Everyday, in the midst of sorrow….we pray for eyes to SEE from an ETERNAL perspective. We pray for Eyes to see truth in the midst of pain and ache. We pray for eyes to see TRUTH in the face of a broken world …. We pray for this TRUTH to propel us forward into the LIGHT.
Grief is a powerful force.
It can comfort you and slay you all in the same split second. For example, when we look at family photos…. it is an ache that is indescribable. A sword that slays deeply.
because….THIS should not be.
there should not be a space up there between our babies….. Gianna should be here on earth celebrating a beautiful and powerful moment like her beloved church breaking ground together, in anticipation for God’s miracles….
breaking ground in Joy of the goodness in the land of the living, YET… DEEP DEEP PAIN and ache in what is seen….and what SHOULD be and what is not.
Deep pain that shatters our hearts….but there is comfort and JOY in HOPE too …..
There are holy moments that I get a special vision.
I get to see the eternal perspective in tangible ways and those moments are sacred gifts……They bring HOPE to our grief.
For my birthday this past year, I commissioned A special Etsy friend, Gabby Gibson to paint a portrait of my family made WHOLE again. A family portrait that allowed us to TRULY SEE the way things will one day be, from the eternal perspective.
And, I have been able to visually SEE on canvas exactly the way Heaven Sees! I have been given a gift of holding a portrait in my hands that speaks the truth of our family, despite what our eyes achingly see on this earth. It is an image that comforts more than it crushes, and that is a rare gift.
this canvas…. this is balm to our broken hearts and a treasure of light and goodness.
We are a family of TEN….not ever 9. Gianna is a big sissy, something she always wanted.
In the bible, it says that everything done in Jesus’ name will be restored to us on the New Earth! Everything shall be renewed “when the world is made new.”
I love this quote by John Eldridge from His book: All Things New
More than anything else, how you envision your future shapes your current experience. If you knew that God was going to restore your life and everything you love any day; if you believed a great and glorious goodness was coming to you–not in a vague heaven but right here on this earth–you would have a hope to see you through anything, an anchor for your soul, “an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God” (Hebrews 6:19).
it’s our prayer and hope and mission that Gianna’s forever life will always continue to GROW us in the Eternal Perspetive🌷. … Keeping our hearts broken wide open is how the light gets in to bring forth New Life and Love for things that TRULY matter in this world.
Her miracles will grow forever…. She grows US forever. …Being her forever family has changed “us” and we will never EVER be the same. We do not EVER want to be the same, her life matters too much. JESUS matters TOO much for us to choose the comfortable paths.
Our greatest suffering, our most painful breaking, Our deepest sorrows have taught and will continue to teach us how to “SEE” beyond what our eyes can achingly see before us on this earth, straight into HEAVEN where our baby lives. Our hearts are with her….forever untethered from this earth, anchored deeply into our eternal future and Living HOPE.
THIS PERSPECTIVE CHANGES EVERYTHING!! It is mind-blowing!! And it saves our despairing hearts!
Our hearts will break until we are in heaven, but the flowing tears will keep watering the ground in HOPE.
We will keep seeing ahead. There is so much more than this bare ground that lays before us…so much more than this broken torn up earth….much more than this visible loss of life (after the winter season has ravaged our beautiful lives). It is not done. GOD is not done!
Because…. We Are learning to see TRUTH… To grip desperately to truth in the face of crushing despair.
Please listen carefully when I say this, because it is integral to understanding Those who suffer great loss and yet claim the truth of HOPE. It is vital that those who try to comfort the grieving …remember this:
Truth does NOT remove the pain, nor is it a fancy platitude to tie a pretty red bow around heartbreak of death and loss.
Only HEAVEN can do such a healing.
But truth is a balm….a balm to our breaking hearts, a balm that keeps the ground of our hearts from hardening over. A balm that keeps the soil of our hearts open to NEW LIFE and NEW LIGHT and NEW GOODNESS, NEW TOVA in the land of the LIVING….open to glimpses of our promised eternity!
THE BALM KEEPS US ON MISSION for what matters!
Truth says our ETERNAL SPRING is coming. All will be made NEW! New life.
A promised reunion.
That’s our HOPE.
In our deepest sorrows…HOPE holds us tightly.
