Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summertime is Here!!

Oh, how I love summer!
I always have. But now that I have children, I love Summer even more!

My kids are home with me! I don't have to send them off to school everyday. They are home where they belong! :)

Summer evokes so many memories. I love everything about it.

You remember the lazy days of warm weather and no school.

I remember waking up to hearing the drones of lawn mowers and laughing children. The hum of a thousand air conditioners lurked in the background. Groggily gettting up to an event-less day, free to choose my entertainment, was the norm for my childhood. Of course, there were "chores" to be done, but nothing compared to the duties of adulthood. I would eventually end up outside turning flips or working on the ever elusive back handspring. Or as a teen, I would "lay out", trying to get the perfect Coppertone tan.

Summer memories:
Wandering outside
Feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin
A tickle from the occasional blowing of wind
The rustle of tree branches from the breeze
Locusts buzzing in the bushes
Splashes and giggles from nearby pools
Playing in the sprinkler
Washing the car
Sleeping late
Watching the late, late movie

ahhhhhh!!! I love summer!!!!

God is so faithful to us in all He does. My heart was turned to the Psalms this morning. Listen to His Word to us today:

Psalm 33:4
"For the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does."

Wow! What a powerful Word of God. I challenge you to memorize this one. Put it on an index card and keep it on your desk and in your purse. If you are tempted to doubt in any way, this seed of God's Word will increase your faith!

I pray you have a wonderful day! Summer time is time when I focus on my kiddos, so a weekly post will be about it. Meditate on His Word today! ~ and enjoy the wonder of Summer!!!!

love you all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


It is a simple 5 letter word that holds the key to so many things in our lives.

We live in a world that is entangled in so much deception, even the very "elect" are easily deceived.
Truth is not relative. It does not change with culture or modern mentalities.
Truth is absolute. It is firm and sure and unchanging.

Something is either true or false- a truth or a lie.
We cannot bargain to the highest bidder to see which "truth" we will live. We either live truth or we don't.
If we allow it, truth is very simple.

Deception, on the other hand, is a weave of complexities and changing "realities".
The second we give in to the seduction of a deceiving thought, we enter a world where truth is pushed aside and trampled on.
John 8:32 says, "You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
The very nature of truth is freedom.
The very nature of deception is bondage.
The very heart of truth is life.
The very heart of deception is death.
But do not be mistaken. Truth and Deception do not have a yin and yang relationship! It is not a unity of opposites. The power of Truth is far greater than any bondage of deception!
When we do not abide by the Truth, we give in to the despair of deception- whether we realize it or not.
The apostle Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6- The Message:
The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way--never have and never will.
The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.
Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

The King James says - "Casting down imaginations".
I like the way The Message version puts it- "tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God".
I believe that is something we must do daily to live a victorious life of truth in God's Word. We must constantly tear down walls of deception the enemy so diligently works to build.
The walls of deception come through our culture, the media, our selfish nature, and other avenues that are commonplace to our lives today. We must be aware and not become sluggish in our walk of faith.
John 8:31,21 also says,
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."

If you continue in my word.... you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.
A promise comes with a condition!

The only way we can avoid the tangles of deception is to KNOW the Truth- God's Word.
It comes back around to this:

It is a simple 5 letter word that holds the key to so many things in our lives.

We live in a world that is entangled in so much deception, even the very "elect" are easily deceived.

Truth is not relative. It does not change with culture or modern mentalities.
Truth is absolute. It is firm and sure and unchanging.

Something is either true or false- a truth or a lie.

We cannot bargain to the highest bidder to see which "truth" we will live. We either live truth or we don't.

If we allow it, truth is very simple.

May this Truth from God's Word sink deep into your spirits and reap a 100 fold harvest in your lives.

As always I pray you live a life of S.K.I.L.L. (Thanks Angelia!)

Seek His Face.
Know His Truth.
Imitate His Ways.
Love His Word.
Live His Will.

I love you all!
blessings and prayers!


Out of My Treasure Box:

Great Summer Fiction Reading-

Black by Ted Dekker

(I will be reading it for the 2nd time this summer. Want to join me? If Oprah can have her book club, we can have ours! Let me know if you want to join the Treasure Seekers Book Club! This will be an email book club with discussion questions etc. Send me an email!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Birthday Blessings!

