Home & Heart

We left our hotel at 8am on Thursday morning and arrived in Nashville at 9:30 Thursday night.  We gained about 14 hours coming home so it was actually a crazy long travel time.  We first flew from Guangzhou back to Beijing.  Security was a little troublesome, but we got through and Everett had his first flight.  He was insanely cute.  He kept saying airplane in Chinese over and over again and ate about 1000 M&Ms.

Once in Beijing we had about 3 hours until our long flight to Detroit.  Security was hell.  It ate up every bit of time we had in between flights.  At one point Delta was holding Everett’s passport and paperwork and wouldn’t print his boarding passes.  Harper and Hudson cried.  Solomon was spent.  Josh was pissed.  I just sat there baffled.  Everett was still adorable 🙂  Delta was the worst.  I hate to say that, but we had nothing but problems all from them and because of the oxygen machine and batteries they made us get through a certain Delta related O2 company.  It was absolutely baffling and such a mess, but we finally made it to our gate, grabbed a few snacks and boarded our flight to the US.

We could not believe how great Everett did on our long flight.  He was amazing.  He cried very little, slept a lot and did not need his 02 machine not once.  A total dreamboat.  We were all so crazy excited to get off the plane in Detroit knowing we just had one little short flight left before home.

On our flight from Detroit to Nashville it took longer than expected due to weather and they almost had to land us in Chattanooga instead of Nashville.  I cried.  I mean we were so close to home, but thankfully they we’re able to land in Nashville.  It was quite the hilarious strand of traveling escapades and my emotions we’re every which way.

Family and friends we’re waiting for us in Nashville along with our beloved friend and photographer Cheyenne.  Cheyenne has captured countless family moments for us and even though she just had a baby she was at the airport waiting on us ready to capture yet another special moment for our family.  I sobbed looking through these.  Such sweet emotions.  What a gift she has and shares with others.  And gosh, we have the best family and friends.

Amon made me cry so much.  He really missed us and when he saw us coming he broke down into the hardest little sob.  We could tell every time we facetimed with him and our littlest that he was processing more inwardly and quietly and that she was proceeding more outwardly and vocally.  Amon had lots of little emotions bottled up in that adorable little body and it was like they all came pouring out when he saw us coming.

When we we’re walking to our car that night he grabbed my hand and said, “Mama, I didn’t think you we’re coming back.”  Oh my, how we missed him and our littlest something fierce.

Everett can still get easily overwhelmed so we weren’t sure how he was going to do, but he was so sweet and amazing.  My SIL started introducing him to everyone in Chinese and he just started giving out hugs.  It was the cutest thing ever, ever, ever.

It was so good to be back in Tennessee and with our people.  We hugged everyone what seemed like multiple times.  We missed home so much…China was gorgeous and amazing, but man, nothing beats home.  I chatted with my Aunt Martha today who stopped by to meet Everett.  She asked me if we thought we could move to China…not unless all our people move with us.

We seriously know and are loved by the best people around and it makes me cry a giant river to know such amazing people.

We went to bed so late that night and the next morning hit the ground running with Everett’s first cardiologist appointment.  The news was not good and very discouraging.  Our cardiologist is not sure exactly how or if his little heart can be repaired…it’s just very broken and very complicated.  This week she is going to share his case with a team of surgeons and transplant team to see what they can come up with.  Obviously not the news we we’re hoping to hear.

Over the last 3 days we’ve been trying to process this the best we can, but honestly right now I’m just asking God for 2 things:

1. Miracles

and 2. To please help me not to dig myself a hole too deep

Jet lag is wildly legit in our house…everyone is exhausted…our littlest is struggling with the new addition of Everett…we’re still foster parents and are back in that role as well…everyone feels wonky…and truthfully I am a massive combo of gratefulness because Everett is a freakin’ dream and I’m the luckiest mama on the planet + deep sadness.  I just feel like I’m in a bit of a hole and I really really don’t want it to get too deep that I can’t see out.

I told some friends today when I asked them to pray for Everett “I feel like a broken record to keep asking for prayers over Everett…” but here I am again.  Would you please please please pray with us for his little heart and for discernment and wisdom for the team who will hear his case and for miracles.  All the miracles.

