Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Prayer in Response to the Newtown, CT Tragedy

This is so well written and speaks from a lot of our hearts I think.

A Prayer in Response to the Newtown, CT Tragedy

Rage Against the Minivan: five things to consider before talking to your kid...

Some great thoughts on yesterday's tragedy. I haven't spoken to my kids about it and this helped reassure me that I wasn't the only one. I will be e-mailing teachers though...

Rage Against the Minivan: five things to consider before talking to your kid...: I was absolutely devastated to turn on the news this morning and learn about the violent shooting at an elementary school. I was in a hotel ...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Wow. I haven't written anything in months and truly haven't wanted to. So much has happened for us and this bible verse has been on constant "repeat" in my head. In October, we received official notice that the Country of China had rejected out application to adopt Timothy. It was/is heart-breaking. We love that little boy so much and now he would never come home to us or know that we have loved and prayed for him for months.

There was a lot of anger and frustration directed at the Chinese government and, if I am completely honest, probably at ourselves too. Our past was catching up to bite us in the behind in a big way. When you are 18, you never think that your actions will have consequences nearly 20 years later but they really do. I have no regrets as every experience in my life has shaped who I am and brought me to this point in time but sometimes that's hard to remember. I also firmly believe that God forgives all and by being princes and princesses in His kingdom, we are all renewed every day through Him. It was very hard to reconcile that picture of forgiveness with a bureaucrat in China deciding that we weren't good enough to adopt a 6 year old boy who was abandoned on the door step of a police department because he wasn't perfect. Writing it down, I guess there is still some frustration there but I'm getting there.

We have spent this latest time in mourning. My kids needed to be told that their brother wasn't able to come home to us and reassured that God had something bigger planned for him and for us. There were a lot of tears and we still talk about how sad we get sometimes. Michael was saving his clothes etc for when his brother came home and he stumbles a bit now when he asks if he should keep saving them. They will no longer be for Timothy but for another little boy we haven't seen or been led to yet. That is a little to vague for our kids to wrap their minds around right now.

We spent last night starting to look forward to that future. We are taking steps to adopt from Hong Kong and we'll see what little boy God has in store for us. In the meantime, Timothy has been re-posted onto the portal and we are praying for him to find his forever family. I asked that they let me know when he's matched. I want the reassurance that he has a family. Nick doesn't want to know. In his mind, God already has his family chosen and has placed him with them. If that never happens, he doesn't want to know.

We continue to pray for healing and for a chance to fall in love with another little boy. We don't know who he is yet but he's out there waiting and so are we.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rage Against the Minivan: Top Ten Annoying Things People Say To Adoptive Par...

I read this and can commiserate with a lot of them. :)

Rage Against the Minivan: Top Ten Annoying Things People Say To Adoptive Par...: My friend Karen Walrond is an adoptive mom, and also a  writer, photographer and author of the gorgeous and soul-nurturing book The Beauty ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Minivans and Mom Jeans: Dear Pat, Please Don't Speak on My Behalf

Nick and I have been thinking and praying a lot about James 1:27. Especially with our Both Hands Project looming closer. When I read this it just reinforced what God is calling us to do. Will you stand up and do something?

Minivans and Mom Jeans: Dear Pat, Please Don't Speak on My Behalf: That's all. That' really where I could end this post. But for those of you who haven't heard Pat Robertson's latest gross misrepresenta...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beginnings, Endings, and Somewhere in the Middle

We are 1 step closer to bringing our beautiful boy home! I just got home from picking up the last letter of recommendation that we needed to send off our Dossier. It feels like it has taken forever! We started this leg of our journey nearly 2 months ago and we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. It has been hard waiting and praying and having faith and patience in God's timing. I had to just keep reminding myself that this is all moving according to His plan, not my own.

