Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I made it home! It was a little later than planned, but I did still make it. My flight from Tokyo to Chicago was a little late and immigration/customs was backed up further than I had ever seen it before! Even the airport workers were surprised/frustrated and pointing out the stack of comment cards to people! It took over an hour just to get through immigration and customs. At that point, I had less than half an hour to get to my next flight. They had already started boarding and I was basically told I would never make it on that flight. They were pretty much just sending anyone with flight in the next hour to get new tickets.

So, I joined the line of frustrated, upset, anxious people waiting to get a new ticket, praying the whole way through the line that I would be able to get another flight out that night. And I DID! Three hours later, put my in right around midnight, but I was SO thankful!

And God sent other little blessings along the way. One in the form of another girl who missed the same flight I did. She teaches in Shanghai and we were able to have some really nice conversations.

Thankful to God for the safe trip and that the flights themselves were uneventful. Kelsey and Leah made it home safely as well and now we're praying Cat home today :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things we say here that we will probably not say at home....

How’d you get so cute?

How’d you get so sweet?

Did you poop? Are you poopers?

Is there any more in there?

You’re getting to be such a big boy/ girl!

Look how chubby you are!

Look how strong you are!

I’m going to go suck the snot out of her nose.

You can’t crawl over the other babies.

Thanks so much for spitting up on me.


Only five more days until movie night!

I’m going to bike into town.

Hard to believe I'll only be saying/ hearing these things for one more day!
Please pray for:
-safe travel home on Monday.... kind of dreading the 24+ travel hours alone, but looking forward to seeing all my family and friends!
-safe travel for Kelsey and Leah (who leave Tuesday) and Cat (who leaves Wednesday)
-Meredith, Word, Showhwa, and Shr Mama, who will be here with the babies.
-Several of our babies who are sick
-an adoptive family flying in Tuesday night
-one of our babies who has her 3rd court date next month... pray that things will be worked out and that she will be able to go home to be with her forever family soon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Power of Prayer

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

A few weeks ago, Ted preached about prayer. How many sermons have you heard on prayer? Probably many. You often hear sermons on prayer. Most I've heard are good, but Ted's sermon was so meaningful and made such an impression on me. Why? Because Ted lives it out in his everyday life. His first response when something happens with one of the kids is to pray. He stops whatever he is doing and prays. He prays on his bike rides in the morning. Prayer is a part of everything Ted does. Just a couple examples of prayer requests answered since I've been here:

-Three families have scheduled flights before their final paper was here (per Ted's ok, of course). He called them and told them to go ahead and schedule, and then we prayed. And guess what?! Papers arrived for all three of those families so they could get their babies on time.

-A couple weeks ago, Word went up to get more wipes and found that there were no more. We just had what was downstairs, which was not many. We rationed our wipes and we prayed. The other day, men came with a delivery and guess what it was! Diapers and WIPES!

God is so good! He provides for our every need, regardless of how small it may be.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thursday off

Thursday each week are our days off. This past week, we spent a day out on the town and we had a blast!

 First, we stopped so Kelsey and Cat could get some new glasses.... everyone tried some on!

Next, we went to get our hair shampooed and head was definitely worth the less than $5 we paid!

 Cat and Kelsey's cost 20NT less than Leah's and mine..... still don't understand why!
 Leah, happy with the end result and loving that we had this opportunity.We all enjoyed it! A must-do if you are ever in Taiwan!

Then, we went to get Mango tea, which was good, and even great if you actually like tea....

After picking up our tea, we headed for the Christian bookstore. We were unsure of exactly where it was, but when we were wondering if we were headed in the right direction, we saw our friend, Gwo Hwei, and he pointed us in the right direction..... thank You, God! We made it there without any further problems and enjoyed doing a little shopping.

By this time, we were all pretty hungry, so we went to a local pizza place. We were all pretty excited about our pizza lunch! .

We couldn't miss out on possibly a last chance to get mango bing, so we headed across the street and through the park to the mango bing place, but were distracted by these creatures made entirely out of kitchen pots, pans, and utensils.... pretty impressive, right?!

And since we were taking pictures anyway, we had to get a group picture!

We finally arrived and got our mango bing. It was absolutely delicious!

Another must-have if you're ever in Taiwan!!!!!

As much as we enjoy our days off, we always look forward to getting back to the Home to love on the babies.... they are missed on our days out!

Blessings from the past week:
-Final papers arrived for one of our little ones, and her parents are coming to get her on August 2!
-One of our babies was allocated and has a new name.
-It is beautiful here.... I'm continually blessed by the beauty I see on walks and bike rides. It's a great reminder of how great our God is!
-Jun Jun, Renee, and Meredith, who faithfully come out on Thursdays, so we can have a day off. What a blessing they are!

