Waiting for Baby Yang to come home

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Fun

We had a great time at the Great Country Farm on Saturday. The plan was to get out there around 9am, but we decided to drop the girls off at the gym childcare so that Mike and I can spend some time in the Word of God. We both know this is what we need the most, but it's often the first to elude our day as the hecticness sets in. We were already way behind schedule, but we decided to stop by the gym anyway. We were so glad we did this, especially as we both had really rich time in the Word. I was soaking in the Truth of Ephesians 1. It's an incredible reminder of what we have in Christ and God had in mind to do this for us even before He created the world. He was thinking about how He would lavish us with his love and grace so that we can stand holy in His sight and learn to be more like Him... even as He already saw all the ways humanity will fail and hurt him. He knew that His plan will override all wrongs and failures. Too often, I get stuck on my own successes and failures especially as a mom. I am learning to lean more on this unfailing reality we have in Christ and it is so liberating and this truth that I have in Christ is what gives me the power to be more like Him even in my parenting. I have such ways to go, but there is so much hope and a testimony of how He IS changing me inside out.
In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will... Ephesians 1:5

I love being outdoors with the girls. I love seeing them running around and enjoying nature. The girls had a great time. Karis has been asking to go to the Pumpkin patch for awhile now, so she got her wish granted. We were pooped when we got in the car, but I wasn't too tired to convince the family to make a pit stop by the local vineyard to sip a glass of red wine and to enjoy a spectacular view from the hilltop.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ashes to Beauty

One of the things that I find so encouraging in my walk with God is how He uses suffering and hardships to give us the gift of true treasure that often come in the form of closer intimacy with Him, inner change that makes us more like Jesus or gives us the courage to take a leap of faith into an adventure with Him.

Earlier in the summer we miscarried our third child. It was a sad time and we mourned the loss of our child. The pregnancy was unexpected, and the loss made us realize how much we really wanted a third child. The loss also helped us to identify more acutely with the Father's heart that is broken over children who are orphaned.

Over the years, Mike and I have discussed the option of adopting as a means of growing our family. In increasing measure, it was making more and more sense to us to adopt our third child. We know we want a child. We know there is a child that needs us. We know that true faith is expressed in how we take care of the orphans and the widows. We celebrate the concept of adoption... as the relationship that gives us hope and life was through adoption. God the creator has called us his holy children, not through our own merit or heritage, but through the means of adoption. Being the perfect Father, He has set us up to succeed, to taste and know true joy, victory, freedom. He lavishes us and instructs us as to how we can live out our holy calling.

Long story short, we have embarked on an incredible journey to adopt our third child. Lord willing, we will be adopting a baby from South Korea. I just spoke with the social worker assigned to work with us. We have four different appointments set up for October and beginning November.

Thank you, God, for bringing us to this point. I adore You and marvel at how you are continually turning the ashes of my life into beauty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guess who is turning two?

Yep, you've guessed it. Lydia is turning two this Friday. She has blessed my life in so many ways. She's more of a determined task oriented girl. She loves trying to figure things out-- mostly how to get at things she is not allowed to reach. Her stubborn streak has been a source of few tears- for the both of us, but I see her changing. I see her learning to obey despite how much she wants to do the things she wants to do. I see her quick to stroke Karis' arm in apology after pinching her out anger or a fit of jealousy. I see a sinful (cute as she is!!) little person slowly but surely transforming into the likeness of her Maker. In the process, her mom is changing too. She is humbled into deeper dependence and prayers to the only One that can grow in this child a heart that is set apart and loves God. What an exciting ministry parenthood is. Sometimes I wonder who this is really for. Lord, is it really for the girls? Or are you using this as a way to change me? I can truly say that parenthood has changed me. It's helped me to understand the heart of the Father a little better. It gives me more opportunities (or more opportunities that I can not escape :P) to die to myself and to live for God, to practice unconditional love, to be stretched and think and see beyond myself. It really is hardest thing I have ever done, but I love what it is about, what it does. Happy birthday, our cute little monster. We love you more than you could know.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I wish I was more disciplined and had more time to post. There are so many passing thoughts, moments I wish I could document and not forget, but it's often the choice between cleaning up a house that looks like it's been hit by a tornado or posting or laying down in my comfy bed watching mindless TV or posting.

