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, December 26, 2011

Blessed Christmas

I can't wait to share....but I'm headed out the door.

Our Christmas was incredibly blessed with ALL of our children home.

Today, Josie-Tatum asked her mama for a date, so we are going ice skating.

I hope to post photos and more this evening.

I pray your Christmas was overflowing with blessings, too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas from Ellie, JT, and the Ninja Sheep

It was a Christmas play like no other. It was awesome!

I love to watch Christmas plays involving children. I love to watch children being children.

That would be the best way to describe our children's Christmas play at church. It opened with Ellie as the greeter. Didn't you enjoy that?

The story continued with Mary, Joseph, and inkeeper, the stable......

some angels:
Josie-Tatum was an angel.

Of course, there was one BRIGHT star, but there was many other smaller stars. Ellie was a small star. (After a quick costume change following the opening.)

The play, however, had some very interesting animals. They slowly crawled....down the aisle and made it to the stage. The sheep, though, were not quite the docile creatures we remember sheep to be. They seemed more like sheep from Mission Impossible. They had a quite a few moves that might impress Tom Cruise. I was unable to get a really good action show, but, perhaps you can get the idea from this one.

I pray you have enjoyed children's Christmas plays this year, too. If not, I think you should schedule some time to see one. It helps us see Christmas through special eyes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blessed with Boys

Overwhelmed with the goodness of our Savior this weekend, I sat in our home and pondered life as it will soon be with two more sons. How could I be so blessed?

All of my children were home, except Zeke and Drew. Whitney and Brandon are home from college for the holidays. And, blessing of blessings, Caleb's submarine came back into its home port this week. He came by for the afternoon.

Later that evening, after having a family Christmas with his wife's extended family, Caleb came back to see us. There was much laughter as we sat around the dining room table, and we were joined later by some of the boys' high school friends. It's been a long time since I heard so much laughter in our home.

And...since the boys complain that they "never" make the blog, I asked them, along with their friends to pose for a photo.

The friends, however, couldn't understand why the girls weren't allowed to be in the picture. They insisted we take a photo with the girls, too. Just to be Caleb's and Brandon's record was kept unbroken, there had to be a few pranks before the photo session was over.

And, finally a photo with all of them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Making Memories

Sometimes, I have a crazy idea pop into my head about Making Memories. I have decided on a Friday afternoon to go see snow fall in West Virginia....and we made memories.

This idea was a little less expensive. The girls had an impromptu sleep over. They started on the trampoline. Then, we ordered pizza. Then we started making memories.

After the trampoline and our pizza supper, someone allowed Ellie and LizAnn to give a manicure. Future advice: Six-yea-olds are not gentle on the cuticles.

Did you guess?

It was Daddy!!!! (He told me I shouldn't post these photos on the blog, but he had a smile on his face when he told me that, so I think he wont' mind.)

We made lots of paper snowflakes, and embellished them with glitter glue and sequins. Stan even made a snowflake; however, he decided to have me work on the embellishment so he could keep his "man card." (Yeah, right! After the previouc manicure.)

After the snowflake creations and subsequent cleaning of the mess, we did something I love that totally freaks Stan out. I made hot chocolate and took the girls outside to shout Merry Christmas at the passersby. Only......we were on the roof. Not. Kidding.

When I asked Liz Ann if she'd like to spend the night with Ellie, she said with great enthusiasm, "I've always wanted to take a bath with Ellie!" So, I made it a bubble bath.

And, after the bubble bath, we left our home at 11:00 PM and rode the town looking at Christmas lights.

It was an awesome evening of making memories!!

Sing Hallelujah

We interrupt this family blog for a story about another child....whose life is connected to ours in a way that only Jesus Himself could orchestrate.

Many of you may remember that last year our family was contacted and asked to advocate for Xiao Yong. It was when we began to advocate for him that God led us to our Drew. (Read more about this story on a Memorial Box post here.

