July 29, 2007, was a Sunday morning we had just landed in Hong Kong the night before then got up early to catch our flight to Fujian. One would have thought we would have been exhausted but we were too excited to think about being tired. I remember Jeff saying the first time he really "felt" like he was in China was when we landed in Fujian where outside the door the Chinese flag was flying. We got checked in then Jeff and Nick headed down to the market with our guide to get some things we might need. While during the waiting Jeff had a vivid dream of a long walk coming up to a small waterfall, wouldn't you know the almost exact same waterfall was at our Lake Side hotel in Fuzhou??? We soon headed downstairs to meet with our guides then shortly heading back up to the 3rd floor to meet our girls. I have never passed out in my life or became light headed, but I tell you have have NEVER been so nervous in my life. I can remember being light headed and my legs shaking so bad I thought for sure I was going to drop. Once we sat down my legs were shaking uncontrolably. Then enters a middle aged woman carrying a child, I wasn't sure, was it Lily??? They brought her in and took some photos of her and the lady, I sat there thinking how adorable she was!!! After a small mishap Lily was handed to us and immediately started screaming. All the photos show a little one very upset who was very attached to her Foster Mom, for that we are grateful. It was a rough first few hours, Lily finally fell asleep from exhaustion, but suprisingly the next morning she seems a little more relaxed, with Nick and daddy that is, and within time warmed up to me too:)
I cannot tell you what a blessing she has been to our family. She just fits in so perfectly, she can be rough and wild with the boys, cuddle with her daddy, twirl around when she has a new dress waiting for compliments, then wants lipstick on like mommy. Everything we ever could have wanted, thanks to God's timing and his perfect will. We are truly Blessed!!!!!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 1:53 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
We had such a great weekend!! One of our travel families, Michael, Gina and Miss Olivia came for a visit over the weekend, there seems to a be a bond started!!! Although the girls have been around each other in the past they have been too young to really play. We wanted more of a home setting where they could be themselves and have time to really play and get familair with each other. Our hopes are that as the years go by all the girls will know the special bond they share. Of course we ate too much and were all exhausted by the end of the weekend, but so worth it all. Thanks for such a great weekend guys!!!! Enjoy the pictures!!!!
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 7:22 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
I just received this email from a friend, and although I have seen it before it still brings tears to my eyes. God does speak to us, do we listen? I had always wanted a daughter growing up, I would name her Morgan after my maiden name, but strangley after the birth of my two boys the desire was gone, I became content with our family of four. God had another plan though, he had spoken to my husbands heart and he was listening, thank you Honey. It was a few years later, never dreaming my daughter would come as I was reaching 40, but what a blessing we have received from "listening to God"!! Oh by the way she was just a "Lily" from the start.
"A young man had been to Wednesday Night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, 'Does God still speak to people?' After service, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, 'God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.' As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest
thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, 'God is that you?' He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. 'Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.' It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home. As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, 'Turn Down that street.' This is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection. gain, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, 'Okay, God, I will.' He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed. Again, he sensed something, 'Go and give t he milk to the people in the house across the street.' The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. 'Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.' Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, 'Okay God, if this is you, I will go tothe door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here.' He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, 'Who is it? What do you want?' Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. 'What is it?' The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, 'Here, I brought this to you.' The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, 'We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.' His wife in the kitchen yelled out, 'I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?' The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers."
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 11:10 AM
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday it stormed all day!!! Think we got about 4 inches, electricity went out for a few hours and lightning and thunder so loud it made you jump. I honestly do not remember storms like this in a long time!!! Enough Rain!!!
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 8:22 PM
Friday, July 11, 2008
I decided this post would be about Lily's big brothers Blake and Nick.
Blake will be turning 20 on July 23rd and is currently working for a construction company while going through his 4 year training program to become a carpenter. He works hard sometimes getting up at 4am to start off his 10 hr day. He is so amazing with Lily and she loves him so much, there are even nights after a long day of work he will watch her if I have a meeting to go to. So many evenings we will just hang out and the boys will entertain Lily, the music will be going and they will all be dancing around acting crazy. Lily loves for Blake to throw her in the air and raise her to the ceiling so she can crawl like spider man!! She also likes to see Blake jump and touch his toes, she thinks this is hilarious and also likes for him to be "the bridge" so she can climb under him.
Nick is 17 and is going to be a senior, he loves soccer and works part time for Verizon, think he is gonna be quit the salesman, he just won an envy2 phone and even gave it to me, what a kid!!! Nick also gives up some of his summer time to babysit for Lily. He always let's her sit on his lap while he is down loading music and they both just jam away. LOL Nick also as alot more energy then the rest of us, so Lily is thrilled when he plays chase or hide and seek throughout the house. Lily has had a special bond with Nick since gotcha day, she preferred him over me for the first several days in China, and he was wonderful with her.
