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Friday, May 5, 2017

7 in heaven, #sprinklejoyforivy

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Share share share!! 
Saturday! Be Joy!!! Ivy will turn 7 in Heaven, lets Sprinkle Joy for Ivy!
At 7am our family will head to Ivys home church to clean for Jesus. Help us give her church some extra sparkle as we vacuum and clean toilets and sprinkle joy. We'll bring donuts from Bosa and there will be coffee already there. So arrive a few minutes early ;) Mission community church. MISSION Community Church
After we clean we are heading to the cemetery. We plan on putting a red ballon on every child's grave. (Ivy is in a children only area) I hope it brings a little joy to the families who visit that day. 
Ivy had someone in her life that she loved dearly. She happens to be a dear friend of mine, and she happens to have stage 4 cancer. Ivy never missed a day praying for her. Ever!!! And the first words out of her mouth each time we see our friend, were always, how ya dooin today? How's your canswer? It was so innocent and so beautiful. If you watched her service you might remember the video where she was telling our friend to fight fight fight. Our girl was a prayer worrier and I have no doubt she's still advocating for her sweet Stacy in heaven. Next Saturday ( a week after Ivy's birthday) happens to be Stacy's birthday. She has titanium rods in her back so she can't drive for the rest of her life. Her sister ( an absolute gift from God) drives her everywhere! Takes her back and forth to her countless appointments!) I want to bless these two ladies! It gets boring sitting at home and she has very young children. Let's shower them with amazon gift cards! I'm sure that there is just no time to run to all the places she needs to with a schedule like hers. The 2 sisters can share the cards. When I imagine how we act in heaven, all just sharing everything and always helping each other, putting the other first... it is there 2 sisters that I see! I'm so blessed to call them friends. I purchased my gift cards at the grocery store but you can also purchase online. If you choose to join us, please message me for address or bring Saturday. 
The rest is easy
Say hello to people you don't know
Say a compliment or two
Skip like a child without caring about who is staring at you. Have fun! Sparkle! Giggle!
Write a sweet note to a teacher
Give a financial gift with money you had saved for something for yourself, knowing they need it more.
Have compassion and love for the hurting.
Love on everyone!!!!!
Read one more story before bed
Say yes to ice cream for breakfast! ( or chips)
It is easier to find joy than it is to harbor bitterness. So let's do this!!!
Hashtag your day! Show us how much joy can be spread. Or give in secret and just hashtag a sweet photo. We love you all and Ivy loved you more! 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017


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Saturday, Little Miss Ivy Joy will be 7. Her first birthday in heaven and our first birthday without her. Her big sister, Lexi, who is 8 years old, put it all in prospective tonight. Mom, Ivy is going to be having days better than birthdays and Christmas and every best moment you could imagine times one billion in heaven. She beat us there. Because God chose to heal her heart in heaven instead of open her chest again for the 6th time. He didn't want her suffering through that and he took her to heaven before her birthday because he knows how much she LOVES birthdays!!
And she is right. I taught the girls very young the beauty of our salvation and what lies ahead. They talked about death and about heaven in the most free and innocent way. Just 2 weeks before Ivy went to heaven, she was telling Lexi and I that she was going to have a pegasus unicorn in heaven and 1000 shopkins. I would not doubt that she is riding her pegasus unicorn on her birthday. That is if she has gotten of of Jesus' lap yet. I told Lexi that every time I pictured Ivy in heaven she was still on Jesus' lap and that I hoped she was sharing. Lexi reassured me, mom, it doesn't matter! There is no sadness or complaining in heaven so even if she isn't sharing, no one will care! My girl is wise and she is the joy that covers my mourning. And so is Charlotte and all of her happiness and love. And so are my big kids and my little Henry! I am blessed to still have these moments with them and promise to continue to not miss a minute of each day we have together. Because today is what we know we have. And though this is hard, we can always find joy!
Tomorrow I will post about our SPRINKLE JOY FOR IVY! In honor of her Birthday!
Much love and gratitude to all who continue to cover us in prayer!
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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Introducing Charlotte

