Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
After beating the odds for almost 4 years of renal insufficiency, a tumor growing next to his heart was growing rapidly and was closing his trachea—and suffocating him. To add insult upon injury, an abscessed tooth root that blew out his face and a bladder infection compounded his suffering the last week. On Friday, December 18th, our friend, our family member, and yes, our cat, passed on to glory.
We love you, JT.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Isn't it strange that we both have to leave in about 4 weeks, we both started out adopting one child, and ended up with two because of an aging out child. Our aging out child is deaf.
That means for both us that we have an adoption bill of $35,000 - $40,000. Why does it cost so much to bring a child into a family? Don't get me wrong, I know where all the payments go to, but it is so inflated. It would be in the government's best interest to subsidize adoptions. That would lower their care taking bills. You know, I think they need women in charge of these areas, we usually put compassion first instead of numbers.
One of the side effects of fundraising is despair. It is hard to ask for help when you are always the one to offer help when needed. When you do reach out and don't get the results that make you hopeful, it can be quite debilitating. So you pick yourself up, because after all a child is involved, and try and try again. You know that no matter what you WILL be bringing the children home, but at what cost? Wipe out retirement when the husband doesn't have a job, choose to eat and not pay a bill? It is so hard...
All my best,
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
All the kids in our family have names starting either with an A or an H, so the girls will have their part of our immediate family’s heritage.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Hopefully we will have a positive word by tomorrow!
PS On a side note, Hailey did really well at state yesterday. Unfortunately, her ambition and adrenaline made her jump the gun on her start, so she DQ-ed for her 100 back, but she was still the fastest freshman in the backstroke there! Too bad they don’t medal by class…Her relay team finished 9th overall. It was a great first time showing at state—and she’ll have three more years to improve!
Friday, November 20, 2009
My sweet 14 year old daughter is competing in Ypsilanti today at the state level for swimming! She is in the medley relay swimming backstroke and in 100 back…the fourth freshman girl to ever make state from Hamilton! I am so proud of my sweet thing!
Here’s to a great swim, Hai! Make some bubbles!
All my best,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Austin-Web Designer, brother of 3 (and 1 exchange student), soon to be brother of 5 (and 1 exchange student) =D
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
That would barely begin to describe how I feel…plus a side of butterflies that travel all the way to my heart. It is hard to wrap my mind around the idea that I may soon be a mom to…dare I say…six!
Remember that little girl I mentioned before, the one who is in danger of ageing out? We have been in prayer all weekend for her.
On Friday I talked to someone from the agency that has her file, and was told that we would have to put another dossier together in two weeks (!!!) in hopes to have her in time. Gulp! ALL that paperwork again, in expedited timing, and the expense of everything again…ok, what is the price of the life? I struggled to come to grip with that, and started my journey of prayer. Later I talked to the woman in charge of the agency and she said that there have been rare cases of being allowed to adopt two unrelated children on one dossier, and she thought that our situation would qualify! She also said that her agency has people in transit right now to China to work with orphans, and would personally petition our case with the CCAA! They have an excellent standing with the CCAA, which makes a HUGE difference! I was elated, to say the least!
Now the bigger hurdle closer to home…to get both DAVE and ANDREW to agree with the whole idea. Dave has, as I said before, agreed to pray about it, and has brought it up to the children. That certainly didn’t mean that he was willing to go forward himself! Knowing that his decision is not a momentary one but a forever one really made him deliberate for a long time. Andrew, on the other hand, hasn’t been too excited about the adoption in general, and the thought of ANOTHER sister brought out an adamant “NO WAY” from him. Gulp. Ok, God, it is in your hands!
Not knowing how long I would need to fast, I didn’t want to fast from all food because I still need to function as a wife and mother to my family. Instead, I have been fasting from coffee all weekend (if you know me, that is HUGE! Even David said that he knew that I was serious when I told him that I was fasting from coffee!) and praying non-stop. God even woke me up in the middle of the night for all three of the past nights for me to wrestle it out with him. At first, I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to go forward myself! The whole fear of the unknown was crashing down on me and the possibility of future guilt made me want to run. Then I remembered the biblical story of the sheep and goats, and the words,” Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? The King will reply: I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25: 37, 38, 40. I remembered the story of the good Samaritan, and didn’t want to be like the priest or the Levite. I mean, if I didn’t know, if our situation wasn’t favorable, I wouldn’t feel the responsibility! But I do know, and our dossier is there, and there is a possibility; I cannot ignore her. And the worry and guilt about what might happen? That is what the Israelites did when they were standing outside their promised land, but some of the spies gave a “scary” account of the people that lived there. The Israelites let their vain imaginations run away with them and didn’t do what the Lord wanted them to do. Although they were later forgiven, not one of them were able to enter their promised land. I don’t want to be standing outside my promised land, wishing that I would have trusted instead of feared!
