fill my heart with song

A sweet friend sent me a new picture to hang on my wall. I’ve hinted at it some…part of my daughter’s name is “Song”.

My Song.

My heart is full.

Adoption is beautiful and yet full of pain too. There are hard truths related to adoption. Loss for children. Loss for families. Grief. I am an answer seeker…a researcher…a digger for truth. I am digging for answers for my daughter, despite the hard truths I might learn along the way. I am learning from doctors, parents, counselors on how to help my daughter. She is not staring at pictures of our family. She is not dreaming of laying under blankets snuggling with her sister. When we meet, her world will be rocked to its core.

My heart is hurting for her. It hurts for the pain she has already known. It hurts for the loss she has already faced. It hurts for her birth family.

A year ago yesterday, FireCracker broke her femur. This is a photo of her big brother the first time he saw her in the hospital. His face is how I am feeling for my Little One.


His heart broke when he saw his baby sister in that hospital bed. He didn’t understand why she was there. He couldn’t comprehend all she was enduring. He just knew she was hurt. He didn’t have answers, only questions. He was hurting.


His hurt and concern for her never diminished, but he did figure out how to still be her loved big brother. He couldn’t heal her broken leg, but he could love her through it. He could lay in that hospital crib next to her watching movies. He continued to do so every visit for the 3 weeks she was in the hospital. He did what he could to love her as only a big brother can.


And while I will still search for answers for my daughter, I will also keep moving forward and love her as only a mother can. We are still waiting on that Letter of Acceptance. When it arrives I’ll be mailing some disposable cameras and a Q&A book her way. The cameras are in hope that the caretakers will capture some everyday moments of her. The Q&A book is written in Chinese and English. It is full of questions about her early days, her likes, dislikes, milestones….basically a baby book that the caretakers can fill out. I’ll mark the most important questions to me and hope they answer them.


And I’ll celebrate with FireCracker as she waits for her little sister…this girl loves to match, she is excited about these shirts!


And, I’m even starting to make a list for packing. A friend sent me some items to take when we travel. I usually am a very last minute packer. I think I’ll at least start planning a little better this time.


So it has been a hard couple of weeks as we wait and learn. So much I’ve been learning I am not ready to share…I’m still processing. So much is her story alone and I will always protect what is hers. Other aspects I want to share, to shed light on issues many are unaware exist. We are on day 39 of our wait. It seems like many are waiting an average of 80 days right now. Blah.

I usually check my email first thing in the morning in hopes there is something from my agency. Yesterday I waited. I just wasn’t ready for no news again. But, when I did check it there was a new email from my agency. Yesterday was a very good day.


Just to clarify, those are only peeks at the photos we received, but they are the first peeks of her I’ve shared on this blog. I’ll be able to share more about her after we get our acceptance letter. She’s gorgeous and I’ve studied every last detail of my three new pictures.

My heart is full of Song.


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  • KO - Tears are pouring down my face because of this post! It is beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time. Thank you for the little glimpses, how kind of you to share this journey with us. Oh, the day your little one is in your arms…..

  • carson ray - such beautiful emotion. thank you for sharing {every day.}

  • Steph - Oh Ashley my heart is full of impatience, pain, worry and excitement for you. Whatever your daughter has been through in her young life you will walk her through overcoming during the rest of her long, happy life. How badly you must want to get that message to her! Soon enough, day by day with every snuggle and smile you will do just that.

  • Rachel B. - Amazing love, amazing journey. Continuing to lift you all up in prayer. Sing unto the Lord a NEW SONG!

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators - Things are so close now! How different your life was a year ago, though some of the emotions carry through. Its beautiful to see how eagerly your whole family is awaiting little Song. She’ll be so lucky to come into a family that loves her as much as you all obviously do.

  • Melissa @ Loving this {crazy} life! - I have been following your blog for awhile now. My favorite posts are the ones where you write about your children. You seem like an amazing mommy. I love they way you spill your heart out here and I am very excited for you and your family to have your newest little miracle in your home.

    My husband and I have 4 daughters {two from his first marriage & two in ours} and have always talked about adopting. Well, I believe the time is soon approaching for us. We are moving this summer from Florida to Indiana and are going to start our journey when we get there.

    Thanking your for sharing. It warms my heart to read your blog.

  • Liene - beautiful.

  • Sadie - Sitting here with tears of sadness and tears of joy. You are such a beautiful woman. I have so much to learn to have your joy for life. I have seen those photos of Littlest Brother, but today, they just rocked my heart. Made me burst out into tears. What precious souls. Can’t wait to meet the new Song that the Lord is giving you!

  • Katie @ explanationrequired - God’s timing is so amazing. Sometimes the days when we’ve given up hope are the days He brings a special bit of joy to us. I’m so happy to hear each and every update you share with us.

