Monday, February 28, 2011

There's Good News...and There's Gooder News!!!




Physically adopted...

now eternally adopted!

That's what it's all about!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Friday, February 25, 2011

LOA x 2, Baby!!!!!!!!!

God is so good! We are totally surprised and blown away by His plans!
Kasidi Joy and Kennah Janae, your mama and daddy can't wait to hold you!

Both Hands ~ One for the Widow and One for the Orphan

Check out our Both Hands projects on Facebook!

The Faith of Children

When we got home from Kinley's post-op visit last night, this was in our mail~
We received an unexpected gift and a card two weeks ago that said, "Our 3 kids wanted to give all they had saved and any spare change they could find in the house and car. Then they came up with a plan to raise money over Valentine's."

Today, this is the result ~ $333!!! From children. Children who love the Lord. Children who are living out His love. Children helping raise the ransom for two Treasures in a distant land. Children who realize our money is NOT ours!
Thank you, precious children for reminding us His love has no boundaries!

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."
Luke 10:21

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Your Fault

There is someone very dear to me who seeks someone to 'blame' for us adopting. I mean every.time.we.adopt. It's not necessarily about the children or where they are from, as it is a lack of understanding.

Why would we choose to put ourselves through that? Why would we want more children? Why would we make life more challenging than it already is?
Who would make us do such a thing? Is China calling us? (Ya'll know how funny that is?!?) Is our church a cult? Have we been brainwashed? And on and on and on...

Oh, it's got me to thinkin'.

Jesus, it's my fault ~
that you had to die on the cross!
that the human race needs salvation!
that crime exists.
that there are over 147 million children orphaned.
that we desire comfort more than radical change.

No amount of 'good' I do will change the fact I am a sinner in need of salvation. No amount of knowledge I have of you necessarily means I have a relationship with You. But because You first loved me, I am able to love. And I will follow You.

So, it's Your fault!
(and I love You for that!!!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

In The Mail!

Our Both Hands project is in full swing!
Yesterday our Team gathered to stuff envelopes, and tomorrow there will be nearly 600 letters hit the mail!
What exactly is the Lifesong/Both Hands project?
It's an incredible Scriptural concept to extend a hand to the widow and the orphan, based on James 1:27.
The family (us) selects a widow (the project) to lend a hand to. In our case, we have two widows (meaning two projects!).
Then we recruit a Team. We have 12 Team families.
The Team commits to do 2 things ~
1) Send letters asking friends and family members to sponsor them as they work on the project. It's sort of like a charity golf tourney or a walk for the cure, except our project is extending one hand to the widow and one to the orphan, as Scripture commands us to do.
2) Spend one full day working on each project.

How does this benefit the family?
All funds raised go into our account at Lifesong, to be disbursed as we need them for the adoption of our two Treasures, Kasidi and Kennah.

What does our project consist of?
We will spend a day at the home of each widow. There is an extensive list of tasks, all coordinated by our project foreman, Brad. We will trim trees, landscape, plant grass, replace a garage door, replace eves, replace two sinks and counter tops, build a patio cover, install a porch swing...among other things. It's going to be amazing, and we are so blessed to have the opportunity to extend a hand to two beautiful women who love the Lord!

In the sidebar of our blog you will find a "Donate" button. If the Lord leads you to give to this project, you may use the Donate button which places your tax deductible contribution directly into our account at Lifesong.

Our team, which includes two elementary students and a teenager who are sending their own support letters! This picture represents at least one member of each team family, except two who had scheduling conflicts (we missed you!)
To Him be the glory!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tale of Two Ladybugs ~ The Rest of the Story

It all started in late November, about the time our dossier went to China. At first it was a thought, and then a prayer and a question: Were we to adopt two children at the same time?

We did what we do when we don’t know what to do – gave it over to the Lord.

My heart was set, but Clayton’s not so much.

So here’s his story~

When Connie first came to me and asked if we could seek the Lord in bringing home two children, I immediately put up a wall.

After all, I had said, “We are done,” before we started the process to bring Kasidi home. I agreed to pray about it and said I didn't want to wrestle with God; it’s too hard! I know He wins.

But as I walked out the door, I told her, “I’m going to go wrestle with God; if I come back limping you’ll know I lost. “

In searching, I sensed I could say yes. I thought we could handle it. But is this really what God wanted?

The answer I kept getting was, "My will is my Word." Which led to more questions ~

Did He want us to say yes?

Why would we say yes?

To prove we can do this?

To exalt ourselves?

So I sought godly counsel.

It was a constant battle. On the one hand I wanted to say yes…but yet I didn’t. I began the conversation with, “I really don’t want to do this.” I received godly counsel, and it seemed to convince me I didn’t have to do this. I didn’t have to say yes.

Seeking the advice of other believers helped in that it gave God a chance to prove to me that He is the one in control.

One of the parties said, “It’s not door #1 or door #2.” I thought and thought about that as I worked each day, and I began to see that God opens and closes doors in our walk, and THIS door was wide open. What am I supposed to do with a door that is wide open except walk straight through it, trusting that as I step over the threshold God is going to guide and provide.

I could see the door. I could see Him inviting me in. I could see walking through the door. I thought about the fact I fully surrendered my life to Him 14 years ago when I accepted Jesus, but today I wanted to re-define surrender. I wanted to limit what it looked like. I had to think back to when I accepted Christ, realizing He died for my sin, and now I can freely serve Him with all of my life.

In my mind and heart I made it through the door, but in the back of my mind I always knew that He may not allow us to have another child. He wanted us to say yes, but that may be the end of the road.

At this point there was not a second child. I surrendered with the intent to bring home another child, but if God intended to close the door, that would be the end.

This was a three month prayer process.

He obviously did not shut the door. We now have Kennah!

As I look back on the entire process, He took me from the point of saying NO to now eagerly wanting Kennah home. It’s a picture of my whole life. I was a man running from Him, and He transformed my heart to embrace Him and want to fulfill His purpose.

So we made the decision, and what does that look like? I am struck by the fact we will have ten children. That should be frightening enough. But in the weeks following the decision, God has affirmed His plan to add two children to our family by granting peace beyond understanding and boundless provision…as only He can!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to Know ~ Why Increased Costs?

Here she is!
I want to share the whole story with you...all the amazing things God has done and continues to do. And I will. But today I know you'd just go straight to the pictures :)

...whose orphanage bed will soon be empty - oh, praise you Jesus!
Those eyes!
She is not in the same orphanage as Kasidi Joy, but she is in the same province! And she turns 3 next month, which will be the last birthday without her family.
And this Mama will never again refer to her as 'the reason for increased costs.'

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:21

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Princess is in Her Castle!

What an amazing day! Thank you for praying for our girl!
We were to report to the hospital at 5:30 a.m., plan for a 3-hour surgery and an overnight stay.
After an hour and a half Dr. Miller came out to report the surgery was finished and Kinley had done so well he was releasing us to go home - yippee, Jesus!!!

The room is cold, the loopy juice hasn't kicked in and Daddy's tired.
What a trooper! She woke up with, "I love you, Mommy," and was happy to see Pillow Pet Puppy had been prepped for surgery cuz he wouldn't let her go alone!
Skip the Jello, skip the Sprite ~ just take me home!
Daddy packed up 'everything but the kitchen sink,' and we rushed home to surprise the waiting Krowd.
Miraculously, she's not fighting the splints. In fact, she kinda likes being spoon-fed by the Queen, waited on hand and foot by the King and entertained by the sibling princes and princesses.
And now, if you will excuse us, we are taking our royal selves to bed because we are headed back for a post-op visit tomorrow. But we are home, praise the Lord!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweetheart of a Deal!

Our Wild Olive Tee fundraiser is still going on...but only for 2 more weeks! If we sell 20 more tees we get more $ per tee! That's more $ to help pay the ransom we need.
Only 20 more!
Choose from ~
Love Others in black
Love Others in Brown
and Hope
Family code: JOHNSON1119
Ya'll have ordered a ton of tees to help us out and we THANK YOU!

Valentines and No Chocolate for Lil' Miss

It was a very special Valentine's weekend:
~Kuyler came home for a visit
~The dad and mom went to an awesome Sweetheart Banquet (alone, together!!!!)
~Suhhhhweeeet news from a distant land.
~An a.m.a.z.i.n.g. unexpected gift toward our adoption expenses (gotta share that later)

My precious Valentines ~ all ready for school and preschool
They love it when Mom makes them stop and pose as we're running out the door - can you tell???

But... Miss Kinley Grace gets no chocolate...yet.
She goes in for cleft-related surgery tomorrow morning at 6.
Please pray for her tiny self, Mama and Daddy, and the sweet families taking care of the rest of the Krew.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know, it's not technically Valentine's Day yet. Consider it me being early for a change - hey, it could happen!
Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day!

Soon, very soon, we will get to share a special Valentine with you...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can't Think of a Title

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Proverbs 25:25

We love Kennah too!
Really like Kennah Janae
Kennah ~ (greatest champion - okay whatever)
Janae ~ (God has answered)

Just sayn' ;-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just For Kicks...

Check out the poll on the sidebar.
Any suggestions on a middle name that means patience, perseverance or faith ...and goes with one of these names?

Let's Help Bring Keliah Home!

Look at this beautiful darlin'!
Her name is Keliah.
Her birth country is China.
But her home is here.
Her family is praying and fundraising.
And waiting.
They've waited 4 months to get their home study.
Now they have it!
Only problem, they need the rest of the funds to send it to CIS.
This is possible for God!
Would you like to make an investment with an eternal return?
Matt and Mandi are holding a gift card fundraiser/giveaway that ends March 1st.
Let's help them bring Keliah home!

He Continues to open the floodgates of provision!

We need to take a moment to praise the Father, the One who continues to provide! We received a call yesterday that Lifesong has approved us for an interest-free adoption loan, should we need it!
Our next set of fees has been supplied already. Maybe the Lord is going to provide all we need through the Both Hands project? Maybe another grant? A fundraiser? Only He knows.
But we are so grateful that this $4,000 loan is available to us! We praise the Father and thank Lifesong!

It's been a couple weeks since I asked for updates in prayer requests. I'm still praying for your requests. If you have additional requests or updates, feel free to comment or email me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Standing in Awe!

I just don't have the words to describe this place we are in! We've never doubted that God would provide everything we need, but we are in awe that He continues to open the floodgates of His blessing.

We decided if He provided $50 in our camera fundraiser, then we would praise Him for $50. But God! He provided over $1600!!!

What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all!...
Romans 3:3-4

Thank you again to everyone who gave so generously. This money is not for us; it is for the Lord's use in bringing our Treasure home. You have invested in a Treasure that will bring an eternal return!

We are so grateful for what the Lord has done and so excited about what He has yet to do!

I've mentioned our Lifesong/Both Hands project. In the weeks ahead I will share more about it with you, but generally it is Scripture coming to life. The concept is based on James 1:27, and it is a way to extend a hand to the widow and the orphan!

Our family has the privilege of serving two beautiful widows in our community (2 projects!), and as we spend a day fixing up their homes, each of our team members asks for sponsorship, wherein all the funds raised for sponsorship go into a Lifesong account to help bring Kasidi home. How cool is that?!?

We had a meeting last Sunday afternoon to recruit our team members, and to our astonishment, we have 14 families on our team!!! I know these folks love our Krazy family...but they also love the ladies we are ministering to...and most of all, they love the LORD!

We have tentative dates for each project, and we'll be super busy with preparations, so we are asking for your prayers. We want to honor these godly women; we want to please the Lord; and we want to cause awareness to the needs of the orphan and the widow. And no doubt, we will have the time of our lives working hand in hand with some amazing people! Just wait till you see the fun we have!

Monday, February 7, 2011

And The Winner Is...

After an extremely scientific drawing method... was determined the winning ticket belongs to...
THE POLKADOT PLATYPUS! Please contact me asap!

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for investing in our precious Kasidi Joy by participating in our fundraiser. We knew God would have to show up big time...and He did!!!! Thank you for responding to His prompting. We stand in awe. After the cost of the camera we needed $1,500 to cover a fee for a very specific and special purpose, hopefully this week! Here's the breakdown ~
PayP*l contributions (35 entries) ~ $1,965.00
Other contributions (4 entries) ~ 350.00
Blog/FB posts (30 entries)
TOTAL $2,315.00
Less PP fees ~ - 51.15
Less camera cost ~ -700.00

TOTAL left for fee $1,563.85
That is the hand of God!!!! To HIM be the glory!
And thank you all!!

Canon Rebel Drawing at 11:30 a.m. CST!!!!

I'm just as excited as ya'll are! God has shown Himself big time here!
There is still time to get in!

