{ finding sunshine }

finding sunshine...

many days its hard to want to go to sleep because i know i am going to have to wake up to do the same ol' thing again. 

-get all the kids ready for the day
-get them breakfast while i pack them lunches
-break up frights at the table
-calm ezra down because he dropped something while sitting at the table
-repeat myself over and over again about getting snow gear on before daddy gets home to take them to school
-and once the two older ones are gone i am left with sitting on the floor hoping that i can be the peacemaker between the two littles. 
-then lunch. why must food be such a battle?
-i pray that everyone takes a nap so i have a few minutes to get to the dishes and think about doing the mound of laundry that haunts me. i usually say "nope not today" -_-
-dinner prep
-some days i have to wake up the littles to go pick up the older two (always ends terribly) but most day since bringing home ezra my husband will pick them and drop them off before heading back to work. 
-once they are all home i feel like its survival mode until bedtime. it all just becomes a blur. lol

I won't lie. Life is a bit more crazy since our adoption has been finalized and ezra has been home. I can't do the dishes and i can barely leave my home. i have to monitor his every movement because he is my personal little tornado. and i am never sure whats going to cause an outburst.

BUT i say all this because I am learning to find JOY in all this...the sunshine! I just LOVE THIS BOY so much and he is changing this mommy's heart. And we are starting to see fruits from pouring into him on those long days + long nights.

 (these two were in our hotel room in korea)

(first time he want me to pick him up)

(first day at his new home)

I hardly recognize this little boy. He is flourishing into a bright smart young boy. He is slowly finding his place amongst the siblings and in the rhythm of our household. I'm not saying we don't have dark cloudy days but when we choose see the growth instead of being stuck in pain over the worsening of other behaviors...we can finally see a glimpse of sunshine. 

what we are learning about him:
hands down his favorite thing to play with are his cars. all day every day.
if he could pick one this to eat right now it would still be sticky rice
he can hear music from a mile away and that won't stop him from dancing to it
he is really quick to laugh
he is always very excited to go bye-bye
amazing fine motor skills to the point that putting socks and shoes on are a breeze for him
he pays really close to detail
he is really quick to help & comfort other kids

Ezra's outfit:
Beanie - Young Buck Beanies
"so Bad no Rad" shirt - my.m.co
Jeans: Tattrd Threads 
Coat: Target
Shoes: Namdaemun Market in Korea

a lost & wandering lamb

i have never considered myself a lost & wondering sheep... "sinner? yes." but "lost? no." thats for those who have strayed away from the Lord or who has had their own agenda since the beginning of time, but me? no. little nobody me has been good and straight for quite some time... oh but thats is the problem.

see i'm the eldest child. who know, the guinea pig of all parenting. the one your parents learn what they should or shouldn't do with the rest of the kids they have. my mom called me the "fair police." oh gosh was i ever. anything my brothers had i felt like i was owed the same. if something had to be split, well, she had me cut it and then my brother choose. it was the only way i felt like it would be fair, i guess. As the eldest, you tend to be the rule follower, some call it "goody two shoes" or "teachers pet". yup those were all my names. But even as an adult i find myself comparing what i have and don't have to others especially my family...what the heck. so wrong. i don't know why. its such a root heart issue that I have always struggled with and I can see it as i look back at my life. I get all bent out shape STILL when things don't look equal especially for my family who has lived this life of following the rules, not being needy, not squandering what has been given to us, and always being thankful.


i am the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son.  whoa!!! and not in a good way. the older brother was all up in anger when his brother came home and his father through a big old feast, or lets just say, a Party. This younger brother squandered EVERYTHING on prostitutes, material things, whatever he saw, but the older brother stayed home worked hard, did everything his father asked of him and never saw anything for it. So this older brother was furious because his father lavished clothes & food at his long lost son whom he thought he would never see. is that you? because that would have totally been me. maybe not to that extreme, but sure i would have compared myself and said wait a minute....i have been here doing everything you asked, doing more than that and you haven't done anything to celebrate me....

pause for a second

have you noticed that we are such transactional beings? "if i serve you then you serve me" if I buy you dinner, you can get the coffee afterwards" or have you seen this one? #followforfollow #likeforlike (its the i do therefore i get attitude) BUT our God isn't. HE LOVES US because we are that VALUABLE not because we did anything to deserve it.

photos taken by my daughter Joy 

i'm sorry but this little sheep has been comparing people and putting distance between me and my Father for quite sometime and when you are excited about seeing yourself and seeing your Father in a whole new light you just have to SHARE.  i will admit it openly because i think it needs to be out there for everyone to see, but i am one of those christians who goes to church and then lacks in prayer & devotion time during the week... who is insecure and thinks anything i do is a failure or won't measure up... that some how my value and worth is wrapped up in what people say i am. WRONG! praise the Lord i'm not believing in that lie anymore...