This treasure here…this here…. This is our HOPE.
this is our SPRING! This is TRUTH! This is GOODNESS!
It is the only family photo that we can look at that brings the JOY before the ACHE. Joy that overshadows the ache, if only for a fleeting moment….our hearts leap with JOY. Through this portrait, we get a glimpse into TRUTH….despite what our physical eyes see around us.
And, I even giggle too! Because, it is SO ACCURATE! OH SO ACCURATE!
Our feisty and determined and protective Gianna would have it no other way, then HERSELF standing right beside her baby sissy, holding her up…helping her stand…. helping her walk….staying SO close to her baby. And Gia always got what she wanted!
Gianna Lilyfaith holding on so tight to her baby sissy….. our Gia-Bia SO very proud, So very filled with JOY….SHINING all her HOPE, all her LOVE, and all her LIGHT!
This is how it absolutley SHOULD BE on this earth…. and I hate that this world is SO broken. I hate that life will always feel incomplete here on this earth. Always a hole until heaven.
Yet, always a reason to LOOK UP. To not be too attached to this earth. To be focused forward! Forward to our restored future.
I am so thankful for my talented friend who filled our space on this canvas with COLOR, LIFE, FLOWERS, and butterflies ….all symbols of the RESTORED EARTH and when Jesus makes ALL THINGS NEW! Surrounded by LIFE!
Gianna is supposed to be with us. We are never complete until We are all standing together on the shores of eternity.
And somehow, while waiting in this broken world…. there is this mystery of THE GOODNESS OF GOD that pursues our aching hearts. the Goodness of HIS promised coming, Goodness of HIS promised restoration….and GOODNESS of those glimpses of glory on this side of heaven, goodness…. still…. in the land of the living.
He hunts us down with goodness, even when we can not see the way forward.
The mystery and miracles of Tova in the broken world of the Living.
You see, in our deepest suffering and grief, we have discovered a powerful truth that has allowed our hearts to stay open to HIS light and God’s goodness.
I have discovered that in grief there are many sacred and holy moments that you dwell in a space of complete paradox.
You battle and yet you accept.
Because, you surrender to the fact that you’ll live most moments now in many spaces simultaneously.
You will dwell in the “beautiful past” …. in the “difficult present” and in the “hope of the bright future”…. All in the same exact moment.
you will find yourself occupying many worlds at the same still moment. Part of your heart in the “what is” world. and part in the “what should be” world….. and the other part in the “what will be” world.
…and you will be ok.
But, You’ll be ok to just not be ok…..
because you will let yourself feel all the joy and all the pain together. Together in a messy collision of forces.
All of the things.
…All the light and all the night.
All the sweet and all the bitter.
All the thankfulness and all the wrestling.
….All the despair and all the HOPE.
All of it…. ALL the things.
My God isn’t scared of it. Not any of if.
He holds the world. He holds my heart. He holds my family. He holds our Gia-Bia.
…My faith isn’t scared of my grief or my feelings.
In fact, At the depths of my faith and at the heart of Christianity is the One who died for me…the One who says HE’S always with us—and the ONE who stared grief and loss square in the face.
In Isaiah, He’s described as:
“a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering” and “acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3).
Jesus wept in a garden begging for deliverance…And yet He overcame the grave.
Jesus holds me. All of me.
He created feelings and He weeps with us and laughs with us too. He can handle ALL the feelings. All the grief…all the pain….all the mess.
All of it.
He is near the broken and the busted up messiest of hearts.
So near. Near to all of it.
All of me.
One can hold both sorrow and Joy simultaneously.
You do not have to choose one or the other. When your heart has been broken open in such a deep searing way, it somehow makes more room to hold ALL the feelings….all the pain….all the joy.
And, it is with aching hearts, that we walk the wilderness… basking in the JOY of LIGHT in the darkness.
LIGHT IS POWERFUL!
…..Jesus called my family to run to a special little LIGHT waiting across the world…. to bring LIGHT to her darkness.
Our daughter is waiting for us in China.
And she has been given a new name, a name of HOPE.
Her name is….. (drum roll)
well….I can not just drop her name without telling you the story. 😉 (you know me!)..or I should say, you know our GOD!
There is a story here… ha! (always a story…)… and Her name is as unique as her story… So hang with me for a minute or ten more minutes. 😉
….her name was literally given to us from Heaven. Her name sings a song as beautiful and anointed as her life.
