Monday, December 28, 2009

Wanda

Last fall I received an email from my mother that told about lots of things from the past - a time with no credit cards, most phones were on party lines, people sitting on the front porch, boys on bikes delivering the newspaper and on and on. It made me miss my Grandmother so much. Her name was Wanda and whenever I need peace of mind I just start remembering life at my Grandmother's house. I spent a lot of time there as a child and I so wish she was here and my children could know her. I wrote the following after reading my mom's email and just felt like sharing with you.




My Grandmother

My Grandmother was born in 1906. If she were still alive today she would be 102. Her name was Wanda Elizabeth Lynch. That is why my oldest daughter's name is Heidi Elizabeth. Life at my Grandmother's house was easy and peaceful. The first thing you did after opening the door into the kitchen was go straight to the frycake jar. Frycakes are donuts but better. I still look for frycakes that tasted like those but I haven't tasted one in over twenty years. My grandmother never wore pants. She had house dresses and good dresses. Good dresses were mostly for church or the occasional wedding or party. My Grandmother never drove a car and did not own a TV until her daughter bought her one in 1957. Of course that was black and white. My mother tells me that before they had the TV they would go to a neighbor's house to watch the Arthur Godfrey show. Imagine a neighborhood sharing a TV today. Most families today don't even have to share one TV. I am proud to say that my family of six does share just one TV. My Grandmother was part of the Ladies Aid ( they made quilts I think), the Rebekkah Lodge (I have no idea what they did), she taught piano lessons out of her home, she was the choir director and the organ player at her church. Every Easter the men from the church would haul the piano up onto the back of a pick up truck and drive it to the cemetary. We would be there for sunrise, the real sunrise. We didn't just call it sunrise service and make it a more convenient time. We got up in the dark and drove in the dark and huddled together as we watched the sun make it's appearance. My grandmother use to get up on the back of that pickup and play that piano and sing "The Old Rugged Cross". Sometimes when I think of these memories my head spins at how different life is today. I can feel an ache and a longing that I have learned to accept as part of who I am. My mother and her siblings went to a one room school house - several different grades in one little room, warming their soup on the woodstove for lunch. Sounds heavenly to me. She walked to school and carried her books and her lunch with no back pack and no ipod - imagine that! When I was little my Grandmother use to give a dime to my cousin and a dime to me. This was a lot of money for her to part with and she would have never sucked it up in the vacuum cleaner thinking that it couldn't buy anything. We would walk with our shiny dimes down to the corner store. The floors were wooden and the storekeeper knew us by name. There was a glass front case with penny candy and a small chest freezer with popsicles and fudgesicles. A dime allowed us to get a frozen treat and FIVE different pieces of candy. We were so happy walking back to our Grandma's house. We were content and happy without a care in the world. I use to sit for hours and play canasta with my Grandmother. This game could go on for days and often it did. We would set it up on the dining room table and eat on the TV trays or on the front porch, the side porch or the little kitchen table. The side porch was often where we would eat our lunch, the front porch was for afternoon snack and a rest. Grandma would say "come on dear, let's sit a spell." So we did. We smelled the peonies that lined the front walk, we watched the neighbor Virginia work in her garden, the neighbor boys being boys and the occasional car go by. We were in no hurry to get anywhere, there was nowhere to go. We were present to the moment and we didn't have to meditate or read ten books to know how to do this. We would shuck peas and drink lemonade. The TV was not on, we didn't have the radio either. We just litsened to the sounds of life. Sometimes though we would use the TV trays to eat our dinner and watch TV. We never wondered if this was bad for us or if we weren't connecting as a family. We just thought it was fun. Popcorn was the standard evening snack. If I was there she would holler from the kitchen "dear, I will put butter on it since you are here, I normally don't". I have my doubts, I am pretty sure melted butter on the popcorn was a regular thing at Wanda's even if she was all alone. We would always put the leftover popcorn in the gas oven and the pilot light kept it fresh for the next day's snack. After playing cards or watching a little TV we would go to bed. she always prayed on her knees. She had two twin beds in her room and I would kneel with her next to her bed. She prayed aloud with just a little light coming from the bedside. Her version of a night light was a hankie over a lamp. A fire hazard I suppose but we never thought about that. I can see that room in my mind instantly and just the memory of it comforts me. Chenille bedspread, windows that looked onto the front porch, a bible and a jewelery box on the dresser. Simple but cozy. She never called pajamas by that name, they were night clothes. She wore an apron as part of her outfit and only removed it if we went somewhere. Sometimes she even forgot and would wear it to the store under her coat. Going somewhere meant getting a ride because my Grandmother lived almost twenty years beyond her husband and still she managed to have a beautiful and full life without driving or owning a car. Her common phrase for children was "Bless their heart." How come nobody says this to me anymore???? What a beautiful thing to do - bless someones heart. The last time I spent the night with my grandmother was about eight weeks before she died. I was a junior in highschool. It was January and I just felt like having a sleepover even though I was now in the world with my own car, a job, a boyfriend and lots of social committments. I called her and she said "come on over, dear, I'll be here". That was the last time I would ever hear that. We had frycakes and played canasta. I drove her to the store myself. We had dinner and I sure wish I could remember what it was. We watched a little TV and popped some corn. She never said "do you want some popcorn", she would just get up from her rocking chair and say "I think it is time to pop some corn". We drank faygo soda and ate the popcorn out of the blue melmac bowls one last time. When it was time to put on our nightclothes and pray, she said "come sit beside me on the bed dear, my knees are aching me tonight." So we sat side by side on her chenille bedspread with our hankerchief nightlight. And we prayed. The next morning came and we got ready for church. She let me wear a special pair of earrings from her jewelery box. She told me to keep them. She had never done this before out of the countless times I had sorted her jewelry box and played dress up with my cousin. I was happy she gave them to me but something inside knew. I drove her to church where we sang and prayed some more. We came back to her house and had a snack and then it was time for me to go. We hugged goodbye. A month later she was diagnosed with cancer and another month later she died. Time has not healed this loss I have just gotten more used to it. She missed my graduation from high school and college, my wedding, my children, my whole adult life. She would have added such a richness to the lives of my children and they have missed out on something they don't even know. I hope somehow that there is a part of me that reflects her and they can feel the strength of a woman they never knew. Last August while looking out the screen door at my family celebrating my mother's birthday my Aunt took me aside and said she had never seen this before but she had to do a double take when looking at me. She saw me standing at the door and for a moment she saw her mother. She looked again and still she saw it. She came inside and still she looked at me and saw her mother. Do I need another compliment the rest of my life? I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So exciting....





