Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Month One of Forever.... part 2

So I thought I would share some fun facts about our sassy little girl, Jaelynn.
1) she speaks very good English
2) she likes her hair long and does not want to get her hair cut. (We like it long too)
3) she is a good and neat eater
4) her favorite movie is Snow White
5) she loves chocolate. I don't mean that she likes it, she goes nuts for it!
6) she sleeps in her bed in the room with her sisters
7) she picks up words from us all the time. I made the mistake of calling her a knucklehead, now she calls everyone a knucklehead! If you happen to see her and she calls you this, please don't take offense. She says this to everyone.
8) she likes to be told she is beautiful. She likes the word beautiful better than pretty. She smiles big when we tell her she is beautiful.
9) she is stubborn
10) she has perfected the "stink eye"
11) she has a sense of humor
12) she is super smart
13) she likes Spnge Bob Square Pants
14) she likes to be in charge of the remote comtrol
15) she is not afraid of our dogs
16) she loves to tell us stories. Sometimes the stories are in Chinese, and about her time MBHOH
17) she has a very good memory
She is loved immensely by her family!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Month One of Forever

After carrying Jaelynn around in our hearts for 14 months she was placed in our arms one month ago today. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed! Jaelynn has brought much joy and laughter to our family. She is adjusting well to her family and has taught us more than we have taught her.
I believe her adjustment with our family has gone so well because of the wonderful care she received at Maria's Big House of Hope. From the Ayi's (Nanny's), to the medical staff, to the pre school teachers, and many others that love the children there, it is very obvious that Jaelynn was loved and cared for well. This was evidenced in our conversations with Jaelynn when she told us stories about Ayi's, sang songs and shared what she learned in pre school, and by how she cares for others.
We have been sure to talk to Jaelynn about her life at MBHOH and to ask questions, so that she knows we care and are interested in her life there. She has told us stories about her Ayi's and has corrected us when we don't do something the way her Ayi's did, because after all that is the right way! It is easy to tell that she was loved and that she loved her caretakers. I am so thankful we were able to meet some of these Ayi's when we visited MBHOH. Visiting there is one of the most precious memories I have of our trip.
Jaelynn's medical care at MBHOH was nothing short of wonderful. She speaks often about the nurses that took care of her. She has told us about Mariah (a nurse at MBHOH) and how she was the one to tell Jaelynn about her forever family and give her the first package we sent her. David and I sang "Jesus Loves Me" to Jaelynn in the evenings before bed and she told us that Mariah had also sung that song to her. Thank you Mariah for not only caring for our little girl until we could come get her, but also for loving her and singing truths to her. It is quite apparent that she loves you too. When we visited MBHOH with Jaelynn we were able to meet Dr Martin and his family. Dr Martin is the doctor on staff at Maria's. He has been there for about a year and a half. I so appreciate him and his wife for their kindness to us when we visited. It is easy to tell that your whole family cares deeply for the children. We also met Jona, another sweet nurse who took care of Jaelynn and that Jaelynn speaks of frequently. We'd also like to thank whoever made the decision to let Jaelynn keep her wheelchair. It not only made it easier to get around, but it also helped Jaelynn to have something that was hers when she came to us.
We have had fun sorting through Jaelynn's pre school papers and I don't think she could have had a better pre school teacher than Rebecca McCoy. I continue to be amazed at the things Jaelynn learned in her pre school class. Her English is phenomenal and she knows all of her shapes, colors, letters, numbers and alphabet. She even knows how to sign the alphabet! But more than the things that Rebecca taught in class, I am thankful for the love she showed our little girl. Our family will be forever grateful for all you did for Jaelynn.
Other people I'd like to thank are Mikey... Jaelynn can not speak of you without smiling.
Abby Akridge, I know I have told you this already, but God used you and a blog you wrote to stir our hearts to adopt Jaelynn. You will always have a special place in this Mama's heart.
Katie McGunnigaI (Mai Ya Xin), thank you for being a good friend to our girl, she loves you!
Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman.... Thank you seems inadequate, but Thank You!
I know there are many more people and if I have left you out, I am sorry. There are so many people who have made an impact on our little girl and that warms my heart and I haven't even touched on the people who were a blessing to me throughout our adoption process. That will have to be another blog. We are very blessed!
Pray for Jaelynn, she has an appointment at Shriner's on January 16 for an evaluation. I'm praying big prayers, because we serve a Big God!

psalm 68:6 "God makes a home for the lonely"

