Monday, October 31, 2011

Zihao's package

Arrived in China today! Ok I'm in shock ... what was that...a few business days? I guess it was worth (of course it was!) the outrageous $45 to ship it. Jenny said she will email me photos of him with his gift (that box was SO stuffed...flat rate baby!) in a few days :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Home Study

We are done all the big stuff with our home study now we wait. Ahhh. We had a three hour appointment yesterday and that went great. Today we have to run to the doc's office and pick up the health report of our kids, then go to the bank and get all of our criminal checks notarized for Manitoba and MA and get those off and we are done! For now at least. I'll enjoy the 'break' :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh...my heart...


We received photos this morning from Ann @ Red Thread China (yes I would have paid the $ just for the photos and update...meanwhile there's also a large gift on the way to his sweetness...).

Here he is. And two days ago we were told that little Izrael is quite underweight at 15.5 lbs at 7.5months. Well...our beautiful little Taizi is 18.7lbs at 2.5 years old :(

There will be light in those little eyes soon ... there really will...

The biggest shout out to Red Thread China...if you know someone adopting from China please pass her information along. She sends a beautiful gift and communicates with the orphanage for updates and photos of your child and is so professional.

** from these photos we feel fairly confident Taizi also has Hemifacial Microsomia. We will take his file and photos to Azlan's surgeon, ENT and ear reconstruction specialist in a few weeks.** He's completely perfect.














Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Perfect.


What does "perfect" mean to you?

In Azlan's journey, I changed my definition of 'perfect'. I quickly began to appreciate that 'perfect' can often be seen most...where others only see imperfections.

Often when I see his sweet face ... my mind goes back to the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. That cleft smile that I could literally see from the back of his head. He...was perfect.

We had 5 little caterpillars. We watched all 5 transform into butterflies. One was born ... with broken wings. Born like that? Yes. We woke to see a new butterfly...but this one was different. It's wings are 'torn' and crumpled. We released our butterflies yesterday. It was such a sweet moment to see all the kids excited to see if they could really fly. Then there was this one. We picked it up and let it go. It fluttered as fast as it could to the ground. Not surprisingly...it was Azlan that ran to it and had relentless patience ... as if picking it up and giving it another try...would magically make its wings whole. It didn't. But he tried over and over..and over. Finally we saw him pick his butterfly up and put it back in the net. He looked a little sad as he said "he can't fly...his wings don't work".

He was made this way. I told him his butterfly is perfect.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting there.

With paperwork...at least.

Today we completed all pediatric appointments for the kids. Yes that's 3 days back to back. Now just waiting to get the letters saying they are all A-OK.

Dean picked up Izrael's birth certificate.

I spent an hour at the accountant's office getting everything straightened away for our 2010 income tax. Yes it was filed. Our bookkeeper completely forgot one of our businesses though...? Seriously. And much of our paperwork was missing. So our poor Accountant had to do it all by going through our huge pile of bank statements. He is amazing. (if you live in Tricities and need an amazing guy to help you with your taxes...he's the man. He was an IRS auditor and EVERY single person I've sent to him...he's gotten them back $1000's more..) I went to pay him for all his work and he said he'd rather have referrals and I'm happy to send them.
So we finally have that done and ready.

And I think we only have 2 more things to do before our homestudy appt Thursday morning @ 9. Dean still has to write an autobiography (yes...). And we are still working on clearances from every country we've even spent a few weeks in since we were 18 years old. Oh yes...Mexico has been fun to deal with for this...

Jason and Rachel and Dean and I have pretty much narrowed down November 5...Saturday...as Krispy Kreme fundraiser day. When it is 100% confirmed I'll announce it. And if you live in Tricities and would love to help bring our babies home...it would be amazing if you could help sell donuts with us! We want to spread out over the area as much as we can to maximize results. Chazano said "I want to sell donuts...yummmm...I can't wait...I looovvvveee donuts!" ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Running behind...

on paperwork. Ahhh. I have 3 of the kids' doctor appts tomorrow which will finish the 7...
I have to get Izrael's birth certificate...financial documents from our accountant...and I think a few more things. All of this was supposed to be sent to our social worker last week so we could meet this coming Thursday. I have to call her in the morning b/c I'm assuming we won't be able to meet this week. It hasn't been for lack of effort.

