The girl in the picture…from tragedy to hope

Vietnam holds a special place in my heart as it was the birthplace of Little Man. Not only that, we completely fell in love with the nation, its culture and its people during our month long stay.  After all, Vietnam gave us the precious gift of parenthood.

For obvious but vastly different reasons, Vietnam also holds a place in the history of our nation.  I think I could write a novel about my experience in Vietnam, including the time we spent at the war museum in Ho Chi Minh City.  It was a lot to take in and process.  Sometimes I still feel like I’m processing it…

But this isn’t a pro-war/anti-war post.  Far from it, actually.  Just like in adoption, I’ve learned that beautiful things can be made from tragic situations.  I think war at any time, anywhere is a tragedy.  So when I read stories like what I’m about to share, all feels right in the world  again.

You don’t want to miss this.  Please read and see how one life that was tragically affected by war is now helping to pass along hope to others.


World Changers: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Vietnam (empowering single mothers and their children)

Did you know that in Vietnam, the birth country of Little Man, 50% of the population lives on less than $2/day?

We fell in love with this amazing country and its people when we had the honor of adopting Little Man in 2008.  After a month stay in Vietnam, we knew our hearts would be forever tied to this beautiful land.

Once back in the United States, I sought out organizations that were fighting to empower women, children and families in Vietnam.  One such organization is called Children of Vietnam.

Please take a few moments to watch this video and see how they are breaking the cycle of poverty in Vietnam.  One of their efforts involves empowering single mothers to obtain economic stability so that they can provide for their families and so that their children can receive an education.  Please watch and please consider how you can make a difference.

World Changers–those who change the world for one person at a time.  Pass it on….

4 Years Ago {Happy Family Day, Little Man!}

On this day 4 years ago, my life was forever changed. The hubby and I walked into an orphanage in Vietnam as a family of two, but left as a family of three.

the first time I held my son…he looked terrified 

our official “giving and receiving” ceremony

It’s hard to believe that it has been 4 years. It has been (and continues to be) an honor and a privilege to call Little Man my son. There is not a single day that passes that I don’t stop and reflect on what an amazing blessing I’ve been given.  Watching him grow and change over these past 4 years has been the most magnificent experience of my life.  I’m a lucky, lucky mama whose heart is bursting over with joy and love.  I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am thankful to spend each day with this wonderful little boy!!! Happy Family Day, sweet Little Man.  I love you to the moon and back, a million times over.


Have Kids, Will Travel

….and explore, and venture to new places, and seek new thrills…



We may have only been a family for all of one week, but what better time for our first family adventure? We started our family out with a bang…..spending the night on a junk boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Now that was some adventure!

Traveling the world is something that I always wanted to do as a child, and I hope that my travel adventures continue as I age. As a child, however, I could have never anticipated that I would end up traversing the globe on two separate occasions with small children in tow.

But traveling with young children can still be civilized, as long as you have a loose definition of the word. Oh, I kid, I kid. Traveling with children is an adventure in and of itself. We have traveled the globe and made many a long road trips with our two wild boys. We are always seeking new thrills and adventures with our kiddos. From hiking, canoeing, caving, rafting and just plain wandering, we have reaped the rewards of adventuring with children.

So in that spirit, I decided to become a regular contributor for Civilized Travel, a web resource geared for those who love civilized travel spiked with a healthy dose of adventure. I hope that I can bring a fresh perspective to what travel and adventure is really like with young children. Having kids doesn’t have to slow you down and you certainly don’t have to leave them at home. Family adventure rocks!

You can read my first piece Civilized Travel, Family Style where I give tips on traveling with kids. If you have some tips or advice to share, I encourage you to head on over and give some comment love to my first article 🙂 I’m excited to embark on this new writing adventure and will be posting over at Civilized Travel once a week. Let me know if you have any topics you would like to see discussed!

Spread the Word!

Several years ago, two other adoptive moms and I started a little group we call Mothers in Action for Vietnam (see the button on the right side of my blog). We identify humanitarian aide projects in Vietnam and try to rally support for them. Well, we are “back in action.” We have created an Etsy store to raise funds for two humanitarian aide projects that benefit children in Vietnam.

We have learned of an orphanage in rural Vietnam that is being operated out of two rooms in an abandoned prison. The children and caregivers are at times getting by on a cup of rice a day. We have partnered with an organization called Chances for Children to insure that all funds generated will make it to those in need at the orphanage.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: We’ve set up a Mothers in Action for Vietnam Etsy Site – and for each item purchased, 100% of the funds will go to the charity of your choice. All artwork has been donated.

What you can do:

  • shop for a good cause (read more about our current cause on our Etsy site)
  • donate items to our Etsy shop
  • spread the link around to your friends and family

Spread the Word: Etsy for Vietnam

Kelly, Kerryanne and I (Mothers in Action for Vietnam) are at it again….check it out and pass it on!!!

What you can do:

  • shop for a good cause (read more about our current cause on our Etsy site)
  • donate items to our Etsy shop
  • spread the link around to your friends and family