Monday, December 26, 2016

Adorable Faith... finding her family

This past February, I met the cutest most dainty little girl who also happens to have Down  Syndrome just like my Havah Rose. She is also five, just like Havah. We were actually visiting the orphanage a couple of days after receiving Havah as our daughter. She was over in the corner by herself but when Havah walked in, you could tell she had missed her. They both interacted and this mama’s heart melted. To think these two had been together for several years and now Havah was leaving caused me great heartbreak for Faith, yet great rejoicing for Havah. Definitely mixed emotions. Oh how I wish I could have just put her in my luggage and brought her home too. I have been waiting for the day when this sweet girl’s file would be ready so I could share her with all of you. I have prayed continually for her as it is so hard to leave the ones left behind. So…

I am thrilled to introduce you to Faith! She truly is the sweetest thing ever…AND… that smile of hers… it will melt your heart for sure. Faith was very shy when I met her; however, with little effort, you can get a  smile out of her. And when she smiles… she will look you straight in the eyes and give you the most amazing light-up-the-room-kind-of-smile. Eye contact is huge and this little sweetie has that for sure!  “Faith is the sweetest girl” was the response of another adoptive mom who met her in January. I totally agree. “Faith will laugh out happily when someone plays with her! She likes to draw and play with other children. This precious child has the sweetest disposition and is so good-natured; her motor skills are quite good and she’s working hard on feeding herself independently” was the response when I asked another friend about precious Faith. My friend has been on several mission trips to Faith’s orphanage and has spent a lot of time with her. It’s so hard to leave these children behind when you go to visit the orphanages… Faith was no exception. I can not wait for her family to find her and for the day when she is in their arms! 

As always, I am more than willing to chat with anyone about Down Syndrome. So many times God calls us out of our comfort zone. From experience, I know that His plans are different than my plans and so much better. Oh, how thankful I am that we did not miss our spunky little gem with that extra chromosome. Honestly, it is crazy to think of where I was this time a year ago. We were within two months of traveling to China to get Havah Rose. I found myself consumed with feelings of inadequacies and focused on the unknowns; however, I look back now and giggle. My fears were real then but now I must tell you, I can not even begin to imagine our life without our newest treasure. The joys far outweigh any of my fears now. And those unknowns… let God have that. It is said often among those of us who get to parent these Down Syndrome loves that we are the lucky few… AND… I couldn’t agree more! I just know that Faith’s family will be saying those same words as soon as they have this precious girl in their arms! Pure joy will radiate from those beautiful eyes AND our Father will get all the glory for placing another Fatherless into a forever home. 

Faith- female, 5 years old, Down Syndrome, special focus Lifeline Orphanage Partnership, 

Please contact Meagan Smith at for more information. 

**Faith is also known as Amy from Fuling Kids International Facebook page. You will find many beautiful pictures of her on their page that will melt your heart even more. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beautiful Little Visit~

For the past six days I've been pondering how to put into words the most beautiful little visit. It was a visit that will forever change me. It wrecked my heart and left me overwhelmed at how I can make more of a difference in this world. I have been to one other very remote area of China, but I didn't get the opportunity to actually see first hand how the people lived within their homes. Until...
Last Thursday...
That day I had our guide David with us and another guide, Michael. After the orphanage visit, they asked me if I would like to drive deeper into the countryside of a rural village and see how the people live. Of course, I did... that's my heart... the people... not the big westernized city we had been staying in all week. I had commented  the entire two hour drive how beautiful the scenery was and I asked lots of questions about the people. So... they offered to take me into one of the little villages. 
I had already been pondering the little faces of the children we had just left. Praying that each one would have the opportunity to feel the love of a family and be adopted. It breaks my heart knowing so many will not. It's more than I can even put into words. It literally grieves me. 
Then... they drive me way down into a little rural countryside area. Extreme poverty was evident and they shared with me how most of these people never have left the area. They are farmers and peasants just living day to day without much knowledge of life outside of their little remote area. 
We come to a house and Michael and David get out to ask if we could visit with them. There was an older lady who welcomed us in and shared a little of her daily life. She was a peasant and extremely poor. It broke my heart and honestly, I was totally broken over the way she lives daily vs. the way I live daily back in America. In that moment, all I could think of was how everyone back home needs to see how others live in these remote (many unreached) areas of the world. The sweet lady had never seen a "foreigner" and was totally confused as to why I had three Chinese daughters with me. Michael tried to explain to her, but she was confused. 
As we were leaving I felt so strongly the Holy Spirit tell me to go back and give her some money and just look at her, touch her and be a light. So, Michael let me run back over to her. I stared into her face, told her she was precious to Yeisu (Jesus) and that she was dearly loved. Her solemn face seem to soften. I handed her the money I knew I was to give her and she began to wail. Friends, I did not give her much. It was all I had but it was not much. I so wish I could have given more. I'll never forget her precious face and eyes for as long as I live. I want to live my life on mission and on purpose. May I forever do so through His Spirit that lives within me. Oh how He loves and we are called to love... It's our Father's greatest commandment. 
"Do for one what you wish you could do for all." ~Andy Stanley~ 