Today my good friend Rachel received her LOA (Letter of Approval) for little Josie! And Ann from Red Thread China also sent her three photos of her little girl today! So so so beautiful, she really is precious.

Ann said she contacted Taizi's orphanage and requested photos but hasn't heard back from them. I'm praying they email some to her...would love to see our little boy.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A piece of my heart.

I'm ready to share the video of our precious little Taizi...I will forever remember my heart breaking for this little boy that night I felt suddenly compelled to "look at his photo".


Password is tommy1

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Plugging away and other news.

We are still working on our home study STACK of paperwork. No exaggeration there at all, either. I have 7 pediatrician appointments starting tomorrow and finishing on Tuesday next week, which is all for the home study as well. At least we managed to get doc appointments after our school hours and after Izrael's first nap.

I think the only thing we are waiting on right now is doctor appointments, letters from any counsellors we have ever seen (even if they don't remember a thing about us because it's been so long...), and clearances from any country we've spent a prolonged time in since we were 18 years old. Hopefully that goes quickly...

I looked up Microtia tonight based on my friend Erum's suggestion. She asked if Taizi has Microtia. As soon as she asked it clicked. Deformity of the outer ear...yes! When I googled it, it came up that it is most often associated with Hemifacial Microsomia. (Azlan and Zihao). Then I watched Taizi's video and wow...I can totally see Hemifacial. We are taking both files to our ENT and Ear Reconstruction Specialist in Spokane at Azlan's next appointment.

Speaking of Azlan...we received an amazing out-of-the-blue phone call a few days ago. It was his Audiologist apologizing for it taking so long but telling us she finally got approval from insurance for the BAHA implant for Azlan...! My ENT's office had said they had forgotten to reply to the insurance's denial of the claim about a year ago...and I was soooo not happy about that since it takes 8-12 months to get a reply from insurance. Well...the Audiologist had immediately replied to the denial, way back that, and forgot to tell anyone so that was awesome news! His surgery is scheduled for Nov. 17 in Spokane. It is a day surgery where they will implant the screw into his skull. He will not have use of the BAHA for about 6 months when they will perform another day surgery to add the attachment.

It's a very big possibility that in a few years we will have 2 or 3 little boys all using the BAHA...!

We finally have Zihao's gift ready to send. You would not believe what I stuffed into the flat rate box! :) It's not $10.95 to mail to China though...instead its $45. So we had to make it worth it by getting as much as we could in there! A pair of fleece pj's, a blanket, a package of Thomas The Train underwear, 4 play pants, a Thomas hoodie, a custom made owl hat, a truck, a small photo album of family pictures and a small bath toy and I'll just about have to sit on it to close it ;)

Also, Ann from Red Thread China confirmed Taizi's information today and will be sending his gift tomorrow. She said she will be requesting photos from the orphanage of him with his gift so we will pray that happens!

Tonight we decided pretty last minute to take the family to the circus. We try to do as many activities as we can...and call them "field trips" since we home school. Well all the kids were free but we were too late to get "BOGO" on the adult tickets so we had to pay $28 each adult. Ugh. As we got up to the ticket counter after an enormous line ... there were 4 guys in front of Dean that said they had 2 extra adult tickets to give away free and wondered if we needed them. Perfect! Since we just saved $56, Dean handed them $20 for it. They were happy (since they were giving them for free) and we were definitely happy!

I laughed so much during the circus just listening to the kids laugh, especially Zion and Chazano. So cute and so funny. Azahria said "the clown with the car was my favorite" ;)
On the way to the car, Zunduka told me he wants to learn more tricks so he can end up in the circus someday. ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Great news...

