Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Friday, October 26, 2012

Praising Him..........

Happy Friday!
I hope you all saw our post on FB about our photo fundraiser which profits will go toward our adoption expenses & 20% will go to a cancer survivor that is having a hard time & needs help paying for medical bills.  If you missed it, please view it here & pass the word PLEASE ;0)

(Please pray for this cancer survivor!  She has fought hard & has a lot of decisions to make!)

I read a very inspiring blog.  Linny is such a giving person that wants only to please our Maker!  She inspires me on the days I'm "wandering".  A few days ago she wrote a blog about praising Him.  Well, yes, I praise Him but I should praise Him more and stop worrying about things such as Where is this money coming from for the adoption?, Is my house ever going to get clean?, How can I get xxx or xxx or xxx finished?, etc., etc.  I responded to her blog to praise Him & would like to share with you.  
I could have posted for days (and I did post 3xs - Sorry Linny), but I wanted to share with you

Wow, Praising Him! As I started to respond, I got to thinking how do you define "Praise"? I think there are many definitions to this word, but I believe the emphasis is simply giving God the recognition He deserves. As this should be easy to do, I am overwhelmed at where do I even start? How do you truly give God the recognition He deserves? I could write until my time is up on earth & never praise all He has done for me!
I would like to first thank Him for His uttermost sacrifice of sending His only son to die on the cross for me, for you, for us!
I praise Him for
*Always loving & forgiving me
*Never leaving my side - faithfulness
*Sending me a Christ-like husband more wonderful than words could describe
*All of our precious children (1 living with Him, 3 here & 1 in China)
And the list could continue until I take my last breathe here on earth!

My daily prayer includes that He help me put Him first in all I do, love others & put their needs above my own, & listen for His direction in my life.

“For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4)
(post 2 & 3)
Okay, I just posted but as I'm praying for how to ask for prayer (this is a harder one for me), I felt the tug to give praise for something specific that has unwrapped itself this year.  I praise God for giving my husband & me the talent of photography.  I feel strange saying it this way as I don't want to seem like I'm bragging but He has giving us this talent! I so give Him all the praise & glory for this!  This may seem like a strange praise - right?

Let me explain - I've had a passion for photography for over 20 years when I took my first class.  My husband didn't dislike but didn't share a passion like I for it.  Our Father has melted & molded Phil (hubby) & I together over our almost 14 years of marriage.  We were complete opposites in a lot of our interests
Phil – much more urban than I, loved writing, poetry, music, constantly cleaning,  much more social
Me – very country, loved my boots, way more inclined to science & math, loved getting dirty (like in mudding, outside activities), don’t feel comfortable I crowds

You get the point – right?  Our interests were that we did enjoy our time together & never got tired of each other.  And most importantly, we both loved our Lord.

At the start of this year, I decided to take another photography class.  Since I don’t feel comfortable in crowds or people I don’t know, I invited Phil to take the class with me.  He wasn’t necessarily excited about the class, but joined so we could spend time together.  Long story short, he found the same passion after the class & is an unbelievably talented photographer! 

I praise God for giving us photography that we are both passionate about; it is wonderful to be able to get help, opinions, etc from each other.  It’s wonderful that we have something to spend our time together with.  I believe God has given us this talent to help others.  We have been able to give professional pictures to some that could never afford it.  We have been in deep prayer about how we can use this for our Father.  We are now shooting pictures to go toward adoption expenses.  We are announcing today a Halloween special.  With it, we are also donating a percentage to a lady that has cancer & needs help with medical bills.  My husband is a teacher in MS (lowest paid in the country for teachers) & I’m a stay at home mommy that makes a little extra with crafting.  We do not have the money for the adoption we are working on, & did not know how we are going to pay for it (as well as financial debt from our previous adoption).  However, we began the adoption process again on FAITH!  The extra money from photography will not fund our adoption but it is one avenue God has given us a talent to help fund it as well as help others through our pictures! 

