Monday, December 15, 2008

Though I walk through the valley.....

I'm so glad that He is with me. (Psalm 23)

I'm certain that I'm enjoying reliving our China adventure MUCH more than most folks (wouldn't that be natural?!?), but I must also say that it is so encouraging and faith-building to recall God's awesome work in our lives.

If you followed our journey the first time around, you know that it wasn't all Great Wall mountain top times. There was smog, pollution, poverty, sadness as well. These terms don't just refer to literal things we saw, but what I actually experienced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As we remember, I WANT to remember it all....even the sin that was present in this most joyous time. I WANT to recall that I had to learn that God IS my all in all. I WANT to remember His amazing grace that poured over me in countless ways. In short, I WANT to remember it all!

So come along with me....

We'll start the day after the day Emmy Xiang joined our family.

Then you must go here to read the plug for Jim's blog. Hmm....I'm torn. Do I encourage you to go ahead and read his blog now, or ask that you wait? You decide. Just remember to come back here so you can see how low it gets....and then you can rejoice with me.

This one is just for fun....check out the adorable pictures of Emmy Xiang while at the orphanage and in foster care. I am reminded once again at God's faithfulness to care for her so well. She was obviously loved and treasured. I must continue to pray for blessings and thanksgiving over her birth parents, the orphanage and staff and that sweet family that daily cared for her needs and taught her about family before we were to have her join ours. Sigh.

Okay. NOW, check out this rambling post. This is where it gets real. I must say that this brief expression of vulnerability, as well as in several emails between me and my mom, and my dearest, sweetest friends, Shelly, Lynda, Karen and Jen...and many more...really ministered to me in ways I never could've imagined. Isn't it just so kind of God to allow us to be stretched, but to give us peace through the storm?

Jim got in on it too. Enjoy the post from him and the lovely picture of our sweet Emmy Xiang in her fury.

Stay tuned for the upswing. It got better. And better. And God is doing such a work in me...and in our dear family (even now).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


One year ago, Emmy Xiang joined our family....what an amazing day. What a gift from God. Read on and enjoy remembering with us.

Click below to read the posts of how it unfolded.

We've got her!

Gotcha Day's the scoop!

God is so good.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 .....

One year ago today we drove through the streets of Beijing to the airport, and flew with the kind and professional crew of Air China to Guangzhou. I remember those nice warm towels they gave you to freshen up before a meal. And the airline food in China was WAY better than any small bag of peanuts here in the good ole USA! We landed and were met by two of the sweetest ladies....Grace and Kathy. I am smiling, almost giggling as I type, remembering the way they ran to us and greeted us as if we were their long lost family. "Hello Brown family! Hello!" HUGE hugs all around! We were made to feel so special.

We settled into our very nice connecting rooms at the White Swan Hotel and met with the 10 other families in our group (they were all adopting non-special needs babies....our daughter was the only one in this group older, at 3 1/2 years old, and supposably special needs. Right.) We were handed our (now much coveted) breakfast tickets for the White Swan breakfast buffet. Sigh.

Then, we explored Shaiman Island. We supped at Lucy's, the "American" restaurant for the last time as a family of five and discussed our thoughts together. Then, the next morning, after breakfast we could hardly wait.....

READ ON...follow our journey again. Don't you just love remembering God's faithfulness to us???? I do!

Click here for one year ago today and then click here to see pictures of Guangzhou and a few from Shaiman Island...more pictures on the Island later. And then go here to read about the morning before we met our daughter. God is so good!

Monday, December 8, 2008

More One Year Ago's!

Another "year ago" post. Since our last post, we have toured Amsterdam, arrived in Beijing (click here for the city slideshow), toured some historical sites and watched a Chinese acrobat show. Today, however, we climbed the Great Wall and visited a Jade factory. Hope you enjoy reminiscing with us!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Four score and a hundred years ago...

Ok. So it wasn't that long ago! :) But, one year ago today, we were leaving for China! Go here to see what we said yesterday last year. Then visit this place to see our wacky rescheduling and here for Mammy's update.

God has been so kind to us and has blessed us tremendously. We could never have imagined that our Princess' transition would have been so smooth. Thank you all for your prayers for us in this journey.

Stay tuned for more of these "one year" anniversaries!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving week...better a late than never?

It's been a whirlwind of weeks lately. We've been to the State Finals for Cross Country, enjoyed a week with our family in the Tampa area, rode some rockin' roller coasters at Busch Gardens, ate WAY too much yummy Cuban food and Thanksgiving goodies and even stopped in Crawfordville to visit with my sweet nephew for a few hours. Whew! I'm tired just remembering it all.

Our Katie (ladybug) did very well at State, earning a new personal record time of 21:59. She was pleased and we were excited for her. It was such a nice way to wrap up the season.

Enjoy a few photos of the week (more with comments to come later, Lord willing):

Hmm....upon looking through these I noticed we didn't take ANY pictures with BeBe and Poppy! How did THAT happen?!? I'll call Sis (my dearest sister-in-law) and get a few random pics that she took. Anyway, even without pictures to prove it, we love our family in the home of the Big 'Mater! Had a great time....