They are home! Thanks for your donations!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It has been a great day! I was able to do some shopping early this morning, got the dinner to the table all at one time, cleaned up afterwards and ate dessert—all before 4 pm! Soon it will be time for leftovers—my favorite part!
I also have to share that Sara from Madison Adoption Agency (MAA) asked how things were going with Xi Fan’s process. I told her that our agency contacted the CCAA earlier in the week, but hadn’t heard back from them by Wednesday. Sara wasn’t satisfied with that answer…she sent Ming, their Chinese contact, to advocate for us with the CCAA. I am SO THANKFUL that she is on our side!!! I will certainly share any news that we receive! Please keep us in your prayers!
All my best,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No News is…No News

Another week gone by with no word from the CCAA. My agency’s China coordinator was in contact with the CCAA but they had no decision for him. I don’t know if this means that they may not approve this adoption, or if they just don’t like to be pushed into a decision. I thought for certain that we would know by today. By the time Monday rolls around we will only have 1 ½ months to complete this adoption. No wiggle room here!
So, although I didn’t receive the news I had hoped for, and two of my daughters are halfway around the world, I am still surrounded by my family that is active in loving each other, living on a street where neighbors still look out for each other, and have a hope of a life eternal in glory with my Father and my King.
Happy Thanksgiving!
All my best,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still No Word

We have paperwork signed, translated, and ready to send! Now we just need to hear from the CCAA.
Dave says that he won’t start pulling furniture out of the girls’ rooms until he hears the official word. Then we will keep ourselves busy moving furniture, posting it on Craigslist, stripping wallpaper, and putting a new coat on both the girls’ rooms. They will be sleeping on mattresses on the floor and using clothes out of storage containers for a while…but if Hailey’s clothes actually make it somewhere other than the floor, it will be an improvement!
On a side note, I had the opportunity to fast from coffee again, this time for another adoptive family that is going through an emergency adoption. Mary will be traveling over Christmas, and is flying through all her steps at breakneck speed. I had the joy and privilege of approaching the throne room of grace on her behalf today, and I thought of her often as my caffeine headache reminded me of what I did without! If you would like to join me in praying for Mary, she would really appreciate it!
All my best,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Waiting for a Word

Last Thursday the CCAA was supposed to decide if Xi Fan’s referral could be transferred to our agency, but as of Friday evening, we still have had no word. If I am not mistaken, they were going to also going to let us know if we could do the second adoption at the same time. These are pretty big decisions, and although there is no real reason for denying this adoption, we know that it isn’t a “sure thing”. I have been fine with not knowing all the way up until today, and now the doubt is creeping in. I know that God has ordained this adoption; if I didn’t believe, I would be riddled with anxiety. God is bigger than the boogie man, Godzilla, the monsters on TV, and any doubt that may sway me from standing firm in my faith of God’s will for our family.
Hopefully we will have a positive word by tomorrow!
Believing Him,

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

Hailey’s Going to State!

Ok, so it is not adoption-related, but I just have to share!

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

Early Morning Blessings

After another night of little sleep (who can slumber when there are rooms to reorganize, names to decide upon, and “gotcha” days to envision?!?) I gave up and went downstairs early. As a matter of habit, I checked my e-mail. To my utter amazement, I had received countless messages of people all across the US that said they were praying for me, that they had been praying for Xi Fan for several weeks, and praising God that she now has a family. One person blessed us in a very tangible way and donated to our account…I have never met this person face-to-face, but she has now invested in the Kingdom by helping bring this little girl home!  Through the day I was blessed again and again. Never before had I felt washed in God’s love through the outpouring of kind words and actions! 
As I continue to work through addendums, applications for grants, and parenting plans, I feel energized by my “sisters” who have come alongside me and have been praying for me. Thank you.
All my best,

New Address

Hey Everyone, as you might have noticed, we've moved to a new address! Yesterday I was playing around with it, so if anything weird happened... it's probably my fault! Anyways, we're now 'stable' and we'll be staying at for now. If you go to the old address ( then you will be redirected to this page, so you won't have to worry about not being at the right one!

Austin-Web Designer, brother of 3 (and 1 exchange student), soon to be brother of 5 (and 1 exchange student) =D

Monday, November 16, 2009

It’s Official!!!

We are LOA for Min Zhi and frantically paperchasing for Xi Fan!

Xi Fan turns 14 by January 20, so we will travel before then!

I just was granted the possibility to become the mom of 6 in the next 9 weeks!!!

All my best,


Pins and Needles

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

WE GOT OUR LOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE GOT OUR LOA!!!!!!!!!!!! We got the phone call tonight! We're all doing the happy dance!

Day 88

No word again on the home front regarding Min Zhi. Now I am beginning to wonder if the delay was for a purpose.
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.
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

Day 77

I feel the need to get the day count out of the way, so I can continue on with everyday life. It is always in my mind, my thoughts, and my plans. I am trying HARD to not to fret over it, b/c all the worry in the world won’t change it one bit. I cannot manipulate it in the least way, so I must learn to accept it as totally out of my control. I know that the LORD has it all worked out, and nothing is too big for Him. I know that he wants to set the lonely into families, and I am praying that he will move the hearts and hands of the men involved to get that letter of approval here. That said, my heart continues to leap into my throat every time the phone rings…
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.