On one of the yahoo orphanage groups I was introduced to a lady who had sent a care package to her little girl in China through a third party source. I never thought much of it until I saw our agency mention it as well....sooo I headed to the website and what a find! www.RedThreadChina.com is a business where a Chinese lady does up a customized care package and sends it to your child in the orphanage. It is more affordable than shipping it from here and more reliable. People rate her very highly and she's quite well known for this service. She does really well at communicating with the orphanage and verifying it has been received as well.

So tonight we sent a package to Taizi:
~a warm winter outfit (sweater and pants)
~a large soft minky blanket (oh this mama LOVES minky and knowing our little Taizi is wrapped in it every night is...wonderful...)
~a large soft stuffed toy
~a soft photo album with 5 photos of our family and 400 words interpreted into Chinese (great reviews on this product as families say it helps the child 'know' you long before you come!)
~a box of candy for the caregivers at the orphanage
~a disposable camera that will be labelled for him so they will take photos and we will pick it up and develop it when we arrive in China.

How wonderful is that? She will send me photos of it before it's shipped out. I'm sure this is the first of a few care packages we will send.

Zihao's package is almost ready to send. We have:
~a soft blanket with cars and trains on it (a gift from friends)
~a warm soft Thomas the Train hoodie (Azlan loves!)
~a handmade owl hat
~a truck
~warm fleece pajamas
~an Elmo book
~Family pictures

Jenny suggested some track pants as well so we will send those too.

:)

Zihao pictures!

Yesterday Zihao's orphanage had "a day in the park" to celebrate all the children with birthdays in October. Jenny...what a gift she is...took all these photos for us and emailed me today.

How precious are you...!














Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grandparents visit and homestudy.

Dean's parents came on Tuesday. We were all so excited...the kids could hardly stand it. Early Wednesday morning...like really early...4:30am we woke everyone up...and we got ready and hopped over to the train station for our big day. Dean's parents had given money for the kids' birthdays and Christmas and we decided to do a trip with it...so we were heading to Portland, OR for the day on the train. The kids were so excited. Of course we took up a whole car on the train ;) We had so much fun, counting tunnels and enjoying the view. When we arrived in Portland we all walked to Mother's Bistro for a brunch. Then we caught the train to the Children's Museum. That was such a great choice. There was so much to do and something for everyone. From a lego center, to a clay room, to a water place, to a mini grocery story, to the vet, to the dirt room...we had no problem filling several hours. We then went to a pizza place and started back to the train station. In true Walker-time we entered the station as the last boarding call was being announced...yes we did this with a party of 10. ;)

The kids were so exhausted and it didn't take long before everyone was asleep except the adults.

Thursday morning was our first homestudy appointment. I have to say I was a bit nervous. You never know if you are going to be working with someone who, on a personal level...disapproves of your huge family or what. Two ladies came and we got to work right away...going over a huge stack of paperwork. At the end of the session, the one lady, Kathy, asked if she could hear what led us to adopt when we already have 7 children. I asked if I had permission to share my faith..she immediately said "I'm a born again Christian, so absolutely"...so with that I tried to summarize this entire blog in 15-20 minutes. She was blowing her nose into her kleenex, crying several times the way through the journey. At the end she just looked up and said "can I pray?" I was so stunned. I wasn't expecting this at all. She started praying and in her prayer thanked God for the honor to be used to help this family...and prayed for the fastest homestudy ever and that we would see just how fast God was going to bring our two little boys home. I was so touched. I was ... no ... I was shocked. My first impression was that this middle aged lady thought I was crazy. She was not overly expressive as we went through our paperwork. There was no praise for what we were doing. Everything changed when she heard how God specifically called us to rescue these children.

And that...is the purpose of this blog.