See this little girl with her Daddy? The first one is the second day that Lilly met her Daddy and the other is two years later at a friends graduation party playing with their new puppy. Our life is now full of these wonderful simple moments. We get the privelege of seeing life again through the eyes of a child.

Is their anything better than a little girl and her Daddy who adores her?  Or a mother who loves you beyond the sky? Or an entire family who will be there for you ALWAYS and FOREVER?

Keep reading to see how you can help make this happen for more precious children.

It's happening. Not in avalanche style the way I would prefer but it IS indeed happening. We need YOU to open your heart, read the post at http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/
and then donate whatever you can. And I mean WHATEVER. Every single penny matters. The word is spreading and the miracle is in progress. If you are reading this right now then please take the few minutes to go to http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/ and read the post there. Then use the Chip In button to the right of the post to make your donation.We will then send you a book and an invite to the private blog. Some people have not been able to make paypal work or don't want to register their credit card or debit card. If that is you then please send me an e-mail and I will give you a regular old snail mail address to get your donation to this project. And if you want to help but need to wait until after the holiday rush then please know that this project doesn't end on December 25. It NEVER ends. The blog will then be moved to another address and we will keep the miracle project alive so PLEASE keep spreading the word.
YOU can make a difference.
YOU can ask your kids to be a part of this and you can read the private blog together as you watch families meet their children for the first time. Your kids can know that they helped to make it happen. Won't that impress something so huge upon their hearts and souls?
YOU could have a bakesale, your kids could shovel snow or you could hold a garage sale. Their are tons of ideas and we need your support, your prayers, your love and most of all ....your ACTION. It is so easy to be moved or inspired and sometimes that ACTION piece is where we falter. My grandmother use to say 'God moves mountains, you better bring a shovel.' So bring your shovel and help God move the mountain between a child and their family.
Thank you so much! Now go to http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Christmas Miracle

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday from Lilly and her Mommy!
We are dreaming of a Christmas Miracle....will you help us?


First a little about me, Lilly's mom: I live in upstate New York. I have been married to Scott for just shy of 20 years! We have three biological children. Joshua soon to be 19, Heidi 16 and Gregory 15. In December of 2007, Lilly Grace KeXiu joined our family. Lilly was born in China and we were blessed to adopt her. We are now dreaming of adopting more children. This time we are planning to adopt two biological sisters from Ethiopia.

I have long been dreaming about a way to help people overcome the financial burden of adoption. The other night I prayed that I would be shown a quick and easy way to make this happen. I prayed on my knees at the side of my bed as my grandmother taught me when I was a child. I prayed to be able to provide for our next adoption as well as our dear friend who is waiting for her referral of a little girl in Nepal. I also prayed that the idea would be big enough to help another family I had yet to meet. I sensed this family would have an urgent need for funds in the next few weeks. I have long believed that if you want something you first must find someone else who wants it too and help them get it. In this process, miracles happen and everybody's dream comes true.


Here is one of my dreams come true!

Soooooooo.............I awoke the next morning to this idea before I even opened my eyes...compile an electronic book with the stories of families who have adopted. They would each write their own story. I would tell 'The Story of Lilly' as well. The stories would be sold in e-book format for $10.00. With social media this idea could spread far and wide and fast. The goal would be to inspire others with the stories. Inspire them to adopt, sponsor a child, pray or donate money. The funds would then go to help people adopt. It seems that money is so often the thing that stands in the way for people. MONEY SHOULD NEVER BE THE REASON CHILDREN DON'T HAVE A LOVING AND FOREVER FAMILY.
That is just crazy to me! Yet, I know $20,000 - $30,000 is daunting to many. We received some loans from some kind hearted individuals while preparing to go to China. We were incredibly grateful for this but it was  a big burden when we got home and had to find a way to pay it all back. I kept dreaming of a way to help others with the GIFT of money. No strings attached.