Wow! Another emotion filled day for my little heart!
Today, my middle daughter turns 12! We cuddled on the couch last night and told her about the events leading up to her birth. She likes the part where I tell her that I "coughed" her out. :)

Again, unless you have endured the painful times of a barren womb and infertility, you cannot begin to fathom the depth of joy with such thankful hearts while watching a pregnancy test confirm your deepest hope and desire. I don't think I can even begin to describe it.

You see for us, pregnancy didn't just happen with the union of man and woman in the most precious way. Pregnancy required that (of course!:)) but also, prayer, prayer lines, anointing and a definite miracle of God. So, anytime these little "pee" sticks turned pink, it was quiet an event in our home.

[Side note: if you are reading this and you haven't had that joy yet, my heart goes out to you! I would love to pray for you. I know your pain and I remember the sadness of empty arms. I remember dreading mother's day and baby showers and baby dedications. There are many scriptures in God's Word regarding the hope of a child. Please email me and I will add you to my prayer list.]

So, I have to tell you about my Mack. I can share a little bit more about my girls than I do about my son. (You know - boys and men sure want to be known as the macho guys they are. Wouldn't have it any other way.:))
Mack has a pure heart for God. We say she is our conscious around here. She will definitely call you out on any item that she perceives to be off of the straight and narrow. :) She feels a call of God on her life to children's ministry! She already has a way with younger kiddos. I love to watch her entertain little ones.

When I first found out I was carrying her in my womb, her due date was to be toward the end of June. Problem. My oldest daughter had a wedding date set for the middle of June. (Jordan was born the week of her Senior Prom. She didn't want another repeat of the mommy dramatics :), so we moved the wedding date up to May 4th.)

This pregnancy was a lot easier- not as much morning sickness- not as much abdominal pain. All of that made it easier with a 2 year old and planning my daughter's wedding. :) (We joked a lot about the mother of the bride - big, fat and wide.)

The Monday (April 29) before my daughter's wedding on Saturday, I had an OB/GYN appointment. They did all the usual stuff and announced to me that I was going to in premature labor and must have complete bed rest or he would put me in the hospital. (For your information I was around 29 wks along.)

Shocker! We had a wedding to decorate for and get ready!!!!! We were trying to save money and give Glenda the wedding of her dreams, so we had planned on renting stuff and decorating ourselves. I immediately told the doctor that would not do, that my daughter was getting married and I would have to go on bed rest next week. Ha! He looked gravely at my husband and said, "This is way too early for the baby. She must stay off of her feet. You give me your word she will or I am admitting her right now." Ouch!

That was all that needed to be said. Realizing my baby needed me off of my feet, I went home to the recliner. We lived on a hill above our church. I spent that week sitting in the recliner looking out the window at other people helping my daughter decorate for her big day. :(

How do you say thanks to dear friends who come to your rescue in desperate times - Brooke, Sandi, Reba C., Yvonne S., my mom and my sister - I will love you all forever!!!

Well, I was able to go to the wedding with my little Mackenzie all safe and secure in her mommy's belly. I waddled down the aisle as the mother of the bride was escorted in. Then I boohooed like an idiot through the whole ceremony. :)

Long story short, Mackenzie arrived safe and sound on May 16, 1996. She was a beautiful baby with a precious disposition. There is a funny story about the 30 minute drive to the hospital and my contractions getting 1 minute apart - and my husband frantically telling me that I COULD NOT HAVE THE BABY UNTIL WE GOT TO THE HOSPITAL! HE WAS NOT GOING TO DELIVER A BABY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! ha ha! I almost gave birth when I started laughing so hard!

Oh, how I love my children's birthdays! They are special days to treasure forever!

I love you, Mackenzie! You make my heart smile forever and always!
Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Gift from God

I think I know how Hannah felt at the birth of her first born son, Samuel.

Fifteen years ago, my infant son was placed in my arms. I had never experienced such an awestruck wonder. For nine months (possibly 10!) I carried this child inside of me. I talked to him, sang to him, read the Bible to him and prayed over him- all while he was in my womb. All of a sudden - well, no - actually after about 22 hours of labor- he was in my arms for me to look at and be amazed at.

The incredible responsibility of raising him to be the man God intends for him to be weighed heavily upon Rusty and myself that first day. We had been up for over 24 hours, but we couldn't think about sleeping. We just laid him on the bed and watched him.


