Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Project 52 {Week 18} -

{Week 18} April 30, 2016 ~ Orlando, FL

I used to look at planes flying overhead and wistfully sigh to be on that plane....
after getting back from China, it's changed a little bit. ;) 
Seeing a plane always brings a smile, but I'm kind of glad to be on the ground....
instead the wistful sigh is of China, and the beloved children I left there. 

Kimberly & Ben have been married 1 week today!! Isn't that crazy?! 

I can't believe today is the last day of April 2016. 

On to May.....

~ Jean Marie ~ 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The China Sessions: 6 -

* I originally posted this on Instagram for Martha's Birthday 3 days ago, 
but I wanted to share the story on here as well, because of how special it is. *

On one of the last days at the orphanage, Martha, our PA team member, Anna, and our translator, Gary, 
came into my baby room to do an assessment on a few babies, and for half an hour, Martha wasn't needed as a Team Leader.

There was a lightness in her as she sat down on the mat to play and hold.
She made the rounds, kissing little fingers and exclaiming over victories and loving on the babies.

A few moments later, as I was cradling Joel in my arms who was having a meltdown moment, 
I looked across the room from the window and saw my nän hái, my CJ, cradled in her arms.

Cheek to cheek, he pulled back to look at her and the hugest grin crossed his face.
He looked around the room for me, and when he found me smiling, he snuggled closer into her.

Forehead to forehead, I could see her lips moving, and knew she was speaking over him. 

Tears filled my eyes and love filled my heart. 
Then she was singing to him.....she knew he was my boy. 

Never have I ever felt the strength and connection of the family of Christ more than in that moment.

Suddenly I was struck that what I felt was as if we were at a family reunion and my 
favorite Aunt had just scooped up my son and was doting on him; was really SEEING him for the first time.

It was SO REAL. 

And then I blinked and it wasn't true. But it was real

Because this is God's heart for adoption, and this is God's heart for His church and people. 

"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God..." ~ Romans 8:16

A knowing so strong that it IS REAL: that we are family because our Father ties us together.
We are His Beloved, and He holds us all close and calls us daughters and sons. 

It was one of the most special moments to watch Martha with CJ, and I'll never forget it. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Project 52 {Week 17} -

{Week 17} Saturday, April 23, 2016 ~ Ben & Kimberly's Wedding was today! 
All the love. All the emotions. All the grace. All the joy. All the celebration. 
And they're off on their greatest adventure: Married Life!!!! And Happy Honeymooning. Today was glorious. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kimberly's Wedding is TOMORROW -

Way back when in California, my Daddy & Mama had a sweet baby girl who weighed 8lbs. 

They named her Kimberly Roth. She was adored, loved, cherished. 

They also had another little girl (with red hair this time) in 1988 after they moved to Florida. 
She became fast & forever friends with the first baby girl. 

Life was really sweet at the condo on the beach, memories of sandy, salt water life, 
shuttle launches, growing up into little girls and feeding the peacocks filled their days. 

Then they moved to our house with the big lawn (and here we are still). 
We lived our sweet and beautiful and wondrous and laughter filled childhood here in the sunny yard. 

We always had hugs, cuddles, kisses, songs, prayers, crafts, food, playtime, and safety in the arms of our parents. 

We had visits from our beloved Grandparents (whom we've missed very much this week). 

We also had new Easter dresses every year. 

We traveled to many states and made many (colder) memories. 
We loved every minute with our beloved family!!! 

And then we all grew up. Life went by really super fast. 
We still love being together, laughing together, sharing together. 

And tomorrow Daddy will take her hand and give it to Kimberly's love: Ben. 
They will marry tomorrow. We are overjoyed (and also really emotional). 
(Mrs. Serven's photo!) 

That little baby girl is all grown up, wise in wisdom and lovely in stature, precious, pure, redeemed.
That little baby girl is getting married tomorrow and I can hardly believe it. God is so good. 

To all the joys there could ever be, is what I pray for Ben & Kimberly. 

Because we love our first baby girl with all our hearts, and love that she has found her own beloved one. 

And we can't wait to one day (Lord willing) meet her first baby girl too 
and watch her grow up in a Home of Love like we did. 

Happy Wedding Day, Kimberly & Ben. 

We will love you both forever. 

Love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Project 52 {Week 16} -

{Week 16} Saturday, April 16, 2016 

Kimberly is getting married one week from today. 
This time next week, she'll be at the airport about to fly away with her love. 
The joy is intense. 

But so is the missing. 
Thinking SO much about family these last few weeks and how blessed 
we've been to know ours, and be deeply loved by ours,
and how they will be in our hearts one week from today as we miss their presence. 

"And when the night is new, I'll be looking at the moon, but I'll be seeing you." 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Kimberly's Bridal Shower -

On a lovely Saturday, February 6 (yes, haha. China interrupted my blogging), 
our dear friends Mrs. Drobnick & Laurie threw a Bridal Shower & Brunch for Kimberly. 
It was so fun to be with friends who we've known for a long time! 
The shower had the most beautiful touches that were perfectly Kimberly, 
and it was such a blessed and lovely time together fellowshipping! 

 Mrs. Drobnick pulled out her silver, and plates & napkins that were so romantic & vintage!

Such delicious muffins! 

Lemon Cream Cake Truffles by Laurie. 

Notice the Abby Girl who I captured inside my arms while taking this photo! ;) 

Mrs. Drobnick is the Rose Queen. 
She is an amazing gardener and the shower was full of flowers!

CANNOT handle how grown up Laurie's girls have gotten. 
Yes, C is almost as tall as I am, and a sweet teenager now, 
and A I am teaching 3rd grade Sunday School! I love them so much. 

I've always loved the Drobnick's Home and always will. 

Everything was soooo lovely! 

And this, YES, is Laurie's oldest: M. She IS as tall as I am. It's unreal. I adore her heart. 

Mrs. Drobnick led us in such sweet devotions from the Bible and 
encouragement of what a Godly woman is from Jonathan Edwards (Kimberly's favorite, haha),
Bill Piper's tribute to his wife, Ruth, as well as from some Puritan writers.

It was impossible not to feel the history and memories catching up with us in that moment,
and I cried through half of it, haha, because the faithfulness of God is so real and true. 

So beautiful and no one we'd rather hear it from than our dear Mrs. Drobnick. 

 Talking a little bit about shooting the proposal. ;) {Thanks Laurie for taking these!}

Kimberly talking about meeting Ben and falling in love with him, and the proposal. :) 

 Gifts were opened and passed around. 

So many sweet gifts!!! 

We were overwhelmed by everyone's generosity! 

Lots of laughing among dear friends.
 Especially when Mrs. D. & Mama & Miss Kitty are sitting next to each other, haha. 

Kind words of encouragement and hugs. 

Group photos! 

The Original Homeschool Moms. :) 

Somehow....we all showed up in the same color of blue. ;) hahaha. So hilarious. 

SO excited for my Sister!! It was such a dream come true to have a bridal shower for her,
and it was suuuuch a great kindness of Mrs. Drobnick & Laurie to throw it for her! 

"Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages." ~ Psalm 125:13 

So blessed to SEE the faithfulness of the Lord in this new love story God has brought about between 
Ben & Kimberly, and also rejoicing in the many ways these ladies have encouraged us through the years. 

Thank you so much, Mrs. D & Laurie!! 

Kimberly & Ben wed in just 8 DAYS. It's surreal and I can't believe it's all happening SO fast. 
Every day, it's ALL THE FEELS ALL THE TIME. Haha. Sooo many emotions and busyness! 

We're so excited though!!! We can't wait to hug many family members & friends who are coming! 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~