Many people, many well-meaning people, family...friends...have made comments that we are just crazy. And well...clearly compassionate. And...well...good for you. We want you to hear our story. This is not a story about us. There was so much surrender. We laid down our ideals for our life, our goals, our pride...(that was a big one)...this is a story about a God that is tuned into every detail. We often think He must turn a blind eye...He must. It's the only way we can explain all the injustice in the world. Surely...He would not allow....surely....
But He does let the world unfold...in all it's injustice. Sometimes He steps in. He moves. Most of all..He moves people. That's what this story is about. With what started as 'compelling thoughts' and 'odd occurrences'...were actual moves by the Creator of the universe. That...is humbling. That...is moving. This is not about someone with the biggest heart you've ever seen...yes He has given us a heart for children. But this is about Him. Him seeing every moment...never has a sparrow fallen from the sky without it's Father in Heaven seeing and recording it. You really think He's missed a child crying out for food....? warmth..? Someone to just love them...? No. He's never missed a moment. I have zero doubt that His heart has broken and wept over the injustice. Why doesn't He step in...? He does. Have you heard His whispers? I do not believe He has called every family to adopt...I truly do not. But I do know He has called a lot more families to adopt...than the ones that actually have. How many of us have said no and stuck with it....? We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus...not just the moving mouth. The ones that go. The ones that do. The ones that rescue...reach out and rescue. The Bible is completely full of commands to care for the fatherless. We are surrounded by the fatherless. What about the children who's father is serving our country overseas? What about the children who's father is in prison? What about the children who's father ... they've never known? It's not a good idea. It's not what some are called to do. It's a command.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GOT IT!!!!!!!

Leaving at 5am for the train but we got the PA for Taizi!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For this family..


I give You thanks.

And especially for miss Izrael who is very in love with her mama and wouldn't look at the camera ;)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Peace.

There is peace. Actually...no...there is Peace. My Peace is a person.

In a very quiet house..I just sat at watched little Taizi. Do you know what it's like to have your heart hurt? That's the only way I can say it. My heart hurts. Not because I'm so wonderful and compassionate...there's something more here. I hurt because I believe God broke my heart for little Taizi. There are so...many...orphans. So. Many. I've seen so many faces. So much sadness. So much pain. God gave me something special for Taizi.

I have had many many magical moments in my life...the day I reach out and touch your precious face...will be one of them...




Our busy week...

Tomorrow Dean's parents are coming in from Canada for a few days. With their "Christmas and birthday gift money" we are all going on a train trip to Portland for the day on Wednesday. You cannot possibly know how excited the kids are! And me;) I love the train and really love the getaway if only for a day. We'll leave at some unearthly hour like 5 am...and we'll have a 4 hour train ride...4 hours to hang out in downtown Portland...and then get back on the train. Yes, a little crazy but it'll be fun.

Thursday morning is homestudy and later in the afternoon we'll head to the pumpkin patch...also the kids' favorite thing to do!

Still holding out hope for a PA for Taizi tomorrow....

No news...

and in this case that doesn't translate to good news :) Thankfully it doesn't mean anything.

So China has been on holidays for a week so I'm sure they are backlogged however...we had our LOI in mid week the week before so we should be on top of the stack. But the China coordinator for our agency that lives in China...well she's on a plane to the US today. Ahhhh. I was told "she should be able to receive notice of PA while she is here for the week". Hoping...!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

A tad hopeful...

I connected with a yahoo group for Taizi's city. Only to find out that the majority of families on there adopted from a different orphanage in the city than the one Taizi is in. I did just find one family who was there only 8 months ago to adopt their son but doubtful if they have photos since it seems this orphanage does not let you in. Ahhh. Still holding out hope that I'll be able to connect with a family going that way soon so we can send some love to our boy...

Zihao's gift is almost ready. Waiting on the owl hat to arrive from Etsy and our family photos to get back to us. We bought him a cute little truck, a warm pair of fleece pajamas from Costco and we just have to go to Target to get him a warm fuzzy blanket that friends of ours gave money for.

We are praying about our next fundraiser move. Rachel has lots of great ideas and it's much more fun to team up and do it together. Praying for peace.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I pray much more urgently...

every night when I watch little Taizi...

getting used to seeing it...? Not one little bit. I cried more tonight than I have in a while. Oh...feeling so helpless. So far away. The only comfort is that the same God that is with me and guiding us to Taizhou City...is with our precious tonight.

