Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stalllll.... :)

Here we sit...ready to go...ready to submit the i-800a...and we can't. The Mexican child abuse clearance..was in fact...not that at all...it was a criminal record. Great to show Dean doesn't have a criminal record in Mexico...but that was not what we needed.... BOO!

Last night in my reading I was soooo tired (it was 2am) and I was trying really hard to focus...and the Psalm was all about your enemies and it was really hard to focus....and then came verse 9 (Ps 59)...

O my Strength, I watch for you....you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

I woke up real quick. My Strength...

Is He my Strength...? The source of my ability to get up and go again? The One that keeps me moving when I'm done...? The One that makes me smile when...like right now...I'm quite ticked that all this time and we didn't even get the right document from Mexico...? O...my Strength. I watch for you.

mmmm...

Onto the rest of the Psalm and when I was coming to the end...I thought "I have to go back and find that verse again...I need to memorize it..." and just as I was thinking that ... I was at the end of the chapter and guess what...

verse 17

O my Strength...I sing praise to you. You...O God are my fortress, my loving God.

ahhhh..

I read it all again. Amazing how that can wake me up.

Verse 9...I watch for you.
verse 17...I sing praise to you.

I think something happened in between verse 9 and 17. I watched...and saw...and now ... I sing praise to you. My Strength. You are my fortress...my loving God.

So...right now...I'm still at verse 9. I'm watching for you. My Strength.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Letter from Jenny.

So...I might just blow this up and put it right in front of me on my desk...because THIS is motivation...


Janice,

I pleased to share with you that Zhong Hua is doing great and staying warm.
The only thing he needs is for his adoptive family to come get him.

I too am doing great because we had two children adopted today. There are
13 children still in TCH foster care and now all have been matched with a
family. PTL!

Take Care,

Jenny

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beautiful things.

I know I've posted it before...but after singing it today (and listening it to it often at home...) it just says my heart right now. I can't sing this without first thinking of my own life...my own brokenness and how He...in all His grace...makes something beautiful of me and my life. That...is a miracle.

... and secondly my mind goes to little Taizi. Is this his heart...? Could anything beautiful come from me...? Could He really make beautiful things...? :(

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?

[chorus:]
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us.

[verse 2:]
All around,
Hope is springin up from this old ground.
Out of chaos, life is being found in You.

[chorus:] 2x

[bridge:]
You make me new,
You are making me new.
You make me new,
You are making me new. (making me new.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Break my heart.

....for what breaks Yours.

My heart hurts. So...I pray.

Zion prayed at lunch today and said "God it's so amazing that you can be everywhere at the same time...that's awesome" and Tirzah added "Yah...like You can be here watching us and in China watching Zihao and Taizi at the same time!"...sometimes they say it best. While I just want to be there with them...holding them, caring for them...I can't. He can. He is.

I know the day will soon be here that we, with great anticipation, get on the plane to go get our little boys and bring them home.

Until then...I dream of stroking little Taizi's head as I pray the fear leaves his beautiful eyes...
I dream...of seeing all the life and excitement in Zihao as he plays with his brothers and sisters...
I dream...of the future and seeing the bigger picture of what God had planned all along...

but for now... my heart is breaking...

Zunduka prayed at bed time that "Taizi will stay healthy and strong and the people in the orphanage will take care of him until he can come home to his forever family."

Amen, Zunduka...amen.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thought you should know...

That Chazano, Zunduka and Azlan perfectly passed their test and all chomped on 7 m&m's each at 9am. Yes...they did.

;)

I've heard back that our homestudy doc's were received by the social worker yesterday and hopefully Lifeline receives our i800a today and gets it sent off.

Will update when it's sent.

Have I mentioned how over the moon I am that Jason and Rachel are going to China Feb 9 for little Josie...? Eeeks...can hardly stand it!! We are having one final girl's night out this Friday...just Rachel and I and food and ... all is well in the world. A good friend and food...?Yes...that will do it...


Sweet life.

I'm sitting here looking at a children's clothing catalogue...oogling over cute little clothes for little boys and imagining little Zihao and Taizi in our family.

So...life is sweet. And every sweet moment I'm cherishing. Most of them.

School is going amazingly well. We are practicing lots each night and tomorrow the 'younger class' is promised 7 M&M's each if they can tell me the sounds of the letters we've learned so far...perfectly. Why does "a" have 3 sounds? I don't know. I really am empathizing for our little boys as they strain to remember aaaayyyy, ahhhhh and ...the other one ;) But this m&m thing seems to be encouraging better brain activity.

Izrael (I'll admit it...this non-nickname mama...calls her Iz-ray....its cute and she's cute and I like it. No Izzy...no Iz ... but Izray is cute) is adorable. And has definite personality. Like...a very strong will. I just 'love' how everyone looks at our family and says "oh to have children that don't have a strong will like yours...". Umm... not so much. We just really work on it. We love strong personalities. We don't tolerate fits and explosions. So Izrael is finding her place in the world and her voice and lots of things. She's got 3.5 teeth ;) and will stand and leg go of my leg without noticing she's on her own and we all coo. Tirzah never lets her go to bed without a hug and kiss from her ... so cute.

Ok..I love the little traditions we have in our family.

When Daddy does bedtime...it's a Bible story...lots of tickles...and the girls hide and he has to find them.

When Mama does bedtime...it's praying 'around' (I start the prayer then each one prays...)...and then I put the iPad in the boys room with some of their favorite christian music playing.

I hear lots of "I love you to the moon and back" and Tirzah always tries to be creative with telling me what she loves me more than.... sometimes it's "more than chocolate" or the other night it was "more than horses" which is ... well... that means she loves me more than anything.