Prayer Requests:
-Paperwork to move more quickly... it has been much slower than last summer.
-The older kids at camp this week.
-A couple of our babies, who are still struggling with coughs/colds
-A situation with one of our babies
-Birth mothers- it is such an act of love on their part to give up their little ones. They know they can't take care of their babies and and they want a better life for them.... what a terribly difficult decision to have to make!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Random pictures

In my last post, you got random posts.... this post will be random pictures!
I love baby feet! 

Last week we celebrated Showhwa's birthday! She got cards from all the babies!

Taiwan is beautiful!

Don't you agree?

I love when the babies hold hands!

Did I mention that I love baby feet?!

We took a boat ride on Showhwa's birthday!

Mango waffles are amazing!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Random thoughts....

I'm lying in bed unable to sleep for the third time this week because of the random thoughts in my head. These include, but are not limited to:

-Maybe I shouldn't have had coffee this afternoon.

-Why would I want to add my blood type to my facebook profile?

-I love watching Ted interract with the kids.... he is a fantastic father to all these little ones!

-I'm really going to miss David and his family as they travel home tomorrow, but I'm so happy for them!

-I miss my family and look forward to seeing them in a couple weeks.... can't wait for pizza and pinochle!

-Praying for a situation with one of our little ones.... God's will be done.

-Hoping all the babies with colds will feel better soon and that I'll have the energy to give them extra love, hugs, kisses, and patience

-Wishing I could let God be in control instead of worrying and getting upset about little things. Why is my first reaction not prayer every time? God is so faithful, yet He is far to often not the first one I turn to.

-Glad Matt, Chrissy, and Mira are able to spend time with family, but I would love some pictures sometime soon (hint, hint!)

-Why is the fruit here so much better than the fruit in America?

-I work with some pretty awesome people (both here and at home!)

-The internet is working right now and that makes me incredibly happy.

-How can I only have two weeks left here?! Mixed emotions about that.... I am so excited to see everyone at home and looking forward to a new school year, but I am going to miss everyone here and I will definitely be going through baby withdrawl!

-I sure hope sleep comes soon- 5:30 comes so early!

What thoughts are running through your head?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Verses on the wall....

One of the other volunteers, Meredith, is gone for the month of July to do some language study (She is staying at THOGL for a whole year and has been here since January). While she is gone, I am sleeping in her bed. My first morning here, I discovered that Meredith had posted verses by her bed. These verses are the first thing I see each morning when I wake up and they are such an encouragement to me, so I thought I'd share some of them with you.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:7

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Monday, July 11, 2011


I love the other volunteers here and thought I'd introduce them:

Word- the only male volunteer. I don't think he quite knows what to do with all of us girls all the time, but he puts up with us. I really think he's going to miss us when we all leave. Word is devoting a full year to THOGL, so he is staying until next May!

Leah is the life of the party! She keeps things interesting and fun. Leah is an encourager and stays positive.

Cat is my roommate. She is shorter than me, which is amazing! It's nice to not be the shortest one here :-) Cat has an amazing internal clock that wakes her up on time!

I have now had the amazing opportunity to work with Kelsey for two summers! Kelsey is now working nights, so we don't get to see her quite as much :-( I get to spend about an hour with her each morning and I love our conversations!

-A family came in to pick up their little boy!
-We got a new baby!
-Our little boy who was in the hospital is now home!

Prayer Requests
-Colds are being passed around, so a lot of our little ones are sick.
-Papers to come in quickly... it seems like they are so slow! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Praises and Prayer Requests

-Paperwork came in for two of our babies which means their parents can come pick them up soon!
-We had a lovely day off yesterday, complete with shopping and lunch at the Potato.
-A new volunteer came in Wednesday to stay for a week or so. This means all the babies get more individual attention.
-A family comes in tomorrow (Saturday!) to get their little boy!

Prayer Requests
-One of our baby boys is in the hospital.
-Ted, Bev, and Anna- safe travel back from TMF
-Safe travel for the family that is coming in tomorrow.
-Unity among the volunteers- please pray we can build each other up and encourage each other, even on long days when we are tired.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

An earthquake, a mountain, and the Bear

I feel like time goes by so fast and I just posted yesterday; however, I believe it has been a few days since I posted. A lot has happened!

1. Thursday was our day off! We spent the morning hiking up a mountain! I was pretty sure I was going to die before I reached the top, since that was more exercise than I have done in the whole past year, but I guess God wanted me to see the BEAUTIFUL view from the top of the mountain! IT WAS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! Pictures do not even begin to display how beautiful it was! So worth the long trip up the mountain. Thank you, God, for the beautiful earth You gave and the opportunity you gave me to view it from the mountain.

