The Weekend and a Melt Down

This weekend I had to start and finish packing for my China trip. My flight leaves this Saturday morning, Oct. 11 at 6:30 AM. I’m flying from Houston to Newark, NJ, then Newark to Beijing. Doesn’t make any sense, I know??? I’m okay with the strange flight pattern because I’m using my frequent flyer miles and the flight only costs the price of the taxes, $33. What a deal! Traveling for work has some perks.

While I was packing I had a melt down. I think there are a variety of reasons why I broke down. First, my parents are in Hawaii and I miss talking to my mom. We talk at least once a day. Last Friday she called me from San Diego. They were about to board their cruise ship and I wouldn’t be able to talk to her for four days. I was in the Mani/Pedi chair and started crying. A lot of life happens while you’re in the Mani/Pedi chair. I’ve been able to briefly talk to her a couple of times but it’s still hard.

Second, I’m overwhelmed with work. I will be working out of town this week. I’ll be returning to Houston on Friday night and leaving Saturday morning for China. That is why I had to be completely packed and ready to go this weekend.

Going to China to work with orphans is my passion. I’m so thankful that God put this desire in my heart. I’ve never written about how it happened. I’ve been a little afraid to open up on my blog. Amazeing Teacher has inspired me. She is so open and honest! So, I can do it too. Thanks, Amy.

In the year 2000, I was reading through our quarterly church magazine. A lady from church had gone on a mission trip to work in an orphanage. She talked about holding babies, feeding them, and playing with the older children. What really struck me and possibly changed my life forever… she said, “The orphanages didn’t have enough nannies to care for the children. Many times they lay in a bed all day with no human touch. Sometimes the babies would lose the will to live and die.” I thought to myself, “Someday when I’m older, have more money and I’m married, I want to do that.” Well, “someday” still hasn’t come. :)

In 2006, I was having a tough year. At the end of 2005, I broke up with someone that I really cared about but I knew it wasn’t a relationship God wanted me in. I was down; I started thinking about the article I had read years before. At the time (2006) I thought I read the article 2-3 years prior and I thought the lady in the article had served in China. After a lot of thought and prayer, I called the Women’s Minister at my church. I ask her if she knew anyone who was taking an orphanage mission trip. I told her about the article I had read 2-3 years before. She encouraged me to call the lady (I had never met her) who wrote the article and talk to her about it. I was a little nervous calling someone I didn’t know but I did. She was wonderful. She told me six years ago she had served in a Romanian orphanage. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that I had remembered an article from SIX years ago and I always thought she had been to China. I ask her, “Isn’t it strange that I still remember that article?” I’ll never forget what she said to me, “Jill, it’s a calling.” I hung up the phone; I knew I had to go.

In the meantime, the Women’s Minister at my church found a group that was going to work in a Chinese orphanage. Carrie (who I’ll be visiting this trip) was working for A Helping Hand Adoption Agency. AHH sends “Friendship Teams” to serve in orphanages around the world throughout the year. Carrie came to our church from Dallas to talk about international adoption. I couldn’t attend the seminar but I called her. Again, I called someone I had never met, not really my style. She invited me on her trip, I accepted, and I’ve never been the same.

Another reason I’ve had such a tough weekend is because I’m scared. I will come home a different person. Although it’s scary, I know it’s not a bad thing. I will see things that will break me and possibly question my faith. It’s probably no secret that I want to be a mother. It’s hard to see children without moms and walk away. I wonder how God can let this happen to those children. I knew the adoption law in China was changing in 2007, no more single parent applications. I didn’t apply. I still believe that I will get married someday (I hope I’m right). Sometimes I feel like the world is passing me by and I’m just watching from the bleachers. While I’m in China, I’ll be turning 34. It’s so hard to type that number. It’s not a bad number; I just thought I would be in a different place in my life by now. Wow~ I can’t believe I’m writing all this. It’s very rare that I put myself out there.

I have one suitcase for myself, a second suitcase with clothes for the kids, and a pink duffle bag full of dress up clothes. Thanks~ Maria, the Cypress Moms, Jana, Stephanie, and Jenny for cleaning out your kid's closets.

Thank you for all your wonderful emails, comments, and encouragement about my trip. After my 2006 China trip I was searching the internet and found my first China adoption blog, Waiting for Sophie Lu. I didn’t know that this world existed. Even though, I never met y'all, you have been such an encouragement and strength to me. I still have a week at home but I will miss reading your blogs. I promise to catch up when I return. This is NOT important but I will also miss my Blackberry. On 2006 trip, I had dreams at night that my phone was ringing. He He.

Thanks Amy C. for taking me out Saturday night for an early birthday. I love my gifts! Your friendship has meant so much to me over the years. Thanks for being there when I’ve needed a friend. Love you.

P.S. Amy, this isn’t your thank you note, you’ll still get one in the mail :)

Fun Gift from Amy

This is one of my favorite pictures of Daisy from our babysitting adventure last week. I love it when she sleeps on her back. She's so stinkin' cute!! I miss her (my sister's dog).


Chris and Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris and Deb said...

I am so excited for you Jill! I am sure that you will have a wonderful experience working at an orphanage again! I would love to be able to do that sometime too! Perhaps when our girls are older we will have that opportunity again! You will be on my prayer list while you are there! Safe travels to you and I must say that I cannot wait to hear about this journey and mission you are on!

Laurie said...


Thanks for being so open on your blog. I know how you feel about being a certain age and just, you know, thinking it would be different. A time for everything, that I'm sure. Have safe travels this week and a wonderful journey to China. I hope and pray I'll be following you up in a couple of months! :)

God bless!!


Jacob and Carrie said...

