Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tomorrow We Say Good-Bye

We have had such a wonderfully blessed visit with Caleb here in Connecticut. The weather has been nice, though it was hot today, and there has been so much we could all do together.

I'll post more when we get back home, a funny Ellie story of two...she now has 3 pet rocks, Rocky, Rhoda, and Rosabelle, and they've been quite mischievous, I'm afraid.

Today we rode a steam train and a ferry, hiked up a mountain, and saw a castle.

We ended the day with a family meal and a family game of Uno.

Please pray for us tomorrow as we say good-bye to Caleb. Pray for him. And, pray for our journey home to be safe.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Enjoying the Journey

Only a mother's heart can truly comprehend the joy that came from deep within today. The weather was beautiful, the tour of submarine was fun, but spending time with my family was priceless.

We started the morning, following breakfast by touring the Nautilus Submarine Museum. My first favorite photo of the day was probably this one. Just hearing Ellie ask, "Caleb, will you hold my hand?" was enough to make this day special.

I enjoyed most listening to Caleb as he described so much he has learned about submarines in the short time he has been in sub school. I am amazed at how much knowledge he has, with much more time yet to learn.

While Stan and I enjoyed the exhibits, reading the history of submarines, and listening to Caleb, the girls were able to enjoy pretending to "drive" a submarine, look through a real periscope, and look at life on a submarine. Ellie said, "There are beds in here."

After the tour, we had dinner at Outback, then back to the hotel for a swim. We set out for the short trip to the beach just a couple of miles from the hotel, had ice cream and went for a walk on a pier on the Connecticut River.

While at the museum, we purchased toy periscopes for the girls. When I sat at the computer this evening, I had to snap one more photo....the girls had constructed their own submarine with blankets stretched across chairs. They were using the periscope to spy on me.

Thank you for your prayers. Do you want to know how I've felt today?


Full of Joy....


I am so grateful for a Savior who walks with us and talks with us wherever we are, wherever we go.

Today, as I watched the girls swimming, I sat and began reading what I believe is going to be one of the best books I read this summer.

Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle

Corrie ten Boom wrote, "Maybe the way in which we travel and the attitude we have while making our way through life is more important than reaching our destination. Or could it be that, in God's sight, the way actually is the destination? Jesus said, 'I am the Way.'"

Enjoy your journey, my friends.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick Update from CT

After 22 LONG hours in a car, we are here. Traffic was unbelievable. Once Ellie asked, "Why are we going backwards?" We were actually stopped in a traffic jam.

But, the long ride was worth it. If only you could have heard Ellie when she saw Caleb and shouted, "Caleb. I love you!"

More to come, I promise!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

AWOL---Reason and a Promise

So, for the three or four of you left who might still be reading....I know, I've been absent without leave for a while. I know I haven't been faithful to post....

Reasons First...then a promise.

Reasons: I haven't felt well. I have this crazy bone spur in my neck. Short story doctors have tried different meds...strange reactions to EVERY one of them. Finally realized one was causing depression....finally not taking it any more. Finally, on the road to feeling more like myself. Please pray that the problem can be resolved soon...without meds!!!

I will be posting soon, maybe tomorrow....really.

Guess What:

We're going to see Caleb, a van load of us, six of us, are driving over 1000 miles, and we're going to see our Navy boy. JT and E are excited...they haven't seen him in four months. I am determined to feel better and to enjoy every minute with him. Please pray abaout that, too!

And, tomorrow, photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

For All of Ellie's Prayer Warriors--Memorial Box Monday on Tuesday.

Our home phone and internet have been down since Sunday's lightning storm...hence Memorial Box Monday on Tuesday. I decided it was time to give our enemy another One-Two Punch...and this post is for all of you, any of you, who have ever sent a prayer up to the Father for our precious Ellie. (I might should be doing housework, but I'm about my Father's business.)

Some of your started praying soon after we first saw her face, before we had even committed to her adoption.

I still have the first copy of that photo that I ever printed. I have it in my Bible at school, where it has been since the day I fasted and prayed over her, as our family prayed over our decision to adopt her.

Many of you prayed for Ellie and her mama during our long wait for LOA. If you'd like to remember those days, or if you had never joined us, you can see how difficult those days were by clicking here.

There were still more who joined us in prayer when we were in China, who prayed for Ellie's smooth transition into our family.

I will never forget the sweet words of our friend Noah. I had asked friends to be praying for Ellie because I was worried about her riding the train all the way from Beijing to Taiyuan. When my dear Joli shared my worries with her children and they were praying for Ellie, Noah said, "We can go to China and ride the train with Ellie so she won't be scared." Oh, the faith of precious children. (You can read more about Noah here."

Then, you joined us in prayer for Ellie's surgery, some of you for 30 days prior to her surgery.

You rejoiced with us when she walked across the room for the first time. If you missed that day, you click here.

And, then there was the time following our last two visits to Shriner's...in May when I was discouraged, and two weeks ago, when Ellie was discouraged. And, when Ellie was discouraged, our hearts were heavy, because she had previously met every obstacle with the tenacity that would frighten the fiercest bull.

But, we have made marvelous progress, all a glorious display of God's mercy and grace. You have held us up when we couldn't stand alone. And, like the apostle Paul, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.

So, this song is from Ellie to you. May it encourage you as much as it encourages her mama to hear her sing it. May it inspire those who, today, may feel like giving up, to get back up again. May it encourage you remember the great work God calls us to when He calls us to intercessory prayer. May it encourage you to purchase Toby Mac's latest CD, so you can hear the song in its entirity. (Click here if you're interested.)

