Friday, February 19, 2010


Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.  Mark 10:15 

Over the past few months, I have been writing down some of the funny and precious little things Jade has said and/or done.  I thought you might to hear some of them.


*  She loves green beans.  One night she took one in each hand decided to have a GREEN BEAN RACE and see which one could make it to her mouth first.  "Ready.  Set.  Go!"  I just want you to know it was a tie!

*  One day she tripped over her blanket and landed with a belly flop on the floor.  She thought it was hysterical.  She now does it just for fun!

*   As we were washing hands, I asked her "Who loves you?"  I expected the answer of "Mama" or "Jesus".  Jade said "Nancy!" who is a very good friend of mine and yes, she does love Jade.

*  She likes to check things out and make sure they are what she expects they are going to be.  "Mama drive car?"  Yes Mama drive car.  "Congcong drive car."  Nooooo, Congcong tai xiao le! (Congcong's too little!) Then she laughs.

*  While in the tub, Jade says to me "Poop?"  No baobei, you have to wait until I am done with the shampoo before you can go poop.  "Shampoop?"  No baobei...shamPOO.


*  Started greeting all her favorite things as she enters into a room.  Hi shui (her drink)!  Hi car!  Hi bebe (her blanket)!  Hi red lights (on the car)!  Hi turtle!

*  Jade are you being patient?  "No...all done patient?"  She has recently added  "All done wait?" and "All done listen?".

*  A friend of ours has been dealing with some challenges.  I found myself praying for them in the kitchen, not out loud though.  Jade came in from the other room and says to me "Mama, pray _____?"  It is as if she knew.  She continues to do this for this person periodically and seems to fall when they are in need of prayer.  Sometimes even in the middle of the night, she will wake up enough to say "Mama, pray ____?"  We pray and then she is back to sleep. 

*  She wants to know what everything is called.  She will walk around rooms or places and just touch things and say "What's that?  What's that?" as fast as I will answer.  The most fun I have is when I hold off on answering her when I think she knows what it is called.  She will then say to me "Mama! _____"  and name the object she wanted me to name for her.

*  Laying in bed when she should be sleeping yet singing "Jesus loves me" to herself.

*  Singing along to "How Great is our God" while playing in the kitchen.


*  One night, we were doing devotions in Luke 12:16-21.  It is the story of the rich farmer.  I told her in Chinese that he didn't love God (Ta bu ai shen).  She told me "Bu hao" which means bad.  She gets it!

*  Someone had asked me if she wants everything she sees since she was used to so little.  She HAD not.  Just last week, she had been practicing "I want ____" at home.  NOW, in the store it is "Congcong want this."  Oh well, she can ask...doesn't mean I will buy it all.

*  Disney has a new princess.  Her name is Snow Wipes!

*  Other creative words:  oatmilk (aka oatmeal)

*  She added to the Congcong drive car.  Now she asks if the dvd player can drive the car or the bebe or the shui or anything else she can think of.  When she is all done with her list, she laughs and says "Nooooo, only ren (people) drive car!"

*  Every child tries to push back going to sleep.  For Jade, she asks for one more kiss or tai duo le kisses (too many kisses).  Tonight, we spent the evening dancing and singing in the kitchen.  She just kept asking "One more song Mama?  Sing?"  How do you say no to that?

I know there are many more.  I need to write ALL of them down.  If you want to keep up with the funny little things she does, check me out of Facebook.  She is often in my status.

Can you give it all?

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;  for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had."   Luke 21:1-4

As I write this, I want you to know these are my thoughts and my feelings.  I'm using this to work through some things.  Why I do it publicly, I'm not sure.  All I know is it helps.

This started the other day as I read through one of my favorite blogs.  I don't read alot of them...being a mom I don't have a lot of time but try to catch up on some of them once a month.  This one always has spoke to my heart though.  As I read all that she has done in Uganda, I ask myself "Could I give all the way she has if God asked me to?"

On a trip to Fushun, China in June 2008, I watched the orphans giving all to show us for people who they only spent a few days with.  I kept wondering then how people do that...just freely give all.  The widow who gave all kept coming to mind during that trip.  When I returned home from that trip, God then asked me if I was willing to give all.  I was offered a chance to return to China and work a year in a foreign run orphanage (Shepherd's Field Children's Village).  Also in front of me was something I had always longed for...a man who wanted to marry me.  God asked though...was I willing to give it all?  I sit here crying though I know with every ounce of my being I did what I was supposed to do.  I gave him up and went to China.  (I now know he was not the man that was designed for me nor was it my time.)  As I read Katie's blog telling of all she has given and knowing that she is where she is supposed to be, it just made me start to think.  Am I still giving it all for HIM?

