Monday, September 29, 2008

Thanks and The Rest of the Story

Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. I must say, HE is amazing! We certainly don’t deserve the blessings He has showered upon us. Our desire is to glorify Him through this process and the union with our precious child. We are taking the ‘new’ journey to a waiting child, and I want to journal our process, step by step. For those who have adopted, it may seem very elementary and for those who are considering, it may seem overwhelming. My goal is to simply walk you through the steps of the process with the reminder that it changes frequently.

How did we get here? It’s no secret that since Clayton and I accepted Christ (11 years ago for him and 7 years ago for me) we have had a growing desire to serve God full-time in another culture. We have sought direction, even looked for an avenue to take us to another country. Two years after I surrendered my life, He bent my heart toward adoption, and the plight of the fatherless has become my heartbeat.
We are constantly reminded that God does not need to use us, but He chooses to do so. He has opened many doors of opportunity for us and given us the courage to cross the threshold, knowing full well we will depend on Him for everything. He has not called us to that which we are able, but invited us to do what will require complete trust in Him. Each seed of adoption in our lives has been planted by God Himself, and He has proven faithful and trustworthy, as evidenced by each of our beautiful children.
Once Kaeleb was home, we had a peace that God was likely finished growing our family but certainly not finished with us. We began to seek Him fervently on missions: How? Where? When? It was during this time that I was completely brokenhearted for the children left behind, and He gently whispered to me, “I will send you to China … but only for a short time to receive your child.”
Clayton and I were both stunned, at least! We pondered this and continued to pray. I vowed to keep silent as Clayton sought clarity from the Lord. A short time later, God said to him, “I am holy.” It was a reminder that what is a surprise to us is no surprise to Him; He is sovereign; His plans are far greater than ours, and He has given us life for His glory.
We have been ‘approved’ by our agency, Lifeline Children’s Services, and have begun the home study process with the agency that facilitated our first two adoptions, Dillon International. We are proceeding with the knowledge we cannot do this alone. We are so grateful to our church family who has loved us, supported and encouraged us and prayed us through every journey we’ve taken. I have many friends who, even though are very much a part of a church family, the church family has not been very much a part of their adoption process. As the body of Christ, we do need to rally around our family, and we have certainly been rallied!
There are many truths God has spoken to us, but four that I really like to share are:
1) His grace really is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)
2) Having faith means not seeing the whole plan. (Heb 11:1)
3) Trusting that His plans are best. (Jer 29:11)
4) When seeking the Lord, we won’t always please people. (Gal 1:10)

May He be glorified, and may the joy that can only come with abundant life in Chrst be seen!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hmmm...

What in the world??? These are folders that contain precious documents, two for each of our China-born children. There is one folder for the adoption process itself and one for the post-placement. Kayden's are #1 and 2; Kambry's 3 and 4; and Kaeleb's 5 and 6 ...
You guessed it, we are paper pregnant again! We're so excited to be chasing after K#7, and I look forward to sharing how God brought us to this place once again...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SYATP

We'll "See You At The Pole" this morning at 7 a.m.! For seven years I've been dragging my kiddos out of bed early on this morning so we could join others at the flag pole of the school to pray for the students, teachers and staff, administration, community and nation. It's an awesome thing for so many to come together and cry out to God. He truly has blessed us! Will you join us today?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Four Years Ago Today...

...I was a Mommy forever changed when you were placed in my arms, Kayden Faith!Even though God had been growing you in my heart for many months, I didn't expect to fall head over heels in love with you in a very warm upper room of the Civil Affairs Office in Nanning, China the afternoon of September 22, 2004.
This was our first glimpse of you just weeks before meeting.
One year later, still as cute as ever. Celebrating our 2nd Lunar New Year as a Forever Family.
Once a Princess, always a princess.
There's that precious smile!
Kayden, you have changed me in ways I never would have imagined. You've shown me how to stop and smell the roses, laugh until I cry, take 'drama' to a new level, share Jesus without fear and love uninhibited. Thank you for the joy you are and the pleasure of being your Mommy. In the words of our favorite bedtime story: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Way behind

We are in full 'fall' swing here! Kolton has started football, we have the upcoming Moon Festival, our adoption ministry is taking off, and God is doing some pretty amazing things in our church and community! So stay tuned ...

Enjoying the last days of plush lawn ...

Look, Mom, I've got a rose for you! Beep, beep, coming through...
... or not!
Let's carpool.

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Survey says ...

Two out of two toddlers prefer Huggies over the other brands (or is it the box??)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Technical difficulties ...

Sorry there are no new posts. Though our home did not flood, our ISP did! All the water has knocked us off line and it will be this week sometime before we're up and running again. Rest assured, as soon as we're on line, I'll update you on the antics of my children. The downfall of living in the country ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Church/Orphan Workshop


Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption is excited to attend this workshop in the next few weeks! We hope to come back encouraged and armed to launch the ministry in a way that truly blesses God!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good news!

Yep, Tami got the LOA call today (day 67!) Hang on, Abraham Caleb, we're coming to China in October or November!

First video upload

You just can't get a true feel for life at home without video! Only thing is, when Mom pulls out the camera the kiddos want to come running and see themselves.

video

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday cleaning?

I miss my Sunday afternoon nap. The last two weeks we've cleaned house after church ... but for great reasons! Last week we had a family over to talk 'adoption,' and tomorrow is Kaeleb's six-month post placement home study visit. All for the cause, right :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blessed again!

Tonight I was blessed to speak at the kickoff of a women's ministry, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God." Look at the beautiful gifts I received! I have been both excited and nervous about this time of sharing. I didn't want this to be 'the story of my life," but rather an opportunity to share the promises God has fulfilled in my life and the many Truths He has shown me. Even through my nervousness, I believe He allowed me to share exactly what He wanted to be heard. I want to thank the two prayer warriors who went as my guests, as well as those who organized the event and bathed me in prayer. I pray God will bless this ministry and give every woman the courage to say, "Yes"!

Six months ago ...

... this was our boy.
And here he is now. What a difference!

God is so very good! Kaeleb came into our family as a 20-month old toddler who could barely walk and wore 12 mos. clothing, had never eaten solid food and spoke no words. Now, six months later he races through the house, pretending to be a wild animal chasing anyone who will run from him. He will eat three squares and two snacks a day. His vocabulary is expanding rapidly. My favorites are, "Wuv oooo mama." "Sawwy." "Sissssy, bubba." "Datty." "Et's go." "Peep-a-boo." "Ho-Ho, Ye Ye" (from Ni Hao, Kai-lan.) And he weighs 30 pounds and wears 18-24 mos. clothing. Yes, God is very good indeed!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Amazing video

And speaking of going to China, watch this video of three teenagers who visited their former orphanage to lend a hand, then share their perspective as daughters of two cultures. Tissue alert! VIDEO

Waiting ...

Have I mentioned lately I'm traveling to China soon??? Tami is waiting on the LOA (Letter of Acceptance), which should arrive any day now. Once that is signed and returned to China, the wait for TA (Travel Approval) will begin. I am honored to be one of two travel companions going to China with her. As of now, Gail will take the first leg of travel to Abe's provincial city, and I will take the Guangzhou leg. And so for now we are waiting ...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aiden has his family!!!

Kaeleb's orphanage brother is in the arms of his forever family! You can follow their journey here. Congratulations to this precious family!

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