August 25, 2015

Who Will Go For Her?

One year ago, Doug and I were in Henan Province, China, adopting our daughter Lily.

One year ago, we stepped inside the walls of the orphanage that was home to her for the first 3 years of her life.

On our visit, we saw a little girl sitting in a crib.

But she wasn't a baby.

She was 11 years old.

Sitting in a crib.

All day long.

The Lord spoke to me about her the very instant that I saw her, wrapped my arms around her and wept over her.

HE said, "You're here for someone else. Who will come for her?"

I remember this as clearly as if I were standing in that room this very minute.

God had again challenged me to fight for another sweet life…another Child of the King.

For privacy reasons, I won't use her real name.

I'll call her Joy.

Here's a photo of Joy I took that day:

Such a sweet smile - even though I was acting like a crazy woman,
crying and telling her how pretty she was like she could understand anything I was saying!

We had been home with Lily for only 3 days when I reached out to our adoption agency to see if we could find out any details about Joy.

Months went by and we finally received word that the orphanage had never created an adoption file for her.

In order to be legally free for adoption, every orphan in China must have a file made and submitted to the CCCWA.

The bottom line was….

Joy was not free to be adopted.

After some prodding by our adoption agency to complete a file for her, her orphanage said they would only create one if there was already a family ready to commit to adopting her.

This is very unorthodox.

However, since this was the ultimatum, Doug and I prayed about whether or not we were to be Joy's forever family.

We didn't feel a peace about moving forward, so we informed our adoption agency of our decision….they informed the orphanage…and the orphanage responded by saying…

"Ok. We'll go ahead and make a file for her anyway!"

WOOHOO!!!! We were ELATED!!!!!

Once her file was made, her profile could be seen by thousands and thousands of people through orphan advocacy groups and hopefully there would be a family to step forward and adopt her!

I totally thought I'd done my part in standing in the gap for Joy.

But y'all gotta know by now that NOTHING is that simple in my life :)

We waited the anticipated 5 months for the file to be made and then I inquired about her again.

Just to find out….

They never made a file for her. :(

We were back at square one.

It's been several months since we received that news, and yet I haven't advocated for her…something the Lord {and my husband ;)} has convicted me about time and time again.

I confess that I've put this off for so long because I've allowed doubt and fear to creep into my soul.

Because what I'm about to ask of you seems…

And too much of a risk.

But HELLO?!!!

Is that not what adopting Lily was for our family?

Crazy to adopt another child with significant special needs.
Unlikely that the adoption would even go through because she was so sick at the time.
Too much of a risk - financially and emotionally.

And yet…

God spoke.

We obeyed.

And we can't imagine life without Lily Williams now.

So here goes….

Will YOU go for her?

Before you think, "That's not for me! Hopefully somebody else will adopt her!" please just stop and pray and ask the Lord about it.

It will only take a few seconds.

Don't think you're too old…
too young…
too poor…
too overwhelmed with the kids you already have…
too far past having young children…
or not prepared to love and care for a child with health challenges.

Let me tell you, we can always find a good excuse to say no to stepping out in faith.

Because it's scary.

And hard.

VERY hard.

And those 2 things aren't really things we like to do.

But we walk by faith because it's what's God says to do.

So I'm asking you to simply pray about adopting Joy.

Trust Him if he speaks to you.


Another adoptive Mama took this photo of Joy almost 2 years ago

To those of you praying about adopting Joy, here is the only information her orphanage has told us:

According to ****** SWI,******* was born on ****** 2003 with CP. She can do nothing but sitting. She has not had any therapy yet. She can't control her bowel movement and urine. She only can speak simple words which are not clearly. Her intelligence is far behind her peer. The orphanage has not done her finding ad. on the local newspaper yet. They can start to prepare her file right away as long as we have one family to adopt her. 

I blocked out her specific personal information for privacy reasons, but I'll tell you that she's almost 12 1/2 years old.

Children in China cannot be adopted past their 14th birthday, so Joy only has 1 1/2 years before she can no longer have a forever family.

I feel that I must also stress that if you decide to move forward with Joy's adoption, there is no guarantee that the orphanage will hold up their end of the deal and create her file.

Joy needs a family who is ready to take a HUGE leap of faith!

Leave a comment on this blog or PM me on Facebook if you have any questions for me about Joy.

Love in Christ, 

August 18, 2015

Happy 1st Gotcha Day Anniversary, Lily!!!

One year ago today, this sweet girl became our treasured daughter!

It's surreal to think that we were in China this time last year!

This was a typical facial expression for Lily during her first few days with us.
Jaw protruding. 
Lips tight.
She wasn't so sure who these crazy people who wanted to hug and kiss her all the time were!

A couple of weeks ago, my mom blessed us by keeping the kids so that the hubs and I could get away for a couple of days. The first stop on our mini-vacation was New Orleans for the Outcry concert:

Hillsong United. Kari Jobe. Bethel Music. Crowder. Lauren Daigle.