Friday, February 4, 2011

This + This = That! (update!!!)

What does this...

...have to do with this?
On Monday our Canon fundraiser/giveaway ends. The only problem is we are still $475 short of even paying for the camera.
Even knowing the economy, knowing it's the month after Christmas, we felt this fundraiser was the right thing to do, and for a specific purpose which I can't wait to share with you ;-)
Thank you to everyone who has contributed or posted about the giveaway!
Monday's coming, and as for that...I have faith God is going to show up in a big way!

Would you just look at that chip-in??? We started this day with $225 in it...and as of now it's at $1,010!!!!! That's the hand of God! Thank you for your overwhelming response to our fundraiser/giveaway. We are blown away, yet again!

Canon Rebel T1i ~ Is It Yours? (smart phone entries)

Susan asked if she could enter from her iphone. Yes! If you go to, you can go to my account: and contribute whatever you like. It won't show up on the Chip-In, but you will be entered, and the funds will be in our Paypal account.
Also, by entering this way, you may check "personal" and "gift" and P*ypal won't take any fees - which just leaves more to bring our Kasidi Joy home!
Remember a few months ago we gave away one of these bad boys? My friend Lori won it and says she loves it!
We've added a Chip-In button to the sidebar for this event running from today (January 28) to Monday, February 7! We've kinda chilled out on the fundraising, but since our costs have increased, we've been considering doing this for a while...
For each $25 contribution, you get 1 entry.
For each $50 contribution, you get 3 entries, etc.
For each blog and/or FB post, you get an additional entry.
Post our button to your sidebar and get an additional entry.
Please leave a comment or email me to let me know you've posted or linked.
To Him be the glory!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Do We Respond?

Do you notice that when the Lord asks you to do something out of the ordinary you get a variety of responses?

Does it seem we often try to put God in a box? When someone is on fire for His plans which are so totally beyond our comprehension, do we try to extinguish the fire? Why?

Because we just don't get it? Because He is silent? Because we aren't listening? Or is it because we've lost our first love? Is our relationship with Him more like a well-worn chair that has conformed to our body - and heaven forbid we should move outside that comfy spot? Or does it just make us feel better to tear someone else down?

This response quenches the Spirit, and it can be expressed in words and actions.

In reality, everything we have, from our money to the very air we breathe, belongs to God.
Will we use it like this...
...or this?
I'm so grateful that God extends an open hand instead of a closed fist to each of us!

The next time someone attempts to extinguish the fire the Lord has placed in your heart, look to Him for the strength to persevere and the grace to keep walking.

And the next time a brother or sister is on fire for the Lord and His plans...

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Eph 4:29

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lifesong/Both Hands

Amazing news! Lifesong has allowed us to post a Donate button right here at our homeplace, One More Ladybug!

If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution to our adoption, you can use the Paypal Donate button on the sidebar, and the funds will go directly into our account at Lifesong. And did I mention it's tax deductible?!?

Lifesong will keep track of all donors so we can thank each of you personally. They will keep our account open till March 30 or 3 weeks after our project date.

Thank you for praying for us!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lori's Amazing Gift Card Giveaway!!!

My friend Lori is raising money to bring her two boys home from China. She's got an amazing gift card bundle giveaway going on now! It's the gift everyone can use!

Welcome to Waiting!

As CCAA prepares to close for a week to celebrate Chinese New Year, we wait. We are waiting on good stuff and even gooder stuff.

You'd think I'd be better at this waiting thing. But darned if, in my human-ness, I am so impatient.

The great thing about waiting though is it gives us a chance to slow down, even stop, and really listen to the Father. He's proven that His plans are so much better than even my wildest dreams, yet sometimes when it comes to waiting I'm desperately seeking the fastest route. No more! He is molding me, weeding the garden of my life, setting the rhythm of my heart to beat in tandem with His, opening my eyes and preparing me for His plans.

Waiting is a good thing...

We are waiting for our guests to arrive on Thursday.

We are waiting to see how our Canon fundraiser does.

We are waiting to hear about seven grant applications.

We are waiting for Kinley's surgery on February 15. Note to self, as I pour her Coco Puffs and chocolate milk, she is not supposed to have chocolate or caffeine for the next 14 days!

We are waiting to set a date for our Both Hands project.

And I'd love to post pictures....but while we're waiting, we'll be looking for the camera charger :(

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