There were lots of things, about China in general, that I wanted to post. And maybe I will sometime. I was going to now. But something happened. Lucy happened. She is everything now. Lucy is the world.

The days, and mostly the last few hours before we met her for the first time, I always felt like I should be preparing somehow. But there was not much I could do.

And nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I thought I had cleared it in my head that she was real. That she was a person, not a picture; something I could touch, and love on and hug. But I guess I hadn’t.

I was expecting to have more time to get ready (like time would help!) but we just walked into the room and there she was. It was shocking; life-changing.

I expected Lucy to be wonderful. I expected her to be beyond my imagination—but I didn’t expect her to shatter my world like this. I didn’t expect to come to pieces over her.

It’s been three years so I don’t remember everything, and I wonder if Michael shattered me like this. And I wonder how many times I can shatter before I just break. I hope it’s a lot. Or maybe I hope it’s not very many. Because maybe we’re supposed to break. Because there’s pain in this world, and brokenness. And I think it shatters God’s heart too. I’ve been praying lately that HE would give me his heart. Well, maybe he has.

We’ve had reality-checks, sure; but I’m in love. And that’s a dangerous thing. Because when you really love someone you are willing to sacrifice everything for them. I’ve worried before that after Lucy comes home I won’t be able to play by myself—swing by myself—what about reading? And writing? And in the car on the back from the Civil Affairs building, I realized: it didn’t matter. If I could be with Lucy, I would give up anything.

I’m in love. And it’s dangerous. But I don’t even care. I thought I knew what it meant to love her. I was wrong. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be her sister. It’s not what I expected. But very few things are! And I like her the way she is. I’m glad I was wrong.

I was kind-of caught up in the fact that I WAS GOING TO CHINA at first, and I’m still excited about that, but Lucy is what’s most important.

I remember when I was on the plane, shortly after I’d spent hours trying to sleep next to my comfortably snoring parents, as I was sitting there in a total haze, only sort-of coherent; I thought, “what if this whole trip just goes over my head in a wave of jet-lag and I can’t even enjoy or really remember it?”

And then I realized: it did not matter. The trip isn’t important—it’s what we’re bringing home. ‘Cause Lucy is forever. Forever and ever and ever. That’s what family is all about: foreverness. Always being there for each other.

Lucy is a sister.   She belongs; as much as I do. And someday I’ll probably forget sometimes that we had to do without her for eight years. Someday she’ll just there. The seven of us. And it will be the most natural thing in the world.

I. am. in. CHINA!!

We’ve been in China for a little over twenty-four hours now, and it’s been great!  The jet-lag was pretty bad on the plane.  I was expecting it, but not that bad, and (for some reason) not until we got home; but I perked up when we got to Xi’an… and could go to bed.  I’m never sleepy when I’m supposed to be–like, never!

I had my first conundrum about food at lunch yesterday, when almost everything was SPICY, but we found some mild noodles and some pork that was only… flavorful.  But breakfast is wonderful.  They have Asianie things like noodles and rice and baked yams (for breakfast?), but they also have some more western things like fried eggs, pancakes, bacon, and french-toast.  And they also have different flavors of juice–one of which was grapefruit which I had never seen before.

Our hotel is very nice, and it is a lot like American hotels.  The view out of the window is just short of breathtaking!  There’s a pond out there that the building is kind-of built around so it’s almost like a courtyard.  In some places the water comes right up to the hotel-walls, and in some places there’s a little patio or strip of land in between.  It is SO beautiful!  With the goldfish clustering around in the water, the little trees and patches of green grass, the vines climbing up the yellow walls, the red roofs, the palm-trees, the little wooden porches and long wooden benches, the stepping-stones; with big Chinese buildings and a foggy Chinese sky rising behind it… can you tell I’m in raptures about this little spot? 🙂

Our guide is also very nice.  She is organized and friendly and cheerful.  She’s the only guide I’ve ever had, so I don’t have anything to compare her to; but I decided I liked her before I’d known her for an hour!

