Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winter Minis for Emily Hope

Another blessed Saturday... Thank you AK Photography for offering to spend yesterday taking portraits to help bring Emily home! Because of Anna Kathryn, her amazing helper Tatiana, and 10 special families, $1,000 was raised yesterday for our adoption expenses! Can you believe our fundraising thermometer has almost reached $30,000?! Unbelievable. I can't wait to see all the beautiful pictures from yesterday!

Thanks again to everyone who has stepped up to help bring home our Mei Mei. We thought the finances would be one of our biggest obstacles in this adoption but because of so many loving hearts, and a God who constantly provides, we are almost fully funded! Makes me want to do it again! I know, I know, let's get Emily home first (that's what my logical hubby tells me anyway). ;-) I pray that we can return the generosity to some of you who may decide to adopt one day. We would be honored to walk with you every step of the way!

This was the last of our fundraising efforts. Since we only have a couple thousand to raise, this will come out of our future savings. We feel confident we'll be able to set this aside in time. Oh wait! We do still have several t-shirts left. We'd love to get these off our hands if you're interested in buying one for $20. Feel free to email me for size availability and other questions ( or click on the t-shirt link on my blog home page (view web version from smart phones).

Blessings to each of you this Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An Amazing Fundraising Event... Fun, Fellowship, and Fire!

Our Orphan Awareness Fundraiser on Saturday was a big success and we have so much to share about this wonderful day!

First of all, thank you to everyone who came out to support us and our mission to bring home Emily Hope. We were overwhelmed by your presence, hugs, words of encouragement, and donations for our cause. Because of your support, we raised $8,018 at this event! Seamus and I prayerfully decided to share $1,000 with (un)adopted. We felt a 10% tithe (plus a little extra) would be appropriate and we hope you agree. Take a look at our fundraising thermometer! (you have to view web version if you're on a smart phone) We are less than $5,000 away from being fully funded to bring home Emily Hope!

Thank you to Garth Thorpe, with (un)adopted, who shared in this great day with us. Your presentation was inspiring and we are thankful for your ministry in Christ's name.

Thank you to Joe Bergeron and some fabulous guys from St. Timothy UMC for sharing your music talent and so much of your time and energy. You guys rocked the square!

Mrs. Barbara from Bebe's Kitchen, the jambalaya was second to none! So many complimented the delicious food.

Evan McGinty, the balloon animals were a total hit with the kiddos! I'm pretty sure you had the longest line all evening. :-) Thank you for the fun!

There are hundreds of people to thank personally. I promise not to do that here. ;-) But if I could just give one more shout out to those of you who... donated, served, cooked, sang, worked, organized, ran errands, cleaned, stocked, sorted, popped, presented, and just showed up... THANK YOU! We are eternally grateful. Please know that each of you played an important role in bringing our baby girl home and even in changing hearts to bring other orphans home.

Speaking of changing hearts... Seamus and I were hopeful to raise a good bit of money at this event for our adoption expenses but this was not our primary goal for the event. We wanted God to be present, for Him to send His Spirit to open eyes to the orphan crisis and soften hearts for the ministry of adoption. This is what we prayed for. And this is what He provided!

After our presentation and lantern release, someone approached me and Seamus to share that he was thankful to be included in our day. Thankful to be included? (clear throat) Thank YOU! Then he proceeded to tell us that He was changed this night. He said when our lantern was released in honor of Emily Hope, "the deal was sealed". God had not only softened his heart to adoption but convicted him so deeply for this ministry that he'd decided he and his wife would adopt a son. Let me share that they do not have biological children yet, nor have they tried. Y'all. There is a generation of younger people so in love with the Lord that they are willing to participate in adoption before their desire to have children of their own. Mind blowing. I told this sweet man that our prayers had been answered. It was clear that God showed up on Saturday and impacted lives. We are forever changed by his testimony after our event. It is an amazing privilege to watch God work mightily in hearts.

