Invited to walk on water

Invited to walk on water
sisters and brothers waiting on one more

Friday, May 5, 2017

Butterfly miracle 🦋

Miracle Butterflies
Earlier this month, in the dark of morning, I sat at my computer looking for caterpillars.  So badly did I want our littles to experience the miracle of watching a caterpillar-pupae-butterfly cycle.  Yet prices to purchase bugs felt daunting as we raise our 7. 
Caterpillars just aren't a necessity. 
Something in my heart hoped for a miracle, yet I doubt I even took the time to pray as the morning began suddenly with a rush of diapers and behaviors all around.  

Two hours later, Liam came to me as I sat with Joseph outside.  

He was so enthusiastic as he opened his hand to reveal about 10 little black caterpillars with colorful orange spots!

Mom, look at these caterpillars!  They were falling from the tree next to my pond!  

Liam had no idea.  Yet I knew this was a miracle.   Liam told me of a coincidence that earlier that morning, he'd decided to clean his room (now that's a real miracle.) As he went through his closet, he found the butterfly habitat we'd used years ago when he was in preschool. 
He placed it on neatly on a shelf just in case we ever had need of it.  

Later, as he'd been cleaning his pond, caterpillars had begun to fall out of the tree above him!

I called the girls and told Liam they could fill the habitat together. 
Happily, his little sisters ran after him up to the pond. 
The girls and Liam filled the butterfly tent with branches and leaves from the tree they'd found the caterpillars on. 

They counted 48 caterpillars.  
Within the day, the busy little miracle bugs had already begun to spin their cocoons.  

Then today the kids watched 48 butterflies 🦋 emerge.  48 miraculous butterflies.  #Helovesinthedetails, #spring, #brotherandsister,

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter and two birthdays, panic attacks and truest love

Easter, combined with precious and treasured Leora and Mohale's birthdays this weekend, cause my grateful heart to flash back to darkness....






Treasures in darkness.

Anxiety shook me to the ground outside our home at 2am. Looking up desperately through damp fog towards the dark, starry sky as I lay trembling on concrete through another panic attack, it felt as if only by a miracle could my lungs keep breathing.   My life was safe- yet the life of a beloved child was not.  Love freaking hurts.  Through deepest salty, pain I begged my Heavenly Father for mercy again "God!! don't let This Child be hurt any more!!! This Child has been through enough horror!!!  No more!!!" 

Panic attacks are a normal part of adoption for me.  You see, I'm not the strong one some assume a mom of 7 may be.  

Adoption is deeply hard.  These treasures reside in cruel darkness- and to reach them? Yes, we often have to go there... into places darker than any child should ever know. 

He stands on dark waters, inviting us to follow. 

Blood and darkness precluded our redemptive, life giving, embrace by Him. 


Because of Easter, 

We celebrate as His children...





Isaiah 45:3...... I will give you the treasures 

of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. 

Treasures in darkness. 

"Mom, Easter means God loved us so much that Jesus died on the cross so we could be adopted into His family."

Our children taste this.  


Adoptive families- you taste this rich.  As we remember the bloody cross-  our hearts flash back to long nights where our own hearts bled with grief, anxiety, panic, confusion, weariness, pain beyond description as we traversed the Dark Valley of Adoption towards the greatest waiting treasures.  

(Some of you are there now.  

Know, you are not alone.)

As we remember Easter today- the bloody, wet, horrific crucifixion of our Jesus- taste His love.  Savor His resurrection and look up towards the Father who loves truer than any mind can comprehend this side of Heaven. 

This ultimate love calls us to Run towards His arms of redemption.  

Be still in His gaze and know: He's got this.  

He's got your every scar. 

He's holding your broken, trembling heart.  He's walking this hard road of life with you- redeeming each stumble while pouring out through your brokenness onto others in desperate need of adoption into His embrace.  

Breathe in His adoptive love. 


We are loved. 

Therefore we are free to love.  

We are free to run towards the treasures who await in darkness.  