Hold him Jesus...


Getting a gift ready...

for little Zihao (Zhonghua). We bought the cutest custom made owl hat tonight off Etsy for him. Can't wait to see pictures of him wearing it. I'll take the kids to TRU in the morning to find him a few cars and books. No stuffed animals;) That's hard...our kids are so into stuffed animals...we'll keep focused on cars :)

I found the yahoo group for Social Welfare Institute of Taizhou City tonight. This is Taizi's orphanage. I can't wait to be approved by the moderator and get in there ... perhaps see some photos of our precious little boy and find someone who is traveling soon so we can send a gift to our baby.

Homestudy starts Thursday. To reduce any waiting time I've been told it's a good idea to get the "educational" stuff out of the way when we can. Oh my goodness...Dean just saw what is required for him to read and his jaw dropped. I can get through it pretty fast...but he is not a reader and well...it's a lot of reading.

Praying praying for a PA for Taizi (TY-Zee) for Monday! This whole week was a holiday in China...therefore the delay.


News on Zihao Zhonghua

From Jenny today:

Adoption Day is bittersweet. Bitter for those of us at TCH and the foster
family to say good-bye to a child that we have come to care for and love yet
sweet that the child is now welcomed into a forever family.

Zhong Hua sleeps in a crib that TCH provides. Usually the crib is in the
foster parent's bedroom.

Yes, Zhong Hua is potty trained.

Zhong Hua wears a size 80 in clothes and 24 in shoes.

His weight is 11.3 kg.
Chest is 51 cm.
Head circumference is 46.5 cm.
Height is 80 cm.
Foot length is 14 cm.

He likes cars but not stuffed animals.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Needing prayer warriors.

The last 2 nights have been awful for me. I've woken SO many times and each time just hearing "taizi" "taizi". To the point of knowing this is not just 'him being on my mind'. Last night I was so tired as I stayed up late trying to get ahead of adoption paperwork and my body was completely shutting down and as soon as it would I would again hear "taizi" "taizi". I was a mess. I knew this was something more. I sat up and just started praying.

We have no communication with his orphanage and it's extremely unlikely that we will. We are 'helpless' humanly-speaking until we are there and can bring him home.

But we are not going on our own here...we are asking you to team up with us and pray. We don't know specifically how to pray for little Taizi so we are asking you to just pray. Pray for his health, pray as we go into the cold months that he stays well. Often these poor orphanages will not use heat and instead will bundle the children up more to survive the cold months. Please pray for him. Pray God holds him in the palm of His hand.

With this new sense of urgency I called our agency today and said that having our first homestudy appointment delayed a few weeks seems extreme when there's such a huge sense of urgency. She called back this morning with a local social worker for us to work with and our first appointment is Thursday morning! Perfect!

On the way home from the accountant's office a bit ago I turned on the radio to hear:

Hold Me Jesus by Rich Mullins.

Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

CHORUS:
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

CHORUS

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something
I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

CHORUS

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jonah.

I forgot to mention this.. but this is pretty crazy. A few weeks ago I had set Izrael beside me on the couch in our room. I had turned with the other kids and she was then laying on her belly. All was good until I saw it was my Bible that was keeping her quiet and she was grabbing pages and slobbering all over them. Errrr. My Bible had been closed before she grabbed and started going though it with a vengeance. I was drying the pages off when I looked and started smiling. It was Jonah chapter 1 and 2 that she was slobbering on.

So ... everytime I open my Bible...guess where it naturally opens? Well...that would be Jonah...because the pages are wrinkled and crinkled and had been very wet. And everytime it falls open to Jonah I pause and again read Jonah 2: 8-9. God's keeping it right in front of me...lest I forget.

Dean and I were talking tonight about the parable in Matthew 13:44.

"The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.
When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy
went and sold all he had and bought that field."

