God’s “I still see you.”

The day we met Shuai will forever be etched in our minds.  I tried documenting every last detail because time can be tricky sometimes and make you forget.  I did not want to forget anything.  Shortly after meeting him and having a little time together in our hotel room we headed back to his home to see where he had lived, to meet his nannies, staff, doctors, nurses and friends.  I was so glad his home was so eager to let us come and show us around.  What a gift it was to see his home and to meet the people who loved and cared for our son so well while we could not be with him.

Shortly after arriving the director expressed he really wanted to introduce us to Everett’s best friend.  We first met their nannies and staff and saw their room.  After looking around a bit more, the director finally took us down to the cutest little classroom full of the sweetest little faces all of whom had special needs of some sort.  He then introduced us to Everett’s best friend and shared he too had a special little heart.  I looked into his sweet little eyes and could see the concern and questions churning.  They had been together for a very, very long time.  I have video of them together and the director asking Everett, who’s your best friend and him trotting over to his special bud and pointing to him.  Everett’s book they gave to us is full of the sweetest photos and several are of them together.

Shuai was very timid and quiet upon returning to his home.  He didn’t say much and he held tight to Josh not wanting to get down.  Our translator stepped in when his best bud started talking and pulling on Shuai’s leg…”Come down FuShuai, come down.”  Josh knelt down and he talked more, “Don’t go. Don’t go. Stay.”  “Don’t go to America.”  Harper turned around and sobbed into my chest.  I immediately burst into tears and snapped pictures of these two precious friends and really brothers together.  We all walked out of that classroom and knew this special little boy could not stay here…even though he was so loved…we knew this kid was a game changer, but what would our role in his life be.  In my head I had already started trying to figure out if we could fit another bed into our house 🙂  We talked about Everett’s best buddy our entire trip.  Josh Kelley quoted him often.  He consumed my heart and one day like a whisper God planted a family in my mind…The Carmans.

Josh and Brooke Carman are friends of ours who started the process to adopt a son last fall from Nicaragua.  They actually found the only agency in Tennessee who we’re piloting a program to Nicaragua which was suppose to begin in January of this year.  I had never even heard of this agency 🙂  They had their home study ready and had sent off immigration papers…all your normal adoption paperwork.  We have tried to really encourage them along the way because the adoption process can feel very lonely at times.  Upon arriving home I told myself I’d give them like 2 days and then I sent a text to Brooke asking how the process was going.  She shared how the program launch date had been backed up to possibly May or June and mentioned if they got to that point they we’re going to probably start looking in other directions.  I asked if they’d considered China and then specifically mentioned this amazing little boy we had been privileged to meet.  I sent pictures.  I told her if they we’re interested I would gladly help them track down his file since I had made some connections with their home during our trip.  And then she agreed.

I might sound like a semi pushy friend at this point, but I just had this feeling I really believe was Jesus and sometimes you have to act on those feelings.  I reached out to my main connection at their home who said she could in fact help track down his file.  I connected her with Brooke and then I moved out of the way.  I told myself I would not ask Brooke about it again.  I didn’t want to be THAT pushy friend.  6 days later I received the most amazing text pretty much in the history of amazing texts.  Brooke said they had finally tracked down his file and she had just confirmed through the pictures I sent and the pictures in the file that it was in fact him.  And guess what agency he was listed with??!?!?!  Theirs!!!!!  After talking to their agency they told Brooke his file was actually supposed to have been sent back to China 2 days prior, but because of a computer glitch his file along with one other little girl’s had remained.

I about died.  Like, seriously almost died.  What in the world?!?!?  I just wept and sat there thinking “God is seriously insanely good.”  This didn’t mean the Carmans we’re in yet, but it took a matter of hours before they we’re already prepping their Pre-Approval papers for China.  Brooke shared they’re desire to move through the doors God wanted them to and it obviously looked like he was flinging these doors wide open.  They got their pre-approval just 4 business days later and we celebrated like there was no tomorrow.  These are the days not many people understand unless you’ve been there, but a pre-approval from China means, “Come on!  Fill out those papers and come get your boy.”  They had been given the big green light from China to start the process for their son.  It’s a huge day indeed and we wanted to celebrate with them.  We broke homebound rules, bought balloons and champaign and pizza.  We baked cookies and made rice krispy treats.  This sweet little one deserved celebrating.  His family was officially on their way.

