I have been blogging/journaling for almost six years now. When we left for China in September 2006 to adopt Eva, I had a Baby Jellybeans website. I slowly gained some followers and have made some great friends along the way. As the years passed, I "met" so many more wonderful people in blog land. I know I probably will not meet most of you, but I think of you often as well as pray for you.
One of my dreams is to pack up the kids and take a tour of the USA, visiting all the wonderful people I've met in blog land. Some of you, I'd love to meet, but just don't know where you live. Others, I do know. So, here is my would-be path. You know that I'd love to stop by your house for a day or two.
I'd start off in Virginia and head south, stopping in North Carolina to meet a couple of ladies. One lady in particular was such a sweet encouragement to me when our adoption in 2009 turned heartbreaking. In the same city, lives one of Ivy's orphanage friends. I'd keep heading south making a stop in Georgia to see another of Ivy's friends from Zhongshan. Heading into Florida, I'm sure to stop on both coasts to see a June 2005 DTC buddy, another sweet blogging friend who shares a name with my daughter, and a mom to a whole lot of testosterone.
I'd slowly make my way across the south, seeing sights I've only read about, making stops to more families along the way in Alabama and Texas. Then, while I'm heading into the Southwest, I'd have to make a stop to see a friend that I "met" while blogging before we adopted Ivy, then had the great pleasure of meeting her as well as her sweet children in Guangzhou in 2010! Since then, I've had the privilege of praying and fasting for this family during difficult times. I'd love to meet up with her again one day.
I've always dreamed about going to California. So, when we had a 12-hour layover after adopting Ivy in San Francisco, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it, even if I was in a sleep deprived haze.
One family adopted a daughter last year from Joy's orphanage. We've actually spoken by phone and exchanged quite a few emails. She has been an encouragement to me during some struggles, and I've said quite a few prayers for her during her adoption. Another adoptive mom lives nearby. Her daughter is also from Zhongshan, and they sent me a DVD of their tour of the orphanage! How thoughtful is that!
Moving up the Pacific coast, I'd love to make a detour to Alaska. I met an adoptive mom in 2006 through our Jellybeans sight. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with cancer. My heart just ached for her as I prayed for her healing. Her treatments were successful and she is enjoying life with her daughter and son near the beautiful city of Anchorage.
It seems Ivy has friends from her orphanage everywhere. She has 2 friends from Zhongshan living in Canada that I'm sure she would love to see! She remembers Grace, but Ping was just a bit younger than Ivy. We would definitely have to stop in Wyoming to see the sweet family who adopted Ivy's friend that I advocated here on my blog a couple of years ago.
Heading through the Midwest are some more fun-loving families who love the Lord and answered His call of adoption. I can imagine my girls swimming with Piper and playing games with Mya or Grace! Moving on to Ohio, close to where I grew up, lives another kind family. While I was advocating for one of Ivy's friends, she contacted me. Although, she didn't adopt Ivy's friend, she did adopt a beautiful daughter a year later. God used Ivy's friend, to bring their daughter into their lives. Another Zhongshan family is in Ohio. They have an amazing family that I'd love to meet! I love the whole big connection of adoption.
Somehow I'd have to manage to swing down to Tennessee. I met two ladies in particular during our paperchase in the winter of 2008. One, I met personally when she stopped by on her way to a doctor visit at a university. The other I've exchanged some emails with, and she recently returned home from adopting her own "Jack".
In the Northeast are a few families I've "spoken" to before. One of Ivy's friends is in New York. She is a firecracker that we intended to adopt. But, God had other plans. By the time we were ready to send in our LOI, this family in New York had already made her their daughter. It is all well, since I see how perfectly Ivy fits into our family. In Massachusetts is our adoption agency, CAWLI. I loved how efficient this agency was. I'd definitely use them if we ever adopted again.
I'd probably finish up our whirlwind tour in Maryland. There is a special lady there who just recently returned home from China with her daughter. Amazingly, the condition they thought she had from her medical report, is no longer her special need. I met Holly while adopting Ivy in 2010 in Guangzhou. She took my favorite picture of me and Ivy at our last breakfast at the Victory Hotel.
I wish I had spent more time getting to know Holly, but we both had our hands full. I'm so glad she contacted me once we got home. She looks like a lot of fun. I'd love to spend about a week at her house hanging out on the farm, milking cows, playing with her kids. On her recent China trip, she took the time out of her extremely busy schedule (she took all of her kiddos) and bought me some tea! I am amazed by her kindness and generosity.
There are times that I want to just quit blogging. But, I'd miss my blogging friends and the "fellowship" we have with our common link of adoption and Christ. Thanks for being my blog friends. Thanks for the prayers. I can think of many blog friends that I have not mentioned, but I just don't know where you live. But, if I did, I'm sure I'd make a stop to your neck of the woods. One day.
Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri