Tuesday, March 27, 2012


"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me." ~ Mark 9:37

Friday, March 23, 2012

More pictures!!

 A family traveled a couple weeks ago to bring their daughter home - our girls are in the same orphanage. That family was given a disposable camera when she  met and picked up their daughter. She posted the photos from the camera in our orphanage yahoo group...and as I was flipping through the photos I spottted our beautiful daughter. Allthough I cannot see her face real well in the pictures, it was just what I needed. Thank you God!

Check out her little shoes-Gma would be so proud!

She looks like such a big girl! She looks happy and healthy! We are so blessed!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My darling

My darling Aliyah,
I have been thinking of you all day today. My arms are longing to hold you. My heart and mind are dying to know more about you. I wonder what makes you happy. I wonder what makes you sad. I wonder what brings you comfort. There are so many things I long to know about you. My heart hurts so much to not have you here with us. We love you and are longing to have you here. Your brothers and sisters have so much they want to show you and share with you; they have so much love to give to you.
 I feel like you will never be in my arms, almost as if the time will never come. I too, have so much love to give you. It is so very hard to wait. I want you to know that I love you so very much. Jesus loves you too. I look at your picture a hundred times a day; the delightfulness of your sweet face leaves me in awe.  You are a masterpiece straight from heaven. You are true beauty my darling. I imagine your laughter and sweet little voice in my mind.  I can hear your crying too, and  the thought of the grief you will feel breaks my heart in two. I hope and pray that I can be the mommy you deserve. I hope and pray that God can heal the hurts in your life. I hope and pray that you know happiness and that you will have it in your life always. I hope and pray that you know how cherished and loved and desired you are. Your are a true blessing.  We pray every day for you, my love. We love you with all of our hearts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Enjoying our days

The weather here has been just beautiful! Even on the cooler days we have bundled up and headed outside for some fresh air. I just love being outside on days like we have had. The sunshine and fresh air bring so much peace to my soul.

We love to visit our local State Park, it is just a few miles from our house. This is probably our favorite spot to walk and play. It always seems so quiet at this spot, which we love. The beauty of it all just amazes me.

Dane wanted to touch the water so bad! He would spread his fingers out and when the waves would come up he would crouch down...he always missed the water. I finally helped him (which he did not like at first) and when he felt that cold water he laughed and squealed with delight!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God is so good, even in the waiting

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. ~Habakkuk 2:3

Oh, how I dislike, I mean really dislike this whole waiting thing in adoption. It seriously is the hardest part of the process.  And for me, it is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. My daughter is thousands of miles away in China and I have to wait and wait and wait to hold her in my arms...

Although I really do not like the waiting I am reminded every single day how good God is to me even in the midst of all this. Some days I am too caught up in my own self pity to realize how He has blessed me.

Last week my oldest daughter made the news. She has been working so hard on her "Hats of Love" fundraiser and our local news station decided they would like to share her story during their  "Pay it Forward" segment. At first I did not want her story to air, for many reasons.  After we prayed about it we decided we would. I am amazed at how her story has spread and really amazed at how many people have listened to her story - she is planting many seeds and sharing about the joys of adoption . God is using her to do great things. We have not generated a lot of hat sales, but that is not the point. God is using it it for His glory and that is all that counts.

We have seen God move the financial mountains the past several months. We started out needing about $25,000 and now we are down to $8000. God is teaching us to trust. This is really hard for me to grasp. I have, for the past several years, trusted God completely. But somehow I trust God more now than I did when we started this whole journey in July. As much as I do not want  to say this, I think it is because we have had to wait for so many things. So many things have been out of our control and we have had no choice but to trust that God will make it happen. Of course God pulled through. Sometimes not like we thought but He did!

We have also "met" so many amazing people and so many great families. Yes, it is true, most of them we have never met in person, but I am very proud to call them my friends. I do not know what I would do without some of these friends. They are a great support and encouragement. They are my prayer warriors. They understand when most do not.  Again God is blessing me during the wait.

Do you see the trend? He is blessing and teaching us by allowing us to wait.  Just think if we did not have to wait, how many would have heard Alaina's story? He is blessing us by providing for us financially while we wait. He is faithfully providing every penny we need. We never have too much and we always have what we need-- He is building our trust in Him. We are meeting amazing friends while we wait. Without this wait we would not have the friends that we do. To think about not having some of the friends that I do makes me really, really sad. They have prayed for me, laughed with me, cried with me, encouraged me, supported me and my family...they have been the physical heart and body of Jesus. I am so very blessed to call them my friends.

Don't get me wrong there are days where I really do  not like to hear the words, "It's all in His time". And there are many, many days where I do not understand why we have to wait, especially when I selfishly feel like I have gotten all I need to out of waiting.  Not to mention the days where I just flat out do not want to wait anymore. But it is not about me-- it is about bringing glory to God no matter what the cost.

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.~ Mark 8: 34-35

Thank you God for blessing me while I wait upon your perfect timing. I know that I fall so short sometimes-- thank you for loving me through it all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

30 days closer!!


