Surgery...bubbles...and thankful hearts

Lily had her third surgery in less than a year on Friday. Her courageous spirit and joyful disposition even in the midst of pain continue to amaze us.  This is truly an answer to prayer. 


We drove to Little Rock Thursday afternoon and arrived in time to have dinner with my friend Katie and her family.  They have been so generous and helpful to us throughout the past several months with Lily's surgeries.  I am so thankful for the gift of her friendship. 

Lily woke up the day of surgery being quite affectionate and wanting to be right by her Daddy.  Michael has such a calm spirit I'm sure she sensed this and felt safe and secure in his arms. 



Her doctor was running a little behind so we hung out with Lily for about 2 hours in her pre-op room.

Picture trying to entertain a hungry, thirsty, 21 month old with little to no toys in sight...

Actually in true Lily fashion she was quite the little ham and had fun playing with Michael




Doing her "meditation" pose...


Coloring with some crayons that her anesthesiologist gave her
{loved that her name was "Anna Maria" as we are headed there next month for a family trip!}


and listening to music on my phone


We gave some last hugs and kisses before watching her leave to go back for surgery {not sure this part ever gets any easier}


While Lily was in surgery I wrote in my journal and prayed for our sweet girl. 
Below is an excerpt of my thoughts I will share with Lily one day...

Lily girl...you are my joy and my light, my laugther and sweet miracle from God.  You are strong and brave beyond your years.  You are beautiful, you are treasured, you are sacred, you are His. 

What a gift it is to be given the privilege of being your Mom. My prayer for you is that you find your identity and worth in the One who will fill our soul complete- lacking in nothing. 

Your presence lights up the room and fills all the empty spaces with radiant JOY.  You are true to your name Yue Xin and I am beyond grateful for the gift we have been given in you. 

I pray that you would not hide behind any scar but let them be the story that points others to Christ.  Your smile is beautiful and your eyes sparkle. 

Your story is a beautiful one...one of pain and struggle but anything of lasting beauty goes through the refining process to bring God glory. 

You are my treasure and I love you...my earthly reminder of God's amazing grace. 

Lily has surprised us all with how well she is recovering from surgery. She rarely needs her pain medicine, she is good as gold when I clean her sutures 3 times a day and she did great on the 6 hour trip home.

Some yoga moves to stretch her legs and pass time in the car...


When we arrived home my parents had several fun things waiting for Lily. 
The highlight was the tub of bubbles that brought out lots of big smiles! 

bubbles edited

lily bubbles

lily gaga bubbles

The hardest part right now is keeping her on her back at night and making sure she doesn't fall and injure her lip. 

My parents are helping us take shifts during the night to keep our little Houdini wedged in her "cocoon" that Michael engineered in her crib using rolled up towels.   

Her doctor was super pleased with the results from surgery and she was able to accomplish everything without going all the way through her lip.  Her lip is healing well and looks great.  We return next Thursday for her to have the sutures removed.  After this...we should be surgery free for about another year.     

Thank you all for lifting up Lily and her doctor in prayer. 

We are humbled and so grateful... 

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful."   Hebrews 10:23


Favorite Photo Friday- future marathaon girl

lily close up elmo blog

I love this smile with her piggies and bubbles on her tongue.

It isn't very often that I capture this sweet smile straight on because she is always on the move and most turn out blurry!

lily walking blog

Today was a beautiful sunny day with a cool breeze in the air. Lily decided she wanted to take her Elmo lawnmower on a walk.

What started as a little stroll turned out to be about a 3/4 a mile walk in our neighborhood! She was determined to keep going and NOT turn back.

lily top down blog

Our golden "sunset" joined us for the adventure and about half way through Lily took a break to give her some kisses.

lily with sunset blog

I love this one because it looks like they are both laughing! They are both very independent and lively!

lily and sunset smiling blog

Her little legs were tiring out so she decided to try out her knees.

lily knees blog

Then she just sat down for a rest before making the long journey back home.

lily sitting blog

We took turns pushing Elmo on the way home as she walked ahead of me.

lily back grass blog

About half way home she started slowing down and gave me the "up" sign...of course I caved and carried her part of the way.

lily up blog

A picture of me holding her, carrying Elmo and trying to keep up with Sunset would have been quite comical.

