Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Garage Sale

We are having a yard sale/bake sale this coming friday/saturday June 25-26th and could really use your help!! Our adoption journey has progressed really fast and we have $2250 of immediate expenses to keep progressing towards our daughter. We need volunteers to work the sale, baked goods/donuts/hot dogs to sell, and lots and lots of your stuff that you don't want anymore. The sale will be in Spring Hill at Carol Schmid's house, 2981 Buckner Lane. The times of the sale are as follows: Friday afternoon, June 25th 4pm-7pm (we will sell hot dogs and hopefully catch people coming home from work), and Saturday morning, June 26th 6am-12pm. We will also need help Friday morning to organize and price the stuff. You can drop off your items to my house (1822 Portview Dr.) or Carol's house next week. Also, let us know if you need our help picking up your big items. Jonathan will have a truck Wednesday night and Thursday morning for picking up items. Please help us spread the word!! Thanks so much for your help in advance!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sons and Daughters Album

Amy and I recently attended the Next Conference in Baltimore with a group from Inversion. It was a really good weekend for us as a couple plus we got to work on Adoption paperwork between sessions... good times!

While there I purchased the new album by Sovereign Grace music titled "Sons and Daughters". I think the folks over at Sovereign Grace write some of the most Christ-centered, God honoring music out there, and we have been listening to this album quite a bit since the conference. It just so happens that virtually every song on it is about what it means for us to be adopted in Christ by our Heavenly Father, thus the title "Sons and Daughters"... providential timing for what we are experiencing right now as a family. Anyway, you can purchase the album at the Sovereign Grace site or download it from iTunes... I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The boys

Several of you have asked us about how the boys have reacted so I thought I would share a few stories. Haddon was actually with me when I first saw her picture, and he asked me who the little girl was. I told him that she was a little girl who needed a family, and we needed to pray for her. He said immediately, "mommy, why doesn't she come and live with us?" so precious!! It was during Hayes' naptime, and he didn't mention anything else about it until Hayes woke up. When Hayes woke up he said mommy show Hayes that baby girl. When I showed Hayes the picture, he just looked at me shyly and kissed the computer screen!! :) That was about a month ago, and just recently I put a picture of her on the refrigerator, and Haddon asked why his baby sister was on the refrigerator. .ha!! :) It had been a month since he had seen her picture and he saw the picture for only a brief period. .crazy what their little minds remember!! We spoke more with them before our home visit with our social worker because she needed to talk to them about it. Now they ask every time we leave the house if we are going to get their little sister!! We went to the doctor today to get some immunization records and they both cried on the way home because they thought we were bringing her home from the doctor. Their love for her is so sweet, and I pray that the wait will be as short as possible. It is so hard for them to comprehend time! They have started including her in their imaginative play, and it has been a joy to watch them bond with a little girl on the other side of the world that they have never met! Thank you Jesus for encouraging me through my kiddos!! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

We are Adopting - The Background to our Story

We wanted to let you know that we are pregnant with a chinese toddler!!! :) Although we are early in the process, the Lord has shown himself to me more through this process than in my entire life, and we wanted to share the story of His faithfulness with you.

God started growing adoption in our hearts at the beginning of our marriage, and we have been blessed to know many adoptive families. We started praying through adopting our third child about a year ago and were sure six months ago that now was the time for us to begin the adoption process. There are many different avenues of adoption, and it was very overwhelming at first. We were paralyzed by the options and were encouraged by many people that the first step was to decide what type of child we would be pursuing (what gender, what nationality, etc). The problem with this is that we had already prayed, and we were open to the next child God had for us whoever that child might be. Since it is difficult to pursue an agency before you know these things, we decided to meet with the children's pastor at our church to seek some godly wisdom and clarity on our next step. After discussing our situation with our pastor, he gave us the name of a sweet lady in our church to talk to. I eagerly called Suzanne (the sweet lady), and she was very willing to meet with me but was perplexed as to why our children's pastor had recommended her rather than an adoptive family. They were interim-care foster parents for babies waiting on their forever families, but had never adopted. We decided to meet anyway, and I am so glad that we did because God had big plans for our meeting.

As we shared our stories, we connected on so many levels and had such a wonderful time getting to know each other while sharing our hearts for caring for orphans. I shared with her our adoption journey, our openness to the baby God would have us adopt, my background in pediatric physical therapy, etc. At the end of our conversation she told me she felt the Lord nudging her to tell us about a Chinese little girl with special needs that had been in her prayers for the past 8 months!! At that moment, I felt as though our meeting made total sense, and I could see God's timing all over it. There are so many things about our meeting that are divine to me..the timing of our meeting, our inability to pick an agency, our openess to any child, my background in PT, our earlier desire to adopt from China. It immediately felt like a very large hug from my Savior who cares so deeply for me. Suzanne and her family were sure that they were to advocate for this little girl in some way but weren't sure what form that would take. They had been thinking about adopting her but didn't have a clear answer from God yet. Both of our families, at that point, began openly and honestly praying for God's leading and clear direction, and we recently found out that they felt as though we were to be her forever family. Since that time we have been pursuing her with all our might. The Lord has been so sweet and has affirmed us on each step in the process. There are so many stories of His faithfulness that we can't share online.

At this point we cannot speak of our little girl by name or show her picture on any online public forum (our blog, facebook). We apologize, but we will communicate more details as soon as we can. In the meantime, here is how you can pray.

Please pray:

1. That her file would be released from China quickly so we could be officially matched with her.
2. That we would have discernment in how to raise the money to bring her home. We will need about $23,000 total. We weren't expecting the process to go this quickly ,however, and we will have over $3000 due in the next couple of weeks for our immigration fees and to start our dossier process. . .ahhhh!!!
3. For our hearts as we yearn to have our baby girl safe and sound home with her forever family that loves her so much!!!

Thank you so much for loving us and for being a part of this journey as we eagerly wait for our little girl!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Eagerly Waiting: Our Adoption in Christ from Romans 8

I heard a great message from C.J. Mahaney a few years ago expounding the doctrine of adoption which is highlighted primarily in Romans 8. One of the things C.J. pointed out (quoting J.I. Packer) was that while we must celebrate our Justification in Christ as one of the most important aspects of our salvation, the doctrine of adoption, when truly understood, is a deeper relational reality to behold. It is by this that we cry to God, "Abba Father" and experience the love of a Father in a perfect and unblemished way. Click here to listen to Mahaney's entire message from the New Attitude 2008 Conference. Also, check out Romans 8:12-25 from which we got the title of this blog:

Romans 8:12-25 ESV

Heirs with Christ

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Pray for our Little Girl!

We would love for you to join us in our adoption journey. Above all, we really want you to pray for the little girl we hope to adopt from China. Pray that God would keep her safe and that he would prepare all of us for the day that we meet face to face. Pray for all of the logistics of the adoption process. They are too numerous to list here, but suffice it to say that this is the most involved application and approval process that either Amy or I have ever participated in. Lastly, pray that our little girl would come home to us. We do trust God, regardless of the ultimate outcome of all of this, but we definitely desire for her to be in our family, so please pray to that end.