Friday, May 22, 2015

Your Friend Ruby Wants to Meet You!!!

As we were driving home from our big
3,700+ mile trip on Tuesday
we were playing our usual "Thankful Game"....

One by one the kids went around the car
naming 10 things they were thankful for
from the trip.  The conversation was lively.

We all had a blast.

The turn came to Ruby and Isaiah said,
"Mom!! It's Ruby's turn!"

I questioned her, 
"Ruby!  There are so many things from the trip!
What are you thankful for??"

Instantly she signed, 


Everywhere we went she had met many, many friends...

We all cheered for her signing "friends"
and then I said, "What else are you thankful for?"

Again she signed,


Over and over....

Each of her 10 on her thankful list was


And friends,
this summer we are heading across the country 
to meet Ruby's friends...

in one place or another....

This is 
in some locations
some events are still being arranged

Here's what the schedule is looking like.

[[These events are open to all!!]]

July 7th  
Meet Ruby  
[[Coffee Shop in St. Louis, MO]]

July 8th 
Backyard BBQ
Meet Ruby
[[Chicago area, IL]]

July 11th 
Meet Ruby
[[Library in Indianapolis, IN]]

July 12th
Dwight speaking both services 
Meet Ruby
[[church in Indianapolis, IN]]

July 13th
Meet Ruby
Backyard BBQ
[[Columbus, OH]]

Western New York 
visiting family and old friends

Saturday, August 1st 
Church Service & Meet Ruby 
[[Atlanta, GA]]

Sunday, August 2nd
[[Atlanta, GA]]

Monday - Wednesday 
August 3 - 5th 
[[Atlanta/Macon, GA or Birmingham, AL Area]]

August 6th evening
Church Adoption Ministry
Meet Ruby
[[Huntsville, AL]]

August 8th
Meet Ruby
Backyard BBQ
[[Knoxville, TN]]

That's the schedule as it looks right now.
We are super excited to be on the road
and trust me, 
Ruby can't wait to meet some of her friends!

 {{The above events are open to all!!}}

These dates are still available.
We are praying that in each location someone
would host an event for the area.
If you live in one of the areas mentioned 
as "available" and are interested in hosting an
event, please email me:
Subject:  Your specific city 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Swinging By...

Kinda' crazy how our days can get all mixed up when we're traveling.

I was thinking today....Hmmm, It's Monday.

What should I share today?

Then I looked at my laptop and saw that it's actually Wednesday.

I am still wondering who kicked Tuesday to the curb?

So we've just returned last night from a 3,700+ mile trip....7 kids and 3 dogs.

We went from Arizona to Utah, to Idaho where we were able to see my precious
friend Megan...then on to Montana where Dw spoke at a Men's retreat and then at
three week-end services.

For the record, Montana was gorgeous!!!

Just in case you haven't been there yet!!

And since we were that far north, we decided to  "swing by" Seattle.

I mean.

Why Not??

We were on a roll {literally}!!

Seattle's flowers were spectacular and being a flower lover I pretty much said
the entire time we were out and about, "Oh my gracious!! Look at those!"  And,
"Look!! Did you see those??"  And, "Guys!! Wow! Look at those!"

Eventually I'm pretty sure they quit looking cause they'd heard it so much...
but really, it was unbelievable for this flower-lovin'-girl.

Then on to Oregon...where we found a quaint family owned old-timey motel...that backed
up to a river...the kids had a ball...and after meeting the kids, the owner told Dw that both
his dad and his wife's dad had been raised in orphanages!!  How wild was that?

Totally a God-appointment!!

He then invited us back to stay and promised to set up four meetings where Dw
could share about International Voice of the Orphan and The Gem Foundation...
so a fall trip is being planned!!

Oregon was breathtaking and I could see why my grandpa settled there
many years ago.  I was kind of smitten...
except for that cold thing...

On to California

where we were able to hang out with our Abigail and her family and enjoy
their beautiful new home...complete with a crazy-amazing view


surrounded by such architecture that it was kind of a dream

for my always-wanna-be-an-architect-heart!!!

Then it was on home to Arizona.

Along the way we were able to spend time with supporters of International Voice of the
Orphan.  Such amazing memories for our souls!

This trip was kind of a dry run to see how Ruby would do...cause this summer we
are outta here and heading across the country....

And Ruby did beautifully.  


And tomorrow I hope to share our summer hopes that I just might be
able to hug some of your necks!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tea For Two {Or Three}

Mimi was praying about creating a special 
time with her sweet baby girl...

Something that we could do each time
we are together, whether at her faraway home
or at home in Phoenix...

And since I happen to love, love, love tea parties,
it just seemed perfect...

I brought her a gift in a "sparkly" box...

