Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Hooray!  Our Care Package arrived!!!  It came apart in the mail, so I received this picture to see if this was everything and it was!  I was so thankful that even though the package it was shipped in came undone, everything in it stayed intact.  Praise the Lord for watching over the little things.

We are officially DTC - or Dossier To China - for more definitions and steps in this process see this link.

Today, I subbed in a preschool class with 2-year-olds.  I got there in time for lunch and then nap time.    I sat down by 2 little boys on their nap mats and rubbed their little backs.  The boy on my right fell right to sleep.  The boy on my left...said over and over and over "I want my mommy."  
At first I answered him and it'd go something like this:
I want my mommy.....I know, buddy.
I want my mommy....She'll be here soon.
I want my mommy...I know you do and right after nap time, she'll be here.
I want my mommy....Me too, buddy.  I love my mommy, too.

After about 10 more rounds of this, I told him I was sleepy and closed my eyes to rest.  (An age-old tactic I'd used on my active little boy who turns 19 next week.)
 As I sat there for the next 20 minutes in the dark rubbing sweet baby backs, I prayed.  
I prayed for my baby across the world who would've been sleeping in her bed, since it was the middle of her night.  I prayed that she'd have peaceful dreams and warm blankets.  I prayed that when she awoke someone would be there to meet her every need.  I prayed that she'd feel loved.  I prayed that as she opened our photo album and looked at our pictures that God would warm her heart to begin to see us as her family.  I prayed that God would put someone in her life that would whisper in her ear and assure her...."Mommy will be here soon...She'll be here soon."

I'm thankful for God's promises that He will always be here for us and that He is coming again.

Prayer always gives me more peace.  I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wait, Watch, See 2017

Open my eyes, that I may see 
glimpses of truth thou hast for me; 
place in my hands the wonderful key 
that shall unclasp and set me free. 
Silently now I wait for thee, 
ready, my God, thy will to see. 
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! 

2017 - Watch and see what the Lord will do!
Everywhere I turn, God seems to be repeating to "Watch" and "See" what He will do!  I see these words with my spirit and am ignited inside, like the warm hearts of those who walked with Jesus on the Emmaus road.  I'm waiting.  Watching with anticipation and an ever-growing faith in a faithful, loving God, I wait.  He shows me daily another part of His character.  A new piece of Himself is written on my heart and I'm thankful.  I'm honored to be chosen for this walk with Him.  I'm blessed that He even thinks of me, let alone speaks to me.

Let me be clear and real.  Adoption is hard.  It's process daily sets you next to a standard that cannot be matched, yet somehow through His divine grace and goodness, He keeps moving us forward in it.  The world's reasons we shouldn't adopt outweigh the Spirit's reasons we should.  There isn't time to blog the daily miracles I've been privileged to see.  (There's that word again.)

I'm currently feeling Moses' excitement after he prayed, "Show me Your glory!"  I'm waiting daily for answers to prayers that only He can see in process.  I'm getting to know El Roi, the God who sees, very well as I pray for my daughter across the world.  I know why God says that He "will make all [His] GOODNESS pass before" me in Exodus 33:18; because He is good.  That's WHO (not what) He is and I'm finding that out with each day that I wait on Him, hidden behind the Rock...that shadows a dry, thirsty land...

Today, I'm blessed to sit here...in the depths of His love...covered with His hand.

Exodus 33:18 Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" 19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." 
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

Currently waiting for (for what seems like a loooong time):
A little care package to arrive.
Our Dossier to be sent to China.
Grant organizations to provide funds for next steps.
The Cowboys to win against the Packers - just checking to see if you're still with me. ;)

Praying, waiting, watching...

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Happy 2017!

This is going to be an exciting year for our family and our country!  We had a wonderful time in Kansas seeing family and friends.  It stretches my heart to spend time with my loved ones.  They remind me that I'm blessed to have come from a heritage of faith and inspire me to "keep on keepin' on"...as my Grandpa Hutson used to say.  (A country pastor's translation of Paul's words in Philippians 3:14 - Press on!)
I think my favorite thing about Christmas is watching my kids eyes light up, but even more than that is how much my husband loves it.  He loves everything about Christmas.  This year Brad had a very sentimental Christmas.  His Dad's wonderful guitar was refurbished by a good friend.  It was the guitar Papa got from his roommate after betting that he'd marry that girl across the room, when he first saw Brad's Mom.  (Those charming Martin men are the confident ones, aren't they?)  