  • Yin Yee - Ben and Noel said that Chris and you were coming. Please let us know the date as soon as you find out.

  • Carla - Oh, that little hand! Those little toes! Blessing to you and your family as you wait to be together under one roof. Know that you are together under God’s sky and that he is watching over each of you until you are in each other’s arms.

  • Dawn - Isn’t it crazy how much can change in one year? Your children are so sweet, all of them. Little one’s toes and fingers look adorable! Thanks for sharing those snippets – prayers continue for you and your family.

  • MommaRa - I so adore these update. That is one lucky sweet song. She is as lucky as you guys are.

  • Lori - Those who sow in TEARS will reap with SONGS OF JOY. He who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow, will return with SONGS OF JOY, carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126: 5-6

    May all your tears be cleansing to your heart and give you courage to bring light upon a forgotten group – the unloved, yet to be chosen ones…
    May your voice never be silenced and through this journey you lead others to the place of choosing.
    (I believe that is your seed to sow…) Bless you and your family! Peace in your heart. Strength to your bones.

  • Christy - Praise the Lord that you received new news today! I appreciate so much your complete honesty in writing about your experience- as well as being genuine in describing your emotions. I can only imagine what you are going through. As my husband and I pray for adoption one day- I appreciate reading through stories like yours and seeing just how powerful God!

    Thank you Ashley.

  • Danielle - Oh wow… this is amazing! Looks at those little toes!!!

  • amanda torres - Well, I had a good cry this morning. Beautiful post! I can’t imagine your emotions right now. Seeing those little finger and toes is enough to send me over the edge.

  • Molly - Praying for you and your little one! I can only imagine how hard your wait is!

  • marie - ….and a beautiful song it is! Praying your letter comes soon and the remaining days fly by.
    Love those little fingers and toes!!

  • Stefani - Those little fingers and toes sure are precious! I am praying that your wait will be much shorter than 80 days and you will have to pack last minute! A little selfish on my part because I just don’t want to wait to see her in your arms. πŸ™‚ Thank you for letting us share in your joy!

  • jenny - You are right….so many mixed emotions and so many people’s lives are involved in the whole process. I am praying that God would comfort your heart and bring you peace about these hard truths and also continue to fill your heart with love and joy for Song and all that God has planned.
    He is in control. That is one thing I know for sure that we can rest in.

  • Amy Beachy - such sweet pictures. thank you for sharing your journey. especially the hard parts. i am praying for your family.

  • Seriously Sassy Mama - What a sweet big brother looking over his sister!

  • lindsey - oh ashley! i know your heart must be so happy to know that things are in movement…God is in movement to get your Song to you. And I just love this little glimpses at the perfect baby feet and hands.

    I spent two months in Russia about 8 years ago and I was in orphanages quite a bit. I remember wanting to take everyone of them home with me. Seeing a baby laying there with no mommy to love it just broke my heart. I’m so thankful for people like you who are giving an opportunity for LIFE for this child that has been abandoned. I have absolutely no doubt that your family’s love will far exceed any hurt that she has experienced. She will be whole once she is with you!

  • Claudia - //such beautiful & encouraging words you write Ashley, you make motherhood seem so lovely. i can’t wait until God blesses my husband & i with our own little ones. thank you for sharing the beauty you see in life*

  • Charla - Song, how beautiful! I am super excited for your family!

  • Natalie - I’m so inspired by your blog. I’m about to celebrate my 2nd anniversary and we don’t have kids yet. Waiting until we are “ready.” But I want to be a mom like you. Your kids are so precious and seems to be emotionally healthy in how their express their emotions to you — at least it looks like that from the pictures you take of them. Your house looks like it’s full of happiness and joy and like you seriously LOVE that you get to be a wife and mom. And that’s just rare…

  • Heather - Precious. The road to adoption can look so differently for different families, and yet there are such strong commonalities. I love the glimpses of your little Song. So very precious. Blessings!

  • Kara - I’ve been following your journey and just had to tell you… thank you for sharing it with us. Really, really beautiful and I am so happy for you and your family!! Praying the day is coming soon when sweet Song will be in your arms πŸ™‚ PS. Firecracker is going to be an AMAZING big sister!!

  • Tammia - You’re right–the pain associated with adoption is difficult to describe and even harder to process. It doesn’t go away, either. Thanks for sharing honestly. I think adoption is over-romanticized and I appreciate that you share the honest truth (which often involves pain). Sweet pictures of your little one, too. Prayers and best wishes.

  • allison - Bursting with joy and sadness all at the same time. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. God bless!

  • Jenny Joy - Your love may not be able to change your little one’s past, but it will most definitely change her future. I’m sending lots of love and prayers and thoughts across the world to your girl… that she might know your love and the love of her entire family very, very soon.

