Dedication, Soul-bearing

Davion wants to play football, but there’s no one to drive him to practice. He wants to use the bathroom without having to ask someone to unlock the door.

More than anything, he wants someone to tell him he matters. To understand when he begs to leave the light on.

Earlier today I read the story of Davion Only, a 15-year-old boy who went to a church in Florida and stated his case to the congregation, asking that someone adopt him.

I’m not one to often get emotional, but Davion’s story tore me apart. I felt like my heart was actually breaking when I read this quote from him:

”I’ll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”

Just read that again is making me tear up all over.

Guys, this is a boy who just wants to be loved. He’s been alone since he was BORN. His mom was in prison and he held out hope for years that she would come for him—until he found out this year that she had died.

And he went to a church and asked for someone, ANYONE, to adopt him. And while two families came forward to inquire, nothing’s been done yet. He’s still without a family. Which is all he wants right now.


Ever since I was probably 16 or so, I’ve known that I wanted to adopt children, someday. I don’t know when, but I truly believe that’s what God has for me in the future.

I still vividly remember the turning point for me: I was watching a 20/20 on adoption and foster children, and it broke my heart. Broke it. And it’s never been the same since.

While plenty of people have their own children (which is wonderful and I am in no way discrediting that), I’ve never felt like that was for me. Now, granted, this could change, but I’ve felt that way for years now.

Because here’s the thing. There are so, so many beautiful, wonderful children in the world right now without a home or a family. They bounce from foster home to foster home, longing, waiting for the day for someone to call their own.  But so many, too many, never get to know what it feels like to have a popcorn and movie night in the living room, to get invited to the neighbor kid’s pool party, or even what it’s like to have someone who loves them as their own tuck them in at night.

Someday, I want to be that person.


The bottom of the news article I referenced above contains the following information regarding Davion: (At publication time, two couples had asked about Davion, but no one had come forward to adopt him. If you want more information about Davion — or any of the 120 foster children in Pinellas and Pasco counties who are waiting for families, call Eckerd at (866) 233-0790. If you can’t adopt but want to donate time or money, call Eckerd at (727) 456-0600.

Let’s spread the word about Davion (and the thousands of others just like him). He needs a home.

Davion Only needs a home


My second chance at life (and why you should be an organ donor)

I wrote this post one year ago. Happy 23 years together, new liver! Let’s hang out for a long time, K?


Tomorrow, October 16th, marks an anniversary for me. Tomorrow is my 22nd anniversary of a second chance at life, though my life had barely started.

Long story short, I was diagnosed with a genetic liver disease when I was two years old. The doctors said I had until my fourth birthday, max, to get a new liver. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait as long as many others do and got my liver when I was a few months shy of my third birthday. When the doctors took my old liver out during the transplant, they realized I was actually in much worse shape than they had originally thought, so it was a gift from God that I got my liver when I did.

Just before my surgery in 1990

This was about 6 months post-transplant. Steroids, while important, are not kind to children.

I’ve never met the donor’s family…

View original post 299 more words

Dedication, Soul-bearing

The story of Peru, a little girl named Noris, and unconditional love

I haven’t really shared this story. Until now.


I pulled this photo out yesterday for a Throwback Thursday photo on Instagram. But the photo flooded me with so many emotions and memories I hadn’t really tapped into for a long time. And I decided it was time to share the story. The story of Noris.

In 2005, I went to the outskirts of Lima, Peru, on a missions trip with my church youth group. (When searching for the specific portion we were in, La Tablada, I stumbled upon this YouTube video. I got a big lump in my throat when I saw the cross at the 1:36 mark–we repainted that cross when we were there because it was covered with graffiti.) I had gone on a trip the year before to the Dominican Republic, which had definitely made a lasting impression on my life.

But I was unprepared for what Peru would teach me. All because of a little girl named Noris.

During the course of our week there, we helped with construction at a church, served at an orphanage, and walked door-to-door to tell people about Jesus. But we also ran a VBS every afternoon in the town square that was a few blocks away from the church.


Kids from all around would fill the square every afternoon. It was so beautiful–we shared with them about salvation through Jesus, and they shared joy and pure love with us in return.

I loved every minute of it. But there was one little girl who made a lasting impression on me.

I don’t remember exactly how we found each other. Whether she was next to me during song time, in my group for crafts, or some other circumstance, I don’t remember. But all I remember is that she was there.

We didn’t speak the same language. The interpreters were all always busy with other conversations around the square, so I don’t think the two of us ever had a fluent conversation. I asked her, “Como te llamas?” “Noris,” she whispered back. She hugged me.

It wasn’t like any hug I had ever had before. It was a no-holds-barred, I-don’t-know-you-but-it-doesn’t-matter hug. It touched something deep inside me. She didn’t know me. She didn’t know my story, my history, my failures.

All she knew is that I was there. In that moment. And she hugged me.


For the next few days, I spent the majority of my time in VBS with her. Letting her play with my hair. Helping her watch her tiny sister. Giggling together about things around us, not needing to speak a word to share a laugh.

On the last day we sat together, just holding each other. She was curled up in my lap. I stroked her glossy black hair, which was always messily done in two braids. When it was time to say goodbye, I cried.

She whispered, “Te amo.” Choking back more tears, I whispered it back to her. I told her in my broken Spanish that Jesus loves her, too, and she nodded and smiled. Then she grabbed her little sister’s hand and walked away.


Noris showed me what unconditional love looks like. Growing up in the church setting, I had often struggled with that concept. I had heard so many sermons and talks about it but couldn’t wrap my mind completely around it.

Jesus died for me? Me? And everyone else? Even the people I don’t like? I believed it, I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, but it was just something I struggled with on the daily level.

Because there’s no reason a perfect God should love someone like me. I sin. All the time. I hurt people, I lie, I worry, I say cruel things. I don’t deserve a perfect Love.

But God sent me Noris to show me what it looked like on an earthly level. To trust without boundaries. To love in purity. To not overanalyze things. To just accept His love, even if my finite mind can never truly fully comprehend it.

paintingThis painting hangs in my bedroom now. I bought it at a market in Lima at the end of our trip. It reminded me of Noris, and it still brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

Every day, I’m thankful for what she showed me. And I can only hope I show that love to others.