Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Lots of progress. But the process has not been easy.  In fact...none of us would argue that it would have been easier to just 'let him be' and yet we all know he wouldn't be close to where he is today.

He went from fully on a bottle with the end cut off...to a bottle with food in it...to a syringe...to a spoon...to no more baby food...to table food mushed up...to now on full blown solids....!  He doesn't know how to use his teeth so that's the struggle but he chews with his front teeth.

We are now moving away from the sippy cup. He drinks out of a cup as long as we hold it.  Oh I forgot to say...in all the food development...he picks UP his food with his own hand and puts it in his own mouth! Amazing.

He also loves honeycombs.  And will put them in his mouth at church.  You couldn't possibly comprehend how far he has come. We hardly can.

Had to share.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

You are.

You really are.

We recently heard the song "You Are" by Colton Dixon.  I am moved by many songs. Those of you who follow our journey know that God has used songs to speak to me over and over. Thus the name of this blog.

But this song. This song grabs me deep at the core of my heart...and I feel it...every single time.

There's a few things about this song.

One is that I first heard it when Christina was dying.  And I cried at the thought of her...in her last days...with 'no voice' but yet oh would she...if she could...dance for Him like the rising sun! That was such a beautiful picture.

The other part is that our children love this song and sing it all the time. It gives me chills to hear them sing these words.

My request is that if you are reading this post...which you are....that you read the words of this song...and then click on the youtube link to hear it.

When I can't find the words
To say how much it hurts
You are the healing in my heart
When all that I can see
Are broken memories
You are the light that's in the dark

You are the song
You are the song I'm singing
You are the air
You are the air I breathe in
You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin'
You are

And when my circumstance
Leaves me with empty hands
You're the provider of my needs
When all my dirtiness
Has left me helpless
You are the rain that washes me

You are the song
You are the song I'm singing
You are the air
You are the air I breathe in
You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin'


You are the song
You are the song I'm singing
You are the air
You are the air I breathe in
You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin'

If I had no voice, if I had no tongue
I would dance for You like the rising sun
And when that day comes and I see Your face
I will shout Your endless, glorious praise
If I had no voice, if I had no tongue
I would dance for You like the rising sun
And when that day comes and I see Your face
I will shout Your endless, glorious praise

You are the song
You are the song I'm singing
You are the air
You are the air I breathe in
You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin'


You are the song
(You are the song
You are the song I'm singing)
You are the air
(You are the air
You are the air I breathe in)
You are hope
(You are the hope
You are the hope I'm needin')
I'm singin' whoa


And then...if that isn't moving enough...I was given permission to share Christina's mom's new blog.  Oh...I'm so thankful she's writing. Because this is a story...that simply needs to be told.


I'll end with this...You Are.  And oh how I've needed You.  And...I so would. If I had no voice...if I had no tongue...I would dance for You like the rising sun....I can hardly finish it. There's nothing I dream of more...than seeing Your face.

You so are.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Could not love more.

Both Dean and I are completely smitten.  I mean...I can hardly take my eyes of this little miracle.

She's so so so perfect.  I keep looking at her lips and marvelling that they are complete. And a full palate.  Amazing. And a nose...fully formed.  Yes...those are the things you are in awe of after having children born with cleft lip and palate.  Mind you...I was just as in awe of Azlan...!

Things are going really well. She's such a peaceful bundle of preciousness. Yes...I'm running out of words but really...I'm trying to capture time in a bottle and just freeze it.  The more I try to slow it down...the more out of my control I'm aware it is.  These moments are so fleeting and I know just how fast they go.

Here is precious Nazara Journey at 2 weeks old :

Oh.  So in awe.  And to think...she's the gift I never asked for.  To say my heart is full is such an understatement. It feels like it's going to burst.  He is the giver of good gifts.  She... is such an obvious good gift.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What if...?

A few days before little princess Nazara was born I felt panic.  Pure panic.

All the 'what if's' hit me like a ton of bricks.

What if something happened in delivery and I was left in a coma?

What if Nazara was born...still born?

What if I bled out during birth?

What if these were my last few days alive?

What if I was about to leave my husband alone with 10 young children?

What if...my children would be raised without a mommy?

What if...?

It felt paralyzing.

I prayed.  I prayed more.  And I had no peace.

I called my good friend.  This friend...is a real friend.  I think most of us would console a friend that was feeling panic about this...just a few days before giving birth...with "no no, your fears are unreasonable! Nothing will happen! You need to be happy right now...this is stealing your joy..."

