Sunday, September 27, 2015

Putting my talk.

I have read several blog posts floating social media about the Pro Life stance and how we, as christians, need to heart check.  Are we really pro life? Or are we anti-abortion...?

There is a difference.

I am not going to talk about adoption.

Though I could.

And hopefully, if you read our will see God has called our family to love and parent the fatherless. He may call you as well.  My advice...?  Listen. Closely.

What hit me is the... thought.  Am I pro life?  The parents that often abort are young, single moms.  Growing up in rough situations.  Am I pro that young mom having a child?

I would answer a resounding, confidant...YES! Once that life is there...we are to protect it.  It is sacred.

Yet when that mom is in my church...and her poorly parented children are running around like little I pro life? Am I supportive? Loving? Gentle?

Or am I rolling my eyes, annoyed and wishing she'd be anywhere...but there...?

Well this morning I was definitely called to put the walk to my talk.

We sat in church and a mom who has been coming with her wild, crazy toddler...sat in front of us.  This time, she brought 3 girls as well. All about 8-10 years old.  She sat all 4 children in the row BEHIND her.  Right beside us.

The worship wasn't even over and the kids were screaming.  I mean...wild, crazy, terrible twos, whatever you want to call it...would be a cake walk in comparison.  The entire congregation could hear the meltdowns.  She frequently got up, marched back to our row to yell at the kids. In a loud, very audible, barely classified as 'whisper'.  At one point the little boy (3 years old?) spit on her.  Another time he slapped her across the face.  Another he just screamed at the top of this lungs "NOOOOO! Don't touch me!!!!".  All church.  Mom had no control. None.

The girls sitting beside me were anything but behaved. One was constantly hanging upside down off her chair.  She looked to be 9 years old or so.  They were leaning over to talk to their mom. Getting yelled at.  Yelling back.  It was a nightmare.

Hear a message? Honestly...I don't know if I heard more than 10 words!

The natural thought process?  Really...? Your kids are not well behaved enough to sit in church.  Why are they not sitting WITH you?  Why has your husband not once noticed this mayhem?  Little a walking, screaming, out of control...TERROR.

Then I remembered the blogs I read.  ProLife?  Or...anti abortion?


I leaned over to the girl a few seats away from me.  I tapped her on the arm. She whipped her head around at me, GLARED and said "WHAT?!?!".  I smiled and said "I was wondering if you could draw me a picture?" I handed her a pen and paper.  She snapped "WHY!?!?".  I think everyone in my section is hearing this conversation.  I have no idea if it's going to work.  I said "I would love to see how amazing you can draw. Could you do that? I bet you can do a beautiful picture!".  She is staring at me with a scowl. Totally trying to figure me out. I have a pasted...perhaps begging smile on my face.

She snatches it out of my hand and kneels on the floor beside her chair. And starts to draw. She drew a quick, rushed, sloppy dog.  She glared up at me and I smiled.  She kept going. She drew the most detailed picture.  It took her 15 minutes or so.  Mom sitting ahead didn't seem to notice the row behind her was suddenly very quiet.

When she was done she handed it to me.  The intensity of her eyes grabbed my heart.  She was so baffled why I'd want anything from her.  Her hair was matted and all over the place. The mix of sweat pants, gym shoes and a pretty church dress...said much.  I told her it was so beautiful and I knew she was an amazing artist.  She just stared back at me.  Expressionless.

She sat back on her chair as church was almost over. I could feel her stare on my face.  Every few seconds I would glance over at her and smile. She quickly would look ahead, as to NOT catch my glance.

All of a sudden, this child was right in my face.  Like the awkward first date... she had her hand on my neck saying something about my hair.  I tried not to look her in the face, but just smiled.  Then all of a sudden her arms were tightly around my neck. It was the most heartfelt hug.  She just stayed there on my shoulder, in the middle of church.  This is not a toddler.  This is a girl probably 9 years old.

I could feel the lump in my throat.

Choosing to be pro life.  To the moms that definitely need help parenting.  To the moms with more than out-of-control children.  Am I pro life for those children...? Why...yes. Now that you make me stop and think of it. Yes I am.  And yes...that changes my actions.

