Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wish I wasn't...

"And the Lord answered me: "Write the vision...For still the vision awaits its anointed time; it hastens to the end - it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it surely will come; it will not delay." ~ Habakkuk 2:2-3

I posted a bit ago about this waiting thing and I have been trying really hard to be patient. I wish I wasn't still waiting for our US gvmt to approve our application (I800A) to bring a foreign born child in the the US, but I am. We really need this so all of our paperwork can get to China so we can really get moving on getting Aliyah home sooner than later. We are approaching day 60 of our wait with about 30 more days to go. It really bothers me to think that our little girl has to wait those extra months to come home, but that is just the way that it is.
I did get the rest of our paperwork state sealed on Tuesday and sent it to the Chinese Consulate on Wednesday to get authenticated. Hopefully that will all be processed without any major issues. Then when we finally get this I800A approval I can drive to Grand Rapids to get it state sealed, overnight it to the Chinese consulate and have the authentication expedited  and then finally get all our our paperwork (known as our Dossier) to China...and then get working on getting Aliyah home.
Goodness, I just need to remind myself to take one day at a time. When I look too far into the future, at all the months we still have to wait, I feel totally defeated -just the way satan wants me to feel. God has been so good to remind me of His word and His perfect timing...I really should not be complaining or impatient. Please pray for us as we try to wait patiently.

When the time was right, the sea parted, the walls fell down, the lions went hungry, the sun stood still, the star appeared, the waves were calmed, the stone was rolled away, the Lord ascended....
And when the time is right, the King of Kings will return.
God is never late and He is never early- He is always right on time and His plans for us are good.



confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
belief that is not based on proof.

This word faith has meant a lot to me the past several months. God has been bringing this "word" to me over and over again. To me it is more than just a word, it is like a promise.
Hebrews 11:1 is one of my favorite verses, especially during this season of my life - our adoption of Aliyah
Heb 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Heb 11:1 (NEB) Faith... makes us certain of realities we do not see.
This is what Faith means to me: Faith is believing in what is true: 1) being convinced of the truth, being certain of reality, having evidence of unseen things, and 2) believing, hoping in, embracing, seizing the truth.

When we first set our on our 2nd adoption journey, I remember announcing it to our family...there was dead silence in the room for what seemed like hours, until one of our family member finally shouted, "Hurray!"
And then the questions came. I honestly had not prepared to answer all those questions. And  if I am completely honest I did not even have all of the answers to the questions I had about this (2nd) adoption journey.
"Where are you going to put all these kids, your house is kind of small?"
"How are you going to pay for this?"
"Can you feed, clothe, pay for college educations and provide for all these kids?"
"What if you get a child that doesn't fit in your family?"
"What if something happens to Joel's job or to you?"....
The questions kept coming and I could only respond with "God will provide."
I had faith. I still have faith. We feel so strongly that this is what God wants us to do that we just had to step out in faith and trust that God will meet every single need that we have. And I can honestly say that he has. Now, has every need been met in my time frame? Absolutely not! But I do know that my God NEVER makes mistake and he is ALWAYS on time.

We have never seen Aliyah in person, but yet we believe she is real. We believe that she is our daughter, we believe she will be home with us at sometime. We put our faith in our Government, the Chinese Government,United States Postal Services & UPS, orphanage workers, our adoption agency, our International Adoption Pediatrician...our list goes on and on. I have to have faith in all of "this" to finally be able to bring Aliyah home. But mostly I need faith in God and His perfect plan. As time goes on this word faith becomes more and more important to me. 

A couple weeks back we got to talking about what to name our new daughter. We were confident Aliyah was her first name and her Chinese name was going to be a part of her middle name. The question came up about her other middle name - her family name. We knew Joel's grandpa's middle name Caleb meant faithful. And he was a very faithful man. He was faithful in every aspect of his life, his family, church, job... Joel's grandpa was a very special man . He was Joel's hero. We miss him every day.

