Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You choose giveaway! Help bring "Hope" home!


We have been blessed again. A big thank you to everyone that donated for a chance to win. You have made a difference!

So, here we are! We are heading back to Ch*na for another beautiful blessing, and we are SO excited!

 You can read about our precious "Hope" and our decision to adopt her here.

 We are reaching the end of our paper chase and will be traveling to bring "Hope" home soon, hopefully in the next 4-6 weeks! We are still short on funds and have drained all of our resources. So, we are graciously asking for your help.
We are doing a "you choose" giveaway!
You can donate for a chance to win!
The winner will have the option to choose either an Apple iPad 2 or an Apple iPAd mini with 16 GB  and Wifi or or a 32" Samsung 1080 LED ultra slim smart TV.  100% of the profits will go towards our adoption expenses and will help bring "Hope" home from Ch*na.

All entries for the drawing need to be in by Monday, July 29th, at 7pm. We will notify the winner later that night.
Just click on the PayPal donate button on the  upper right of my blog. Please specify "donation" on PayPal. You can also pay by credit card on the donate button. For those that rather not pay via the website but want to enter please email me here
  • $ 5 for 1 entries
  • $ 10 for 3 entries
  • $ 25 for 10 entries
  • $ 50 for 25 entries
  • $100 for 75 entries

By helping us you have made a difference, not only for us, but for God's kingdom as well.
 Thank you! We could not do this without your support!
If you are not able to financially help us at this time, that is OK, we just ask that you keep us, and "Hope", in your thoughts and prayers.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dane's 3rd family day!

Three years ago today, in Seoul Korea, I met my son for the very first time.
I did not know at that moment what I was getting myself into, and that is probably a really  good thing.

Dane is a passionate kiddo. I am actually still trying to figure out what "makes him tick". He wears his heart on his sleeve and has no problem letting you know exactly how he feels. If he loves you will know. If he doesn't...well...you will know. If he actually looks at you when he talks, you must be someone incredibly special. And sometimes, I swear, he is the sweetest kid I know.


 He has tried every ounce of patience in me and made me cry like I never have before. He has made me doubt everything I thought I knew about parenting, and has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn. He has also humbled me on more than one occasion.  He is the only child that can make me laugh hysterically one second, then blazing mad the next. My heart has never ached so badly, until I became his mom.  I am a better mom because of him. I am so proud of how far he has come the past few years.

He has the craziest, most expressive facial features, and I love that about him. It just fits right in with his "heart on his sleeve" personality.

I know that life with Dane will continue to be "passionate" with lots of tears, laughter and learning.
But, it is oh so worth it. I am so blessed to be his mom.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Her name

Our beautiful  "Hope" has been given an official name. Not keeping "Hope" as a part of her name was incredibly difficult for us. But we have decided to name her...
Ayla Elise

We will be keeping her Chin*ese name as a second middle name as well.
Naming her came fairly easy this time around.
The first time I saw her sweet face a verse from Isaiah came to me.
Isaiah 61:3... to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord.
Ayla means "strong oak."
We know that she is not physically strong. We know that she is dependent on blood transfusions and daily medications to sustain her life. We know that at 2, she is just now starting to bear weight on her legs.

From day one our sweet girl has battled for her life. She has endured more than many her age. She is a fighter and has such inner strength. She is surviving and beating the odds. It is our prayer that she will grow stronger everyday. It is our prayer that she will continue to over come. It is our prayer that she will become grounded and rooted in God's love for her, and our love for her too.  She is an oak of righteous, a planting of the Lord. I know without a doubt that God has big plans for her.
 All of our children are named after a family member. And that is where Elise comes in.  
Elise is a form of Elizabeth, which is my middle name and my mom's first name. Elise means "Oath or promise of God." And to us, that is exactly what she is. Not only that, God's oath to all mankind is such a glorious thing and it is our prayer that His oath will be the center of Ayla's life too.
 Psalm 139:13-16                   
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

LOA!! Day 48!

Psalm 30:11-12

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
With thankful hearts and much excitement, we are happy to be able to share that we have our LOA!! Praise God!!
This is a HUGE step in bringing "Hope" home!!
Even though we are now hitting yet another delay with the US Consulate in Ch*na moving, and closing for 2 weeks, we still have hopes and are praying to travel in late August. Of course earlier would be fine too! But, realistically September travel is more than likely. Please continue to pray that our process will keep moving quickly and without much delay.
Our officer has a copy of our signed LOA and hopes to have our I800 approved today (7/11) or tomorrow. Because of the Consulate closure our Article 5 is scheduled to be dropped off on 7/24. We are told that the pick up should be expedited as well!
*our I800 was approved today as well*
Praising God for his faithfulness!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do you need it today?

With our LOA being issued on Friday, and the fact that it is on its way to the US, sent me surprisingly into a bit of a panic. If things *go well*  we can expect to travel in about 6 weeks or so. That seems like a long time, but yet doesn't. With all of that came the reality that we still need $15,000...in 6 weeks. Yikes.

I spent the majority of the morning looking over our bank statements....over and over again. Flipping the pages. Setting them down. Picking them up to look again as if the number somehow quadrupled since I looked at them last. I finally set them down, making myself do something else.

That something else turned into me looking through the house trying to figure out what we can sell. All of that turned into a big waste of time. I finally decided to pray...which is what I should have done right from the start. And as I prayed I started to feel better. At one point I could hear God saying to me, almost in a comical way, "Do you need the money today? Why are you worrying when you do not need it today?" (Ummmm, nope. Do not need the money today. Thanks for the reminder)

I felt instantly better. And I even had a bit of a smile on my face. God has already finished this journey. He has already seen the end. It is in his hands. He is walking beside me cheering me on, loving me, providing for every need in His time. He is telling me to keep going. He has this.

Such a simple truth, but yet so hard to believe.

Hebrews 12:1-2

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wordless Summer Fun





Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Aliyah's first family day

One year ago today, we received one of China's most precious treasures- our beautiful daughter. It has been a wonderful year. It has gone so fast. It really feels like Aliyah has been with us forever.

 She was a daddy's girl right from the start.

 Days like today are a bit bittersweet, as Aliyah had to lose so much to be our daughter.

Officially ours July 3, 2012
We are so blessed to have this funny, sweet, and slightly feisty girl in our lives.
Happy first family day to our darling Aliyah! We love you SO much!!
"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