Sunday, January 24, 2010


A self haircut (just the bangs) and
some more coffee and
a chat with my sister and
an evening with my family and
a little of this
i'm feeling better.


it's because we haven't seen the sun in days or
my mom left today or
my almost 11 month old won't nap lately or
it's Sunday afternoon or
it's January or
all of the above


i'm in a funk today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Journey to Grace

I can't remember the day Mom and Dad left for China to get Grace (sorry Mom). I know that it was towards the end of November 2003, because they were gone over Thanksgiving. They flew from Atlanta to LA and then LA to Beijing. They spent a few days in Beijing sightseeing and adjusting to the time zone (12 hours different) before traveling to Hefei where they would meet Grace for the first time. Hefei is in the Anhui Province of China, almost due west from Shanghai. The Chinese consider it to be a small town, but it is home to a couple of million people. Grace is actually from a smaller town outside of Hefei called Bengbu City. For whatever reason, the government did not allow my parents or any other adoptive parents to visit the orphanage where their children were from

They say that they hardly slept the night before they met Grace. Everyone from their travel group was supposed to meet up in the lobby of the hotel at a specific time the next morning, and everyone was there early. Nannies from the orphanage accompanied the director to the hotel from Bengbu City, bringing the babies to their new forever families. It's beautiful to watch the video of that morning because the nannies filed in the room, each carrying a child, while the army of new parents waited on the other side, half holding video cameras. Everyone immediately recognized their child from pictures, but had to endure waiting for their name to be called out by the director to step up and meet her. Dad video taped their meeting with Grace. The nanny gave Grace to Mom and Grace looked down as Mom held her close, beaming from ear to ear. After a few moments, Grace began to cry and the nanny gave Mom a cookie to give her. This quieted her down and then Dad got to hold her too, but she still had a far off look in her eyes. It is amazing to see her a mere two hours later in the next video. Mom had taken her up to their room while Dad finished up some paperwork. During that short time, she transformed into a happy, energetic baby eyes all aglow as she played with her Mommy.

They spent the next two weeks in China sightseeing, filling out paperwork, and getting to know Grace before they all came home to us. In the meantime, Sarah, Andy, B, and I had Thanksgiving with our family and ran the Atlanta Half Marathon. We lived for the phone calls from Mom, Dad, and Grace, listening to her coo and laugh over the line. These were the first pictures we got from them:

We could not wait to meet her ourselves.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lots in Review

I'm going to interrupt the blogs about Grace's adoption to review the year, decade, etc. 2009 brought us one big bundle of change. Since we moved to Beaufort in December of 2008, I'm going to lump that into 2009 as well. Living in Beaufort has been hard. That's no secret to you all. We still struggle with friendships and where we belong a year later, but I am praying fervently that this year will be different. I mean, even if we still struggle, I am going to try and make a better effort with people and not let it get to me as much when they let me down. (After all, I let people down all the time, I'm sure of it.) The best thing that has come from this loneliness is that God has used it to (once again) turn my heart to Him alone for companionship and belonging. I don't think I'd trade a room full of good friends for that.

By far the biggest change of them all came in the form of a beautiful baby girl last February. I could gush for pages and pages about her, but I'll just say this: That girl has changed my life for the better in so many ways that I never thought possible. Parents are not lying when we say that we never imagined loving someone so much before our children were born. I had no idea that there was this much love in me. And, oh man, God loves us perfectly (e.g. never gets tired of our whining, etc.) as His children? I learn new things through and from Els every hour of every day.

As I sat at the breakfast table this morning, drinking coffee and feeding Els her banana cereal, I thought about this past decade. 10 years ago, I was about to graduate from high school and thought I would marry a guy who is not B. I didn't even know B at the time. So, in the span of a decade, not only has the world changed by way of planes flying into buildings, iphones, Lost, etc., I have met, fallen in love with, married, and had children with a man whose face I had never seen 10 years ago. A lot can happen. I don't even pretend to understand what will happen in the next decade.

I'll leave you with the cheesy, albeit true, text that my (not 7 year old) sister sent me on New Year's Eve: "I don't know what tomorrow brings, but I know Who holds tomorrow."