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in China

Thanksgiving in China!
We have had our daughter, Jaelynn, for 4 days now. The best word I can use to describe her is joyful. We have heard so many giggles in the last few days and we are loving it.
On Monday morning the twelve families in our group loaded up on a bus and headed for the Registration Office. Our children were coming from about six different cities in the Henan province. When we arrived a couple of children were already there waiting. The children from Jaelynn's city had not arrived yet so I went around the room taking pictures of other families receiving their children. Some children showed no emotion, some screamed, and some seemed happy and content. This was the most intense yet beautiful thing I have ever experienced. It was such a mix of emotions. Most of these children were between 20 months and 28 months and didn't understand anything that was going on. On one hand I felt so badly for them because they were so frightened, on the other hand I was so happy that these precious little ones had a mama and a baba now. One of my favorite "Gotcha Moments" was a little girl, around 2 years old. Her father came to China alone to get her and she just cried and cried for a good thirty minutes. Her daddy took her outside and comforted her. When he came back in she had settled down nicely and was even smiling and she has not quit smiling since. I think she has her daddy wrapped around her finger... If you saw her I am sure you would say, "how could she not?" About forty five minutes after we arrived at the Registration Office we were only waiting on the children from Luoyang and then a van pulled up. My heart jumped and then I saw her, my daughter! I stood by the door and when she saw us she recognized us from our pictures. It was a moment that one cannot adequately describe and also a moment that is meant just for a little girl and her mama and baba.
Monday we spent most of the afternoon in our hotel room getting to know each other. A huge blessing is that Jaelynn understands us very well and she speaks English very well. She has had fun trying to teach us some Chinese. She is incredibly smart. I have asked her who taught you that several times, and almost without fail she responds "Rebekah". Rebekah is the pre school teacher at Maria's Big House of Hope and has done an amazing job teaching and loving these children. I will forever be grateful for what you have done! In the evening we walked about a mile to Wal Mart with several other families in our group. Wal Mart in China is certainly different than the Wal Mart we know.
Tuesday we had to travel to the city where Jaelynn is from to apply for her passport and we also were able to visit Maria's Big House of Hope. This was a highlight of our time here in China. I have always wanted to visit here and especially since Jaelynn spent over three years of her life there. I walked in this building and it took my breath away. This special care facility cares for some of the sickest babies and children. We met the nannies that have been taking care of Jaelynn and Jaelynn was able to show us her friends. It was so touching when one little girl who could only lay on a pallet on the floor smiled really big when Jaelynn got close to her face. We met Dr Martin and his family and they were so very kind to us as they showed us around the facility. David and I felt that this visit helped give Jaelynn some closure.
Wednesday we walked to Wal Mart again with some families and then we had lunch at Pizza Hut. Jaelynn loves pizza.
On Thanksgiving day David, Jaelynn, and I walked through a large park near our hotel, ate lunch at McDonald's, and had dinner with some of the families in our group. Not a traditional thanksgiving meal, but we enjoyed it just the same.
Today we are all waiting on our children's passports to be delivered and tomorrow we fly to another city (Ghuangzhou) where Jaelynn will have a visa physical examination and her picture taken. We are looking forward to arriving at the next city.
It has been such wonderful experience to watch God knit the hearts of these little ones together with their families. It has been fun getting to know people who have been on similar journeys to bring their children home and to know that when we left the Registration Office on Monday there were twelve less orphans in the world. So happy and grateful that our family could be a part of welcoming one into our family. We have truly seen a picture of the Gospel this week as so many children were given the gift of a family and as they learn every day what it is like to be part of a family.
Thank you for your support and prayers. Please continue to,pray for Jaelynn as she adjusts to her new family. You all are going to love this girl!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We're Counting Down The Hours!

We arrived in Beijing on Thursday evening Beijing time (Thursday morning Florida time). We took a bus ride to the hotel and got some much needed rest. Our guides, George and Michael kept us busy on Friday and Saturday. We left the hotel early in the morning and didn't get back until early evening both days. We visited The Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, the Great Wall, the Olympic Park Village, and the Hutang Diatrict of Beijing (very old area of Beijing). We left Beijing early Sunday morning for our second city, the city we've all been waiting for and the reason we are here, Zhengzhou. This is the city where we meet our new daughter. In six hours we will load up on a bus and head to the registration office and twelve families will meet their children and there will be twelve less orphans in the world. In the group we are with most of the children being adopted are between 20 months and a little over 2 years old. I am sure there will be a lot of crying as these new babies meet their families. At this age they have no idea what is going on and are likely to be very scared. Please pray for these sweet babies that God would knit their hearts together with their new parents and that everyone's anxiety would be calmed.

When we arrived in Zhengzhou one of our guides pulled her cell phone out and showed me a picture she had taken just last week. I was so happy, it was a picture of Jaelynn! She saw her and spoke to her just last week. She told me that Jaelynn is very excited that she will be meeting her mama and baba soon. Pray for us as we meet Jaelynn in just about 6 hours. Pray that we will be able to comfort her and that she will know that she is loved so very much. It is so hard to believe that after 14 months (for most of those months not knowing when we might meet her) of waiting she will be in our arms so soon now. I still have a hard time believing that God is allowing David and I to be the mama and baba of a little girl that we prayed for. Our prayer for Jaelynn was that someone would adopt her and that she would know the love of a forever family. I know I have used this verse several times, but it is just so appropriate, "God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" Ephesians 3:20
Well, it is about 4 AM and I guess I will try to get a little rest before we are off to meet Jaelynn. Check back later tonight for pictures of a beautiful little Asain girl and her ecstatic and emotional parents. Praying the Internet continues to work well for us because it is very unpredictable. Signing out as the mother of three and next time I blog I will be the mother of four.

Monday, November 12, 2012

T - 34 hours

It has been hard to concentrate on anything today, but I did manager to tie up some loose ends before Wednesday when David and I leave the US for China. Did I really just say that? Yes, we are leaving. Over the last fourteen months I have read blogs, prayed for and followed other families as they made the journey to China and I have followed them since they made it home. I've looked at the pictures of those families and dreamed of the day that it would be our turn. Well next Monday, China time (late Sunday night US eastern time), we will be taking pictures with our new daughter.
As I have prepared for this trip, one thing that I was not expecting is how I am feeling about leaving my other children behind. I guess I had not allowed myself to spend much time thinking about that part. They will be well taken care of, I know. Katie, Matt, and Abby will spend Thanksgiving the same way they do every year, at my sisters house with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. I am so thankful for my family who has been consistently supportive to us on this journey. Thank you all for loving our children and watching out for them while we are away. When my family found out we would be gone for Thanksgiving they were a little upset, they wanted to know who would pray before they ate dinner, that has always been David's job (they weren't really upset). One of the benefits of being the preacher in the family. I'll see if I can wake David up in the middle of the night, maybe he could still pray if we used facetime.
If I remember correctly this will be the first Thanksgiving I have ever spent away from family, but it is also the first time I've gone to China to get a new daughter. I am very happy that I will be spending Thanksgiving with Jaelynn. We definitely have so much to be thankful for.
Please pray for us while we are away and pray for Jaelynn's little heart, that we would be able to help her as she grieves over the only life she has ever known. God has chosen us to be her parents and my desire is to do that job well. I am so very thankful for the people who have taken care of her over the last several years. It is obvious that she has been loved well.
We will post pictures on our blog and Facebook as the Internet allows. I am looking forward to sharing "gotcha day" pictures with everyone.
See you all in China!
"God sets the lonely in families" Psalm 68:6

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We're Going To China!

I have been wanting to blog, but I have had so many thoughts going on I felt too scattered. This blog post may be scattered a bit too, filling you in on recent happenings for our family.
On October 20th my daughter had a shower for me and Jaelynn. She had everything decorated so pretty. We received practical gifts like a car seat and a stroller and we also received fun gifts like hair bows, toys, and gift cards. It is fun to imagine Jaelynn sitting in the car seat and playing with those toys.
One word I would use to describe the adoption process is waiting or anticipating. You wait to be matched with your child, you wait for a letter of acceptance (at least for a Chinese adoption), you wait for immigration approval, and on and on the waiting goes. We have finally reached the milestone where yes we are waiting to meet our daughter, but the guessing games of when it might happen are over. David and I will leave on Wednesday, November 14 for China. We will be in Beijing for a couple of days and do a little sight seeing then on the 19th we will head to Guangzhou and meet Jaelynn. I feel like I need to keep pinching myself to be sure it is all real. This is an adventure I never dreamed I would ever be on, but it has been so amazing as we have watched God move mountains and provide for our adoption.
Around ten months ago my parents began planning a cruise and they a asked if our youngest daughter, Abby, could go with them. It was planned for this week. My husband and I agreed and made arrangements for her to be out of school for the week. She left today and will be back next Sunday. When she gets home David and I will be home for just two days before we take off and then I will not see her until December 1st when we return from China with her little sister. Almost an entire month I will be away from her and this thought has me a little sad, I am thankful she has this chance to spend time with her nanny and papa because there will be some big changes in her life in about a month. She is a sweet girl and I know she is going to be a wonderful big sister.
When I was in high school I used to frustrate my guidance counselor. She would ask me this question, "Where do you see yourself ten years from now?" Without question I always responded married with a couple children, and being a stay at home mom. She would always try to get me to choose a career, because to her being a stay at home mom was not an acceptable choice. Happily, ten years after graduating High School, I was right where I wanted to be. I was happily married and I had 2 beautiful children. A few years later God blessed us with another child. Four years ago when our youngest daughter was in first grade we needed some extra income and God provided a job for me. This was the first time I worked outside the home since my oldest daughter was born. It was and has been a very tough adjustment for me. I am thankful for God's provision of a job when we needed it, but my goal was to one day quit my job so that I could be at home again. Last Monday I gave my employer my two week notice so that I can once again live my dream. It is a little bit scary, but God has is faithful and I am thankful for scripture like Psalm 37:4 which says,
"Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. "
So now you've had a glimpse into a few of the many thoughts rambling around in my head. I told you this post would be scattered - kind of all over the place. I'll try to post another short blog before we leave and then some updates while we are away. Thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Year

One year ago today David picked me up from work and we were headed to a banquet, but before we got there he asked me, "are you ready to make a phone call?" Confused a bit I asked, "what phone call?" His response was, "to see if we qualify to adopt." My heart just about stopped. You see I had been looking at one particular picture all summer. The picture was on the dashboard in my car, and I usually ended up crying every day on my way to work looking at a precious little girl that needed a family. David never saw this and didn't know what was going on in my heart... yet. On September 21st after reading a blog that in our home we refer to as "The Banana Blog" I began to sob thinking about the little girl without a family. David asked me what was wrong and I handed him the computer and let him read the blog. The average person reading this blog would have enjoyed it but the emotions that it evoked in us that evening was God whispering something I wanted to hear for several months. It was God confirming to us that we needed to take steps toward adopting this little girl. So tomorrow will be one year ago we made our first phone calls about adoptiyng our daughter from Chin@. We had no idea who to call, so we called Show Hope and most of the staff was out of the office attending a conference,  but there was one person in the office and she took our call. Cathy was that one person, and I know God designed that because in the months since that phone call she has become a very dear friend. That day Cathy told us that she couldn't help us with adoption information, but she was so encouraging and gave us the phone number of CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International). We hung up the phone and called CCAI and spoke with Judy Winger, who was also very helpful and provided us with information we needed to begin our journey. I don't think that one can fully understand what is involved in adopting a child and especially adopting internationally until they have or are experiencing it. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I also knew it would be worth it. If you are just beginning this journey, remember it is all worth it.
 This past year has brought many new friendships into our lives. People who share the same heart for orphans and adoption as we do. It has also strengthened some friendships as they have been so supportive, even helping our family with fundraising through a yard sale, buying t shirts, and hosting a spaghetti dinner. I am so thankful for those friends because there have also been times when I have felt very lonely, feeling like no one really "gets it" and at times even feeling judged (nothing specific, just that feeling you get sometimes). Through God's Word and verses like James 1:27, we are confident that we were/ are doing exactly what god has called our family to do.
There were times over the last year when I wondered if we would ever receive our referral to adopt Jaelynn and it took much longer to receive than we imagined, but God is good and his timing is perfect.  The tunnel was very dark with no light in sight for so long but I am so happy today to say the we see that light at the end of this tunnel. In just about 2 months David and I should be boarding a plane to Chin@. Just like when I was pregnant with my three children bio children, I dream about our new daughter. I dream about the first time I see her... I just love those dreams.
I was putting a timeline together of the adoption highlights of this past year and thought I'd share it (see below). On Tuesday paperwork should be dropped off at the US embassy in Chin@ that all has to do with Jaelynn's visa and immigration. This is the last step before travel approval is issued. It normally takes 2 weeks to get this approval, but because of some holidays in Chin@, it may take three weeks. After the approval (called Article V) is issued it can be anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks for travel approval. Then after travel approval is issued it could be anywhere between 1-4 weeks for travel.
Please pray for our family over the next several weeks as David and I prepare to travel. We will be having a yard sale on Saturday, September 29th in Pinellas County to help with the remainder of the adoption expenses. If you would like to donate to help bring Jaelynn home you can click on the paypal link on the side of this page.
9/22/11- after many prayers and tears David and I made the decision to pursue the adoption of Jaelynn 
9/23/11 -called CCAI to see if Jaelynn was "paper ready" for adoption. She was not, but we were told that she should be by February 2012
9/30/12  - Approved by CCAI to  begin the adoption process
12/2/11 & 12/3/11 - yard sale fundraiser (thank you Walt & Bobbie for letting us use your home and for all of your help!)
1/20/12 and 1/21/12 - home study visits
4/30/12 - 1 797 notice of approval
5/21/2012  - received letter from Show Hope in the mail informing us that we had were being awarded a Show Hope grant. This letter was received the on the 4 th anniversary of Maria Sue Chapman going to be with Jesus.
6/08/12 - DTC (dossier to China)
6/21/12 - LID (dossier was logged into the system I China)
6/28/12 - Spaghetti dinner fundraiser (thank you Tom & Gina for all of your hard work and generosity)
7/9/12 - finally after 9  1/2 months received Jaelynn's file
7/9/12 - LOI (sent our letter of intent to adopt Jaelynn)
7/20/12 - received PA (pre approval) 
8/27/12- LOA
8/31/12 - I 800 arrived at lockbox 
9/14/12 - I 800 approved
9/17/12- Received approval in the mail
9/20/12 - NVC received I 800
9/21/12 - NVC letter received via email (PDF format) 
9/25/12(?) - Paperwork dropped off at US Embassy
        - Article V picked up
        - Travel Approval Issued
        - Gotcha Day!!
Thank you all for following our journey. Just think the real journey is just beginning!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our God Is Greater

