Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Heavenly Christmas Gift.

If you read my most recent post..." I otay?" you will see the stress and anxiety I've been struggling with regarding the new house.

Christmas Day morning...we were not at the new house yet. We did not celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day. We chose, as a family, to wait until we move in the new place.  So Christmas Day was weird for us. We worked. Hard. On the shower in the master bedroom. We are installing all tile and all hardwood floor. Ourselves.  This is just one of the many things we are doing to save necessary money.

Our neighbor down the hill is a retired Navy Seal.  Our kids are in awe of him. We can't wait to sit and hear his stories.

He woke Christmas morning and looked out his front window to see the hill covered in a thick, heavy fog.  But...there was something. Brilliantly...shining...on the hill.  He couldn't believe what he saw.

He looked. He grabbed his phone to take pictures.

His text said this "I saw your house filled with the Spirit of God..."

When I saw the photos, I started to cry.  Like...that cry.  That cry like when I saw ZhenAi's photo for the first time. It's a deep, spiritual cry that I can't explain. I'm not crying. I'm not emotional in the moment but my eyes are crying. Yes...that. If it sounds confusing, it feels much more so.

You can try to explain these photos away. That the sun was shining on windows...but it's the wrong angle for the windows. Where his house is and where our window doesn't add up.

Tirzah said it best. She said "I'm sure people will say it's all sorts of things but ... I believe."

Tirzah believes it's angels.  Angels with flames of fire.

I don't know what it is. But the tears that come every time I see it tell me it's something special.

What a beautiful Christmas gift.  After all the questions. Fears. Stress.  My doubts...if we will ever get in this house.

My close friends both had the same immediate thought when they saw the photos:

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Mommy...Am I otay...?"

Nazara is 2.5 years old.  She's the baby of the family.

She had a head cold and went to bed at her normal bedtime.

It was about 11pm and all of a sudden she cried out "Mommy...!! Where are you??" :)

I ran upstairs and laid down beside her.  She scootched (yes, it's a word. In my world anyway) in close.  She went to sleep. She was breathing very heavily, not stirring a bit.  All of a sudden, she spoke up.

"Mommy...? Am I otay...?"

My eyes popped open. I was wide awake.  But it was a "did she really just say that?" moment.

I quickly answered. "yes, my love. You are okay".

She said "Otay Mommy. Otay" and went right back to sleep.

I laid there for the longest time.  Smiling in the dark.  Holding my sniffly 2 year old girl in a half hug.

I knew that message was for me.  How my 2 year old, in her sleep stupor, had just spoken directly to me...was a gift.

Here's what I knew in that moment. just need to be told you are ok. You are going to be ok. And you are going to make it.

Ever been there?

Come on. I know you have.  If you haven't...someone you love, has.  And they simply need to be told..."you are ok".  I realized holding Nazara close...she just asked what I was asking...without ever using the words.

Don't read too much into this.  There's no hidden meaning here. I'm being transparent and real.  I have a lot on my plate right now.  The mortgage paperwork is making adoption paperwork look like a walk in the park. And that...that's saying something.

I find myself questioning if we'll ever get in the house, yet knowing deep down that we will.  There have been random, even crazy...bad news days.  Then there have been gifts and blessings that have left me spell bound.  There have been tears and questions...and then there has been peace. Peace that God brought us here not to drop us and leave us.

And all along I didn't realize until the moment my baby asked it...that my heart was crying out to God asking "am I okay...?"  Longing to hear the whisper.."ah my love.  You are totally ok. You are going to be ok. And you are going to make it. I got you."

I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I laid there processing what had just happened.

It's been a long season of waiting.  Of working. Of....striving.

At the end of the day...I just wanted to hear that soft, sweet voice that calms every fear in my heart. "oh Janice.  You are totally ok. And are going to make it. Just like you always do. We got this."

If that's you...then this message is for you.  You are going to be okay.  Whatever is happening. Whatever is burdening you. are okay. You will be okay.  You are going to make it.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ahhh. I'm still here.

I know if I tell you my life has been couldn't possibly know what I mean.

But life has been crazy.

We are up to our eyeballs in adoption paperwork.  We are so close to traveling to bring ZhenAi home.  So close that I can't even think about it quite yet because we have so much to get done before we go.

And...we are so close to moving into our house.  I know you think that moving can be fun and stressful but in our case...we are so involved in the building process. Especially now.

We spent today scrubbing the floors and shop-vaccing in prep for cabinets to be delivered hopefully tomorrow and for US to install hardwood floor starting this weekend.  Yes. We are doing that.

We also installed our own wood shelving in all the closets to save a ton of money but that also means caulking, taping and painting them all. I cried after doing the master closet as it took three coats. I'm doing this around being a full time Mama to 10.  Non stop runs to the out house on the property with little kids terrified of falling in (I get it!!).  Snacks, boo boos and just a need for a hug.  Paint everywhere. I'm not a neat painter.  And ... ahh.

It all led to a few days ago I took Azahria out to run errands and I stopped in the parking lot of Walmart and just cried. I couldn't even drive.  I didn't want to do errands, I didn't want to go home and face the hours of paperwork on my desk...I just felt overwhelmed.

I know. This comes as a shock to you. But it shouldn't.  You only think I'm superhuman.  I'm...not.

In my sadness and feelings of complete exhaustion in the Walmart parking lot, I notice this grandpa aged man trying to wrap a large BBQ in the wind. I dried my eyes, pulled forward, rolled down my window...and asked if he needed help. He warmly smiled but assured me he had it under control.  I must have connected with that statement...b/c I promptly parked and got out to help him.

I get it.  I'm fiercely independent too.  But he needed help.  He smiled and sweetly said "you are my Christmas angel".  Ahh. I felt like anything but.  He talked about his adopted grandchildren and was just plain wonderful.  I got in the van with a bounce in my step.

Yes...I have a lot going on right now.  But I'll make it.  We'll make it.  And getting my eyes off my mess for a moment was just what I needed.

I do have specific prayer requests.  We have some strange issue with the IRS and our income taxes not being posted properly.  Whatever...they are a mess and anything but fun to deal with.  But this NEEDS to be sorted asap for us to get the mortgage approved. Yes.  That's on my plate too.

God has shown up in so many ways. For our family. Our house. Our adoption. That we know we are where we are supposed to be.  Yet ... it's amazing how I can sit questioning it all in a moment of weakness.

I am totally transparent about the fact that God called us to this adoption when we were already in the process of building our house.  It's just a lot...all at once.  And they are both at the the same time.

We are trying to get into the house in the first week of January and travel to China in February.

All of this to simply ask...that you would pray for us.  For the tax situation to be fixed asap...and for everything else to line up so we can close on the house quickly and get settled before we head to China.

Thank you. For being a part of our journey and praying with us.  For us.  All of us.


Monday, December 7, 2015


We received our Letter Of Approval (soft copy) at day 21 since LID!

Needless to say...we and our agency were shocked!

What does this mean? This is a big, big step closer to bringing ZhenAi home.

We are likely traveling in February.  And trying to move first of January.

Please...if you would be so kind...keep us in your sincere prayers. We have a lot going on right now.

Thank you so very much, friends.