Tonight we celebrated the fact that we are 30 days closer to bringing our daughter home from China! It has been one month since all of our paperwork has been logged into the system in China. We are currently waiting for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China. We cannot go any further in the process until we get our LOA. Now, LOAs usually come anywhere from 2 months to 5 months after being logged in, with travel another 3 months after that. Of course we selfishly are hoping for the shorter end of the time frame. For us, it is the unpredictable part that is hard. If we were told that it would take 5 months for our LOA we would wait and not expect it any sooner than that. But knowing it could be 2 months, or it could be 5 months, or somewhere in between is really hard to wait through. So, for us we have decided to celebrate that we are one month closer to our daughter, whether we have to wait 4 more months or 7 more months to meet her, we are one month closer! We plan to celebrate every month that passes until we get our LOA and maybe until we travel. We wanted to celebrate to keep our spirits up, otherwise the passing days with no news will make me feel a bit crazy.

We started the night with a prayer for our daughter and for our LOA. We also prayed for the other amazing adoptive families we have met on this journey that are waiting too. We celebrated with some Chinese food for dinner and frozen yogurt for dessert. And the kids got to have POP! They very rarely have pop so getting pop to drink with dinner is very special for them. The kids and Joel love spicy food so I made spicy beef with shrimp and bok choy (I did cut back on the spicy ingredients when I made it)-- it was great!

I also made hot and sour soup as well as egg drop soup. The soups were great as well.

And our dessert frozen blueberry yogurt

We had a great night celebrating our family and praising God that we are 1 month closer to our beautiful daughter!

Monday, March 5, 2012

EPs have been submitted!

I am thrilled to announce that the Korean Government had finally allowed EPs (exit permits/permission for the children to leave Korea) to be submitted!! I know several families are celebrating and some are continuing to wait for their turn to be submitted. We are thanking God that there is finally some progress and children will be united with their families soon!! Please continue to pray that the Korean Gvmt will processes these quickly and they will allow several batches to be submitted so all the children can be united with their families. Continue to pray for those that got the news that they have not be submitted for an EP, as many of them have been waiting close to a year or more for their children to be home.

We are so happy to hear this great news! We are doing a happy dance here at our house for many of our friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weary, but the mountains are moving

First off I am going to apologize for the randomness of this post...sorry.
It has been a hard couple days for me. It has been really "quiet" on the adoption front. I do know that "no news is good news". But somehow that does not bring me much comfort. I had been in regular contact with our agency for the past 7 months. It seemed we were always waiting and rushing around to get paperwork completed and sent here or there. I was constantly emailing our agency questions and updates on paperwork. We got the email that we had been logged in on Feb. 6th and now nothing but silence. During that "paperchase" I was busy; I felt like I was doing something to help bring my daughter home. Now it is totally out of my hands. We are waiting to hear from China and all we hear is quiet (which is normal at this point). I have to admit that my mind starts to "wander" in the quiet moments. I start to worry about the money we still need. I look at Aliyah's picture and long to hold her. I miss her so very much. The thought of her laying in a crib, without a mattress, on a bamboo type mat breaks my heart. I wonder if someone is playing with her. I wonder if someone is loving on her. I wonder if someone is holding her and hugging her. I wonder if she is healthy. I wonder what her personality is like. I love her and want the very best for her. But I have to wait. And that is so hard even on the good days.

I pray everyday that God will whisper in her ear that she is special and that she is loved. I pray that God will keep her healthy and specifically protect her ears from infection. I pray that God will prepare her heart to join our family. And I selfishly pray that our journey to her will be short. At this point it could be anywhere from 4 - 7 months yet before we travel and that seems so far away. We are wishing for an update. We have been blessed to have received 4 pictures, but we really want to know about her and how she is doing.

Today God has reminded me that He is with me. We knew going into this that it would be a long, hard road. We knew that God would see us through the valleys and celebrate with us on our good days. Today I made a deposit of $3151 into our adoption account. Most  of that came in in a 2 week time frame. It is nothing short of a miracle!! We are so blessed! When we started we needed $20,000...yikes. But we knew this is the journey we needed to take. We knew God would provide every single thing we needed. And now we only need $8500 more. And to us $8500 is a lot, but considering where we started it is amazing! We also received a card in the mail from a "secret" friend encouraging us and reminding us that she is praying for us. It was just what we needed. We also got a check for $20, from another friend, for our Hats of Love fundraiser. We are thanking God for the physical reminder that He is in control.

God never promised our journey would be easy. But He did promise He would give us rest:
Matt. 11:28~ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest
Today I felt like He was telling me to rest, my mind specifically. He reminded me that He has our funding all ready planned. He was reminding me, through the card and check, that He is walking with me and that He will provide. He has our daughter in His arms and there is no better place for her to be. I need to rest during this quiet time.

When I think about it, if we did not love and miss Aliyah so very much I do not think we would have the strength to endure the process and wait. If we did not care or love her, we would not wait. The longer we wait the more  ready we become to have her home; the more ready we become to face the really tough adjustment period.

So, even though we are struggling God is moving the financial mountains and bringing us rest. He never promised easy. But He did promise rest. God is so good.
I have been humming this song by Karrie Jobe most of the day and it is lifting my spirits a bit. Specifically this line: "Be still my soul be still..."

"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