I cannot tell you how proud I have been of them, they are so wonderful with their little sister and love her more then I could ever have dreamed of. Most nights even though Lily is in bed asleep they have to peek in to give her a little kiss goodnight, just warms my heart so much. It has been such a blessing to see this bond between them grown and I know one day they are going to be AMAZING dads!!!!!!
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 6:20 PM
This is an insert of Jim Houser's blog today who is Steven Curtis Chapman's assistant. Steven, sons Will and Caleb will be perfoming tonight in OshKosh WI for the first time since the accident, PLEASE keep them all in your prayers.
So, now you know... the three appearances that have been confirmed out of the hundred plus invites the Chapmans had. As of now, this will be all. Perhaps 1 or 2 others... but perhaps, no more interviews in 2008. Today's "major" post... Why? Why go through it? Why do these?
These appearances were cautiously, carefully, and prayerfully considered with input from the family, pastors, counselors, and Steven's team. Though you have heard about them in the space of this week, they have been discussed, pondered, prayed over, and planned for several weeks now. And yes, it's no coincidence they hit in the space of the same week, we're trying to bump into people we might not normally see.
The Chapmans didn't seek these appearances. But when these many opportunities came, the discussion centered around the opportunity to use them to remember and celebrate Maria, to thank the tens of thousands who have sent condolences as well as the the hundreds of thousands or more that have prayed for this family, to highlight adoption and orphans...
and most importantly that the Hope of the Gospel be proclaimed.
It's our hope that this is what will be accomplished, that as many as possible will be reached, especially those that would not hear of it any other way... and we seek your prayers as the family endeavors to do so in these interviews.
Also, I know many of you ache to see them, to see for yourself if they are ok... I hope you'll be encouraged.
In 14 years in the music industry, it's only been a handful of times an artist I've work alongside has appeared on an outlet as large as Good Morning America. The reach is amazing, the people associated with this program are stellar in their professionalism and abilities. And yet... I wish with all that is in me I was not meeting GMA host, Robin Roberts, on July 21(airing in August)... Not under these circumstances.
And though I studied journalism in college and remain fascinated with it, I would choose not to be in the same room with journalistic icon Larry King on Aug 7th... Not under these circumstances.
And for that matter, our quotes and Steven's photos in People Magazine seen all over the world, and again via an interview on July 14, fantastic... no, not now... Not under these circumstances.
Friends, God did not let us choose. And this is how it is. And so we walk on, hoping to honor Him as we do.
I've just shared some critical dates with you. Do pray, will you please?
I type from a bus headed north to Wisconsin for the first show since the accident. An overflowing e-mail inbox, malfunctioning iPhone... and questions in my head keep me awake. How will it feel? Did we wait too long? What will he say? Is it too soon? Will Will and Caleb be able to play? Will he be able to sing? to finish? Is it wrong to have fun? How is Mary Beth doing? These roll through my head for God tonight.
I'm certain that we've prepared and sought counsel and prayed as well as we can... and am believing that now is the right time... and that God has led us and what He for this weekend of shows is just as it needs to be for each of us.
I'm trusting Him to get this family through. So... the Gosepl better be true.
I've said that to God countless times over these last weeks.
I trust that it is.
Pray on friends."
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 9:24 AM
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
A big thank you to Diana for the blog make over, I love it!!!! I really wanted something to show Lily's personality and this is perfect. Cool thing too, I found out Diana lives not too far from me and I am hoping to make it to one of her digital scrapbooking classes she offers.
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 8:47 AM
Saturday, July 05, 2008
We had a very busy FUN filled Fourth of July!! Lily got to go to her first parade, the sirens did not phase her at all she was too busy eating candy!!!! Daddy said is was a holiday so she could eat as much as she wanted and I was shocked when she took a nap. We then when to my parents for a cookout and fireworks. It was a little cold to swim although Lily didn't seem to mind and the other kids jumped in the bigger pool later on. Blake and Nick enjoyed riding the motorcycles most of the day, which always make me nervous, I even took a short ride and ok, they are fun!!!! The following day we went to Lisa and Eric's house for a cookout, it was so much fun. The kids seem to have a great time as did we, and it was fun to see Ava, Lily, Becca and Graham together. We are tired now, but had such a wonderful weekend!!!! Enjoy the pictures!!!!
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 9:22 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Seems like our Lily is starting to act a little more like a toddler then a baby:( She is starting to be really be independent, starting to "role play" with certain toys. She loves being outside and has learned how to open the backgate, she will just wave good bye and wonder around the yard, so serious, like she is really going somewhere. She is also getting use to her sandbox but prefers not to sit in it. She is showing a little of her attitude while eating her popsicle, it's so funny she will give you the brows down look, then turn around open her eyes wide and just smile, girl is full of personality!!! And lastly, her convertible bug car, is she cool or what ???? Thank goodness we have a few years before she's driving especially since she prefers to go in reverse. LOL
Posted by Jeff and Amy at 8:50 PM