Happiest Kid in the World

6 Mar

We may have the happiest kid in the world. He never stops smiling. We finally got a stroller today so we won’t have to carry him so much. He loves it. He tries to go back and forth with his body to make it go if we are too slow or stop. Lol. He giggles and points at everything. He also finished a 100 piece puzzle in about 1 hour. I only helped a little with the border. Very little though.

I took him to see the fish this morning while Kev went to Starbucks. It was too far of a walk for him. He absolutely loved the flowers. He stopped to touch them all.

Here are some pics from today. We are exhausted. It is 2:45pm and we are laying in bed letting him watch Paw Patrol in Chinese so we can take a little nap.

Our Special Day

5 Mar

I can’t sleep. It is 1:45am. We finally met our son. Our guide told us to expect the worst. There would be tears and he may not come to us. Fortunately, God heard our prayers and prepared Malachi for our meeting. He was all smiles and ready to go with us. Here is a picture of us. The woman on the right is from his orphanage. She is not his nanny. We are not sure why the nanny did not show up. I will ask tomorrow.

We gave him a lollipop shortly after our meeting and he was very happy. They brought him with a backpack of snacks and drinks. Lol. They said that food is how he is best comforted. He takes after his mama. 🙂 He had 2 more snacks before we left. We were there about an hour. Our guide told us to take the goldfish crackers from him or he would eat them all at once and get sick. I guess he doesn’t have a stopping point. Lol

On the way back to the hotel he watched out the window and he loved seeing all of the cars and motorcycles. He had a smile several times during the ride. He sat on my lap as we did not have any other remaining seats. There was also a family of 7 with us in our van. They adopted a 2 year old.

Malachi is able to walk around (short distances). I’m not sure how I feel about it though. The more he walks the more he does not breathe well. The guide seems to want him to walk but this mama can’t stand to see him in distress. I carry him a lot. He is about 36 pounds. The clubbing on his fingers and toes looks very painful. I don’t know if it is.

He gladly holds our hands and is very happy to go wherever we take him. He loves hitting the elevator buttons and he giggles almost every time. I can tell that he is curious of everything and he smiles as he looks around and giggles when he gets excited. We had to go over some paperwork so once back at the hotel we went to an area with a o much time to put them all back up again. Lol. If a ball rolled too far away he would point and be very demanding for me to go get it for him. Haha! After the paperwork we went back to the room.

He was very excited to see his crayons and coloring book. He grabbed it right away and went to town finishing a picture. We brought a small etch a sketch that he thought was really neat. He would draw and erase over and over.

v left to go get dinner. It was recommended that we eat in our room since it was an emotional day but the way he is so excited….I think he would've been fine if we went out.

They told us that they are used to noise (music, tv, etc) and silence sometimes makes them nervous. I turned the tv on to the kids channel for noise. He would look up at it but didn't watch it for long. He was much more interested in his toys. We brought fidget spinners that he doesn't seem to care about. We also brought a battery operated book of first words. It will say the word and then make a noise after each one. He loved it. More giggling.

He is a very compliant child. I'm not yet sure if this is a good thing though, we kept filling his rice bowl and he kept eating. We weren't sure if he was still eating because he was hungry or if he thought he had to eat it. We got green beans too. I would point for him to eat them. He would reluctantly. Lol

We had bath time after dinner. The guide warned us that he was used to showers not baths. She said the big tub might frighten him. Um…no. He was so excited he almost got in with his clothes on. He had so much fun with the bubbles and his bath cups. It was so sweet to watch. He even loved pouring water over his head.

Bedtime was hard. I could tell he was a little scared. He slept between Kevan and I since he is still in a crib type bed I was scared he might fall off the bed. I put covers over him but after about 10 minutes he was total sweat so I took him out of the covers and laid him on top with his own light blanket. When he lays down he starts to cough because I think he cannot breathe well when laying flat. He coughed off and on for an hour. Then, finally fell asleep. No more coughing. He is sound to sleep right now.

Well, I better get back to bed or today is going to be a very long day for me. Thank you all for your prayers. Please keep them coming. Communication is hard.