I was so broken by this little girl's hardness...that had melted within 20 minutes.  We exchanged so few words. She didn't know my name.  I was sitting there with my husband and 3 toddlers.  Her response to love was almost immediate.  Had someone told me that would happen I'd laugh.  Never did I expect that response.

She was so dry. So thirsty.  So very thirsty for love.  I am not saying her mom doesn't love her. Not at all.  There was a lot of anger there. Bad behavior. Bad parenting. Bad behavior. Bad parenting.  It's a vicious cycle.

Pro Life...? Or just...anti abortion?

We can do more. much more.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I choose.

The power to choose.

Choosing to let peace reign.  When life is pure chaos.

Choosing kindness.  When the situation deserves otherwise.

Choosing joy.  When the skies are so grey. 

Choosing hope.  When your foundation is no longer secure.

Ever feel overwhelmed?

Yes. do. do I.  

I don't wear a Super Woman cape under it don't.  

These last few weeks, I have cried.  Weary, hopeless, overwhelmed...tears.

Ever been there...?

Taizi is now gaining weight.  Or was.  But we are in a catch 22.  He no longer wants his food. All he wants is his liquid food. It's like a milkshake to him. 400 calories.  Pure sugar and carbs and plenty of not-so-healthy stuff.  

So we separated it.  Food. 2 hours later, drink. 2 hours later, food, etc.  So that he's hungry at each interval. Still not really working.  He has thrown the food. Into the nearest bin.  Garbage. Toilet.  You name it.  Many times, it's not exactly recoverable.  

And the diarrhea.  There is no way this is acceptable.  The child has been having straight diarrhea for weeks. They changed his formula for the rx drink. It's worse.  Pure liquid.  10-12 times a day. It's so bad, he's playing in a pack and play in the living room b/c every few hours he explodes all over the place and we don't exactly wish that on the carpet.  What are we being told by the medical team "well just keep feeding him what you are feeding him". Awesome.  


We are working hard at our house.  Dean has worked so hard. Framing is done. Roofing is almost done.  Now the sub contractors come in.  We have a lot of work to do to get ready, pick and purchase the flooring that we will be installing.

This is the fun part of our life right now but with everything else on our plate...definitely feeling it.

Then the adoption.  Oh my heck.  Our dossier is done and mailed off to our agency today.  Things have changed over the last 3 years!! Either I have chosen not to remember or this process is way more intense.  From notarized documents being filled out incorrectly. To police departments refusing to fill them out.  To finding out the notary notarized me instead of the doctor's signature.  To flagging people down, begging them for 5 more minutes.  


We have applied for so many adoption grants and while this is an amazing gift, that this even's a lot of work.  Now we sit and pray that we receive grants to off set the costs.  


Starting school in the house we don't wish to be in.  In the garage.  Yes. That's where we have our school room.  It goes from way too hot to way too cold.  How I wish we could just scrap it all and start in January in the new house...but no. Choosing to keep living life right now, even when it's less than ideal.  

Choosing peace.

Planning a series of appts for our kids at Children's hospital knowing Azlan may have a huge jaw surgery before the end of the year...and my heart immediately beats at an abnormal rate.  Just don't call them. Just don't book the appt. Maybe they forgot.  No..Janice. No.  He needs this.  And are equipped to do this next hard thing.  

Choosing courage.  Choosing peace.  

Literally picture yourself standing at a fork in the road.  You choose where the next step goes.  It is a choice.

I choose peace.  Sometimes it's easier to do with a cup of Pumpkin flavored coffee...there's no doubt.  Definitely easier with a good friend.  Absolutely.

I went out for coffee with a friend last week for 4 hours, long after the cafe closed, we sat in the dimly lit parking lot.  Crying. Praying.  Sharing our burdens.  I don't walk this journey alone.  

Perhaps what I most wish you could see as you think Janice Walker is oh-so-much-stronger-and-braver-than-you ... is the army of people that love me so fiercely...that fight for me.  That help keep me focused.  Keep my eyes on Jesus.  The friend that when I'm overcome by fears...looks me in the eye and says "ok Janice. What if.  Let's go there. What if this fear becomes your reality...? Is God still good? Is He still true...? Is He still trustworthy...?" Yes.  That friend.  I love her so deeply for speaking truth into my life and not what I want to hear.  She doesn't bandaid my fears...she reveals them for what they are.  Lack of trust. Lack of faith.  My eyes off Jesus.