That may be the most difficult part of the entire process for me! I am a control-freak and HATE do not like to have something that I can't control. God has been teaching me all about giving it up lately. There are 3 definite areas where I can see Him working through the situations in my life. I am the co-leader of my daughter's Girl Scout troop and my partner in crime is a God-send! We work so well together and I have utter faith that she will pick up the slack for me and I would hope she knows the same. God also placed me with an awesome co-leader for a Women's Large Group bible study that we organize, plan, and run together. I am still learning how to let go to her but when I do, amazing things happen because IT'S NOT ABOUT ME! The most recent test of my control issues came in the form of a co-manager position of our Girl Scout Service Unit. I have been partnered with a woman very similar to myself with the same work ethic, drive, and probably control issues. So far we have been feeling each other out and starting to work out the division of responsibilities and it has been working. I am so excited to see what growth happens when I let go!

On a side note, this week is full of beginnings and endings. My husband graduates from college this coming weekend! I am so proud of all his hard work and so excited to have him home and present again full-time in our lives. My kids started school yesterday as well and I could just sit and cry because they have gotten so big! What happened to my babies?!

It brings me back to Timothy and how big he is getting. He doesn't even know about us yet but we are praying for him every day. I can't wait to be able to share with you his precious photo and share our photos with him. Things are moving really quickly with our training and our Both Hands project. I can't wait to share more info and pictures as it happens here and on our Both Hands Project page. I am so overwhelmed by the love and generosity of our friends and family to step into this amazing project and mission and share their expertise and love with someone they haven't even met yet. It's enough to make this girl cry – a lot! For those that know me, I am a crier anyways but this week has just been amazing.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rage Against the Minivan: parents, please educate your kids about adoption s...

I read this and just love her response. I am not sure I would be that gracious and be able to use it as such a positive teaching moment. I guess I will have to learn...

Rage Against the Minivan: parents, please educate your kids about adoption s...: I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversa...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just got our PA!!!

We just got word that the CCCWA gave us our formal pre-approval for our adoption of Timothy! I have been plugging away at our dossier paperwork just praying that this would go through soon. We also got word of our approval for our Both Hands project approval so we will be serving a widow for a day and asking friends and family to sponsor us (like for a walk or run). All the $$ will go to Lifesong for Orphans who will then get it to us to pay for our adoption expenses. 100% of the money raised will help us bring Timothy home. If you are interested in learning more or sponsoring us for this project, please check out and take a look! Thank you all.

We are feeling so blessed right now. Things are starting to move a bit more quickly and I will be going to get our dossier documents state sealed as early as next week!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting There...

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. ~ James 1:12

We are so close now I can see the light! I am yet again amazed at the amount of paperwork that our government and China's government need though. At this point, we are waiting on letters of reference from Mia and Michael's teachers. Since it's summer break, getting a hold of them has not been easy. Luckily, I got a hold of Michael's teacher pretty easily and she should have her letter for me next week. Mia's teacher is not home from the majority of the summer so the odds are she won't be checking her work e-mail either, at least not until August. All we can do is pray that it will happen sooner rather than later.

I have started looking up the hotels we'll be staying at and finding out what they look like, their amenities, what's within walking distance, etc and just generally daydreaming about that trip. The furthest I have ever traveled has been Mexico and that was with a tour group in high school and with Nick when we got engaged (never left Puerta Vallarta). To go to a country with a culture so different than ours is scary and exciting at the same time. I keep trying to read and learn about the country, the culture, and the language. I even looked into taking an introductory course in Mandarin but I am still afraid that I will butcher it all together and wonder if it would be easier just to speak in signs and grunts. :)

I have started finding other families who have adopted from China and all over the world actually. My church has been an amazing source of people. They have numerous support groups and play groups for parents who have adopted, are adopting, or are thinking about adopting both overseas and closer to home. It's nice to know that there are other families who have struggled to get the same letters and documents as we have and who have done things "out of order" the same way we have also.

