Saturday, April 27, 2013

Puzzle Update, Week 25

We are grateful for some very generous donations over the past couple weeks.

225 new pieces!

That brings it to 885 total pieces = $8,850 (and our thermometer goes up past $21k!!)

And, do you notice something about our puzzle??
We finished putting the pieces together this week!!  I can't even explain how much fun it was to fill in those last few pieces.   Now the plan is to turn it over and write the names on the back.  We decided to do it a little differently than we originally thought..... because this fundraiser isn't about who gave the most money (and then who would have their name on the most puzzle pieces).  It is about a community coming together, each giving what they can.  And all together, we can bring this sweet boy home.  So for each person that donated to the puzzle fundraiser, we will write their name on one piece (no matter how much they donated).  If someone sponsored more than one piece, the rest of their pieces will have hearts on them.  We are so grateful for every donation.  From $10 up to $500, they all mean so much to us and they all were huge in bringing our son home.  And really those who donated large amounts did it out of an overflow of generosity and God's work in their hearts - they didn't do it so that everyone would see how many puzzle pieces had their name written on them.  It will be a beautiful work of art to see all the names and hearts on this puzzle, friends.

If you haven't given yet and were wanting to, there is still time.  There are 115 pieces left.  One piece is $10 and truly every $10 given is a sweet blessing!!

Once the names are on it, we move the puzzle to wax paper and brush on the Mod Podge (I'm totally looking forward to doing this!).

Otherwise, in adoption news, we are still waiting to hear back from China. We wait prayerfully (please pray with us!) and knowing that God is at work.  There is more going on than our eyes can see.  So we wait. And pray. And trust the One who is over all things.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Journey Worth Sharing

Our story was shared on the blog called A Journey Worth Sharing today.   A group of college students started the website to advocate for adoption by sharing adoption stories.  I have to say that not much tugs at my heart strings like adoption stories.  Thanks, A Journey Worth Sharing, for making this website and for letting us be a part of it!

For those coming to our website from there, let me update you:

  • We got our immigration approval.
  • Our dossier was sent to China (DTC this is called).
  • Our agency sent us the files of 2 boys they thought might be good fits for our family.
  • We met with our doctor and God gave us clarity on which boy to choose.
  • We fell in love with this boy!
  • We are waiting for China to accept our dossier and our request to adopt him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Our boy

We continue to fall more in love with our boy.  As we learn new things about him and re-read over his file, we are just smitten with this little guy.  We want to get on a plane right now and go to him!

However, he is not ours yet.  We still need China's approval of us in general and their approval of us adopting this specific boy.  And we need it fairly quickly because his file is scheduled to be taken from our agency and sent to the China Shared List on May 13th.  If we do not have China's approval by then, we could lose him.  The details are complicated.  And we just learned about this on Friday.

Please pray with us that:
1.  China would approve our dossier. 
2.  That China would accept our request to adopt this boy.
3.  That it would all happen quickly and before May 13th.

We love our boy and we want to call him ours officially..... so we covet your prayers.  We will battle anxiety and will have to put our trust in the Lord during the next couple of weeks.   He called us to this and He promises to be with us as we go through it. And "He who promised is faithful." (Heb. 10:23).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chick-fil-A Fundraiser


We are so excited about our next fundraiser!  The Chick-fil-A at Six Forks and Strickland Road is donating 15% of all the sales we can bring in on Thursday May 9th between 5:00 and 8:00pm to our adoption!   We would love for you to come out and eat some dinner with us that night. We will be there the whole time.  Please mark your calendars and spread the word!


Our meeting with the pediatrician was great.  He shed light on so many little and big questions that we had.   We felt like it was very clear which boy was to be ours by the end of that meeting.  This clarity is a huge answer to prayer!   And since then it has been even more confirmed in our hearts!   This boy is precious and amazing!!  We can’t wait to share details with you.  In the meantime, we do have a few prayer requests:
  • The one step left to be sure he is ours is for China to accept us.  Please pray that our documents get to China safely and that they approve us.
  •  Pray for our son.  We can’t share details yet, but just pray for him.  And praise God for how we can see He has already been at work in his life.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!  We are excited!!

Regarding the other precious boy:
I don’t know why God made our adoption process go this way – where we would have to choose between two beautiful sweet boys.  It is a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, devastating thing to have to do.…. but I know there are reasons that He brought the other boy into our lives.  I want him adopted.  I want him in a family.  The reality is that I will probably never know what happens to him and as much as that hurts, I know it is part of the story God is writing.   I have heard that the hardest part of picking up your child from their orphanage is seeing all of the other kids you are leaving behind.  It is not how it should be and every fiber in you wants to grab an armful of children to bring home.   If you are reading this, will you please pray with me that this boy will be adopted?  Pray that this specific boy would be brought into the loving hands of a mommy and a daddy.  Maybe one of the reasons he was brought into our lives is so that we could ask you to pray… and then God might act mightily from that.    

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


DTC = Dossier to China.  This is a major step and we have been waiting for the label "DTC" ever since we started this adoption journey.  Yesterday (April 15th) it happened!  Exciting stuff!!

We met with our pediatrician to have him review the two files this morning and it went well.  We will have our news from that once we know how much we are allowed to share and are able to put it into words.  The past few days have been emotional, for sure.  To those who prayed for us this morning  - thank you.  God is good!  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Two Files

We got a call today from our agency. I thought, for sure, that something was wrong with our paperwork or there had been a hiccup of some kind.  Instead, she was calling to tell us that because we are so close to having our dossier in China, they wanted to go ahead and send us the files of two little boys who are in their orphanage partnerships that they thought would be good fits for our family!!  I think my heart skipped a beat!!  This is unexpected and surprising for us, as we thought we were going to be waiting another month or so before anything like this.