Pin It Ivy and Lexi would not want me to wait another day for this. Amongst the heartbreak, we have delayed sharing this treasure. On the same day we lost a child, we received our newest child. I was numb, heart broken, afraid, devastated, the most horrid thing you'll ever experience is the loss of a child, but then to be across the world, then add that it's adoption day, you have had your child in your arms for 4 hours. She's grieving all she's known and I'm grieving all I've lost. unimaginable. I had to get home, my baby died! I had to get home. With the completely unselfish love and help of my dearest friend Kim, I had the Visa I needed to get home, 54 hours after signing the adoption papers. World record! And once home, I was able to mourn and grieve and embrace all I still have, and lean on Jesus for He is who I will always have.
Charlotte Hope, you are on this earth for a reason just as your sister was. God has a plan for and for our family and I want you to know that while we are sad because of our loss, we are rejoicing to have been chosen to be your mommy and daddy and we will love you all the days of our lives. We are so grateful that Charlottes transition has been seamless. She is kind and loving and happy all the time. She is so eager to learn and so overjoyed to have so many siblings who are showering her with love. She loves our dog Molly and all things girly.  So without further due, we'd like to introduce our 5 year old Daughter, home from Guangzhou China, Charlotte Hope ❤️

                         Just off the plane, a new U.S Citizen

Home 2 weeks

                           The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just 
                              to love and be loved in return

There is always something to be thankful for. Tomorrow is not promised. Not for me, not for you, not for her. It never was. Looking at that in the face, is hard. But it's reality. Embrace every single day my friends. We did! Our suffering is still tremendous. It is still so very painful. But we are so happy that me missed nothing and have no regrets. We miss Ivy Joy so very very much. We cry a lot. A whole lot. Today we still have so much to give thanks for. We promise to embrace that every morning. I woke up today. I could breathe, I could walk. I wish Ivy was blowing bubbles in the yard with Charlotte. More than you can imagine. But what is here now, today, for that we find joy. Pin It

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ivy's memorial service

Pin It For those out of state, here is the link to the live stream happening in 1 hour Pin It

Friday, March 24, 2017

Taken too soon

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Leaving today!!!!!

Pin It So excited to be starting the journey to China today. I will have Charlotte on Monday afternoon. This week has been a whirlwind as Ivy has been so very sick and my mama heart has just been numb in jugging the what if's. So thankful for our amazing pediatrician who took care of her quickly and eased my broken soul in making decisions on what to do next. She assured me that by today I should feel much better about leaving and sure enough, I do. She is not back to herself yet, but her breathing is great, her 02 is back to normal, here fever has been gone for a few days and she is very excited that her sister is coming home soon. 
Satan wanted this beautiful story to have a pause or even an end, but it won't. He knows that the easy way control me is through the well being of my children. But God used so many people, and so many things, to turn me back Him and I held on to my own knowledge that fear does not from God. Anxiety,.... not from our Father! I am at ease with all things today. My heart is full, my confidence is back, and I'm ready to go get our girl!
Charlotte Hope, just a few more days sweet girl.  Pin It

Monday, March 13, 2017

7 Days!

Pin It In 7 days, I meet Charlotte! I am so blessed that my friend Kim is flying to China with me and spending Monday-Thursday with Charlotte and I.  My travel will begin on the night of March 17th and 2 weeks later, Charlotte and I will land in Phoenix, Friday March 31st. Charlotte will become a U.S citizen as soon as we land in the United States. I'm ready to get our girl home! 

Ivy's surgery date has changed to June 2nd. A little sooner sounds great to her! 
Have a blessed week! 
May you find JoY in all things! 
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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tick Tock, its almost time

Pin It Our Aticle 5 is being picked up right now in China. This is the final step before Travel Approval! Its so hard to believe that is is almost GO TIME! Charlotte's coming home!
I don't usually tell people about this because it just makes me more anxious, but I really really really dislike flying. Yep, I've traveled to China 2 going on 3 times to bring home our children and yet I can not stand to fly!
Anyway, the past 2 weeks as I have been awaiting our Article 5 pick up and very aware that travel is on the horizon, I have had such peace. I'm traveling alone to get Charlotte, but I know I won't really be alone. And I'm finding great comfort that I've been able to lay my worries at the feet of Jesus and He doesn't judge me for it. He knows I'm weak, and He loves me just the same.
We hopt to find out by the end of the week when I will actually be leaving and when Charlotte Hope will be in my arms. We are excited, busy, and trusting God all the way there and back! He knows the day, the hour, the minute. And all in His perfect timing, His will, will be done!

