the secret

there was a man, his wife, and their son. he worked the coal mines, she tended a shop. the boy went to school.

life was peaceful. they worked, they studied, they loved.

the secret came unexpectedly. the wife buried it. it needed to go away. to be lost in the coal mines as it were. deep underground. silence prevailed. the secret would be hers. alone.

time passed. she held the secret close. but she could not silence her body. the husband questioned her. it was her secret. he became angry. he demanded to know. her body announced. the secret was theirs. together.

he loved his wife. but this could not be. no one could know. no job could be kept. no schooling could be continued. prolific fines would be levied. they would lose their home. their possessions. he cried. she cried. the Secret kicked.

the wife no longer worked at the market. no one could know. he went to the mines. no one could know. he kept quiet. she hid. both a prisoner of the secret. months passed. life was solemn. no one spoke. the pain was too great. the day arrived. her body worked to bring forth the Secret. she endured the pain. silently. no one must know.

her head was perfectly round, her eyes a deep brown, her hair as black as the night that welcomed her. her skin like porcelain. she was perfect. he cried, she cried, the Secret cried. blankets held back the sound. silence. no one must know. the time would pass too quickly. they must remember everything. her smell, her sounds, her tender toes and graceful fingers. they touched her. they must feel her and never forget. they bathed her. they adored her. they prepared.

it had been two days. she held their Secret. she wept. she bundled her for the winter air. she loved her. she screamed. she pounded the ground. silence. no one must know. she caught her breath and screamed again. this was too much. she could not do this. this was more than could be asked of anyone. she squeezed the Secret close to her chest. she felt her heart beat. she muffled her screams in the warm blankets. silence. no one could know.

they walked quietly. out of the warmth of their home and into the cold, bitter night. she turned around. she turned around again. her mind was confused. grief does that. was this really happening? she was shaking. the cold air. the depth of heartache. her tears ran like ice cubes down her cheeks. where was she going? what was she doing? grief clouded her. she couldn't make out the familiar streets. she wandered. the Secret was quiet. she must be too. her feet kept walking. she would walk forever. she would disappear. her and her Secret. she began to run. to where, she did not know.


the husband, the boy. she loved them too. this was a dream. no, a nightmare. a horrible, horrible nightmare. her body was wet. tears, sweat, the agony of grief. the Secret was getting restless.

here. before the light of day. silence. no one must know. she tightened the blankets, pulled them up around her face. how many kisses must she give to make up for a lifetime? she picked her up. she put her down. she picked her up. she ran. no. she must. she must what? confusion. panic. the sun was coming. she placed her on the sidewalk. she took one last look. she ran. empty arms. she ran. she wept. silently. no one must know.

the secret had been kept. the Secret could not be kept.


a miracle.

november 28, 2009
i honestly have no idea how we are going to pay for this. $30,000. that ain't no chump change! but i do have a confidence in God and i feel like he has spoken as clearly to me about sarahjoy's expenses as he did about lydia's person (remember the vision of a chubby two year old with pony tails on top of her head?) that He will provide. and yet i strongly sense that it is going to be one bit at a time. not a huge chunk that would tempt us to minimize our dependence on Him, but a little piece here and there so that HE is proven faithful. so that sarahjoy's story becomes just as miraculous as lydia's.

well folks....november 6, 2010
sarahjoy's adoption is 100% paid for!!!!! last night a very dear family paid the remaining balance and we are now 100% ready to go debt-free to china. a miracle. even more of a miracle than i can explain in this email. suffice it to say, God has provided, $31,752.49. according to all reasonable estimations of plane tickets and in-country expenses, we are 100% funded. a miracle, a miracle, a miracle. $31,752.49 that people gave to us. that's not normal. that's a miracle. if you have ever doubted that God could do the miraculous, doubt no more. he's done it.

there is not a doubt in my mind that we are going to fly to china with not a dime of debt. there are still some 'ifs' as we will not get the exact amount of our plane tickets or in-country expenses until 2 weeks before departure, but i am quite assured that God will take care of any difference that shows up there. for now, we are rejoicing that we are 100% ready to go!!!!! now for the second miracle, a MASSIVE heat wave to hit inner mongolia in january. start praying........

we thank each and every one of you who has walked this journey with us! it is not over, but we have seen the miraculous. we are so thankful and rejoicing in God's amazing provisions for our family.



A SarahJoy update is far overdue. However, life has sent tidal waves my way and all efforts have gone towards staying alive. The oceans of grief and sadness have been sweeping over me as the past few weeks have held tragedy that I have always feared but never encountered so closely.

October 8th marked the final day of Makiah King’s life. She was the daughter of my precious cousin Rachel and her husband Cameron. At 4 years old, she was a light for Jesus beyond her years - she radiated joy and love, her untimely death continuing to shake me to my core. The family was driving home from a week’s vacation when a teenage driver smoking marijuana hit them broadside and instantly killed Makiah. One minute Makiah was chattering about rainbow toenails, the next minute Rachel and Cameron were burying those precious little feet.

As I have cried and grieved the death of Makiah and the horror of what Rachel and Cameron must now face, I have found myself holding SarahJoy at arms length. I am unable to rejoice when someone I love so dearly is in the throws of endless grief. How can I celebrate or look forward to anything in the midst of such hurting? How can I think about bringing a fifth child home when someone so dear to me has lost their only child? I am almost panicked with the need to cherish my children; the thought of adding yet another child that demands my attention is frightening to me. Overwhelming. And my heart is so sad. So, so sad. For now, the excitement of SarahJoy has been put on hold.

To honor Makiah, we will name our new daughter SarahJoy Makiah Sanzone (her Chinese name will be in there somewhere also.) We are praying that she would exude Makiah’s love for Jesus, her passion for life, and her playful, giving heart. Makiah means, “Who is like Yahweh?” and we hope and pray that SarahJoy will grow to be, as Makiah was, a powerful witness to that question.

In the midst of tragedy, God continues to bless us. Why we are sitting on top of a mountain witnessing God’s goodness and precious Rachel and Cameron are weeping in the valley of the shadow of death, I cannot understand. There is a part of me that just can’t bear to celebrate His provision. But…I think I need to. If for no other reason than many of you have had a part in it and I need to honor that. Our adoption expenses sit at about $32,000 (they have increased a bit now that we are getting closer) and yet we have less than $1000 to raise. What an incredible testimony to God’s ability to do the miraculous.

We are scheduled to depart Norfolk on January 6th. I am so thankful that God knew better than me and did not allow us to travel in December. The thought of packing up and getting ready to welcome another child is too much for me right now. I need some more time. December will also include a long weekend with my cousin Rachel. So, so thankful for God’s big picture and his perfect timing. And even as I say that my body tenses and my stomach churns and I think about Makiah – God’s bigger picture and His perfect timing???? I can’t reconcile it and it tears at me. How can God take away a precious little life and at the same time bring hope to another? I wrestle, and I have found no answers, no peace. Just sadness and heartache.

So we march on. SarahJoy will be here soon. In the meantime, please pray for her little body and heart - that she would be healthy and loved. And more than anything please pray for Rachel and Cameron that they would somehow feel God holding them in their emptiness.

Go here to read more about sweet Makiah.