She decided she wanted down again and then tried to pick up Elmo like I had done when I was carrying her.

Love her little tongue sticking out here working so hard to pick it up.

lily picking up elmo blog

She finished off her walk with a big glass of water, blueberries and PBJ.
It doesn't get much better than that.

Happy weekend!  XXOOOXXX

Visit my friend Lisa's blog for some more favorite photo Friday pics!

the long road


Day to Remember {part two}

Liam smile 2

William Bond Hoover {Liam}...courageous hero, contagious smile, humble spirit, giving heart, brave warrior.

Son of my dear friends Brad and Michelle...




Big brother to Aubrey {and Gabriel}


Friend to many...



Boy at heart...


An inspiration to all who knew him...


Six years ago today Liam left the arms of his family to meet Jesus. Liam fought his battle against cancer with courage, strength and honor.

36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day in the United States.

TODAY a mother and father will receive the news that their child has cancer.

It could be my child...it could be yours.

Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death in children by disease in our country.  Over 12,500 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year.   In the past 20 years only 1 new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use.

Liam was the kind of boy that always wanted to help others. His legacy of giving and hope continues through the Hoover Hope Foundation

It is our mission to ease the financial burden by meeting the unrecognized needs of families in our community.  We want families to be able to focus on their child and not be distracted by the financial hardship that cancer can bring. 

September is pediatric cancer awareness month...would you consider being the hope for one? 

You can give online to our foundation or give to our Hoover Hope Angel Fund established at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.  This fund directly assists local families by helping meet the unrecognized needs they face during their child's treatment.  

If you are unable to give perhaps you would consider joining us for our upcoming  Hoover Ride for Hope or the Hoover Run for Hope

TODAY I remember Liam. 

Michelle and Brad have never wavered in their faith even in the midst of great loss and pain.  Click here to watch their inspiring story of hope. 

The battle rages on but they are anchored in hope. 

”I am a mom who lost a son and I dream of the day
another mother does not hear the words,
‘your child has cancer’”.  ~Michelle Hoover (Liam’s Mom)

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."  Hebrews 6:19



Day to Remember {part one}

A scared little girl with clinched fists holding a sucker in one hand and an apple in the other.

gotcha day first picture blog

Six months ago today we held Lily in our arms for the first time. A day etched in our hearts forever...a day that openend our hearts to a journey of great love and seeing God's faithfulness unfold.

Fear and grief were the emotions of that day for Lily. She was placed in the arms of complete strangers after a 4 hour trip leaving behind everything she knew to be safe and comfortable.

gotcha day lily sad blog

Even in the midst of heartache, we knew she was a figther. We knew she was a survivor.

Day by day we watched her grow and begin to receive the love we had to give. Love therapy is an amazing gift that strengthens the soul and brings out the best in all of us.

lily smiling blog

It is hard to remember life without her...she is the missing piece that brings joy and laughter to our home.

lily chair edited blog

She has accomplished more in six months than I could ever imagine...
she inspires me to be more intentional in my own life and in my role as her mom.

lily chair looking down blog

She is my treasure...

lily back blog

This is the picture of the little girl I fell in love with on November 3rd, 2010. There was something about her eyes that captivated me and spoke of her spirit of adventure and love of life.

lily looking at pic blog

You can see the same look of joy in her eyes today...

lily with picture blog

Sometimes she is serious...

lily looking at picture soft style blog

sometimes sad...

lily sad old style blog

sometimes shy...

lily looking down blog

sometimes inquisitive...

lily with canvas background blog

sometimes a little ham...

lily yoga pose blog

sometimes hands in the mouth... (a lot recently these days with teething!)

lily hands in mouth blog

sometimes pensive...

lily on picture blog

but always my love, light and joy!

lily close up blog

Today...we remember and give thanks for the gift God has given us in Dang Yue Xin...or little "lils".

Today...the little boy from her foster home is one step closer to being in his forever family. His father leaves today for China. One day soon Lily and Michael (yes they are naming him Michael...how fun is that?!?) will be united again.

Thank you Lord for stirring our hearts to move.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 2:22-23

*Lily's dress was made by Robin from Red Thread Stitches. 
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