This was an exciting week in our home as we received our LOA (letter of acceptance) to bring our little girl home.  The next few steps in the adoption process have much shorter timelines than the pervious ones and this means we may be leaving the end of November to fly to the other side of the world and meet our very loved daughter. This is such an emotional time and Jaelynn is in our thoughts constantly. Right now we are on our way to go shopping and we are listening to a Children of the World CD. Their CD's always made me cry before, now I am just a total mess listening to children from around the world singing songs about our Lord.  I love hearing "I Am A Promise" , with their precious accents. 
This is also an emotional time when I think about our family, friends, and even complete strangers who have given sacrificially to bring Jaelynn home. You all are a living example of the Gospel by helping bring this orphan into a family. I have been humbled by the kindness of so many. I quote Mary Beth Chapman by saying that, "not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to do something". Although "thank you" seems inadequate, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you would like more information on what you can do to help us in the final steps of our adoption, please see the previous blog entry dated August 27, and titled "Bringing Jaelynn Home".
Please keep our family in your prayers as we prepare to travel and the as we all adjust to our new life. Pray for Katie, Matt, and Abby while David and I are away. Pray for Jaelynn. She is very loved in the orphanage she is in and will miss her friends and caretakers. Although having a family is better than growing up in an orphanage, she will likely grieve the loss of her past in the months ahead. Pray for us as we do all we can to help her transition to life with a family. We are looking forward to reuniting Jaelynn with some of her friends one day from MBHOH, especially one of her best buddies Isaac. Isaace was adopted last December. I am thankful for Isaac and for his family, they have been such a blessing and encouragement to us. Pray for us as we have some other decisions to make in the future. Pray that the Lord would go before us and work out details. He is much better at working out these details than I am.

Keep your ears open for the squeals of excitement when we receive our travel approval.

"Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bringing Jaelynn Home

Yesterday we received our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from Chin@ to adopt our girl. We are still in shock as we were told to expect to be waiting between 90 and 120 days. Yesterday was day 46 from our Letter of Intent and day 38 from our pre-approval. God is so good in giving us this miracle. This now means that we should expect to travel in the next 10-15 weeks.

We are beyond thrilled that in just a short amount of time Jaelynn will be in our arms forever. As exciting as this is we still have one giant obstacle in front of us and that is funds. We have been humbled and blessed as we have raised such a large amount starting at zero. We are so thankful for friends and family who have helped us fundraise through yard sales, t-shirts, buying coffee,  and our spaghetti dinner. We have come such a long way but with this new exciting news we still need $4,000 fast. This is so out of my comfort zone but right now the need is urgent.

Here is how you can be a part:

We still have about 10 t-shirts left in various sizes. The shirts are $25 with shipping so leave a comment to find out if we have your size!
Pictured above is our shirts that feature John 14:18

We have lots and lots of bracelets for sale. Each bracelet is $5 and says "Bringing Jaelynn  home". The wide bracelet has it printed in white and the thin have the letters embossed. 

If you are a coffee lover head over to Just Love Coffee where a portion of your sales will benefit our adoption. 

Our last fundraiser is a puzzle where you can purchase a piece for $2 and we will write your name on the back so one day Jaelynn can see all the names of those who helped bring her home. 

All purchases and donations can be made through the paypal link on the right side of the page. Please consider how you can be a part of bringing this precious one home. In a Show Hope sponsor video Mary Beth Chapman says it best when she says. "Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something." How will you be a part of this beautiful story that God is writing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

God Can Do Anything, You Know....

