Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pray with me?

Hello, my praying friends!  I have a couple of requests to ask for you to lift up in prayer....

1)  Mimi (our biological daughter with special needs) has been struggling this last week.  We finally have some answers.  She has a UTI - which can be much more serious with her because of her kidney issues.  She is EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY anemic - starting iron supplements and looking for causes.  She has also had several seizures.  We are trying to determine if she is prone to them or if they are due to hypoglycemia. 

Please pray for my sweet girl - she is at the core of my heart.  It is so hard to see her struggle and to be so pale and in pain.  The pain is fading as the antibiotics do their work.  Pray that the doctors can find the answers needed and that her body is able to rebuild her blood supply with the extra iron and vitamin B.


2)  Pray for our Lucy girl - that we can fill her heart, mind, body and soul while she is here.  We love her so very much.  It is going to be very, very, very hard to put her back on the airplane.  Please pray for our hearts and hers through these next 4 weeks.  She LOVED the baseball game this Monday - she loves EVERYTHING we do! :)

3) Pray for the funds we need to complete Brooke and Jillian's adoption.  God is always faithful - but He does stretch our faith a little farther with each adoption.  We need the last of the orphanage donations and then the travel fees - airfare, hotels, etc.  We are trusting Him with all we have!

Until He comes - may He be always glorified!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Perfect...

Perfect.  Simply perfect.





All glory to Him - forever and ever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What a summer!

It has been a crazy busy summer - just as I hoped it would be.  I am a little stunned that we are already reaching the halfway point for summer break!  There is so much still that I want/need to get done.

I am packing up Handsome and most of the kids for the second of three camping trips this summer.  They leave tomorrow but I will have several of my big kids at home.  I will be preparing for a very special arrival on Monday.  Another of God's gifts to us.

Last fall when we felt God calling us to adopt again, we assumed that we would use the same agency that helped us bring home Grace, Serenity, and Hope.  We looked at their waiting children from China.  There was a little boy and a little girl, both with Down Syndrome and both in the same orphanage.  We immediately fell in love with them both and were ready to get started with the process!  Due to some unfortunate circumstances, we were not able to move forward with this agency.  We could not see eye-to-eye with them on some specific things and felt that we were being called elsewhere.  We were heartbroken to have to walk away from the pair, especially the beautiful little girl.  We found out a while later that the little boy had a family chose him (Yay, Young family!) but the little girl still waited.

God brought us to Brooke and Jillian and we are so over-the-moon in love with these precious girls.  We know we were made for them and them for us!  But every once in a while the little girl, named "Lucy", would tug at our hearts.

This spring, God brought a series of circumstances into our lives involving children aging out (becoming too old to be adopted) and others dying from lack of needed medical care.  We attempted to add a little girl to our current adoption that was aging out on May 5th.  We were her last chance, but God allowed the door to be closed through others' decisions.  We were heartbroken.  As we worked through the hurt and the inevitable question, "Why, Lord?  You are always perfect, always good...but why?"; Handsome told me that he wanted me to find Lucy and see if she had a family yet.  She was still with the same agency and still not chosen to be a beloved daughter.  Handsome shocked me by saying that he wanted to find her when our current adoption was complete and adopt her.  I was stunned silent for a bit but then told him that her country would not let us begin a new adoption until the other little girls had been home for at least six months.  He told me that was fine, but to just keep track of her.  I was amazed, but honestly, I filed it on the "back burner" because it still seemed so far away.

About a week later, I got an email from a completely different agency about orphan hosting.  We were not interested in orphan hosting, so I simply deleted it.  A little bit later though, I really felt that I needed to open that email for some reason.  It was one of those feelings that I just couldn't ignore.  So I pulled it up and scanned the children available for hosting - I couldn't believe my eyes!  There was Handsome's Lucy!  There she was!  Out of thousands of children, her little face was staring back at me....what were we to do?

We immediately began to pray and another roller coaster began.  We don't really like the idea of hosting because of how hard it can be on the kids.  They try to hide the "adoption" part of it, but most of the kids figure it out.  Whether you choose to adopt them or not, they still must go back to their country.  We also knew it was money that we needed for our current adoption - was this how God wanted us to use our money?  What about our current adoption?

God immediately provided a wonderful family in TX willing to pay half the hosting fees.  Wow!  Okay....we talked with the agency and explained our situation.  They agreed to go to the country officials and ask them what could be done....but that is a story for another day. :)  God is very good.

For now, we are going to rejoice in having our Lucy with us for 5 wonderful weeks.  I bought her jammies and a beautiful new blanket for her bed.  (We will take her shopping once she gets here for new clothes.  It is a little hard to guess her size.)  We found dollies and have plans for the zoo, swimming, a baseball game, a camping trip - all kinds of things that our kiddos thought she should experience while she is here.  Look at my beautiful girl:


I cannot wait to hold her close to my heart.  I am purposely ignoring the fact that I can only hold her for a little while.  I will just rejoice in the moments she is with us.  As for the rest of the story, we are still waiting to see what He has planned, but it is looking beautiful so far.

