Saturday, January 30, 2010

snow day

one inch of snow + a good layer of ice =

fast sledding
painful snowball fights
lots of homemade hot chocolate
kids in & out all day
snow pants, boots, & coats everywhere
memories!!!



seeing snow for the first time!









More snow in the evening!







video

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mothers


With our baby girl's second birthday approaching, I find my mind swirling with so many thoughts... Sorrow over missing her first birthday, sheer joy that we will share her second. Gracie's birth mother is also heavily on my mind for some reason. What would I say to her if I could?
Thank you for giving her life.

Thank you for placing her in a public place where
she would be found and taken in to be cared for.

Gracie will always be told of her beginnings,
and her birth country will be a part of all our lives.

Gracie is beautiful, and delightful,
and she is loved unconditionally and
with such a deep love it's overwhelming at times.

I don't know your motives/reasons, but
God's plans for Lian Jia Shu were made before
she was even conceived. The months you carried her
and the moments you shared with her on her first day
can be treasured in your heart - Please don't feel
shame or hopelessness. The Father's hand is
clearly on her.

We have prayed from the start that Gracie's birth parents would also be a part of the family of God so that one day they will see with their own eyes the beautiful girl they had a part in bringing to this world. We won't romance their story with Gracie. We don't know their situation or motives, although her special need and her gender may have been clearly part of their decision. She will always know that she was NO mistake, and that she a Woodard just as much as Ali, Erin & Quinn are. I believe the picture of adoption/salvation will be even sweeter to her heart and mind one day - that that truth will be deeply rooted in her.

CHOSEN & DEARLY LOVED

"None of my bones was hidden from You
when You made me
inside my mother's body.
When You were putting me together there
Your eyes saw my body

even before it was formed.
You planned how many days I would live.
How You made me is
amazing and wonderful.
I praise You for that."
Psalm 139:15-16, 14

Thursday, January 21, 2010

she flies through the air with the greatest of ease

*warning* Grandmothers and those who are faint of heart may not want to view the following pictures. It seems Gracie and her daddy enjoy polishing up on their acrobatic skills in anticipation of the circus that will be coming to town next month...




"Kung-Fu Gracie Shu"


Don't say I didn't warn ya -
This little daredevil has made
this Mama's heart skip a few beats many times.
We love our little bundle of bravery!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti updates & miracles

My friend's mother was found safe and is flying home today! This little excerpt gives a glimpse into her story...

Sara was directing a ladies' Bible study on the second floor of the mission house while supper was cooking. She was in the middle of her closing prayer when the earthquake occurred. She knew immediately what was happening. The ladies watched in horror as houses swayed back and forth and eventually toppled to the ground. Their house stood firm! A miracle! Sarah told me to pray for Pastor Cherubin (known as Pastor J.P.). Their Hosanna church has set up three tents around the church to help the wounded and sick. Many Haitians have said that they are coming to church this Sunday (today) to get saved. Please pray! Sarah also said she amazingly had not heard any VooDoo drums beating since the earthquake. There has been much wailing in the streets night and day; but also the sound of Christians gathered in the streets singing hymns.



I'm also so exited to share of God's tender intervention on behalf of our friends, the Rhodes. This update from Kim gives me chills at His sovereignty!...


Then last night on ABC news with Diane Sawyer… you’ll never believe it. I certainly did not. Diane went to Heartline yesterday morning and did a piece in the news last night about the the orphans of Haiti. We were able see the Heartline kids and then in some surreal moment at the end of the piece Dianne calls out Frankie’s name and grabs him and kisses all over him. Dave (who won’t admit this) is shedding tears and I’m staring just not really being able to comprehend that I am seeing my son who’s country has been in the midst of devastation on TV. I’m so humbled that I got that chance to see him and the other children who are his family. Two years we have been on this journey. We’ve had so many questions and fears and sadness and heartbreak in the past week that to see him on video in his red shirt that I took to him on a past trip to see him… well no words.

Here is the deal… GOD can make beauty out of brokenness… I’ve seen him do it time and time again. In the midst of this extreme brokenness you are finding pockets of beauty… big and small.

As we continue to pray for Haiti and her people I am begging God for our family to show us some minor glimpses of His beauty by for some Random miracle… that our son would finally get to come home. And I KNOW that is not just my cry but it’s the cry of the 900+ mamma’s who’s children are in the process of being adopted and we all now wonder what is next. Lord please show us beauty!!!!

Here’s the ABC News Link:

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=9576860

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=9577445


You can continue to follow their story and also find out how you can help bring their son home by following their adoption blog, A Family For Frankie, listed under My Blog List to the right. PLEASE take the time to read and help in a tangible way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti

I remember vividly the way we felt when we learned of the devastating earthquake in China in 2008. We still did not have a little girl referred to us, yet our hearts were still so deeply sad. You see, we loved the country of China before we even laid eyes on our sweet girl. All that said, would you please pray for a precious family whose son is in an orphanage in Haiti? Their son and the other children are all alive, but without shelter. I can't imagine having held and loved on their sweet boy, not being able to be there now. I also know when you love a country as well, pictures and video of unimaginable devastation like we are seeing is heart-wrenching. Too much to get your brain around, really.
I know they would appreciate your prayers greatly. If you are able to also help in a monetary way, you can follow their family blog HERE and find ways to help the orphanage directly as well as ways to contribute to other organizations.
We're also praying for the mother of a dear childhood/high school friend of mine. She was in Jacmel, Haiti doing mission work with the people she loves. The family has not heard from her since before the quake.
Heavy hearts, yet clinging to hope in the One who knows our weariness.
"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble."
Psalm46:1

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life with the Latham...Gracie's perspective


Gracie's top ten
Latham appliance observations...
  1. I can no longer suck my thumb and finger due to all the metal and plastic in my mouth...much to my surgeon's delight and my profound disappointment. :(
  2. The width of my cleft is getting visibly smaller every day!
  3. I am ending up in Mommy and Daddy's bed almost every night. Mommy is not complaining, but seems to be sporting these black bags under her eyes and drinking lots of coffee lately.
  4. Every day I am pronouncing sounds and words better!
  5. I have my very own water pic to clean my mouth, and Daddy lets me play with it to make the whole process way more fun.
  6. I can't eat some of my formerly favorite foods because they can get stuck in my new appliance. :(
  7. I have a new favorite food...Soup! The more noodles, the better...
  8. Mommy has to use a tiny little brush to clean out my mouth all during the day. Not so fun, but I let her do it.
  9. The toughest part of my day is when daddy has to tighten the screw in my mouth. By the time we're done, my Mommy and sisters are usually crying right along with me. Not quite sure why they are, but I know why I do - it hurts! :(
  10. Mommy tells me this is a big step closer to my big surgery and my new mouth that God is using Dr. Matthews to fashion! She tells me I am very brave!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Eve

sleeping under the tree!


breakfast @ Stax


A true southern girl -
She can put down some eggs & grits!


Our gingerbread house



The Fam @ my sister's house


Brian, Daniel Kristi & Dad


cousins & best friends


Wii-nging in the new year


My cousin Kathleen


My Aunt Rene

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas 2009

My gift from the CrossRoads staff after surgery


Christmas Eve



Tracking Santa before bed


Erin evidently approves


My new kitchen


"Photo-boothing" w/ Daddy is funny!


Am I sweet, or what?!


Grove Park Inn


Viewing the gingerbread houses display @ the GPI