Today is Xiao Yong's day!!!

He was left behind time after time and year after year. He WAS the only child remaining at the foster home where our Ellie lived. Many children have come and found their families. Many new faces always coming, always leaving. Xiao Yong was always staying.

He had developed a habit of asking any male volunteers who came to the foster home, "Big Brother, will you play with me?"

But, God who loves the fatherless was orchestrating a plan for Xiao Yong. Our family had the privilege of praying for him from Friday to Monday...when we learned a family was committing to him, a forever family.

Now, just over one year later. Xiao Young met his Baba!!!!
(That's "daddy" in Chinese.)

Sing Hallelujah with me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Teacher....too precious NOT to share

I have a pain in the neck...NO. REALLY. My neck is killing me, and I will see the doctor today. But, better than a pain in the neck is the most PRECIOUS letter I have ever received from a student.

I have a file that I have labeled, "Smiles From Students." I couldn't possibly keep every note, letter, or hand drawn picture from the past 25 years...but I keep those that are special.

And, this one will go on the top. I don't know, maybe it should go in our Memorial Box.

I must begin by telling you I had a very difficult afternoon yesterday. There is nothing wrong with me, but there was a situation involving people I love dearly, and I was sort of caught in the middle.

I received a phone call about it at work, and I was upset. (The details are not mine to share, but this letter will blow you away.) I was so upset that I had to leave the classroom for a few minutes and get my thoughts and myself together. An administrator saw me in the hallway, and my classroom was well cared for while I nursed my aching heart. Many of my students in more than one class saw me...as it was "changing classes" time. When I returned to the CR, I assured them everything was fine. It was just some sad news from a friend.

And, truthfully, when I went to bed last night, PRAISE the LORD! Jesus had worked through the difficult siutation.

Then today, a student put a note on my desk. Nothing unusual about that.

Until I read it.

Get the tissues:
Dear Mrs. Robbie,

Are you ok? I saw you crying yesterday an dgot worried. Mrs. (teacher) told us we could pray if wanted to. So I did. I bowed my head and closed my eyes and said, "Dear Lord. Be with Mrs. Robbie. If anything is wrong work it out pleace. Once again be with Mrs. Robbie. Amen.:
Sincerely with love,
(Student Name)
P.S. I am always remembering you!

God sends me just what I need just when I need it. Many teachers shy away from fourth grade. I love fourth graders. And, while the world would say the generation of children in elementary school is full of problems. I would agree. But this same student has had her share of problems, and she has been left with a heart of compassion that surely makes Jesus smile more than I did today.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two Reasons to Smile

I smiled when my cell phone rang today. Smile with me....the caller ID showed Caleb's cell phone number. His submarine was surfacing, so he was standing on top of the sub calling his mama and she felt like she was on top of the world. :)

And, finally, I have been able to upload this video from a month ago. Smile at the debut of Moose, aka my nephew Joshua, and Ellie singing Ellie's theme song. (Don't forget to scroll down and pause the play list.) "You fall down. You get back up again. You may be knocked down but not out forever."

Ellie would love to see your comments telling her what an inspiration she is!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Surprise from China

I've had these precious photos for a couple of weeks, but haven't shared yet.

Drew celebrated his 4th birthday on Nov 13th...and his AWESOME nanny sent me pictures of the celebration.

Have you noticed how many photos include him eating? I think that boy likes to eat!;)

Please pray for our Drew. His nanny also shared that his closest friend was adopted this summer and the other two boys close to his age are leaving with their forever families soon. While he knows his forever family is coming, he will be "left behind" for a few months without his friends. Pray that God will protect his heart.

Our Zeke is in a huge orphanage. While his current situation lacks the loving and caring environment where Drew is, he is likely not even aware that a family is coming. His orphanage has just opened to adoption in the last year. He will need much prayer as he learns to adjust to a family, but his heart is less vulnerable right now.

