Monday, July 27, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
OT—I heard from Austin. He hasn’t made it to China yet. One of the girls in their group had a diabetic attack mid-flight and stopped breathing w/no heart beat. The airplane had to dump 30,000 gallons of fuel to prevent the brakes from breaking in an emergency landing in MN. The girl was revived, went to the hospital (obviously) and is in good condition. The plane re-fueled and went to Narita, Japan, but was 3 hours late so the kids had to be put up in a hotel for the night. They will go to Beijing in the morning, but all the flights are full, so the kids will have to be separated. The silver lining? Austin will have “officially” been in Japan, and will have the stamp in his passport to prove it!
Thinking about all that could have gone wrong, how can I stop from praising God for his continued care and protection!?!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
On another note, our eldest son, Austin, boarded a plane this morning, ultimately headed for China. He will be spending 18 days in Beijing, Changchun, and a couple of other cities, soaking up culture and studying Mandarin. He started his learning of the language when we lived in Shanghai in his freshman year of high school. Last year he completed his virtual classes of Mandarin 1. Now he is combining both of those experiences this summer. Although he would meet up some of the other Confucious Institute students in Detroit, he boarded the plane in Grand Rapids ALONE!!! As a mom, I have prepared him for spreading his wings and flying since he was a toddler, but AS A MOM it was hard to see him go! Thankfully it is only for 18 days, and I have a couple more years of him at home. J I am glad to say that I did NOT cry when he left, although I may have “leaked” a little once his back was turned.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
When I woke up to thunderstorms at 5 am, I was worried about the weather for our car wash a few hours later. God had worked it all out without my worrying, and by the time we were hanging last minute posters at 8:30 it was clear, breezy, and warm. Our dear friend Marcia arrived by 9 and we set up the tent, bake sale items, and did the last minute details. By 9:30 some of our volunteers arrived, and we were washing cars by 9:45. More muscle arrived around 10, and for the next 2 ½ hours we worked on a steady stream of cars. There were some friends that showed up and had multiple cars washed, but there were SO MANY that came that we didn’t know. We washed everything from a Jeep with a dog sitting in the back seat (who growled at anyone who dared to stick a hand past the exterior of the car) to LARGE pick-up trucks that we couldn’t reach the top of the front cab, to a boat. Several people also purchased some baked goods from the bake sale. At the end of the day we were blessed with almost $600!!! I am floored and humbled by the generosity of the community!
None of this would have been possible without all the help we received. A BIG THANK YOU to our car wash “staff”: Peter Rau, Cameron Beyer, Matthew Kwantes, Mike Kwantes, Caleb Kwantes (and a few of his friends), Jacob Charron, Bryce Van Oss, Allie Van Oss, and of course, Austin, Hailey, Andrew, and Hannah Fathman! If it wasn’t for Hailey and Allie’s loud voices calling in the cars, I don’t think that we would have had a fraction of what we did! I do think the surrounding neighborhoods were happy that they eventually stopped yelling, though (J), not to mention that Andrew stopped playing his trumpet at passing vehicles…
A shout-out goes to all the ladies that worked at supplying our homemade baked goods for the sale. I don’t have a listing of everyone yet, but THANK YOU just the same! And without the motivation and hard work of Marcia Kwantes, who delegated the baking and worked the bake sale the whole day by herself, none of that would have materialized. THANKS AGAIN!
Thanks to Dave Kempkers for offering the Hamilton Food Center for the location and water usage for the day. Being an adoptive parent himself, I didn’t need to convince him of the importance of the cause. THANK YOU!!!
I am truly blessed.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Bless Marcia’s heart, she has made numerous calls for the bake sale part of Saturday’s fundraising. We have our own muffins and breads to make: Hannah has a list of delacasies she wants to bake for tomorrow.
Hopefully the rain will hold off…
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We sold them!!! Our hot tub and our boat are now officially sold and gone, and the VISA has been paid off! Praise the Lord! I must admit, I figured that we would have to pay interest on the adoption fees for a couple of months, but God saw fit to bless our efforts. So far we have sold both of those items, plus two chairs. There is a lot more that is not nailed down, so we have work to do! Our garage sale is scheduled for August 21st.
Next week when
Monday, July 6, 2009
How to start? Where do I begin sharing our journey? Is it way back when I had a Chinese doll named “Ling Ling” when I was a child? Is it when our family had a void created in it due to four miscarriages? The point that REALLY started the ball rolling was when David said, out of the blue, “I think we should adopt.” I think my jaw is still bruised from when it hit the floor last November!
Even then, while researching agencies, countries, costs, timelines, and many different people’s stories on multiple yahoo groups, I had no idea what a winding course we would take. Starting with one agency, wanting to adopt from China but thinking we were not “qualified”, straddling two other countries, and making a “final decision” (HA!) were only steps in a circular path. Now, in a new agency, focused on China, we have found our daughter.
I now realize that God had us take those steps to change and prepare our hearts and minds for what was ahead. When we began, we went with the “low cost alternatives” because we couldn’t imagine spending tens of thousands for a child. After deliberating over decisions of “which agency” and “which country” for months, and taking two steps forward and four steps back, God brought us to a point of David saying, “I don’t care what it costs; let’s just get our daughter.” That was important for him to feel, as our estimated fees have more than doubled since we began!