He’s Home and Has a New Name!

It is with great joy that I announce little “Mickey” is now home and officially a U.S. citizen. He officially became an O’Brien the moment the plane touched down on U.S. soil. They flew home last Friday/Saturday, arriving in Cleveland late Saturday night. I had the pleasure of sharing in their journey through online updates and photos during the past few weeks while Scott and Paula were in China.

“Mickey” is an absolutely delightful boy. His smile radiates joy and those dimples – oh my! He has made his way into all of our hearts! Scott and Paul announced his new name from China. It is a privilege to be able to introduce Charles “Charlie”  ChenDong O’Brien, or “Charming Charlie” as his parents dubbed him….and you can see why!





1st Happy Meal – not too sure about it!


Welcome home, Charlie! <3

The AFA Gallery Show is Underway


We had a great start to the Art for Adoption (AFA) show last Saturday night. Mayflower Arts Center is a gracious host, and we sold 7 original paintings!! I was so blessed by the support, and delighted to finally meet our feature family, the O’Brien’s. They are a super sweet family – the kids are adorable! Here we are pictured from left to right: Scott, Paula, Adhu, Cecelia, me, and, my daughter, Chloe:


The winter gallery hours are Thursdays 10-2, Fridays 10-6, and Saturdays 2-8. The art will be on display through Saturday, February 18th. Please stop in at the gallery! There are still 23 original pieces of art looking for a home. Remember, 100% of your purchase goes directly to the O’Brien’s for the finalization of their adoption. And, look at this little guy:


He is precious! The smile. The dimples. Enough said. I cannot wait to show the pictures of him with his new family. Stay tuned for those around the end of March!

AFA was featured this week in a lovely article in the Dayton Local News. Read the full article here.

Blessings today and always,



2nd Annual Art for Adoption Gallery Show

Art for Adoption began one, short year ago with a prompt from the Lord, “Give your art away”.  I felt He was asking me to make good use of the “extra” art accumulating in my dining room. In 2016, we supported three families in the process of international adoption: the Schaadt family, the Whitacre Family, and the O’Brien family. Combined, my art raised about $4000 for these families (more if you count the matching grants!). Two of the three families have been to China in 2016 and have their children now at home, adjusting in their new families.

The Schaadt family and Nyah:


The Whitacre Family and Elsie:



The third family, the O’Brien’s, are nearing their goal, and hope to travel to pick up their son, “Mickey”, at the end of March 2017.

The O’Brien family and “Mickey” (the adoption agency name assigned to him):


I have been given the opportunity again this year to have a gallery show in Troy, Ohio at Mayflower Arts Center in February 2017. 100% of the proceeds from this show will go to the O’Brien’s toward their adoption. We hope to see little “Mickey” home very soon with his new family.


Local friends, you are cordially invited to an artist reception at the gallery on Saturday, February 4th from 6-8 pm. I am happy to report the O’Brien family plans to be in attendance. I hope you will come meet them, encourage them, and consider purchasing a piece of art in support of their adoption.

Non-local friends, I wanted you to have a way to participate in this special fund raiser, so I have decided to donate 100% of my shop sales now through February 18th to the O’Brien family. Many of the original pieces are loaded and available right now: here.

Lastly, we ask your crucial support in one other way….please help us spread the word about this event! Tell your friends, church, co-workers, anyone and everyone with a heart toward adoption how they can support bringing “Mickey” home.

Many thanks, and may God bless you richly in this new year!


Spring and Random Things

Hi friends,

It has been too long since I’ve written. I often have leanings toward writing, just little time to sit down and get it down before it’s gone. I am trying to embrace this season, and there are a lot of good things happening. But honestly, I miss the quieter times, and hope to return to a more regular rhythm of writing….someday.

For today, just wanted to check in to say, “Hi” and update you on a few things around here. First, Art for Adoption is in full swing. We finished out the gallery show for the Schaadt family, making about $700 more to add to their total of over $1700, matching grant grand total: $3400! The Schaadt family leaves tomorrow for China! It is so gratifying to be part of something real-time and tangible. Nyah, your Mommy and Daddy are on the way! There is a lovely, supportive community forming in Art for Adoption. People are buying my art, but they are doing so much more! Truly, this God-inspired initiative is eternally significant, and I am honored to be part of it.