He got it. He saw that the one treasure he found was worth everything he had accumulated in his life. I'm thinking not everyone else saw it. He probably lacked some support along the way. I'm not convinced he cared. He went home and sold all he had...in his joy.

This had great meaning to me tonight.

This was a specific calling for us. We are sacrificing presently and long term in order to obey. Just today I remembered how this year we had fully planned on going on a family vacation this Christmas. Not happening now. There are many things that will be forever changed for us going forward...to be a family of 11.

.. Once we saw the treasure (and we took a while)...we surrendered. And now ... even with joy. I feel like God has given me glimpses into the real treasure. Rescuing them from death is only part of it.

As we were talking Jonah 2:8-9 came to mind.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you.

...forfeit the grace that could be theirs. There's a treasure here that is much bigger than we can see.

To our precious little Zihao and Taizi...you are more than worth it.



Names!

We finally have names!

Ok many of you know the work that goes into names for us. For our adopted children we have chosen to use words or names from their language because we believe their heritage is such a huge part of who they are. We did this with Chazano and Zunduka as well. Also there has to be a Z somewhere in the name (we are stuck with Z's at this point)...and meaning is very significant.

So...

for baby boy #1....(Ethan or Zhonghua)

Meet...

Zihao Zhonghua Walker

His first name Zihao rymes with Ni Hao (many of you with young children may know the cartoon Ni Hao KaiLan...Ni Hao is HELLO in Chinese). Pronounced Zee-how.

Meaning: Our heroic son. Or my son who is a hero. Other translations show "proud" but in all the baby name sites it's "heroic".

Middle name: Zhonghua is the name that the orphanage in Maoming City gave him when he was found. The translation of ZHONGHUA is "CHINA". Regardless of meaning we are keeping his given name as his middle name as we did with Chazano and Zunduka.

For baby boy #2...(Tommy)

Meet...

Taizi Fu'An Walker

Taizi is pronounced TY-zee

Meaning: Crown prince

Fu'An is his given name by the orphanage.

This was pretty special. Late last night I was searching on a great translation site and I finally started making up names that I like the sound of. So I started with Taiz...and it showed the options. Taizi among many others popped up. Taizi was the first one so I clicked on it and when I saw the meaning, I knew it was it.

We loved that it is simple, has the z in the middle instead of starting with it, and it's beautiful meaning. You are definitely our little Prince.

So...no more Ethan and Tommy. Now they are Zihao and Taizi. :)





Update on Zhonghua

I received an email from "Jenny" this morning on Zhonghua. Here it is :)

Zhong Hua is in a foster family that has two children. A girl 26 and boy
22. Zhong Hua is the fifth child the foster parents have fostered.

Since having cleft palate surgery Zhong Hua speaks more clearly and makes
simple sounds like BaBa, MaMa, GeGe and JieJie.

Zhong Hua likes to drink water from a cup. He does not like milk. He likes
rice, vegetables and gravy.

Zhong Hua is smart yet a bit shy. He likes to play hide and seek with the
neighborhood children.

Oct. 15 we will be having Friends in the Park outing with all the foster
children and their foster mothers. We will celebrate children who have
birthdays in Oct.

Yes, you can send a gift to Zhong Hua to the below address. Make sure you
send in time for me to receive before Dec. 10 because I will be returning to
the US for the Christmas holiday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

3 minutes. 24 seconds.

Why...?

Why am I doing this?

I have 24 hours each day. The most heart wrenching moments are the 3 minutes and 24 seconds at the end of the day when I sit and watch our baby boy.

I get to move on. Sleep in a warm house. Wake to bliss the next day. And with all the urgency we feel to get him home...I do not want to think about the conditions he's in. It's much more pleasant to block it out of my mind.

He doesn't have that luxury.

As his mama...

I choose to enter into his pain. Every night. Just for 3 minutes and 24 seconds. And I cry each time. I hurt each time. I fully go there each time.

I feel so much compassion...I just want to touch him. I've caught myself reaching out to the screen...

