go outside with me and my camera, wearing their So Loved shirt, Lula was the first to shout (and jump, with both hands in the air), “Me! Me!” The promise of a pack of Skittles might have helped. I can’t be sure. My hope was to just […]

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the year of the sheep

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We wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday – the official first day of the Lunar New Year. Didn’t happen. Then we hoped to celebrate on Saturday. Nope. On Sunday Chris took the boys to church and I kept the girls home since we had three still recovering from fever/nausea/rash. And we were finally […]

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most days

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Things are usually a little crazy around here. Because, honestly, homeschooling seven kids is a pushing-this-mama-to-the-limit reality on most days. And since Clementine came home, the crazy has just gotten stronger. (In an adorable way, of course.) It has limited our outings significantly. And limited the time I have to spend one-on-one with my girls. […]

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Happy 11th.

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Sophie Lu is 11. And, among many other things, she’s a girl who knows her mind. So when it came time to pick a menu and shop for party accessories, I just got out of the way. She chose a local burger joint with the best sweet potato fries, ever. Chocolate Trifle, covered with chocolate […]

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So Loved – in stock and some precious news

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At the end of August, So Loved was relaunched to an amazing response. (Y’all are so crazy wonderful.) In just four months, over $2200 was raised, all from the sales of So Loved. My plan had always been to make the So Loved donation once a year – on July 31, Esther’s birthday. But then […]

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table for 14, please.

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Thanks to the generosity (and bravery) of a friend, photographer and fellow adoptive mama, we now have a new family photo. And then some. Our first photos as a family of 14. 14, y’all. Did I mention how brave my photographer friend is? Because photographing 14 people, 8 of whom are 10 and under, is […]

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two months with Clementine

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Two months ago we were in China. We had just arrived in Guangzhou with a wheezy, vomiting, rash-covered little girl. It’s so good to be in this side of those two months. Clementine started physical therapy this month and has just mastered pulling up to stand. On her own, y’all. We want her to learn […]

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2014 in review: 24 of my favorites

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It’s become a bit of a thing around here, I suppose: going through my pictures at the end of the year and plucking out a few favorites. It’s laborious. It’s time consuming. But I love it because it’s a chance to look back at the year, as a mama, and see how my babies have […]

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