I think my favorite moment all day may just be bedtime...not for the sudden utter silence...but for the praying around the group.

As I passed the torch to Zion (a few nights ago) this is what he said
"God...I have a question...you know...I'd just really like to know why Jesus died. I just don't get it God. Why did He die? I hope you tell me someday." (in the most sincere tone ever...I was doing my best to keep my eyes closed).

Then Chazano followed it with
"God I'm so thankful you created creations and peoples and animals and I love them all. Well..most of them. And some animals I love and some I don't love. And I'm so glad you made me to sin and do bad things sometimes" (...still trying to keep my eyes closed...)

Zunduka:
"God...thank you for our family. I am so glad you gave us our family and I love all our family...amen"
(then they erupt into laughter b/c he keeps forgetting he's not supposed to say amen til we are all done and I tell everyone he just forgot..it's so cute)

Azlan:
"well...I was going to say what Zion said so now I have to think of something else....so...God thank you for the food...and pray we have a good day..." (.... still keeping my eyes squeezed...:)

Azahria:

"God...thank you ... for the nice day...and for Kung Fu Panda..."

Tirzah:

"God I pray for all the orphans in the world...and I'm asking again for miracles. You can do miracles for them. Please give them a forever family God...and dentists and doctors and toys and food and blankets...please please put angels around their beds that no bad guys hurt them..."

I walk out...every night...with a full heart.

Oh and I did answer Zion's question...in a very childlike manner:

"well Heaven is perfect and no sin can go there. Sooooo someone has to die for the sin and pay for it. The problem is there is one rule...the person who dies for it...can't have any sin or it won't be accepted. " (lots of oohs and ahhhs as they are understanding the whole story....) "so when there was no one to go, Jesus said 'send me...I'll go...I have no sin..." and Zion's eyes were as big as quarters....he looked at me and said "oh mama...now I know why...he did it for us...He died for us b/c He is perfect...now I get it..."

Yes I walked out full. As my little 6 year old boy said "you know I thanked Him for that and told Him I'm really sorry for my sins and asked Him to forgive me...do you think He heard me...?" When I showed Him how God says a resounding 'Absolutely' to anyone who asks...the biggest smile came over his face and he flopped on his pillow smiling.

And...a house of so much laughter, joy...and simply put...noise...is suddenly silent. I go downstairs to my husband of almost 12 years and enjoy the few hours of silence we have together each night before the night is over.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mailed off.

Today our documents are overnighted to Spokane to our social worker and the i800a is mailed to Lifeline with payment of $890. Logan (lifeline) said the good news is that i800a is processing now at 60 days instead of 90 days.


Super exciting news tonight is that Jason and Rachel received their TA and are leaving to pick up precious little Josie on February 9. It makes it sink in how surreal this all will be when we are at that stage!

And I...will go watch little Taizi's video before bed..and pray for our sweet boys.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yes...Yes...Yes!

So we got word today that our Mexican clearances are en route (supposed to be here tonight)..and then some mess up happened with the MA clearances. Oh it's lovely ... and truly is lovely b/c while we do what we can as quickly as we can...I have no anxiety at all. This is God's and He's got it. The MA deal should be cleared by Monday, Lifeline says.

Then...homestudy is done! I've sent off the preliminary i800-a to Lifeline to have them proof and as soon as they ok it we will send it on so they are ready to overnight it to USCIS! One step at a time!

I talked to Logan from Lifeline today and we talked about the timeline. So wonderful having someone in control of this instead of never knowing which step is next and where (aka...Zambian adoption). We also talked about the costs of taking any of the children with us to China. She said she will find out more re: ages and costs. At this point we feel strongly about taking Izrael and Azlan. Azlan...because even with staying with Dean for 28 days while I went to Africa...he went behind in speech and muscle tone ...months. It was devastating. Combine that with all the adjustments with the boys and it was really hard. Hard on him...hard on us. We are still working to get back up to what we lost. We can't risk losing that again. With his severely delayed speech and deafness...it also makes it very difficult for others that are taking care of him. Sooo...hopefully that is relatively minor to bring them with us.

So excited to have a completed home study. That...was a pretty long, in depth process. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

So close to the next step...!

We received FBI fingerprint clearances today...and the only thing remaining is the Mexican CANs...

Then we can move out of the home study phase onto the next one. When they said "China homestudies are quite a bit more intense than other countries" not sure we knew how intense but lets just say that our Zambian adoption was sooooo different. I'm loving working with an agency that is telling us what to do though...as opposed to never knowing our next step and the cost along the way.

We heard that the Mexican officials had to send the CAN document off to the larger center simply b/c we are not there in person to apply...and they project a clearance later next week. Praying it comes Monday morning...and is overnighted to us on Tuesday.

Oh...I'm so excited that Jason and Rachel are days away from receiving their TA (travel approval) to go pick up their beautiful little Josie...


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Zihao....

Jenny just got home yesterday from China and sent us all of these photos of Zihao opening his Christmas package from his forever family...

Here he is with his Hershey Kisses candycane :)


I love this picture! Lining up all his cars and trucks from his package!


One of my favorite pictures of our little boy...


With his foster mom :)



Oh I wish we could see a video of this! Listening to his Frosty the Snowman book we recorded for him. The kids were so excited to see this picture b/c they know he's hearing all of our voices :)


I love this...looks like his foster mom surprised him and opened the book...and he heard our voices for the first time ;)


Jenny said "Janice he has such a fun personality.." Can't you tell? :)






Monday, January 2, 2012

Psalm 48. vs. 14

For this God is our God...forever and ever...
He will be our guide...
even to the end.


And I am so deeply grateful to know that He and He alone is our guide.