August 25, 2013

frayed edges

It might be tacky to post something sweet my husband wrote about me...but it is about Gili too...and it is just too incredibly beautiful not to share. Gili and I are the luckiest women on earth to have him be the man that takes care of us... 

My wife steps in night after night and fills the gaping hole left in baby girls heart that was there for the first 17 months of her life...lays her down, talks softly and sings gently to her. It's a gift that mothers have and I don't understand the patience and endurance necessary for it. Most nights I pray for the crying to stop and a quick and uneventful bedtime routine, but tonight was different. Tonight I prayed for connection and mending. Connection of two hearts like two frayed edges of different left ragged by a mother's leaving, the other unraveled by years of longing and disappointment. I prayed that somehow, some way those two edges of rope would connect and weave together healed and complete. In the physical realm it seems nearly impossible, but I am not praying for physical things. I am praying for deep and spiritual and supernatural things. I know they are coming and I know it will be amazing to witness. Lord let it be now.

July 17, 2013

Gili Noel Kuert

The wait is over. She is here in our home, in her bed, in our arms...and our hearts are overflowing with joy and peace. The process of adoption is long, grueling and eventually incredibly rewarding. We have finally reached the end of the process, and at the same time reached the beginning of our new lives - together. A family of three. We could not be happier to introduce you in pictures to our beautiful baby girl, Gili Noel Kuert.

Your prayers and support have been a sustaining factor throughout this process.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

April 29, 2013

It's a Baby Shower!

After so many years of waiting to become a mother, it comes without saying that a baby shower in my honor was absolutely a dream come true. My mom and Monica (sister-in-law) put together the sweetest day, down to every little detail (see pics below)! Home made food, adorable decorations, extremely thoughtful prayers, poems and devotions shared...I am one blessed lady! And we had a room full of friends and family to help us celebrate Gili! It was an incredible day!

March 7, 2013


Psalm 27:14 is a promise we have hung on to for so long. It says "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." We certainly have been waiting...some days we were strong, and others we fell on our faces in despair. But one thing we always knew in our hearts...this day would come. And it is here now. 

Friends, we are beyond thrilled to tell you that at least one of our long awaited dreams is going to be fulfilled this year. We have been matched with a beautiful little girl from China! 

We chose a Hebrew name that means "my joy", "happiness" seemed perfectly fitting. She will be called GILI NOEL KUERT. (Pronounced Gil'-ee, rhymes with silly) And she has already captured our hearts from just a couple photos. She was born on February 8, 2012, so is now just over one year old. She currently weighs about 16 lbs, and is about 66.5 cm tall. She is beautiful.

Roughly 3-4 months from now, we should be able to pick her up. What a day that will be! 

We can't express how much your prayers and support have meant to us on this adoption journey. And it is hard to even convey our excitement, but we know that you are all right there with us! We love you all so much. 

January 10, 2013

Kuert Adoption Update - Jan 2013

January 2013 marks the 30th month of our adoption journey. We are weary, but still hopeful. We wanted to let everyone know what has been going on, since so many of you have supported this adventure through your prayers and financial blessings. We are so grateful for all of you – our little girl is already blessed with love from hundreds of people!  

On March 31, 2012, we were officially ‘Logged In’. In adoption terms, this means that we had finally been added to the list of parents waiting to be matched with their children. Once you are logged in, you have the potential of receiving a match every month when the new list of available kids comes out. Our agency does the matching, and presents us with a child that matches our age & gender criteria. So…we were finally in the mix to receive a match once they found one. 