That is not what she said.

She listened to me pour my heart out and she was silent.

Then she said "ok...let's answer the question, Janice.  What if? Can you answer that question?"

"Would God still be good if this happened?"

"Can you surrender your 10 children to Him?"

"Do you trust Him?"

"Can He be trusted with your family?"

"Do you believe that He alone holds the keys to death?"

And I stopped in my tracks.

Ok.  This is deep.  I needed to go there. All the way there.

Not appease my 'fears' with consolations and pretty words of "this never happens" "it won't happen to you"...but to actually go there.

Answer the question.

What if?

He is still good. He can only be good.  And He must have a better plan for His story than mine.

He absolutely can be trusted with all 10 children and my husband.

Yes. Yes...only He holds the keys to death and gives it permission who it can take.

Yes...it's still all about surrender.

That's when the peace came.

The peace in knowing whatever He allows...is good.  And He is always good. And He only gives good things. Even if it doesn't seem that way at the time.

What if...?

What if.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


After Taizi's birthday party was over, June 26, contractions started and Tirzah and I went in to the hospital around 10pm. I was scheduled for an induction but was already in early labor.  We stopped for a coffee and a smoothie for Tirzah on the way. :) We arrived, got settled in our room and things began.

Tirzah stayed the night with me and Dean stayed home with the kids.  Keeping him informed, our good friend came around noon to stay with the children while Dean came in. True to history, once Dean came, things started moving fast.  :) 

When I got to 6cm I told the nurse it was time to call the doctor as I usually go fast from there.  The doctor came in all dressed in her gear and it wasn't long before the moment of "let's do this" arrived! I kept shaking and saying "I'm in shock, I can't believe I'm having a baby!" as the nurse and doctor kept laughing.  I knew it would hit me like that. We've been so busy with work and life that I knew I'd lay in that hospital bed with the surreal moment of "TODAY?".  I commented to Dean about that moment in China with 2 traumatized children in the hotel room...that moment we found out #10 was coming.  We were so shocked...and here we were today...ready to meet her!

The delivery was amazing. Tirzah stayed behind my head the entire time, only seeing the baby, nothing too graphic.  

And there she was. 3:49pm, June 27, 2013.  

Nazara Journey Walker entered the world.  

8lbs, 2oz (we all guessed and I was right on) 20" long. A head of dark dark brown hair.

The story of her name:
Nazara: it's the earliest greek form of Nazareth. Of all places the King of Heaven could have chosen to live his childhood and youth in...he chose plain, common Nazareth. While this child is such a crazy part of our journey, unexpected, God's plans not ours...Nazareth was an essential part of Jesus' journey. And let's be honest...nothing good can come from any of us...yet Jesus chose us. Amazing. I love that Nazara Journey is a bit of a play on words as Izrael Promise is. Israel being the promised land...our Izrael was our promised child. Nazara being a crazy part of our journey yet such a humble part of His.

The most amazing, most gorgeous doctor ever. Love the joy on her face.  She was so excited for us.

A very teary Mama meeting her princess


There she is!

Daddy meeting his newest love


Yes she's in there. Being smothered by her mama as I cried.

Moments after welcoming her into the world.

tirzah and her new sister

So in love.


Her little bum says Nazara under the frog ;)

Yes she's dressed to the nines. All the nurses came in saying they heard the stylin' baby was in the room ;)

That night the kids all got to meet her.  

Oh I love this picture. The delight on Izrael's face!

She kept saying "new baby!!" :)

Beautiful Azahria Peace with her new sister.





Zihao (who was anything but gentle, we're keeping an eye on him ;)


Oh she's delicious 

Hope you all enjoyed meeting our new love. We are completely smitten. She's so calm, never makes a peep.  We are totally over the moon in love.  


Turns 4!

June 26, 2009. The day this little boy was born.

Born with obvious health concerns.  A cleft lip and palate. Low set, misshapen ears...

And shortly thereafter...abandoned.   Left in a shoebox..on the side of a busy road at the gate of the hospital.

Here he is today...a son.  Today we celebrated the life of Taizi. It's not like our life...he has health concerns, big ones, and lives with a different set of expectations than the rest of us. But he has life. And that is what we celebrated on June 26.  Four years of life.

We did a little party...which he wanted none of.  The pictures look better than the actual event went :) He was grouchy and just wanted to go to bed. But these pictures are important so we got through them.  He wanted none of his cake...but the other children enjoyed it.