They are home! Thanks for your donations!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's coming!

Starting next month (hopefully!) we will be starting a new fund raiser. If you know anything about me, you know that I am a true coffee addict. I very often can't wait to go to bed at night so that I can wake up and have my morning coffee! And I am no longer satisfied with the Folgers or Maxwell House near a Starbucks and not having a lower cost alternative while in Shanghai took care of that. David has dubbed me a "coffee snob"--not a connoisseur, mind you, that would insinuate that I know what I am talking about when discussing the finer points of coffee. I just like it STRONG and BLACK...not foo-foo coffees for me.

SO, now that you know a bit more about what keeps me going, I am going to offer it to you too, as well as an opportunity to help us bring Min Zhi home now and Ethiopian orphans in the future. An adoptive family has started a business roasting, grinding, and selling coffee in 1# bags from their on-line storefront. They set this up to help families through the financial part of adoption. It isn't ready quite yet, but HOPEFULLY by next week we will be able to order it, try it, and let you know how to buy your bags! When you log in using our name, our account will be credited.

Please check back soon--more info to follow,

Your friendly coffee snob,


WAITING in Hamilton

Day 42, and not a peep from the CCAA yet. I have been in contact with the agency also, so it is not a matter that they forgot to notify us. I know that the Moon Festival is this week, and it is the 60th anniversary since Chairman Mao set up the People's Republic of China. Two big celebrations, no chance that the CCAA will be working on the first of October! I must remind myself of this and start hoping for a phone call next week when the celebrations are over.

Last week David sent our photo album and letter to Min Zhi. I know that she can't contact us, but OH how I wish I knew if she got it, what she thought of it, of US...

In my bible study this week I was reminded that very often once we are called to obey we enter a desert place for a time. Look at Jesus; he obeyed in baptism and then went to the desert for a 40 day fast! Abram obeyed God, left his homeland and traveled to an unknown destination. Noah obeyed God, built a boat, and was saved from the immediate rains, but then he sat... I feel like we are still working through the obedience part--there are still documents to fill out and then fill out again when the computer dies and takes all the files with it, money to grow on trees and harvest for payments, endless rounds of the "name game". I don't like this stage, as I don't know when it will be over. The next stage of bringing OUR DAUGHTER home is so mixed with excitement and thrills and fears of the unknown that I am trying to be careful not to wish any time away, trying to cherish my family as I know it today, trying to be content with the process.
BUT, then I think of my little girl over there without a family to love her, without a mother to hug her and tuck her in at night, without a hope for a future and my heart starts its palpitations all over again and I start hovering over the phone, just in case it might ring...

I will now go find my place in my family and thank God for the blessings he has entrusted to me thus far.

Until later,


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Left Behind

David is on his way to China right now. He has the benefit of the direct flight to Shanghai, so he doesn’t have to stop in Narita, Japan, but it is 14 ½ hours straight. As soon as he took off, I went out for a run, just because I COULD and he couldn’t. J ha!

How I wish I was going with, and we could go down to the Guangxi province! How I would love to scoop up Min Zhi and bring her home! I know that it is prideful, but honestly, in comparison to what she has in china, WHY IN THE WORLD would China not approve us and make her stay there? Are they scared that we have too many children that there won’t be enough love to go around? Or that the economy is too bad that we won’t be able to clothe her for the impending winter? Or that we have chickens, and her health would be compromised by the Avian flu???

We are on day 33 of waiting for LOA. I know that MANY people reach into triple digits of wait time. But I also know that I am not to compare myself with others, that my God will do as He wishes, and in His perfect timing we will bring her home. BUT I will NOT stop asking, or knocking, or petitioning Him at the throne room of grace. If an unrighteous judge will hear the cries of the widow, how much more will my God, the righteous judge, hear my cries in behalf of the orphan?

Please join me in praying for Min Zhi to be given permission to COME HOME!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A rose by any other name…

In filling out the DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, we have to choose Min Zhi’s name NOW. Goodness, even when I gave birth I had 24 hours after they were in my arms to decide! How can I know if she is an Amanda or Aubrey or Alyvia? What about Anissa or Alyssa or Angela? What about the half dozen others that we are tossing around? Of course, our four bios all have a DIFFERENT favorite. HMMMM. Then again, Andrew wanted to name Hannah “Warthog” before she was born, and would probably cast his vote there now, so maybe I shouldn’t put too much stock in what they think. And then, do we give her an American first AND second name, leaving her Chinese name as a third name? Or do we keep it more prominent as her only middle name? I have heard arguments from both sides.

If anyone wants to cast a vote, perhaps I can post the possibilities and you can let me know. But it has to be quickly!! I am PRAYING for a speedy LOA, so I need to have the paperwork turned in. Then again, maybe if I don’t have all my ducks in a row, the LOA will come sooner…

Photos to China!

Since we have LID, we are able to send packages to Min Zhi! We grabbed a bunch of photos of us and but them in an album—our first “gift” to our little girl! I hope she isn’t too scared of animals!!!

We took a photo of each member of our family, even the goldfish, so she can start thinking about us and picturing us in her mind. I SOOO want her to think of my face when she thinks of a mama. More than that, I want her to have HOPE that she is wanted! We are here, Min Zhi! Wish you were, too!

Blessed and Humbled

I haven’t written about Min Zhi Monday because I was unable to collect from all of the businesses that sponsored the day. It was difficult to show up for, what I perceived, our “handout”. I know that each business owner agreed to support us, and that we washedHamilton in pink signs as well as posted it in churches’ announcements, so I felt a bit better about it since we did some “advertising”.

