Welcome home, Mandy!

Our beloved friend, Mandy Potter, arrived home on Nov. 5 from seven months of mission work in South America. The entire Potter family is sooo precious to us, and not only did Steve and Kari (Mandy's parents) allow me to drive with them to the aiport to pick up Mandy, but they invited Andrew and I over for their family dinner the next night, on Nov. 6.

Abigail has been looking at Mandy's pictures on our fridge for many months now. She pointed them out without me saying anything. She'd carry them around and kiss and hug them. She somehow knew how special this Miss Mandy is to us. And clearly, Mandy was already becoming special to her. So it was really fun for the two of them to finally meet. :) Here she is hugging Mandy's picture on Mandy's birthday - Aug. 22! This was not planned, just something she wanted to do. Wow.

Abi hugging Mandy on her birthday before she got to meet her.
Welcome home, sweet Mandy!

Mandy on the left, Abi in the middle with Uncle Steve, and Amber on the right. (PS: I can't handle how stinkin' cute Abi Mei is with her head-top ponytail!!) The beautiful, beloved Kari is missing from this picture as she is the one taking it! We will need to remedy that next time. :)

Us and Mandy. Queue song: "Reunited and it feels so good..." :)

Big hug for Uncle Steve!

23 months old

Our beautiful daughter turned 23 months old on Nov. 7. It's hard to believe in less than a month, she'll be two!

Abi says several words now, which is exciting! Baba, Mama, Yéyé (grandpa on dad's side), Nǎinai (grandma on dad's side), Popo (grandma on mom's side), baby, puppy, Ada (her weekly playdate friend), bear, ball, uh-oh, yummy, yea, moo, ruff-ruff, water, walla ("finished" in mandarin) and I can't think of what else. But she understands so much more than she speaks. I can ask her just about anything, and she responds to be what I'm asking like, "Where's your toothbrush?" "Grab your shoes, let's go!" "Are you hungry?" "Would you like some water?" "Can I have a hug?" "Can I have a kiss?" etc.

She has gained a lot of momentum with using her right arm and hand. Our occupational therapists are great, but most of all - Abi is super-smart and catches on quick. :) And yes, I'm biased. :)

She is running a lot, can climb the stairs well and go down them good too, she's kicking the ball now rather than just rolling or throwing it, and she likes to color more these days as well. She especially likes to sit at her little desk and color. So cute!!

Abi also loves her mama. :) We are buddies, and I often call us "thunder and lightening" because we are so much the same. She is intense, extreme and everything she does is with all of her heart...the good, the bad, and the ugly. :) I know I'm raising a revivalist and world-changer, and I hope she'll let me follow her around the earth someday. :) 

Abi loves her baba too. She says his name many, many times throughout the day. She is often looking for him, and we'll look at his picture so she can smile and see him. Sometimes we'll pop into his work, which is always fun.
Abi is a very happy girl and she has a super-fun personality. She is always laughing at us or with us, or teasing us. She also likes to play rough and tough...the higher you can throw her in the air, the better. She LOVES music and we dance and sing together all the time, and worship Jesus together too. 

Abi has a fun imagination, and we pretend things all the time. She feeds me or her babies and stuffed animals with food she has "made." She also puts me to bed (or her stuffed animals, or all of us). She'll have me lay down, then she'll cover me with a blanket, pat my belly or back, then say "Bye!" She'll also have me do the same, but she'll want me to leave the room as if she's really going to sleep, then come right back in and say, "Good morning!" She also likes to take her purse, her keys, put her shoes on and head out the door pretending she is going somewhere.

She also loves DVDs, though we don't let her have a lot of screen time right now (I don't think we ever will). :) But when we do, she loves the worship DVD from Jesus Culture, and the "Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss." Here she is watching Dr. Seuss. I had put her in the living room play area with this portable DVD to watch Dr. Seuss while I was finishing making dinner, and the next thing I know, she had moved herself and the DVD to her desk. :)

Turned and looked at the camera...

...then back to Dr. Seuss. :)
We continue to grow together as a family, and fall deeper in love with our daughter daily. I hardly remember life before Abi. While we had a full life, it certainly wasn't as fun or complete! I simply can't imagine life without this beautiful, hilarious, adventurous, smart, sassy, darling, imaginative, loving person. Thank you, Jesus, for this precious gift!

Let us hear. Let us know. Let us act.

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." —Psalm 82:3

"Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." —Isaiah 1:17

"O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror." —Psalm 10:17-18
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." —James 1:27 

November is National Orphan Awareness month, and today is Orphan Sunday. Having come full circle now with our beloved Abigail, my heart truly burns within me for the voice of the orphan to be heard and comforted. My heart burns for the 145,000,000+ orphans to know that they are loved, adored, and have purpose in this world. 

If you have a yes in your heart to adopt, no matter how big or small that yes is, I have no doubt that you are called to adopt. I encourage you to act on it. Don't let anything hold you back!

If you do not feel called to adopt, there is so much you can do. Hear the voice of the orphan, gain knowledge of their cry and needs, and act on what you learn and discover...you can pray most of all, but you can also give financially to awesome organizations that are being the hands and feet of Jesus, or to someone who is adopting. You can also go on mission trips with organizations to orphanages in other nations, or be a foster parent in America.

There is one less orphan in the world...

Her name is Abigail Mei Robinson, and she is our daughter.

I know we can all help every child find a home to call their own! Every child deserves a home, and each of us can be that home.

I am praying you will find courage to act on what is in your heart on behalf of the orphan.