Ironically, something else interesting happened on March 31, that would turn our worlds upside down. We ran into some American friends of ours who live in Kunming, who had been fostering a little girl since she was two months old, and was now 18 months old. We had met this sweet girl on a few occasions, and discussed the possibility of adopting her with the foster parents. They were always very encouraging and hopeful that we would consider adopting her. The only reason we hadn't pursued her earlier is because we all thought she would be adopted really quickly, well before we even got logged in. However, after we chatted with her foster mom on March 31, and realized that she had still not been adopted, we walked away with an unexplainable confidence that God had orchestrated this scenario, and she would be our daughter. I can’t explain how certain we felt that this was right and that God had given us a miraculous gift. For the next 6 months, we told our agency to stop looking for matches for us, and to help us try to adopt this specific girl. Technically, you are unable to ‘choose’ your adopted child in this way, but sometimes agencies can make things work…and we just always believed it would. What we would come to learn is that this adoption process is even more unpredictable, painful and draining that we could ever know. 

From April to October of 2012, we brought this sweet angel into our home every week and began to love her as if she would be our child. Because there was never any guarantee that we would be able to adopt her, she continued to live with the foster family that had raised her, while we made frequent visits and took care of her often. There was no controlling the depth of love that we grew for her, and still have today. It was something we had never experienced and we let our hearts go for her – certain that one day she would be ours. 

Like I said above though…this adoption system can be extremely unpredictable and extremely painful. During the months that we built a relationship with her and grew a love for her, we worked closely with our agency to do every possible legal thing we could do to make this work. It was grueling. In the end, through dozens of circumstances that were just completely out of our control, we were told that it was impossible for us to adopt her, and she was matched with another family. Hearing this news was easily the most heartbreaking day that we have ever experienced. It felt as if we finally had a daughter, and she was taken right out of our hands. We questioned if we had truly heard from God, or if our hearts had just fallen too far in love too fast. Whatever it was, it hurt like nothing else. We were completely broken and at a loss for hope. God has begun to mend our hearts, but there is still a deep wound from our loss. We believe that we are part of her story, of her life…if even to just pray for her forever. 

In late October 2012, we told our agency they could once again be looking for ‘matches’ for us when the monthly lists come out. And that is where we currently are in our process…waiting for that ‘match’ that fits perfectly into our family. We know she is out there somewhere, and we know we have lots of love to give her. We never expected our journey to look like this, but we believe that God still has a beautiful ending for us, that includes a precious daughter from China. Please continue to pray for us, and for the little girl that will one day become ours. 

We have seen support for this adoption come in so many ways, and from so many people – it really has blessed us. We wanted to share this with you so that you can continue on this journey with us. Someday soon we will get the glorious news that we have a daughter – and we can hardly wait to share that with all of you!

July 20, 2012

finding the beauty

Sometimes I just need to remind myself of the beauty around us today I want to give you a glimpse of some of the lovely and interesting things in our world here that make it so special to us.

July 9, 2012

water and wood

There are many things to love about living in of those things is not traffic. I woke up the other day to a slighly louder than normal traffic buzz rising from the streets below. As I looked out the window, I saw 6 lanes of cars on a road built for 4 and various "flash" parking lots all along the route. The funny thing is, this was a bit louder than normal, but actually not all that bad of a situation. I've seen and experienced much worse. How much worse? Worse enough to have blurted out, "not on my watch" to a car trying to cut into my lane. Worse enough to have delivered numerous stink eyes and extended horn blasts on a 5 minute trip to the store. Worse enough to have entertained the thought, if ever so momentarily, of kicking a car. (Dan S and Dave J, my apologies for ever having judged you.) In all seriousness though, traffic has taught me something valuable about how our radically different cultures face the everyday annoyances of life, be they on the road or anywhere else. Another friend explained it simply as the difference between water and wood. Our Chinese friends flow like water deftly maneuvering around these obstacles without a second thought. They weave a way through even if it does seem a little unorthodox and takes them a little out of their way. We westerners cry foul and protest as we crash head-on into these situations demanding justice, a word which by the way can sometimes be used to make getting our own way sound a bit more noble. For us, in the end, either the obstacle is broken, or we are. Meanwhile, our Chinese friends are rounding the next bend.