Her name is A promise and declaration over her life. An hallelujah praise. A claim for goodness and light in the darkness. A reflection of His truth and goodness which fiercely pursues us.
Her name reminds us of what is TRUE:
Her name means:
the miracle and LIGHT of New Life and
The goodness of TRUTH!
A new song.
An anthem of HOPE and TRUTH, light, love and legacy.
Her name is a sort of “compound name” and was literally given to us from God and Gianna.
ok…..Her name is….drumroll (for real this time) ;)…
the miracle and LIGHT of New Life and
The goodness of TRUTH!
Her first name is Pronounced “EE-VEE-MEER-A”
One word. Not to be shortened!! We want to hear all of it! Her name is too beautiful to be cut short.
So… what does it mean?
“Mira” …Mira was given to us from God when we saw her face for the first time, because we knew it meant Miracle and her life is absolutley Miraculous! We knew her name had to reflect this miracle that is her life!
Mira actually means “Wonderful astonishing miracle” in Latin.
Her life is a miracle and will continue to shine of His miracles.
We know Gianna’s miracles go on forever and ever.
But there is more!!!! Seriously, our minds were blown away…keep reading!
when we researched further we found all the meanings in all the languages of MIRA. And oh. my. goodness!!!….her name is Truly an anthem chosen by God personally for us….for our baby girl.
So, In Slavic:
it means Peace (and Despite our fears at the unknown path forward, God has given us great peace in this journey to our daughter…we know She was chosen for us, and us for her)
In Sanskrit language:
it means Sea or Ocean (and if you have followed our story, you know our Gia-Bia’s favorite song (her adoption song) is Oceans. It’s been our theme…it’s been the greatest lesson that her life teaches us, to step out into the deep instead of staying on the shores of safety. To walk where our trust is without borders… Where we need God to come through or we will sink. Where we need to trust HIM above all else. Where miracles happen. Also, the beach…the Ocean is where Gianna conquered many of her own fears and where GOD taught us great lessons…..read here!
it means “Look, watch and see!” We believe our daughter will blow the world away with her exceptional and incredible ABILITY In the face of her overwhelming disability.
One of the main life verses that God has spoken to us this past year has been:
Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.
His promise that we cling to.
In Albanian language: it means Goodness, kindness.
This gave us literal chills!!!!!
Before we ever saw her precious face…..
God gave us the word GOODNESS, TOVA, as our word, our Rhema for the new year… read here:
Mira means Goodness.
He said Goodness….a new TOVA would pursue us!!!
psalm 27:13 remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
This is a story of God pursuing our undeserving hearts with his favor, goodness and kindness in the land of the living. We didn’t see ahead as we walked into this calling…. But he came from behind and surprised us with a new “Tova” a new goodness and favor that we could have never imagined. We are humbled to be chosen to be her family.
Finally, the last meaning blew our hearts away …a love letter from the Lord. He is so very personal.
In Hebrew… “Mira” it is a derivative of an original word which means LIGHT!!!!☀️🌟
She is pure light to us and we hope to be a pure light to her. A collision of blazing LIGHT in the darkness!
See…in all the videos and photos, We’ve never seen her smile or laugh….. She always seems sad….and so broken. Our hearts break for her.
We know Her heart is broken …but in a different way. Like our hearts, actually. She knows grief too. She has lost so much. Adoption is not all rainbows and unicorns. Adoption in a miracle that is born out of much pain.
But…We will find the light together…all of us.
As her family, we will Fight together to rise and walk ….walk towards the light.
Gianna taught and teaches us to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves….
For all the broken-hearted.
To not be scared of brokenness and the downcast and the scary paths. Being Gianna’s family teaches us that there is an abundance of Joy found in the broken paths. Being her family makes us brave to go to the most broken of places and most broken of souls and shine His light and love. This is her legacy, and this is the Love that Jesus has shown us. This is the gospel.
To not run away from the hard, or hurting or forgotten. To bring HOPE to the hurting.
Gianna’s life teaches us and continually reminds us how to love like Jesus loves us. This is her miracles that continues to unfold. This is JESUS in her life!
Jesus comes near to our most painful and dark places and fiercely pursues our hearts.