Joel's Grandpa (and his wife, Joel's grandma)
They were the perfect couple

And once again God brought the word  faith to my mind. And I knew her middle name was to be faith. It was not my first choice for a name, but it really grew on me. The meaning behind it is so incredibly special to me and to our family. She will be named after an amazing man and she, to me, is another definition of faith; she is what we hope for, she is the conviction of things not yet seen. And we need an awful lot of faith while we wait to bring her home.

Aliyah Faith

Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas- Third Day (with lyrics)

Merry Christmas to our baby girl...I hope and pray you are here with us next year. You are always in our hearts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The squatty potty...hhmmmm

I know these are very common in China. I have to admit I am a little nervous...
The link below gives more info about these interesting toilets.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

happy 9th birthday Alaina!!

Happy 9th Birthday to my very special daughter! I do not know how she is really 9 already! She is  growing more and more beautiful every day! God has blessed me with a very sweet, caring and thoughtful daughter!! I wish her nothing but happiness always!

I love you my darling Alaina! you are such a blessing to us!!

I found her Finding Ad

I really can't believe it - I found our baby girls finding ad online. A finding ad is an ad that is put in the paper stating that she has been found...I think it is one last try at finding her biological parents. It is amazing the things we can learn and find online! A big thanks to some very special people that pointed me in the right direction; after an hour or so I found her ad.  It is actually really sad to me, but I am thankful to have this piece of information for my daughter when she gets older. I am also thankful to add another picture to our small collection of photos. She looks like she is a couple months old in the ad. I would love to share the picture- she looks so cute in it, but I do not feel right posting it on here... it just feels too personal and sad to me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New pictures and an update!!

We are so excited and happy to see our little girl! What a great Christmas present!! I am dreaming about her being home next Christmas - oh, I just can't wait to have her here with us!
She looks so happy and healthy! Seeing these pics is just what I needed...I am missing her very much. It is so good to see her beautiful smile!! We also received a brief update, we know we can't say for sure if they are correct, but given what we know about her orphanage we feel fairly confident they are. The update stated that at 13 1/2 mo she is 24.2 lbs, 29.9 inches, and has 4 teeth. 
Isn't she just beautiful?!
Totally in love with her!

I love this one! I love the sparkle she has in her eyes!!

A hat with fake hair...oh, so cute!

So, so beautiful!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Care Package

We ordered a care package for our little girl in hopes she will get it for Christmas. The ordering part was a bit different for us as we sent our own to Dane in Korea. I have to say ordering one was much cheaper as well. From what I have read and learned it is quite common for families to order their care packages from a business in China that has them delivered to the orphanage. We used Ann with Red Thread and so far have loved the experience. She translated a letter for us and labeled a disposable camera for us in hopes that the orphanage staff will take pics of our sweet heart. She also requested some pictures and updates. We do plan on putting our own care package together and mailing it to her, hoping and praying she will get it. We just feel like we are missing out on something by not picking out and buying our own items to send...just feels different, kind of disconnected. In fact, it  was our first plan to send our own, but with the sickness that hit our home I just ran out of time. And actually, I think this will work out better to send our own later, maybe at Valentine's Day. Anyways, here is the pic of our care package.

                                            The waiting is hard, especially around the holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Perfect That Way" Julie Durden/Tim Johnson Sign Language

A song for our baby girl.

We do not know how much hearing loss our baby girl's has yet but we do know that she is perfect. Our international Adoption Pediatrician does not view her as less than perfect either- he views her as beautiful too.

"Perfect That Way" by Julie Durden and Tim Johnson
Available on her website: juliedurden dot com

She was born a little less than perfect
At least in her doctor's eyes
He said that she'd be different
Much more than he ever realized

That girl grew up not knowing
The sound of her momma's voice
God's gift to her was silence
In a world so full of noise.