  • Lisa Johnson - those sweet fingers and toes fill my heart with joy and my eyes with tears

  • Kara M - I have been thinking about the brokeness in adoption lately. So, that leads me to pray for our child’s bio family everyday. Since we don’t believe he is born yet, we pray for the bio family as they go through the brokeness that leads to adoption. I know they will go through so much pain! Praying for your family today!

  • amber - Her hands & feet are beautiful. Praying for you guys! Thanks for sharing such a tender part of your lives with us…it’s a special thing to watch.

  • Kirra Sue - So sweet Ashley.

  • Kimberly - Very moving post today. I am not good at finding the words to express how happy it makes me that your little one will be going into such a loving home. I know you know it won’t be easy and I’m glad to read you express that side of it too. Sometimes you only hear the happy positive stuff.

  • Anna Joy - Every second that passes means every second you are closer to her. Your wait is almost over!!! πŸ™‚

  • Michelle - I was just praying for you this morning that God would begin to open the doors towards you getting the acceptance letter! So glad to hear things are moving along. Praying for you!

  • Elizabeth - Oh Ashley,

    What a wonderful post. It brings me back to the very first time I saw a picture of my daughter—who was then living in a baby home in Changsha, Hunan—and the day I saw the second, updated picture of her. Back then, it was only through mail that we got photos, and usually there was only one of them (and if you were lucky, you got a second one a couple months later). It seems like just yesterday, and I feel so much joy being able to watch/share in this process with you, even though we do not know each other in real life.

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful time with us all.


  • kim - i love that you are allowing us to follow you on this journey.
    that your heart is bursting with so much love for your little one that you can’t help but share it with us. πŸ™‚

    seeing those little toes and hands on instagram warmed my heart like crazy. your little girl is so REAL. she is so close. πŸ™‚
    can’t wait to see this journey through!

  • Kara Miller - As I read your post today my heart was filled with amazement of God’s love. Listening to you talk about all your children always blesses me but to hear you talk about song, just fills my heart with joy and excitement for the new blessings about to come to your family.
    I read your page and then left and went on to my daily readings when I came across this and thought this looks like a painting Ashley would have in her house somewhere. AND then I saw the painting name.. Sing me a SONG… I knew I had to come back and share it with you. I believe it was Gods little way of telling me to come back and let you know that your blog is a blessing to my life… anyway here is the link to Pinot’s Palette, it is usually an adult art class but I find it soooo fitting that Sunday is Family Day and the painting is Sing me a Song, maybe you and your family can go and enjoy the class πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca - Great post. Thank you for the pictures. I love baby feet. I always take my 2-year old son’s feet in my hands to smell and kiss the bottoms. I realize that there will be day I won’t want to get next to them. Right now I can say I love his feet. I will continue to keep your family and Little One in my thoughts.

  • Laura J. - I am a brand new reader, but felt I had to write. My daughter from Guatemala is now 11! We had a pretty rough time with our adoption process. Know that it will take you time to win your daughter over. My daughter was 8 1/2 months old when she came home. She had probably only ever seen a blond woman once before(me, when she was 5 months old!), so I seemed very strange to her. Also hearing English was totally alien to her. My husband has dark hair, so she was drawn to him. Your daughter will fall in love with her siblings faster. My son could make my daughter smile when no one else could. Be patient and consistent in responding to her every need. Know that she will grieve deeply at first. You are taking her away from the only life she has ever known. It will work out, but understand that it may a while. It is hard and wonderful all at the same time.

  • tami - What an amazing journey! Praying for the journey to get even sweeter soon! :0) Thanks for sharing! I look forward to updates everyday !

  • Kelly - Such sweet pictures! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, she will be one lucky little girl joining your beautiful family.

  • Emily - Those little fingers and toes are so precious!

  • amy cornwell - Oh my mercy, that first picture of “big brother” brought tears to my eyes. Such love for Fire Cracker. I’m so excited for the progress with the adoption and good news the other day. Praying for you as you anxiously await your next steps!

  • Jen - Well, you’re almost at the halfway mark of the average wait time! πŸ˜€

  • Tara A - Ashley, You make me cry. Ugh….We are praying for you all. Can’t wait to see her with all of you. Love the shirts. Firecracker is so excited you can see it in her little eyes. Have a blessed day. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Thanks, Tara A.

  • Amy D - Ashley, I hear ya, girl… I’m right there with you… I’m so thankful you share this story, and two sides of the same coin, the joy and pain of adoption. It needs to be told and heard, and while it’s hard for me not to be permitted to share our own story yet, I’m glad you are able to tell yours so beautifully and to so many people, because it needs to be told. And I’m thankful you are treading it all so carefully, because you’re right, some of Little One’s story does need to be hers alone to share if she wants. A fine line! Again, you encourage me, to know that another mommy longs for updates and movement and hurts for her baby the same way I do! And, OMIGOODNESS, the little bits of Little One are PRECIOUS!!! πŸ™‚ So fun to see little bits of her!

