Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
I receive one of those emails, and my heart is moved in a way I know the LORD wants me to be involved.
Today was one of those times.
This little boy calls to my heart. I KNOW he is not ours, for we have two sons waiting for us already.
But, I wonder if he is YOURS.
Please go take a look. His special need is correctable. I have much more information about it, and I know more than one parent who would welcome serious inquiries about it. So, I ask again...please go take a look.
Click here: Mitchell
Thursday, January 27, 2011
If you'd like the opportunity to see the orphan crisis through new eyes, click here.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The doctor said the bone is as strong as it could possibly, perhaps stronger than the uninjured arm. It may be months before she has regained full use of it....and please pray that she will regain 100% use. He advised us not to push her, to allow her to use her arm only to the extent that she is comfortable.
And, today, do you know what she chose to do?
She went to the gym! What a brave girl! She did not work on the bars, as her arm is not ready for that, nor did she to the vault. She did, though, work on the beam. Brave girl! She did her floor routine, minus the back handspring. Her coach was wonderfully supportive of allowing her to do what she is comfortable doing, letting her take it slow, and making sure her return to the gym is positive.
Oh, me...of little faith. I was worried that her anxieties would keep her from going back.
And, take a look at that photo again.
The arm that is bent is NOT her injured arm. Her joints are so flexible, it is bent in the opposite direction. The straight arm is the arm that was broken.
While JT was at the gym, Ellie and I had an afternoon with just the two of us. It's been two months. We need to enjoy this Mama and Ellie alone time. I pray that the end of this year will bring a house full of children even when Josie-Tatum is not home. We enjoyed Just Dance 2, my new exercise routine.
Now, just for fun....if you want to read the story of a miraculous provision, go over to my friend Terry's blog . Tell her I sent you. And, then come back and tell me what an inspiring story you think it was!
I was thinking...since it started as Mei Mei Makes Four...back when Ellie would have been our fourth child...but then..SurPrise...there was Brandon....
Maybe....Mei Mei Makes Four and More
Or....Blessed With Four and More
Or, with all the LORD has done to make it clear that Drew and Zeke to be a part of our family
The Miracle of More
Do you have a favorite?
Any other idea?
Leave a comment and tell me what you think....
Monday, January 24, 2011
I absolutely enjoyed reading your comments and learning about some of you I've never heard from before. I am convinced there are still many lurkers out there, so let me know who you are.
And, before the surprise, you have to promise to read to the end. I have an urgent prayer request, and I need to know there are MANY in the body of Christ carrying this burden to the LORD.
But, first the sweet surprise:
Look at those chubby cheeks! Don't you want to squeeze them? I sure do!
That is our precious Drew, aka Zhuang Zhuang. I received some photos and an update after Christmas. Here's the update:
Here are a few pictures of Zhuang Zhuang. He has been attending a montessori kindergarten with his friend Ping An and Xiao Yong and they all enjoy it very much. All of a sudden they seem to have grown up a bit, it seems! The other day Zhuang Zhuang came home humming the "ABC" song. He likes to sing and is not embarrassed to belt it out when you ask him to sing for you. Really cute!
Now, take a look at the photos. This boy loves his food apparently. And Brandon says that means he'll fit in quite well at our house.
He is being so well cared for while he waits for his family. To God be the glory!!
But, the burden of my heart is our Zeke. Please, please join us in prayer.
We have learned some things about the possible conditions of his SWI. (That's Chinese for orphange...Social Welfare Institute.) There was a two year old girl who was to be adopted from there who was in need of urgent medical condition. Please pray for QP. The family felt they were unable to continue with her adoption. I've been told that Love Without Boundaries is hoping to get her and give her the care she needs. As of now, I don't know anymore about her condition, but believe me when I say she will soon die without intervention. If you have any contacts in China, or know anyway to get help to this child, please email me.
I have other concerns as well. Please pray that the LORD will intervene in a mighty. Pray His hand of protection and comfort for our Zeke.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
If you had witnessed the daily transformation of her personality, until her face lit up with joy...and saw her become what God intended for her to be.
If you had been here when this precious child walked across the room for the first time in her four years on earth:
If you knew there were 147 million others, just like the two you tucked into bed tonight...who had no one to tuck them in.
And, if the LORD brought these children in your path:
If you knew that these two precious boys had been available for adoption for months.... And, you knew that their names were being lost in a list of over 2,000 names...