God continued to fling doors open and just wow both of our families.  He made our jaw drop almost daily with what seemed like every last detail of this little guy.  I might have purchased the cutest tees in all the lands for these best friends and brothers to sport once they are reunited.  In the midst of a very trying time for our family with all the questions surrounding Everett’s heart this felt like a giant “I still see you!” from Jesus Himself.  These two would have each other again.  Our son will be reunited with his best little friend…the one he has been with for so long.

This little boy has brought a new joy to our family and he’s not even home yet.  I shared with Brooke I don’t wake up every morning thinking about Everett’s heart now.  I usually wake up thinking about his buddy.  We are smothering this kid in prayer along with his family…his dad, mom and two sisters…who are waiting so anxiously and working so feverishly to get to him.  I’ve looked back over my China posts and thought, “WOW!  The Carmans are going to walk this same road, wait for their son in the same building and look through the same set of doors to see his face for the first time in person exactly like we did.”  And then I lose my mind at how God so carefully and uniquely and amazingly orchestrates His will in us…His goodness in us.  He has reminded me yet again that His ways are far better then I could ever dream or imagine.

When I told Josh Kelley his only word was “Wow.”  When I shared with our big kids they all cheered.  Harper said, “They are going to love him.”  Everett looks at his book almost every day and points out his best friend and says his name.  Our family has mad love for this boy and we are cheering the Carmans on and praying like crazy people for the time to be quickened.  We’re praying for a smooth remaining process, a healed little heart and we’re asking how we can help.

As with every adoption we’ve ever done I’m hosting a Noonday Collection party for the Carman’s adoption fund.  Adoption has enriched our family like I never dreamed and heart kiddos pull all our heart strings and Noonday is always and forever my jam so it was inevitable this party was A MUST!!!  So mark your calendars for what is sure to be the greatest Noonday party of all time…I might be setting the bar a tad high 🙂

Thursday April 27th. 


Our house.

No joke, tell every last person you know.  Share until you’re blue in the face…whatever that means…don’t die or anything.  Make it a fun girls night and bring your friends.  I will feed your face and you can drink wine or water…Jesus’ preferences 🙂 and laugh and I’ll hug your neck and we canbuy amazing Noonday products all the while supporting women across the globe…here and there…and the Carman family.  20% of sales will go directly towards their adoption fund.  This is like a win/win/win.  Triple win.  Added bonus…Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  And think about birthday gifts and end-of-the-year teacher gifts and “Hey I like you!” gifts and maybe a little something for yourself.

If you can’t join us in person, no worries.  As always you can order online HERE.  Just double check when your checking out that “Rebecca Daniels” is your ambassador and “Laura Kelley” is your host.  Right now Noonday has an added incentive for guests who spend $75 or more – they can get the Afloat Earrings and Matovou Bracelet for half-off.  If you’re interested in this offer just contact Rebecca at noonday.rebecca at gmail dot com and she’ll hook you up with the special.

As always we sit in amazement of a God who cares about the details…who orchestrates things we never could imagine and then allows us to experience His undeserving goodness.  Let’s rally around the Carman family together and help in this small way.  We’re all just holding our breath for this sweet little heart warrior to get here and to reunite he and Everett.  It’s going to be so good!

Happy Wednesday!


  1. mARIANNA says:

    Oh my goodness, what an incredible part of this continued journey!!! His friend’s words just melt my heart.

    • We were all a mess. I asked Josh later that night if cried any that day…he’s not a big cryer…he came the closest when we met Everett’s bestie. Hahahaha. Kid made a serious heart impact on us 🙂

  2. Carol Short says:

    Now that is an amazing God wink!