So yes, I have to give all the glory & praise to God for the talent of photography for many reasons!  The more we photography, the more we are in awe of God’s glory!

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. 
36 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”  Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.
(Exodus 35:30-36:3)

What do you praise our Lord for?  Are you using your gift(s) for His glory?  

Photography may not completely pay for our adoption but it's something we love & we can help fund it!  Who knows the person/people we might meet or touch?  God has ways of providing when we didn't even know it as an option! Thank you for all those that have supported us! 
I think KNOW I've been too worried about doing this or doing that to raise funds & thinking how are we going to raise the money that I forgot to ask Him.  God where are you wanting us to find this money?  If God has lead us here, He will provide if we listen!   
Thank you Linny again for reminding me of this!

Sunday also reminded me of this when our preacher preached on  the feeding of over 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread & 2 fish .  Do you remember what the Disciple Philip said? (Ironic that his name was the same as hubby).  Philip was confused at Jesus when he questioned him about the bread & stated that it would take more than 1/2 a year in wages for only a bite of bread.  (I have to smile a little here - such a familiar story with a little different situation.)

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
 John 6:5-9
Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15 
Oh and don't forget that there were 12 baskets of leftovers after the feast.  ;0)
All I can hear in my head after all this is Jesus saying to me
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.(Matthew 8:26) 
I praise His name!!  I'm praying, asking & listening!  I don't have the answers, but I don't have to - my pilot (Lord) knows the way!  God will not bring us to adoption & then not provide for us!  How silly are we not to think God has control over EVERYTHING (including $$$????)
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” 

 Acts 20:35

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am only One.......

"I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do 

everything, but I can do something.  What I 

can do, I should do and, with the help of God,

I will do." Edward Hale

I often find myself neglecting to blog as I should & let the daily grind steal my time.  I also neglect to blog thinking who in the world wants to hear my thoughts?  Well, God just keeps plugging at me & this is why i continue to share my sometimes random thoughts. 
Also, as the thought "Who cares what I say? Is anyone listening?  Is God getting the glory?" 
I felt a nudge to click our links to the side --------------------------->>>
One is in a  brown box with a lady juggling kitchen items 
(Top Mommy Blogs)
The other is directly below it in a blue/green box that says "We're on the fence"
(Picket fence blogs)
***If you are on a cell phone, you will have to "View Web Version" to see the side panels.

I'll let you see for yourself  why I felt moved to continue to blog:

*1st one, click on the brown box with a lady juggling kitchen items (Top Mommy Blogs)
                                                         --------------------------->>> (and look down a little)
*Then, Click on Adoption Blogs (First one under Categories)
*There are 35 blogs & look where we're listed.

*2nd one, click directly below the first one in a blue/green box that says "We're on the fence" (Picket fence blogs)
                                                         --------------------------->>> (and look down a little)
*In the search box, type in Adoption
**There are 53 blogs & look where we're listed.

I have no idea who has been voting for us daily, but thank you!  This was just the encouragement I needed today!  Please feel free to continue to vote daily for our blog!  The more votes, the more exposure we will get which I equate with Glory to God!

I think I often have so much to say that I don't blog it or that I post it on FB.  

Right now, I'd like to tell you about a 20 year old, I've been following him for several years through his CaringBridge site.  I may not feel like others want to hear me babble on, but Jay is worth listening to!  I have never met him nor personally know him, but his spirit has touched me as well as many others.  His name is Jay Rogers & he left this world at the young age of 20 years old.  He is from TN & fought Ewing's Sarcoma for 7 years & won the battle on October 21 & is no longer suffering.

Jay's Warriors wrote on October 16  "As Jay left St. Jude yesterday he had lots and lots of St. Jude employees telling him bye including doctors and nurses. There was only one patient there longer than Jay. He truely touched the hospital."  

