Sunday, September 5, 2010

Simple Pleasures

American food. We found a can of Pringles potato chips in the market. $4 for the can, but we bought it. The taste of home.

A green L.L. Bean backpack. It comes with a cool lunch box that is just right for a little boy’s car collection. Zippers and compartments and hiding holes everywhere. Hours spent investigating, organizing, closing and unclosing that green backpack.

Cell phones. The nightly call from the boys. Hearing their voices, connecting with home. The pleasure of those 10 minutes dies when we say goodbye.

Movies. Cozy in our bed each night watching movies on the computer. Documentaries, thrillers, drama and silly. They put us to sleep.

Aaron’s laughter. It is addicting. Once you hear it, you keep coming back for more. It begins with a giggle and evolves into a full fledged full body laugh. At his happiest, he bounces and jumps for joy. Oh the pleasure of hearing that laugh. Play ’little piggy’ with his toes and he can barely breathe for laughing. Roll his dump truck down the sidewalk and he bubbles over. Simple pleasures for a love-starved little boy. We’d cross an ocean again and again to hear him laugh.

Grapes.   Soup.  A croissant from the market with sweet fillings inside.  Homemade brew (we turned that simple pleasure down).  All gifts from our precious landlady.

Comments. Opening up our internet and seeing loving comments and e-mails from friends and family. It brings joy to our hearts and reminds us that we are not alone.

Breakfast. The one meal we can make easily. Fresh eggs. Fresh bread. Good cheese, milk and juice. Definitely pleasurable.

Faith. Belief in a Loving God who has not and will not abandon us on this journey. Rejoicing in His daily provision for our every need.

Togetherness. Best friends of 18 years together on this journey. Enjoying each other's company, laughing together, crying together. Holding hands while walking to the institute. Longing for our boys at home, loving on our boy here. Waiting and hopeful for the words of a judge to declare that he is our son.

Simple pleasures. We have much to be grateful for on this beautiful Sunday morning.

Philippians 4:8 - “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”


  1. Beautiful! I love finding the surprising little ways to feel blessed in tough circumstances. Those grapes look delicious! They were just starting to ripen when I was there so I didn't get any.

  2. Love your post! We are thinking of you every day!
    You are not alone!
    Love you guys!

  3. Amen Julia!! We are praying with you for each of your requests, and rejoicing in each of your simple pleasures. Hang in there!!

  4. Julie, it's fun to read your simple pleasures list. I well remember our morning breakfasts of eggs, bread, and butter and some fruit in Russia while doing K's adoption. This morning as I sit enjoying some of life's simple pleasures myself, a world away from you, it was neat to read yours, and to give thanks for the blessing of high speed internet/internet that connects us.

  5. Absolutely beautiful.
    We pray every morning for you, the boys back home and the boy on his way home.
    SO many gifts in all this though they maybe hard at the time. Not just a gift of a family for Aaron (though that is huge) but how God is working in each one. He wastes nothing. Thanks for pointing to Him in all this. The impact is far reaching.

  6. Dear Julia,
    I am one of the ACTS moms that has been reading your blog. I opened it via the weekly announcements. Your story has captured my heart. I will be praying for you and look forward to meeting you and your new son when you return to the States. Don't get discouraged. God is awesome and He is going to make all the right doors open to all of you!

    Take care.
    Betsy Vanderpool
    ACTS Mom

  7. Love your beautiful list, Julia! We think of you and pray for you everyday!

  8. Beautiful post.

    Yes, you sure do have a lot to be thankful for....especially since you are another day closer to COMING HOME!!!!!!!! Cannot wait for your family to ALL be together, friend.

  9. Had to laugh at the pringles...we rarely eat them at home; but when we found them in China all three trips, we ate plenty of them because it was "familiar" food. You had to look at the pictures though- the bigger markets sold what might be called "interesting" blends of fish flavors (blech!). But the familiar red can could often be found...packaged in Chinese, with only one English phase- "Made in Cincinnati, OH" where we were living at the time. A taste of home! :) God bless, Jennifer

  10. Love love this post! So wonderful to look toward the beauty and find the things that make the experience good & all worthwhile! We weren't in any kind of rough spot as you all are but Jim and I were constantly trying to look at the positive and remind ourselves of all we are thankful for each day while we were there.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!


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