I live in the south and I love so many of the beautiful trees and flowers that grow here.  Not only are the plants and flower amazing, but their names are as well.  Magnolia, Camellia, Clementine, Rose, Lily, Azalea, …

The Willow is one of my favorite.  My Grandma Sara had a Weeping Willow in her yard on the canal where she lived for many years.  She always had a yard full of wondrous plants to explore, feast from, sit beneath, and smell.  I loved watching her willow tree blow in the gentle breeze.  It was peaceful and welcoming and happy.

This word brings peace to my heart and joy to my soul.  It floods my mind with beautiful memories of childhood with my grandmother and so many special experiences we shared.  So it is with great love, meaning, and excitement that we have chosen this name for our newest daughter.

You heard me right!  This opening of southern plants and special memories is the announcement for our coming daughter’s arrival!  Our sweet girl has waited 10 years in China for a family.  TEN YEARS.  Can you imagine?  Her birthday is next week and she will be 12 years old.  We hope to send her news of our coming in the hopes it will change the trajectory of her “wait.”  Some people say it’s too early, that she will have to wait too long for our arrival.  But after waiting for 10 years with no end in sight, I hope that waiting these next months knowing there is someone who already loves her and cherishes her and wants her and who is COMING for her will make it a new kind of waiting.  An excited end-in-sight waiting instead of years-long hopeless waiting.

I have revived my China adventures blog in order to share the “adventures” of the coming months as we pursue Willow.  I hope also to share more about our life since coming home from China, the different kind of “adventures” we pursue everyday in living life with our beautifully complicated children.  I hope you will follow us, support us, pray for us, and stand in AWE as we are of what God has done in our lives.  We are as surprised as any at the direction we have been taken and we are so thankful for the opportunity to be His hands a feet – to pursue the lost, to bring hope to the hopeless, to serve the forgotten.

I wrote a poem to share our “Surprise!” with my parents and I want to share it with you.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.  Much love.