So, about the lantern release... Ha! I'm laughing already. While planning the event, we thought it would be a beautiful ending to our presentation to have 50 Chinese lanterns released. Think "Tangled". In came 50 lanterns and they ended up being way bigger and way more difficult to light then we expected. Change of plans. Let's release 10 lanterns. Event nears. Lantern anxiety sets in. Change of plans. 5 will be pretty, right? Brady ends our event with his beautiful prayer and Seamus and Laura release a lantern in honor of Emily Hope. I must admit, it really was magnificent. Lantern #2 approaches, hole in lantern, not gonna' work. Seamus calmly walks to the sidewalk and begins stomping the lantern out. Ugh! All in honor of Emily Hope we are stomping lanterns out? Ha! Shoe catches fire. No really. Shoe catches fire. God graciously puts the fire out and we immediately signal to our volunteers not to light anymore. Phew! The whole lantern fiasco makes me laugh now but it seems uncanny that only one actually took flight. Emily Hope is one. She is one less. One less orphan in the world. I will remember that one beautiful lantern in the sky and it will always signify how Emily is ONE less.

There were a few people who stopped by to introduce themselves to us, as they too are in the international adoption process or have adopted. It was heart warming to meet them and hear their stories. It was even more heart-warming to meet the adopted children.

Seamus met a sweet lady in a Baton Rouge restaurant a few months ago after seeing her baby girl (clearly from China), and introducing himself. Turns out she and her husband also went through Lifeline to adopt a special needs baby from China! I was so excited to see them out there Saturday. I'm pretty sure I almost squeezed their little girl's cheeks off. Sorry, Vivienne! One of our best friends' little boy saw Vivienne and began screaming, "Daddy!! Emily's here!!" How totally stinking cute is that?

Before I close, I just want to reiterate something we shared at the event. If you are reading this and adoption has been on your heart in one form or another, Seamus or I would love to sit down to chat and pray with you about this. We want to encourage you and walk with you on your journey. We can answer questions and share some of our own fears and doubts. If adoption is not on your heart but you realize God's call for ALL of us to care for orphans, we would love to share other ways you can be the caring hands and feet these children need. You can message us through our Loman Adoption FB page or email me at

Thanks again for all your support this past weekend (and beyond)! There really are no words to sufficiently express our gratitude. Just thank you.

Our fabulous photographer for the event was our sweet friend Anna Kathryn of AK Photography. She is truly amazing in so many ways. Check out these pics she took on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Face of an Angel

The face of an angel, no doubt...

We received yet another dose of great news just yesterday. Emily's heart echo came back translated and our International Pediatrician in Birmingham studied the results and called to tell us that her heart is perfectly healthy! Her congenital heart defect has completely healed itself! The only very small concern left is the minor brain atrophy I mentioned in a previous post. They are calling it cerebral palsy but again, it is very minor. She is currently receiving some massage therapy for her muscles and improvement is being noted. Although we don't have a perfect picture of the CP, we do know that it doesn't seem to have affected her cognitive ability at all!

Our hearts are so full. We love this precious girl with all that we are. She is our daughter, plain and simple. She is our sister. She is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. But her real story is not our love for her, rather the love that Christ has for her. It's infinitely greater than our love for her.

This is the face of a child of God who is being redeemed! He has marked her from the beginning of time. She has been set apart, chosen to be a story of His grace. As my dear friend says, "Nothing is wasted". NOTHING. Not even her painful, sinful, heart-wrenching abandonment. God is redeeming this child in mighty ways and He wants the world to see how beautiful and loving Christ is, through the adoption of this child, and through the miracles we are witnessing right before our eyes. What an honor and privilege for Emily Hope. We long for the day we can tell her how God has deemed her an important instrument in His story. We may look at her story as one that is sad and broken and it certainly is, from our perspective. But God is so much bigger than her circumstances. He is taking the disgusting muck of her circumstances and powerfully transforming her life to make it an example of his redemption for us on the cross. Emily Hope, you are one blessed girl to be a mighty story for Christ. Furthermore, you are forever His child. He has made that so clear already and there is no greater blessing than that, sister.