Please ... God....please....work miracles to speed this process up.

I've had a lot of incredibly anticipated moments in my life. The birth of each child. Time stood still. The birth of Azlan...with all the concerns around what could go wrong...I can still feel the emotion of that moment when I first saw him...first held him...

The moment when I first see little "tommy" and scoop him into my arms...will be one I never forget.

It seems so wrong that I only enter in his life for 3 minutes 24 seconds each day...when that is his every moment.

Tonight my precious..may you feel surrounded by the Love that has never turned away.

To our "China baby dolls"... we are coming.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Did I overcommit...?

I watched our baby boy's video tonight. This is the second night in a row and I feel nauseated. If this breaks my heart a little bit every single day until he comes home...then that is what I will do.

Ethan and Tommy...(we are getting closer with names..)

I hurt tonight. For you.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

My heart.

Tonight I'm touched. Broken. Heavy hearted. Excited. Thankful. Hurting. Broken.

What a mess.

If you ever cry 'break my heart for what breaks Yours'...be prepared. Because there is so much that breaks God's heart.

I received three messages this weekend that... well...showed God.

All three messages were different. All three...were very clear messages from God saying "I can hear you. I can hear them. I will bring them home".

I...am humbled. Softened. Touched.

In church today, a song started. We've heard it a few times and ... it's beautiful. But today...I heard "hear this from Tommy's heart..." hmmmm...

(Beautiful Things by Gungor)

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new



I can't even read that...from Tommy's heart...without tearing up. Oh He makes beautiful things out of the dust. That's all we are. Dust.

And again I was broken. Broken for my little boy in China.
"All this pain...I wonder if I'll ever find my way..I wonder if my life will really change at all...."
That's his heart...? That breaks mine.

He makes beautiful. Out of us.

Tonight I watched his video again. I allowed myself to fully 'go there'. To enter in to his little heart. To feel what God feels when He sees him. Oh to reach through and touch him. To hold his floppy little body in my arms and tell him he has a Dad that makes beautiful things out of us.

Hurt. I hurt. Literally...physically...hurt. I can feel a tightness in my chest and then I realize that I need to surrender. Again. Oh God hold this precious little boy in Your hands tonight. When he touches his head...let him feel Your hand. Let his belly be full...even if his bottle is not. Give him hope. You are making beautiful...

At the end of this day...I commit to watching his video every day. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

Family Picture Day.

My husband's favorite day of the year.

Not. Quite. ;)

Well you know what? It goes quite well considering there's 7 children 7 and under. The difficult part is not getting everyone to look at the camera...it's outfits! What a headache. Not matchy. Not too clashy. Not bland. A bit of color. Not too much. Don't put both blondies side by side. Separate Chazano and Zunduka. Are his hands in his pocket?

Smile!

The next family picture we do...will have 2 more "rare and beautiful treasures" in it.

Bliss.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thank-full.

Can I leave a post...just blank? Doesn't the title tell you the story?

Thank-full. Full of thanks. Isn't that what God told Dean and I...He just wants a sacrifice of thanksgiving...?

You know I've been thinking about that. Why is it a sacrifice? How is thankfulness a sacrifice? I'm learning. It takes humility. And I can tell you...that for me...humility...takes surrender. Total self-sacrifice. It's much more 'me' to be "no, no, I got it". I'll work harder. I'll go into debt if I have to but I won't ask for help. When a gift is given...to say "oh no...that's ok...we got it".

Or...

To accept the gift. With thankfulness.

A sacrifice. Of thanksgiving.

From our hearts tonight...thank you. Thank you for supporting our raffle fundraiser. Yes it was fun...yes I wish every one of you could win...

but you did.

The iPad2 was a fun little carrot. But it was not the real prize. The real prize...is absolutely..undoubtedly...two precious little boys...that God is bringing home. You...are such a part of this story.

32 different families gave. A total of $1440. Raising $740 after cost of prizes.

And we ... offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving.