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Friday, May 6, 2016

Do Not Be Troubled... BELIEVE.

Surprise! A blog post from me!  It's been awhile I know, nearly a year. A mama who we traveled with in China posted recently using the word "Trauma-versary" for our one year anniversary of Gotcha Day.  Yes.  Very true.  Excellent word.  This past year has had some very deep waters but God... He is a redeemer!  I finally obeyed that still, small voice and opened my Bible. God led me to the exact Words I needed.  I process things by writing and I've done very little writing this past year.  Lately, however I've been writing more so I'll share a bit of what's in my heart. 

John 14. Have you read it lately?  I'll wait if you want to look it up here.  

It’s been my place to camp out for about a week now.  I felt drawn to these verses during the tumultuous times in which we live.

“Do not be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in Me.” 
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

It’s really that simple.  Jesus tells us the way to peace and hope.  Here’s a hint, 

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CIRCUMSTANCES.  

Truly, if we are to have peace it will be found by believing in Christ and in the Father.  The peace He gives us is not as the world gives.  It’s other worldly.  In order to believe, we must know Him, we must know His Word and we must dwell there.  When circumstances attempt to sweep us away we must cling to the Rock of the Word trusting what the Spirit enlightens to our hearts and brings to our minds in the midst of trying times. 

Matthew Henry’s Commentary says this about John 14:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ's disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet.


See that, Stress has no place in the believer.  We can keep our minds quiet as we focus on Him.  Easy? No. But with practice, taking our fear, frustration, disappointment to him again and again and again it begins to be a habit when stress overwhelms us to turn to the ONE who can do something about the things that are completely out of our control.  

What freedom! What peace, trusting as a child with child-like faith in the Father that truly He cares for us.  He is preparing a place for us and He is preparing us for that place.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thank You! And June Happenings!

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Our children have been home for a month! And what a month it has been!  Thank you so much for your involvement in their adoption journey.  Because you supported us in a tangible way, there are TWO LESS orphans in the world.  We travelled to China April 22 to May 10th (Mother’s Day) we returned home to be reunited with our nine children who were thrilled to meet their new siblings.


IMG_6457.JPGIsabella is “smart as a whip” as my mother would’ve said.  At two and a half years old she’s already picked up more than ten English words and has learned to communicate her needs very clearly.  She enjoys playing house, pushing the baby stroller all over the house, and picking up after her siblings.  She started out a month ago very attached to Doug and was quite timid with everyone else.  She has just blossomed and now enjoys interacting with all her siblings.  The slow acceptance of Mama has been bittersweet.  She really was close to her nannies and had stranger anxiety.  In those first days she really wanted nothing to do with Mama, and that was hard.  But the love and trust that she has developed in a short time has been sweet.  


IMG_7676.JPGIsaac is a little bit more of a mystery since he does not speak at all yet and really only communicates by crying, grinding his teeth, and smiling.  We are learning his cues and look forward to getting him the therapies he needs to develop.  He had lost five pounds between his second and third year, but I’m happy to report that in the month and a half he’s been with us he has regained three of those pounds! Lots of good nutrition and lots of hugs and snuggles are filling his tank.  When he smiles it lights up the room and is so precious!   



Thank you again for your support in bringing home our children.  What a privilege it is to participate with God’s plan for these two



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Isaac and Isabella say


THANK YOU!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Be Still...

“Honey, can you please get my crutches?”


“Will you please help me put my boot on?”


“Can you refill my water bottle, please?”


“GET THE DOOR!”


“HAND ME MY PHONE! IT’S RINGING! Where is it?”


These and a million other requests have been part of my life for the past two weeks.  And I don't really like it.
 
On June 2nd as I was coming down the stairs after tucking the last little child into bed my oldest daughter and I were joking about how badly she needed dark chocolate and I needed a glass of wine. We were laughing and apparently not paying careful enough attention to the stairs we were descending.  All of a sudden the next step was gone! I kept going down when I should have felt the second to the last stair beneath my left foot.  I landed fully on my twisted ankle and heard the most horrible crunchy tearing sound as I crashed to the floor. Assisted by the strong arms of my husband I made it into the recliner where I would alternately sob and squirm trying to get comfortable for the night .  


An appointment was scheduled, x-rays were made, extensive torn ligaments was the diagnosis. Here’s a boot. Stay in your chair, off your foot as much as possible for six to eight weeks.


But, I have ELEVEN CHILDREN!


But I JUST got home from China!


But I’m supposed to be doing all the feeding, changing, bathing, caring for these two new ones.  


But, but, but… But God has a different plan.


And it involves a lot of sitting. And resting. And being in the midst of the hubbub directing, observing, listening, asking, waiting.


Submitting to, accepting, yes, even embracing this plan has been a process.  I wouldn’t say I’ve really fully accepted it. Yet. I am resigned but that’s different.  But realizing the need to accept it is a step in the right direction.  


This season has given me a whole new level of respect for my mother.  The last several years of her life she lost alot of her mobility.  She depended deeply on my dad who took excellent care of her.  Still, the lack of independence, the inability to do for oneself was difficult.  I remember so many conversations with her agonizing, “but I can’t do anything but sit here!” And I’d encourage her, “Oh but you can! You call me and you pray for us, that is so valuable.” Sometimes it helped and sometimes she just wanted to do… and couldn’t. I empathize now. I’m a do-er and so was she.