I can now officially say that Min Zhi Monday was a success. I can also say that I know that several of the business owners gave not only from their proceeds but from their wallets, too. Maybe I am just weird that way, but I have the worst time asking for money from others. I would rather do without something and pay it myself, but the staggering amount of money we need to pay forces me out of my comfort zone. Just asking for help is hard enough—I would rather be the one giving of my time, making meals, watching kids, cleaning houses, etc to help others. I must admit that I am shocked, surprised, and humbled that others would want to help me.

BUT it is not about me right now. It is about my daughter who is presently away from her forever family. It is about doing WHATEVER it takes to bring her home. And, just like on numerous occasions for each of my bio children, I will do whatever it takes to help her find her way home.

Hold on, Min Zhi! We are coming!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another check in the box

After planning for it all summer, filling up the garage with stuff so Dave had to park outside for the past two months, and postponing twice due to rain, we actually had the garage sale. The weather was perfect. It was a LONG day, about eight hours from start to finish. Unfortunately, we did not do very well with it. It wasn’t for lack of planning or lack of items—or due to overpricing the items. Stuff just didn’t sell. SO, a thrift store benefiting Guatemala was the recipient of our trailer-full of treasures. We did make one very nice sale, which made up for over half of the daily earnings, and I am grateful for that. A woman who is adopting from Ethiopia bought a bunch of our ski equipment, and I hope they have made good use of it on this wonderful holiday weekend!

I do want to thank some super women who gave not only their items but their hands and time as well: Marcia Kwantes, Melissa Charron, and Amy Van Oss were my heroes of the day! If it wasn’t for them, I probably would have been still setting up past noon!

A sad note: my keys seem to have pulled a vanishing act. I had them in my back pocket for most of the day, and only crossed the street once to use the gas station’s bathroom. I did ride with Austin to give thank you notes to the businesses that sponsored “Min Zhi Monday”, but I retraced those steps and asked everyone I had visited about them. No luck. SO, after a not-so-hot day of garage sale-ing, about half of what we brought in will go to replacing the key and keyless entry fob. (Sniff)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


According to our caseworker, the CCAA logged in our dossier on August 17th!

It is off to translation! YES!!!

Here’s a story:

There once was a boy. He didn’t think that he needed to rely on God, but his parents still taught him about God and taught him to set apart his tithe. Since this boy didn’t put a lot of value in church, his parents said it was ok for him to dedicate his tithe for other things of his choosing.

Last year this boy worked all summer, being obedient and setting his tithe aside. He gave it to the cause he desired but, as it turns out, this cause had enough funds to cover their expenses and RETURNED this boy’s tithe to him. So, this boy tucked it away all winter.

This year, even though he didn’t think he even had a job due to hard economic times, this boy heard of a little girl in China who needed a family. He also heard that a local family very much wanted to adopt this little girl. Of course, with international adoption, this family was trying to fundraise to help bring home their daughter. Remembering his tithe, this boy gave it all to this family.

This was done in secret, with no desire for recognition. BUT, it didn’t escape notice, and has been a huge blessing to both the adoption fund AND to the hearts of the adoptive parents.

James 1:27 says-- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Even though this boy didn’t want to rely on God, he was an example of pure and faultless religion. Perhaps one day he will surrender his heart, as his hands are already busy doing HIS will.

To our anonymous donor: Thank you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Still no LID

It has been 26 days since we had our dossier sent to China. We were hoping to have the LID over a week ago, but still no word. It is maddening, as our precious daughter STILL doesn’t know that she is wanted! Every day of the wait is hard, but at least we are striving towards a goal. She has no hope of a family yet! We are here, Min Zhi! We have been praying and striving to get you for months, and we will continue to do so until you are in our arms!

I finally was able to talk to Mary Hecky, who is the mother of Min Zhi’s best friend from the orphanage. Mariah, Min Zhi’s friend, talked to me on the phone too, and her English was AMAZING! Mariah has been in the states for a little over 5 months, and her English was as plain as any 1st grader. It was good to hear about Mary’s experiences, to take her recommendations, and to share her excitement. It will be great to get these little girls together one day!

Hoping for some news this week…

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Think Pink!

Today was Min Zhi Monday here in Hamilton! We made and put up over 3 dozen hot pink signs announcing the day. Two of the local businesses, Hamilton Family Eye Care and Trestle Stop Restaurant, put the announcement on their signs. The kids and I (Minnie, our exchange student) made over 130 mini-thank you photos of Min Zhi, including our blog address and a teaspoon of loose Jasmine tea. We put these at the businesses to pass out to their patrons today. I have no idea of any numbers behind today, but I can say that I have been richly blessed by so many wonderful people. Pastor John and Cathy Byker, Kim, Jane, people we don’t know their names but yet mentioned that they shopped at Hamilton Food Center today or they went to the Trestle Stop for dinner…

Now, don’t get me wrong. At the end of the day, money is still needed to pay the bills. BUT, had we progressed as originally planned, if we would only be having a bottom line of under $10k, we never would have reached out for help. I STILL DON’T LIKE asking for help, especially financial help. But if it is part of HIS plan on getting us to a place that we realize that we are dependent on HIM, and we meet awesome people who have either walked this path before or are considering embarking on it themselves for the first time, then how can I complain?

So, here’s a shout-out to the sponsors of Min Zhi Monday, held August 31, 2009: Hamilton Food Center, Trestle Stop Restaurant, Shear Style Salon, and Hamilton Family Eye Care.

Hip-Hip-Hurray! Thank you for investing in the life of a child!

PS If there is anyone of the area who didn’t get to visit these businesses today, PLEASE still give them your patronage! I pray that they will continue to be blessed for being our blessing!