Once God squared it away in me that I wanted this girl, then I started to pray fervently for Dave’s and Andrew’s hearts. I knew that I couldn’t change them, it had to be from God alone. Dave and I talked about it at great length Saturday night, and he admitted that he felt that I would hold it against him if he decided not to go forward with the adoption. Praise God that HE already worked through that with me, and I told Dave that I was at peace with submitting to his decision. After all, if I was right and Dave was wrong, he would have to answer to God! By Sunday morning, Dave said that he was behind the adoption!!!! Later in the day, while sharing with Andrew that this little girl, although older than he, would only be 1” taller than him, AND, although she is older, the language barrier and transition to US schools would put her behind. I then asked him if he could choose a grade for her, would he want her to be in a different grade than him or the same one…and after thinking for a few moments, he said that the same grade would probably be the best for her…so HE is officially on board! Otherwise he wouldn’t want to share a grade or a house or a family or anything with her! Ever since that moment he has been asking more questions about her, slowly warming up to the idea!!!
That brings it up to today. Madison Adoption Agency (MAA—love them!!!) is contacting my agency to work out the details. Although we thought that I could have MAA advocate for us in Beijing, it actually won’t work because of the different agencies but same dossier. Therefore we need WACAP to agree to take the girl’s referral and to push this through the processes. I am also praying that they will not make us pay full agency fees, as the other costs without agency fees add up to over 10k as it is.
SO, that is where we stand at the moment. I should be hearing back within the hour about what was discussed. If we get this second girl, we will need to be in China by January 19; by January 20 it will be too late. Without this second girl, we would be traveling February, maybe March. Will you please join me in fervent prayer about this process?
All my best,
Friday, November 13, 2009
I NEED YOUR HELP!
There is a girl that will turn 14 mid-January that no one has started adoption proceedings on. There have been alerts put up all over the adoption yahoo groups about this girl. She is healthy, just in jeopardy of ageing out. I have seen her for months on the lists, but never thought that she was meant for us. Now we are thinking that we may be meant for her.
PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING ABOUT XI FAN!
I don’t want to make a decision based on emotions, because I want to save the world. I also don’t want to make a decision out of fear, as that will keep me from doing anything. I want to discern what God’s will is for us.
Dave started shaking his head at me when I first brought this up, called me nuts, and then ignored me…which is fine, as I show him photos of kids I would love to add to our family all the time. He then said that he needed to pray hard about it. Last night he started talking to the kids about her. I talked to the agency about her today, and found out all that needs to happen in the next three weeks…
PLEASE PRAY FOR GOD’S WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT…AND for Him to be abundantly CLEAR about his will. I really don’t want to have division regarding this girl—but I also don’t want to know that she aged out and we were in the position to do good to her.
All my best,
Monday, November 2, 2009
We had a very unexpected surprise this weekend! While visiting his mom in Xian last spring, David briefly met another woman volunteering in Starfish Foster Home that was from Australia. Making the off-hand comment, “If you are ever in our neck of the woods...” David offered a place to stay to Tracey. Fast forward to September: I get an e-mail from Tracey saying that she WAS going to be in our neck of the woods…could she and a friend stay for the last weekend in October? Friday was a day of preparation, of course, and since I didn’t know either woman from Eve, I was a bit nervous about how the weekend would play out. I can honestly say that I felt like we entertained angels!! Tracey and her friend Nicola were wonderfully sweet, entertaining, and fun! The kids ALL loved them as well. We had busy schedules, but were all allowed to go our ways and still have great times of fellowship. Saturday night wrapped up with movies and pizza in the basement, crazy photos in the family room, and singing musical songs by the piano and guitar until almost midnight! The older kids convinced them to sing for their Sunday school classes before they left, which was so fun!!!
Tracey talked to me about the adoption process in Australia, and she made the comment how LUCKY we are to be expecting our letter of approval this EARLY in the process. She knows people who have been waiting FOUR years for a child. Australia doesn’t like SN kids, as it is a governmental-run health care system, and their adoption process is typically more time consuming than ours (GASP!!!). So, I was reminded that it is all how you look at it; I am trying to look at it with God framing this whole process.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In case you were wondering, we are on day 71 of our wait for our LOA. PLEASE join us in prayer to bring our little girl home! God sets the lonely in families…I know that he desires the same for Min Zhi!