So Thankful

My heart (and belly) is full.

We are so blessed.  Wow.  Seriously – do you ever have so much joy that it feels like your heart is really swelling?  Well, this is one of those moments.  Don’t really know why — just know we have so much to be thankful for…

  • Being with Julia and her new family and seeing them get to know each other.  Beautiful.  The end of one journey and the beginning of another.  I need to write a whole blog post about the Julia story, but for now I just want to say that when you get to see a child go from brokenness to wholeness, you’ll never forget it. There’s nothing more beautiful.  And, I’ve seen Julia make that journey.  She has a long ways to go still, but this looks like healing.
  • Watching Julia’s new parents interact with Julia’s foster parents with more grace and mercy than I think I’ve seen anyone else ever muster.  The foster parents really love Julia, and they are already grieving the fact that they might not see her again, and Julia’s momma and daddy are handling it beautifully… to the point that the foster parents say they now have peace about what’s ahead.  I love the fact that Mark and Michelle’s hearts are big enough to have room for all the other people that are part of Julia’s story. Not everyone does, and seeing it is inspiring.
  • Cooking for 150+ people, many of whom were having their very first Thanksgiving!  Jacob made the mashed potatoes, and I helped make the gravy and stuffing.  Oh, and one pumpkin pie and a pan of cornbread for the stuffing.  It was a lot of work, but I love sharing the holiday with the students in our language school.  They’re so cute and enthusiastic as they try new foods.  Even though we miss having the holiday with family back home, I almost enjoy Thanksgiving in China more.  It seems more in the spirit of the actual holiday — not just stuffing ourselves and watching football.
  • The foster home madness Thanksgiving meal.  Imagine nearly 30 toddlers in a small room being fed a BIG meal.  Wow.  The decibel level alone is enough to send me running for cover.  But the chaos is great in a way… so many little ones enjoying their very own Thanksgiving feast.  I love that we do it “right.”  We don’t scrimp or cut corners.  They get the real-deal, complete with homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  A roomful of orphans being treated to a lovingly-prepared feast — I think that’s what the Kingdom probably looks like.

  • Watching our Chinese village friends enjoy sweet potatoes prepared American-style, complete with a marshmallow topping.  They licked the bowl clean.  And they say they don’t like sweets… The kids aren’t the only ones who like Thanksgiving…
  • Our family… we got to talk to almost everyone in the last couple of days, including most of our grandparents and even some of our aunts and uncles.  On a related note, I’m also thankful for Skype.
  • I’m thankful that our somewhat harebrained idea (Scarlet Threads) has actually gotten off the ground this last month.  It’s been a lot of work, but we so believe in its potential and we’re excited about what the future holds for our ‘lil company.  Thanks for helping launch it… it would have been a spectacular failure if it weren’t for you guys.
  • And finally, I’m so thankful for you!  Our blog friends!  You are amazing.  You pray for us.  You encourage us.  You give to us… care packages, donations, sweet notes.  You get involved in what we’re doing here.  We’re so blessed by your gifts and your love and your prayers.  Thank you for enabling us to be here because seriously friends, if it weren’t for your encouragement and support (financial, prayer, and otherwise) – we wouldn’t still be here.  So thanks for letting us do this. 
So, Happy Thanksgiving!  Even if you aren’t American and aren’t celebrating the holiday, we’re still sending these wishes your way… after all, everyone can use a day of gratefulness.

8 thoughts on “So Thankful

  1. i went to my neices What a spread! Turkey – ham -oryster casserole – mashed potatoes&gravy all kinds of pies & desserts with every bite i am thinking “Why” why do we stuff ourselves and people especially children go hungry in third world countries?? “I'd love to change the world but i don't know what to do” (10 years after)


  2. What a beautiful list. Thank you for loving on Julia for so long….the love she received all these years has made her who she will become.

    Thank you for preparing that meal for the preschoolers. I have a picture of Mya partaking in that meal last year, while we waited! Complete with a feather headband!


  3. I'm thankful for you this year and the many things you do to allow so many of us to really feel like we have a home at a foster home for kids on the other side of the world.I'm sure there are days when keeping up with it all feels like the weight of the world! I'm SO thankful for every little bit of sharing you do!

    And….I woke up to pictures of my favorite Chinese kids having thanksgiving. It was a very special blessing! Wish I could have been there!

    I am so thrilled to hear that Julia has been joined with her family…but will miss seeing her beautiful smiling face on the blog!!!


  4. I'm so glad you're enjoying Thanksgiving! For me, being away from home on the holidays was always the worst. I'm thankful you have been able to celebrate with your “family” in China and chat with your family here in the States via Skype. I've been following Julia's story on Michelle's blog, and I am SO touched by the little glimpses I'm able to witness there. I'm sure the “real thing” is oh so much better! Once again you've come up with a great list! 🙂


  5. The part where you said 'I think this is probably what the Kingdom table looks like'…total chills!! …good ones, of course! 😉

    This was such a beautiful post. I love your thankful list and that you were able to share this special day with so many great people. And I'm glad you were able to witness all that Michelle and Mark are going through… they have such a heart for Julia's foster family and I can see how genuine and tender they are. We are praying for God's grace to sustain everyone during their time of grieving and bring them healing and peace in their hearts. Such a beautiful future Miss Julia has to look forward to!! 🙂

    And we are LOVE'in our Savannah apron, BTW. I will take a photo of Breanna modeling it soon! We were so pleased with the details, including the nice packaging and fast shipping. I can't wait until the kids line is produced, so I can order a matching one for Khloe…gotta have my girls matching while I can!! 🙂

    I am so grateful for YOU and Jacob and all that you are doing on behalf of the orphans. I find it hard to even call them that, when I know they are in such a good place at ND. But the reality still cannot be denied. We are just blessed to be a part of bringing one more child home. I'm glad that Khloe was able to enjoy this Holiday Season with all of you and I'm so grateful for the photos… by this time next year, she will be in all of ours!

    Love and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya


  6. Thanks Carrie for sharing the photos and about your Thanksgiving holiday. Yes, I believe that is what the Kingdom will look like. I thought about the kiddo's several times during our family gatherings. I am so glad they are in a loving place while they wait to find their forever families. Hug them all and kiss them too!! I can't wait to see their little faces when their Christmas gifts arrive!! Blessings!!


  7. I love the thanksgiving feast! Especially since I celebrated with about 130 kids and almost as many parents at the kindergarten with Steffi this year. Fun chaos. We didn't have any Chinese over for thanksgiving this year–we usually do. I'll never forget one comment, “These pies are made out of what? Squash and nuts? You make pies out of squash and nuts?” Made me realize that EVERYONE can find some other culture's food strange! BlessedMomof5


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