I can't mention his birth without telling about the day we knew for certain we were pregnant!

Ahhhhhh! What happy memories! :)
You see, we were told we would probably never have children of our own. We had been blessed with a beautiful teenage daughter three years earlier. She was in her senior year of highschool and our lives were perfect. Of course we wanted babies, but Glenda brought so much joy to our hearts and life to our home, that we didn't have much time to think about it.
I was sitting in church on a Sunday night. My husband had invited a singing group to our church. Those of you who know him - you guessed it- a southern gospel group. They were ok, but not my favorite. I was trying my best to pay attention but my little mind began to wonder. I got out my 2 year planner and was checking the date of Glenda's next out of town ballgame to cheer at. I flipped back to August to check something else when I saw the circle.
Hmmmmm. I looked at September. I must have missed something.

I counted the weeks. I counted the days. I did a mental back track of every day in between.

I just must have missed it. This had happened before. I remember telling myself not to get all excited. But I couldnt' remember which week I was forgetting to put the circle on.

(If you have ever struggled with infertility, there is no doubt in your mind right now about what the circles mean. If not, remember these were the days before you could purchase an ovulation predictor test over the counter.) :)

After church, I asked my husband. Do you remember this month?

We just couldn't remember.

I went to bed. I tried so hard not to get excited. It just almost could be too painful.

By the time the sun came up on Monday morning, my husband knew we had to go to Wal-Mart to buy yet another pregnancy test. (If I had all of the money I have spent on those things in the past 23 years, I could probably pay my house off.)
After I carefully followed the instructions, Rusty, Glenda and I sat and watched the test strip.
The second hand on the clock refused to go any faster. Time simply stood still.
We were bunched up close to the bathroom counter like sardines watching the stick.

A faint trace of pink began to appear.
A gasp came from all three of our mouths.

We quickly silenced ourselves.
Another minute dragged by.

As the pink plus became clearly visible, we were all in shock. Then as if on cue by a conductor we started screaming and hollering and jumping up and down.

Then Rusty, the forever wonderful realist, said, "Let's not get excited until we get a blood test."

We had to make Glenda go to school. Her argument that it had never made a plus sign was a good one, but she couldn't afford to miss so early in the school year. We promised her that if we found out something for sure, we would let her know.
Rusty and I drove to the little clinic in our town and asked to have a blood pregnancy test.

They drew my blood. We sat in the small cubicle as we waited. The technician heard our story. She was almost in tears.

Again we waited. We had been waiting for ten years, so what was ten more minutes?

The technician cleared her throat. "Well", she said, "there is no doubt". My heart sank. I had been disappointed a hundred times before. I could handle it yet another time. "You are most definitely pregnant!"

Did I just hear what I think she said?!

Rusty and I both began crying. Then we bowed our hands and praised our faithful God who had promised a child.
I think we spent the rest of the day on the phone! It was so exciting! We sent Glenda a huge balloon bouquet to the highschool telling her she was going to be a big sister! How fun!

May came very quickly. And there this baby was in our arms!

He is now about 6 foot 2 and very, very handsome. He is precious to this mother's heart and makes me proud!

He is 15 years old today and loves the Lord with all of his heart. He disciplines himself to read God's Word daily and I know God has great things in store for him.

Happy Birthday, Jordan! You always have and always will make my heart smile!

I love you, Bub!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Discerning What is Best

Good morning!
Oh my goodness. My heart is still so full of joy and happiness. God is so good to me. I am blessed beyond measure for all of the blessings He has given to me!

I have so much on my heart this week and have like a gazillion things I want to write about. There has been an earthquake in China - not too far from where we were a year ago- and not too far from Mia's orphanage. (Please pray for these precious people!) Two of my wonderful children have birthdays this week and I hope I get to remember back on the beauty of their births, but today, God is really speaking to my heart from His Word. I want to share that with you.

Discerning What is Best

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations in which we aren't sure what to do, or how to handle. We seek God's perfect will and plan- only to feel like He is silent. Have you been there? I have. In those situations, I just wish I could sent a text message saying, "Lord, here I am. Could you let me know 'yes' or 'no' on this deal? Thnx!"

I was reading my Bible this morning and was drawn to Philippians 1.
Philippians 1:9
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God."

His answer for us is right here! To be able to "discern what is best" we must pray that our love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.