Thank you for rejoicing with us. Thank you for all of the emails and encouragement we received in the last 2 days!!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A How-to Manual for Friends of Adoptive Parents

First, if you missed yesterday's post, get busy reading it and rejoicing with us. Thank you all for the many comments and emails and text messages I received yesterday. (And, please pray, because Satan himself tried to steal my joy after I spent the day praising the LORD.)

Second. I love you Theresa!

My friend Theresa, who is not an adoptive parent, sent me this link. She told me how glad she was that she read it. I didn't know what I was going to be reading, but I clicked on the link, and I'm glad I read it to.

If you want to hear some really great advice from a fellow adoptive parent about how you can support families who are adopting, click here:


And, if you feel like you learned something, please share it with me by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Than I Ever Could Have Imagined

(For all of you Memorial Box readers out there: this was not a memorial box post when I wrote it; however, the letter telling of the miracle is already housed in our memorial box, and I wanted to share this awesome story with you!)

Most you who are reading this already know much about our story. You have prayed us through some difficult days and rejoiced with us as God poured out His blessings.

And, if you know me, you know well that one of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20...Now to him that is able to do axceeding abundantly more above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. v. 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all the ages, world without end.

God has once again given us an Ephesians 3:20 moment, above all that we asked or even could think.

If you don't know the story of God's leading to TWO sons in China, please click on the Little Emperor's Tab or here and then click on the link to Zeke's Story here. Please do that before you read on, because you need to know the WHOLE story to really grasp all that God has done.

We've been fundraising now for a YEAR, with over $12,000 raised and a $3,000 grant, so we had $15,000 of the estimated $37,500 over agency told us to expect for TWO adoption. The fundraising had slowed down tremendously. We had suffered through many trials in the last few months, broken appliances, Navy son departing to sea, a life-threatening illness of a family member.

Our faith was wavering.

I truly began to feel like Job. I praised the LORD in the storm, but some days it was oh so hard. I admit a few days I just spent crying, never turning my back on God, but begging Him to show me why the battle was raging so fiercely.

Then, last week, God showed Himself Faithful. Not because He has to. He would still be a Faithful God, had he not shown up. But, He showed Himself faithful to Ephesians 3:20.

We received a grant from Show Hope......and in the same day....we received an anonymous donation to our adoption agency. This donation was for $25,000!!!!! I thought someone added an extra 0 to the amount, so I called to be sure. Oh, me of little faith!

Our adoption is now PAID in FULL!!!

v. 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all the ages, world without end.

(We will continue to sell Uganda bead necklaces to ensure we have enough funds for any unexpected expenses. We also hope to be able to take Josie-Tatum and Ellie with us to their homeland, with Ellie visiting Drew's foster home, since she was fostered there as well. So, if you need Christmas gifts let me know.)

And, to all of you, for every $5 donation from someone in Australia who prayed God would multiply to those who've bought necklaces, for every prayer and word of encouragement, to my friends who donated larger amounts from the blessings God has given you, and those who have sold almost as many necklaces as I have:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Join me now in the sacrifice of praise!

The Big News

I plan to post later today....to share an Ephesians 3:20 miracle.

I want to use the right words.

I want to make sure every bit of the story shares God's glory!

Keep checking!

Monday, November 28, 2011

You Know Somebody Loves You When

I know somebody loves me when....

I come home from a family gathering on Thanksgiving Day to find this on the bar in my kitchen.

How do I know somebody loves me?

They loved me enough to give me a frog. I happen to like frogs, both live and artificial. They chose a gift for me they knew I would like.

They loved me enough to decorate the frog. They took time to cut out a Pilgrm hat for the frog and make a note that said, "Hoppy Thanksgiving."

And, they loved me enough to break into my house while I was away to leave me a surprise.

I know SOMEBODY loves me!

(Don't forget. Keep checking bag. Big news is coming!)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ever Thankful

(I can hardly believe how long it has been since I posted!!!)