We are now on day 33 of waiting for our LOA (letter of acceptance) from Chin@. I can not believe we are so close to meeting our sweet and sassy Jaelynn. We are raising the last of the money needed to bring her home. This has definitely been an experience in learning to trust God. When we began this adoption, we had no money saved for something like this. The biggest reason being that we never thought we would be adopting, much less adopting internationally. For our family the "call" to adopt was very specific. After our daughter returned from Chin@, the pictures of Jaelynn just captured my heart. I really can't tell you exactly why, other than to say that it was all God. My daughter took hundreds of pictures of beautiful children, but every time I saw Jaelynn's picture my heart melted and I wanted to know everything about her. What is funny to me is that the pictures she took of Jaelynn were not "good" pictures of her, don't get me wrong, she is a beautiful little girl, but the pictures that Katie took of her were not the best. Whenever Katie tried to get a picture, Jaelynn would do something goofy like drool water out of her mouth or do something funny with her eyes. Maybe this is why I fell head over heels in love with her, because I could see her silly personality and knew she would fit right in with the rest of our goofy family. The first step of filling out the application for our adoption agency was a big step, as we were actually putting action to what we were feeling called to do. It was a very vulnerable place, because even though we felt that God was in it, I thought, "What if God closes the door?". I knew I would be heart broken. Instead of doors closing, it seemed that all along the way we have received confirmation that we are in fact Jaelynn's family. It started with a complete stranger with a love for orphans and specifically a love for Jaelynn designing and purchasing approximately 150 t-shirts to help us kick off our fundraising efforts so that we could move forward and begin the home study process. Then a huge yard sale where many people from our church  donated items to sell. God has shown Himself mightily over the last several months, but tonight, two things specifically stick out in my mind. Let me give a little background. When you begin an adoption you meet a whole new world of people. When I say meet, I have not actually met most of these people in person, but through the Internet and the ministry of Show Hope. One family who I will meet in person one day after we bring our little girl home, has become so precious to me. This family has adopted a little boy who was best buddies with Jaelynn. A few weeks ago I was reading through my friends old blogs, blogs that were written before I knew who Jaelynn was. In one blog my friend describes a little girl who is friends with her son (she was in the process of adopting at the time) but does not yet have a forever family and she was heart broken to know that soon she would go to Chin@ to get her son and leave Chin@ knowing that his friend still needed a family. She was praying that God would raise up a family for this little girl. My friend wrote this blog on June 19, 2011, the exact day that my daughter, Katie, walked into a room and met her... Jaelynn. The day this blog was written, God was beginning a work in my family that I could not have ever dreamed. I am so thankful for all of those people who knew Jaelynn and prayed for her and for her family. It is humbling to know that people we don't even know have prayed for us in some way.
The second thing that is on my mind tonight is a financial need. On Saturday I was going through our mail and I opened an envelope from our mortgage company. It was a notice informing us that our house payment was going up by about $200 per month. I was so discouraged, as we are doing all we can to pay some bills off and save money for the time I will need to take off from work. Well my husband was doing some Internet searching and he saw a very part time job opening at our local high school as a study hall monitor, between 4-6 hours every week. This would take care of what we need to cover the increase in our house payment. He applied for the job online yesterday and this morning received a phone call asking for an interview and was offered the job, right on the spot. They understand that my husbands first job priority is his position as pastor at our church and they are also aware that we will be traveling to Chin@ in a few months. Sometimes I feel ashamed at my lack of faith and need to remember the words of one of my favorite verses..... "God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Ephesians 3:20 (The Message). I just love the way The Message phrases that verse!
Thank you for praying for our family. Our LOA could arrive in anywhere between the next 20 to 90 days. We are asking God to for 20 to 40 days...... He can do anything, you know.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What A Day That Will Be

How do you explain the love you have for a child that you have never met? The only thing I can compare it to is the love that God has for His children. In a physical sense we have never met God, but when we receive Christ as our Savior, we become heirs of Christ. We have all the rights and priveliges of a natural born child. He becomes our Father and one day we will meet him face to face. "What A Day That Will Be". Have you sung that old hymn before? In a similar way I have never met Jaelynn, but I am her mommy. I love her just like I love my other children. I am her mommy and one day soon, I will meet her face to face and Oh what a day that will be! (Please do not get me wrong, I am in no way comparing myself to Christ). Today I was reading some information about our little girl. One of the things I was reading was about a surgery that she underwent some time ago. I thought about this sweet little girl having surgery and then going into a recovery room. It breaks my heart to know that her mommy wasn't there to comfort her after surgery. I am an adult and honestly I can not imagine going through a major surgery and not having my mom around. Thankfully someone better than her mommy was there watching over her and protecting her and that someone is our heavenly Father. God has just begun to write her story and I am so thankful that our family will be a part of it. Everyone that has met our little girl tells us what a smart, funny, loving, and happy little girl she is. Thank you Lord for protecting her heart and for placing her in such a wonderful place while we all wait. Thank you to all the care givers and nannies who have taken such good care of so many special children.
Last Friday we received our pre-approval to adopt Jaelynn, yet another milestone on our way to China! Today a package was delivered to Maria's Big House of Hope for Jaelynn and hopefully she now knows that she has a mommy, daddy, 2 big sisters, and a big brother. Pray for Jaelynn as she processes this information. Though I am sure she was happy to find out about her new family and receive a package with gifts just for her, there will be many adjustments for her when she comes home. Pray that God will continue to preserve her sweet spirit and that we would be able to help her through her time of transition.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Referral Day!

I tried to blog last night, but my head was swirling, so I will attempt again tonight. Yesterday, after a little over a month from last contacting our adoption agency, I called to see if there was a file for us yet on our little girl. I was told they would check on things in get back with me in a couple of days. I tried to remain optimistic, but was a little disappointed. I came home from work and at about 6 PM the phone rang, it was our adoption agency. My heart just about stopped. I answered the phone and was given the news that we have been waiting for for over 9 months. "We have her file". Those are some of the sweetest words my ears have heard. We then received an email with information and pictures of our sweet little Jaelynn. Our next step was to respond by writing a Letter of Intent, stating among other things our desire to adopt this little girl. 
People have asked, so what does this mean? Well, it means that her paperwork is complete and she is ready to be adopted. We still have a way to go, but this is a huge step. For me, it's kind of like I am entering the 2nd trimester of my paper pregnancy. You know how when you are pregnant and you are careful how much information you share, just in case something goes wrong? Well that is kind of what it has been like these past several months. As you enter your 2nd trimester of a pregnancy you feel a little safer, you still know anything can happen, but all in all you are excited to share all the information you can. In the next week or so we should receive something called PA (pre-approval) from China to proceed with the adoption. The steps from there are an LOA (Letter of Approval), which from what we have been told will be about 3-4 months from now, then TA (travel approval) comes approximately 2 months later, and from here our travel and gotcha day is about 2-3 weeks. So we are probably looking at the early part of January to meet our little one. There are many other milestones in the above timeline, but those are the big ones, and I know I have a lot yet to learn.
Our family is in awe of how God has gone before us and worked out details of this adoption. I am a firm believer in God's perfect timing, and though waiting at times is excruciating, God is still Sovereign and I can rest easier because of this. It was so fun to call family and friends yesterday and share our news. It reminds me of a song that is special to my family, "Family of God". Here are the lyrics:
You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,
It's because we're a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear. 

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God.

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong! 

 You see one of the reasons this song is so special to my family is because my father in law was an orphan and grew up in a Children's Home in Florida. He never met his birth parents and he was never adopted as a child into a forever family, but he was part of God's family, and because of that he is with the Lord now.

