When LOVE enters in...

Love shattered 400  years of silence with good news of great JOY. 

Love shed light into the darkenss. 

Love made room in a stable. 

Love came to the least of these first to announce the birth of a Savior. 

Love responds. 

Love pursues. 

Love changes lives. 

Love gave His one and only son. 

On December 18, 2009, love stirred a mother's heart to bundle her daughter with the warmest clothes possible and leave her in a park with the hope of giving her life. 

This choice...this great sacrifice of love has given us new life.  It has turned our world....right side up.

lily mink smile

The miracle of adoption has given me a glimpse of the great love that the Father lavished on me when HE chose me in love for adoption through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of His will (Eph. 1:5).

He looked beyond my sin. 

He saw my brokenness.

He chose me and my special need.

Every day He continues to pursue me and desires relationship with me. 


The One who created everything out of nothing chooses me?

Yes...and He chooses you...if you will only respond in childlike faith, trust and dependence. 

lily mink with bible

This unusual love has wrecked my world...in the best way possible...and I must respond.

Will I make room for love this Christmas?

Will I pursue Him?

lily bible distance

Will I hide in hopes of staying in my comfort? 

peek a boo mink

Will I love the least of these?

lily and oha mink

Will I love more by choosing to see through a different lens?

lily close up side view

Everything about the birh of our Savior is humble yet extraordinary.  It lacks every material possession yet it is filled with wealth beyond measure.

The very birth we celebrate is so often lost in the shadow of materialism, technology, social media, shopping, decorations, and business.

This birth...this extravagant gift...this great love is waiting for you and for me.

What will you choose this Christmas?

lily looking up




Amazing Grace from Big Bro's Perspective

Hi there everyone,I know that you are used to Amy posting but now it is my turn. I have been wanting to post for a while now but haven't had the chance. I am not the best writer in the world, especially compared to Amy. Anyway, hope you guys like it.

First of all I want to say that Lily is the most AMAZING little sister in the world. I know that people say that they have an amazing daughter or son, or an amazing brother or sister but this is so much more. I am surprised that I can post about it. She absolutely adores playing with me and just being around me. I love being able to care for her and be the best big brother that she can ask for.

I am so thankful to God for giving me a little sister. He is the most awesome and Almighty God ever. Here are some pictures of us throughout our time with each other:

I hope that you laugh at some of them because some are pretty funny, even to me.


Oh and here are the things that I absolutely love about her are:

Her Beautiful eyes
lily swinging

Her amazing smile that could knock you out from a mile away


Her silky soft hair(i like your hair lily)

lily basketball

and her love for the Lord who loves her.

lily bible suitcase

If you think she is cute I(Spencer) want you to send a reply to this post or like this post on facebook.
I really hope that we get a lot of likes and replies for this because to me she is the most amazing thing you will ever see.If you ever meet her in person or already have you know exactly what I mean.

Right now I am a little bit under the weather but, I am feeling a little bit better today, and personally I think it is because she is loving on me constantly. Even this morning before speech therapy she gave me the biggest bear hug ever.

I just love getting hugs from her every time that I see her. In case you haven't noticed, which I hope you have, this post is from Spencer. I am her big brother that will always, no matter what, take care of her anywhere any time.


Favorite Photo Friday {Golden Moments}

I am trying to be intentional this Christmas not to get so busy that I miss the golden moments that come with this season and the celebration of our Savior's birth  .

Some of our recent "golden moments" include the sparkle in Lily's eye that I saw the day we brought out our tree and she saw the lights for the first time.

lily and spencer lights

And the sweet kiss that she planted on her big brother...

spencer and lily kiss

Watching her play with the china tea set that belonged to my grandmother's aunt...

lily pj and tea

Taking Lily to see Santa for the first time...

Lily went from wonder and innocence exploring the cookie jars while we were waiting...

lily and cookie jar

to a very sad little girl who was petrified of the big man with the white beard! (or maybe she was screaming about her mom who had not showered and went out looking like this in public :)


but tears slowly faded into smiles with the yummy gingerbread cookie they gave her...

lily red dress with cookie

barn with cookie

One of my favorite moments of this month was Lily's "golden birthday" a couple of weeks ago.