We had a most blessed week during our Thanksgiving Break. There is so much to share, I am going to try to post once a day this entire week...I'd hate to overwhelm you all at once. Keep checking. There will be ONE post I promise you do NOT want to miss.

But, I'll begin with Thanksgiving.

I am one BLESSED Mama.

It was such a beautiful fall day, we began with photo shoot....we haven't had one in a while.

My college son Brandon cannot seem to function on "normal" human hours. He suffers from college clock itis.....up all night, sleep most of the day.....which means he missed the photo shoot, so I had him pose on the sofa two days later. He was here Thanksgiving Day, I promise!

Like most Americans, we ate far too much turkey, dressing, and desserts! We spent Thanksgiving Dinner with Stan's extended family, aunts, cousins, and more. Then, we had Thanksgiving Supper with my family. Family and food ALL day.

Stan had to work, but he was off on Friday, so I was able to have a Thanksgiving Date with my man on Friday.

Caleb is out at sea, but he sent his mama one SWEET email that was delivered on Thanksgiving day.

How can it be more blessed than that?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blessing Upon Blessing--Part III

One one week, we received LOA, an update on Drew, photos of Drew...


Well, let me say, the same day we received LOA, we had a phone interview....late into the evening with members of the board of Katelyn's Fund. They are in a different time zone. It was nearly midnight before the phone interview was over.

Wanna know what I think of staying up that late on a school night?

What a blessing!!!!!

We received a phone call four days later: We are the recipients of a $3,000 grant. Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blessings Upon Blessings--Part II

We have


Those in the adoption world know well how my heart sings.

So, for the rest of you, LOA gives final approval from China. Our PA was issued last year, our prior approval. But, now China has reviewed all of our paperwork, and it is offical. China says Drew and Zeke are ours.

Now, we get the not-so-fun part of waiting on immigration here in the states, and then waiting on China to send travel approval.

But, in 3-4 months, our boys should be FOREVER HOME!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blessing Upon Blessing

In very tiny letters, I share that Satan has fought our family with much vengeance this week. I don't want him to receive any glory

Please pray for us more than you ever have!

And, then Praise the LORD with us.<

I have many blessings to share, so I'm sitting up late tonight to begin praising the LORD for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do. I plan to get several posts ready, so you have to check back every day to see ALL that God has done to encourage us as we fight the spiritual battle.

I'm going to share the sweetest today. (Perhaps, the most exciting news will come tomorrow.)

But, this news will make your heart smile!

I received this email today from Drew's foster home.

Hi Robbie,
Tina forwarded the attached pictures to me and said that ZZ came back from school yesterday, holding an old broken cell phone which the teach gave him. He said to Tina "Can you give me some batteries so I can text my mommy and daddy?" Tina asked him what would he like to text you, he said "I will ask them 'How are you?', and pingguo is "apple", juzi is "orange". He thought some more and said "I also want to give mommy and daddy lollipops. I want to bring a lot of lollipops to give to them".
Have a nice day!

And, then, precious, precious photos!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Praise and Prayers

The Great I Am....still is! (The quote written inside of the Bible of a dear saint gone on to be with Jesus. We purchased her car three years ago, and I found her Bible in the glove compartment.)

God is doing great and mighty things, Ephesians 3:20 things, beyond what I could ask or thing.

Would you pray tonight at 10:45 EST...or any other time? We have an interview with Katelyn's Fund. We will know within two weeks if we receive a grant of up to $3,000. As Esther asked others to pray that she would find favor with the king, pray that we find favor with THE KING. And pray we find favor with the Christians on the board of Katelyn's Fund.

(I have lots of photos, and a precious video to share later.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fervent Prayers: Holding Another's Hands

I would like to share with you how my family blessed me on my birthday this past Friday.

I also need to share with you some sweet moments with Ellie on her Gotcha Day.

But, there is a far more pressing matter.