Hmmmmmm. Knowing God's will is wrapped up in self-sacrifice! Ouch! That is so contrary to what our humanity wants to believe.

Please print this verse out and set it on your desk or your counter top. Meditate on it for the next few weeks. Let the word get digested way down in your spirit man. (I do this with verses sometimes for weeks and months at a time. I am continually amazed at how God speaks to me from a simple verse for so long.)

Next, dwell on Romans 12:1,2
"Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God is amazing and awesome and He desires for you to know and live in the perfection of His plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11). But He will not force us to do the things He has planned for us. We must seek Him and follow Him with our every breath and every step- laying aside our plans for our life.

Meditate on His word. Breathe in His presence. Discern what is His best.

Love you all!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tribute to my Wonderful Mom!

In a Heartbeat
By Dorinda A. Blann

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom.

I don’t remember it, but it was the first sound I ever heard.

It was my mother’s heartbeat. Her womb was my cradle. Her heartbeat gave me a heartbeat. Her life gave me life. I heard her heartbeat every second of every day, until the day I was pushed from her womb and into the world.
Air came rushing in my lungs.
I couldn't hear her heartbeat any longer.
Then I was placed in her loving embrace.

Again, I heard her heartbeat.

As I have grown older, I have learned to love everything about her.

I love her physical heartbeat (her life).
I love her emotional heartbeat (her soul).
I love her spiritual heartbeat (her passion for Christ).

Her spiritual heartbeat (along with my father’s) pointed me to a life in Christ. I saw her model His compassion and His love every day. I heard her spiritual heartbeat through her Christ like actions. Her spiritual heartbeat is strong and always has been. Her spiritual heart beats in rhythm to the Master’s. She gave me a hunger for Christ~ in a heartbeat. I want my spiritual heartbeat to be like hers – strong, vibrant, and spirit-filled.

Again, I hear her heartbeat.

Her emotional heartbeat taught me to be a kind and caring person, yet strong and disciplined. She taught me to be passionate while pursuing God given talents. She encouraged me to find my own heartbeat in life. Her emotional heartbeat is strong and always has been. Her emotional heart beats to the same cadence as the Savior’s. She gave me my first set of wings ~ in a heartbeat. I want my emotional heartbeat to be like hers – healthy, full of life and always reaching out to others.

Again, I hear her heartbeat.

Her physical heartbeat gave me life, and gives her life.
The doctor’s say they cannot do any more for her.
No more medicines will make it stronger.
The pace maker is doing all it can do.
Her physical heartbeat is weak and wearing out.

Again, I hear her heartbeat.

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom.

I would give her my heart, if I could,
in a heartbeat!

This woman, my mother, is so much more than a heartbeat.
She is strength.
She is courage.
She is passion.
She is wisdom.
She is resourceful.
She is dignity.
She is godly.
She is integrity.

She is my mother.

Again, I hear her heartbeat.

I hear her heartbeat
when she loves on my children.
I hear her heartbeat
when she prays to our Father in heaven.
I hear her heartbeat
when she gives to missions.
I hear her heartbeat
when she kisses my cheek and holds my hand.

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom.

When the time comes for her physical heartbeat to stop and begin again in the heavenlies, I will still hear her heartbeat.

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom.

Every time I love on my children,
her heartbeat will be heard.
Every time I pray to our Father in heaven,
her heartbeat will be heard.
Every time I give to missions,
her heartbeat will be heard.
Every time I kiss a cheek and hold a hand,
her heartbeat will be heard.

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom.

I will remember it. It was the first sound I ever heard.

She is my mother.

Hear her heartbeat.

I have the most amazing mother! I am thankful for her strength, courage and fortitude. It is my prayer that you hear her heartbeat in all I say and do!

Love you Mom!
Happy Mother's Day!

Last year I celebrated Mother's Day with Glenda and her family in China~ all four of them!

My m&ms ~ Macy and Mia ~ wore the dresses that I bought for them the day Glenda received her referral for Mia.
Last year was a Mother's Day I will never forget.

Aren't they just adorable?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Mia's Video

This is a must see video!

I would embed the total link here if I could, but you need to go to Glenda's blog and click the video link on the right.

Before you go there, grab a tissue~ no, get the whole stinking box!!!