We are free to break.  

The day will come when your heart will breathe again

and treasures of immeasurable worth will astound you.  

Because He died, we can live.

Because He holds our life, we are free to give it away...

What passion has He placed within your heart?

Can I encourage you?

The One who broke bloody to adopt you will never let you go-

He's there as you step out onto the waters...

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.


Luke 17:33

Monday, March 27, 2017

Updated CBS-8 San Diego Story

They aired our updated story!

How did my broken, anxious heart, get to be their mom?
Gratefulness burst from within as we watched for the first time.

Local family adopts 4 children

We needed our children- They changed our world.  Thanking God today for each one who poured into our son's as we pursued them; for each one who advocated for them; for each one who cheered us on through the tears, anxiety, grief and sleepless nights; for each one who fought on their knees in prayer; for each one who was part of the miracle of Mohale and Joseph-
there were truly many of you. 

It takes an army to go into the dark places where these treasures wait.
But oh, what gifts await!
Thanking God and each of you this morning through grateful tears and a heart filled with passion for more children who wait and often pray for a family.

"I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness--secret riches..." Is. 45:3

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The cowboys: When I am weak, He is faithful.

Little cowboys💕. 

This tower where they play was built by a man who knew the pain of being an orphan. 

He told us of his childhood spent behind bars of an orphanage. 
He'd felt the ripping, bloody loneliness of abandonment and vulnerability. 
Peering through iron bars as a child, his ache felt some remnants of comfort as hymns rang out from a stone church bell tower near the orphanage. 

This beautiful man, now adopted by our Heavenly Father, built this tower as a symbol of hope for the fatherless- "Our Father is our Strong Tower."

 Long before we knew who they were, tears and gut wrenching prayers were spilled in this stone tower over these two little cowboys. 
Their story unfolded across two continents and required miracles. 
Now as our sons play in this place where prayers were weak and afraid over their lives, my heart melts with love and amazement. He is faithful when I am afraid.  

Now, the ones who designed and built this tower in the center of our home, have given their hearts to reach the hearts of girls caught in the claws of human trafficking.  Check out their beautifully unfolding passion here: Seeds of Hope 

#heknowstheirtears,  #redeamer, #heisfaithful, #ourbrokensaviorhears, #heknowsyourtears, #brokenonesarehisbeloveds,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CBS-8 Story from 2012. Freaking out and grateful as we prepare for update.


I'm nervous and reminiscing with a full heart today as we prepare for CBS-8 to do an updated profile on our family. Is this really happening? We are imperfect, broken and my heart often trembles and feels weak...We are the ones who could have easily believed that this journey was for others far stronger. Yet, the boys are our sons! It happened!! IT HAPPENED! Gratefulness overflows. 

The old video above was made 5 years ago this month. Liam asked for a little brother- his request is seen at the end of this video that CBS-8 profiled of our family. That same week, our kids prayed for two children with special needs. Two years after this video was taken, the county asked if we'd foster Joseph. days after Joseph was in our arms, we learned of Mohale in Africa. It was a crazy, indescribably difficult road. YET THE GIFT OF LOVING THEM IS BEYOND MEASURE. I cringe at the thought that we could have stayed "safe" as many advised and not pursued them.  

On the right side of our CBS-8 video page,  notice many more videos of children who need homes right now.  Each one would be an HONOR to love... 

Even if adoption is not an option or desire, there are many other ways to touch these precious ones. 


Today, CBS-8 will be filming an update. Please pray that hearts are moved to wrap around vulnerable treasures. These broken hearts are worth the risk of a broken heart.  I've got to say, What is the desire of your heart? Whether or not it has anything to do with orphans- Likely that desire is within you for a purpose! You were made for a purpose! Your giftedness AND your brokenness can be hope for others! 

Go for it...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!

Our precious kids helped us to taste this:
He came to be broken and give all to adopt us while we were broken and before we even knew of Him. 

True love. 

He pursues, and loves me and you incredibly- in our brokenness. 