And she sings with her smile
And talks with her hands
She listens with her heart
So she always understands
She believes there's more to life
Than the sounds that it makes
She's perfect that way

She's got a sign for the thunder
One for the wind and the rain
She's the kind that keeps you laughing
And the first to see your pain

And she sings with her smile
And talks with her hands
She listens with her heart
So she always understands
She believes there's more to life
Than the sounds that it makes
She's perfect that way

She believes there's more to life
Than the sounds that it makes
She's perfect that way
She was born a little less than perfect
But just in that doctor's eyes

Friday, December 9, 2011

And 6 finally becomes 7!! We got PA!

On Monday, November 28th at 8:58pm our phone rang. It was our adoption agency, they had a match for us! A beautiful 12 1/2 month old little girl with a right ear issue with possible hearing loss and a minor issue with her left hand, but otherwise healthy. We reviewed her file and quickly realized she was our daughter! We got to work on contacting our International Adoption Pediatrician to review her file so we could get to work on our Letter of Intent to adopt her (with details of how we would manage and treat her needs).

Today, Friday, December 9th, our phone rang again...we got our pre-approval (PA) from China - we have a daughter!!

Here she is!

We are assuming the 2 pics of her in the green dress were taken when she was 8 months and the 2 pics with the red where when she was maybe 4 months old.

We are in love!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sorry, this post is a bit of a downer. It is a bit of a vent.

We began this adoption journey feeling a bit more prepared. We felt like we we would handle the waiting better because we knew what it felt like and we knew how it felt to wait; we knew how emotional this journey would be, we knew that it would be "the highest of highs" and the "lowest of lows."

Well, we were TOTALLY WRONG!! The waiting seems to be worse. We know now what is on the other end of all this waiting- a beautiful child, our beautiful child.
No matter where you are in the adoption process the waiting really stinks!! It honestly does not seem fair. I really do not understand what takes so long. I know there is lots of paperwork and it needs to be done "right". We have been waiting on a few things more recently and I feel like I cannot wait a second longer! But somehow I do.We have been waiting on our approval to bring a foreign child into the US for 29 days now. I made a phone call today and was told to expect another 60 day wait!! I almost lost it. We have to have this approval in all of our paperwork (Dossier) that goes to China.   We have also been waiting on a pre-approval from China for 8 days. Some have waited 7 days. Of course I start to think something is wrong because we are waiting longer than the norm and then I start to think of course we have to wait longer (as if I deserve a shorter wait). And now it is closing in on Friday and fear I will have to wait the weekend out. I don't have a choice but to wait. I just hate the way it makes me feel. And to know that there are several more months like this makes me want to cry. I know we signed up for this but this whole process is frustrating at times. The paperwork, the fingerprinting, the approvals, our drives me bonkers sometimes. They say jump and we do! Of course we do! I need to just get. over. it. All of this IS part of the process. Me getting mad and  frustrated does not hurry this process just makes me feel worse. Why is waiting so hard?! Why can't I just let go and wait patiently without whining?
So, this afternoon, I have decided to be the best "waiter" I can be. I just need to let it all go; I am going to try really hard. I can't control any part of this process (except my paperwork). I need to trust that God knows what He is doing and that He truly has my best interest and our future child's intrest in mind too. I am taking a deep breath and I am going to hold onto the promise that tomorrow is one day closer to where we desire to be. Even if we do not hear any news we hoped for we are still one day closer.

In the song "Something Beautiful" by NeedToBreathe there is a line in the chorus that is helping me get through : 'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful... You can listen to the song by clicking on the link below. We do feel the the water rising and the waves crashing but we are holding tight to the promise of something beautiful at the end of all of this.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our basketball star!

She is on team Michigan State and that has been a hard thing for Daddy to get used to. For the first time ever he is cheering on the green team!