He’s not afraid of all our broken pieces and we will choose to not be a slave to fear. By His strength, we want to go to the broken valleys and bring light to the darkness. Not because we feel so very strong or “able” but because that’s what LOVE has done for us. Jesus shows us how to love radically and sacrificially the way that He loves us.
Her life has taught us the courage to fiercely wrestle and fight for HOPE & LIFE… Which doesn’t take the deep ache or pain away…(only Heaven can heal that deep pain) yet, in our deepest pits, we aggressively take ahold of the things that are Eternal over that which is temporary!
…To give purpose to the deep pain.
To unashamedly fight for love and hope and to choose the LIGHT of TRUTH even while walking through our deepest night.
Gia’s Beautiful life & the goodness of His LIGHT, the beautiful promise that We WILL be reunited with her one day, have boldly led us to our newest daughter in China who also needs the gift of hope and light in her darkness.
Gianna’s Miracles Go on Forever and Ever.
Honestly, we didn’t expect this blessing of NEW LIFE in this new way and we are SO thankful we did not miss the miracles hidden in the secret places of the wilderness….GOD hunted us down with goodness. Treasures in the darkness.
….and we pray everyday for great Faith to trust GOD in the unknown journey of new goodness!! To trust God to bring streams in the desert. To trust Him in a story that we did not write.
To trust Him in a story of Life and HOPE born from our greatest pain.
I will be real with you: We are intimidated by this new path forward, our newest daughter has many unknowns in her special needs. But her special needs are not what define her. She is so intimately known by our Father in HEAVEN… He made her in the secret places and she is a precious daughter of the King who has a beautiful purpose in this world. She is perfect in every single unique way. And, we are the ones who will get to see all her miracles unfold!
That humbles us.
So, we do not let fear win.
Gianna’s life taught us to run towards the most broken and helpless. Joy is found in the broken way. The JOY is unearthed when you are living out of your comfort zone. The treasures are found out in the DEEP! That is living in the joy of the eternal perspective. Love wins over comfort!
We do not run to our Eviemira because we feel like SUPER heroes or because we feel so able or equipped…
Quite simply, we run to her because God told us SHE IS OURS, OUR baby!!!
And, we are madly in love with her, and all her mystery and all her unknowns. Every child deserves a family who is MADLY in love with them, who will cheer for them, who will celebrate each and every milestone! Who will fiercely advocate and fight for their broken hearts and come along side them and carry them close as God redeems their broken stories.
We didn’t write this story and though this story is one born out of deep pain, it IS a story of Love and HOPE. A story of LIFE from Life. A story of LOVE FROM LOVE. God is a redeeming GOD. His stories never end in Ashes.
Even in our deepest pain, He leads us forward….always carrying our Gia with us. Always….. always carrying her.
As tempting as it would be to choose comfort and shore-life…the truth is we have been wrecked. Wrecked for the GOSPEL LIFE……
we would be missing SO MUCH JOY, so much LOVE to stay safe!
We don’t want to miss all the Miracles of LIGHT, love, goodness and NEW LIFE…To walk with Kingdom purpose!
Which brings us to the other part of her compound name “Evie”
So…..Our Gia-Bia chose this name. That is right! And, She’d have it NO. other. way!
She gets to name her little baby sissy.
There is a precious story here too. read on!
Gianna chose this name for one of “her” future daughters. So, one day she was telling her big sissy, Isabella, the beautiful story of how she was going to have 5 daughters one day 😍 and she had already chosen all their names! She is so precious!!!!
So, among those names on her list, She chose “Evie” as one of her sweet names! By the way, among the amazing names, she also chose “Spritey” after her favorite drink 🍋😂.
But, we are going with Evie. LOL
And, what’s amazing to us is that she never knew an actual person named, “Evie” ….So I still do not know how she thought of this beautiful name. It’s truly prophetic because Evie means “LIFE”….”New LIFE.”
Gianna knew. …oh how She just somehow knew. God knew this name was going to be tucked away in her heart for “her baby sissy.” Her beloved Mei mei.
Her name is literally our Night Song that God has written on our hearts this past year.
the miracle and goodness and LIGHT of New Life!
OK…now for her middle name. Keep reading on…..the story is not done!!!
Jun is actually part of her Chinese name ( they call her Jun- Jun in her orphanage) which means TRUTH!!!! ummm hello!! did you get that….. They call her ”Truth Truth!”