This video does what I have been trying to do through these entire China Journals. The Beauty of Adoption is painted for you. Don't miss the colors of Macy's giggles! or the beauty of the brush strokes in the love on Glenda's face.....

Thank you Steven Curtis Chapman for writing the most beautiful song about adoption~ "When Love Takes You There".

Oh, my....
This noni is a blubbering.......

love you all!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Gotcha Day at Last!

Here is a picture I couldn't find for my Thursday post. This is the Big Sister's Club party in Noni's room.
Three girls whose lives were going to be changed forever by the blessing of a new baby sister and brother! (The young lady in the middle was going to get a 2 year old brother!)

The Big Sister's Club Party!

Sunday is Mother's Day and I am preaching. I can't concentrate on getting the sermon together because I am a melting pot of emotions! I started these China Journals for you all to go to China with me and see what I saw and feel what I felt.

Life is full of joy and pain no matter where you live in this big world. I just opened an email from a friend who has possibly miscarried. I visited another friend's carepages site to see the pictures of her precious little girl fighting for her life in the NICU unit. Those represent some trying times and I am remembering our times in the NICU unit.
Tomorrow, or today by the time you read this, we celebrate one of the most joyous events of our lives- the one year anniversary of holding Mia in our arms for the first time.
By the way, I want to share with you what the word "adopted" means to me.
Simply put, adopted means chosen one.
I have one chosen child and I have three given children.
I chose one and God gave me three~
all four precious, all four loved, all four greatly adored!

Glenda has shared some beautiful and powerful thoughts on her blog~ all from a mother's perspective. But do you know what it feels like to watch your daughter~ your precious and beautiful chosen child~ sit in a waiting room in a foreign country waiting for her name to be called so she can hold her chosen child? I looked at her sitting between her husband and her four year old. They watched as other names were called. It was one of those silent movie/slow motion memories......

Just typing this is making me cry. Want to go with me to China again via blog world?

I remember hearing the squeals from my hotel room. Moms came down the hall shouting, "Its time to get our babies!" We gathered in the magnificent lobby. Everyone was bubbly. This was the moment they had traveled half way around the world for!

I watched the three couples that didn't have children of their own yet. The shuffling of feet and wringing of hands betrayed their nervous energy. You could see the longing in their hearts by looking in their eyes. Their eyes were different because they had never had the joy of cradling a baby in their arms. ALL of the families wanted these babies so badly! All of them had the longing in their eyes and hearts. Some just already knew what the joys of parenthood would feel like.
The bus came.
Another eruption of joy and applause!
It was kind of quiet on the ride to the government agency compared to the nervous chatter from the lobby.

(Macy watching to see where she would meet her new sister!)
The waiting room.
The guides, Maggie and Rosa, explained the procedure. "It would go fast. Names would be called and babies brought in. Get the cameras ready and move quickly!"
Boy, they weren't kidding!

Brad and Glenda jumped up. I was supposed to be capturing the historical moment on video camera. I couldn't get there fast enough. The next thing I knew this beautiful baby girl was in my daughter's arms!

We went to the couch to get acquainted with our Mia. I filmed while Brad, Glenda and Macy talked and cooed to their newest family member.
Mia was fascinated with Macy.

She was beautiful. Dark hair and dark eyes ~ eyes that were hauntingly empty. They say you can see one's soul by looking into the eyes. Her eyes were simply empty.

Can you imagine missing the warmth of a mother's embrace when hungry or wet?
Can you imagine missing the loving caress or snuggles and kisses - constantly?
Can you imagine missing the adoration of a father and the touch of his gentle strength?

A small life void of those things produces emptiness.
All of these little girls were beautiful.
All of these little girls had empty eyes.

"Mom. Do you want to hold her?"
Glenda was talking to me.!
My heart turned somersaults! I had a flashback of holding Macy for the first time.

The next thing I knew, a baby, the weighed next to nothing, was in my arms, and tears were streaming down my face.
She looked at me.
I had already loved this child from the depth of my being, but in that instant, a wave of emotion flooded my soul like nothing I had ever felt.
In that instant, the second generation of adoption was made more beautiful to me than I could possibly have imagined.
Adoption to me means chosen one.

I chose a child and she chose a child.