Basically, we have the paperwork for two boys, detailing their medical needs, daily life, and all known information.  Our options are to choose one of these boys or decline both and wait until our paperwork is actually in China.  So please pray for us as we review these files.... they are little boys not simply pieces of paper.... and there is much to consider.   At this time, we can't share any details about the boys, so feel free to ask us how it is going but don't ask for details about the boys. Neither is our son (yet) so we need to keep their details private for now.  We will be showing their files to our pediatrician in the next few days to get medical opinions/advice, but beyond that the details are not ours to share.

Pray with us for these two sweet boys.  And pray that God would give us clarity as we read, re-read, pray, and wrestle with things over the next few days.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The simple joy of a mud hole....


A question we get a lot is that people wonder how we are adopting a boy from China.  Most people generally associate adoption from China with girls.  But we discovered early into our adoption process that so may people want to adopt girls from China that the boys actually get overlooked.  There is actually a great need for families to adopt boys from China.  From our agency, Lifeline:

There are so many boys waiting...

Boys in China? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, there are many, many boys that are available for adoption, many of whom wait for years for someone to take a chance on them and bring them into a forever family. The reality is that statistically speaking, girls are preferred over boys. And, while each child is treasured by God and equal in worth and equally deserving of a family, they are not chosen equally.

Yes, boys ARE messy, noisy, dirty, aggressive, competitive, silly, hungry and did I mention, loud? But, boys are also talented, loyal, hardworking & lovable! you consider what role God would have YOU play in caring for and defending the Fatherless, stop for a moment and consider the boys.

Friends, we have seen pictures and files of some of the boys available for adoption from China and let me tell you, they will melt your heart!  Precious sweet little boys.  But, please don't hear me wrong on this, there is a huge need for adoption in general.... any adoption is wonderful!!   And each family is called to something different.  We love seeing sweet beautiful Chinese girls being brought into families!!  We love seeing any orphan an orphan no longer!!

We felt lead to adopt a boy because of how God has set up our family.... but as we learned this about China, our desire to adopt a boy was confirmed and strengthened.  We are so thankful to get to be a family to one of these little guys..... and so thankful for this whole process of adoption.  God is teaching us and showing us more about himself through this and we are so very grateful.

Friday, April 5, 2013

He is able.

We are waiting for our dossier documents to get authenticated and certified.  It has been almost 2 weeks so they should get back some time next week.  And, then my friends, our dossier will go to China.  DTC (dossier to China) is the next BIG step for us!!  Once that happens, China takes about 3 weeks to give us a log-in date and then we will be able to get a referral.

During this 2 weeks of waiting, we have been working on our "child desired form."  This is where we look over a list of special needs and say "yes" we would accept a child with this need or "no" we couldn't accept a child with that need.  Ouch, this is hard!  It is difficult to have to say no when you know that eliminates certain children.... and it is difficult to say yes because you know you are possibly opening up your life to all that that certain need requires.  Our stomachs were in knots as we read over the list, looked up what different medical terms mean, and read as much as we could about the different needs.

In the end, though, the Lord has given us peace with how we filled out our form.  We were honest about our limitations, but open to what God may have in store that will stretch us.  I get excited happy butterflies in my stomach about the day we will get our referral.

I'm reading Orphanology by Tony Merida (who we have met!! ate dinner with him once) and Rick Morton right now and am just cut to my core about orphan care and adoption.  I may write more about this later, but I just wanted to mention and recommend this book.  Earthly (horizontal) adoption is something that has always tugged at my heart strings because of how it points to our spiritual (vertical) adoption - similar to how the love in marriage points to Christ's love for his church.  But the more that I read earthly adoption stories, the more I am just undone (in a good way!!) by how God works through adoption to bring His children to Himself.

I've also been thinking about how the boys room will be set up.  I couldn't resist getting this painting made to put up in there.  I love it.  We kept a little boy this week who is one and it was so fun to see Daniel take on the "big brother" role with him while he was at our house.  And, Daniel loves his sisters.  In the mornings or after nap time, before he sees them, he will say "where de girls, mommy?" or he will call "siiiiiiiiiters, where arrrrrre you?"  I pray that God would knit the hearts of my four kids together in a special way - that being a brother would be a higher title than superhero and that being a sister would be a better title than princess - the Disney/fancy clothes/castle type of princess.  In fact they ARE princesses in that they are daughters of The King and that is better than anything, including earthly family!  But you get my drift. I want them to point each other to Jesus in loving sweet ways.  Just to keep it real here - you should know that my kids fight, push each other, hit each other, call each other names, and even worse things.  They are a mess!!  I pray that God will knit their hearts together because I know I can't make that happen and I know they won't do it on their own. It would have to be God at work, friends!!  He alone is able.... but He is definitely able!

Puzzle Update, Week 22

We haven't had time to do much work on getting puzzle pieces in place the past couple of weeks, but each time we do work on it, I get so excited!  Each puzzle piece we put in place brings us closer to seeing the beautiful picture in it's fullness.  Isn't that true of our lives, too?  Each step, each day, we see more of the whole picture God is painting with our lives and and maybe some days we loose sight of the big picture....  either way, we live right now, not seeing it all in fullness, but we also live with hope in The maker and builder of our stories, that he is working out even the tiniest details to make our stories beautiful in order to point to how beautiful He is....because the story of our lives is really just one tiny tiny piece of the bigger picture He made and is seamlessly putting in place.

51  new puzzle pieces sponsored since our last update!!

Total of 660 pieces = $6,600

So truly amazing!

And, that pushes our thermometer to over $19k!

We are grateful beyond words.