Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sometimes I wonder.......

Last year this time Julia and I were counting down the days until our trip to Chenzhou China. We were not able to go this year for various reasons and it is just killing me. I think about those kids all the time and the sweet staff that cares for them. My heart aches. I think about the way those kids live on a daily basis and the ache deepens. All this reminiscing has reminded me that three of my children were once orphans. You are probably saying, "Really? You forget that they were once orphans?" The answer would be a resounding "YES!" They are MY children. They are smart, funny, clever, creative, giving, loving, loud, silly, determined, beautiful little people who do NOT resemble the "empty shells" that were placed in our arms on Gotcha Day.

But then....sometimes I wonder.....? When Lulu is terrified and cries at thunderstorms, did anyone come to hold her? She snuggles in deep to my chest, thumb in mouth, and slowly closes her eyes as I hold, comfort and rock her. Did anyone calm her fears? Or did her cries just go unanswered? Oh, how that hurts my heart. When I fix Jaida's hair and she smiles from ear to ear, admiring herself, would anyone have done this and then told her how beautiful she is? Xin has a scar above his eye that he doesn't remember how he got. Did anyone hold him and tend to the wound? Or did he just cry unattended? If they woke in the middle of the night with a fever, did anyone give them medicine to reduce the fever? Or did they cry and suffer alone and feeling awful? These are just the very basics of parenting that we all do without a second thought. But those precious little ones that reside in orphanages don't get the basics because they don't have parents. When my mind goes to the thought that MY 3 kids lived this way for a portion of their little lives, it is almost more than I can take. I can't fathom them crying, hurting, afraid and no one coming to help. Don't all children deserve the basics?

Those little people that I spent 2 weeks with last year deserve the basics. Some will be adopted and learn the love of a family. Others never will be. So, my heart aches. It aches because I can't adopt them all. It aches because I want to go back and at least give those kids "the basics" for 2 weeks. It aches because that doesn't feel like enough. What more can I do? I want to do more. They need us to do more. I just don't know what that more looks like? So I pray He will show me. I pray He can use me. I feel inadequate for such an enormous problem. But I can't let the enormity of it stop me from doing something. Because they deserve to be held, loved, told they are beautiful. Because they are real little people with real needs. Because they.......were once my three.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Honors and Awards

The end of the school year always brings many honors ceremonies to represent the achievements of the past year.
The past 2 weeks we have attended these ceremonies.
Many kids=Many ceremonies 

First up was Sam's team winning the U13 Academy Cup for their division. TALENTED group of boys!

Next up were the sports awards at Julia's school.
Their team was honored in a grand way with music, balloons floating down, yellow roses for the team and LOTS of applause as they made school history as the first girls soccer team to win the State Title.

Julia received an All-Region award as well.

 The next day was Academic Honors Day for Julia where she received an English, Spanish and Art award.

Then the Littles:
Xin and Jaida both won Star Student awards for their class.
This was an award sponsored by Chick-fil-a where 1 child from each class was chosen. They were chosen on the characteristics Chick-fil-a looks for in their employees-character, kindness, dependability,hard-working, a good friend, etc. 
They had a ceremony and dinner at our local Chick-fil-a.
I was so proud of them for winning an award regarding character!

Today was Honors Day at their school.

Up first was the First Grade and Miss Jaida Ruth.
Jaida won Distinguished Scholar for all A's
Outstanding Conduct
Sign Language Club Member
Highest AR (accelerated reader) points in her class
IB Profile Learner-a character award that represents the character qualities the school strives for

Mr Xin and the 2nd Grade class went next.

Xin won Distinguished Scholar for all A's
and Outstanding Conduct

Not to leave little Miss Lulu out of this post....

She wins the award for the Best Adorned Head at bedtime!
Yes, I found her sound asleep like this.

Now, I think all of these awards are AWESOME!  I am oh so VERY proud of all my children for all their hard work and accomplishments!
These are earthy awards.
These really don't last through eternity.
It is the moments I see in my childrens' lives that don't hold a "prize" that I hold near and dear to my heart and I know God smiles down upon.
Moments like a brother sharing his last piece of candy with a little sister, kindness shown to a special needs child in class, a parent thanking me for my child's kindness to her child and what it means to them, my child helping up an opponent on the sports field, a big brother hugging and kissing his smallest sister for no reason other than he adores her- in front of his team, a daughter embracing an orphan, a son cleaning the kitchen and readying his siblings for bed without being asked- for a very tired Mama, tears shed over little people that have no families of their own, a thoughtful gesture towards a stranger, a door held for a lady by a very small boy without being asked, money given out of a piggy bank for a charity, cakes being baked to fund orphans' surgeries, and so many, many more little seemingly unimportant moments that garner no worldly recognition but yet mean so very much eternally. Small kindness that touch hearts and lives in small ways and big ways. But bear no certificate or trophy or medal. I hope my children one day realize and see just how much these things of the heart truly do matter.
The world may not give them an award but I know these things do not go unnoticed . 
My greatest goal as a mother is to teach my kids to change their little corner of the world, change it in a way that carries into eternity and is laid at the feet of their King when they get to heaven!
I hope I tell them enough. 
Tell them that I am so very proud of their hearts.
In a world that thrives on pushing our children to be ultra competitive, it is so easy to get caught up in the awards and honors.
I hope I tell them enough.
Tell them that I am so very,very proud of their hearts!

Monday, May 12, 2014


The Augusta Prep Lady Cavaliers are the GISA AAA State Champions!
They defeated Stratford Academy 2-0 Saturday night in Macon.
Their victory made school history as... the first ever girls soccer state champions!
It was such an exciting night!
We scored quickly in the first few minutes and then again before half.
Stratford came out strong after the half. They were the reigning state champs and wanted to keep the title.
Our girls played strong and held them to just 2 shots on goal the entire game.
So very proud of this group of girls who worked hard all season!
Region Champs with a 6-0-0 record
Final record 15-0-1!
Way to go Prep!!!!!
The send-off from school!

Group selfie on the bus on the way to Macon

The signs some of the parents made

The entrance to the final

 The walk-out before the game
 I think there were just a "few" nerves at this point....especially for those of us in the stands!!!!!

 Getting ready to begin

 Go #13! Great game Jules!!!!

 That moment! The one they will never forget.

 Running over to the fans. Sheer joy on their faces!

 The scoreboard with the year 2014 and the final score!

 The grandparents with the champion.


 Her BIGGEST fans!!!!!