If you knew that mountains were moving to make it possible for them to join your family.
And, their lives could change forever...like you have witnessed before:
What would YOU do?
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
And, the simple version, but, oh so powerful, is one word.
Okay, ladies and gentleman---
Please take a look at Noah:'
Small World has had his file for 6 weeks. They have about that long before it has to return to CCAA. I've looked at his file. While he has meningocele, his medical records state that he has no neuropathy...no nerve damage. (I know all medicals from China are not thorough.)
He is such a darling. I hate to think that he is not being considered just because of his diagnosis of meningocele.
(If you'd like to know more about Memorial Box Mondays, go here.)
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It seems that Ellie went to the bathroom tonight, and Nanny McPhee came out. Yes, she thought of this herself, with her shirt over her head and some wrapping paper...that I have no idea where she found......which is her magic stick.
I was so tickled when she said, "I'm Nanny McPhee," that bedtime came a little later than it should have while Josie-Tatum made some moles, and we hunted up the Bubba teeth.
I hope the magic stick she took to bed with her helps her get to sleep!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
How's that? Josie-Tatum will take care of her sister, and I pray she always will. And, Ellie will speak kind words about her for her efforts, and I pray she always will.
And, I have to tell you, tonight at prayer time Josie-Tatum tells Jesus, "Jesus, I wish it didn't cost so much to adopt, so maybe Daddy would let us adopt 100 kids."
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The day of her surgery may be two years away or five. It will depend on her. It will depend on the time when being dry is so important to her, that she is ready for surgery. It will be a decision we make as a family, with Ellie, and with her awesome doctors. It will happen after much prayer, seeking wisdom from above.
And, you know what my job is?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
China has said YES! We can adopt two little boys. The joy that followed that phone call is almost indescribable.
I was with Ellie at an appointment in Nemours with urology. She was in the middle of a sonogram of her kidney. I politley asked the technician if she minded if I took the phone call coming in. When I heard we had PA, I said quite loudly, "Praise the LORD!"
Though she knew nothing of our story at the time, she said to Ellie, "I think your mama has some good news." BTW, she knows the story now! ;)
And, please say a prayer for Ellie and her mama. The enemy has certainly worked diligently to dampen my spirits...our well has tested positive for bacteria, so we've treated it, and the call came today...still positive for bacteria. There was an email from someone that made me less than happy. And, we received some news about Ellie's future that I am still processing. Please pray for her and me....I know the enemy wants my joy.......I'm holding it together, but I need a little more support in the spiritual world. I have that feeling it won't take much......
Now, back to Zeke. Thank you to those who sent information about changing PDF to JPEG. And a BIG thank you to Kim...who did it for me. Here's some older photos of our Zeke:
One of the things that will be really hard during this wait is the limited amount of information we will have on Zeke. He is in the Chanzhi SWI in Shanxi, and I have been able to find nothing about this SWI, not another parent who has adopted a child from there. I am hoping and praying I can get some more information soon. His file is complete, but I want to know more....like what his ayis call him, how big he is now, and what he looks like now. We are BEYOND excited...really!!!!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
He often blesses the gift of a child far beyond our imaginations.
I wonder how God will speak to you through this gift.
In this box, there is a gift, a gift from a child, a gift from the heart. This is one of my students, Gunnar. He overheard his mother and me talking about our adoption, and he understands that our family is fundraising to cover the costs.
So, over Christmas holidays he told his mother he had a plan. He and his dad had been saving aluminum cans, but they had not decided how they would spend the money. He told his family he wanted to give the money to us! Today was the first day back at school and he brought me one of the most PRECIOUS gifts we have been given thus far.
I can see the Father smiling. I can hear him telling his angels, "That's my child." I can hear Jesus saying, "Father, if only all the members of our family had such compassion. If only they would remember, in as much as they've done it unto the least of one of these, they've done it unto me."
I've been doing a lot of pondering lately, as we've been fundraising....I've been reminded that God can use even the smallest of gifts, and He is pleased. But, I've also been deeply moved, convicted actually. How often do I give until it costs me something? Of course, I've given, and over the years, some might would say I've given a lot. But, have I given up my own pleasures or comforts to give to others? Hardly.....