May 9th we celebrate Gotcha Day with Mia.
September 15th we celebrate Gotcha Day with Glenda.
These are our Chosen Girls.
On January 7th, February 13th, May 14th, and May 16th we celebrate our Given Girls and Guy.
Never to be abandoned
Never to be unwanted
Always loved
Always on this mom's heart

I am blessed! Exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or even imagine ~
I am s0 blessed.
Happy Mother's Day to me! :)
Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
Hug and kiss your babies and your mom~ if you can.
(I don't usually post over the weekends, but PLEASE check back Sunday! I have a very special tribute to my AWESOME mother.)
Here are a couple of Gotcha Day pictures~ priceless:

Noni's China Journals: One More Day to Mia!

As a "visitor" on the adoption trip I had the unique privilege of seeing these adoptive parents from the "outside". (I was one of 4 grandmothers that accompanied their children to adopt.)

I remember sending an email after we landed in Guangzhou about the excitement level building with these parents.

Most of the time was spent filling out paperwork and getting documents and money ready for the big "Gotcha Day" of these precious babies.

While parents were busy with the paper trails, this noni had a Big Sister Club party in my room for the three girls about to enter the joys of sibling rivalry. We made a tent out of sheets draped over the chairs and picnicked on brownies, peanut butter crackers and apple juice.

It was fun talking to these 3 girls about the joys of being a big sister and how they would help mommy and daddy take care of their new sibling.

How do I describe to you the excitement and expectation levels that were continually rising in these families' hearts?

Sitting in the bus going to our different destinations, I watched.

The anxious pats on the shoulder of a spouse.
The hope filled stares out of the bus window.
A squeeze of the hand.
A longing in the eyes that no words can describe. A longing that can only mean~ I am here for a purpose and that is to hold my baby girl in my arms.
The nervous laughter that erupted for no real reason.

One more night without a new baby.
One more night for the longing to be unfulfilled.

All of the expectations of the past two years are about to come to pass.

Sleepless nights in a country half way around the world are about to end - or continue. :)
But- better to have sleepless nights with a crying baby, than to have them because of empty arms.

Tomorrow we celebrate Mia's first "Gotcha Day"!

Thank you Jesus for the beauty of Adoption. I am doubly blessed in many ways.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Pictures

I cannot explain all that is in my heart. It is a crazy and hectic week in the Blann home- baseball and softball are full force, projects due at school, volleyball tryouts, birthdays are coming up, Mother's Day, and much more~ but I find myself constantly saying, "A year ago right now, we were...".

The main thing? A year ago right now, a sweet precious and adorable little girl was sitting in a metal crib in an orphanage in Yang Zhi China without a mom and dad to love and kiss on her. Today, sweet and adorable Mia gets more loves and kisses than she could ever have imagined.

(If you haven't visited my daughter's blog yet, you just reallllly need to! I read it and read it again and it still makes me cry!)

I have decided that it is impossible to share with you this week all that I saw and felt while in China. I will share as many pictures as I can and if I can figure it out, I will put them in a slide show.

While in Beijing, we visited Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City (the palace that Mulan saved the Emperor, etc!), The Summer Palace, and the Great Wall of China. We also were driven by the site of the 2008 Olympics. We rode right past the aqua bubble building where the water sports will be. We also drove past the metal wire looking stadium.

As you are looking at the pictures, please keep in mind that in Beijing alone there are 16 MILLION people. Each family in is allowed to have one child if the first is a boy. If the first child is a girl, they are allowed to conceive again to try for a male child. They have no social security. Their retirement- their male offspring. He is supposed to support his parents. If a family does not have a boy - too bad - so sad, work the rest of your life. That is why these precious baby girls are left on doorsteps and in dumpsters~ they have to have a man child to support them when they get old. (Please forgive me if that information is not completely correct, but that is the way I remember being told.)

16 million people.

No one owns their own land. Almost all live in high rise apartments.

16 million souls that are taught "There is no God".

16 million that will raise their children to believe, "There is no God".

Do you think it is important to give to missions and to pray about going?