We have been slowly adding to the backyard features. It has been such a treat to have a swing set in our backyard. Mike recently added a sandbox underneath the playground. The wooded, semi-private backyard is a perfect oasis. When we are out there on many early afternoons, it's very quiet except for the green interrupted by pink and white blossoms and the sound of the birds. I love the fact that we don't hear cars. I do feel closer to God outdoors. Karis has been more interested in learning names of flowers, trees, and have been asking for a bird feeder once she's figured out why birds would often land on our neighbor's fence. I love that she's learning to love the nature early. I love the fact that she will quickly go to touch a caterpillar, a frog, a worm without hesitation. It's often hard for me to hide the fact that I am grossed out. I can tell she sees beauty in nature that is deeper, more calming, and simpler than than what she will find in toys or other man made gadget. I've been frustrated that she's been showing so little interest or effort in learning to ride her bike or scooter that we purchased for her, but I have been much more accepting of the fact that she will naturally gravitate towards the things that she loves and to let her, in fact, support her in doing the things that she loves. Karis loves working with her hands and it's quite a sight to watch her maneuver a piece of ribbon, playdoh or any thing that is goopy or messy. Her little pudgy fingers move clumsily with purpose and determination. She can spend literally hours in the sandbox and come out exhausted from whatever imaginary games she has been playing in there. Mike gets sad for her sometimes, because her friendships in the neighborhood hasn't flourished as we had hoped, but I truly believe that this is in God's hand and I do think whatever He is doing is amazingly good for her and even me. I see how she's learning to appreciate and value the friendships she does have and this quality is so much more important than having a lot of friends to have fun with.
We love this house for how it serves us in providing us with a home that is perfectly sized for us that helps us to build beautiful, fun, and love-filled memories that we pray will be a foundation that will help the girls to grow up to be risk taking warriors for Christ in whatever context God has them in, but at times, we struggle with reconciling the reality of families around the world struggling for basic needs such as food and clean water while we live in a comfortable suburban home. We do feel that we were prayerful, searched our heart's motive, and did seek counsel as we were going in to purchasing this home, but the question that has been gnawing at us as we settle into our home is... Is God really okay with us living here while others are suffering without basic needs? We are both trying to grapple with this and understand God's heart, our role, and be willing to make changes if that's what's right for us. We don't want to be okay with an inconclusive answer to this question. It's a tough tough question to try and answer honestly.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


How would I describe Lydia? It would be important for me to point out how she's transformed from a timid infant who frightened easily to the slightest noise to a determined toddler that loves to explore and push boundaries and who works very hard daily to mark her place in this home... in her world. I marvel at her growing confidence and love the fact that the world is a safe, fun place for her. Daily, I catch her doing the likes of unplugging the CD player, opening the oven door, standing on a chair or something else mischievous as soon as my back is turned. As I reach over to pick her up from the crime scene, our eyes inevitably lock and something so tender happens to my heart and I often have to hold back the impulse to tightly hug her or to laugh. Often I think, God made these guys so cute for a reason! I'm finding that the ability to allow her to confidently explore her world and still establish firm boundaries is an art of the most exquisite form. She's a little over 1 1/2 years old and its so fun to watch her growing and developing and adding to the string of words she knows including "Mommy... love..." Some of her hobbies include snatching something out of Karis' hands and running away (and fast!), making a run for it when she hears the phrase 'diaper change,' taking her diaper off any chance she gets, saying sorry and making amends by gently stroking a place that she hit or scratched, snuggling with mommy, and creating the greatest havoc possible when mommy and Karis are doing school, smiling her smile, blinking those irresistible eyes, making us all say, "That little rug rat is soooo cute."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mean Girls

As we were settling into a nice house that will soon transform into our dream home with some minor home improvement projects, I marveled at how perfect the setting is to help our girls build memories that will shape them in so many ways. The house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac with a perfectly sized wooded back yard for a playset and enough room for scrimmaging should our girls learn to love soccer. The house itself is the perfect size with every inch of it being utilized daily. The neighborhood swarms with kids and they could often be seen playing right outside our house. I dreamed of the girls developing life long friendships right here in the neighborhood with ease and sweetness. I dreamed of how our family will model Christ and shine His light so brightly that people will notice and inquire, and by the grace of God, some of them will come to know our Savior. I was not prepared for the complications that would soon follow, however. I wasn't prepared for the Mean Girl scenerio to start so young and that Karis will taste the hurt of rejection and unkindness by a girl she so badly wanted to befriend but was a year or so too young and lacked the social suave and coolness to make the cut. I knew that the cul-de-sac will be significant, but I didn't realize that it would be the stage for a three year old to experience such things as a first broken heart, learning to let go, discerning how to choose friends, learning to forgive and to pray for transformation in self and others and turning to God with rawness of rejection and dashed hopes. She's the youngest amongst her age group of kids on the street and she's still not exactly the sought after girl for a playdate on the street, but its been amazing to see her growing through this experience. As we considered our options in choosing a home, we cared primarily about the kind of people that the girls will know long term. I had in mind something more serene and picturesque... God had in mind something entirely different. We live in a neighborhood that wins those best places to live awards year after year, but its part of the fallen world in need of a Savior. Why did I expect living the Christian life in our new home would be like in a paradise when Jesus modeled something entirely different during His time on earth. I still believe that this is our dream home and that God has a plan for us here, but His ways are not my ways... I'm learning that Karis will learn to become a follower of God not only through the blessings, but also through the trials, heartaches, and pain. I will love my neighbors not only when its easy, but particularly when its difficult. I'm realizing how much more this is in line with the Gospel message and the life that Jesus lived. Why did I expect my life to be so different from that of Jesus'?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm back!

Christmas is around the corner and Karis is ready to celebrate being three in just a few weeks. The past year has been significant in so many ways, yet the context and the backdrop of the significance has been in performing the day to day duties of doing family and raising two little ones. There are so many moments to cherish, moments I wish I could re-do, and priceless lessons that I learn on this journey that I am going to make more of an effort to chronicle them.
Both of the girls are growing so fast. Karis is talking up a storm and amusing and amazing people with her quick wit and analytical nature. Lydia is babbling a lot and showing signs of understanding quite a bit of what we say. Mike continues to be the wonderful husband that I don't deserve. Looking forward to sharing and more frequently.
It has been impossible to get a picture of the four of us looking at the camera. I really want to get Christmas cards out, but I'm not sure it will happen this year.