I want to trust God with him.  Miracles are His thing.  He pulls off the greatest stories.  He’s an expert at making jaws drop.  He is supernatural and wondrous.  I am waiting nervously & anxiously, but expectantly too to see what exactly is up His sleeve.

Thank you guys so much for all the love and prayers and kind words.  They have been so life giving and we are forever grateful.


  1. Praying BIG prayers. To our MIGHTY God. ALL things are possible through him.

  2. Father, we lift Everett and the Kellys before your throne. We ask for healing for his emotional heart and his physical heart. We give you praise for knitting this sweet family together. It is such a beautiful picture of your kingdom. Breathe your peace in to Josh and Laura as they parent these precious little ones. I ask that they feel you near in every step, every appointment, every decision. Put people in their paths to encourage and bless them. I ask for increase in their finances and provision for every need. In your precious son’s name AMEN.

  3. Jennifer Thurman says:

    Asking the Mountain Mover to move some mountains in Everett’s life. Praying for the heart of each person in your family as you navigate these waters.

  4. Jennifer Greeley says:

    Super giant prayers for Everett and your whole awesome clan. Laura, you are a rockstar…you are! I’ll say it again, you are doing some really awesome stuff. God is sooooo good!

  5. COURTNEY says:

    sooooo many prayers for sweet everett and all the kelleys. prayers for comfort and peace and healing and sense of belonging. HE knows exactly what you need now and tomorrow.

  6. Praying.
    So glad to hear you all made it and had a wonderful welcome home (Amon had me tearing up…) but the news about Everett’s heart is rough indeed. As you said, though, God pulls off the greatest stories.

  7. We came back from China with our daughter almost two years ago. I totally understand the wonkiness of it all. A whole mess of emotions cycle through the family at random and it can be so hard. I’ll be praying for Everett and his sweet little heart. God bless y’all with His mercies!

  8. You guys are amazing! I sobbed through this whole post. Lifting your precious boy in prayers! God doesn’t miss a thing!

  9. Marianne says:

    Praying for the miracles to be sent your way! ❤

  10. Hugs, love and prayers to all. xoxo

  11. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I got choked up when you shared Amon’s reaction to seeing you … what a sweetie! I will be praying for Everett’s heart and your well-being. You inspire us! So glad you’re home. ❤

  12. From the minute I saw Amon with the “Welcome home” sign I was a mess. You have created such an amazing group of people around you – so beautiful to witness. Everett is an amazing little guy and I know that there will be a positive way forward for him and your family.

    I’m sure it sounds almost impossible with your current situation, but try to find to even a small sliver of time for self care. Your mind, body, and heart are going through so much and even a few moments to find some peace is bound to be helpful.

    Prayers to you and your family and over Everett’s fragile heart ❤️

  13. jennifer gordon says:

    Prayers! Will SO pray as often as I think of your little Everett! Hey… my little guy had major open heart surgery when he was 7 weeks old. It was at the Children’s Hospital in Omaha, NE. I cannot say enough good about our doctor. They saved our little one’s life. I know that is far from home… but if you want any more information regarding the surgery or surgeon… please email me any time! Hugs! Jen

  14. Gretchen says:

    It is so wonderful to see you all home together and that the trip went relatively well. (At least I’m happy to see that Everett traveled so well.) Broke my heart to see Amon break down and hear his doubts about your returning home. So happy that you’re all together again though and Amon could be reassured and loved in your arms again. What a sweet love. I also loved seeing Everett give out all the hugs when your SIL introduced everyone to him. What a blessing to have your SIL in your life and now Everett’s. I will continue to pray for Everett’s heart and wisdom from the doctors so they know how to proceed. Also, continuing to pray for you. For rest, comfort, and assurance. You are all such an inspiration!
    Sending love from Nebraska.

  15. Glad you all are home safe. Never forget that God is amazing and all powerful. We will pray like crazy for little Everett and his doctors to find a way to heal his heart.

  16. Monica Fox says:

    I found your blog through a friend that liked one of your fb posts. I stayed up late in the night reading many of your posts. Everett is so stinkin cute I wanna eat up his little face! You have a beautiful family and I’ve .enjoyed reading about your amazing and special family. I’m adopted also and am getting the itch to adopt after seeing your family. I pray for beautiful, adorable , precious, little Everett and his heart for complete healing.

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