I'm certain Gunnar and his dad had talked about other ways they could spend this money. When you're a fourth grader, your eyes are bombarded with the things the world has to offer. I wonder what he had considered purchasing that he decided was less important to him than helping a child join his foverever family.
When you read this, I hope you will take some time to go to the Father in prayer. I'm not asking that you give to us. I'm asking that you give to Jesus. Consider where He would want you to invest in His kingdom. consider what you might be called to give up in order to give someone else life. If you have even a few minutes, visit the sites of some of these families. Consider how giving to the least of these is giving to Jesus Himself. Look for Him. See Him in the faces of the fatherless. Give from your heart, and you will be blessed.
Xiao Yong's family
Monday, January 3, 2011
When I consider where Stan and I are right now, and how the LORD orchestrated the events, I am utterly amazed.
As I've told you, we weren't planning to adopt again. I received an email from a foster home in China, asking me to pray and advocate for Xiao Yong. Our lives have changed dramatically since that email.
Stan, who has always said our house is full...decided he might enjoy having another son around...since our boys are grown now. It was the first time I had any inclination that he might be willing to adopt again.
As a family, we spent the weekend in prayer for Xiao Yong. We even considered adopting him ourselves. I had a photo of Xiao Yong in Ellie's life book. He had been in the same foster home with her, and he was the only child left behind from the time she lived there three years ago. Since that photo was over three years old, I searched for more up to date photos of him.
I joined the yahoo group Advocate for Waiting Children, only because I wanted to find more recent photos of Xiao Yong. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The people on this yahoo group are SERIOUS about finding homes for waiting children. Message after message concern children who are waiting for their forever families.
In the same folder as the photo of Xiao Yong, was the photo of the face you've begun to see quite often on this blog. I was instantly drawn to those chubby cheeks and that contagious smile.
But, we were considering the adoption of Xiao Yong.
Three days after that first email we learned Xiao Yong had found his family. This family had met him just one year earlier when adopting from the same foster home. You can read their awesome story here: Xiao Yong's Story.
And, then I couldn't stop thinking about the face of Zhuang Zhuang. I did some advocating for him, and some looked at his file...but no one was ready to make the committment to adopt him.
And, we had no money.
I do not believe it is coincidence that I saw the face of Zhuang Zhuang just one week before the Love the Least Conference. After hearing Gwen Oatsvall say she has little patience with people who say, "I would adopt only we don't have the money," I was challenged to think differently. Stan was challenged, too.
And, I heard this song from Josh Wilson, I Refuse. I heard, "I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself."
I asked Stan to read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. Well, as most good husbands do, he usually ignores my suggestions for reading. He's afraid I might be trying to change him. (And, sometimes I am. ;)
But, Stan did not read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, he picked up Radical. He thought that was the book I suggested. He read the first two pages, and kept reading. He read the first 28 pages...and was challenged like never before. Then, he went ahead and read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.
And, much to my surprise, without any hesitation, he was ready to move forward with the adoption of Zhuang Zhuang, knowing we had no money. As the God ordained provider of the family, he was ready to trust God to provide.
God continued to amaze me in the choosing of an agency. I had contacted the agency we used with the girls' adoptions, and I did not have peace about using them. So, I contacted the agency who had sent a representative to the Love the Least Conference. When I called the China coordinator, she said, "I know who you are. I follow your blog. I have prayed for your Ellie." Another God moment.
And, now as we have chosen the agency, it just happens that our Ezekial Gunter is on this agency's waiting children list. If we had chosen to use our original agency, we would not have found our Zeke.
And, here I stand amazed. Take any of these God ordained moments of the story, and the story would NOT be the same.
It all started with this face:
Saturday, January 1, 2011
And, Robbie H's little baby did this ALL DAY.
Now for the blackmail you've been waiting for. I am apparently not very experienced at criminal behavior. I took a "less than lovely" photo of my favorite former pastor Bobby Russell. I promised that it wouldn't show up on Facebook is he gave me $100 for our adoption. He just laughed. So, now I'm selling it to the highest bidder. Be sure to let the lovely folks at Pineview, and pass the word on to the YCB family. The highest bidder can have it to post themselves. Hehehehehehe
Here's a snip just to see what it might look like.
And....just in time for the New Year! I received an email from 147 Million Orphans today. We will be able to order new shirts next week. I can start taking preorders today. Check out the fundraising tab if you're interested!