For many many many many years I've posted here.

Many memories, many name changes.  So. much. of my heart is right here in this space.

But it was time for a change, a new start.  A new name.

To continue my journey... my journey back to my heart... come join me on my new blog, UPROOTED.

I would love it if you would follow along.

Thank you to every one of you who has faithfully read my posts... it means more than I can say.



I still remember it, like it was yesterday.

The phone call.  The thoughts and the sleepless nights.  The wondering.  The possibilities.  The big if.

The Lord could have said 6 weeks is enough.  After 6 weeks with your sweet baby boy as your brother, it is enough.  He is not your brother.  The Lord could have said that.  And I wasn't ready to hear those words.

I know how it is to stare at your child/sibling and think that this baby might be torn from your arms.

I know how it is to be told the very worst and wait for weeks to hear the result.

I know how it is to cry for hours because your brother/son may be going to the arms of a complete stranger, both to him and you.

I know how it is.  I know how much it hurts.  I know that staring at those eyes wondering how many more hours you will have left to stare at them... it is impossible.  

After any amount of time... one week... 6 weeks... three months... after believing and knowing that this child is your child... and all of a sudden being told that he is no longer going to be yours.... it is impossible.  Your mind cannot go there.  It is heartbreaking and it is unbelievable, truly.  

And when I hear the news of a sweet family that adopted a baby boy almost three months ago, who is staring at the same fact that I was a year and a half ago... I grieve.  Oh, how I grieve. 

I know the hurt.  I know the scare.  I know the impossible.

When men that are proclaimed "fathers" while completely neglecting, abandoning, and truly pathetically running away the moment they realize that they're going to be a "father."  When they show up when it should be too late.  I know how it is.  Most of them are abusers.  Addicts.  And I know some good ones, I do.  I have seen the brave birthfathers that do the best thing for their child.  The ones that show up all the time, through all of that baby's life, since before his/her first breath on earth.  And I have seen the ones that are not doing the best thing.  

I know what it's like to look at your child and wonder how long until his joy is no longer in your home.

And I know, more than anything I've ever known, that my God is able to do far more than we can ever ask, ever think, ever dream of.  

And I know that He has already gone before and already interceded and already chosen the outcome not only for this dear family, but for this sweet, precious baby.  And it is for that baby's best that He intercedes in this way.  It is for that baby's life... literally in the hands of God at this moment... that He chose to let this happen.  And I cannot argue with that.

Please join me in praying for God's will in this family's life right now.  Pray for the very best to happen.  Pray for the Lord to heal every single heart, and prepare every heart for what He will have to say at the end of all of this.  It is one long road ahead, all involving one sweet life.  Help me plead with God on behalf of this baby.  HE is near to the broken hearted and HE alone will move.  

Trey Malachi, the one who could have potentially been taken from us, but the Lord said yes to our pleadings and He interceded on behalf of us and we are forever grateful. 

I sure don't know what He's doing, but I do know who He is.



He was love at first sight.  Perfectly and wholly part of our family since day one.  

He's just my brother, and that's all there is to it.



I keep reminding myself this every single day... it is not at all about me, it is not at all about where I want to be.  It is all about Him and where He wants me to be.

The whole Uganda thing happened so fast that I'm still not completely believing it's happening.

Those who know me know I am a total homebody... I am perfectly fine to be home for days on end without leaving.  (Well, let's just say most of the time.  4 brothers drives me a bit crazy at times).  I love familiarity and I love "normal".  It is an idol I am still breaking.  

So..... insert me all alone in a giant PHX airport... not knowing where I'll be sleeping that night... never having met any of the 17 people I was flying to OKC to.  And I'm close to tears, really, when a dear friend's words come back into my mind... "Fear leads you nowhere."  Fear is the death of the desires He places in our hearts.  Fear pours through like rain on the concrete cracks of our hearts, filling the empty spaces made for newness.  It does not deserve a spot in our minds or in our hearts.  

So I tell myself to snap out of it.  Right there sitting on the airport floor charging my phone.  Snap out of it, Emma.  

I am not a fearless girl by any means.  My friends have to make me go on roller coasters and I have to be pushed to adventure.  It just has never been me.  I don't jump on the first opportunity to do things out of the ordinary or go places I've never been to.  So when going to serve those affected by the tornado in Moore, OK., I knew it was my time.  

And after the "snap out of it" thing, on the plane ride home, I had this crazyweird peace pass over me like I've never felt before.  A "you're not supposed to be home all the time."  I realized that being 16 meant nothing to what I could be doing for the Kingdom.  I realized I am home-schooled to have more opportunities.  To seize more opportunities.  Not let them fly past me.

So Uganda in Janaury 2014 after those five days?  It was an easy yes.  

But I have to say, I could not have said yes to that without going to Moore.  Something about flying 800 miles away seemed absolutely crazyscary to me before, but now flying halfway around the world sounds perfectly fine.  My mom told me before Moore, "You make friends for a lifetime when you serve with them."  and I can not agree with it more.  

Letting go of a little bit of control... desire to know all the details... fear... expectations... it was what helped me conquer fear as a whole.  Doing the exact thing that made me almost break down in tears in front of a bunch of random strangers in an airport gate.  He pushed me where He called me, I said yes with no idea what it meant, and He conquered fear for me.  I don't have to fear.  I don't ever have to fear.  

I can be fearless in Christ's name.  And that, my friends, is a big thing for me. 



One year ago, I was at a place in my life where I knew that God was calling me to Africa.  It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever felt.  I had no idea where, with who, or how, but I knew that I knew that I knew that I would be back where I left my heart in 2009.