Someone I love dearly is fighting the greatest spiritual battle I have ever witnessed, a battle with Satan himself, a battle that cannot be described with mere words of a physical nature.

Today, I began to think of Moses. Joshua was fighting a battle, and Moses was praying with hands held high.

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Until his hands began to grow weary.

But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

I have been praying for my friend, fervently, incessantly, late at night, and early in the morning. Sometimes my hands begin to grow heavy. So, I wonder....would you be an Aaron and a Hur for me? Would you grab my hands spiritually and hold them up? Would you become part of the effectual fervent prayer that avails much?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Author of the Puzzle

Last November, Stan and I began a great walk of faith, when we made the first contact to find out if Drew's file was still on the shared list. We weren't planning to adopt, and if you've never read that story or if you would enjoy a walk through the memory of God's call, click here.

And, I've mentioned before that our walk on the water has been through some major storms. I'm growing ever more convinced that Satan has planned these many attacks, attacked at the weakest links, with every intent to destroy us and stop Drew and Zeke from joining our families.

In Sunday School, our unit lessons for my 3rd-5th graders are about Joseph. What a testimony his life was to God's completion of his ultimate purpose for a life, despite all adversity. I've really begun to ponder what God's plans are for our boys. A friend recently reminded me that this story is NOT just about adoption, though we know Drew's and Zeke's lives will be forever changed when they come home to their forever family. This story will bring about the salvation of two precious souls, souls who will become a part of a church where their pastor already prays for them diligently, souls who will begin an abundant life brought about by Jesus and begun here on earth.

I've done some studying on faith recently, particularly after attending a funeral of a dear saintly mother who left this earth much sooner than those who loved her ever imagined. As the pastor read through the Hall of Faith, I began to consider....

Consider where we are on our faith journey. By faith, Abraham went out, not knowing where he went, looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. By faith, Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king. By faith, they walked through the Red Sea on dry land. By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down.

By faith, we will bring Drew and Zeke home to our family.

When the Hall of Faith chapter ends, chapter 11 of Hebrews begins, "seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...."

I know the writer of Hebrews referred to the great could of witnesses as those who have gone on to be with our LORD, the many saints whose great faith is recorded for us, one in that cloud who just joined heaven last week. Forgive me, though, as I wonder if we couldn't include the great cloud of witnesses who are here on earth. There is such a great cloud of witnesses who have encouraged us on our journey. And, they are all part of the puzzle, part of the cloud of witnesses who are making it possible for Drew and Zeke to come home.

If these words resonate in your heart the emotions and impact that they are having one me, would you consider.....

After much prayer and thought, we are beginning another major fundraiser, a puzzle fundraiser. We believe Jesus is both the author and the finisher of the puzzle, including every piece that will bring our boys home.

The photo above is a 1000 piece puzzle I ordered this weekend. We are asking friends, family, and any who feel called to consider "sponsoring" a piece of the puzzle.

We plan to write the name of sponsors on the back of each piece of the puzzle and work our way toward completing it as a family. As we work toward completing the puzzle, we will be reminded of the GREAT cloud of witnesses joining us on our faith journey. When it is complete, and the boys are older, we can look back at the names of the people the AUTHOR of the puzzle used to write the awesome story of Drew's and Zeke's Forever Family homecoming.

If you'd like to join the cloud of faith witnesses, click on the Donate link on the right. We are suggesting a donation of $10 for each piece. You can sponsor one piece or 10. You may also consider sponsoring pieces in the names of your children or others. If we have all 1,000 pieces sponsored, we will have enough money to pay the required orphanage donation for both boys.

So many of you, probably most of you who visit our blog regularly have already contributed. If you are unable to contribute, you would honor us if you shared our story with others and experienced the joy with us as the cloud of faith witnesses grow. We would love to know that your are sharing our story on your blog, or sending out emails to your friends and family, directing them our website. Help us spread the word and watch the cloud of witnesses continue to grow.