Adoption is redemption. It is a beautiful story and picture of our abandonment because of sin and Christ's loving act to redeem us by paying the ultimate price... suffering death on the cross and separation from His Father. I pray that every time you see Emily's eyes that you are reminded of what Christ has done for us. Let her life tell the beautiful story of who our precious savior is.

Isn't she a total CUTIE PIE?! Eeeeeeeeeek!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thank you to all our Sponsors and Volunteers!

There are an overwhelming amount of people we need to thank! We will happily be thanking people for days, weeks, even months to come. There were so many details that went in to the planning of our Orphan Awareness fundraising event that will be happening on Saturday.

Thank you to Renee Cresap, our chair for the event. I don't have the words to explain how instrumental she has been. God knew Seamus and I couldn't organize it all alone and He so perfectly placed it on Renee's heart at the perfect time. Wow! Thank you, Renee, from the bottom of our hearts. And I know you want ZERO glory so here's to your request... Thank you, Jesus, for this precious friend!!

Thank you to all our precious friends (old and new) who have volunteered to work at our event. There are many, many people who will be behind the scenes and working different tables on Saturday. Thank you!! We love you so much.

We have had many businesses and individuals donate their services as well as items for our auction and funds to pay for supplies. I'd like to give a special shout out to these people now, in no particular order of gratitude. THANK YOU...

Barbara Kellar of Bebe's Kitchen
GMFS Lending
Coffee Rani
Great Harvest
PJs Coffee
OPA Graphics
Bridge Church
New Covenant Presbyterian Church
St. Timothy UMC / Joe Bergeron
Bosco's at Terra Bella
St. Tammany Linen
The Malkemus Family
AK Photography
Pizazz Hair Salon
All Wrapped Up
Bmac Interiors
Simply Southern
Franco's Athletic Club
Animal Care Hospital
Smoketree Landscape
EMB Interiors
Fashions for Kids
The Looking Glass
Smoothie King
Rodan + Fields
Silver Plum
The French Mix
Cottage Antiques
English Tea Room
Kara Klein
Animal Health Clinic
Maria Barcelona Interiors
Northshore Gymnastics
LA Academy of Performing Arts
Dr. Lisa Pellegrini
Melissa Maresma Photography
Bygone Beads
EmbroidMe Slidell
Krista Chance
Matilda Jane
Heidi Bowers Photography
Boh Environmental, LLC
New Orleans Saints
Levey Properties
Sandy Burke
Republic National Distributing Co.
Mike Storms Karate
Hope Richard Photography
Ban Soleil Sunglass Boutique
Cleaning by Misty
Neon Southern Lady

It's amazing to look at this list and think of all the people who were willing to help. We are forever grateful! Please support these local businesses as a thank you on our behalf.

We hope you can all join us this Saturday, from 3-6pm, rain or shine. Speaking of rain or shine, if the weather looks iffy, we will make the call on our venue Friday. If we decide to move it indoors, we will notify everyone through this blog and our Facebook page. If the weather doesn't look great, please check these sources and plan to come regardless of where it's held!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Introducing Emily Hope

We have been eager to share more about our sweet girl. So much has transpired over the past several days and we continue to gather incredible information every day. Many of you have been asking about Emily and we are now able to share so much about her!

Our daughter is 15 months old. She was abandoned when she was 5 days old, left outside an orphanage located in Northern China. This orphanage is called Baotou Social Welfare Institute and it is located in Inner Mongolia Province, which borders Russia. She lived at this orphanage for the first few months of her life. Here, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. She was transferred to another home in Northern China called Harmony House. Harmony House is in Langfang, China, part of Hebei Province. She has been at Harmony House since she was only a few months old and still lives there today.

