Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When an envelope with this return address shows up in your mailbox, you immediately toss all other mail aside and open it.  At least I did.

It was a receipt acknowledging that they have our I-800A paperwork.  They received it on Feb. 19th.

In 10-14 days, we will get (in the mail) a date and location for our biometrics appointment, at which they will take our fingerprints and photographs.  True confessions - I had to look up what biometrics was.  Biometrics refers to the identification of humans by their characteristics or traits.  I guess they need to make sure we are who we say we are.

We are the Harmons and yes, we want to adopt a boy from China.   Yes, yes, yes.

In other adoption news, we got an email on Monday that the agency that did our home study (Frank Adoption Center) is closing.  You read that right, they are closing.  Apparently with Russia shutting down adoptions with American families, this agency couldn't financially keep going.  It's sad.  And even sadder for the sweet kids in Russia that won't get adopted now. It breaks my heart into a million pieces.

Our placement agency, Lifeline, says that we should be okay since our homestudy was already fully done.  We will have to have a different agency to do our post-adoptions visits, but no time or money is lost.   I'm sure the case is different for some families so we are thankful.

We hope you are planning to come to the concert on March 16th, friends.  As we work though all the details of that night, we get more and more excited!  These artists are going to bring you some amazing music.  If you are coming, would you register at  It will email you free tickets to print and then please go invite a friend to come with you.

We are amazed at the community around us coming together to make this night happen.  Sweet community.  We can't do things like this on our own.  In all honesty, we reached a point of feeling very overwhelmed with it all a couple weeks ago and realized that, in our pride, we were trying to make this concert happen all on our own.  We hadn't stopped to genuinely pray and ask God to work.
So we stopped.
And we asked God to work.
And since then, we've seen amazing people come along side us to help with details and we've had more peace.  We can't do this concert on our own... and the truth is we can't do this adoption on our own.  We need the body of Christ, people who care about us and care about orphans and love God, to walk this road with us.

So it is with much humility and gratitude that we invite you to come to the concert.  And, pray, pray with us that God would be at work, stirring hearts, for His glory.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Special Delivery

So fun to have these come to our door today!
If you have ordered one, we'll get it to you this week.  
If you want to order one, visit our online store by clicking here.

Can't wait for you guys to get your hands on these. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Concert Registration Open

One month until concert day!  Admission is free, the music will be amazing, and we would love to have you come.  Please help us spread the word. Invite your friends.

We are doing online registration so that we can have a good idea of how many people are coming.  As of today, registration is live and ready!

Click here to register your attendance.

If you would like a flyer to email your church or friends, email us and we will send it to you.
So excited about this night.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I-800a Submitted

Fun news today!

Our home study is officially finalized and our agency submitted our I-800a immigration paperwork to the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services).

We are so glad to move into the next phase of this process.  Many have asked what is to come, so here is a brief summary as we best understand it:
  • It will take 2-3 months to get our approval back from USCIS.  During that 2-3 months, we will work to get our dossier documents ready.
  • Once we have our immigration approval and our dossier documents completed, our dossier gets sent to China.
  • Once our dossier is in China, it takes 3-4 weeks to get a "log-in" date.
  • Once we have our log-in date, we will be able to get our referral.
  • We travel to bring our son home 6 months later.

In short, we hope to know who our son is late spring/summer and be travelling to bring him home sometime next winter.


Puzzle Update, Week 15

Finished putting together the mountains this week!

Leah helped sort the orange ones by shape.  Really excited to be this close!

7 new pieces sponsored this week. Thank you!

526 pieces sponsored = $5,260

so so thankful!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Chinese New Year

We realized that Chinese New Year will mean so much more to our family from now on.  We asked our Chinese friends a lot about it, although it was a little hard for them to explain because we don't have anything like it here (the closest comparison is Christmas, they say).  It is a festival, the celebrations last about two weeks, there are fireworks, there are lanterns, they give gifts, and they don't work during it.  We have one friend who went home to China this month and she is going to take a lot of pictures for us to show us when she comes back.  Can't wait to see.

We didn't do much at our house this year, but enough to help us think about our little son.  It is Sunday, our day of rest, so we worshiped the Lord this morning and were again reminded of our own stinky sin and the abundant grace that covers it because of Jesus.  Need that reminder.  Every Sunday.

Here are some pictures from our day:
 We made lanterns to hang over our dining room table.
 Sweet Molly
 We ate dumplings,
 crab ragoons, and
 Leah made a book (because she loves making books right now).
We need to work on spelling, but I love that she is excited about it. :)
The girls danced while we watched NC State play basketball (and won - yay!).

And we put together some pieces on a certain Chinese puzzle, too.  (Puzzle update coming soon.)

I wonder what Chinese New Year might look like for us in the future.  It makes me smile to think about it.

We hope that we can have our son home before the next Chinese New Year.
hope, hope, hope!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On Being Rescued

If you aren't sure what this is about, read my last blog post. :)

Speaking of being rescued, this is a quote that we love from our favorite children's Bible:

"No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heros.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure.  It's a love story about a brave Prince who left his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves.  It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this story is - it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all of the stories are telling one Big Story. The story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.  And at the center of the Story is a baby.  Every story in the Bible whispers his name.  He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and suddenly you see a beautiful picture."

We are the rescued.

I (Lisa) have had some thoughts tossing around in my head the past few days/weeks.  Just thought I'd process by writing it out.  There is an adoption update at the bottom so feel free to skip there if you would rather not read my ramblings. :)

"We care for orphans, not because we are rescuers. We care for orphans because we are the rescued." -David Platt

My goal in January 2012 was to read the Bible in a year.  I selected a Bible reading plan and jumped in.  I decided to read it chronologically this time.  I thought I could make it in one year and was excited to give it a go.

One year later, in January 2013, I was just finishing up the Old Testament, falling several months short of my goal. But I was struck at the timing.  I felt so grateful that the end of the Old Testament wasn't the end of the story.  There was some major rescuing to be done and as I finished up Nehemiah (which is the end chronologically) , I found myself 
longing for more, longing for God's people to not stay where they were, longing for God to come, and seeing how I am just like those Israelites.  I am a filthy rag, unable to keep God's laws.  They needed someone. something. some rescue.  I need that same rescue.

Nehemiah is not the end of the story, though!  Jesus came!  He came, he lived the perfect life, he died a terrible death, and he reconciled his people to his Father.  All of the ways Israel fell short and all of the ways I fall short, Jesus makes right.  I fall short. I fall gigantically short of God's standard.  I am a mess of a sinner.  
But, I don't have to fear God's law.  Instead, I can delight in it.  "Only because Jesus obeyed the law perfectly in our place can we delight in the law of the Lord rather than despair." (-Nancy Guthrie)  And, I feel that. I feel that at the end of the Old Testament, I would be in despair if I didn't know there was more to the story.  

The Rescuer came quietly, small-ly, simply. And he fulfilled the law completely.  I am so happy to be in the New Testament reading about his life.

I know that even the end of the New Testament isn't the end of the story.  We are still here on earth with sickness, sorrow, pain, and death.  The "end" (I don't think eternity has an "end") will be when Jesus returns, wipes every tear from every eye, executes his judgement, and draws His people close.  Death will have no more sting.  Our good king will be worshiped rightly.   That is the "ending" that I know is coming.

All of this ties into adoption so beautifully in the Platt quote above.  It is because of this rescue, our rescue, that we care for orphans.  The more I meditate on my own rescue and the rescue and hope I can tell my kids and neighbors about, the more my heart is stirred to get involved with the 147 million orphans worldwide.  My heart longs to tell them this true story of rescue, redemption, mercy.  I want to tell them about The Father to the fatherless.  I can hardly sit still, I am so excited to at least get to teach this to one orphan.  He won't be an orphan for long, though.  He is our son and we are coming for him.

Adoption update:  We are still waiting for our home study to be finalized.  We really thought that this step would have been complete about a week ago, but it is not.  So we wait and try to be patient.  We are hoping to have our home study finalized next week.  Then we submit immigration papers.  Hoping to have a more detailed update soon!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

T-shirt Fundraiser

T-shirts!  Yay!  We are so thankful to a sweet friend who designed these shirts for us.
Even more grateful to have a God who cares for "the least of these."
In him, they find mercy.

To order a T-shirt, visit our online store by clicking here or send us an email.
If you need our email address, just leave a comment and we will get in touch with you. 

$15 each
Sizes XS through XXL

Also, we wanted to share some fun concert details:
Saturday March 16th, 7:30pm 
Shelly Moore
Christa Wells
Nicole Witt
Amazing music that will move your soul, friends.
Make sure it is on your calendar.
Admission will be free.  Donations accepted.
We are hoping to have a flyer soon so that you can help us spread the word.

Very grateful for all of you and your support!!