Please Read Luke 15:11-32.

If you are interested go take a listen to the sermons done on this chapter. First & Second (not up quite yet will tag when its available)

sorry this post might be so confusing...but i think i just need to write my thoughts down. God definitely didn't give me the gifts of words and writing, but thats okay!

side side note: my name means little lamb

Shirt: H&M
Pants: H&M 
Necklace: Forever21
Shoes: Macys

Crunch Time

**WARNING** blog hacked by the truly amazing husband.

So here we are less than a month to go from going to meet our son for the first time, and it is crunch time. I am a big sports fan and as any good sports fan knows, crunch time is all that matters. Miracles can and do happen weekly in every sport in the last 2 minutes, and that is where we are with our journey to adopt Ezra!

The biggest need we have as always is spiritual. If you have been apart of an adoption journey before you know the struggles that kids go through as they get acclimated to a new world. New sounds, languages, people, skin color, food, house, time zone, and climate. These are all giant things and if we got thrown into them as adults we would be off center, grouchy and inconsolable. That doesn't even include the unconscious cloud that hangs over their heads by being abandoned by the people in their lives that should have loved and cherished them. Unless you have been abandoned, you can not understand the anxiety and shame that clouds your entire existence. All of these things are wound and bound up in our beautiful little boy, and he doesn't even understand it. And frankly neither do we. I say all of that to try to convey the idea that we covet your prayers. We need all of you praying for our little boy and our family as he and we grow together. If nothing else, please stop right now and pray for Ezra Barker. I can wait... This is the most important part that you will read in the post so please, do it, just do it.

Thank you for praying for us.

As you all know we have continually asked all of you to be a part of this journey financially as well and God has provided amazingly and abundantly above what we could ever dream. Every deadline there was a check under our door, or a new friend giving through PayPal, or parents coming along side and blessing, you have no idea how lucky we feel to be surrounded by family, friends and a church that have such a passionate heart for the orphans of the world. And so we have been blessed again financially. We applied for a matching grant through Lifesong for orphans (lifesongfororphans.org) and received news last week that we were given a $3000 matching grant. Now I am sure you have read every word that my wife has put out, but the last number we said we needed was around 8,000$, well as of last week that was down to $6,000 and then we got news about this grant. And so basically instead of needing to find another 6000$ we only need to find $3,000 more! How crazy is that!!!! We have already raised some of the money, but we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to be a part of this and extending your gifts to us by double. You all are smarties, so I don't have to explain this to you, but I will anyway. If you give 50$, we get 100$. If you give 1000$, we get 2,000$! You get to double your money! It's amazing and crazy!

If you would like to take advantage of this matching grant to bless us, here is the info:

-Checks should be payable to “Lifesong for Orphans. In the memo, note “family name” and “family account number” (Barker / #5657) to assure it goes to the correct account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744. Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption. 

-To pay online go to www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate. Select “Give to an Adoptive Family.” Complete the online form and fill in “Family Account Number” and “Family Name” fields. Note PayPal charges an administrative fee (2.9% + $.30 USD per transaction). Your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee.

Like I said if you checked out after praying for us, no worries. You did the important part. God has blessed us just to have everyone of you that is reading this in our lives. Thank you again for caring. Thank you for spending 10 minutes reading and praying about and for us. We will continue to update you as time and occasion allows! Until next time, Pray4Ezra.


Coming all Together

my excitement is hardly containable... there has been a missing piece to our family for quite some time and that piece is our sweet son Ezra who lives in South Korea. we are happy to announce that we will be traveling in the beginning of November to go "meet" our son.  "meet"? yes, this is the first trip of two that we will have to make which just tears me apart. how am i suppose to leave my son once I have just been united with him? we will come home and wait anywhere from 2-6wks for a phone call to go get him. our hope & prayer is that he will be home before the christmas. the korean government takes a hiatus over the holidays and all of january which would means if we couldn't get our visas before christmas we are waiting til February. i'm am resting in the Lord for he knows the plans before us and He is sovereign over all.

i just thought we would share a little bit of why we wanted to adopt.

Adoption Testimony


I grew up in a Christian and loving home. Throughout the years I saw my parents extend themselves to help people that weren’t family and were barely friends and for me I believe that that is the basis of my desire to adopt and share Christ love with others in our home.

With my parents worldview as a basis I would say that the need for adoption became real for me over the years as I went on missions trips to 3rd world countries. We would travel through slums and minister to those with no hope. The women would literally beg the adults in our group to take their kids so that they could have the opportunities that growing up in India, china, Thailand, the West Bank, and panama couldn’t give. We would see kids rummaging through trash piles and picking out food and scraps just trying to find a way survive another day and possibly even supporting their families through this means.