"When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…that we might receive adoption as His children." Galatians 4:4

#helovesme, #youareloved, #nogreaterlove, #iloveadoption, #thecatislying,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Look back through tears of discouragement. Hope.

This is hard.
No. It feels impossible.  
Tears fall.

My sobs are ugly and pathetic in this hiding place.  

Parenting beloved children who seem to resist connection 
with all-their-might is deeply painful.  
How!!?  How do we keep on keeping on!!!??  

How can I endure two hour tantrums, hateful glares, raging loud screaming fits that seem unending
when and my heart is broken and discouragement floods into those cracks like liquid steel, making it hard to breathe under the weight?  

This time I'm crying in the car- hiding and writing these words on my iPhone just to re-group before jumping back in.  I cry loud, ugly, broken out to the One who Shepherds my heart- begging for wisdom on how to shepherd my lamb's heart when mine is horribly weary.  And I beg Him to redeem my frustrated words.  Again. 

Through this heavy cloud, I sense my Shepherd's voice soft and clear:

"But look back..."

My sobs stop as one of our other children approaches my hiding place (how do they always find me?) with an iced drink she made to give-  While I've been sobbing out here, hiding in our van, this one sought to give love by making a drink.  She has been in the kitchen washing dishes out of love for me- this child who now daily strives to let me and others see her love- 
once resisted my love with a powerful vengeance. 

"Look back."  

She's a miracle- this one offering me a cold, diet soda on ice.  She's a living miracle and her beautiful, sweet attachment to me, her dad and now 6 siblings, is a gift I once was too discouraged to imagine.

Back then, I struggled to hope.  In that five year season as we stumbled along learning to parent her precious, broken, unattached heart- trying clumsily to build trust and connection, 
discouragement had suffocated hope.

How many times did I seriously mess up?
Clearly, He redeemed.

How many buckets of discouraged, hopeless tears did I cry for our treasured daughter?
Only He knows- He who holds every tear.  

But now- She loves BIG like a shining, warm light.
Love pours from her with beauty that literally changes many who meet her-

(She is worth every tear- even if she were not yet able to love.
But she does love and Oh what a gift it is to be a recipient of her love.)

"Look back..."

Glancing back, my minds eye sees another one of our children who raged daily tantrums- 
Intense-beyond-description- as I'd struggle exhausted with trembling arms to hold his powerful body for hours each morning. 
He would scream and fight as my tears would flow-
My heart of love for him would ache for him to find peace-
Discouragement, isolation, and despair felt suffocating in that season.
And I was so afraid-
Fear for what his future could hold.
Fear for our future too because fear is one of my biggest weaknesses. 

 Now daily, instead of raging, frighteningly intense tantrums, he runs to my arms just to be held.
"I love mama" are words he says often while touching my face with his little hands.  Then he collapses his head into my chest and holds tight with smiles that reveal darling dimples in his precious cheeks.  My arms have become his favorite place.  His attached and regulated and loving behavior is crazy beyond my wildest hopes only weeks ago-   This one who stole my heart before we even knew his name has not had a single tantrum in 2 entire months!  

I'd never dreamed we'd make it this far this this year!

"Look back..."

I hear His voice. I know His gentle touch. He redeems all.  

Taking a deep breath, it's time to get back in there and painfully love our powerful little world changer through the hard while remembering this truth:

His kindness, when I'm a mess, is what changes my heart and life. 

By His grace I'll go back in there and show His love in that same way this evening- 
Because a connected heart longs to listen to the one who she's connected to.  

His love for us is gentle, kind, unimaginably patient and 
long suffering. 

Mamas who are in the trenches too- aching with steel-weighted, discouraged hearts- 
"Look back" 
at His faithfulness.

Friends who have stepped out into what HE placed into YOUR heart
and you find yourself within 
The Valley of Hard
where discouragement suffocates hope-

"Look back" 

 If you are new to the journey where Discouragement or fear sucks life from your heart and you see nothing hopeful behind you to look back on,
then let me assure you- 

He's now writing the story you 
will look back on.  