16 million people in one city.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Beijing

There is no way I can share the plethora of emotions and thoughts I had upon arriving in Beijing. I will just highlight a few:
  • Somewhere in this vast country Mia is waiting for us. She doesn't know she is waiting but she is.
  • For the first few days, every woman I saw, I wondered if she was Mia's mother and if she would somehow return for her baby before Brad and Glenda could hold Mia in their arms.
  • Is this just a bad "air" day or can they ever see the blue sky and sunshine?
  • People, by the thousands, hundreds of thousands, everywhere.
  • Riding in a bus, looking out the window and staring at workers through windows on the top floor of sky scrapers because the interstate was three layers high.
  • Looking out the hotel window at the masses of people below contemplating the lostness of their souls without my Jesus.
  • Thinking about the beauty of missions and praying for our missionaries.
  • 16 million people in this city alone where an organized church gathering is illegal.
  • A city of 16 million people that 99.9% live in high rise apartments. (Comprehend that!)

Our hotel was very upscale. I had a room to myself. Brad, Glenda and Macy were not too far down the hall. Again, my web cam and skype account were awesome! I was able to see and talk to my family for FREE!

Glenda and I ventured to the neighborhood market across the street. It is amazing that there are so many American brands available overseas. Oreos. m&ms. Soaps. V-8. Cookies. All but diet coke- only coca-cola light. UUUUGGGGGH!!!! My replacement? Strawberry and tomato V-8. Mmmmm mmmmm good. (I can't find that in the States but have learned how to make my own strawberry/tomato V-8!)

We met the rest of our travel group. Each family had their own beautiful story of wanting to adopt. I remember everyone being quite confused that I was Glenda's mom. Glenda was having way too much fun with that.

Friday we walked to the nearest McDonalds. Fun stuff! Glenda and I went to the ladies room to check out the "squatty potties". Do I dare tell you my story? Let me post my picture first.

If you look carefully behind my cheezin grin and underneath my legs, there is a "toilet" that is flush with the floor. The women in China simply "squat" to use the rest room. Good Lord have mercy on my soul! I couldn't even pose for the picture. As soon as Glenda snapped this picture, my purse fell open and its entire contents rolled across the floor. Bear in mind, Glenda and I are in ONE stall - with the door closed. We start laughing so hard and giggling that the other dear Chinese customers using the facilities thought something was very wrong with these crazy Americans! We were laughing at the thought of "if I couldn't even 'squat' to pose for a picture, what on earth would happen if I had to reeeeeally use the squatty potty should nature call without a western toilet around?!"

That evening we met up with a family that was adopting for the second time. They were very comfortable with their surroundings, so we all ventured out on a taxi excursion to eat authentic Chinese food. Do you know how helpless it feels to trust a total stranger to drive you around in a foreign city to places you have no idea how to get to? (Does that make me a control freak?)

Next big revelation: The Chinese food I love so much, is not Chinese food. It is very, very westernized oriental food. Big Big revelation!

The only thing I recognized that night was rice.
And we made it back to the hotel safe and sound!

After chatting again on the web cam, we went to bed in order to be rested for our big day of sight seeing the next day~ Tiennanmen Square and other sights of Beijing.

I wanted to know my history of the 1989 massacre, so before I went to bed, I googled Tinanmen Square. Nothing. I tried again using a different search engine. Nothing. My computer immediately shut down. **Poof**!!!!

Dorinda Blann, welcome to a world where freedom of speech does NOT exist.

Wow! My brain could not comprehend such things! An adrenaline rush pulsed through my being. Raw Fear.

Then the calming peace of realizing I am an American citizen ~ backed and protected by the greatest military army in the world.

The song by Lee Greenwood plays in my mind: "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free."

I made a mental note to self: do not google search politically "incorrect" stuff again while in China! I would do my history lesson when on free soil, where the ugly truth and the pretty truth is still freely discussed.

The next day I would walk through Tiananmen Square. I would see the ghosts of 1989 in my mind. I would hear their protest for democracy~ Cries for freedom that were shot down and run over with army tanks.

I turned my computer back on, thankful that is still worked throughout my trip, but painfully aware that it was much slower than before. Can anyone say "spyware"? (yes, I have an overactive imagination, but you will not convince me otherwise.)

Okay - I am slow going- TOMORROW - More on Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, but mostly pictures.

I cannot even begin to tell you the depth of happiness that "Gotcha Days" mean to our family. September 15th and May 9th are just as important as birthdays in our book. They are two days that God ordained for our family to be brought to wholeness of soul and to completion. I hope by the time my China Journal series is completed, you will have been able to glimpse into the windows of our souls and feel the joy of Gotcha Days with us! (By the way, my daughter is remembering back on our time in China also on her blog. Click here to read.)

3 more days until "Gotcha Day!"