                                                               Their bed... the only bed in the house
                                                               isn't she beautiful?
                                                chickens literally right out her back door



Saturday, February 20, 2016

Medical for Havah~

We arrived in Guangzhou last night.  The U.S. Consulate is in Guangzhou and this is where we will finish the U.S. side of the adoption.  The very first thing is the medical... which, can sometimes be very stressful and hard. Today was Havah's medical checkup.  All went well!! Absolutely no tears... I think that's a first for us. She didn't have to have any shots; I was really thankful for that.  
In many of my pictures, Havah is blurry... there's a reason... THIS GIRL IS ALWAYS ON THE MOVE!!  She is happy and energetic! 
What a delight it is to call her my daughter....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Havah's orphanage visit~

We started our day at 9:00 am. The drive to the orphanage took two hours, but the drive was absolutely beautiful. Havah is from a more "rural" (still over a million people) area... Fuling City.  The scenery was hilly and green and was such a refresher since we are staying in the middle of Chongqing City's time square (very westernized).  
During the visit, Havah wanted me close by her at all times. Many times wanting me to hold her just to make sure I was still there. I expected this. What I didn't expect was my sweet girl Ruthey's reaction. She had a very hard time. She cried and cried and kept wanting to leave. My heart broke for her and Esther was such a great big sister and helped to comfort Ruthey. I finally was able to just hold Ruthey and talk it through with her and asked her to be a big helper and take pictures for me. So... the pictures I'm adding here are mostly pictures my sweet Ruthey took. 
So thankful we had the chance to visit the orphanage. I think it helps with closure and is very important for my children. Havah received the best care that they could give there. She did seem to dominate most of the children in her room. Which, after being with her for several days now, I'm not surprised. Our girl has spunk!!  Just wait till you meet her... you'll quickly see. Her spunk probably shines through in most of the pictures I post. In China, they call her a "spicy girl". 
All in all it was a good visit... but, it's so hard looking in those rooms and down the hallways seeing those still left behind. Each and everyone of them are precious to our Heavenly Father. We are all called to care for them in some way... James 1:27. What's your role? 

Monday, February 15, 2016


Bubbles can bring smiles for days~
Isn't she the cutest!!!!!!????!!!!!

Our Girl in Action~

Please enjoy these precious videos of our sweet girl. She's a doll~

We are completely in love and SO thankful God has brought her to us!!!!!

Gotcha Havah Rose~

I met the most joyful little girl today that Greg and I are now blessed to now call our daughter.... Havah Rose Le Lan Franks. I can't wait for Greg to "meet" her via FaceTime soon. 

She was nervous and scared when we first saw her, but she quickly warmed up to us. After several hours in the hotel room now, she is definitely the center of attention. I will share more later... just wanted to get a couple of pictures up to share with all of you. I can say this... She exudes pure joy!!  

The Lord definitely went before us... and for that I am forever grateful. HE is so so good. every. single. time. I give HIM all the praise for this dear child today. It overwhelms me to think there are still so many orphans in the world... 153 million (known). Today, there was one less!!

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this; to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."