He's got this. Breathe.
and cry out to
the One who walks close to the broken.

He's there, unfolding beauty...

Psalm 77:1-3, 11
I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.

11 But then I recall (Look back on) all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Go change the world- not your uniqueness.

You are uniquely wonderfully made.
This hurting world aches for those willing to let His love shine through our redeemed brokenness-
And through our unique and beautifully diverse differences.

"You are ugly." 

I heard that often as a child.

 "RBU," short for "Redhead Bucked-tooth Ugly,
became my childhood nick name at school. 

Now I'm a 49 year old mom of my own 7 children-
Each uniquely designed by the Master of Creation.


Yesterday was "Red Head Day" and our precious oldest two- who have red hair- playfully posted this photo to instagram on behalf of kids who feel different. 

As a mom, I long for our 7 kids to be grateful for how they are each unique
 in a world that idolizes sameness.

Actually, I long for all to embrace the
beauty of diversity that weaves us into a work of His art. 

As a child, some peers were mean. Some were cruel.
In that season, I'd accepted that belief that I was ugly.
I was a white, Christian girl in a culture where Islam was the mandated religion and most had beautiful olive skin.
It often felt "normal" to be on the outside.
My coloring was different and stood out loud.
My love for Jesus was different too- dangerously different.  I knew that others had died and many were severely punished in that beloved land because they believed an illegal religion.

because of being different, my eyes were refocused-
I still recall those healing words:

"Stop seeking Love. Because you are already loved beyond measure by the One who gave all for you, 

seek to give love."

These words changed my life!

I do not need human approval. 
Neither do you. 

His love for you
AS you ARE
is perfect-

we are free to

seek opportunities to give this love away-
with no strings attached. 

Seek to give His love to others in a hurting world.
With His love of you as you are, let Him turn your pain into purpose and then

Rock your differences- all of them- no matter the shade, shape or design or challenge or scar you have been gifted with. 

Don't fall for shame or fear or striving to please people- not peers, not professors, not pastors, not the public, not even parents. 

Don't compare.  

look up and know you are
Loved beyond your capacity by the One who designed your unique DNA.   

Through awareness of His LOVE for you,
 you will come to understand that different is an incredible gift.  

Don't miss out on the unimaginable gift wrapped inside your differences.  

Don't miss out because of what you think others want you to be.  

Rock who you really are.  

(Mohale's first trick-or-treat- they had a blast)

You are God's beloved gift

There's someone out there with a hurting, cast-off, heart who needs you to be different. 

 Go change the world- not your differences. 
Rock your differences.  They are beautiful in His hands. 

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14, 17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And because you are so deeply, perfectly loved as you are,
YOU can be real,
and unafraid.

Let's take our unique gifts and run towards Him- the One
who runs towards the hurting.

Because we are so loved, we can now give His love away...

And I've got to say,
fear not a broken heart.

We can walk after Him into places where others suffer...
We can be willing to walk into places where our hearts will hurt because of the suffering of vulnerable others.  


It is only through our cracks, that HIS hope shines out for desperate others-  
Light cannot shine out of unbroken vessels.

You are radiant when His radiance is pouring through those cracks-
shining hope into the hearts of hurting others.

Dare to walk after the One Who walks into the places where hearts are broken.
He will be close.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Alyssa's Birthday!

October 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

You are a beloved miracle...

You are a miracle-

And we are deeply in love with you.

Someone got into the glitter<3

I love adoption. Children are worth a shattered heart. She was placed into our hearts and arms 6 years ago this week.
She came to us through the avenue of the Foster-adopt system. 

We do not deserve the absolute honor of being her parents. 

Adoption, from any source, 
 is most often a gift born from 
tragedy and a broken heart-

Never will we take lightly the pain of loss experienced by those who loved her first.

She is a priceless gift.