The day started with lots of balloons filling her room as she woke up (thanks Dad!), singing happy birthday with a candle in her pancakes and having several of my close friends and family over for lunch with Lily!

Thanks to my parents, Lily had the perfect golden dress for her special day. It looked like a princess and she was living it up, flowing and dancing around the house in her abundance of gold tulle.

table and lily chair smile

table and lily looking down

We sang happy birthday, Lily gave us her proud "two" pose and then she did her best to blow out the candle...

lily 2 picture

She opened each gift with enthusiasm and wonder...

lily with gifts

Then we celebrated with a little Chinese tradition thanks to my thoughtful niece who called me the night before the party to share what she had studied in her Chinese class in college.

In China, on the child's first birthday, the parents place different objects out and see which one the child goes to first. Each object represents a different occupation/career (i.e. stethoscope/thermometer=doctor, calculator=accountant, orange=good fortune, etc.) and whatever they choose first is supposed to predict their future. 

We placed about 12 items on the floor for Lily and made some bets as to what she would go to first...any ideas???

She picked up the thermometer first (a future doctor perhaps?? or as our doctor said, maybe hot tempered?  I like to go with the doctor :)

then the i-pod (musician...this definitely is true to her nature as she LOVES to listen to music)

michelle and ipod picture

and a calculator (accountant) was third.  Only time will tell and I look forward to seeing how God will use this little girl to impact His kingdom.

grandparent picture

Michael came home from out of town late on the night of her birthday so of course we had to sing (again!). I saved her "one less broken" cake for us to have with her daddy.

The day started with laughter and smiles and ended with this...

michael and lily

It just melts my heart everytime I see her love on Michael...especially knowing how far she has come since our time in China. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES her daddy!!!

I am sure our sweet Savior longs for us to be captivated by Him the very same way.

More golden moments to come...on Sunday she will be dedicated at our church and as God would see fit...it will be the same date that she was abandoned in the Nanyang city park two years ago...broken and alone.   

God's redemptive story is still alive. 

the long road
Christmas came early for us...March 14, 2011 to be exact. We were handed one of the best gifts we have ever received that day and we are over the moon excited that Lily is with us this year for Christmas!


Tea party...cupcakes...and turning TWO

Friday is Lily's "golden" birthday...she turns two on the 2nd!  It is also our first birthday to celebrate with her.   

Last year Michael, Spencer and I celebrated her special day by making a cake and singing to her sweet referral picture that we love.


This year she will be surrounded by some of her very favorite people who have loved her so well. Several of my close friends and family are coming over today for "lunch with Lily"! What a blessing they all have been to her and we are so grateful for the gift of family and friends. {more pictures to come on the details of her party :)}

I recently took some photograhy classes online and found a blog {Fresh From God} that inspiried the following pictures I took last week of Lily.  

My Mom graciously stitched every detail of the beautiful dress, pants and lace leggings that Lily wore for her tea party!

I'm not sure who had more fun...me watching Lily or her having fun with the china tea set and cupcakes! {Yes...my Mom willingly let her play with this real china tea set and Lily did great! The only mishap we had was a clean break on one of the cups which was my fault...not Lily's}

I used a quilt that my grandmother Mimi made for me and one of her purses that belonged to her aunt that raised her. I love the wording that she stitched on the blanket....

mimi and two picture

Lily was in her element with the tea set having fun pretending to drink and pour tea into the cups.

lily tea party double

I love these pictures that show the details of the vintage buttons and ruffles on the pants and dress. My mom is so talented and can do most anything as long as she has a picture to go by! {Thank you Mom for making this beautiful dress for Lily...it is perfect in every way.} 

lily standing sitting double

LOVE these lace leggings around her feet and her little hands getting ready to dive into the cupcakes we brought out for her to enjoy.


vintage arms and feet

Here she is showing her "two" pose...this is what she does when I ask her how old she is going to be! She hold up her two pointer fingers and smiles so big.

two double

It didn't take her long to dig into the icing (my kind of girl) and discover the yummy treats!

cupcake face

In fact...her brother decided to take a break from chopping wood with Michael and join in the fun.