Just a few short weeks after Lucy has to fly back, Handsome and The Helper will be on the way to bring home our two other beautiful treasures!  Can you believe it?  The end of the long wait is finally in sight.  We are looking at clothes and dreaming of stockings and little girl hair bows.  We are praying for His provision for the final costs and perfect travel dates.  Oh, I cannot wait.  My heart is rejoicing.

Please pray for Lucy, Brooke, and Jillian as they have so many changes coming so quickly.  Pray for the Lord to sing over them and give them peace.

To Him be all the glory, honor, and praise!


Monday, July 6, 2015

LOA!!! Praise the Lord!

We have LOA (Letter of Approval)/LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation)!  This means we have China's approval to adopt....Praise the Lord!  I am so amazingly happy to have one timeline done....only to move on to the next one!

Now there is about 8 weeks of paperwork back-and-forth between the agency, USCIS, and China.  Once that is complete, we will be issued TA (Travel Approval), and our travel dates will be set based on our embassy appointment.  So looking like October travel for Handsome and the Helper.  Can't help but have a little squeeeeeal right here. :)

We should also be getting updated reports and pictures soon as well.  We know Brooke is well cared for, but I am anxious to see how my Jillian is doing.  We should, Lord willing, have her home for her 2nd birthday.  What a gift that will be!

So thankful for all He has done.  Trusting Him to provide the next round of fees and travel money.  To Him be the glory!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

At it again!

Hope has been back on track eating again.  Lasagna, pancakes, ravioli, eggs, watermelon.  I am so thankful and so relieved.  Thank you to all of you who prayed.  It is all in very tiny bites and still fed by me - but we are moving forward again.

I also had a special treat last week that I am so thankful for - my Savior does know what I need!  Almost 2 weeks ago, I packed up most of my crew to go camping to my favorite place on earth.  Almost my entire family goes together each year.  I knew just like last year that I needed to stay home with the girls and Little Man.  It was a quiet few days, but very busy meeting all their needs without other hands helping.  Handsome had to bring The Warrior home halfway through the trip for an event he was helping with.  Just before he came home, he jokingly said, "Why don't we trade places?  I will stay home with the girls and you can go camping?"  I quickly said that it wouldn't work.  But when I got off the phone, I felt the Lord prompting me to think about it.  Hmmmm....what if I took both Serenity and Little Man with me?  I really wanted them both to experience camping.  It took quite a bit of work to get all of Serenity's machines and equipment in the car, but we did it!  (She has to be on a pulse/ox monitor as well as a humidifier at night for the trach - so 3 machines and an IV pole all had to be carefully transported).  Fortunately, Handsome stays in a cabin for this trip, so I had plenty of outlets to plug things into.

May I just say it was glorious?  Serenity and Little Man just soaked up the outdoors.  I got to surprise all the kids as they didn't know Handsome and I were switching places.  (They stayed with my parents/sisters while Handsome drove home.)  I just enjoyed and treasured each moment.  I am guessing it will be a few more years before we are all camping together again, so it made the gift even more precious.



Serenity loved every part of it.  BUT the funny thing was she still complained about everything.  We had assumed this was a boredom thing and were feeling more than a little badly for her.  Now, we are realizing it is just part of her complex personality.  She can be surrounded with her favorite things - people, outdoors, and food - and still find things to complain about!  There is some freedom in this realization for us.  We will keep working at filling her days - but also give ourselves a break that she may never be completely happy with any of our efforts.  Crazy girl!

I am on Day 5 of camping clean up - one more load of laundry, a sleeping bag to roll up, and the pop up tent trailer to put back down and it will be done......until the next camping trip.  I won't think about that right now...

Please keep praying for LOA to come swiftly for Brooke and Jillian


....can't wait to hold my newest daughters.  I know time will fly by - but tonight it seems to be too long...

Until He comes...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Joy

I have been simply overwhelmed with joy the last few days that I get to be the mama of these beautiful girls!  My cup runs over with blessings!



Monday, June 8, 2015

Kick back....

I knew it would come, but I am disappointed nonetheless.  Hope is now kicking back at the progress that we have made and refusing to eat "regular" food and drink from her cup.  I knew some kind of kickback would happen - but I think I was hoping it would be in some other area.

The good news is that now I know she can do it.  Before, there was always a lingering doubt - was I pushing too much?  What if she can't do this?  Should I push her?  Now I know.....but still don't know quite what to do about it....contrary to what you might think, you cannot force someone to eat or drink.  And if that person is as determined as Hope, "waiting" it out won't work either.

I would so appreciate your prayers for wisdom and for patience to stay consistent.

Until He comes...