Meet Magnolia

I'd like to introduce y'all to someone kinda special. Meet Miss Magnolia Jane, our daughter. I know, I can hardly stand it. Seriously. Now for the story, because I'm guessing you're probably curious. And the truth is, it's a story worth telling because it's not our story. It's His. I'm not going to share it all today, but I want to share some. The rest, eventually. Its roots were laid down months and months ago, probably around the time we met our sweet Clementine in China. So frail. So ill. And even sicker on the inside than we could have ever imagined at … [Read more...]

Clementine’s real special need

When we reviewed Clementine's medical, it was pretty boring. In a really good way. Down syndrome, a minor heart issue and developing relatively well. Once we'd committed and were well into the wait, we got word of her breathing issues. Asthma? Pneumonia? Bronchitis? She was hospitalized for the entire month of April. Then in September we got the news that she was being moved to Beijing for open-heart surgery. What? Turns out, it was none of the above. And it would be months after we got home before we would really know anything. In late January, we … [Read more...]

become a mentoring mom

I am so. excited. This project has been in the *dream* stage for a long time. But with a website overhaul pending, and realizing our need for more organizational and informational supports to make No Hands But Ours all it can be, the time to turn this dream into reality is now. Joining me on this adventure are Rebecca, Liberty, Becky, Amy and Sheryl. All moms of precious kiddos from China, who just happen to have special needs. All passionate advocates for the orphan. And all just as excited as I am to be working together to launch this crazy big idea. And we … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: you go, girl.

She was the subject of my very first Sunday Snapshot. Over three years ago. And today seemed a perfect day to do it again. Because there is much to celebrate. Isabelle's teacher called me on Friday. With some news. Evidently, Isabelle's reading level was recently tested. At the end of the year last year, Isabelle was reading at a level H - one level behind grade level. And we were beside ourselves with excitement... she had gone from being a non-reader to a level H in just 9 months. The teacher called to tell me that Isabelle's goal for this year … [Read more...]

her little hand

This picture, at first glance, looks like a child's scribble. And it is. But it is so. much. more. Y'all probably know this, but for those of you who might not, Poppy's special need is missing fingers on her left hand, also known as symbrachydactyly. It's pretty much a non-issue in our day-to-day existence. In fact, I've found myself completely forgetting that my sweet girl doesn't have any fingers on her left hand. Because the girl can do anything. Since Poppy came home, we've referred to her little hand as just that - her little hand. But we've tried … [Read more...]

six percent :: surgery

He in surgery. All has gone well, so far. They gave him the "goofy juice" and he proceeded to get very, very goofy. Then they wheeled him back to surgery. And I held his hand until he fell asleep. Then I walked out, down the hallway, and proceeded to bawl like a baby. Many here enduring surgeries for reasons so much more pressing than Jude. But somehow, my heart still hurts. So grateful to know that the Lord has him in the palm of His hand. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not … [Read more...]

six percent :: it’s go time

Today marks the beginning of Jude's treatment to correct his relapsing clubfoot. He'll get his first of two casts to prepare his foot for surgery. He is, in fact, at his appointment right now with his dad and a few of his siblings. But I am here. At home. Holding down the fort with the other kiddos. Wishing I could be there with him. Chris, Jude, Sophie, Dalton and Shepherd headed out on Saturday for the long drive to Iowa. They'll be staying for a week to complete the first and second casts. Then they'll come home for about a week. On the 24th, … [Read more...]

six percent

*update: Jude did great in the MRI. no results until our docs have a look, but so glad this is behind us now. Thank you so much for your prayers.* Jude came home from China five years ago. He was 16 months and had bilateral, unrepaired clubfoot. We took him to Iowa for casting and we followed the bracing protocol to the letter. And all went well until we took Jude out of his night-time boots, right before his sixth birthday. He began to relapse on his right foot. The relapse rate for kids who are treated properly and braced properly is only about six … [Read more...]

because I should be packing…

or organizing... or cleaning. I thought it would be the perfect time for some fun. Instead. You ready? How about a really-fun-super-fanastic quiz? I thought it would be fun to compile some answers to the following questions about your China adoption travel experience. After I asked y'all for help with special needs blogs links a few weeks ago (and y'all completely blew the doors off) I thought y'all might have some wise and wonderful tips to share with me, and with other folks who will follow in our footsteps in the future. What? Y'all think I don't … [Read more...]

and… exhale.

We have travel dates. April 8 – Arrive in Wuhan April 9 – GOTCHA DAY April 10 – ADOPTION DAY April 11 – Fly to Guangzhou April 12 – Medical April 14 – Medical/TB skin test read April 16 – CA April 17 – Get Visa April 18 - Fly HOME Can not wait to squeeze you, little one. … [Read more...]