*Ivy update*
She is eating. She has her 3 or 4 weird things that she likes to eat and we're just running with it. She is eating chips again.... Something tells me there were many praying for that :)
She is still doing well off her oxygen when just sitting around. She uses it for play and it helps a lot. We do not have surgery dates yet, but it does look like June is the latest it will be. Ivy wants everyone to know she appreciates your thoughts and prayers and that she is doing just fine! She also sends the biggest hugs!

Love these 2 with all my heart! Thankful for the honor of being their mom. Can't wait to complete the trio of dumplings and have Charlotte our daughter forever too! 6 girls and 1 boy! Wow! When I was a tween and teen, I babysat a ton. People knew how much I loved kids and would always ask me how many kids I was going to have and I always answered 7! Not really believing I'd have 7, but as a child, it sounded perfect. And I guess God thought so too! 
James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this
To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Keep my eyes on you Lord. I am closest to you when you stretch me. When I can't do it on my own, thank you for reminding me that I don't need to. When I feel anxious, thank you for carrying my weight and forgiving me for doubting you. I am not alone. Never alone. Lets do this!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Ivy's Forever Family Day and an update on her precious heart

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                                       5 YEARS HOME!

We came home from California on Friday. Her Cath went well but there was no intervention done. To cut right to the chase, she needs another Open Heart surgery. Her Mitral Valve and her Pulmonary valve need to be replaced. And while they are in there they will replace the batteries in her pacemaker. 
While we are sad our sweet girl needs to go through this again, we are so very thankful that there IS something more they can do! This is the answer to healing her lungs! The reason her Pulmonary Hypertension has not responded to the many forms of medication we have been trying. It's why her legs hurt when she walks. (lack of blood flow) It's why she can't ride a bike or run along side her sister or wrestle with her daddy without getting completely out of breath. And I really hope it is the answer to getting her to eat again because this mama is exhausted by the amount of time I spend trying to get this little one to eat anything... drink anything other than ice water. She just gags and wretches. The little girl who used to always have a box of fries or a bag of chips in hand.. no more. To be able to play hard, laugh hard and eat a regular meal.... to do these things with ease... Ivy says it will be far worth it! She is the bravest and strongest girl I know!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:1b-2 (NIV)

Today we celebrate the day we met! The day we had our first cuddles! The day we became a family! She needed us and we needed her and nothing has changed! We love her and she loves us!

Tomorrow we celebrate valentines day and the day we signed that paper that made it all official. She loves that we get 2 days to celebrate! I was thinking today about our first few days together and trying to remember every detail. The obvious things are hard to forget, how blue she was, how clubbed her tiny fingers were. How it felt like someone was beating on my chest when her heart was pressed against mine. 

But I wanted to spend the day remembering the other things. Like how quickly she bonded with me, but yet how she gave everyone else the stink eye. How she would give the sweetest most delicate kisses. How much she loved to go for walks outside. How she would eat just about anything! (those were the days.....) How she laughed with no sound, but how adorable it was even without sound. How she thought it was so funny to throw herself backwards from sitting position so she could laugh at my panic as I scrambled to break the fall. She knew I would catch her! How she would shake her head no when she tried to crawl and when she pulled up to standing position. She did this because in the orphanage she was not allowed to do anything to exert herself.  She was so proud of herself. I knew from that first day that she was incredibly strong. To hear her breathe was like listening to a staticky radio station. And yet she just smiled and went about her business. She was crazy about her first bath and she still loves baths more than anything. She'd never get out if there was no time limit. Take that girl to LUSH and she will attempt to buy every bath bomb and bubble bar she can afford! She has always had a zest about her. A sweet and gentle spirit with a side of hot sauce! 
Oh how we love her!
Worlds best sister always by her side! Always encouraging, always understanding! 
These 2 are so good for each other!!!

We are waiting to hear back from Ivy's cardiologist about when this surgery will happen. In California they mentioned early June but we really don't know anything for sure yet.
One day at a time! 