What truly amazes me though are that some families are able to bring along their kids for the 3-week ish long journey. As difficult as it may be to find someone to stay with my kids for 3 weeks, I can't imagine bringing them along. It will be such a draining and emotional time that for me, it just seems so unfair to bring them. I would hate to subject them to what will undoubtedly be mommy on a bad day times 100. LOL I have nothing but respect for those that have been able to handle bringing their kids, regardless of their ages. I will be taking full advantage of the no kid (at least for the first few days) policy and gear myself up for that magical bonding time with our son. His brother and sisters will descend on him in due time.

I keep looking at my binder full of paper and know that it will all lead to an amazing little boy who's 6 inches smaller than Mikey with an amazing smile who loves to play with cars and adores his primary colors - yellow, red, and blue.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Answered Prayers!!

God has been moving mountains in the past few months, all in preparation for, I believe, the news we got yesterday! I have been praying so hard that our home study would be approved and God would direct us to the son He has chosen for us. Yesterday, He did that!

In February we had a set back (that became a huge step UP if you understand how He works in His  amazing timing) and were told that our home study could not be approved  until we both underwent full psychiatric testing due to our backgrounds and histories. Ok, we can handle that – no biggie right? Yeah, not so much. Knowing what was in our history made the process very nerve-wracking. Neither of us had any idea what to expect and although I had seen counselors off and on my whole life, I never put much faith in their answers or recommendations. This time was very different. As our wonderful Christian psychiatrist explained, the tests were designed to find problems. Everyone who has ever taken these tests, could arguably have something wrong with them. She showed us the results while trying to reassure us that it wasn't to tear us down but to make us aware of things that we could improve upon to better ourselves and our marriage in the long run. Unfortunately, my husband and I both internalize criticism, no matter how constructive or how positively spun it is, and this knocked us both down a bit.

I was right in the middle of a bible study on soul restoration and healing any past hurts, etc that the evil one could use to keep me separated from God and His path for me. My husband was right in the middle of his school term and had no time to process what she said. In a classic example of our differing ways of dealing with things, he immediately called his Doctor and asked to be put on anti-anxiety medication. I went and poured my heart out to the ladies in my women's bible study and asked for prayer. We are both still working through our issues but boy is God using them! I have contacted an amazingly Godly woman who is very skilled at soul restoration and prayer and asked her to meet with me one on one to help me purge my issues once and for all. Nick is less anxious and stressed and has promised to meet with someone to talk through it when school is over. We have been forced to really talk about our problems, our fears, how we relate to each other, everything and our marriage is getting stronger because of it. Our faith is growing by leaps and bounds also!

Our home study was just approved by the state. We don't even have the paperwork back yet. A note went out through the portal system that Bethany uses to contact everyone that had a listing of new waiting children in China. Anyone who has had their home study approved can request a match to the children on the list. We can even request a match to more than 1 but they would only match us to 1. Nick and I took a look at the list separately. We looked up the medical histories, videos, and pictures of all the little boys that were in the age range we were hoping for. (Remember I had been praying for God to show us who He had chosen for us?) We found 2 that we felt a connection to and that we thought would be a good match for our family. Both of us chose the same 2!!! I put in our request and we truly thought that it was too soon. That there would be other families further along in the process who would be a better match for these boys. Remember, we were still waiting for the paperwork to come back from the state so we could pass it along to the federal level and get approved there. I knew it would be in God's timing and not ours anyways but it couldn't hurt to let them know we felt connected to these 2 little boys.

Not only did the China team prayerfully consider our request and those of all the other families that posted requests, but they decided early that we were a great match for 1 of the boys!!! We now have a name and a face to go with the little boy we have been praying for since last August. We now have a mad rush of paperwork, training, consultations with doctors, and through it all we really need to be on our knees in thankful prayer to an amazing God who is proving time and again that everything is in His hands and His timing! Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of paperwork and hoops we need to jump through to bring our son home, I need to remember to pray myself through it. God knows what he's doing! Can you pray for us also? There is such power in prayer and I know that the more friends and family we have praying for us, the easier this whole process will be to get through.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8