I know  that these times out of country and ministering to orphans and widows and the destitute was a building block on why I want to adopt today. I have always loved Asia. The months that I spent in Asia as a teenager cemented a love of their culture and people. This is why I have always had a heart for them.


I never had to live under bridge, beg for money, or dig thru trash for cents a day; but I was brought up in a home where we loved the least of these. We would pick up that homeless man on the side of the street and get him breakfast and drop him of where he needed to go even when we are running late for church. We were taught to have compassion for the lady waving for help because her boyfriend had beaten her the night before. We were taught to love and care for the homeless, the widows, and the orphans at the cost of giving up being comfortable. Living a normal life with a normal routine wasn’t the goal. For my family, the goal was serve those around us with no expectation of ever seeing anything in return.

My mom says that I have always had a heart for Asia. I would always gravitate to people of other ethnic backgrounds and want to learn their cultures, but there was always something about Asia. I remember as a young girl watching a film put together by a non-profit organization that took care of orphan babies in china. I cried thru the entire film, in my heart I couldn’t bare the idea that a parent would not love and care for such a beautiful child who can’t help themselves. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to do something to help these babies. It was like God visually showed me His heart and laid this burden for orphans on me.

I went on to travel to several Asian countries and my heart and love for the people grew. The burden I felt also grew. And now several years later I find myself with the same passion and love for people, which leads us to adopt a child and provide a forever home for an abandoned child. I know our journey doesn’t stop here, but until God reveals the next step I’m thankful that He has placed this desire on our hearts.


Once we got married, and even before, we talk about our shared desire to bring an orphan into our home. We have always believed that it was our responsibility to take care of those who couldn’t care for themselves, whether that is our 75 year old neighbor, the 20 year old single mother who got kicked out of her house, or a child on the other side of the world.

We seek to be a blessing because we are blessed. We believe that the promise and the challenge that God gave to Abraham and fulfilled through Christ of being a blessing to the entire world should manifest itself in our everyday lives. We don’t do it for the happy bubbly feelings, or the weird looks from people in the mall. We do it because it is what Christ called us to and because he did it we have no choice but to follow his example.


|| tag our bag || we would love for you to partner with us in bringing home our son Ezra Taeyul Barker. as our last efforts in raising money for our adoption we chose to write the names individuals & families on ezra's carry-on luggage. we thought this would not only be a great way to see the families who supported us and are praying during our travel, but a physical way to show ezra all the people who care, love, and helped bring him home. 

|| let's cover his bag in names ||


{adoption} - Abba! Father!

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” -Romans 8:15

Do you ever get days where you are just overwhelmed by God's Word? I read this today and couldn't but feel overwhelmed by this passage. We are adopted into God's family!. We are His children and can him "Abba". Just like Jesus. The first time God was referred to as "Abba" was when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to prays... 

"And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
 -Mark 14:36

His prayer to his "Abba" was an intimate prayer during his greatest need. Because of Christ's sacrifice we can now approach God in the same manner as his SON did. What grace! what a statement of our identity in God through Christ Jesus. We are adopted. Grafted in. We are God's sons and daughters. Rest in that today! You are God's Child. Redeemed. Chosen. Fully loved. Treasured.

{adoption} - weak & human

I’m weak & human.

I find myself falling on my knees in prayer a lot these days. I catch myself wiping tears that sneak out from behind the walls… I’ve become more vulnerable than I have ever been in my life… even though I’m not pregnant I feel like I have the same crazy hormones that causes me to feel like I could cry at any moment because of a song played on the radio, a sermon I might listen to, or if someone said the right or wrong thing to me… when did I get this way? Don’t get me wrong, I do believe being completely transparent & raw allows people to see that we are human and can’t do things apart for our Father. But currently I wish I could rein in the emotion a little bit. I don’t want to scare people away.

Our adoption has been such an eye opener for me. I never realized how much I cared about how people viewed me & my home until our homestudy came around. I never realized how much I was lacking in my FAITH until I kept questioning if we are going to come up with enough money for our adoption.  I realized that I have an amazing husband who loves me unconditionally through this crazy time in our life & who won’t stop for anything to bring home our baby!  God is so GOOD though! He doesn’t give us struggles to make life harder for us, He gives us struggles to refine us, to bring us closer to Him. To remind us where our strength comes from…

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:26

I keep wondering why I question God. I pray and He answers. I pray again and He answers again. Yet, my flesh keeps throwing doubt in my face and I seem to follow it to nowhere good. Then, He gently reminds me that my fears and doubts do not come from Him and that He too loves me unconditionally through all my failures & through my repetitive SIN to not believe in His control and provisions. I’m finally coming out on the other side and believing in His SOVEREIGNTY.  Understanding that He ultimately makes our plans.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

So here I am humbled by God’s grace and mercy for me.

