Dear Thankful Readers,

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina blew into the Gulf of Mexico wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast and Louisiana. Our roof blew off and rainwater spilled in the house. Furthermore, the levees broke, and flood water filled the house.

aftermarth-2Husband Car in the Floodwaters

We evacuated on August 28th to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Houston, Texas for three weeks. We moved 13 times before we called California home.

Postings were on our church website. People wanted to help. Jobs were offered. Housing became available in various states.

We always wanted to move to California. However, we didn’t think the universe would answer through the means of a hurricane. But indeed it did!

A family posted housing in San Diego. Hurricane Rita just blew into Texas. We responded to the email that we will take the apartment for one year. I offered, “God’s will be done” as I hit “send” on the computer keyboard. In that moment, the lights went out. We lost power once again. Welcome hurricane!

And guess what… in a few minutes we received a phone call from an amazing man who offered to help us at the time. His family and friends answered the call!

I learned big lessons once again… about myself, what I valued, others, and life itself.


~ We are alive. Isn’t that beautiful in itself? Naked we come into the world. Naked we return.

~ We have everything we need. I realized that I had a gorgeous home filled with beautiful things. But once it was taken away, those things didn’t own me. They never did. They were just tools to be used and enjoyed, and a home to open and extend fellowship.

aftermarth-3Our Living Room with Piano Overturned

~ There are amazing people in this world full of love and compassion in their hearts. We are thankful for the Huffmans for entering our life full of zeal when we had nothing to give. Calling their friends together. Setting up an apartment within a week. Furnishing it with things that made us feel at home. Gabriel was three years old at the time. He awoke to his new bedroom filled with the wonder of Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear! And we delighted in a friendship that has carried through the years!

aftermarth-4Paige Huffman and I at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

~ The world is safe, kind, and loving.

~ Change is inevitable. Change is certain. Go with the flow… the seasons of life… the unexpected.

aftermarth-5Christmas 2011

~ When Pierre and I were dating, we knew that we would adopt one day.  And guess what?  We got to adopt Lucas from birth.  It took us being positioned in San Diego to receive.  Who would have thought that Hurricane Katrina brought the beauty of a child into our hearts and our home?

aftermarth-6Gabriel and Lucas Having Fun

Lucas at Moonlight Beach

~ Gabriel was scheduled for his 11th surgery, two months after Hurricane Katrina.  The doctor shown such compassion that he teared when he saw us in the waiting room.  Knowing that we have been through so much, he changed the surgical plan and did not put tissue expanders in Gabriel.  Instead, Gabriel underwent serial incisions.  A three month break of not filling tissue expanders was extraordinary when we had other pieces of our life to rebuild.

aftermarth-8Gabriel Recovers from Surgery

~ On Thanksgiving 2005 (3 months after Hurricane Katrina), we got an offer on our destroyed home.  And we accepted.

aftermarth-9Pierre and I Relaxing at Quail Botanicals Garden 

Much to be thankful for! Lessons, opportunities, growth… this encompasses all the experiences! The journey and celebration of life.

Truthfully, we have so much to be thankful for not just this Thanksgiving season but every day. Don’t we?

“Keep your eyes OPEN to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

May we awake to this glorious celebration and adventure called life! Happy Thanksgiving!