Hair Adventures

4 Mar

Yesterday, Sunday, I took a bath in the tub in our room and asked Kevan to talk to the hotel staff about my straight iron and how to plug it in. Whether I would need an adapter or transformer. Well, the staff had no idea what it was or what to do. I was highly distraught. The funniest part of this is that it says “made in China” on it. 🤣 Those close to me know that I’ve been a little nervous about what to wear when I first meet our son. I am most comfortable in jeans but I didn’t know if I should wear a dress so I look motherly or what I should wear. I think I’ve decided on the outfit but those that also know me or have followed my blog know that I don’t likeg my curly hair most.

So, we went on an adventure to find a straight iron that would work in the Chinese outlets. I dried my hair as straight as I could with the hair dryer and put it in a pony tail. This sub tropical weather (think Florida humidity) is not helpful to someone with my hair. We went to a few stores but their hair supplies consisted of brushes, combs and shampoo. We didn’t even see hair dryers. One thing that we’ve noticed is that there are salespeople EVERYWHERE! In one department of a store you might have 3 salespersons…..for just toothpaste or razors. They are watching you. Lol

We finally found a young man that seemed eager to help 2 Americans that had no idea what they were doing. We’d been to about 3 stores with no luck. I asked him if he knew English and he replied, “Google Translate” and took out his phone. I loved it. Lol. I typed in hair dryer because most of the women in China have very pretty straight hair. I thought most wouldn’t use a straight iron. If we just found where hair dryers were sold we might find straight irons. He replied, “south tower 5th floor” in English. 🙂

We headed to wherever the south tower would be. I’m glad Kevan has a built in compass. We actually found it and headed to the 5th floor. We found 2 straight irons near the hair dryers. One was 474 yuan and the other was 720 yuan. That is about $79 and $120, I couldn’t pay that much. I’m pretty sure my current one was like $20. We left. I kept praying throughout the night that God would provide me a straight iron. I know it sounds ridiculous but I wanted nice straight hair when we met Malachi. We went back to the hotel for a bit and then headed back out again for dinner. We wandered around for awhile looking for a place to eat. We walked by a pharmacy and I thought we should check for straight irons. Well, we were met by about 5 saleswomen. One was very eager and spoke a little English. She wanted to help us so badly. We found the hair section and they had a straight iron for about $12! I was so excited. Kevan needed a razor so he found one but it was a little expensive so he put it back. Then, she asked us if we had a membership card. Um….no. Lol. She then tried to explain in broken English that if the lady behind us let us use her membership card we could get the razor for cheaper but she wouldn’t let us use her card unless we bought the razor too. Haha! Good saleswoman. Then, she all of a sudden added makeup remover to the items. She said it would bring the price down. We were so confused. Apparently, we had to have a certain threshold before we would get a discount and the makeup remover helped. 😐. I was just happy to have my flat iron.

We found a Vietnamese place to eat, ate, went back to the hotel and changed for bed. It was about 5:30pm. Kev fell asleep at about 5:45. I heard him sleeping and couldn’t stay awake. I fell asleep about 6pm. I woke up from 1-2:30am unable to sleep and then finally fell back to sleep until about 4:30am. Kev slept until about 5:30am. We haven’t slept this much since before Josiah. It was great.

When I got up at 4:30 I plugged in my new flat iron. I didn’t read the box. It is a MINI flat iron. Ugh. It took me about an hour to do my hair and because it is a mini my hand kept cramping up. But I was so thankful for it. 😂

Kev woke up, researched my flat iron from home and realized that it might actually work if he could figure out how to get the larger prong into an outlet. It might explode or it might work. Lol. By this time….my hair was already curling up and getting frizzy from the humidity already. Anyway, Kev forced it into the outlet. We waited. No smoke. No explosion. Lol. Seems to be working. 😛

You are now wondering why you read this post and how ridiculous I am about my curly/straight hair. We are now headed to the breakfast buffet and to an adoption paperwork meeting at 9:30am. We won’t be leaving again to meet our son until about 2:30pm which is in the middle of the night in Tennessee. So, no Malachi posts until tomorrow.😞

Hotel and Vicinity

4 Mar

We checked into our hotel. It took a very long time as we were early and they had to find a room that was clean. They had a king suite but no additional bed so Malachi will have to sleep with us. I am a very light sleeper so we will see how it goes.