Thank you for being part of our Journey to our Boys~!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Look Who was Home This Weekend

Yes, they did humor their mother by allowing a group photo, but they had to laugh, play, and joke before we could get the photo that started this post.

The girls expect Brandon to "pick," and he didn't let them down. Yeah, he turned them upside down, but he didn't let them down.

Caleb even wrangled the wild cat that has shown up at our house. NO, that is NOT blood on his glove, just red paint. But, the wild cat did attempt to bite Caleb more than once. He's such a good son!

Check back tomorrow night or Tuesday and see the latest update on our adoption.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trash and Treasures

If you live near us.....

we are participating in an annual community yard sale this weekend....at Horseshoe Road.

If you have any things lying around your house you'd like to donate....particularly household appliances, used furniture, or baby items, let me know.

If you live nearby, come see us. We'll have the beads from Uganda and other 147 million orphan merchandise as well.

Continue to pray for God's miracles!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will You Join Me

Tonight our pastor's message concerned the significance of prayer.

Will you join me on Friday? I truly feel God calling to a time of fasting and prayer. Will you pray with me, perhaps fast a meal, as we seek God.

Pray for God's provision for our adoption.

Pray for God's perfect timing.

Pray for His perfect peace to rest upon us.

Pray for our friends who are also adopting: Ben and Julie who travel to China soon, Paige and Matt, Leah and Derek and Xiao Yong's family, all who are anxiously awaiting LOA with us.

If you join us on Friday, please leave a comment. I will take comfort in knowing you are binding together with us~!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunshine Through The Clouds

God sent rays of sunshine today.

We still need our miracles, the miracles of funding for our adoptions, the miracle of perfect timing.

And, while we wait, God sent precious encouragement today.

Nearly eight years ago, I made a friend online. She was adopting at the same time we were adopting Josie-Tatum. She has been a prayer warrior for us. She has sent encouragement before, but today, it was simply sweet. Thank you, Melody, for the card and the time you took to send the words of hope from your devotional calendar.

The Son shined on us in a financial blessing as well. The Laila Rose Foundation helps families with children who have special needs. (Click here to learn more about them. Perhaps you know a family who could be blessed by them.)

They have reimbursed us the out-of-pocket expenses we have paid for Ellie's medical needs this year. We will be able to pay off a couple of bills and add $1000 to our adoption fund. PRAISE the LORD!!!!

May today's rays of hope begin a flood sunshine!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Little Things

Thank you, Jesus, for the little things.

The little smiles you send my way each day.

If only I had the camera ready this morning. I walked into the dining room where Ellie had begun to eat her breakfast. She had Jesus Calling beside her plate, took a bite, and leaned over as if to read......Praise the LORD, she was imitating one of her mother's good habits. ;)

And, last week, God gave me the opportunity to share something with a person in need. It was a very small something, but the person who received it was moved to tears. As we drove away, Josie-Tatum said, "Mama, I don't think you've ever been closer to Jesus."

May I not take those two precious moments lightly. God has given me the sacred trust of showing the His ways to my beautiful treasure. And, even in the little things, He smiles at me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking Unto Jesus

By now, you've figured out I love sunsets.

Last night, we were driving home from church, and it blessed my heart to hear Ellie say, "Look at that beautiful sky, Mama."

And, then Josie-Tatum said, "The heavens declare the glory of God." That verse was in her first devotion in Jesus Calling when we were in Africa. Since we spent the day looking at the ways God declares His glory, she remembers His word.

And, since she, too, knows her mother's love of sunsets, she said, "You really need a picture of that Mama." I took her advice, ran inside when we got home from church, ran to the road in front of our house and captured God's glory with my camera.

I am struggling, though, to keep my eyes on Him.

There has been much going on here....attacks of Satan....to get us discouraged, most too personal to share, except to ask you to pray.

Then, on Friday, I received an email from our agency. We sent our dossier to our agency in late July. It was a week later before they sent it to China. The China staff had the dossier a week before it was delivered to CCWAA, the government agency for adoptions in China. Then, our dossier sat there for THREE weeks before it was logged in,.

