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A Nativity Painting

by Katie Brabson

Of recent I have become a huge fan of Ruth Chou Simons, both her art and the words she writes. Her artwork is beautiful and I have been ever so pleased with the pieces I have ordered which now hang on my wall. The only problem that discovering her art has caused is now I want more of it!

There is a particular piece that I am so very happy to have found whilst drooling over the watercolor paintings, which to me are worship on paper.

It is Advent, the season we prepare our hearts and minds  with joy for the coming of the Messiah. And, soon Christmas will be upon us and we can celebrate together that Christ is born just as was told.   He came for us all.  And His imagine, His glory, is in all of us.  Ruth Chou Simons created a Christmas piece that so beautifully reflects this.

In her piece, Abide With Us,  Joseph and Mary are holding the newborn Savior.  Please go and take a look. Let your eyes rest on the beauty of Mary in particular in this piece.  There she sits next to her husband, holding her son, and she reflects not only God’s goodness and the beauty of his creation and promise….but also my daughter.  Your daughters too.

How perfect, for each of us to be able to witness our likeness painted on canvas, as the image of a great love that was set into motion and continues unto the end.  I am so thankful Ruth Chou Simons painted Mary as Asian, for many reasons, but the greatest is  giving it to my Chinese daughter and watching her eyes sparkle as she beholds her own reflection in the greatest story ever told.

Please take a moment and go meet Gracelaced and Ruth Chou Simons!



They Wait

While we make sure the stockings are hung just right, they wait.  While we decorate gingerbread houses and cookies and make a joyful mess, they wait.  While we run out for that one last gift, they wait.  While we hang ornaments and put the star on top, they wait.  While we stock our cupboards for the holiday feast, they wait.  While we laugh with family and friends and make memories, they wait.  While we rejoice, they wait.  Think back to your last nine, ten Christmases¦. they have been waiting every single one.

This holiday season, enjoy the magic and merriment.  Enjoy your children’s innocent awe.  Enjoy each other.  But I have one favor to ask.  Please remember those who wait.  Bring them into conversations.  Share about them with others.  And while you are making sure they are not forgotten, take it a step further.  Consider hosting one of these six precious ones who wait.

Be the reason they do not have to wait any longer.


These six children are available for hosting through Madison Adoption Associates from February 13-March 6, 2017 in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  You do not have to be interested in adoption to host, you simply have to be willing to open your heart for three short weeks.  Email for more information.

That Smile

Oh man.  This spitfire.  pan-ru-wei-nov-2016-2From the moment he ran onto that playground, I could tell I was about to have fun!  BIG doesn’t even begin to describe the smile on his face.  Massive.  Gigantic.  Immense.  Contagious.  Is more like it.  There didn’t appear to be a shy bone in Ross’ body, as he came right for us¦.or maybe he came right for our treat bag.  Ross looked in the bag, then looked into my eyes for approval.  I nodded.  Ross chose candy and a necklace.  And somehow that smile got even bigger.  After picking out his prizes, Ross looked at me, and pointed to the slide.  œLet’s go I shouted!  It didn’t need translation.  Ross grabbed my hand and over we went.  ross-2He made sure I was in the perfect spot at the base of the slide to watch him play.  And play he did!  Laughing.  Smiling.  Engaging.  Being a happy-go-lucky, fun boy.  When I had to go help with other children, Ross made sure to get another audience member, and grabbed another team member’s hand.  He led her right over to that slide so she too could ooh and aah over his antics.

After a few wonderful hours, the time was coming to wrap up and send the kids inside.  Ross immediately let us know that he was NOT happy about this, and wanted to stay with us.  That’s when the tears came.  And when they came for Ross, they came for the whole team too.  rossThis sweet, fun, spunky, energetic, HAPPY boy did not want to go back to his life.  He wanted to stay where there was doting, and laughter, and attention.  Oh how Ross would flourish in a family, surrounded by doting, and laughter, and attention every day.

Ross is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  He is 6 years old and diagnosed with a missing eye, repaired cleft lip, and dental issues.  There is a $2,000 agency grant available to the family who adopts Ross.  Email for more information.

His Happy Place

As the mayhem and chaos of 17 young kids at a party spun around us, I caught a glimpse of something special.  Monroe.  lu-zhong-jian-nov-2016-10With his nose buried in a book despite the noise and madness.  I sneaked over and sat next to him.  He looked at me shyly at first, so I motioned for him to keep reading.  He did.  To me.  His passion for reading was more than apparent as I listened to his sweet, quiet voice reading this language that is foreign to me.  I could sense his expression as he read¦he made it clear that this was a tale of drama and intrigue.  I was hooked.  I was able to tune out the cacophony right along with Monroe, and meet him in his happy place.  A boy who loves to read¦a boy after my own heart.

After he was done, Monroe gave me a shy smile, got up, and joined the fun.


Monroe is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  He recently participated in an advocacy camp where his advocate described him as ‘sweet, soft-spoken, go-with-the-flow, with a winning smile.’  There is a $5,000 Bright Futures grant available for the family who adopts Monroe.  Email for more information on this sweet soul.