Blew us away!!! TRUTH!!
Not just one truth, TRUTH TRUTH!!!
When we see videos of her, videos that show her desperate need for a family, videos that show her sadness and lack of joy….God is loudly speaking TRUTH TRUTH to us as we hear her nannies call out her name.
It’s been His Truth that has brought light to our darkest pits. His truth that calls us forward!
God and Gianna’s forever life has taught and teaches us to see with eyes of Truth in our darkest night. To Grab fiercely ahold of TRUTH in the face of despair.
Truth is Hope. Truth is light. Truth stomps on satan’s head.
Truth wins even if your feelings feel bigger. Truth says “God is the great redeemer and overcomer of this broken world and He will make all the things NEW!”
Truth saves our daughter. Truth saves us. Truth saves us all.
And our daughter’s life and name literally declares TRUTH!
Ok… The other part is very special to our family’s journey. Read on:
Tova: Hebrew for Goodness.
His goodness pursues us. He hunts us down with goodness in the land of the living.
God gave us the word: “Tova” right before He showed us our daughter. Read here! And we were actually falling over when we read that The other part of Our daughter’s Chinese name (not disclosing for privacy sake) is actually translated to mean “Favor, goodness and kindness”.
God is soooo so personal. So intimate. So Big.
He made it so clear, despite all our fears, that He (and our Gia-Bia) personally chose us to run to our baby girl.
He chose to run to us with HIS GOODNESS and favor and pursue our hearts in the darkest valley so that we could pursue her broken heart and broken body in her darkness and valleys. Jesus shows us the way to LOVE forward….to walk forward in LOVE.
His Hope and Goodness shows us how to keep living in Hope and the promise of goodness in the land of the living…..
We are changed forever by the miracle of our brave and sassy Gianna Lilyfaith
God has shown us, in our utter brokenness and the depths of our grief, how to keep walking Into the light and fighting for HOPE for the hopeless.
into His Light.
The gift of Gianna’s life brings more Life.
Life from Life.
Light from light.
Love from love.
Somehow in our deepest night, because of Jesus alone, Brokenness can be turned into abundance. Grief can be turned into Giving. Great Loss can be poured out as Great Love.
ALL because of JESUS and His Love for us.
Hope turns into more Hope. Hope saves.
Hope and light win.
so….Introducing…our newest miracle!
the miracle and LIGHT of New Life!
The goodness of God’s TRUTH!
A new baby sissy.
A new song.
An anthem of HOPE and TRUTH.
Will you pray about Coming alongside us to run to her? It takes a village to bring Hope.
To bring light to the darkness.
If you feel called to help us: Prayer is our greatest need and the greatest gift.
Please be praying for Eviemira, for God to keep her safe and protected while she waits for us..for God to be giving her dreams of all of us, for a special bond to her nannies…for her to know love, so that when she sees us she will be able to attach to us. Pray for a fast rest of the process so we can get to China as soon as possible to scoop up our baby girl! Pray God will be preparing our family for this new journey of TOVA, for the new miracles and challenges. Please pray for God to knit all our hearts together in a powerful way! Pray for GOD’s GLORY to be seen by all, because this is HIS story! His story of HOPE!
Also, please pray for our financial need.
If you feel led to come along side us in this special way, thank you so very much for being a light with us…We are humbled and SO GRATEFUL.
here is the link to our go fund me page here.
Also, we have a tax deductible option here
We can’t bring the Light alone. We are walking by faith.
We need the village of “torch-bearers” to help us light up the night.
We are so close! Our latest adoption update is very exciting!
We received our Official letter of Approval (LOA) from China this week, so that means that We will be bringing her home, as a family, sometime in June, God willing! THAT IS JUST TWO MONTHS AWAY!!!!!!
IT is our prayer and desire to run to her AS A FAMILY.
For all of us to fly to China and welcome her together.
This is far too special and intimate and sacred of a journey for any of us to be left behind. We need to do this together. ALL OF US. Running towards this TOVA together.
A new Tova of goodness and light.
Light from Light.
Love from Love.
Gianna’s miracles are never ending…and we do not want to miss a single one!
God is calling us Out of the Darkness, and INTO HIS marvelous LIGHT!
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”