Yes, we are still here! I cannot believe how busy we have been from the time the sun starts up in the morning (or earlier!) to long beyond when the sun goes down. Coffee is still one of my best friends. I saw this meme a few months ago:
We are still trying to get to that final step of TA (Travel Approval) and buying tickets. This is so much later than we thought it would be. There has been delay after delay after delay. I know the Lord is Sovereign, so I am trying to rest in that.
We have already seen one reason why He delayed ....once we know that travel would be later than we thought, we understood how He could be pressing on us to host again. (I know, crazy, right?) The little girl He laid on our heart is here NOW. She came on June 11th and will leave on July 10th. Meet beautiful Nora:
We are loving this little peanut.. She is almost 10 years old and was blessed with an extra chromosome as well. If we had already brought our other kiddos home, we wouldn't have been able to host again. And as we know with Lucy, hosting gets your foot in the door to start another adoption..... :) We will be approaching her country very soon for permission to make her ours. Please pray for His favor to move the hearts of those making the decisions.
Nora is a very different kiddo than Lucy. We didn't expect them to be the same by any means, but her time here has not been as easy as Lucy. There are a lot of orphanage behaviors that we hare having to deal with. It has honestly been pretty rough. Don took 9 of the kids including Nora camping with my family last week and that helped a great deal. Nora could be out and playing and Don could make sure she was WORN OUT by bedtime. They came home on Monday and so we are working through the transition, again. She is beautiful, precious, and worth every sacrifice but we are still human, so we are still tired at the end of the day. :) God moves us from strength to strength so we are tired and joyful....but we can't cross out the tired part. ;-)
As always, we are trusting where He is leading us. More and more we are opening our hands up and saying, "Whatever and wherever, Lord." We are seeing that He WILL use us if we are willing. The trust has to go deeper for all things - strength, finances, wisdom, time. Stay tuned...there may be a few more surprises coming!
In the meantime, we got fingers for Jillian! A thumb and two digits on each hand. Each "digit" is actually two fingers that will eventually be separated as well. Jillian in casts/splints was.....well....a nightmare. I know they want to do the next surgery in the coming months, but I am honestly NOT ready for it. We will talk again come spring! We are still waiting to hear if she will need a front orbital advancement/adjustment (skull surgery in the front) like Serenity or not. Serenity's fingers are healing well and she is up to 9 digits. :)
In another unexpected (by us) twist, we are going to be trying our local public school for classes/therapies for Serenity in the fall. My heart is a mess over this, but the Lord seems to be leading that direction. We are committed to the first 4 weeks and then we will decide from there. She will be there for 2 1/2 hours, five days a week. It will also involve speech therapy, occupational therapy, and P.E./music class with "typical" kiddos. She may absolutely LOVE it or she may be completely overwhelmed....but I need to see what else we can do to help her grow and mature.
Right now, we are praying for travel around July 21st, returning three weeks later. It will be Don, the Helper, and Snip going. They will go to Peter's province first for 5 days and then move on the Guangzhou where Lucy and the US Embassy is for 12 days. Add a few days of travel time in there and it will be nearly 3 full weeks. That makes my heart hurt just thinking about it but they had a wonderful time last time so they are looking forward to it.
The busy summer is just beginning, but I have a major hill to climb first. Brooke's birthday is on June 30th. We had such huge plans for her first birthday home. Now what do I do? Do I just get through the day with lots of pent up tears? Do I go to her grave site? I haven't been there since the graveside service. Do we have a cake? I just don't know. Everyone else has moved onward - as is always the case- but my heart is still frozen on Sept 28th....the day the Lord called her home.
Complicating this is the fact that Nora looks eerily like Brooke. A 9 year old Brooke. She even loves to sing and dance like Brooke. She completely adores her daddy, like Brooke. My heart is trying to deal with this as well. She did not look like Brooke in her pictures at all, but when she is asleep or smiles a big smile....my heart just stops for a moment. I don't know if it is a healing thing or a tearful thing....but the Lord knew even this when He called us to her. How I miss my little Brooke. My heart feels as raw as it did the days following her death. But I know that she is dancing in Heaven with Christ....so I will be at peace.
Please continue to pray for the funds to come in for this adoption...before we launch into the next. Pray for Nora's country to agree if this is God's perfect plan to add Nora. Pray, as always, that God changes me into the wife, mother, and home manager that my family needs me to be.
As you are praying, do not forget this little man - Bryson. My heart is just torn apart by his sad story. I am begging the Lord to send a family to rescue him. The Lord has carved his name on my heart.
Until He comes....