During his time on earth, I always read of his great faith & he has touched many!  When I read Edward Hale's quote (from the very top), I cannot help but think Jay lived his life in this manner.  He was always asking about another, wanting to encourage/help another.  Jay left part of himself to encourage others through his book that was recently released.  I've not read it, but I have no doubt it will encourage & uplift you - it's the only item on my Christmas Wish list.  By purchasing Jay's book, you are not only keeping Jay's dream alive, spreading God's word, & going to be encouraged (I have no doubt about this) , but ALL proceeds go to the Jay's Warriors Scholarship Fund.  Go to Jay's website to purchase his book & hear his interview with WBBJ TV.
Go buy this book, put it on your Christmas, birthday list & give it for gifts!  
I LOVE to purchase & get items that were purchased with a purpose!    

You can also see that Jay has a family of incredible faith & are very encouraging to others.  If you would like to drop them a note of encouragement or let them know you are praying for them, you can do it on Facebook at Jay's Warriors

I'll leave you with Jay's verse on the front of his book:
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

I pray that we all may live our life as said in this verse!  God bless each of you & thank you for praying & supporting this family! 
I have a Halloween special that I will post about maybe tonight.  However, I wanted this post to focus on Jay's celebration of life!  Thank you Jay for sharing your life & for walking in God's light!  Praying for all family & friends!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


A great room at GiGi's Orphanage called Gracie's Room really benefited GiGi while she was still in China.  I believe it helped her to be the loving, precious,  wonderful daughter she is today.  I have a blog post about the program that I hope to soon publish that will explain how they aid orphaned children.

If you need to purchase costumes, please consider taking a look & shopping with a purpose!  Buy your costume from 
become a member for free, and at checkout enter code FUN1120>Apply Code>Checkout &  15% of your purchase will then go to help support Gracie's Room. You can read about the program here

Become a Member {free}
Enter Code FUN1120 >Apply Code>Checkout

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweetest thing!

This will be a short post as we have no home Internet access today. :0(
However, I cannot go to sleep tonight without posting about the very sweetest thing GiGi has ever done since we've all united.  If any of u saw us Monday at the pregnancy and infant loss awareness balloon release, I'm pretty positive u saw our GiGi. She would have been the only Chinese native child running around most of the time without a care in the world and also the one during the prayer going around to everyone putting her hands together in front of others to tell them to bow and pray. Sorry, we haven't broken the news to her yet that everyone doesn't need her consistent instructions with all they do- with us, we wouldn't know what to do if she wasn't bossing u around. ;0)

Anyway, today is Phils 39th birthday -yes again =:0)~
GiGi has been the biggest DaDa's girl since yesterday and hangs onto him from the second he gets home - I'm going to guess he doesn't seem to mind judging by the biggest smile on his face. Well, as we lay here with GiGi laying between us she claps her has together at me and says "shhhhh" and repeats the same to Phil (this is her way to tell us she wants to pray).   Phil says ok let's pray. Usually he will help her by saying a prayer and she repeats (even when he has a prayer at church).  Tonight however, she didn't want help. I will say there was some gibberish in that long prayer but no one could deny what she said & repeated many times "thank you Daddy and um thank you my dada". Finally she said "amen". But within seconds she looks distraught at me and I questioned what was wrong?  She put her hands in a praying position again and said "thank u Bubba. And um thank u sissy!"
Yes, tonight on Phil's birthday GiGi thanked God for her Daddy many times in prayers and then thanked God for her siblings.  This is a first for her and I cannot tell u how it swelled my heart!  I love my family!  Don't forget to thank God for ur family and to tell them u love them!  We can learn a lot from a 2y/o if we listen!  God bless!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pics from our journey.

We've been home for a little while now and things just keep rolling! It's hard to believe that we will be back in China in a few months! A bit ago my wife and I took a class in photography. She was the photographer, but I thought this would be a cool thing that we could do together. Well, as it turns out, I was hooked from the start and It is a very cool thing that we can do together as a couple. Niki has posted some of my pics on here before and I wanted to share them with you. They are just a little glimpse of our family, where we've been on this journey, and God's beautiful creations that surround us. I can never thank you enough for your prayers and for following our story!