{adoption} - Adoption Awareness Month

This is not my photo. It was taken from the internet of an orphanage in Korea. 


There are 153,000,000 orphans in this world. We want to make that less.

I stumbled upon a horrific youtube series documenting the abuse and neglect of orphanages in Bulgaria. I was a mess. My heart was aching for these children who live and sit in their own filth. For me, this was an eye opener of how truly many orphanages are run. Many of these children end up in these orphanages because of minor/correctable issues such as blindness, deaf, club foot, etc... but because of malnutrition, lack of stimulation, and lack of medical care these children become bedridden quickly and form severe learning disabilities. 

If you are interested in opening your eyes to what is really going on in other countries and care for orphans watch Bulgaria's Abandoned Children .

Here is a little section from an article by Russell Moore:

Author of “Adopted for Life”

“The creepiest sound I have ever heard was nothing at all. My wife, Maria, and I stood in
the hallway of an orphanage somewhere in the former Soviet Union, on the first of two
trips required for our petition to adopt. Orphanage staff led us down a hallway to greet
the two 1-year-olds we hoped would become our sons. The horror wasn't the squalor and
the stench, although we at times stifled the urge to vomit and weep. The horror was the
quiet of it all. The place was more silent than a funeral home by night.

I stopped and pulled on Maria's elbow. "Why is it so quiet? The place is filled with
babies." Both of us compared the stillness with the buzz and punctuated squeals that
came from our church nursery back home. Here, if we listened carefully enough, we
could hear babies rocking themselves back and forth, the crib slats gently bumping
against the walls. These children did not cry, because infants eventually learn to stop
crying if no one ever responds to their calls for food, for comfort, for love. No one ever
responded to these children. So they stopped.

The silence continued as we entered the boys' room. Little Sergei (now Timothy) smiled
at us, dancing up and down while holding the side of his crib. Little Maxim (now
Benjamin) stood straight at attention, regal and czar-like. But neither boy made a sound.
We read them books filled with words they couldn't understand, about saying goodnight
to the moon and cows jumping over the same. But there were no cries, no squeals, no
groans. Every day we left at the appointed time in the same way we had entered: in

On the last day of the trip, Maria and I arrived at the moment we had dreaded since the
minute we received our adoption referral. We had to tell the boys goodbye, as by law we
had to return to the United States and wait for the legal paperwork to be completed before
returning to pick them up for good. After hugging and kissing them, we walked out into
the quiet hallway as Maria shook with tears. And that's when we heard the scream.”

Russell Moore’s book is phenomenal and I encourage everyone to read it whether you are
adopting or not! Click here if you would like to read the rest of the article!

Wow! What a journey our adoption has been so far! We started back in May with emails
and phone calls with Americans for International Aid & Adoption (AIAA). According
to them, we were thinking we could be bringing home a child by Christmas 2015.
We thought that was a remarkably short waiting time compared to many other adoption

But here we are...we just finished our homestudy which went incredibly well.
Our social worker thinks we are a great candidate for an adoption. We have spent
countless times in prayer over our child and this process. We have prayed that
things would go smoothly and quickly. And God has answered those prayers! We
got a call last week saying that it is VERY likely we could have a referral before THIS
Christmas!! Now let me clarify, a referral does not mean we will have a child in hand,
a referral means that we are given all the information the agency has on the child
selected for us. We then, after consulting an international adoption doctor, can
choose to accept or decline. When we accept, from that point forward in
our mind that child is OURS. We will have pictures & videos sent to us of him/her. And we will
begin the attachment to this child.

So getting this phone call that we could have a referral was extremely exciting
but extremely nerve racking. We now have to come up with $30,000 before this
Christmas!! When we accept a referral we are required to pay the agency that
money! And then 5 months later we will have to come up with probably another
$8,000 for traveling expense. I am sharing this with you all because we cannot
do this on our own!!! We couldn’t have been able to do it on our own before they
changed the timeline, but now more than ever we NEED your help! We need to raise
a lot of money in a very SHORT period of time!!

We've started a fundraiser called Big Beards for a Baby to raise the funds we will need to
bring this sweet one home! Our goal is $30,000 and this will go towards all the costs that
this adoption will involve. Thank you for supporting us financially and through prayer! Our
God is so faithful & we know He will supply all of our needs!

Please feel free to share this website with anyone else that would like to support our

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