It. Was. AWESOME!!!

During the concert, I remember thinking, 
Lord, my voice is not loud enough and my hands can't be raised high enough to praise you and thank you for what you've done for me.
For saving me. 
For forgiving me. 
For extending your grace and mercy over and over and over again to me. 
For all the blessings you pour so generously out for me.

Today, those words are my prayer once again.

Lord, my voice is not loud enough.
My hands can't be raised high enough to praise you and thank you for the gift Lily is to us.
We don't deserve to be given the opportunity to be her Mama and Daddy. 
She is a daily reminder to our family of your faithfulness.
Thank you for her precious smile. Her wonderful laugh. Her love of tickles.
Thank you that she reaches for us because she knows we love her and will keep her safe.
Thank you for all the moments - big and small. hard and easy - we've had with Lily over the past year.
May we never forget where she was...
And how far she has come out of your great love and mercy.
Thank you for using ALL of our children to draw us unto you, Lord.
We love you so much.

And now a trip down memory lane :)

A year in the life of Lily…

Getting to know my brother, Benaiah!

Hey Crazy Mama,
Why do you always point that thing at me and try to make me smile???
Not so sure I'm into it.

Doesn't everyone sleep like this?

Just being super cute :)

PEOPLE!!! Don't you know that I haven't figured out how to sit down yet?
Somebody PLEASE come help me!!!!!

This swingin' is pretty fun!

Minnie Mouse.
Again, I'm not so sure about this.

Go Eagles!!!!

Daddy, tell those boys to kick the ball down here by me!

My re-adoption day in America!

I can't help myself. I'm so stinkin' cute!

Mama! There's a TREE in our living room!!!


Thank you for my new rocking horse, Santa!!!

My 4th birthday party….
What is Mama doing???!!!

I much prefer playing with the air vents.

Can we PLEASE buy this chair, Mama?
It's just my size!

Nice and clean after bath time!

Finally! My hair is long enough for some pigtails!

"Doug! Where's Lily?!
Found her.
In the bath tub!!!"

I love playing with my little brother!


Guess what, y'all? I learned to walk all by myself!!!!!
Now Mama says every picture of me is blurry because I don't stop moving.

Splashin' in the water at the Children's Museum

Happy Mother's Day, Mama & Grammy!

Me and my great-grandfather on his 85th birthday.
Just 2 weeks before he went home to be with Jesus!

My family with the Chapmans at the Show Hope Care Centers Reunion in Nashville.


These are better. Thank you!
(Tomato Glasses, in case anybody's wondering)

All ready for my hearing test.
I have mild-moderate hearing loss and will be getting hearing aids soon!

I love my brother so much!

Daddy, you're so funny!

My first day of 4 year old preschool!

Lily-girl, we can't wait to see all the things God has planned for you in the next year!

We love you!
Mama & Daddy

August 26, 2014

Tuesday in Guangzhou: Consulate Appointment

We had our Consulate Appointment this morning.

You aren't allowed to take cameras, phones or watches inside with you, so we snapped this quick pic outside the Consulate.

While we were waiting in line outside of the consulate, we could see the Canton Tower - the 3rd highest building in China.

Our visit to the U.S. Consulate was, thankfully, uneventful; but it was long. We were there the entire morning.

When we returned to the hotel, we ate lunch, had some playtime and then we all took a VERY long nap!

"I'm so glad I'm getting my Visa soon!"

Wednesday, we'll get Lily's Visa around 3:30pm and then head to the train station. We'll travel to Hong Kong and then fly out Thursday morning!!!

Monday in Guangzhou: A Visit to Shamian Island

Shamian Island is a more European area of Guangzhou where a lot of foreign consulates and international businesses used to be located.

There were photo shoots everywhere we looked - mainly of models in tuxes and wedding dresses.

Once the taxi driver dropped us off, we made a bee line for Lucy's - a restaurant that serves American food.

We'd intentionally waited until about 1pm to go to the island since Lily likes to nap between 11am and 1pm.

Not today!

She refused to nap in the hotel room and then bam! As soon as we got to our table at Lucy's she was OUT!

After lunch, we decided to sit outside and people watch. We saw several people practicing martial arts.

When Lily woke up, she was hot and sweaty....

And we know what that means!

Melt down!

I did some quick souvenir shopping while Doug managed the Melting Girl, and then we stopped for a cold frappuccino at Starbucks - Isn't this the cutest Starbucks?!

One of the shop owners where I bought some souvenirs gave me a little clip to pull Lily's sweaty hair out of her face.
I was thankful she kept it in her hair. So far, Mommy has been unsuccessful at getting Lily to wear hair bows.

When we got back to the hotel, Lily got a bath and then we gave her the baby doll we bought her while on Shamian Island - she was most interested in the baby's braids :)

Today we got Lily's TB test result back. It was negative, so we are good to move forward with our appointment at the U.S. Consulate tomorrow!