Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ice Cream ... You Scream...

Ice cream after Lily’s violin recital is wonderfully special, 
but ice cream outside, in chicago in April is magical!

What a lovely afternoon!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

time for tea

Joy is taking your daughter and her puppy to tea.

Ava figuring out the roll on her fork is drenched in sugar....


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gotcha Day 2013

April 16, 2012, you came into the civil affairs office and my heart grew 4 times.  

Your little cheeks were so rosy
and your eyes so very deep and wondering.  

We wept and I whispered into your little ear in my terrible Chinese how very much we loved you and that I was your mama.  I will never forget how your body relaxed.  

The word marmalade came to mind, you felt like marmalade must feel on toast.  Every inch of my body warmed to yours as the Holy Spirit ministered to your heart that this was home.  We were yours and you forever ours.  

You came with a tiny bread roll in one hand and a tissue in the other, you left with our hands and hearts in yours.

I wrote that day, in your journal. 
You are here, and I am in love.
Thank you Jesus.
Your Daddy, your brothers and your sister 
are over the moon for you.

And we still are today.  Your eyes went from serious that Monday morning to filled with joy, excitement, and a world full of love.  Your capacity for fun and compassion amazes us daily.  

Our little bird sent from heaven to our nest;  we thank God every day for His provision, His call, His incomparable love and mercy.  Four children lent to us;  we are indeed so privileged.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Secret Garden

 In just 2 days we will celebrate Ava’s very first gotcha day.

I am reliving day by day...moment by moment... this time last year.

My emotions felt like they had spun completely out of control and I was holding onto the Savior for the strength to take me to the moment of our meeting.

 What an amazing year it has been in so many glorious ways.
Any expectation I had of our Ava Joy has been far exceeded.  
The Heavenly Father is in the business of so much more than we can ask or imagine.  

The only mystery is why I ever question his mercy, his grace and his miracles.

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealing new miracles.” 
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” 

― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Our Sweet Ava Joy-Violette

Friday, April 5, 2013


Today was Ava's second day of school.

It amazes me that in less than a year we have migrated through speech therapy all the way to preschool and wonderful "in class" therapy.

Ava ADORED the first day.  We are so grateful to God and so grateful to teachers that write down all she sings and learns such that we can enjoy every moment when she comes home.

I am just learning to navigate the line and her name placard and figuring out which little group is her's, but from 20 feet away I could see her bouncing and pointing!

I rolled down my window and could hear her saying "MAMA!!!"   

How can it be that a year ago we were boarding a plane and I didn't know the treasure that awaited us in China.

God has blessed us far more abundantly than we could have asked or imagined.  Ava does not say much with her voice, but with her eyes, her heart and her hands, she speaks more than words could ever say.  And we are eternally grateful.

I took this photo just the other day at Ava's birthday.  I will cherish this photo.  It captures her sweet face, her absolute joy with her birthday, and so many of my lovelies behind her on my mother's cherry wood shelf. 

 This shelf has been part of our family since I can remember.  A hidden treasure behind my china treasure.  

Monday, April 1, 2013


We are so grateful for the resurrected Savior and celebrating His amazing grace.

Easter is truly a forever favorite of mine.  spring is just beginning, my crocus' are peaking their lovely blossoms out of the ground reminding us His grace is new every morning.