Here are a few pictures of our room. The one picture is of the bathroom. You can see the bathtub through the glass. You can also see the toilet. Not much privacy.

We then went to explore. Kev bought a SIM card for his phone so we would have a local number and data while we are here. It was about $30. Then we both got Starbucks coffees. It was $9.50. So, prices seem similar. We walked around looking for a place to eat. We found the best place for noodles and dumplings. So good! We will have to go there again. Kevan also got a mango drink that was really good.

We saw a Walmart. It is like a Walgreens with bedding here more than a Walmart.

We saw many bakeries and ice cream places. We will have to take Malachi back for something yummy.

We bought 2 bread items. One with olives for Kev and one with cheese for me. Too tired a full to eat now. Also, it is about 75 degrees and very humid. My hair is so frizzy! I’m laying in bed now. It is 11:33am here. 9:33pm at home. Going to take a nap.

We made it to China!

4 Mar

The flight was long. Very long. We got up and stood for about 5 minutes every 4 hours. I tried to sleep but in the economy seats it is almost impossible to get comfortable (my back and tailbone were killing me) or to find a place to rest your head without it bobbing. I probably slept about 3-4 hours of the 15 hour flight. Kevan stated how are body hurt perfectly, “it’s going to take about 2 weeks for my butt to stop hurting” from sitting for 15 hours (10,066 miles). 2 weeks….lol…then we get on a plane again and head home. I wore my compression sleeves and my right hand is so swollen. Hope it gets better. I had more lymph nodes removed from the right side. 😞

When we first got on the plane it is so large that I didn’t even feel the take off. There were about 800 people on the plane. 2 levels. 16 exit doors. It was huge. We did have some turbulence but it wasn’t bad at all. It was 12:30am at home in TN when we left and about an hour into the flight they served us dinner. Here is a picture of both of our dinners:

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d the meatballs, potatoes and veggies. I had the fish rice. Fish rice sounded really bad but everyone kept ordering it so I thought it must be good. It was the most non-fish tasting fish I've ever had. Lol. I ate most of the fish and some of the rice. We both ate our fruit (pineapple and melon). There was also some weird salad with ham or turkey AND tuna on it but I couldn't get myself to try it. Kev did but that was it….only tried it but didn't finish eating it.

We were also served breakfast about 3 hours from our destination. Vegetable frittata or seafood congee. A picture is below. We also had 2 coffees each. They were very strong but very good with 2 powdered creamers and one sugar.

ver the captain or flight staff speak they speak in Chinese first and then English. The flight attendants are women and they have full makeup and lipstick on. Their hair is back and parted the same. I'm wondering if all that makeup is required. They look very pretty.

The hardest part of my flight was thinking about Josiah and not having any way of asking how he was doing. I knew what time it was in TN and I wondered if he wondered where I was when he woke up, what he had for breakfast, if he went down for his nap okay and I miss him terribly. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes thinking about him. I love you sweet boy.

We are leaving on a jet plane!

2 Mar

We are at the Nashville airport waiting for our flight to LA. Our large suitcase was a few pounds over the max weight of 50 lbs. 😕 The attendant let us move a few items to our other suitcase so we wouldn’t be charged the $150. Yay!

I haven’t been nervous at all today. Then, when we arrived at the airport I’ve been anxious and my heart is racing. Just the excitement I guess.

This morning my dad slipped in our garage and fell. He his his back on the concrete floor. Prayers for him and that he won’t be in pain. He did hurt his leg. Then, our nanny, Tiffany, hurt her right hand helping my mom move some things. I sure hope it isn’t broken. Praying God heals it 100%! Also, praying my parents, Kevs parents, Josiah and our nanny all stay healthy and strong while we are away. Love each of you so much! Thank you for all your support and for talking care of our sweet Josiah. We meet Malachi in 48 hours! 2 days!!