Should a face like this have ANY strings attached?

We are ALL called to care for the orphan. You  may not be called to adopt but you are still called to do something. How about purchasing a $10 book and changing the course of many lives. If we can get this to spread like wildfire than we can place more children in families than we can even imagine.

And this is the Christmas Miracle.


Lilly Grace on Christmas day 2007. She had been living in an orphanage just two weeks before.
Now part of a circle of family and friends who adore her.
FOREVER

I am putting the call out for stories. Your story. Stories of adoption, how you were inspired, the dreams, the fears, the finances (notice how I put money right after fear...hmmm), the miracles, the LOVE, the joy...............just your story and how it has changed you. We aren't talking about award winning literature here............whatever pours forth when you sit down to share your story will be perfectly perfect. If you are adopted and have a touching story about that and how blessed your life has been as a result than share that too!!!!

So this family with the urgent need showed up here: http://www.ifwehavefaithofamustardseed.blogspot.com/ They need to raise funds by 12/15. I would call this urgent! I have e-mailed with this lovely Mom for the past 24 hours and she is totally on board to tell the story of their previous adoption from China in an effort to get their son home from Nepal and help others as well.

The stories are pouring forth and the ones I have tomorrow night - December 8 at 6pm - will be in the book.
The idea is growing into doing this each Christmas season....bringing as many Christmas Miracles as God allows. After all.....Christmas is all about the birth of a baby!!!!!

So what do you think?
Would you be willing to share your story with others?
Would you be willing to help spread the word?
What are YOU willing to do?
There is a blog for this project and I will post this request there as well. That address is http://www.thechristmasmiracleproject.blogspot.com/ and there will be a paypal link to download and buy the book by the end of the week.


Joy to the World!!!

How far can this idea spread? How many miracles can happen? I can't wait to find out!
Look at that sweet face above....how many of those faces can we match with a forever family?

Will you be part of the miracle?


With Abundant Love, Great Expectation and Infinite Trust,
Kimberly and Lilly

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Lilly Grace KeXiu - China December 2007


Can you feel the love?

Daddy holding his Lilly

Sharlyn - truest bluest friend and lover of the Lilly Bean

Could we get any happier with this baby chosen for us by God?
The perfect match maker.

Sleeping on Mama's chest.
Home at last.
Lilly was born in our hearts in December 2004....(thank you Lisa Ling and someday I will say that in person and give you a giant hug for inspiring me to take bold and immediate action) 10 months of paperwork and 2 years of waiting after the dossier was turned in and then the call and then the frantic packing and then the 14 hour plane ride and then the other families (a blessing beyond anything I had ever, ever imagined), and then The Forbidden City and then the Great Wall and then the second plane ride
out of seven total flights
and then........................................
Lilly Grace KeXiu was placed in our arms and we fell in love in less then an instant.
She has brought more joy, more love and more laughter than seems possible for one tiny little girl.
People say she is lucky and I feel myself bristle.
It is not lucky to be born to a mother who can't keep you, a mother who has no money and no hope.
A mother who carries you for 9 months and gives birth to you and then wraps you up and places you on the steps of a factory to be found by a worker while she hides nearby and waits
 and watches to see if someone brought you to safety.
A mother who will most likely never recover from this loss.
This is no kind of luck.
Lilly has a story that she will have to find peace
with as she grows up.
There is no way to tell how this early part of her
life will impact her.
But please refrain from using the lucky word.
Scott and I however are blessed, BLESSED and
blessed. Over and over again. Each day, each moment as we have the PRIVELEGE of being her parents.
God chose us for her and her for us and that is something I
fathom at all the time.
Her birth mother's greatest loss is our greatest joy.
I pray for her each day that somewhere in her heart she feels a peace and a knowing that she and I are a team and OUR daughter is thriving and growing and learning and giggling and so, so happy.
She lights up the room with her presence.
She inspires others to adopt with her story.
She is already changing lives and hearts and she is not even three years old.
Imagine what is in store for her.
My sister is adopted and we have always called the day we brought her home her 2nd birthday.
I love that.
So..... Happy Second Birthday Lilly Grace.
Happy Homecoming.
I love you sooooooo much.
You are the bravest person I know.
You are the miracle.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Would I be correct in assuming that some of you do NOT come here to this blog to hear me ramble on but to see pictures of this precious and amazing child? Well, if that is you then today is your day!
Here is your Lilly fix...I may even post more photos of her later, but for now it's off to take lunch to the big brothers - one is at work and is too busy for a break and one is at school and forgot.
Do they EVER call their Dad when they are hungry????
Nope, never.
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