It’s hard traveling with a 2 year old

I was going to do a big reflection about our time up on the Great Wall today, but the day has been extremely long and we travel to CaiQun’s province early tomorrow… All that and Miranda has had a rough time of it. Fevers and jet lag and no appetite and not understanding what’s going on and going from high excitement to a breakdown in moments… In ways I feel like we’re torturing her. I do think she’s enjoying a lot of this – see the pics below – singing on the bus, such a trooper on the Great Wall, etc. but there has also been the complete exhaustion, both physically and emotionally for her, as you can see. It’s hard to see her sad. But we will make it through. My post on the Great Wall will wait for another day.

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Making My Work Mean So Much More

My wife, Alison, and I are beginning the process for an international adoption. It’s something we’ve thought about for a long time and something we’re excited about.

Above: me and my daughter drawing. 

There are a lot of reasons we’re interested in this and there are a lot of logistics and options to consider. There’s tens of thousands of dollars to raise, most of which we don’t have just laying around. My wife is much more skilled than I am at holding all of these different issues in mind. She’s able to plan and strategize at a level that I can’t really even understand. So in the midst of this process I really just want to be able to DO something, to add something to it, to help make it happen. 

As I think about this huge thing we’re getting into, I really just want to make sure that one of the other huge things in my life – my art-making – plays some role. I want to make my work mean more than perhaps it would on its own, more than it would do just hanging on a wall. I want my work to actually do something about the nearly 150 million orphans in the world. If, by some miracle, my artworks could help us bring one or two kids to a life of love and intentional care, then I want to do whatever I can to cause that to happen.

Above: Seven Mandalas for the Murky History of Beginnings and Endings, #5. One of the pieces for sale to help fund our adoption. My daughter Miranda helped me make this one.

So I’ve opened up a little etsy shop that features about 50 different artworks, with more to come. My hope is that I can have these works – images that I love and worked very hard to craft – become part of the means by which Alison and I do a different kind of work in the world… something that can make all the difference to a child who needs a mom and dad. 

If you resonate with this sort of thing, I hope you’ll consider going to my etsy shop and purchasing a work. If you don’t see anything there you’re interested in, please check out my flickr and my main website as some of those works are still available as well; I’d be happy to hear from anyone who’s interested in any of the works.

Miracles: Sovereign Movements Indistinguishable From Chance

Mary, above left, was born on April 30th, 2010 in Ethiopia. Miranda, right, was born on April 30th, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Moving across the earth to a town just north of Chicago, through sovereign movements that are indistinguishable from chance, Mary and Miranda made their way to each other – to play, and run, and explore their world.


It was a joyful, heartening meeting. In spite of the machinations and vices that rile our world, here we see some glint of the true purpose for humanity… and we can thank God.

Photos by Matt Ballou and Melissa Lancaster.