And, if you have EVER prayed for Ellie, I'd like to ask one more favor. Would you leave her a comment? (I've set the comments to allow for anonymous comments during this time, so you don't need a google account.) I plan to print these and put them in a book for Ellie. So, the next time she hears the enemy tell her she is different, she shouldn't get back up again, I'm going to remind her that she is surrounded by a GREAT cloud of witnesses.

To God be the Glory! (You will likely want to scroll down and pause the Play list at he the bottom of the page.)

I'm going to town later today, and I'm going to look for some praying hands to put in our Memorial Box, so Ellie can always remember she has been prayed for, she is being prayed for, and she will always be prayed for.

And, if you've never visited Linny's blog, the creator of Memorial Box Monday, I invite you to click here. You'll be gald you did.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Box Monday--The Miracle of Adoption

I'm so thankful to Linny for encouraging us to start a memorial box...and for the excitement Josie-Tatum has when she asks what the next Memorial Box post will be about.

So, JT, this one's for you!

We have been asked multiple times, as most in the international adoption community have, "What led you to adopt?" or "Why China?"

I always begin with the short answer, "Jesus!" and if the asker seems really interested I tell the rest of the story. Some of it has been told here before, but part of the story came up today. Thus, my decision to make it this week's Memorial Box Post.

In 2000, I had heard a Focus on the Family radio program about adoption, and Chinese adoption in particular. I sometimes say, "I'm not sure why I was home that day," and I'm not completely sure. I think I was writing my thesis and took a personal day from work. I know that I had carried Whitney and Caleb to school, and, on my way home began to hear the story. As I listened, I was intrigued....enough so that I came inside and turned the radio on so I could hear the remainder of the broadcast.

I learned for the first time of the thousands, perhaps millions of orphans in China. I learned more about the one child policy and its effects on families. I heard an adoptive mother describe the blank expression on the face of her adoptive daughter on the day they met.

I was burdened.

I shared that burden with Stan, Whitney, and Caleb. We all agreed the situation was tragic, but we did NOT all agree we should become directly involved. Whitney was ready. Caleb was NOT. Stan and I were both sure the timing was wrong, as I was a mother of two busy active children, a part-time college student working on my specialist degree, and a full-time teacher.

There was no time for a baby.

Fast-forward two years later. Whitney received Steven Curtis Chapman's Live Out Loud CD for Christmas. Little did I know, the CD included a song SCC wrote for his daughter Shoahannah, "When Love Takes You In." That song opened up the path that would take us to China for Josie-Tatum's adoption. The path was simply open, and we had not taken any steps down that path until....

Whitney and I attended SCC's Live Out Loud tour concert in Jacksonville, Fl. If you watch the video below, and you've never seen, I should warn you....God can use it to work miracles....the miracle of adoption, in your heart, the seeds of the miracle may be planted or watered; they may begin to sprout. (You'll want to scroll down and pause my playlist, so you can hear this.)

We sat through this portion of the concert...all the while Whitney was poking me in the ribs with her elbow, and tears poured down my cheeks. For the next few months, the LORD sent affirmation after affirmation, including one more concert by SCC, this time with Stan along.

I am certain the LORD used His servant Steven Curtis Chapman to encourage our family to pursue the dream He had for us. I am convinced SCC's faithfulness to share his family's story has prompted many other families to adopt. I am forever grateful that his faithfulness led our family to this moment.

And many other moments in the life of our precious girls.

So, in our Memorial Box, I am placing the cover of the Declaration CD.

And, anyone want to guess who we are going to see in Concert this Saturday night?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Shoes--More Prayers for Ellie

We had a visit to Shriner's today. We were supposed to be picking up new braces. On our last visit, we had discussed Ellie's tendency to lose her balance and fall frequently.

After 3 hours of thorough evaluations, it was determined she could us a butress on her shoe to hold her ankle in place. (She has severe pronation on one foot, and she already wears a lift on her other shoe.)

Ellie has been excited about her new braces. Everytime she gets new braces, she chooses a new color for her straps. She was ready for her new braces with the red straps.

Then, they brought in her new shoe.

She was a good patient and let the orthotics tech put it on without complaint.

Finally, we could leave.

I took Ellie to the restroom to complete the catheter process.

She sat on the toilet

.......and began to cry.

She said, "But, Mama, I'm going to be the only one who wears a shoe with this."

I tried to talk to her, but she couldn't hear it.

She could only see that she was different.

I had sent my nephew Joshua, my soon to be DIL Casie, and Josie-Tatum to the van. Ellie and I were leaving the hospital together, just the two of us. I reached for her hand, and she asked, "Mama, will you walk in front of me."

My sweet Ellie:

Who loves to be the center of attention:

Didn't want anyone to see her.

Did you feel my heart break?

Of course, I had to be the big girl. I couldn't cry or let her know, at that moment, how bad my heart was aching. And, since words of wisdom failed me, I simply walked on, with Ellie trailing behind, tears quietly running down her cheeks. We went to eat at one of her favorite restaurants, and when we all climbed out of the van, she repeated her request. "Can I walk behind somebody?"

We've not been home long, and I've not had time to truly process all of this. I will admit the tears that are beginning to flow now, that the girls are in bed, and I can begin to sort through my own feelings.

Please pray for her, as I know you will. Please pray that God can speak to her heart, when her Mama doesn't have words. And, today, I don't have words. At this moment, I can't think of scripture or even what I might say to her tomorrow.

But, as you are praying, if you hear a word from the LORD, would you share it with me?

I know my Jesus died that she might have life, and have it more abundantly. I know He is the truth, the way, and the life. I know He has a perfect answer for this disheartened mommy.

Love to you, my faithful prayer warriors,
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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
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