That means we lost FIVE weeks of time, five weeks that our paperwork was not being processed.

At that point, I think I stopped feeling. I couldn't even cry until Saturday. But, Saturday, I did some crying...and some more crying...and some more.

It was the death of a dream...my dream...my plans.

I had sooooooo hoped, and really believed we would have our boys home for Christmas, or at least be in China with them at Christmas.

Now, though, that dream is nearly impossible. Outside of a miracle, it will be either January and maybe even February before our boys come home.

I am having to truly rely on blind faith, that God has a perfect plan, and He will not withhold any good gift from us, his children. He loves our boys more than we do. He loves us. He has a plan, a plan to give us a future and a hope. I must trust Him. And, trust for me is not as easy as I thought it was.

I trust Him to provide for our adoption, with $22,000 still needed to complete our adoption fund.

But, I don't trust Him with His plan for the perfect time.

I am talking much to Him, and I beg of you to join me.

May I, as my sister has encouraged, learn to "dance in the rain," learn to praise Him in the storm, learn to be still and rest in Him.

Please pray that God sends a miracle. If that miracle is not bringing our boys home before the end of the year, then pray the miracle will be in me, the work He wants to do in my life and my heart.

And, may I give Him all the glory and honor and praise.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Simply Sweet

You know it's been a good day when your daughter prays, "Thank you, Jesus, for a good day....we got to go to a birthday party, swimming with Mama and Grandpa, and we got to make homemade donuts."

Labor Day weekend has sent many people on a last "vacation" to the beach and other places.

I've enjoyed my time at home!

The return to school with a new schedule and new responsibilities has kept me super busy, so this three days at home have brought sweet peace and rest.

Stan was going to a friend's house to watch the first UGA game, so I told the girls we would make homemade donuts. I remembered how much I enjoyed making them with my mama, but I didn't realize how much fun the girls would think it was. Even while we were swimming, they said, "Hey Grandpa! Guess what we get to do tonight. We get to make homemade donuts."

If you want a cheap, simple, non-nutritious way to make your children smile, grab a can of biscuits, a Coke bottle cap, some powedered sugar, and some milk. If you have really never experienced the pleasure, send me an email and I'll add the easy details.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Josie-Tatum's Difficult Decision

Just to let you know....
Today Josie-Tatum gave up gymnastics.
Not after many moments of tears, much prayer, a visit to the doctor, and the school counselor.

She has grown more and more overcome with fear, the fear of injuring herself again. I had hoped she would be able to work through it, but it began to be all consuming....stomach aches, other aches, sleepless nights.

Pray that she continues to have peace,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Raging Storm

It has taken my some time to decide when/how/if I would post this.

The past two weeks have been HARD.

Last November, we stepped out of the boat, as we heard Jesus call. He called us to follow Him on a path to adopt two precious sons from China. Both of them have a lipomeningocele, like our Ellie. And, that medical diagnosis alone brings many unaswered questions.

We had NO money.

But, we were encouraged by others who had walked on the water. There were others who had been able to raise funds and pay for their adoptions. We believed that God funds what He favors.

We have been sooooooooo blessed with nearly $13,000. And, every penny has been available when we needed it. There were moments we waited....not patiently I'm afraid...until God showed up at the last hour, but He has been making the crooked paths straight.

It's difficult to express, though, the storm that has begun to surge. I might call it a storm of doubt, a storm of uncertainty, or a storm of fear. But, standing on the water, Stan and I have felt the winds and the waves, and we have had difficulty keeping our eyes on THE ONE who called us out of the boat.

We've had some unexpected family expenses, and a bit of a mystery illness. We've had some trials within our extended family. Both of us have been under added stress in our jobs. (I love my job and my school and my administrators....it's just THAT time of year for a teacher.)