I choose to be real. To be transparent.  To put my walls down with people who have shown themselves to be safe.  

I choose surrender in the midst of my hard for the 100th time.  I can do hard things. I can. I can do hard things because of Christ in me.  I'm not caving. I'm not flailing.  I am stronger than my fears. I am able to choose peace and joy and love when it's the furthest thing from natural...because I surrender to Him.  

I choose love. Not the love that first comes to mind.  Want to know something...? That love is never a choice.  That's a natural response.  Mmmm...true.  The love that can change your life forever is the love you choose.  I choose love.  You don't choose something that is a natural response.  That's not a 'hard'.  Love is a verb. Love is a choice.  And it's a hard one.  

Today...when each individual hard in my life feels so big...I choose Peace. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tee shirt update.

I think it's safe to say, we all assume on a blog that gets nearly 1000 visits a day...that a fundraiser just sky rockets.  :)

It's not true.

Our goal is to sell over 100 shirts to make the fundraiser worth while.  As of today, I've sold 7.

I linked a Paypal button on the right side of the blog, making it super easy. On top of that, there's no set price.  Any donation amount will get you a shirt in your color and size choice.


**update: 14 sold!**

**Update on Sept 9: **32 shirts sold**!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Because most of us are fighting a battle.

Usually a secret one.  No one knows.  But in the quiet of your heart, you do. And you are tired.

So.. very..tired.

If I were to ask you if you consider yourself courageous...I think it would be an instant, confidant response.

Perhaps a chuckle.  Coupled with an awkward shrug.

"Me...? Courageous?"

The word 'courage' almost confuses us.

We picture strong.  Like...really strong.

Brave.  Like...really brave.

What if courage is simply standing up...? When take a stand.  For truth.  For what you believe.  For what is right.

What if... courage is not laughing at that joke in the break room? Yah.  That's... hard.

What if...courage is simply facing another day?  In the midst of pain. Heartbreak. Betrayal.  Choosing to not give up.  When, in fact...that's all you think about.

What if... courage is watching someone you love go through cancer...and choosing hope? Choosing fight.  Choosing to even find joy...when it's very dark.

What if...courage is reminding yourself that tomorrow is new?  And with it...come God's new mercies.  And your's not over yet.

What if...courage is giving? Giving when your tank is so very dry.

Let's give you a do-over.   Now if I were to ask you..."Are you courageous?"  What would you say?

This design is simple.  But powerful.  So small. So insignificant.  Just quietly...swimming...upstream.

You see...courage doesn't always roar.

This was made...with you in mind.

These shirts are really high quality.  The crew neck is fitted, but a great length. If you don't want fitted, order up a size.  I find it very true to size.  S, M, L, XL.  Black, grey, bright pink, teal.

The youth shirts are adorable.  S, M, L, XL.  Please don't hesitate to email me with questions on sizing.  Also available in several colors.

Every dollar (apart from paying for the shirt and the cost to ship it to you) will go to bringing ZhenAi home.  See...she's courageous too.  She didn't choose the battle she's fighting...neither did you.

There is no set price.  Suggested donation would be $25 including shipping.  Any amount you give...please specify the color and size and quantity. Shirts will be mailed in a few weeks.

Simply paypal to and leave in the comment your choice. I will ship anywhere in the world.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mommy's Superpower.

I will often hear our children talking about their wonderful make believe things and many times...'superpowers' come up.  Tirzah will tell the young children that Mommy has a Superpower.  They all listen with rapt attention...eyes wide...what in the world could it be...?

Mommy's Superpower...? Helping people change their lives.

Overhearing your 11 year old child tell that to her 4 and 6 year old siblings...makes me tear up.

Many people would think that she's referring to our 5 amazing children we have adopted and no doubt, had a tremendous impact on their lives.

But she's talking about something else.

Seven years ago I started a business that I could do 100% around my family.  Nap time. Bed time.  Totally around my family.  That was the beginning of a life changing journey.

