Ryle and I are inflight. Here a couple of Facebook posts from April yesterday and today. It will quickly bring you up-to-speed.

Posted 12/14/15 evening


Many of you know that our Son, Jake, was involved in a head-on collision this morning. First responders said that his seat belt saved his life. The ER doc added that he’s lucky to be alive. We are so grateful for the gift of what feels like added years for our Son. We’re also thankful that the young woman he collided with is a Christian…her example to us in the midst of great trial, has been exemplary and most beautifully, God-glorifying. Though we would have never picked these circumstances, we are better for having met her.

Most of you will also know that Jake was scheduled to fly out tomorrow morning with Rick and Ryle to head for China. He was to fill the roles of luggage handler, brother, and companion to a man who has sometimes been known to miss his wife and family something fierce when he’s far away from them. My heart hurts for my dear hubby, who now has to handle the logistics and specialized care of two traumatized toddlers, one of which, is medically fragile. Please pray for them. This trip is so very, very hard…and though we’d not dreamed it possible just a few short hours ago, it just became infinitely harder.

We’re so thankful for all the calls, texts, and offers of help. Our “village” (the body of Christ) is very dear to our hearts. We thank you for supporting us with your love. An extra-special shout of gratitude to my Mom, Debbie Dowers Leonard, who left work right away and came to stay all day with our kids so that we could be at the hospital. And to Marlene R. Kelley and Rick Kelley, for watching our kids for the evening so that we could attend to the rest of the packing, uninterrupted by the ever-pressing needs of little children. And to our beloved Pastor Jim, for coming to pray with us and make us laugh. Laughter truly is the best medicine. And finally, to our kids…Christian Kelley, Gabe Kelley, and Grace Kelley…for rushing to their brother’s side once they learned of the accident. I’m proud of them for looking for ways to pitch in and help. They make my world go ’round and I love them all very much.

Please pray for us in the coming weeks. Pray for Jake as he struggles with pain and feelings of having let his Dad down. Pray for the young lady also involved in the accident, who remains hospitalized tonight. But most of all, pray that God alone would receive much glory in our weakness.

Posted 12/15/15 morning:

It happened on the final leg of our journey to our daughters in early 2014. Our warm, gooey thoughts of spending precious time with family evaporated in the frantic, hurried efforts to race out ahead of an ice storm that was bearing down on our city. We just made it on the last plane out of Louisville.

It happened again yesterday with the early-morning news that our Son had been in a terrible car crash. A day planned for last-minute packing, a tea party, and an early Christmas with our kids, was suddenly reduced to a day of waiting and gut-wrenching decision-making in a hospital room. The spirit of Christmas however, came anyway, with the gift of our Son’s life and that of the young woman involved in the wreck.

One of our children questioned whether we believe these dark providences to be omens or signs that we should not go. But we have learned that, with adoption, the efforts of the Evil One are real. They are pointed. They are relentless. He doesn’t care who he hurts, and he certainly has no intention of giving up what he believes to be his…these precious, vulnerable children. But he is wrong. These children are God’s…they are made in His image…and it seems, He would have these two to be our beloved Sons. Satan’s schemes are no match for the providential Will of our Father.

It is with this mindset that Rick and Ryle embarked this morning on the journey of a lifetime. But a road wrought with dangers, toils, and snares, to be sure. Satan didn’t stand on the Tarmac and stamp his feet in frustration that all his attempts had failed. He simply stowed away on the plane. And his incessant escapades of hijinx and tomfoolery will no doubt continue once again in China. But our God is here when they taxi out; He is not just on the plane, but holds it firmly up in the skies with the palm of His hand. And He will go before them there in China. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do too.

Please join us in prayer for the next 18 days. I know personally how difficult this trip is. Rick and Ryle will experience bone-deep weariness, a sense of isolation, feelings of doubt and fear, and they will miss their village fiercely. FB and email will become a greater mode of encouragement than ever before. Inundate these methods with Scripture proofs and words of affirmation and love. They will need it much more than you could ever believe. God is faithful. He will be their strength and their Guide.

Let the adventure begin.

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