It turns out Harmony House is an American run, Christian ministry! Many people have confirmed that this is absolutely a best case scenario for an orphan in China. You can read more about who they are on their website. Not only have we received this great news but have had the privilege of being in touch with the director and Emily's caretaker directly through email! Y'all, this is unheard of. So what have these emails told us?

We have received so many pictures from them and I must say... She is the most beautiful little angel we've ever seen. We think she looks like our Anna Grace! Her caretaker says that she is quiet and sweet. She loves to be held and sucks her finger when she gets sleepy. Oh to get my hands on her...

Emily clenches her fists and walks on her tippy toes which are indications of brain atrophy. Brain atrophy can occur if a virus attacks your body or in other circumstances as well. We won't know the extent of this until she comes home. We do know, however, that she is walking and developing in line with other children her age. Her development tells us that the atrophy is likely minimal, or possibly a non-issue all together. It's very rare for an orphan in China to be walking by 15 months (rarely are they even crawling at this point) but this great news confirms that she is being nurtured and not left in a crib all day. Praise God! We are still learning more about her heart defect and are currently waiting to have her recent heart echo translated for us. Reading it in Chinese doesn't tell us much! ;-)

When we first received her medical history, we were told by an international pediatrician in Birmingham that her blood levels showed some cause for concern. Based on her blood panel, it was possible she had a serious virus or worse... blood cancer or leukemia. Through prayer and many tears, we decided that even cancer couldn't prevent this angel from being our daughter. We chose to pursue her and at last, today we received an update that her blood looks fine and there is no reason for alarm. She is perfectly healthy, aside from her heart defect (which we will learn more about next week). Once again... Thank you, Jesus!

Our agency has a contact in China who arranges care packages to be delivered to the children. So you better believe we'll be buying some goodies for her soon! We are able to email her caretaker anytime and will have a list of questions for her soon. She is very sweet, loves the Lord, and is pretty fluent in her English writing.

I know you are all dying to see pictures. My logical, level-headed husband says that his impulsive wife is not to post any pics until we are sure we have "pre-approval". The nerve! ;-) You're probably also wondering when we will get to go get her. The timeline hasn't changed. Assuming there are no hiccups along the way, we will likely travel in April or May. Praying that paperwork is expedited so this little angel can come home soon. Hang on Emily Hope, we're coming baby girl!

Clearly, this has been a week of "WOW"s, a turbulent, emotional roller coaster ride. We are exhausted, my family has been eating fast food for a week, my house is in complete shambles, and guess what.... I couldn't care less. Needless to say, we are elated by all the wonderful surprises we have received over the past few days. This is not what we expected and once again, we give God all the praise and glory for the extra blessings!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MATCHED! Forever Changed.

It is with pure joy in my heart that I am able to share with you that we have been matched with a precious angel. 8 months in to our adoption process, 49 days in the "waiting for a match" phase... on Monday, November 4th, we looked in to the eyes of our Emily Hope.

The Lord has done it again. He has provided. Of course He has. That's a promise he has made... to always provide for those who love Him. He provides despite my daily doubt that he really is who he says he is. Not only has he provided but he has once again gone above and beyond to bless us immeasurably. Our God who is too big to comprehend loves to bless us. He loves to gift us with joy... joy that reflects who He is. Why the creator of this universe loves me the way he does will forever be a mystery.

This precious child was marked by God before time began. She has been set apart. She is our daughter. She is HIS daughter. When I looked in to her soulful eyes, I sobbed. I knew. I knew the same way I knew when my 3 children were born. I knew she was ours as much as Brady is ours, as much as Anna Grace is ours, as much as Bryce is ours. Every doubt, fear, question has been thrown out the window.

We are forever changed from this point on. Things will never be the same. There is no ocean large enough, no legal document final enough, no illness severe enough, that could ever prevent us from fighting for this girl until the day we hold her in our arms.

The beautiful agony begins.

"Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east... bring my daughters from the end of the earth" (Isaiah 43:5-6)

PS- Pictures and more information about who she is to follow soon.