  • Katie - My friend shared your blog link with me. We are in the process of adopting domestically; and are in the “waiting” season. My heart goes out to you and praying that God will continue to grow you- we have a friend who adopted two girls from China and her advice to us as we wait was, “I know you’re not, but let me again encourage you to not despise the journey. The pain of the journey is part of your family’s story and one you will tell your baby over and over. God is very much in the pain of the journey! Embrace it all!” Thanks for sharing your heart today.

  • Melissa - we’ve waited for 2 of our adopted children. it is hard going through the waiting period, but looking back, it was so worth it! through the waiting God showed me so much and taught me a lot about myself. He is preparing you for your sweet girl! thanks for being so honest and open!

  • ashley gee - “Life’s a happy song when there’s someone by your side to sing along”. I sing this song around the house with my nephews… it’s from the muppet movie. Hopefully soon your Song will be along side you singing along. Until that day your family is in my thoughts and prayers as you continue on with this journey. much love.

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Thank you for sharing what you are able and feel led to do. It’s blessing so many!

  • jennie - hi ashley,
    i’ve been following your blog for a while now and i even took your online snapshop course, which by the way was amazing! i’m so eager to meet your new lil angel. i too have gone through the adoption process and thought at times it was enough to kill me emotionally. i was my sons foster mother and i don’t wish that kind of stress on my worst enemy. my son came to live with me at 9 months of age, and wasn’t ours officially until a couple weeks shy of his 3rd birthday. it’s amazing the amount of pain and worry a mothers heart can bare when we have our eye on the prize. the power of prayer will get you through, and the joy awaiting your family in the end will send chills up your spine. your a wonderful mother and that baby girl is so blessed to be trapped inside your heart already!

  • carolina - Oh Ashley! I hope everything be good. The first pictures broked my heart, said a lot. I’m happy for you because had some news, i don’t imagine what feels all that wait but I know you and your family can wait because you have help from upstairs. Aguante!!!

  • Lydia - love this.

  • Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers - Ashley,

    Your children are absolutely precious. I cried when I saw them together in the crib. What a beautiful family, hang in there. ?


  • Elizabeth - I’m seriously tearing up looking at these pictures!! I’m so thrilled that you have them!! Anxiously waiting w/ you!!

  • Stacey - Every time I read one of your posts, I find myself crying and snuggling my daughter even tighter. I’ve said it before, but you are such an inspiration to me as a mother. Your little one is already so lucky that she is going to be part of such a welcoming awesome family. I am so excited for you all and I can’t wait until she’s home with her family!


  • Jessica - Have you heard the song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri? I used to think it was a pleasant little girl loves boy song but last Friday I was driving a long road trip. And it came on. And I heard one line I had never noticed before. “Time stands still. Beauty in all she is. I will be brave; I will not let anything take away what’s standing in front of me. Every breath, every hour has come to this.” And I was just all of a sudden floored. My first thought was you. And then I started crying. Like, ugly crying down the interstate. But not the sad kind; the kind you feel when you’re overwhelmed by the feeling of God speaking directly to or through you. And I had to tell you. If you haven’t given this song a listen or heard it in this way, I hope you do. And I hope that it brings you great comfort.

  • Thuy - I love this post and the pictures! I am so happy to be able to follow you along this amazing journey.

  • Laura Chavous - It is so true what you said about adoption being a beautiful yet sorrowful thing. I am so blessed for you and your family.

  • AshleyAnn - Jessica, I have not heard it, but I’m off to find it now πŸ™‚

  • RachelSD - Oh, Ashley, another tearjerker post! Glad FireCracker likes her shirt and the onesie for Little One… can’t wait to see them both in them. πŸ™‚ Wishing you tons of patience as you wait for your Song…

  • giozi - The photos of your child watching his sister and your story was very touching. To see your beautiful smiling girl, embracing these shirts is beautiful. And I have also wanted to know “little one”

  • Amanda - I love watching this unfold for you. I can’t imagine the emotional roller coaster! Time to wipe my eyes πŸ™‚

  • Amber Wallace - Such precious little hands and feet. How exciting

  • Jackie - So happy you got an update! This wait has become pure torture. You are right, adoption is so complex and it seems to get more emotional every passing year. Here’s to our little Songs!

  • Paige Y - I love that you are recording her story just for her. What a special gift you are giving your daughter. Love your updates. I wrote my story for my son, Tyler, so he could read it right from me. Luckily, I know his parents have held nothing back from him, not even the love from his first mom. hugs!

  • ter@waaoms - I hope the adoption goes through. I have thought about adoption. But I don’t know if I can handle being a single mother. (my husband and daughter passed away) Why did your daughter have to be in the hospital for 3 weeks with a broken leg? I’m glad you have those photos and that she has a great big brother who loves her so much.