I stick out here like a banana in a smoke-house!  People stare at us a lot.  Sometimes people stare at you in America, but I think it’s worse here…. though I could, of course, just be making that up.  We were standing by the fence around our hotel today, and people on the street outside kept looking at us as they walked by.  “It’s like we’re in a zoo!” mom said! 🙂  Sometimes I just ignore people that stare at me, sometimes I smile (especially if they’re children), and sometimes I just stare back.  I’m not sure how I should be responding!


(Drum-roll please)

WE’RE MEETING LUCY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The two king-sized beds in our room are pretty close together; and I think it was a long time after we all woke up, but shortly after we turned on the light and all admitted that we were awake (which was a long time before we all got up), mom looked over at me and said, “It’s Lucy-day!”  I just grinned, because it was too early to freak out–but I was freaking out inside!  FREAKIN’ OUT!!!

I can’t believe it!  I’m meeting my sister today!  I’ve wondered about this for a long time.  I wonder what she’ll be like.  What she’ll think of me.  But all my anxiety melts into absolute insignificance when I think about what she might be thinking!  Does she know that she’s meeting her family today?  I hope so.  Is she happy?  I hope so.  Is she excited?  I hope so.  Is she scared? I hope not.  Is she nervous?  Probably.  Is she curious?  How could she not be?!  I pray she is not scared or confused!


There is so much more I could tell you!  This is in a nutshell.

And speaking of nuts, I got to try roasted chess-nuts yesterday for the first time!  They were… interesting.  They reminded me of potatoes, honestly.  It was fun to get to try them, because now I know what they are.  You hear about them a lot in English literature!

So far China has been great!  Becca told me before we left: “I think you’ll like it (paraphrased) if you just think of it as an adventure.”

And that’s what I’m doing.  I just keep telling myself: “It’s an adventure.  Just have fun!   Don’t lose your bag.  DON’T DROP YOUR PASSPORT!  Stay under your umbrella (it’s been COLD and WET here!) but don’t bump into  anything with it (even though our guide already hit someone on the head with hers).  Look both ways.  See as much as you can without losing mom and dad.

“Live it up.  Breathe it in–even the smog.

“It is beautiful.”


“Then let’s look on the bright side: we’re having an adventure…”

-The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, page 295


Are we going to China tomorrow?

I don’t think so.  It isn’t possible, is it?

Come on, people, give me some grace: I haven’t convinced myself yet that we are going to CHINA!

During our first adoption, I never would have guessed that we would ever do an international adoption.  We actually wanted to do a second domestic adoption… but that door was closed–God closed it.  Because he knew Lucy was out there for us.

He knew she needed us… and we needed her.

We weren’t thinking China either, it was just an open door.  It was just the option that seemed like it was the best fit for our family.

Lucy was born in 2006… the year we went to Florida as a family (at the time, which was without M and Lucy 🙁 )

I wonder what my little five-year-old self was doing that day when, on the other side of the world, things were happening that would change my life–forever.

Yes, we are leaving tomorrow–probably earlier than I’ve ever left the house before.  This is going to be a adventure!  Will you pray for us?

*for Lucy, that she would not be scared or confused

*for health and safety while we’re in China

*for health and safety for those of us staying home, and that God would give them grace and peace

Thank you for coming on this journey with us!  I don’t know if I’ll be able to post from China, but if not then I’ll see you in two weeks!

Blessings and Stories: “Going on an Adventure!”

Exciting title, huh?  🙂 Things have been crazy around here with China coming up in two days!  (I can’t believe it!)  But there is still a serious lack of packing going on over here.  We are last minute packers for sure!  This post is an entry I made in my notebook this May.  (By the way- all posts that start with “Blessings and Stories” are going to be from that notebook.)

Recently, in our series about the book “Live Ten” by Terry A. Smith, our pastor talked about adventure (I’m not sure if that was his name for it or not).