Around this very same time, a mutual friend at the time asked me to design a website for his photography as he fundraised to go to Uganda.  As I learned more about the ministry he was going with and what they would be doing there, it was as if God was whispering to me through this person.  Something about this situation and ministry seemed like it was meant to be.  I remember asking God to make it clear to me if this was the ministry I was supposed to go with one day.

Fast forward a few weeks, where I'm reading about this ministry, and I lose my breath for a second.

The founders live in Phoenix, Arizona.  In the same city that I live in.  This was "it" for me.  This was the Lord saying, this is exactly where you will go, this is exactly who you will go with.  It was one of the strangest, most surreal and beautiful moments I have experienced.

Friends, God works in amazing ways.  

For a whole year this was planted in my mind.  I absolutelywithoutadoubtinmymind knew that I was going to go with them, that this was where I would serve.  I didn't even need to continue looking.  However, I had no plans to go, no conversations with anyone about it... it just was set in my mind by God.

Fast forward once more to last week, when I went to Moore, OK (a whole other blog post:) ) with the very same person who God used to introduce me to IVO.  Little did I know that this "mutual friend" from a yearish ago would become a best friend while serving those effected by the tornado... and even better, one I'd go to Uganda with :)

That's right, in January 2014 I am flying across the world to Uganda, Africa with International Voice of the Orphan to serve the fatherless.

This has been a long time coming for me.  I went to Africa as a 12 year old girl, knowing I was a believer and knowing I loved God but having no concept of His love for me... simply because I was not mature enough.  I saw things that I still remember to this day and it changed my life from the moment I stepped foot back on US soil.  A year after Africa my family started foster care, the start of doing ministry as a family.  We switched to adoption and my whole world changed.  The seed that was planted in me about orphans and adoption and Jesus' Love bloomed in my heart when I realized that I had been chosen, died for and adopted into my own Savior's family.  He worked in my heart in these years since Africa in June of 2009 in such a major way that overwhelms me completely.

Since being back from Africa I have always known that I left my heart in this place, that I would be back.  I have saved money for about a year knowing that this date would come soon.  It was an unknown date that I knew I was called to.  Today, though, I have a date.  Today, the desire the Lord grew in my heart slow for the past four years has a name and a time and a clear calling.  Even so, the amount I have is not enough to cover what I need to serve in Uganda.  So, I am asking for the body of Christ to consider helping to allow me to serve the orphans of Uganda (while also getting something out of it ;))

If you live in/around Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, I would love to take your photographs... you name it, couple/family/portraits... whatever.  Every penny will go towards Uganda.  You will bless His name by helping to send me where God has called me.  If you don't want pictures but still feel led to donate, you can do so here.  Know that I am thankful for every penny God provides.  This trip came up so fast that I have just three months to get all the funds.  Big God Little Problem... Little God Big Problem... I know He's got it :)

Thank you for every penny and every prayer that you give for my trip to Uganda.  Only God could have brought me this far, and only God will continue to mold my heart in all of this.   I love every single one of you, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being part of my journey for so long.  It only goes up from here :)

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8



A few weeks ago, our church started partnering with an organization I'm extremely passionate about, AZ 1:27.  AZ 1:27 partners with churches in the state of Arizona in equipping, encouraging and moving people to adopt and take in foster children.  This video was shown in my church a few weeks ago:

DirectorCarter-Video from Blinktank on Vimeo.

This video broke my heart in countless ways.  It is heart breaking, to me, that it has gotten to the point where government officials have to ask the church for help.  Personally, that is embarrassing.

14,000 children in the state of Arizona live in foster homes.  That number alone is humbling and makes us want to "do something."  But often that little whisper to "do something" turns into nothing and we continue on with our lives.  Our perfect, in-the-box, American Dream, comfortable, Christian lives.  Where we allow God to work on our hearts when we want, where life works in the time frame we want.  And to me, the fact that the government is reaching out to the church-goers of the state of Arizona is mind-boggling to me.  Insanity.

To me, James 1:27 is extremely clear.  "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  It does not say "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction in Africa once in a lifetime."  It does not say "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction when we're ready."  It does not say "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is to visit orphans and widows if God tells us to."  No.  It is plain and simple.  We are to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.  When?  All the time.  Where?  In Africa, in your community, through foster care, through adoption, whatever is the clear path for you.  This is what the Lord defines as religion, which means it should be as normal to us as praying and reading the Word.  

In comes our sermon yesterday.  Seriously worth the 30 minutes to sit down and watch this today if you are a follower of Christ. 

Foster Care & Adoption- from Redemption Gilbert on Vimeo.

"We need to be real careful when we say 'I can't afford to care for an orphan.'  Because what are we saying?  'I don't believe their Daddy is going to send the check.'  He's a Father to the Fatherless, and when we say we can't take an orphan into our home because of finances then we need to be clear about what we are saying:  'I believe God is a deadbeat dad who will not come through with the child support.'"

We have a crisis in America, and we have a crisis in the world.  Children are being left behind, and the Church is not following their call.  In fact, it is getting so bad that the Lord is using the government to push us to pure religion.  I must say, everyone talks about how if only the government would allow them to give them one piece of advice... well.  Here you go.  The government has asked for our help, are we willing to help?  The Lord has called you clearly.  Are you willing to help?  I promise you, in giving money, praying fervently, doing foster care, or adopting children, you are not only being praised by Jesus Christ Himself, but you will be blessed immensely.  You just wait and see.


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