Close this search box.

clothed with joy

I’m still, slowly but surely, making my way through all the questions you asked me here

“I’m really curious about Hailee. We see Harper smiling quite a lot in pictures, but Hailee not as much. I was wondering what her personality is like? Having endured such a horrible first five years, how does she do now? Does she know how to have fun and do you even hear her laugh?  Is she ever playful like your other children are? 

I thought I would answer this question with photos. Because really, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words, isn’t is?

I remember when we committed to adopting Hailee. We had one little photo. She was almost five years old and looked like a baby lying in a crib. We were told that she couldn’t possibly weigh more than 14 or 15 pounds (they were right). It feels like yesterday that Anthony and I looked at that sweet little face in the photo and wondered the same thing…would she ever truly know what JOY feels like?

Would she ever learn how to have fun, and just be able to be a child, after being confined to a crib for five miserable years?

It is through this little girl of ours that I have come to understand the heart of God in a much deeper way in the last year.  His love for the orphan is something that astounds me.  The way He can take a broken child and RESTORE unto her everything that the locusts ate….

It really leaves me speechless.

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”  Job 8:21

This precious angel loves the water.  But she loves her newfound game in the water even more.  Oh, what fun it is when Daddy lifts her into the air and gently drops her back into the water!

She waits with exuberant expectation as he holds her mid-air for several seconds.

She knows exactly what comes next…..

And it is the best fun ever for this little sweetheart.

3, 2, 1……

Blast off!


“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”  Psalm 90:14

This is soooooooooo fun!

Hailee may be tiny, but she has some serious spunk.  She’s crazy about fun things like this–the wilder, the better, as far as she’s concerned.

I cannot even tell you what it does to my heart to see photos like these.

The joy.

The playfulness.

The sheer delight of it all.

The abundant LIFE.

The sweet redemption.

It’s miraculous, really.


She totally digs it when the water splashes in her face.  No sooner has she landed when she starts making her little calling sounds once more…..

“Come on, Daddy, let’s do that again!

So, yes, Hailee absolutely does laugh and have fun.  Even more so these days.  She is just so much fun to have around.  When she giggles, we all do.  It is the cutest thing. 

It is through this incredible journey with Hailee that God has taught me something about adoption.  Many, many children get overlooked, or wait on waiting-child websites for years (and years). Eventually their files are returned to their country and their opportunity to find a family is stripped away. Gone….forever! They’re the angels no one wants to take on simply because they are “severely delayed” or “developmentally lagging” or “mentally disabled”…or whatever else. 

THESE are the children (like Hailee) who will astound us! They are the ones who display the Father’s glory each and every day. These are the children who show us that God’s miracle working power is alive and well, and that He is more than able to make beauty rise from the ashes.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Hailee makes me want to shout from the rooftops every day of my life…


“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”  Psalm 30:11

I also posted this video last month of Hailee’s joy, in case you missed it.