I know that as much as God called me to go to SFCV for a year, He also called me to be home.  On the day that I got the news that I was not to go, He spoke one thing to my heart to comfort me on why I was to be here.  That has yet to happen so time will only tell if that was Him or just my head.  No matter what, I know He has had me home so I could have the support I have needed to raise Jade, for my father's cancer and now one more thing has been added to the plate.  I will share that at a later time but I know that My Father in heaven has known each of us before we have taken our first breath and He knows what is going to happen in our lives.  There is NOTHING He can't handle and I will get through this one too.

While I have been home, I have found myself living more like the world.  I'm not liking this at all.  I had so little in China and it felt so good.  Here, I have so much.  I have this huge house.  Unless God is going to fill it with a family, I feel selfish having it.  I lived without my favorite foods due to the insane cost of them.  I was unwilling to justify purchasing them.  Now that I'm home, I don't seem to stop indulging on things that are not necessary but desired.  I want to live a simplier life yet I am not making those choices.  This bothers me.  This is just one way I don't feel like I am giving "all."

I know that there is more to all of this and I need to sort it out in my head and in my heart.  While I spent time with my best friend in Buffalo this past week, her oldest daughter asked her a question.  "Why is Dawn always frustrated?"  It made me cry.  I'm not hiding it as much as I hoped I had been.  I think I have it all in check so no one can see but something keeps eating at me.  I can't put my finger on just one thing but it is effecting me so I am on edge and getting frustrated over little things.  My head just keeps running things over and over.  My doubts.  My fears.  My failures.  Other people's opinions.  I just want it all to stop.

This blog wasn't written in one sitting.  As this day has progressed, I have come to realize something.  For now, there is only one thing I need to give it all in...that is being a mom.  I think that is where the enemy is hitting me.  I have so many doubts, fears, areas I think I have already failed her in and worries over how other's are judging my abilities/inabilities as a mother.  There is only one who matters.  That is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As I tell Jade, He loves her more than I ever could.  He also loves me more than anyone else ever could.  Because of that, God the Father is going to continue to shape and mold me to be more like Jesus.  He never said that being molded was easy.  Being pinched.  Being poked.  Being put under heat.  He never said that anyone would like it.  Becoming the woman that He desires me to be involves challenges in my life.  I have always said that I love the fact that He loves me so much that He wants to make me more like Jesus.  I tell my friends that it is such an honor to know He loves us that much that He would do that for us and not leave us the way we are.  May I come to a place that I can rest in knowing that this will all be so He can shine more through me.  May I be able to freely give all to be the woman and mother He wants me to be for the child He has given me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Five Months as a family

For God has not given us a spirit of fear: but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

It is hard to believe but five months ago today, Jade was placed in my arms.  I guess the picture of that day is very fresh in my mind as a friend of mine is running Project Chosen this month on her blog.  Each day is a new family's adoption story.  Our story is on there too.  As I showed the pictures to Jade, she knew it was me but didn't recognize herself in the picture from the day I got her.  She has seen herself in those glasses and the hat but didn't put the two together.  Maybe it is because she is so different from the child she was on that day. 

Jade came to me very anxious.  In three short years, this little one was abandoned at 7 days old, lived at an orphanage with different caretakers caring for her daily and spent 6 months or so living with a foster family.  Just as she would get comfortable and things were "stable" or predictable, things would change on her.  That is life for most children who live in an orphanage setting.  She had started to bond with a foster family only to be moved again.  I guess I started thinking about whether SHE thinks about that or not after the dream she had on Friday.

I went to go get her up from her nap when I heard her stirring.  It was different though.  Usually, she will call out my name.  Not this time.  All she kept saying was "here".  She just kept repeating it, slowly yet sounding very sad.  I wasn't sure if she was asleep or awake so I stood outside her door for awhile.  I called out her name a few times very quietly but no response.  She was sleeping.  She does talk in her sleep so this didn't surprise me.  It was her tone that did surprise me.  When she finally called out "mama", I went in to get her.  As soon as I picked her up, she started listing things and in chinglish, she told me those things were "bu here" or not here.  I continued to reassure her that each and every item was still here and that mama would always be here for her.

My heart broke for her and for other older orphans that can remember life before adoption.  How many of them go through this?  How many fear losing things that they have come to know...come to rely on...come to trust?  I can't imagine what some of them have gone through before they had a family much less what goes on in their heads afterwards.  As we drove to my friends house that evening, she asked me again  "Mama here?".  I frequently tell her "mama loves you...always."   This time I told her that and I will always be here for you.  I also told her that Jesus would always love her and also always be there for her.  Though she may not truly understand what that means for her life yet, it gave me comfort knowing that He is watching over her.  He is keeping watch and He never sleeps.  No matter what her fears are or my fears are, He does give us a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind when we call on Him during those times. Thank you Lord for doing that.