Trusting God

26 Nov

I am very happy to post that I recently had my 5 year cancerversary.  Praise God that he chose me to live through the journey and for some reason is choosing to bless me even more.  When I look at the last 5 years I’m in awe. I can’t answer why he takes some and ends their journey here on earth but he has healed me and blessed me.  I can only be grateful for his abundant grace on my life.  

Almost 2 years ago he answered the many many prayers for the desire of my heart.  To be a mother.  All those years of heartache.  All those years of crying out like Hannah.  Being jealous of Hannah.  That God answered her prayer but he wasn’t answering mine.  Then, in the blink of an eye my prayer was answered with the most beautiful, amazing, sweet little boy.  I couldn’t have written a better story.  God loves me so much.  I just needed to be patient and wait for his perfect timing.  He was molding me as I was waiting on him.  He was making the greatest story I could’ve ever come up with.

In my last post I announced the adoption of our son, Josiah.  He is almost 2 (time flies!).  I never blogged because I had no time with a newborn.  I was sleepy.  I think I was exhausted the whole first year, but boy did I enjoy it.

We are now on what seems like a very long journey to adopt our son Malachi.  He is 6.  When we adopted Josiah we found out a few days after Thanksgiving that it might be possible for us to be the parents of a baby boy that would be born soon.  We took him home from the hospital on February 7th.  It was so quick.  This is not the case with Malachi.  We started the process in February and we are still waiting for the many papers to work their way through all of the areas of international adoption.  

As I think about the upcoming adoption of Malachi I want to remember all that is in my heart.  The prayers, the hopes and the worries so I can look back one day and be reminded of all the blessings God has provided.  I want to see that God was right.  I shouldn’t worry.  I should rely on him.  His perfect timing.  His perfect will for Malachi and our family.

Questions in my heart…

  1. How will our China trip go?  Will we be able to communicate with him?  Lord, help him to not be scared of his new future.
  2. Will he sleep on the plane ride home and transition well to our time zone?
  3. How will I handle the medical procedures that his little body needs?
  4. Will I be strong enough?  Josiah was burned recently and it was so hard to see my child laying there and in pain.  😢
  5. Will he take his medication or will it be a daily battle?  
  6. Will he be scared in a new country with a new language?  
  7. Will the surgeries give him a long life with no additional surgeries?  Please Lord guide the doctors and please help our son to never need a heart transplant.
  8. Will he be able to run one day and not worry about his heart?
  9. Will we be able to communicate with him what is happening at doctors/hospital appointments?
  10. Will he learn English well?  Please Lord help me to teach him well.
  11. Will Josiah and him be best buddies?  Oh Lord please!
  12. Will he like American food or will I have to make him Chinese noodles every day?  🙂
  13. Will he ever know his birth parents?  I sure hope so.  Lord, please bless them for allowing us to be his parents.
  14. Will he sleep well once he is here?
  15. Will Josiah be terribly jealous or will he love having a new playmate?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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

Nothing is Impossible with God

27 Dec

Wow.  It has been awhile.   Over a year since I have posted to my blog.  I’m still here.  I’ve been a little busy.  [I will get to that in a minute. 🙂 ] My health is great.  I’ve had two oncology checkups and the 5th anniversary of my diagnosis is coming up in April.  I cannot believe it has been 5 years already since my diagnosis.  Time flies.  I cannot believe what can happen in a year of being away from my blog….you are about to find out.  Ha!

So….this happened….. Continue reading

Question for my Breast Cancer Survivor Friends

12 Oct

Dear Breast Cancer Survivor friends who’ve had lymph nodes removed…I have a question for you,

I’ve had lymph nodes removed from both sides.  I have occasional lymph node pain.  Mostly in my chest, armpits, neck and inside of elbows.  It gets so bad I have to just lay flat and work from bed.  I haven’t had it since May and I thought it was gone for good.  It returned last Thursday and I’ve been dealing with it all weekend.  I went back to my calendar to see if there was some connection.  Well, I’ve been on a plane 4 times in the last 2 weeks.  Same as earlier this year when it was happening.  Have you experienced lymphatic pain after flying?  I do wear my compression sleeves when I fly and I’m wearing them today to see if it will help me. I don’t know if I want it to be from flying or not.  I want an answer to this pain, but not sure that is a good answer.