Loving our daughter is an immeasurable, undeserved, honor.  
Alyssa's story, like many, is one of beauty from ashes- 
and honestly, 
my heart was shattered in the process. 

Yet, I shudder at this thought- 

"What if we had listened to frequent, well intended, counsel that called us to play it safe?" 

She, like every child, is worth a shattered heart.  

What passion and risk is on your heart?  

(What unique desire is within?  Do you know that when you seek Him, He places desires within your heart?  Likely, that desire is there for a purpose...)

I can't help but to challenge again- 

 Turn from voices that call you back to safety and 
Run towards the One Who placed the passion within.   

Fear Not a broken heart.

He shines through our cracks-
Perfect hearts have no cracks for His light to shine from.

One year ago, we were in Africa- the final timing of they day we embraced Mohale was a miracle that Alyssa had prayed for-

Alyssa's birthday miracle last year:  Miracle

One year later, Alyssa and Mohale

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mohale! One year later. Beautifully broken. Undeserved honor.

One year with Mohale!

Today as we celebrate one year with Mohale,
My heart flashes back...

"Let's move forward towards adoption"

I recall that moment in 2009 crystal clear-
Tears dripped from my chin as David's gently spoken words sounded like a miracle.

His words felt like a miracle because,
timing was illogical by human standards- on so many levels-
We felt too broken. 
(that's a story for another time.)

Yet, the passion He placed in our hearts
called us trembling and broken out of the boat.


looking back,
I again shudder to think
"What if we would have stayed safe?"


One year ago today, it felt surreal.
We sat on a sofa at Mohale's orphanage on the opposite side of our world waiting to see his face.

It was a miracle that we were even there.
We'd adopted him 18 months prior.
 After 18 months of hurdles, hoops and red tape, we had been ready to travel to our son.  But our USA government required instead that our adoption of him be legally dissolved and started all over.

It took another full year to dissolve and adopt him from afar for the second time.
 The entire process took three years.

Anxiety?  Absolutely

Depression?  Yes.  Horrible depression.

Financially impossible?
Of course.

 Many told us to give up because
"If it's this hard, it must not be God's will."

One year ago today, we celebrated, in exhilarating victory.
It felt really like a dream coming true- because it was.  

In Daddy's arms.  Oct 26, 2015 (Day 1)

Our boys had known each other barely one day and already were a comfort to each other.
Link: Joseph's adoption

He was placed in my arms one year ago today.  Mohale quietly sat as we gently adored him.  This son of mine was afraid and dazed at what was happening.  Can you imagine from his perspective?  We were strangers to him.  Only 2 1/2 years old, he clearly had no idea who we were as we drove away with him from those he loved and the only "home" he'd ever known.
Our frightened son had no idea of the fight for him that had begun long before he'd been abandoned in that ditch by a hurting and desperate woman struggling to survive-  long before he'd been brought to Beautiful Gate orphanage and loved by them as a priceless treasure.

his adjustment has been far easier than most post-adoption adjustments.
Because of others who had also fought for his life- those who loved him at Beautiful Gate Orphanage Mohale's adjustment into our family has been remarkable.

Those who loved him within the orphanage
loved him fully as they prayed he'd someday have a family.
They loved him fully while praying that their own hearts would be broken.
Because of this kind of love, Mohale's young heart had learned how to love.
This kind of attachment in an orphaned child is incredibly rare.

Because of people who allowed their hearts to be shattered, 
Mohale's heart is whole.

Most treasures who have been abandoned and without parents at even an age as young as Mohale, struggle with attachment.

This little one, clinging to Mohale, was Mohale's "best friend" at the orphanage.  It is heart shattering that he could not come home with us.
Most orphans are UNADOPTABLE.
The beloved "Soldiers" at Beautiful Gate orphanage love on, speak for, care for and are family to countless "unadaptable" orphans.
The need is great.
Do u have it in your heart to support or care for unadaptable children?

Liam prayed for 4 years for these two little miracle brothers.