Thank you all for rejoicing in our victory with us and sharing our tears these last several months. I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting, Waiting, and Waiting...

June has been a good month and a tough month at the same time. We were really praying and hoping to receive our referral this month for our little girl, but it didn't happen. I tried calling our adoption agency on Monday to see if they could just check to see where the file was so that we might have an idea of whether we are looking at July or August (hopefully July!!). The lady I need to talk to is out of the office, so I will have to call back on Monday. We did receive our LID and this is a really big step (Log In Date - the date all of our paperwork was logged into the CCCWA - China Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption in China). Our LID is 6-21-2012. So thankful that this much is done. We had a big fundraiser last Thursday. It was a Spaghetti Dinner. We are so thankful for our friends Tom & Gina DiGiacomo who did all of the cooking for this event and donated all of the food. We are humbled by their kindness and generosity. Our best estimates are that we served around 181 people. Things are moving, it's just hard not knowing when that file of our little girl will be complete. 
With the extra time of waiting we are using the time to try to raise the funds we will need to complete our adoption. In the last few years it has become a tradition at our church in the summer time to have lunch together after Sunday morning church and not have an evening service. With this arrangement my husband has contacted a few of his pastor friends and has been invited to speak in other churches on Sunday evening. David preaches a message about the spiritual meaning of adoption and our relationship with Christ. We also share how God has called us to adopt and we share short little stories and pictures of some of the families we have met through this journey. The churches will take a love offering and this money will go toward our expenses. Another thing we are doing is a puzzle. For $2 you can purchase a piece of a puzzle (of our little girl). Your name and or scripture reference can be written on the back of a piece/pieces. If you'd like to buy puzzle pieces please click on the donate on the side of my blog. Make sure you let me know what you'd like to be written on the back of your piece/ pieces. we also have silicone wristbands for $5. We have 2 widths available, the traditional approx 1/2" wide and then the wide ones are about 1". The smaller ones are navy blue and are embossed with our message "Bringing (her name) Home". The wider ones are also navy blue with white print and the same "Bringing (her name) Home" message. If you'd like a wristband please click on the donate button and be sure to put what you want in a message to me.
I am really trying to trust in God's timing and to honor God while we are waiting. I feel (and I am sure many of you have felt this way too) like I am pregnant without a due date. Honestly I think I may understand part of the purpose of not having her yet. There are some things God is working out for us and I can already see the perfection in the timing to bring her home. What is so hard right now is knowing that she does not know that she has a family that is so excited to meet her. We have a package all ready to send to her once we are allowed. 
We have been getting the bedroom ready for our girls. All 3 will be sleeping in one room (it is a pretty big room), because the older girls wouldn't have it any other way. The other bedroom will be used as a playroom and thanks to grandma toys are already starting to fill the room. It's nice to have something to work on while we are waiting and since at this moment we have no paperwork to do.
Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying for us and for that sweet girl. I will keep you posted as to the status of that very longed for file. Pray that July would be the month!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coincidence? I Think Not!

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

Coincidence? I Think not!

So often when things happen in our lives we think to ourselves, what a coincidence. This happened to my husband and I recently. We met someone for the first time, kind of random if you will. We found out that this person is a Christian. What a coincidence, so are we. We found out that this person likes Mexican food. What a coincidence, so do we! Seriously, I do not think any of this was a coincidence. I believe that God put us all in the same place at the same time for a purpose. I believe that we were able to talk and get to know this person a little bit because God had a purpose. One of the purposes was for this person to be an encouragement to my husband and I and I hope we too were an encouragement as well. We were able to share with this complete stranger about our adoption journey. Like most people we share our story with, this person told us how wonderful they thought it was. This is usually where the story ends, but this person, this complete stranger asks if they could make a donation to help with the expenses of the adoption. Of course we said no, that we had things all taken care of, NOT! We said that we would be grateful if they felt led to help us. This person pulls out a checkbook and writes a check for a significant amount. Coincidence? I think not. God knew that my husband and I needed a bit of encouragement and sent this person along to be that encouragement. It's not just about the money either, it is about the confirmation that situations like this bring to us that we are doing what God has called us to do. Thank you Lord for the sweet encouragement and thank you to this person who wants to remain anonymous. God used you to bless us.
Update on our adoption:
Our dossier has made it to the CCCWA and we are waiting on a Log in Date (LID). The biggest thing we are waiting on right now is the file to be completed on our little girl. It could be done anytime now, but it could also be two months from now. I am really praying that our adoption agency receives the file this month. This part has been by far the hardest part for me. Thank you for your prayers for our family, we do feel them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother’s Day and More

Mother’s Day and More

I started this blog post last week and today I am finishing it with some exciting news.

Mother’s Day was a special day for me. Since my husband is a pastor getting away on a Sunday is not easy, but this year David took a vacation Sunday and we headed to Pinellas County. David was invited to preach at Starkey Road Baptist Church (this is the church we met and were married at and it is also the church where David was assistant Pastor after graduating from Clearwater Christian College in 1986). He spoke on a topic that is very dear to our family’s heart, “The Spirit of Adoption”. Since this is where all of my family lives, my parents, grandmother, 2 uncles, aunt, sister and a friend came to church too. It was a wonderful day. It was so nice to see “old friends” and meet new people and share what is going on with our family. After church we spent the afternoon at my sister’s house and had a great lunch (thanks mom). It was so nice to be with family on Mother’s Day.

My children gave me a funny card and a very pretty silver necklace with a charm that says “mother” in Chinese. At least this is what they tell me it says. J My husband bought me a t-shirt that says “mommy” in Chinese on the front of it and I love it! It was a great day with David and the kids, and of course our little girl was on everyone’s mind. I couldn’t help but think of next year and next Mother’s Day and having another daughter to spend the day with. Being a wife and mother has brought so much joy to my life and I thank God for allowing me to be both.