After we stumbled down the mountain, we went to eat at the Bear. This has to be one of the most hilarious experiences I have had in Taiwan so far. Four American girls who don't know Chinese trying to order food in a restaurant where nobody speaks English. The waiter finally disappeared, communicating to us that he would be back in a minute. Five to ten minutes later, he returned with a phone in hand- he had called someone to translate! We ended up with rice, chicken curry, and a salad. A little spicy, but very good, and completely worth the experience!

2. Friday turned into a busy day. Our little one who was in the hospital came home!!!!! We are so glad she is back and have enjoyed loving on her a little extra over the past couple days. PRAISE GOD!

An adoptive family came in to pick up their baby.... always a happy day!

Babies were allocated and given new names :-)

Movie night- We watched "Like Dandelion Dust." Loved the movie, but definitely held back tears most of the way through.

3. Today we felt an earthquake. Last year I thought it would be cool to feel a SMALL earthquake. This year, I think they are just terrifying, regardless of how small they are. Praising the Lord for His protection.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baby Play Time!

I love play time with the babies, but I have to admit that sometimes we have to get pretty creative to keep the babies from getting too restless and to keep ourselves occupied. Some of the things we do during play time are:

-sing any song we can think of
-listen to cds when we can't think of songs to sing
-do exercises with the babies
-tell stories
-ask and answer questions
-take pictures
-practice the alphabet, numbers, and anything else we can think of
-talk to the babies about their families and how much they are loved
-read books
-anything we think will keep the babies awake so they sleep during nap time

We are always open to new things to do during play time.... any suggestions?!

I will not be posting many baby pictures due to privacy, but thought I'd share just a little taste of play time!

Prayer Requests:
-Please continue to pray for paperwork to come in quickly for the babies. It has been much slower than it was last summer, which means families are having to wait longer to finally bring their babies home.
-Please continue to pray for our little one in the hospital. She is still there and the doctors have not figured out what is wrong with her :-(
-Please pray for Kelsey, one of the other volunteers, as she switches to night shift- smooth transitions, calm nights, and sleep during the day

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A few of my favorite things....

-Homemade chicken noodle soup (thank you, Shr Baba)
-Banana milk shakes (thank you, Shr Mama)
-Bath day
-Bike rides (even if I was about to die after one time around the lake....)
-Happy babies
-Cuddling with babies
-Babies peaking out at you from their cribs after they just wake up, smiling up at you
-Watching the older kids with the babies
-Our fruit and chocolate drawer

Friday, June 24, 2011

Back in the swing of things....

I have been here four days now and feel like I am starting to get back into the swing of things. It has been a lot easier than last year. Since I know the schedule, I've been able to jump right in to learn the babies names. Still struggling to figure out which bottle belongs to which baby, but I'll figure it out eventually! Last year, all the bottles had the English names on them (for the babies who had English names), but this year, some still have their Chinese names, and I definitely don't have those down yet! Oh well, I'll get them down eventually!

Thursday was our day off and we were able to go to the Cultural Center. (I worked one day and I got a day off- not bad!) It was a great time to get to know the other volunteers and I love the Cultural Center. If you're ever in Taiwan, I highly recommend you go there!

Yesterday was "Family Movie Night." They have been watching the "Love Comes Softly" series. It was so fun and I wonder why we didn't have movie nights last summer!

I have been reminded:
-why I was planning to learn Chinese before coming here.... I hate not being able to talk to the older kids at supper. I guess that will be a goal for the coming school year.
-how much I love devotions each night- hearing the kids praise God in song!
-how different and unique each baby is, special in their own way!

-is English church service
-another baby's family is coming to pick him up. I can't wait for them to see him!

-Ended up in Elite seating (business class) on my long flight and got 8+ hours of sleep! Not sure how that happened, but so thankful for that!
-One of the babies got out of the hospital and is now back at the Home
-Two families have left to take their babies home with them!
-Papers arrived for one of our little ones

Prayer requests:
-One of our sweet little ones who is in the hospital
-Paperwork to come in quickly so the babies can go home to be with their forever families
-Families traveling in the coming weeks
-Strength, energy, and health for all at THOGL

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I arrived in Taiwan late last night! Safe flight, found my way through LAX with only asking 3 people for directions, and all my luggage arrived with me :-) God is good!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Tomorrow's the big day! A long day of traveling, but it will be worth it when I land in Taiwan! :-)

Looking forward to seeing everyone there and especially can't wait to see the looks on the adoptive parents' faces when they finally see their babies for the first time!!! It's the best part!

Prayer requests:
-Safe travel, finding my way through the airports (especially LAX), and all luggage to make it to Taiwan
-Strength, energy, and willingness to do anything that needs done; eyes that see the needs of others while I'm there
-Paperwork and courtdates to go quickly and smoothly so that the babies can go home with their forever families quickly.