Jill, I'm so excited that you will be coming! I know how hard it is to willingly walk into (or stay) in a situation that is difficult and outside of our comfort zones. But God is always there, gently prompting us to move forward one more step; reminding us that He is the one who mends our broken hearts; carrying the burden when we can't. I have to tell you, the further I go into this journey, the more I realize what a loving and compassionate Father we have. It is hard, sometimes, not to question his goodness when you see hurt and misery, but I think you'll see once you get here that hope, joy, and love win in the end.

Jarrett said...

Jill you're always in our thoughts and prayers! Never give way to what the evil wants you to think...NEVER. Remember Philippians 4:4-8 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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." We love you Jill!

Megan said...

Jill....you are a cutie. Checked you out via Danielle's blog! Isn't she the best!!! Anyhow....your blog is way cute.....
Peace be with you~ Megan

Danielle said...

I am so glad that you decided to post this, and I am thankful that you trusted me to share it with me before you did.

I know you will leave a different person, and I know it won't be easy, BUT think of the smiles and love you will bring to the faces of the beautiful children you meet. Do you know how easy it is to say "I wish I could do something?" Yet here you are, DOING IT! I am really proud to call you my friend, Jill. You are an amazing person with a beautiful heart. I don't mean to get all sappy on you. Sorry. But you need to hear it.

When you get married and have children, you are going to be such an awesome mom. You have a huge heart. You are giving. You are wise. And you are strong! Maybe it didn't happen when you thought it would, but when it does happen, it will be in God's perfect time, and it will be SO right!

You know I'm praying for you, and that I love you. Sorry I missed you today by the way. Give me a call if you have time this week.


PS - my thank you note is late! I thought it was mailed out and I just found it. Whoops! Sorry. Not very classy.

Maria said...

Jill, I am so proud of you and honored to be your friend. You are more than welcome on the clothes. I'll let Laurie and Leigh know that you were most appreciative. :) Your upcoming journey will be most rewarding to the children, and they will be blessed by your presence in their lives. Danielle hit the nail on the head when she mentioned you having a huge heart. You WILL make a wonderful mom to a very lucky child in time. Stay strong. You have many wonderful friends that love you. Will you possibly have the time for a quick bite on Friday evening so I can give you your BDay present? Let me know what time you'll get back in town. Love you!

jana said...

Jill, I hope that this trip is even more wonderful than the last. I'll be praying for you and those sweet babies that you're helping every day. I can't wait to hear all about them when you get back!



Heather said...

I am really excited to hear about your trip. Thank you for sharing your honest feelings with us. I will pray that you will be blessed, just as you are already a blessing to others!

Petunia said...

Jill ~~ Thank you so much for sharing this story! Wow--It is so wonderful that you are doing this! I hope that you will tell us everything that happened on the trip when you return. It sounds like an amazing experience.

Kate said...

Jill, You are such an amazing and inspiring woman! This brought tears to my eyes. I hope I can do something like this when I graduate. I know you will get everything you want!

Amy C said...

You're making an amazing difference in the world...not many people can say that. You are going to change those kids lives for the better.

Thanks for the shout out :-) I will always be there for you, either on the phone or in person...eating delicious food and laughing our asses off! If you get down just think of my $75 invisible cupcake :-)

Shana said...

Wow, Jill... you are such an inspiration! What a beautiful person you are (in many ways). God bless you & have a safe, wonderful trip.

You are an angel- truly. I'll be thinking of you!

Shana :)

Monogramchick said...

Jill, you are going to have an amazing trip, God will use you in so many ways to minister to the people of China and vise versa. I will be praying for you while you're away.

How long will you be gone?
I haven't forgotten about your swap stuff--I promise! It is boxed up and ready to go out TODAY :)

amazeingteacher said...

I'm glad you opened up with this post. I understand your fears and frustrations about life, marriage, motherhood, etc. I learned at a very young age that life sometimes doesn't turn out like I had planned and so we have to "Let go and Let God Lead". It is so hard, believe me, I never thought I'd be facing motherhood alone.

But, I'll be praying for your trip and I can't wait to read your blog again with all your updates about the trip! Happy Birthday, too!

Lori said...

Jill, I think it's great that you shared your feelings in this post, you never how how things will work out...we purposely can't see what lies ahead, but I'm faithful it's great things for you!
I hope you have another wonderful and life-changing trip, your journey will be in my prayers.
I'm sorry about missing your mom and I hope you are able to talk before you leave!
I hope this is one of the best birthdays ever for you....don't give up, your dreams will come true!! Happy Birthday!

Sharon said...


I will sure be praying for you while you are there and am so grateful that you listen to that still small voice! You are such a special and important soul.

I just know that your prince charming is out there and maybe when God has decided His plans for you, it will all just fall into place.
I will pray for that too.

ALso thanks for sharing. I always have a very ahrd time too, but when otehrs do it, I think it seems so natural.

God Bless you precious and

Janet said...

I do regret that we were out of touch for so many days and especially the days just prior to your leaving. We have to do a better job of making sure that we are in town around birthdays and important days.
Jarrett is a wonderful encourager. You can always count on him to do that.
I love the gifts from Amy. I can't wait to browse through the books. I like the cute owl towel.
Seeing pictures of the snoozing Daisy tells me she was very content.
Your trip holds many beautiful experinces and I can't wait to hear about them.
Love and Prayers, Mom

3 Peanuts said...


I was without internet for a while and was afraid I would not e able to follow you China trip. I am so glad that I am able to catch up here. I am amazed at your willingness to follow God's calling for you to give to these orphans in China. As an adoptive Mom, I am already grateful to you for doing this for other children.

You seem like such a giving and kind person and I hope you find a special person to share your life with. It will happen.