{which doubled as our table in the window seat of her room...}

The tea pot had been a gift from Poppa to Mimi about 20 years ago...
The teacups were mine that I've used over the years..

And so together we had tea...

Ruby joined us and thought it was very proper...

I told her stories from when I was a little girl...

And decided I would keep track of her answer to a question
I will ask each time we have the pleasure of tea together....

"What do you want to be when you grow up sweet girl?"

"A Princess!"

"And what is Baby Brother going to be when he grows up?"

"A Monster!"

Too fun for words.

I love these two.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Letting The Cat Out of the Bag...

A couple of years ago Dw, Ruby and I went out to a few yard sales.  We wandered not
far from where we lived here in Phoenix as we followed the colorful signs.

One of the sales we ended up at was at the home of a woman named Jamie.  We hit it
off as we stood talking for a long time!  It turns out that Jamie and her husband had
grown their family through adoption and we hit it off immediately.

But their adoption story gets to be one of the coolest around....

Listen to just how cool their hearts are.....  

After Jamie and David's second child, Madi was born with Spina Bifida Jamie thought,
"I can do this!!  Spina Bifida is not a big deal for me.  Why not bring home someone
with Spina Bifida?"  How's that for giving God their lives in obedience??

Her husband was on board and not long before the yard sale Ramya had come home from
Ind*a.   So they now had two precious little girls, both with Spina Bifida, in wheelchairs!

{{Cause don't forget - #wheelchairsarentscary !!!}} 

Well all along Ramya had talked about her best friend, Deena.   Deena was still waiting
in Ind*a with Brittle Bone Disease.   And eventually, and unbeknownst to Ramya,
David and Jamie began their next adoption...Ramya's best friend Deena!!

Because the process for adoption from India is long they
kept the cat in the bag, until finally, 2 days ago,
they were able to tell Ramya that they are bringing 
home her best friend......

Dw and I had tears falling as we watched the video....

You can follow Jamie's blog at....  A Worthy Journey

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


You guys!!!

Your reaction to the announcement of our precious new son #13
has completely blown us away!!

Thank you so much for sharing our joy!!  

Crazy story:

I was telling someone the other day, back in the day, when we announced
number 7, Isaiah, people cheered.

But when we announced, Jubilee, who was going to be number 8 {and then actually
ended up coming home as #10 because of losing our home to the fire} friends were not-so-enthusiastic.   Actually, it would be better to say, some were actually not happy.

I think they thought that Isaiah was just the one to "get it out of our system".

And then suddenly, we were not just "getting this whole orphan thing out of our system"....
but passionately pursuing Jubilee....

In the meantime, Dw had found Elizabeth and Elijah...and those same folks thought
we were looney...

Well, the upside of it all, is that God has graciously brought us you guys....
and prayed with us, loved on all of us and cheered us on!!

You understand that God's heart is for the orphan and we are so grateful
that you're walking this road with us....

Thank you for celebrating our son!!

We cannot wait to have him in our arms and have another pile of Legos on the floor!!

SO thank you so much for praying and thank you to all who have donated to help bring him home - 
your generosity has truly blown us away!!!

And hands down,
you guys are definitely 


Friday, May 8, 2015

Finally!! Meet Our Miracle #13!!!

Oh how we have loved all your kind words,
encouraging notes
awesome guesses!

All of you cheering has added even more
joy to this already glee-filled, amazing and completely miraculous
journey to our Bakers Dozen!!

Thank you for all your guesses,
only one of you actually nailed it.

Amy McB!!

Recently I told a bit of the story of
our new home that is now completely handicap
accessible, right?

I mentioned that when I walked into
the master bathroom I found a wheelchair
ramp into the shower...
my mouth dropped open!

But what I left out of the story
was that when I walked into the jack-n-jill
bath the kids all share,
I stopped in my tracks....


I was like, "What are those?"

Because along the entire kids bathroom
walls are several grip bars.

I stood staring at them.

And at that moment the Lord whispered,

"They are for one yet to come!"

Oh me.

Isn't it so crazy that the God of the Universe 
actually whispers secrets to us??

I decided to keep that whisper to myself
and every day I would wonder,
"Who Lord? Who will it be?"
And I would smile to myself.

We had another coming!


A couple of months later we moved in
and in early December
Rebecca sent the text.

Shortly after the text Rebecca 
added me to a China Advocacy group on FB.   
I had never been in an advocacy group.  Picture after picture 
of precious treasures waiting.  Each made in the image of our 
loving God.  

I found myself
often in tears as I looked at the advocacy pictures.
  I texted Rebecca and told her I didn't know if I could take it -  
I wanted to bring every one of these precious treasures home!
{Not kidding.}

And then a few weeks later, Rebecca tagged me in a post
in the Advocacy group.