Be still and know that I am God.


Be still and know that I will be glorified.


I’ve never been very good at the "be still" part. I am learning.


Lord, thank you for this season.  Help me to be still and not struggle against my confinement. I know that You will use this season to shape me into the person you want me to be.  




Friday, April 17, 2015

It's almost time...


Tomorrow is countdown day 4. 
FOUR DAYS!
How did we get here? 

I made a final shopping list and packing list.  Tomorrow is shopping day rain or shine. 

All the nifty baby supplies at my house have to stay at my house because my babies will still be there.  It will be good to have a back up pack of all our stuff for when we get home.
I've packed clothing and a few supplies but Saturday is get-down-to-business day! We will be in China for 17 days and I've got to get busy!



 I'm praying the Lord will guide my thoughts and direct my heart these next few days to draw especially close to my kids in these days before we leave. I made this (so not Pinterest-worthy) paper chain with the dates we will be gone and daily scriptures for my kids.  They can tear off one link each day until we are home. 

 
Our fabulous homeschool mom's group "Mom's Rest Stop" had a shower for me today.  The d├ęcor was so sweet and really, really, REALLY made me ready to go get these babies!!! Isaac and Isabella are coming home.  ISAAC AND ISABELLA ARE COMING HOME!
 
 
 
Another group of friends is having a shower on Sunday for us... (I know, I have the BEST friends, EVER!) If you would like to come and did not get an invite, please, please message Fiona or message me and get her info I'd LOVE to see you there before we go!
 
Please pray for God to prepare the hearts of our children. Pray for God to be glorified through this whole trip. Pray for our light to shine and His will to be done.  Pray for our other children at home and my Dad as he leads this crew in our absence. 
 
Thank you to all who have come along side of us.  We are so blessed to have The Church all around us!
 
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!

The last approval we needed has been granted!

We are going to China!  WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!!!

When we got the email I started laughing, then crying, then sobbing.

Earlier this week I was so down.  On Good Friday I started missing my mom something fierce. I've cried and prayed and talked to her all week.  A few days ago we put up a hummingbird feeder, one of Mom's favorite things.  My mom loved hummingbirds and cardinals, red birds she called them. One morning a "red bird" landed on the hook and sat there for the longest time.  It was like God was reminding me that He hasn't forgotten me.

So after the Travel Approval was granted, the Consulate appointment was set and it was time to buy plane tickets! 

Yesterday they were purchased along with a few other plans made. 

If you'd like to follow along on our journey an outline of our itinerary is below. 

My Dad comes to Houston 4/19 to stay with the kids.  Doug and I leave Houston 4/22 and travel to Beijing where we will meet up with our group and tour the city.
 On 4/26 we leave Beijing and head to Zhengzhou in the Henan Province where we will meet up with our children on Monday 4/27. We will be in the province that week until we travel to Guangzhou for our Consulate appointment on 5/7.  At that appointment our adoption will be final.  We will leave Guangzhou for Hong Kong on 5/8 and then on 5/9 we will tour Hong Kong Disney. Finally on Mother's Day 5/10 we will do a little time travel and leave Asia at 5:25am and arrive home 14 hours later at 9:20am. 

 Here's a map of China if you want to follow along. (Beijing, Zhengzhou, and Guangzhou are pretty much in a line from North to South)

China is 14 hours ahead of CST.  So pretty much if we are awake, ya'll are sleeping and vice versa!  We will try to be available on Facetime or WeChat.  We will be updating our family and hopefully they can keep ya'll updated throughout our trip.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for all who are praying... we still need it!  We still have some in-country plans to make and we need to pack! Wow... my head is spinning! Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

His Name is Laughter...

Isaac's update was ... tough.

We received two pictures, a line of a spreadsheet with measurements, and a few generic answers about his health.

I felt very heavy as I looked into his forlorn face.

His measurements have to be off... if not, he's only grown one inch and one pound in nine months.

He cannot drink liquids. No water. No milk. No juice.  It is not for lack of desire because when the other kids get sippy cups he wants one too, but only drinks about 1/3 of it, according to the update.  I'm convinced that a speech/occupational therapist will work wonders for him.

He just looks like he's in deep, deep need of a FAMILY!!!

Good thing we have one for him. 

Please pray for our Isaac. Please pray for his transition that there would be no fear.  Pray for his health that we could find out about his needs and be able to meet them quickly.

I think there's a reason God had us name him LAUGHTER after the Isaac in the bible who was born to parents of, ahem... advanced age... And he brought them JOY!

Hang on baby! Mama and Daddy are coming!!!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

WE ARE FULLY FUNDED!!!

God loves to do impossible things!

He loves to provide for his children.

He loves to show Himself strong in our midst.

WE ARE FULLY FUNDED FOR OUR ADOPTION!

Our expected expenses according to our agency are $21,470

In addition to monies we've spent,

Donated to date by friends, family, and grants is $21,467 


DO YOU SEE THAT.!?!

God did that through His people! 

HE IS SO GOOD!

Rejoice with us.