Father's Day!

Last year, I got to spend Father's Day with:

Mira Joy
The cutest, sweetest niece ever!

Though I miss her like crazy, I'm so happy that she is spending this Father's Day with her daddy:

Matt is such a great dad! I've loved watching him love his daughter... protective, but fun!

And I love that this year I get to spend Father's Day with:
My Dad
God has truly blessed me with a wonderful dad! I couldn't have asked for better! Wise, humble, kind, patient, and a little goofy too :-)

Happy Father's Day to Dad, Matt, and Nate!

Brother, Nate, and my first nephew, Auggie

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer is here!

Teacher check-out was today, so it is now officially SUMMER for me :-)

I get to spend the next two weeks with these cuties:

Then, it's on to six weeks here:

To reunite with and meet the other volunteers, including:

Learn from:
 Ted and Bev
And love on:

The beautiful babies at THOGL!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Reading blogs and hearing about things at THOGL makes me SO EXCITED to go back! Part of me wishes June 20 would just get here already! But I also know the next month is going to fly by! I can't wait to meet and love on the 18 babies who are there now.

I found out last night that my flight to Taiwan has been changed. I have mixed feelings about this:
-Completely terrified of LAX.... I've heard it's huge! And I'm kind of directionally challenged, so it's probably a good thing I have over 4 hours between flights!
-Pretty excited to fly Eva Air. I've heard great things about them!
-Disappointed I get to Taiwan a whole hour later than I was originally supposed to.
-Thankful that the flight times were very close to the original flight times.

5 1/2 days of school (with kids), 12 days until summer break officially begins. 3 1/2 weeks until Taiwan!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On their way!

Kelsey and Leah are on their way to Taiwan! Part of me wishes I could go with them, but I am glad to have a couple more weeks my students! Please pray that they make it there safely!

One month and three days!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prayer Request

Three students from my school went to be with the Lord while on a service trip in Costa Rica. Please play for their families, as well as the staff and students.


We pray for blessings

We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom

Your voice to hear

And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise

Monday, May 2, 2011


God is so good! He works in ways I never expected!

I procrastinate. Especially when it's something that I don't want to do. Especially when the things I don't want to do cost money.

So, when it came to getting my Visa, I kept putting it off for several reasons:

1. It was going to cost way more than I wanted it to.
2. I hate getting my picture taken.
3. I really dislike actually going to the post office to mail things. I stock up on stamps to delay trips to the post office.

Most of the time, I regret procrastinating. This time, however, is different.


I don't need a new Visa!

My Visa from last year is still good.... for 2 more years!

I had just assumed my Visa would expire after going to Taiwan once and got the e-mail informing me that it was still good just in time! :-)

Amazing how God can work even in my weaknesses. Looking forward to seeing all the other ways He works and encourages me each day.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Satan knows how to get to me.... plant seeds of doubt. Seeds of doubt about health, safety, finances, travel, anything really. The seeds of doubt turn into worry. Worry turns into anxiety. Anxiety turns to fear.

But the crazy thing is, most of the time I forget to turn to my Father for comfort and peace until it gets to that point of fear. Oh, how I wish I could turn to Him at the first doubting thought that enters my mind! How much trouble and fear I would be kept from if only I would turn to Him.

It's a vicious cycle: doubt to worry, worry to anxiety, anxiety to fear; turn to Him, He gives me peace. Life is good. I forget that I need Him. I desire to be independent and live life by myself. And then, something happens.... something at home, at school, with family, with friends.Something unexpected. It brings me crashing down to fear and doubt. This is when I remember that I am dependent on my loving Heavenly Father who is waiting for me to turn back to Him, to allow Him to hold and carry me, to protect and comfort.

Some verses that He's given me:

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." ~Psalm 34:8

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." ~Colossians 3:15

He's also reminded me of this song my sister-in-law shared with me last summer while I was in Taiwan:

He's Always Been Faithful To Me
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Morning by morning I wake up to find

The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine

Season by season I watch Him, amazed

In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways

All I have need of, His hand will provide

He’s always been faithful to me.

I can’t remember a trial or a pain

He did not recycle to bring me gain

I can’t remember one single regret

In serving God only, and trusting His hand

All I have need of, His hand will provide

He’s always been faithful to me.

This is my anthem, this is my song

The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long

God has been faithful, He will be again

His loving compassion, it knows no end

All I have need of, His hand will provide

He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful

He’s always been faithful to me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

World Handshake Day

June 21 is World Handshake Day!

It's also the day I will be arriving in Taiwan!!!!!!!!! 

I'm just a little excited. Can you tell?!

So thankful for this opportunity. God is good!

Praying for the big inspection THOGL has on April 1.