Wednesday, April 28, 2010


a "rag" quilt I made for Jenna

a "required" pink item I picked up after we got PA

"jenna" blocks added to the rest of ours

We're preparing for Jenna, in ways big and small.
Rearranging bedrooms. Purchasing bedding (matching bedding, that is so super cute - pictures forthcoming when room is finished!), each time I go to Target, I pick up some necessity for the trip. Immodium, TUMS, (can you tell I'm concerned about our tummies?) antibacterial wet wipes, tylenol for all, the list goes on. But the point is, I am checking items OFF it!
I'm reading "The Connected Child," (very informative, very practical) and I picked up the most excellent children's book from Amazon recently. It's called "I Wished for You." It's a marvelous story of adoption through a conversation between a mother and child bear asking questions about how they became a family. If it's one you haven't seen, you should!
We're currently waiting on our 800 approval. It should arrive any day now. Maybe a few days ago, actually. But it's fine because I know we're getting there. Looking at the calendar this week at May's arrival!! wow! Next month is likely the month that I'll look face to face at my daughter for the first time. I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

buckle up - guest post

(this is a post from Stefanie at Ni Hao Y'all)

If you're not a Christian, this post is not for you.

If God hasn't pricked your heart to the plight of the orphan, stop reading now.

But if you're still with me, I've got something to say. And it's not wrapped up with a bow, nice and pretty and polite.

So buckle up.

What are you doing? To make a difference in the life of an orphan?

Right now?

I believe that God uses us all uniquely for His purposes. Some He calls to care for the orphan. And this 'orphan care' has many faces... but the common heart is doing something, some thing, for orphans.

Sponsoring children. Knitting blankets. Volunteering. Spreading the word. Collecting pennies to donate. Praying diligently.

And while I have no idea what that looks like for you, I know it's been nothing short of a revelation for me. We were called to adopt. No hemming. No hawing.

One day my eyes were closed and the next day they were opened. And as quickly as that, God planted that seed in my heart for orphans and no matter how much I might have wished to 'go back' over the years (not many, by the way) there simply is no going back.

I have seen. And I am responsible to act.

And if you have had that same seed planted, to love and care for the orphan, so are you.

It might not mean adoption, true. But it might. And if you think that you're fooling God by spouting off with all sorts of excuses, you're not. God's heart is for the orphan and time and time again He has revealed Himself to be the Provider for the fatherless. In our journey and in countless other adoption journeys we have been blessed to witness His hand at work.

There is no excuse good enough to justify closing your eyes.

And pretending like it's not there.

And that you can't afford to give up some time and energy to care and love another.

Or that "once x, y or z happens" then you'll consider adoption.

Or that the $25,000 it costs to adopt is more than God can possibly provide.

I'm not buying it.

Adoption isn't easy. Sometimes it's downright tough. But is the God who sent His only Son as a sacrifice for you and for me not allowed to ask you to do something that might be occasionally difficult? For Him? For one of His children?


So, if your face is burning and your stomach is turning, that's the Holy Spirit tapping you on the shoulder, again.

This post is for you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a heavy heart and a nervous stomach

So, yes, I have weeks (the number still unknown) until travel, and yet I am already a wreck! I have never done any international travel (besides Mexico) and certainly not on another continent. Trying to get my head wrapped around this trip makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it. I have not been sleeping great, which needs to stop already; I wake up with some idea of what might be helpful to have along, etc... and then my brain won't shut off.
Plus it's looking like it will be just my oldest son, Ben (10 years old) and I on this epic journey, which adds an element of fear, worry, anxiousness. ugh. What to pack, what will we eat, is Jenna still on a bottle?, what supplies might I need, etc.

I am, by nature, a worrier. So is Ben (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right?). But, rather than worry, which is absolutely useless (Matthew 6:34, Philippians 4:6), I am trying to focus on giving it to God and praying. I'd like to ask you to join me in prayer for some specifics:

• for Jenna's heart and transition. I have been completely blind-sided by the thoughts of how, while we're here making preparations for her arrival, looking at her picture and loving her more everyday, praying for her, prepping Emily for her, etc., she has absolutely no idea about us. We sent her a photo book, but c'mon, she's not even 2 yet. How much could she really be prepared for what is going to happen? It's really heavy on my heart. Trying to imagine and prepare myself for the enormous amount of grief that she will be experiencing.

• for me to trust God to take care of me while we're there. I'm worried about getting sick (lots of people get sick while there b/c of food issues, etc) which would be really difficult without an adult there to help me.

• also for me emotionally while we're there. I feel like this experience is the culmination of so much in my life. Being adopted myself and now being on the other side of it has been a very revealing experience for me....already. And there's so much more to come.

Thanks for joining us on this journey.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday snapshot: it's really happening!

Ni Hao Y'all

Here we are signing our LOA on Wednesday before overnighting it back to our agency for them to send on to USCIS for 800 clearance. Early on, we asked for generalized permission to make an orphan a U.S. citizen and now we have to ask to make this particular child a U.S. citizen. 
That's the next step.
I've never been this excited to see the FedEx truck! 
Receiving this document made it very real to me that it's really happening!

Friday, April 9, 2010

get this!

So, for many, many months; before we ever got our referral for Jenna, my husband and I have talked about how are we going to afford this adoption? We certainly didn't have that kind of cash stocked anywhere, waiting to be spent. As I've read more and more adoption stories, most people don't have the cash sitting there. It's about a call to step outside of comfortable, to go out on the branches to where the fruit is, so to speak, and more importantly, about obeying that call and responding. It's about having faith that God will provide in a big way. Financially, emotionally, relationally, and in ways I have yet to experience too.

So, one of the ways that we are setting out to raise some financial support is by hosting a concert at our church. But not just any concert. Mark Schultz. One of my favorites. My husband loves his storytelling and the stories behind the songs. I love the emotion of the songs and his personality and stage presence. His voice ain't bad either. ;)

We approached our church and said we had this big idea and could they get behind us to support it and let us use the church facility as a venue. They agreed. I feel that God is already blessing this event and I feel confident that he will use this event for His glory! Some things bigger than we could have thought are coming out of this event:

1. A portion of the proceeds will be used to buy supplies (namely a large air conditioning unit) for the baby room at the orphanage that Jenna is from. The place she has lived since being abandoned at nine days old.

2. We are getting some help financially to help this adoption happen and to bring Jenna home.

3. Another portion of the proceeds will be used to start a "seed fund" if you will, for the adoption and orphan ministry that is just getting started at our church. The ministry is called Grace for Orphans and we have a team of people that comprise this group who all feel called to be responding to the orphan crisis in some way. The fund would continue to grow and hopefully be used to bless other families who may choose in the future to give another orphan a family.

I love how God gives us more than we could ask for! Reminds me of the story of David wanting to build a house for God and God says no, actually, I am going to build a house for you. Remarkable. Bigger than we can imagine.

Anyways, if any of you readers are local (you know who you are!) please consider supporting this event by coming out for a very special evening of music with Mark Schultz
on Friday, May 21st at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at our church.
If you would like any more information, please contact me privately!
My email can be found in my profile.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corintheans 2:9

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

day 43


LOA came today! As a total surprise too, making it all the sweeter. I always said I didn't like surprises, but now I don't know. This was pretty sweet.