He bonded incredibly fast.  Somehow he knew we were his parents and his heart began to knit into ours within the first month.   This is nearly unheard of.
It speaks volumes about those who loved him passionately in the wait.
It speaks volumes about how they are changing lives of orphans- most of whom are not adoptable.

One year later, our "twins" continue to adore each other.
They are seriously double trouble

Costco is chaos- except for the samples.

He's bloomed into a brilliant three year old who loves hugs, laughs incredibly often and takes an interest in others.

7 miracles

Have you noticed that when you have a dream, there are voices that call you back to safety?

Have you noticed that our Jesus asks us to walk towards the broken?

(Fear not being broken- it is exactly where He calls us.)

We were told over and over by well meaning others that adopting was not wise.

"Your hearts are too broken for this. What about your children that you are already responsible for?  What will this do to them?  How will you have time for them all?  You will be too tired! What about the cost?  You will never be able to pay for it.  What about retirement?  Isn't this too much pressure on David?"

7 miracles
These questions, concerns and more were directed towards us often at each adoption.

Yet, instead, our world became deeply rich.
We've watched our childrens hearts grow in faith as miracles unfolded.
We've watched their broken hearts be comforted and impassioned for those close to His heart.

We've watched them embrace a world view beyond our current comfortable culture.

One year later- Emma and our 7 kids.  

Our children (and our young friend Emma,)
have become forever changed by passion for Mohale and Joseph.
Our oldest children were forever changed by passion for their little sisters.

Each is naturally fervent about people in need.
Each is amazed at the Love of One who suffered out of love for us.
They do not want to live comfortable and safe in a world that is not.
They each advocate for risk on behalf of the One who Loves.
Each one is undeterred by the thought of risk.

Our lives are beautiful because of you.
The love I have for you, my son, is beyond description.
I do not deserve this honor and I pray daily that our Shepherd loves you through me.

The love within my heart for you has been there longer than I can remember-

the One who created you for a purpose
allowed and prepared me for the undeserved honor of being your mom.
Gratefulness within is vast beyond my ability to describe.

My heart cringes painfully at this horrible thought-

"What if we'd given up as so many suggested?"  

"What if?"  

First Fall together

What risk have you considered stepping out towards?

With all of our adoptions (and risky biological pregnancies)

Storms came.

We sank often.

I sobbed oceans of tears and begged God to explain cruel suffering to me and still have no answers.

Buckets of tears were shed and countless nights of sleep lost.

Yet, the One who pulled Peter up from under the waves
also pulled us up-

We experienced a closeness to our Creator that can only be experienced
after a fall.

Miracles are only experienced when they are needed.  Dare to step out to where miracles were needed.

Because most of us are not rich and feel stressed by finances, Ive got to say-
we had NO MONEY for this adoption.  

The miracles of provision to pay for this have been crazy mind blowing-
unbelievable and only explained by supernatural.
(Ive got to do an updated post on those!)

What passion is within your heart?  

Can I encourage you?
He invites us to walk on water towards Him-
The ONE who carried a cross for our adoption invites us to follow Him back into the valley where His redemption is craved...

Dare to step out of the boat...

What obstacles shout at you to turn back?  
What lies are being spoken to you?  

Can I encourage you?  
Turn from the voices that call you back to safety and continue to walk on water towards the One who placed the passion within.

Be willing to be broken.  
These treasures are worth indescribably more than a shattered heart. 

He was shattered for us.   Let's be willing to be broken.
He will be closer than ever in brokenness:
Phil 3:10
Ps 34:18

Shattered hearts and lives in His hands are the most beautiful kind.  

And we can only experience miracles 
when we step out where miracles are required.

Dare to walk on water-
towards Him.

Link to the post from Lesotho when we met Mohale:  Gotcha

Link from a month later- a few days after we got home:  Thanksgiving

Link to his adjustment process: Post adoption Adjustment

To read through the entire trip click here 2015
At the bottom of each page, to read more, click "older posts"

Link to Joseph's adoption:  Joseph's adoption