Friday, May 31, 2013

Love Manor

Our son (the name we are giving him is coming soon and we are not allowed to publish his Chinese name so for now, he is just referred to as "our son") is in Chongqing city at an orphanage called Love Manor.  We have been blown away as we have learned about this place.  A group from The John 14 Project went there and wrote this:

Honestly, this facility broke every idea, stereotype and preconceived notion that I had regarding orphanages.  This was the most impressive childcare facility I have ever seen…anywhere.

Wow!  There are walking trails, a music room, a sensory integration room, a beauty shop room, a physical therapy room, a tea room, nice cribs, bright toys, sweet nannies, etc.  To see the entire article (and some amazing pictures of the place) by the John 14 project, click the link below.

This orphanage was built to house 15,000 orphans.  15,000!!  It is not full yet as it is still pretty new.  It is an attempt to be a model for future orphanages.

Here is a short video about the vision for it:


I had expected to be very concerned for our son during the period of time where we were waiting to travel.  So, it is a HUGE blessing for him to be in this facility. We still can't wait to get our son home, to snuggle him, and to teach him the unconditional love of a mommy & daddy, but we are extremely grateful to the Lord for his provision in the mean time!!

Another quick AMAZING tid-bit we wanted to share - we just saw on the website of our agency that the other boy whose file we were given has been matched!!  He is going to be adopted! I was wrecked by the idea of not choosing him so finding this out has been music to my soul and has brought sweet joyful tears to my eyes!  Thank you for praying with us for him to be adopted!  And thank you, Father, for being a Father to the fatherless.  "In you the orphan finds mercy." (hosea 14:3)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet our son!!

We got our PA yesterday so we can now share with you about the little boy we have been falling in love with!  We are completely excited to tell you about him!!   There are so many things we want to say.  To start with, here is our boy:

Isn't he awesome!!  We think this picture is from late 2012, but it is the most recent still picture we have.

And if you aren't completely in love yet (and even if you are), here is a video of him that we think is more recent. Watch the whole thing, if you can.  (Our favorite part is 1:18 - 1:25. Sweetness!)

Password is: tucker2

Be still my heart!!  I can't get enough of watching this video.

Okay, so now that you are head over heels in love (or is that just us?), here is some basic info about him:

He is slightly younger than Daniel, so when we welcome him into our family, it will be like having twins.  This is so beautiful to us because it means we were pregnant at the same time his mother was.  I have been especially drawn to this and feel a real connection to and compassion towards his birth mother. I can't imagine the very difficult situation she was in and the thoughts that she was going through during the same time Daniel was an infant.   While we were being brought meals and cared for well, she was struggling and wrestling.  I have so many thoughts about this.... but I will save that for another time and for now just say that this is a perfect example of God being at work all the time in ways we couldn't even know.

He is at an amazing orphanage!  We aren't sure how much detail we are able to share about this yet, but we hope that in the near future, we can tell you all about it.  God has truly protected and blessed him by putting him in this particular orphanage.

His "special need" is called pectus carinatum.  Simply put, it is a bone issue that is a protrusion of the sternum and ribs.  For our son, his sternum is pushed out a little bit and his ribs scallop out to the side.  Our son is fearfully and wonderfully made and was formed this way in the womb.  He was lovingly made this way by his Creator.  It isn't a result of an injury or anything anyone did to him.  Based on our conversations with our doctor, we think that it is mainly a cosmetic issue.  It is possible for there to be lung or heart issues that go along with this particular special need, but the tests run on him so far do not indicate that he has any other issues.  We won't know for sure about that until he is home and seen by a doctor here.

In God's amazing providence, there is a doctor who specializes in these type of bone issues right here in Raleigh!  Once our son is home, we will have him evaluated by this specialist and he will give us our treatment options.... one of which will probably be to do nothing.  Medically speaking, he should be fine with this condition!  Treatment options might include a brace or surgery once he is older.

Along with his medical file, we also have some precious baby pictures of him:

Thanks for reading this very long blog post, for loving us well, and for already having open arms to welcome our sweet son home.  We are grateful!  If things go as they should, we will be travelling in November to bring him home and officially make him a Harmon!!!  We are still working on his first and middle name. Will have it soon, we think. :)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Thoughts

So many times on Mother's Day, I think of the ways I fail as a mother.  The times I got angry. The times I had expectations too high. The times I passed on getting a snuggle in order to get things done.  The times I sat at the computer instead of disciplined.  My motherhood is messy and far from perfect but the reality is that my motherhood isn't my measure of who I am.  God doesn't require perfect children and perfect homes.  He requires messy sinners to come to him.   My measure of who I am is that I am a Child of God. Adopted into his family.  My sin was paid for. I was bought for a price!  Lord, help me remember!

I know this day stings for many - for those struggling with infertility, for the single girl longing to be a wife and mother, for the mother with a rebellious teenager, for the mother who miscarried, for the mother whose child is sick, to name a few.  It stings because it is a reminder that things are not how they should be.  Come back, Jesus.  

Make things right. Make all things new.

A piece of my heart is in China this Mother's Day.  There is a woman out there, who for reasons we will never know gave up her beautiful son.  I can't imagine the pain she went through to come to that decision.  I am grateful that she gave him life.  I wish I could thank her for that.  Her story and my story are now connected, although we will never know each other.  She birthed the little boy that will bring so much joy to our house.  I can.not.wait. to wrap my arms around him!!

So here are my Mother's Day pictures this year.  I didn't want to post them without writing about what was going on in my heart today.  I am grateful for every second with these kids, but like I said I am no perfect mother.  I am a Child of God, grateful for these blessings he has given me:

Along with special notes and lots of hugs, they gave me this necklace.  It has 1 Samuel 1:27-28 on it. I love it!  It has been a sweet day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Chick-fil-A Fundraiser

It was awesome to see so many sweet friends last night!  There were faces there from our college days, from our high school days, from our old church, from our families, and from our new homeschool group.  There were friends-of-friends, and parents-of-friends, and a TON from our church family.  Our hearts were full to see your faces there - thank you!!!

 And, we really are grateful to this Chick-fil-A owner and to the managers/employees who were working last night.  They were gracious and welcoming and worked hard to keep the lines moving.

We sold 12 T-shirts (we will tally up the total of T-shirt sales in a few months).

$170 - 17 more puzzle pieces were sponsored.  This brings the total to 962 (out of 1000) sponsored!!!

$35 -  in cash donations

$233.76 - Chick-fil-A is cutting us a check for $233.76!!!  (This is 15% of the $1,558.40 you guys brought in!!)

$438.76  Total!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

We got it!

We got our Log In Date (LID)!!  This means that his file will no longer be taken away from our agency!!  This LID was the one piece we were waiting for in order to let China know that we wanted this specific boy so that they wouldn't move him to a different agency.  We went out to dinner last night as a celebration!!  If things go as they normally do at this point, we should get our Pre-Approval (PA) next week.  Once we have that, we can tell you more about our son and he will officially be connected to us!

This fun news makes our time at Chick-fil-A tonight all the more sweet.  Our girls think it is a party.  This morning, Molly said "Mommy is tonight our Chick-fil-A party?"  I love that!  It feels a little bit like a party to me, too.  :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chick-fil-A Reminder

On Thursday May 9th from 5:00 - 8:00pm, the Chick-fil-A at Six Forks and Strickland is graciously donating 15% of all the sales we bring in to our adoption. 

In order for your purchase to count, please place your receipt in the box with our name on it. 

**If you go through the drive-thru, please ask the person in the window to put your receipt in our box.**

We will be there the whole time and we are looking forward to seeing you!