  3. That is the most incredible news!!!!! WOW is right!!! God is super amazing!!!! XOXO

  4. God works in AMAZING ways!!! I went to school with Brooke (tell her I said hi!!)
    That sweet boy will definitely be loved!

  5. Lisa Russell says:

    Amazing how God works!

  6. That is so wonderful!!

  7. Ditto on the WOW with lots of goose bumps! The way this all came together in such a short amount of time is mind-boggling. When I saw this initially on IG, I figured both you and the Carmans started the process at the same time with the intention to adopt the best friends. It is crazy that this has all come together since you have been home. Wow! God is so good.

    • It has been the craziest thing ever. We are all just so honored to be in this together. Madly in love with both these boys and their beautiful little hearts. Can’t wait to get them back together.

  8. lOri Gettlfinger says:

    I am so in awe of our wonderful God and so grateful for you willingness to listen and do his will. Your family and your journey has inspired Brooke and Josh and now I have a beautiful new grandson in China that I can’t wait to meet!! Thanks for all you are doing to support them and for your beautiful storytelling gift!

    • We are all just the luckiest. Crazy thrilled and thankful God would allow us to be a small part of the story. So thankful for these two sweet little guys and their friendship. T is going to knock all our socks off!

  9. Tara hall smith says:

    I met the Carman’s last year through my cousin, Jacob and their daughters attend the school where I teach. We absolutely adore them! I will share the link to the party with the teachers at St. Joseph and you can count on many prayers and rosaries being offered up for them

  10. jennifer gordon says:

    That is the neatest story I have EVER heard!!!! Wow! You are amazing! And, God is SO AWESOME!!!!!

  11. Trisha lemarbre says:

    Oh! my! What a wonderful story…all I can say anyone who doesn’t believe that God is in the details — doesn’t know MY God! And what more proof do you need than this! I’m so excited for all of you! What TWO lucky little boys! Thanks for sharing your story! Love you ALL!

  12. If they do the sock fundraiser, please please please post that one. My son absolutely loves his socks from yours.


  1. Must Sees says:

    […] You guys as always are crazy kind, loving, thoughtful and supportive.  Thank you for being so excited and thrilled for our friends the Carmans, Everett and us!!!!  We are all the luckiest to have these amazing little heart warriors in our lives.  Thank you for being in awe of Jesus right along side us too.  He really does write the best stories and deserves all the praise and glory.  Thank you for the kind comments, emails and for already helping us start to spread the word.  You will hear no less than 32 times about this fundraiser between now and Thursday, April 27th.  If you want to read about the party details again CLICK HERE. […]

  2. Big Day says:

    […] some of our dear friends who literally live 10 minutes from us then grab a tissue and hurry on over HERE to catch […]

  3. Holding On says:

    […] So tomorrow we’ll head to our cardiologist’s office for another appointment and she’ll start Shuai on some new medicine and we’ll just hold on.  And we’ll keep soaking his sweet little self up every single day and continue to petition God to heal his sweet little heart.  In the mean time we’re trying our best to focus our attention on the matters at hand…the places and people we can love.  Any easy place to land is our friends the Carmans.  If you missed how our friends are adopting Everett’s best friend you can catch up HERE. […]

  4. Sunday Vibes says:

    […] got the Carman’s Noonday party this Thursday night and I’ve been scouring Pinterest for yummy recipes.  So far I’m […]

  5. […] because Everett  We headed home afterwards.  I got a message from my friend Brooke…Everett’s best friend’s mom…that their dossier was officially logged in to China.  We rejoiced.  Their sweet […]

  6. Away We Go says:

    […] was great and the kids loved it.  Then Saturday afternoon we went to a pool party to celebrate Everett’s best friend from China and his parents.  The Carman’s are officially logged-in in China so we partied […]

  7. […] has been so concerned about three things: 1) Everett’s birthday which is on the 29th 2) His best friend who will be coming home soon and 3) That something bad would happen while she was here.  We […]

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