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Our Impossible Adoption Story

If you're looking for the unbelievable account of how "impossible" became "done" in 5 business days, start here.

Adoption Update: Mixed Emotions, Suitcase Stickers, and New Projects

9 July 2018

“You must be so excited!”

I am. So excited.

And nervous. And frantic. And … tired.

I feel like I never give an adequate reaction when someone tells or ask about how excited I am. I usually sigh heavily and say something like, “I aaam … ” in that way that almost cues the other person to say, “But … ?”

Although they never do. Because that would be weird for them.

And every time I put some poor person through that awkwardness I tell myself I’m not going to do that again. “Next time, just get bubbly and bounce a little bit and shout about how excited I am. Just do it.” And I mean to.

But honestly, I’m too tired to force it.



am so excited. I really, really am. When I think about meeting Jude and the beautiful people who have taken care of him, when I think about holding his hand or (and I remind myself this probably won’t happen right away) hugging him, my pulse picks up and six to 10 weeks seems so long.

But then I think about all the things that we need to do in those 6 to 10 weeks, and it seems so fast and my pulse picks up in a different way.

I know God’s going to provide and get us through it, and I know it’s going to be awesome.

But we also want to make sure we’re doing what is in our hand to do, so I’m watching the financial gap, and working extra hours, and praying over outstanding grant applications, and figuring out what worldly goods we can sell off, etc.

So if you’ve asked me how excited I am lately, and I haven’t responded the way you expected — sorry I made that awkward. 


Our travel paperwork is making the rounds in China.

I have the first of what I assume will be a few recommended packing lists. I have a packing list.

I was going through it over the weekend and thinking about some of the logistics in general, and I found myself thinking about those old luggage labels that used to get slapped on suitcases.



Why did we stop doing this? These things are awesome!

I got jealous … so I made some.  Read more…

Miracle #3: Our Chinese Family in Ohio

2 July 2018

There are times when I am beyond overwhelmed at the size of the world and the scope of its story.

And then there are times when I am reminded that this rock is a speck of dust in the palm of its loving Creator, and its whole history is a blip in his eternity. (A pivotal blip, sure, but a blip nonetheless.)


adoption blog sky

Photo cred: Jonatan Pie



A couple weeks ago, I got an email from our agency:


I wanted to reach out and see if you and Timothy would be open to being connected with a family who adopted a child from the same foster home as Yuan Bang? They would love to connect with you, if so!


Of course we said, Yes! About a week later I got this email:


Hi Alexis! We are Luci’s parents! We met your son, Luci’s foster brother, in China while we visited the foster center and noticed their beautiful connection. I’m so thankful we found you! We have so much to talk about… where do you all live? We are just north of […] on a small farm. Attached a picture of our family and Luci 🙂 here is my cell: […]


You guys.

My heart stopped and I had to gasp for air for a minute.

This wasn’t just someone with a loose connection because the same foster family in Guiyang took care of our kids — they met him. (And she later told me that she was so taken by his sweet spirit that she tried to adopt him too, on the spot.) Their daughter called my son, “gege” (big brother) for … I don’t know how long, but she did. (I have it on video.)


A couple hours later, my phone started dinging.  Read more…

It’s Official: Meet Our Newest Son

25 June 2018

We got our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) and he is officially OURS.


china loa stamp


And that means I can finally tell you about him, and show you his picture, and share (almost) all of the ways that God has been answering prayers before we ever prayed them.

Meet Jude

This was the picture that grabbed our attention and dropped a, “What if?” into our hearts, and kicked off the craziest week of paperwork and anxiety I have ever experienced.



That pic is probably about a year old now, but look. at. that. face. Is it any wonder I had to know what was going to happen to him? He slays me.

When we submitted our Letter of Intent, we got to request more info (and pics), and we got these:




I just love him. I would expedite paperwork and run through downtown Chicago a thousand times for that face.

His Story

We don’t know the whole story, and we probably never will, but we know a little.

His adoption file says that he was found on the stairs outside a hospital when he was about one month old. Read more…

She Liked ALL the Flowers

17 June 2018

Saturday afternoon I sat on my grandparents’ back porch. Alone. Watching birds dart between the trees and sunlight fade to a golden glow and leaves bob in the occasional breeze.

After five days and scores of photos. After hours of smiling and shaking hands and being Amy’s daughter (and much bigger than the last time they saw me). After lunch in the church hall, a failed nap, a house full of other people’s old friends, another failed nap, and a dinner of everything that so many wonderful people brought by over the previous several days, I sat on the back porch alone. And quiet.

My Nana loved that porch.

They had it built after they bought the house. Or they had it finished and screened in, I don’t really remember. It presides over a backyard Eden, and my Nana loved to sit out there and just look at her garden.

I sat there for the better part of 30 minutes hoping that if I sat still and kept quiet I wouldn’t scare it all away: the rose bushes, the rabbits, my memories.  Read more…

Happy T-Shirt Tuesday! (And Other Fun Things)

5 June 2018

It’s the first Tuesday of June, which means it is officially T-Shirt Tuesday and there is a new shirt at! There were some requests for long sleeves, so this one is available short or long.



If you’re not familiar, we’re running a T-Shirt Of The Month for 21 days every month, because my husband is an amazing artist and they don’t cost us anything if they bomb. So they’re a kind of constant, secondary, behind-the-scenes fundraising effort. The latest will always be at, so save that URL and check on it when your wardrobe starts looking shabby. More details are here.

Fundraiser: Cards for a Cause



Our Usborne friend hit me up about this awesome fundraiser that they do: Cards for a Cause. These are four different boxed sets of high-quality, hand-crafted, and individually wrapped greeting cards for birthdays, congrats, engagements, weddings, thanks, and more. There are 30 cards in each box, and each box sells for just $30.  Read more…