In “Live Ten”, Mr. Smith said he once knew a pastor who lad a very quiet life, and once actually told Mr. Smith that he had asked God for this peaceful lifestyle: simply saying he wanted to live a quiet life and not suffer too much–and God had given him just that.  Think of what he could have missed!

Pastor Matthew (our pastor) used a story from “The Hobbit”: Bilbo Baggins is sitting outside.  Earlier in the book, you get this description of Bilbo’s family:

“The Bagginses have lived in the neighborhood of the Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him.” (11)

Bilbo was sitting outside, when Gandalf comes by and they strike up a conversation.  Gandalf at last explains that he is looking for someone to take on an adventure and is having trouble finding anybody.  Bilbo’s answer is simple:

“I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no need for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!  I can’t think what anybody sees in in them.” (14)

After some more conversing, Gandalf right out announces that he is bringing Bilbo.  Bilbo makes it quite clear that he’s not interested and “scuttles” (15) inside.

“Gandalf in the meantime was standing outside the door, and laughing long but quietly.  After a while he stepped up, and with the spike on his staff scratched a queer sign on [Bilbo’s]… beautiful green front-door.  Then he strode away, just away, just about the time when Bilbo was… beginning to think he had escaped adventures very well.” (15)

But anyone who is familiar with the story will already know he had not at all.  And, as Pastor Matthew put it, “We’re glad he went, because it makes a good story.” (Paraphrased)  I mean, think about it: that would be a pretty boring story!

But it’s not easy!  (Though adventures generally aren’t!)  But not one place in the book did I ever find Bilbo say after he got home, “I wish I hadn’t gone.”

The Christian life is hard, but it’s worth it–SO worth it!

Katie Davis, a missionary to Uganda, said in her book “Kisses from Katie”: “I view nothing as a sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ.”

I too, find myself hoping that I can go on living peacefully in the suburbs of Nebraska, and have nothing horrific or tragic happen to me.

BUT–when I really  think about it, I don’t want to be the one in heaven standing next to martyrs and saying:

“I lived a nice quiet life, in a nice quiet neighborhood, and sometimes told my neighbors ‘Jesus loves you’ and only left my country once for a vacation.”

Jesus, I want to give you my ALL!  Take me on an ADVENTURE!!!

“But what was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.   I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”  -Philippians 3:7,8

Post #2

And no, I’m not just going to number off my posts!  That’s cheating. 🙂  I’ll start thinking of interesting names soon!

“Why is adoption so expensive?  I feel like we’re BUYING children!”  I said a while back while we were talking about adoption.

“We’re not buying them,” Spencer said, “We’re ransoming them.”

“Adoption is redemption.  It is costly, exhausting, expensive andoutrageous.  Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed him.”  –Derek Loux

I know adoption is expensive, I know it’s exhausting.  I know it’s costly: it is wearing on us–emotionally, financially, physically.

But it’s worth it!  SO worth it.

Michael has been worth it.  Worth every penny–worth WAY more than that!  And I know Lucy will be too.  She already has!

“Adoption is the gospel in my living room.” -Katie Davis

Post #1

Greetings all!  I am soo excited to have my own blog!  I have enjoyed reading them for a long time, and have been looking forward to having my own!

My name is Hanna. I am almost 14 years old, and in 8th grade.  I live in the suburbs of Omaha, NE.  I have a Mother, a Father, and four siblings: Becca, 18; Spencer, 15; Michael, almost 3; and we are looking forward to adopting Lucy from China.  You can follow our adoption journey on our family blog here.

I enjoy reading, writing, baking, playing outside, playing with Playmobil and Calico Critters, playing with my siblings,  and going on adventures.  One of the greatest adventures I’ll probably ever take is coming up at the end of this week: going to China to bring Lucy home!  It is my first time out of the country, and I am SO excited!

I go to Waypoint church with my family, and am a believer in Jesus Christ.  I read my Bible daily (or am working towards it at least) and am a part of several Bright Lights groups.

I am hoping that you can find entertainment and encouragement by reading my blog!  Have a great day!