spencer and lily double cupcake

spencer and lily cupcake

Love this sweet kiss with the sunlight behind them...

spencer lily kiss

Spencer got tired of the icing and decided to lie down and take a break...Lily on the other hand was completely engaged in the icing!

spencer looking up

Even my Mom got in on the action...

lily and mom

A picture of Spencer wouldn't be the same without some kind of silly pose....

spencer number 2

Our sweet Lily is turning two today whether I am ready or not. I would love to freeze her at this age for awhile becuase we are having so much fun but we know that God has BIG plans for her and we look forward to seeing that unfold in the days and years ahead.

lily rose

Happy Birthday Lily! We love your joyful spirit, adventurous nature and fun-loving personality. You have changed our world in a way we cannot explain and we are forever grateful for the gift we have been given in YOU, sweet child of God.

Today we remember your birth mom and the incredible sacrifice of love she made to give you life. We will always remember her and pray that wherever she is in the world that today, God gives her peace in knowing that you are safe and loved beyond measure.


November 3, 2010 {the day that changed our world}

Thank you father for the reminder that I am to find joy in the setbacks and disappointments in life...

I am learning that this life is hard at times and I need complete dependence on you to stay grounded and not be tainted by the world. 

Captivate my heart Lord Jesus to be in this world but not of it...to be transformed by you. 

Lord, interrupt my day as you see fit...open my eyes Lord to what you want to show me and how you want me to make an impact for your kingdom. 

These were the words I penned in my journal a year ago today. 

The months leading up to this day had been a season of feeling God's silence in the midst of many challenges.  I remember running that morning crying out to God that I needed to hear Him speaking clearly to me. 

At 4:30 pm God spoke clearly and chose to interrupt my day with a phone call from our agency...a call that was completely unexpected...a call that would forever change the course of our family. 

I was talking with my sister wishing her a happy birthday when I saw a call from our adoption agency come through.  Since we were not expecting a call about a possible match until spring of 2011 I didn't answer,thinking that they probably were calling about some additional paperwork.  When I finished talking with my sister I called our agency.

The voice on the other end said, "We have a little girl that we would like for your family to consider." 

My heart skipped a beat. 

Excitement, fear and joy flooded my soul. 

She began to tell me everything about a little girl named Dang Yue Xin. 

It felt like time stood still. 

After I hung up the phone the e-mail came through with all her information and I immediately called Michael before I opened it. 

I asked him if he was sitting down. 

I forwarded the e-mail to him and together we opened it and looked at the pictures of beautiful little Dang Yue Xin. 

We affectionately call this one our little "pumpkin smurf".

This was her finding ad picture...the outfit she was wearing when she was found abandoned in the Nanyang city park on December 18, 2009...only 16 days after her birth.

Dang Yue Xin

Dang Yue Xin 1

In China they apparently like to take mirror-image pictures...our agency assured me we weren't getting twins (although I would take two of her any day!)

Dang Yue xin 4

These were the pictures we saw together on November 3, 2010.

Michael radiated complete peace and joy.

I wanted to feel the same way but if I am completely honest...in the midst of my excitement and joy...fear of the unknown began to creep in.

The next morning I went back to the e-mail and began looking at all the pictures again and found picture #3...one we apparently "missed" the day before. 

When I opened this picture I fell in love with Dang Yue Xin...this will forever be one of my favorite pictures of our precious daughter.

Dang Yue Xin 3

Yuexin means joyful...happy...and new.

There was something about the sparkle in her eyes and sweet smile that captivated me in a way that I knew without a doubt that this was the child God had chosen for our family.

I was still filled with fear and questions but an overwhelming sense of peace filled my heart as we began walking forward in obedience to His calling.

I often think...what if we had missed it?

What if we had continued to live our life of comfort and ease and missed out on the blessing of this precious child of God?


Dang Yue Xin (Lily Grace)...fills our home with laughter and JOY every day.


Have there been challenges? ....yes

Has it always been easy?....no

But we would do it all over...

again....and again...and again.


Happy 1 year of knowing you sweet Lily and happy birthday to my sister who is one of my best friends in life. So thankful that you both share this special day together.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.
Lamentations 3:23-24
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