We’ve identified our next feature family, the Whitacre’s:


Actually, Jon and Jessi are friends of ours. We go to the same church and homeschool co-op. They are the couple who spoke to our church about adoption on Orphan Sunday. They adopted a little boy from China last year, and God has called them to adopt again. This time, a little girl from China named, Elsie:


We’ve held one round of auctions for them, which raised $271. I am busy making art to continue with another round or two of auctions in April. Here are some tulips, from my table at Easter, I painted the other day in  watercolor. They will be in the next round of auctions:



I love the flowers of spring, and hearing the birds chirping outside my door. This is also the time of year when we are straining to the finish line of our homeschooling year. The birds and flowers spur me on in my morning prayer times. We are in the last quarter now (Hallelujah!) and in full swing of planning for next year. This week is the annual homeschool convention that I and many of my mom-teacher-friends attend in Cincinnati. I have so been looking  forward to hearing the keynote speaker, Ann Voskamp , this year. I love her writing and her story, and, frankly, I am in need of some encouragement in the mother-schooling-life department. Ann is great at that. Her writing always lifts my vision and my spirit. And then, God did something really cool this week regarding that. I am going on Saturday with Jessi (Whitacre – above, Art for Adoption). Jessi had planned to wait outside and have a little time to herself while I listen to Ann, but then she saw a blog post from Ann this week with an announcement. Ann is also adopting a child from China, also a little girl, and she is traveling to China next week!! I thought it was so sweet for God to connect Jessi and I in this work of Art for Adoption and then bring this connection with Ann Voskamp. So, now Jessi is going with me to hear/meet Ann, and I am beyond excited for how God might encourage us all through it!!!

And, finally, one more thing I wanted to share…

Easter Sunday I had a tiny breakthrough. I started to realize how the enemy of our souls tries to victimize us with our past (and present) struggles. I caught a glimpse of Jesus – our Victorious Risen Savior – and decided it is time to put a stop to Satan’s torment. Stop allowing him to haunt my mind with the grief and pain of yesterday. I decided to refocus on today, and rise with Christ to a bolder, more confident faith. This is the power of His resurrection in real, daily living.

My life circumstances did not change on Sunday. In fact, I had a deja vu of sorts during worship. We sang the song, “Death in His Grave”. Here is the chorus:

On Friday, a thief, on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief, but woke with the keys
Of hell on that day, the firstborn of the slain
The man, Jesus Christ, laid death in His grave.

I remember singing that very song a few years back on Easter Sunday. I remember this specifically because I had to leave in the middle of the service. I had a visit with my son that morning, who was in the county jail at the time. This was the last song I heard before I headed out the door for the visit. That memory came back along with the stinging realization that my son is still in prison. Not a lot has changed. But yet, it is changing. I am changing. My son is changing, as we both grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus.

I thought about how God used the lyrics of the song that day to embolden me to go and share the Gospel with my very troubled boy. And then, how He was using those same words right then, in that moment, to cause me to rise in victorious faith. I thought of how many of us live in prisons of our own making, when Jesus holds the keys.

Believer, the door is open. You can walk out of the cell of painful circumstances. You can choose to lock up Satan’s continual accusations and torment. Jesus has the keys. He can lay your pain right in His grave. Make this the year to put it to death, and rise to a more glorious and victorious life in Him. Amen?

Hallelujah! What a Savior!





The Gallery Show is Almost Over

Hi Friends,

The gallery show opening reception was an amazing experience! I got to meet the Schaadt family in person, and hear their adoption story. I met several other new people, and saw how God is touching and changing lives through adoption. God has blessed me greatly in being part of this work. I still can’t believe I get to do something I love and put it to such good use! I am thrilled beyond measure to say that we sold 9 paintings on the opening night!

A few pictures from the evening:


Michael and Erin Schaadt next to the banner, “Art for Adoption”


A very excited me just before opening!!


The first three pieces at the start of the exhibit. The center piece, Journey, was my featured image for the exhibit. She sold opening night to a family who adopted a daughter from China 10 years ago! It was so special to hear their story, and see how moved they were to be part of the Schaadt’s journey of adoption. The two floral pieces pictured are still available!!!

But only for one for week! The gallery has hours TODAY, 10 am – 6 pm. Next week, gallery hours are Thursday, 10 am – 3 pm, or Friday/Saturday 10 am – 6pm. Stop in to see the whole exhibit!

Where: Mayflower Arts Center, 9 W Main St Troy OH www.mayflowerartscenter.com

Birds and flowers are popular, so here are a couple more still available:


Red Bird in Nest, 8×8


Pink Peonies 12×16

I should add that you can call the gallery to make a purchase, if you see something you like and are too far away to make it up to Troy. The gallery phone number is 937-552-5848.

Thank you to everyone for your support here and online in the Art for Adoption group .