12 Years With You…

4 Oct


I was going to post just a short Facebook post and tell you Happy Anniversary, but since I’m stuck in a hotel for a couple of hours I thought I would spend a little more time thinking about what today means.  We’ve made it through 12 years of marriage.  My eyes tear up when I think about it too much.

Remember when you proposed to me at the Leatherwood Overlook.  We had only been dating about 6 months.  You took me to Hardees the week before and I start bawling my eyes out because I thought you had changed your mind.  Ha!  I wouldn’t tell you why I was crying.  lol!  We ran through the trail because the flies were so bad.  It was a horse trail.  You set the camera up to make sure you documented our special day.  Look how young and thin we look.


We married before my braces.  You loved me even though I had messed up teeth.  lol!  Here is a picture of the 27-year-old girl you were about to marry.  This was our wedding shower that sweet Dottie had for us.


Our wedding day was perfect.  The weather was perfect, the venue was perfect and it was just a great day.  One of the best days of my life.




You are my Knight, my Edward, my Mr. Darcy.


This picture shows just how much we would laugh together.


This picture shows your “original” wedding ring.  Now, you are on your 4th.  The first one was a “loaner” and you’ve lost 2 of them.  lol!  Thankfully, I still have my original.


When we went on our honeymoon I remember freaking out that I had not even known you a year yet.  What if I had made a mistake getting married so soon?  We went to St. Maarten and it drove you crazy that our room had “issues” so you went to the Home Improvement store on the island and bought some things to fix it.  I thought you were crazy!  lol!!  Little did I know that your love to fix things would benefit me so much in our marriage.  You have made me so many things and fixed so many things that have needed fixing.  You are such a blessing to me.

We’ve been through so much.  After 6 years of marriage our marriage almost ended.  We were both being selfish.  I thought it was all your fault until God showed me in His Word exactly how bad I really was and how I was putting myself before Him and you.  I’m so thankful that God got a hold of me.  I can’t imagine my life without you.  I love you so much more today than I did the day we got married.  We’ve learned that love is a choice, not a feeling.  You just have to keep holding on during the hard times.   Keep communicating!

Wedding Pic 2

You’ve encouraged me so much.  From the “first” day I met you you have tried to encourage me.  You didn’t even know me but you knew that I needed encouragement.  You’ve been my cheerleader during our journey through breast cancer and my double mastectomy  I cried and thought I looked like Frankenstein and you somehow could see past all of it.  I don’t know how you did it.  You are amazing.  You loved me without hair during my chemo, you helped me to the bathroom when my legs just couldn’t hold me up anymore and you brought me a bowl when I needed to throw up.  You’ve always been there at doctor’s appointments when I needed you (even when we were dating).  You love me through our infertility.  You make sure that I know that you love me even though I haven’t been able to give you children and make sure to tell me that God loves me even when I feel like He doesn’t.  I pray that God blesses you with a son one day.

We’ve lived in 3 different states and 6 different homes.  We’ve traveled to many places.  We’ve hiked, kayaked, flew, cruised and walked many miles together.   We’ve loved to root for Auburn football and we even had fun watching the Outback Bowl in the cold rain together.  I am so thankful that I got to experience all of these things with you.  You are my best friend.


Our 5th Anniversary Cruise


Outback Bowl


Kevan and his kayak

One of my favorite things about you is that you are my bible teacher.  You love to read and study scripture together.  When I have questions you always try to answer them.  You encourage me to grow in my knowledge of the word and to help others with their study of God’s word.  I know what a huge blessing it is to have a husband like you.

I know that there are little things that bother us about each other, but it is easy to overlook them when there are so many reasons to love each other and when you try to put God at the center.  I hope/pray that we will have MANY more years together.  I pray that we will have a family one day and I will be thankful for the many years we had alone together.  I’m thankful you chose me 12 years ago to spend the rest of your life with.    I love you!!