I matched Dean's income in less than a year.  While being a full time, stay at home, homeschooling mom of 4 little children.  As God called us to amazing things, around the world, bringing once-orphans home to our family...our business continued to grow.

Last year, there was such an amazing, unforgettable day.  Dean closed the doors of his construction business and he came home. For good.

Here we were. Ten little children, homeschooling, three with special needs....and both of us, full time, stay at home parents.

What a tremendous gift.

Tirzah's talk to her younger siblings reminds me that we have been given something super special and perhaps it's time for me to reach out to you, my loyal readers.  I often pray that God leads me to people... praying for what I so easily take for granted.

This is our life. But I realize that many dream of such a life.  Perhaps...they don't even dream. That was me.  I didn't dream of being a stay at home mom with a stay at home husband!! I dreamed of not having creditors call me around the clock. I dreamed of sleeping at night without reciting verses over and over about anxiety and fear as I truly struggled finding joy when we were up to our eyeballs in debt.  I dreamed of knowing we were going to be ok.

When God called us to a big life (literally!)...that big life takes a lot.  Emotionally. Physically.  Financially.  And He has given us this amazing opportunity to provide for our family at every level.

What I love the very helping others.  Giving hope to others. Perhaps it's you.  You often think "we are so close...just a little bit more each month and we could breathe easier." I can help.

Perhaps you have been goals, big plans for life and as it stands right's years off.  I can help.

Perhaps you know someone.  Maybe a single mom.  Maybe someone who's worked hard their whole life only to just lose their job.  Maybe someone who desperately wants to stay home with their children...but as it stands right now, cannot.  Maybe someone like my husband...dreamed of owning his own business, the American dream...but didn't plan on the economy crashing and spiraling us into debt.

According to my 11 year old girl...her mommy has a superpower.  She helps people change their lives. Moms come home with their children.  Debts paid off. Goals reached.  Time to spend with the people they love the most.

The gift I was the gift that keeps on giving.

What if...this post was for you?

My heart is helping people.  It's what I simply love.  Pass it on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What if ... it's a lie?

You have heard it...hundreds of times.  I've been comforted with it...hundreds of times.'s a lie.

"He won't give you more than you can handle!"


Somehow there are superhuman among us?  They are stronger, braver, more resilient than any of us can fathom?  They can hold their babies in their arms as they take their last breath....and they can handle that? That's not too much...?


No.  We are often given much more than we can handle.

In my reading a few weeks ago, I read this verse.  And I sat in my bedroom closet, on the floor, reading it over and over again.  The next night...I read it again...and couldn't get past it to read more.


2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (Jesus said)  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong.


We have been falsely comforted.  Yes. We are given much more than we can handle. People suffering through tremendous hardships ... they have the same emotions, struggles, fears...that you do.  They can't handle more than you can. They just have someone who can.

In my weaknesses...the power of Jesus is visible. Because I can't...and He's so obvious that it's Him, not me.

At some of the hardest, lowest points in my life...I have seen the most of Jesus.  Why? Because I needed to.

We live such self-sufficient lives.  We really can keep God in our little "Sunday go-to-meeting" box.  Pull Him out when we need to.  

When something is shaky in our lives instead of crying out for His strength...we question His very existence.  What....?  Yes.  It's true. We all do it.

When I had nothing in Africa....nothing.  Lost our baby. Thousands of miles away from my husband and children...I had no where else to draw support from. That's when I saw His love. His grace. That's when I heard His voice.  Because...I was desperate for it! Everything else had quieted. I was forced there by my inability to go on.

In my weakness...I saw His strength.

Instead of comforting each other and ourselves...which Christian-ese cliches that are definitely not founded in the Bible...let's acknowledge...we are given more than we can handle. 

We need Him.  

For when I am weak...then I am strong.  
Through Christ. 
 Christ in me.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

I can't keep silent.

Like many of you, my heart is absolutely broken over the recent news of Planned Parenthood.

I have watched each awfully-worse-than-the-previous-one video and felt like the air was being sucked out from my lungs as I did. far the mighty have fallen.  The once great nation who's motto was "in God we trust" has so quickly become "God have mercy on us!"