The post was highlighting and advocating 
for a precious young boy 
{with Cerebral Palsy}
who had been praying for years for a family.

Oh me.

I began to sob.

I tried to read it aloud to the kids,
but they barely could understand me - 
I was truly crying so hard!  
I showed them his picture.

I knew this guy was ours!!

But we had some enormous obstacles to overcome
not to mention that my hubby had to be gung-ho.

For starters,
I knew basically what Chi*a would 
want our annual family income to be.

And I knew that our income was not even half
of what they would require.  
Not even close.

But I also know how big our God is. 

And we have seen Him move mountains to 
bring home our treasures in the past.
This was not too difficult for God.

I'm usually very slow to show Dw things when it comes to 
kids needing homes.  But this time, he basically walked in
the front door
and I led him to my laptop and showed him.

I tried to read the write-up
and the sobs came again.

After trying to read the write-up, 
he grinned that grin of his,  staring at his picture,
and then nodded that special nod.
He knew too.

We began to pray for wisdom and we
committed to pray for favor with our agency
and with the Chin*se government.

If this precious guy was ours,
God would make a way.

Our agency said they would try for PA,
because although our income is sorely lacking, 
our home is paid for and we have no debt.

About that time, a woman wrote to me
and said, "You don't know me,
I read your blog, and I am wondering, would you 
be willing to advocate for this young man?"
She had been praying for years for a family for him.

And you guessed it - 
It was our little guy!

So I wrote and told her, 

"You are not going to believe this,
and mums the word please,
but we are asking our agency to please try
for us
(even though our income is far below what Ch*na
would want it to be)." 

She wrote me back,
"I am sitting at my computer sobbing...."

Her name is Nathalie 
and she told me at that time,
"You guys get PA and I will help fundraise for you."

We wrote our LOI (Letter of Intent) and explained that 
not only do we have a completely handicap accessible home,
we have another daughter with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy,
and we do wheelchairs well.

Cause really,


But sweet friends,
there is one more obstacle....

You have never known me to ask
for anything for us,
other than prayer...

but this time,
I'm not asking for us.

I'm asking for him.

Would you be willing to 
help bring our 
new son home?

He's waited a long time.

His birthday was Monday.
The very day I began to tell his story.

He turned 13.

We have less than a year to 
get to Ch*na and get him
before he ages out.

Would you help us answer our little
boy's prayers?

If you are able to help,
we thank you in advance for being part of
our little guy's story.

Whether able to help or 
not, would you please pray for 
our journey to him 
and that God would prepare him
for being part of our family?

He has been known on the advocacy
sites as 


but as with most of our other treasures,
just like Biblical characters
who when a major life change came,
God changed their name to 
signal a new start.

Our little guy will have a new
name to accompany this fresh start - 
with his forever family.

We will announce that soon.

Nathalie put together this 
video as she has many pictures of
our son...

Without further ado...

Celebrate with us - 
 our Baker's Dozen son!!


Your tax deductible gift can help here.

Thank you in advance.
No gift is too small to help us bring our son home forever......

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

16 Simple Words

You know how many times over the years I have mentioned
how thankful I am for you guys, my precious bloggy friends?

Well heads up...
I am  not given to flattery or 'fakery'...
I've meant every word I've said.

Recently I was telling someone just how
much you all mean to me
and exactly why. 
Even you lurkers.
And seriously, 
I could not choke back the tears.

And today's story is a perfect example.

Many years ago, before beginning 
our Place Called Simplicity
I wrote about our adoption journey on a site
called Journey to Me.

At that time, I met another woman
who was also in the midst of adopting from Ch*na.
We became friends via the internet.

And over the years our friendship has grown.

To this day though we have never hugged necks,
we have talked into the wee hours of the night,
texted zillions of times, prayed together,
cried together and laughed till, well,
you know.  

Her name is Rebecca.
Single mom.
Christ follower.
Orphan lover. 
One of my dearest friends.

And on December 5th at 9:26pm
my sweet friend Rebecca sent me this text:

"Did you see that the CCCWA loosened 
the restrictions for adoption....
maybe you can adopt again"

Well sweet friends,
that simple text from Rebecca
began a journey I didn't think 
we'd ever have the privilege of walking again.

And the Lord has been so very good to us.

His hand of mercy, grace and peace 
directing each step.

Celebrate with us!!

This silver haired mama and her 
handsome hubby,
after 36 years married, 
12 treasures
and 7 grandtreasures
are going to be parents again!!


Wanna guess if it's a boy or girl??
And what the age might be??


Faithful God.

Always, always, always faithful God.

And as we say in the International adoption world.  
"paper pregnant."
And oh it feels soooo good at 56.
Oh - Just another perk of adoption: no morning sickness

"Declare His glory among the nations, 
His marvelous deeds among all peoples."
Psalm 96:3