I took Monday off of work and we went to Adventure Island (water park). I was more than excited to have a day off of work. As we floated around in the “Lazy River” I couldn’t help but think about how our lives are going to change in the coming months and though I have struggled with discouragement with the speed (or lack of) with the adoption, I felt encouraged. I realized in the big scheme of things a couple more months longer than I was thinking is still not that long, and God’s timing is perfect. If we are not able to travel by the end of this year, God knows why and He has a perfect plan not just for us, but our little girl too.

Yesterday I mailed our last two documents to the Houston Consulate to be authenticated. Once we receive these documents back in the mail they will be sent to our adoption agency and our dossier will be translated and bound and then it will finally be on its way to China. We are praying for progress to have been made on the status of our little one’s file so that we can be matched very soon. I cannot wait for her to know that she has a mommy and daddy, 2 sisters and a brother. She also has a slew of other family members who are so excited about meeting her.

Today (5-21-12)

Today is a bittersweet day. I remember 4 years ago hearing the news that Maria Sue Chapman had been killed in an accident at the Chapman’s home. I didn’t know this family personally, but my heart ached for this precious family. I watched the memorial service when it was posted online and cried and cried as I listened to different people share memories about Maria. In the years since this accident, our family has become more acquainted with the work of Show Hope and their ministry to the fatherless. I heard Mary Beth speak at a Women of Faith conference and read her book, “Choosing to See”. Our oldest daughter read the book also and it was from reading this book that God put a desire in her heart to travel to China and visit “Maria’s Big House of Hope”.  And it was our daughter’s trip to China that began to open our hearts to the idea of adopting. So today, four years after Maria Sue Chapman went to be with Jesus and the very day my family received a letter in the mail letting us know that we have been awarded an adoption grant from Show Hope, the word that comes to mind is bittersweet. I am so thankful for the work of Show Hope and for the generous grant. Thank you, Steven & Mary Beth Chapman, for allowing God to use this tragedy to help bring children to their forever families. I am so sorry for the pain you must feel missing that sweet, sweaty, naked, sticky syrup hands little girl. Thank you for your testimony, that even in your sadness you have honored the Lord in your lives. I will always remember Maria Sue and the rest of the Chapman family when we look at our own sweet girl.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Yes, it’s been one of those weeks. First an upsetting situation (not adoption related) happened that has had me quite upset and I have had to remind myself that ,yes, even in that situation, God is in control, God knows my heart, and most importantly God loves me. Even with other things going on our sweet little girl on the other side of the world is always on our minds. Two weeks ago we requested information about how her file was coming along. The good news is that it has finally past the “finding ad” phase, but the bad news is that it is not expected to make it to our adoption agency until at least June. It is so hard to hear and to know that there is nothing we can do to speed this part of the process up.  Or is there? Why is it we always forget the most important thing that we can do while we wait. We can pray that God will have just the right person pick up her file and get it to the place it needs to be, and if not then help us to know that this too is all part of God’s plan. I asked a question that I was not sure I wanted to hear the answer to, and that question is “Do you think we will be able to travel by the end of the year?” I was hoping to get a response like, “oh definitely you should be travelling by that time”. The real answer was “I don’t know if you’ll have her home by the end of the year”. That was so hard to read, but again I remind myself that God is in control and there is a reason that everything is taking so long. I can even think of good things (only a few J) that could come out of waiting a little longer, but if I was given a choice I would leave for China tomorrow.

 We should be receiving our I 797 approval any day and our dossier should be logged in sometime in May. Having an LID (log in date) for our dossier will definitely give us a feeling accomplishment and hopefully help when we finally receive that long awaited for referral.

Next week is a week for celebrating at our home. Our only son, Matt, will turn seventeen on April 26th and our daughter, Abby, will hit the double digits that same day. Our kids are a huge part of why we chose to adopt. We have had such a great relationship with all three of them that the idea of adding to our family was exciting.  Happy Birthday Matt & Abby, we love you both so much!
Thank you for continuing to pray for our family. I know God hears each one of them.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have not blogged in a while because until last week nothing had been going on as far as the adoption goes. Last week, however we (David, Katie, and I) were fingerprinted by the USCIS. We received our appointments for April 9th at the Ft Myers office, but we walked into the Tampa office 2 weeks early and were taken without any problems and were in and out of the office in twenty minutes. Now we wait for our approval notice.  We had a good day, after fingerprinting we took Katie out for breakfast. It was her birthday, so it was nice to spend the day with her. I cannot believe she is 19!! After breakfast we went to Lifeway Christian Store, Target, and Ikea. This was fun because where we live we have a Wal-Mart, and a small mall where K-Mart is an anchor store. We went to Ikea to look for ideas for the girls bedroom and I think we found something. J

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a person to cry easily… until recent months. I think it began when Katie graduated from High School, then two weeks later when she boarded a plane (her first ever plane trip) bound for China and more specifically, Maria’s Big House of Hope. When she came home and shared all of her experiences and pictures from MBHOH, my heart broke for the orphans who might never know the love of a mommy and daddy. I would think about these orphans when I was alone, on my way to work I would just cry thinking of these sweet faces. Now my son makes fun of me because he says I cry about everything, maybe it’s my age, I don’t know, but it's not a bad thing when your heart breaks for what breaks His. Well, when we went to get fingerprinted, needless to say we were all excited to get this done and to move along with completing our dossier. I was first to be fingerprinted and when I was done I sat for a couple of minutes waiting for David and Katie to finish up. David was second and he walked over to me and said something How did I respond? I started crying, then we all laughed  With every little step it all becomes more and more real to me that one day we will be bringing home our daughter from China. I cannot wait for that day! I feel so incredibly honored that God would choose our family to answer the prayer of a forever family for a sweet little girl. As we are preparing to bring her home we and my parents have enjoyed buying some little things for her to enjoy when she is finally home. I’ve taken a picture of a few things, now I can’t wait to get started on the bedroom.