I framed this beautiful picture and gave it to Brad for his office.  How much more precious this verse has become to my heart this year!
My sisterinlove got married in a surprise (to her kids and mom) wedding on Christmas night.  I'm so happy she's happy and in love with such a great man that I look forward to knowing more as my brother.  

Here are some updates from the last post on our Adoption Journey:
1) We are awaiting authentication and should be DTC by the end of next week!
2) Lottie's friends are home and it's so sweet to watch their timid, unsure faces turn to BIG SMILES! We are so ready to see our baby smile, too. Keep praying for her as I'm sure she misses her little friends. 
3) The care package has arrived in China and should be in HER hands by the end of this week! 
4) 2017 Grant applications are beginning to show up on websites, so I'm filling out paperwork again. 
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a stranger when she heard we were adopting. She said she always wanted to adopt from China but heard it was TOO expensive! "...Yes, it's expensive..." I replied, "but God has provided every penny and she is so worth it to me!" 
Here is the picture I received from our friend who just got home and an update that melted my heart, my favorite gift given a few days before Christmas: 
"She was just precious! She followed us downstairs to the directors office and listened to everything. She has the sweetest voice. She said mama, baba, thank you, bye bye while we were there. (in Cantonese) Just know that she is absolutely precious! She was wearing squeaky shoes. She is well loved there too!"

2017...I'm ready for you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Adoption Journey Update

Here are some things we are doing on our adoption journey, along with some praises and prayers you can pray:
1) Waiting for our Dossier (important documents about us including our home study) to be authenticated, which includes watching the 4 checks clear in our bank account that we sent to get the official stamps of approval. Praise God for the funds covering all of these checks!
Our next big step in the process is DTC (Dossier To China)!!
Since the holidays close everything down in both countries for the next few weeks and then the Chinese New Year begins at the end of January, there isn't much we can do but wait....and pray.
2) We follow the stories of and have met through Facebook 2 other families from our agency that have adopted girls from Lottie's orphanage. We know them because we recognize their girls from videos and pictures we've seen of Lottie with them. One is in China now and her husband has the flu! Would you pray for them with me? I've also been praying for Lottie even more than usual, as she must miss her sweet little friends. We have decided to make sure we get our girls together at some point, now that we've met. What a precious reunion that will be!
3) We are tracking the care package we sent to Lottie and her caregivers from the usps app, which left on December 16. It took us a while to get the weight correct because we wanted to send so much!  :) Please pray that it arrives safely. It's so good to know God cares about the littlest details and has his angels watching over our special deliveries.
4) Waiting to hear back from grant organizations: We did receive 1 rejection letter, but we still have 4 out there and 2 or 3 that we can't apply for until their 2017 applications are updated, so I keep checking those websites, and am confident God will supply our every need.
5) Lastly, Moriah and I have been studying the culture and country of China. We have a pinterest board together that we pin fun and interesting things we'd like to see in China or customs that are different from ours. Her favorite thing to tell others - "If we burp at the dinner table in China, they will see it as a compliment for their good food, instead of bad manners, so we can burp as much as we want there!"  Oh my, what a dainty little girl! ;)

Merry Christmas from the Martins!  Here are some our favorite family picture outtakes that show my kids at their REALest! :)  xoxo

Friday, December 02, 2016

Loving Lottie

Have you ever waited and waited for something so long and with such anticipation that you're preparing your heart and even your surroundings just so the waiting would answer soon?! 
Today I read that the word Advent comes from the Latin word "Adventus" which means "coming" and I just knew this exciting news was coming soon...so I painted 2 rocking chairs pink. One for Moriah and one for a little girl we've never met but already love. Then the phone rang. 
She's coming. Might be May or June but she's coming. #LovingLottieSomeday I can tell her that this rocking chair was painted when I found out she was coming home. Now, I can't wait to show you a picture of her in it. 
What a perfect time to celebrate a child that brings us hope for an eternal home with Him!  #Jesus