But, I'm being honest with you.......so you will pray.......and so, when God shows Himself faithful, you will join us in giving Him all the praise and the honor and the glory.

We have shed many tears. So you don't think we're super spiritual super Christians, you should know we've asked the, "What if?" questions.......I won't even share them all here.

We still need $24,000. To the natural man, that sounds astronomical. That's more than $1000 a week we need to raise before the end of the year. Prayerfully, prayerfully, we'll be able to bring our boys home before the end of the year. And, we continue to ask ourselves, "Where will that money come from?"

While I'm asking you to pray, I want to share with you some encouragement I've received.

The girls and I read a daily devotion at breakfast in "Jesus Calling for Kids." I might should suggest the new title, "Jesus Calling for Robbie." Here are a few things Jesus said to me.

Monday: "Morning, noon, nad night I cry out in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice." Paslm 55:17

Tuesday: Take a few moments to center your thoughts on Me. And let me fill you with MY Joy and peace.

Wednesday: Whisper my name....Jesus....I'm only one word away.

Thursday: "Expect the Impossible"

Friday: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.

God sent me all of those words, and I would begin my morning strolling over the water. But, before the end of the day, another wave would hit, some smaller and some ferocious.

But, yesterday, He sent the most encouragement of all. I visited Julie's blog, and she has posted this video. And, I beg you! Please watch this video, and read the lyrics to this song. (First, scroll to the bottom of the page and pause the play list)

Bring Our Children Home
Words and Music: Cindy Foote
©2010 Centricity Music Publishing/Billy Foote Songs/ASCAP. (Adm by: Centricity Music Pub.)

Verse 1:
From sun’s rising to its setting
Orphans call upon your name
Crying Abba, Saying Father
We trust you to make a way
For us, for love

Bring our children home
Bring our children home
We sing Abba, Father
You are able to bring our children home

Verse 2:
In the morning through the evening
Families pray and praise your name
Asking Abba, to be Father
Rescuing the one’s He’s claimed
For us to love

Bring our children home
Bring our children home
We sing Abba, Father
You are able to bring our children home

When we cannot see you moving
And it seems the dark has won
May you find us still believing
That you want this more than us
You will finish what you started
And your plans for us are good
Help us cling to what you’ve promised
You are faithful. You are sure…
(back to chorus)

So, please pray with us...that we will be found still believing that Gods wants this more than us...even when we cannot see Him moving. Like the man who said, "LORD, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." Pray with us that we will still be found trusting Him to make a way, to finish what HE has started.

I'm collecting a set of scriptures to cling to in this dark, stormy days. I'd love to hear from some of you words from Heaven that have encouraged you in the difficult days.

And, when Jesus lifts us out of the water, may you join us in giving glory to His name~!

Abba, Father, bring our children home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Was Thinking....

God must really be about to POUR out a HUGE blessing on our family.

These last few weeks have been TOUGH.

And, everday there is a new battle.....or a new tactic of the enemy.

Would you please join us in prayer? Will you join me as I look for that MAJOR blessing that must surely be coming our way?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Whole Earth

Yes, I am at work today. Right now, I am likely sitting in a meeting, with a sore bottom and a tired back. I scheduled this post to remind myself...no matter where I am...

The whole earth is filled with His glory!!!

Our course, I saw His glory in Africa!

Because it's not everyday I see a baobab tree.

And, you would either marvel with me or think I was getting a little old if you knew how many times I went outside to watch the sunset, and how many things I climbed to take the perfect photo of a sunset.

And, I can still see His glory from the porch of my home here in GA, where I took these totally unedited photos!

There were beautiful blue skies in Africa.

And, we can see beautiful blue skies here on our side of the world. Josie-Tatum took this photo while we were at Ellie's horse show.

The magestic ocean...

with more awesome sunsets is not far away.

So, my prayer today is.....

No matter where I am,

May I take the time to see HIS glory.
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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
Josie-Tatum's MeiMei