As you think of us, would you please pray that the file for our little girl would be completed soon and for our dossier to be completed soon. We are praying to have a LID in mid-May.
I heard this song a couple of years ago, I think it may have been on the Fireproof movie; but the words are so appropriate for this season in my life.
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words to us and for your prayers. We do appreciate it.
By the way if you all like coffee, check out this website , if you make a purchase using that link our family will receive a portion of that sale toward the cost of our adoption. Thank you to those that have already purchased coffee, your support means so much.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Psalms 68:5-6

So it's Valentine's day and I am thankful for my Valentine today and every day, but I have to tell you that something else made my heart full of joy today. I read a blog about a very special little girl who found out that she now has a forever family. Katie met this little girl, Jessica, last summer at Maria's Big House of Hope and we have prayed for a family for her. It was so exciting to read today that just this week she found out about her new family and received a package from them.
Reading these blogs makes my heart long for the day when we can can finally send our little girl a package and pictures of her new forever family. We are trusting in God's timing but praying for miracles to help the process move a bit quicker. I want to use this extra time we have to learn more about adoption so that when we bring our little girl home we are as prepared as possible. I am reading a book that several people recommended to me called "The Connected Child". It seems to be filled with alot of valuable information.
It has been incredible to look back at the events that caused our family to become more aware of the needs of orphans. Though we had no idea at the time, Maria Chapman's short life here on earth was the beginning of our journey. Then Katie and I reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, "Choosing to See" was the next step in our journey. For Katie reading this book set into motion a desire to go to China on a short term trip to Maria's Big House of Hope. Excited that Katie could go minister at Maria's I was truly happy that God granted her the desire of her heart to travel to China last summer, but I really didn't know how this  trip could or would imapct me personally. When Katie came home hundreds of pictures later, the orphnas she visited had names and my heart began to ache for them. Now whenever I hear a story about an orphan being adopted into a forever family I am so full of joy. Actually, when I hear one of these stories I cry. So today I cried when I read Jessica's story, but they were happy tears! So to Jessica and your new family - Our family is so happy for you. God bless you all as you grow your family!
To read the blog about Jessica click here -

Monday, February 6, 2012

"I Know the plans.... Declares the Lord"

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
So I have had to read this verse several times today and reminded myself of the promises that it holds. We received word today that our little girls file may not be ready for a few months. There was some delay in her paperwork and it looks like our adoption agency may not receive her paperwork unitl July. We were praying to be able to travel to China in July, but with this new development it may be more like November. I know in my head that God's timing is perfect, but my heart is hurting tonight. I also know that God could still work miracles and we could have her much sooner.
I was recently watching the movie "Soul Surfer" and there is a part in the movie when Bethany's Youth Pastor talks about being so close to a situation that you can't see it properly and it doesn't make sense, but as you move further away from whatever the situation is it begins to come into focus and you begin to see the big picture. I want God to help me see the big picture today and to claim His promises for my life and for the life of a sweet little girl in China waiting on her momma and baba.
Thank you for your prayers for our family.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Isn’t it funny the things that motivate us? We have several projects around the house that needed to be done, but we have been putting off. Well with the home study coming up this weekend we were motivated to finally get some of these projects done. They weren’t things that had to be done for the home study, but we just wanted them to be done for it. I worked mainly in the house painting our bathroom and bedroom. My mom was here for the day and helped me a lot with the paint jobs.  Abby even got in on the action and helped us paint, then at lunch time she went around and took lunch orders for McDonalds. Painting is not a job I enjoy, but I just thought of that sweet little girl half way around the world with every stroke. My son, Matt, and I rescreened our back porch.  My sister and a friend worked in our back yard and did a lot of trimming of bushes and trees. I can’t thank them enough for all they did in our backyard. I was overwhelmed by what needed to be done, but they knew where to start and had a vision. My dad and my husband hauled 1500 pounds of yard brush to the County landfill, which by the way is A LOT of brush. Katie was also home for the weekend and did several jobs around the house. Thank you mom, dad, Debbie, Nola, Katie, Matt, and Abby for helping us get so much accomplished in one day.
Friday night David, Matt, and I attended a play at the Highlands County Little Theatre with some special friends of ours, Bernie and Irene Golde. It was the Diary of Anne Frank with Anne Frank being played by Rebecca Luepschen. Rebecca is Matt’s girlfriend and she did an awesome job. If you live in or close to Highlands County, I highly recommend you go see this play.
Again I ask for your prayers for our home study this weekend. If any of you that have been through this process have any suggestions or information you’d like to share with me about what a home study is like, please send me a message.
Another prayer request I have is for a friend, Karen Rapp and her family. They are also adopting a little girl from China. They are a little further along in the process than us, so right now they are waiting to get their LOA (letter of acceptance) and then their travel dates to go get there little girl Julia. Pray that all of this would happen quickly.  I have attached a picture of their little girl and she is beautiful.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

While I'm Waiting...

We are progressing along in our adoption process. We sent 11 documents to the Secretary of State to be Certified (this is done to all of our notarized documents) this week. The Secretary of State office has to certify that the person that notarized our documents is a real notary, and once they do that the documents are certified and mailed back to us. Later the documents will be authenticated. For authentication we send our documents to the Chinese Embassy and they verify that the documents that were certified were done so legitimately.  Does all of this sound confusing?  Yeah it is, but what I am excited about is that we are making real progress. Our home study is scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, January 20 and 21. Please pray for our family. It is a little nerve wracking to have a stranger come into your home and ask you a lot of personal questions, not that we have anything to hide. We’ve been working around the house getting some things done that we had been putting off, so that is a good thing. With the help of my son we put new screen up on our back porch and it looks pretty good Painting is on the agenda for Saturday. I know this isn’t stuff we have to do, but it is a good motivation to get it done.

We are waiting any day now for a call from Colorado that will tell us that we can be officially matched with our little girl. A couple of things keep me going while waiting for that call. Most importantly is God’s Sovereignty, knowing that God’s timing is perfect and that God is in control, even when I don’t understand why I didn’t get the call yesterday. Secondly, as I wake up each morning I say to myself, “I am one day closer to flying to China to meet and bring home my little girl.” Then my mind wanders and I think of all the other things I am one day closer to, like watching her play with her brother and sisters and hearing them laugh together, taking her on her first trip to Disney World, our first Christmas together, teaching her about Jesus and taking her to Sunday School.            

So until we get “that call” from Colorado, I want to be obedient to the one making all of this possible and let him continue to work in me so I can be the best wife & mom I can be.