Unfortunately, for Alaina, she is on a losing team this year. It has been fun to watch her play though. It has also been a good life lesson - winning isn't everything!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another wonderful poem

 Tiptoed into your room one night.
I watched you sleeping there.
Your tiny body looked so snug
Wrapped in peaceful slumber's care.
I thought of how you came to be
The child we'd longed to know.
I wondered at the sight of you:
"How could she let you go?"
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I
Felt the pain she must have known.
For I will have to let you go
Some day when you are grown.
A mother I might never meet
Had given me her son.
Yet, surely as you've filled my heart,
A piece of hers you'd won.
"How could she let you go?"
The question kept returning.
And in the depths of my own heart.
A question kept on burning.
"How can I ever let you go
When years have come and gone?"
I stood there by your crib until
The nighttime turned to dawn.
And as the sun peeked through the shades,
The voice of God broke through.
"I trusted her to give him life
And now I'm trusting to you.
"To show him what is right and wrong,
to love him and to be
The one who teaches him the way
To come back home to me.
"He wasn't hers to give, you know.
And he's not yours to own.
I've placed him in your life to love
But he is mine … on loan."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday David!!

Happy Birthday to a very wonderful boy!! You have such a kind heart David!!

It's my Birthday! Yay!

We bought trick candles, they kept re-lighting...he thought it was sooo funny!!

We had a great day celebrating a great boy!!

Happy Halloween!

(I know this post is sooo late)
It was a day filled with school parties, visiting with G-ma, G-pa, Papa and Nana, and lots of fun!! 

TALK to me!!

 Dane and I have been working hard the last several months on his has not come easy. But at least he is trying hard to make sounds and actually move his lips. I am so very proud of him and how far he has come.

Dada? Dada?

Dada work? Bu-bye!

He went from saying zero works since coming home a year and a half ago to saying about 10 words or so. And he will sometimes put 2 of them together.

  1. Mama
  2. Dada
  3. Papa
  4. Nana
  5. Ball
  6. Banana
  7. Done
  8. Work
  9. Dot
  10. Book
  11. Up
  12. No
Good job Dane!! Keep up the good work!!

A Beautiful Poem

Every call has a beginning…
A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother’s heart
A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey
set before him.
A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns…
Casting its first light on a chosen threshold.
A gentle knock… a closed door opens.
A sacred invitation sent by the Father…
Leads to the other side of the world.
Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows
Praying for someone to care.
And then one morning…
On an ordinary day
An orphan’s life changes…
God sends them a second chance…
Through you

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holt Waiting Children

Not one person can do everything...But we all can do one thing on behalf of the fatherless

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eric Ludy - Depraved Indifference/ National Adoption Month

This is a great video. Please take a few minutes to watch. I am not in any way saying that everyone should or can adopt but I do think that we are all supposed to help in some way. Some seem to think that God has allowed all of the orphans to wait for families and that God is responsible for their suffering. But I believe that God weeps when he sees our human race allowing these children to wait and suffer. We are the ones who allow this to happen...we are called to help, we are called to make a difference. Imagine if everyone world wide took a stand to make a difference.

National Adoption Month 2011

A great video!  Much thanks to a friend for sharing...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spider Cookies & Pumpkin Patch

~Spider Cookies~

~Pumpkin Patch~

We had lots and lots of fun even though it was Dane's nap time!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indian Summer at McCoy Lake

A few weeks ago we headed up north to my mom's cabin one last time for the year. Oh, it was so beautiful. The weather was perfect, almost 80 degrees. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining and the trees were stunning. We rode the dirt bikes, went fishing, kayaking, frog hunting and a few brave ones even went swimming. I put my toes in and it was WAY to cold for me. We had  another wonderful day as a family and created some more wonderful memories.

Dane & Daddy in the "boat" as Dane would say.

Alaina kayaking
Fishing with Grandpa

David fishing with Dad

The only catch of the day. David's 10 inch bass!!
Frog hunting

The frogs. We caught 30 total and then let 'em go.

Take me in the water Laina?!

Dane and his bucket

Good bye! See you next year!
"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you... For I am the Lord your God..
~Isiah 43:1-3