Lord bless me with peace and freedom from fear. I will hold your hand and trust your heart with all that is within me. Give me courage today to be the person you created me to be. Amen


Let’s ask God to show us what we are afraid of. What is paralyzing our faith and keeping us from living confidently in His peace and freedom? And then let’s give God a chance to come though for us as we courageously walk through our fears, holding God’s hand and trusting His heart to lead, protect and preserve us each step of the way.
Dear God, help me walk through my fears by facing them instead of being paralyzed by them. I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart with all that is within me. Give me courage today to take the first step. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Chalottes Smile

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While we may never have baby pictures of our little Charlotte, we are blessed to have a few of her today! And look at that smile!!!! Praising God for this sweet gift and for reminding us to Be Still

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Thursday, January 19, 2017


Pin It I've been anticipating an update on Charlotte for a few weeks now. We sent a cake to her for her birthday and in doing so, the guide who will take care of us while in China, receives photos of the "eating of the cake". This morning, we were blessed by new pictures! She is so precious!

Charlotte is from Guangdong province and the more common dialect within Guangdong orphanages is Cantonese. Her fluent, common language is Cantonese. So the little bit of studying struggling to learn a teensy bit of basic Mandarin, may still help me find the bathroom and order some water while in China... but it won't help me tell Charlotte we promise to love and care for her forever,  or... ask her if she needs to use the bathroom ;) . 

In a few weeks, we will head to California. Having Ivy on oxygen has certainly helped her to have less fatigue and more activity, but by 3:30 she just looks so tired and run down. We are hoping that the Heart Cath will either allow some intervention or give the information needed to make a plan for what will get her feeling great again.  She never ever complains about her health. She stands tall and proud to be the warrior she truly is! She never complains about all the meds she has to take or the blood draws or the appointments or the caths or the other surgeries. She just goes with the flow. She tells me it's her job to set an example for the baby warriors. And she's doing a darn good job, I'll say! She is the strongest girl! It's why she is here! God made her strong and He made her a fighter. You all know that already!
Last Friday Ivy represented Make a Wish on the News to promote the Arizona Concours De'lgance. She stole the show. Cutest thing ever... I've posted the clip below.
After the morning news, Make A Wish got a few calls from people saying they'd like to make a donation after seeing the little girl on the news that morning. All for wishes! I thought that was so awesome! 

JOHN 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.    


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 in review... A year of blessings

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Little Blessing! In February our daughter and son in love brought our first grand baby in to the world! 
Henry is now almost 11 months old

We love him so much!!

In March we spent Spring break at our time share on the beach. It was a week of R&R and a great healthy time for little Ivy too! We love it when we can have a vacation without emergencies!! Ivy's heart loves the beach! It does not like the mountains, we have learned that the hard way a few times too many!

Ivy has now been on Tyvaso, her inhaled medication for her pulmonary hypertension, for 2 years. Sadly, it has not made a difference and we are looking in to new intervention. She continues to tire with exercise as simple as walking from the car to the shopping cart. The good news, she is stable and there is still much hope that she will still one day have healthy lungs. Her heart continues to work hard. There is a possibility she will need a new mitral valve within the year. She presses on with the same constant joy and never complains, just like the little girl you all came to love.

In May were were able to pay a visit to Disneyland. The characters remain the girls favorite part about it! Ivy's medications make her dizzy enough. So she rides very few rides but loves the parade and the shows. Lexi loves everything!

Ivy Joy turned 6 years old on May 6th!

And our newest Addition, Molly the poodle, turned ONE!

Summer 2016 was full of swimming and playing! 
We traveled to Las Vegas for Nationals with Lexi's dance company. We enjoyed some cool shows like Blue Man Group and O. The girls thought is was fantastic. 

In August our daughters Rylee and Cassidy moved in to their own home. It has been so sweet watching them grow up and learn to make it on their own but also a big adjustment. Not seeing them every single day has been sad for all of us. The girls have now adjusted but mommy will never stop missing saying good night to those girls each night. (my kitchen stays clean so much longer now....) But is miss them!

October is Ivy's favorite month! I don't know why but this little girl loves Halloween! This year she wanted to be Shirley Temple. She looked amazing! Best Chinese Shirley Ive ever seen! ( Also the only one! ) She loves watching Shirley Temple videos on you tube kids. Lexi had a hard time deciding what to dress like. In the end she chose Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. Baby Henry was a lion!


In December our 1st China baby turned 8 years old!! How can that be? 

And in December we were matched with our newest daughter Charlotte Hope Anjuan Sammons. She is 5 years old and is currently living in Guangdong China. We hope to travel to bring her home in March. 

            “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”  

Isaiah 6:8

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