Right. Before. Our. Eyes.

To watch the fourth video of top Planned Parenthood officials discuss their dissection of human fetuses for sale of their individual parts has left me...broken.

Hearing the crack of a tiny skull and the laughter in the room as each limb was pulled one by one...even the exclamation of "its a baby!!!" and "another boy!!!" contradicting their own supposed belief that it's not a baby and nothing but tissue, yet she all but named him in her witch hunt.

I've been thinking a lot about this.  Do I boycott the businesses that support such a genocide? Do my purchases really have an impact? Is that merely a response in anger that I'm not strong enough to really carry out and stick with? I mean...Starbucks???

A friend and I were just talking about children being bullied. In her and my family if your non-bullied children stand by silently as one is bullied and does not tell an adult...they get disciplined.

I picture myself standing before God and as if with a smile on my face that I didn't support that...and being reminded that I did. I knowingly supported those businesses (as to not inconvenience myself...) that I knew were avid supporters of Planned Parenthood.

Yes...I know they do good things.  But their free pregnancy tests offered and other services to women does not wash their hands of the blood of millions of babies.  It's kind of like a defense attorney standing in court, saying how this serial killer and rapist serves the homeless every Saturday. That would leave me scratching my head...but would not leave me with one consideration that indeed his actions were justifiable because he does some good things.

I have lost 3 children.  When I say something about our ten children, one of our kids will say "13 you mean..." and every time I look at them confused until they remind me there are 3 waiting for us in Heaven. Oh...the veil between here and there is so thin for them.  They talk about it like they can see it.  Oh to have faith like a child.

The first pregnancy I was 5 weeks pregnant.  The grief was so extreme that Dean took a week off work. There were many days he helped scoop me off the floor and got me into the car and we just drove.  To try to find beauty again.  The hopes the dreams that died with that precious child.

After Azahria, before going to Africa the first time, we lost another baby.  I was over 7 weeks.  I will never ever forget waking in the night so many times that I started to cry. And every time I woke, I noticed I was singing "Heaven is the face of a little girl..." by Stephen Curtis Chapman.  Finally I begged God to tell me in the morning so I could sleep. I was just stepping into the shower and I collapsed to the floor in sobs. I remembered the night before. And I knew. I knew two things.  I was having a little girl. And she was about to see Jesus.

Two days later, with no physical warning at all, I miscarried our baby.

I went to Africa, came home, and prayed, sought medical help etc and was so excited that we were expecting again.  I had so many ultrasounds where we saw that strong heart beating. I went to Africa this time for 28 days to adopt our boys and the very first night...I delivered an intact little bubble of a sac with a perfect, tiny, formed 8wk3day fetus inside.  Numb.  I held that baby for so long. I can still feel the too-bright florescent light in that tiled bathroom in the heart of Africa.  I didn't sleep until the sun came up. I laid there numb.  And for the next 28 days every night I'd put a pillow in my mouth to dull the sobs as my heart broke more and more about the loss of our child.

The fetus I watched get pulled from limb to limb on the Planned Parenthood video was 11.5 weeks.

Absolutely horrific.

I don't comment on politically charged topics. And oh...there are many these days where I simply am quiet.  But this is one...I can't.  We believe life starts at conception.  We fight for life.  And I believe this fight goes all the way. It's not enough to shout your beliefs and let someone else pick up the pieces...because let's be honest...if you really believe abortion is a you have any idea how many babies would be up for adoption if it ended...? Are you going to step up to the plate and do something?

Courage. Oh how it's missing today. We give awards for people who simply have not earned them.  Yes. I said that.  When we named our son's middle name had the meaning of standing up. Standing up when it's not easy. Fighting for those who lack a voice. Putting yourself at risk if you must but you do not...sit by silently.  When the feelings are still act.  You act because you believe.  Courage.  Where is it today? Where is mine? I battled with even writing this because I know the backlash! You can unfriend me if you least you know where I stand. I cannot sit by and watch these babies being slaughtered. I will inconvenience myself.  I'll support local businesses who fund wounded veterans and foster children's summer camps.

In our house:  We. Fight. For. Life.