Love is

I didn't give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so.

For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn't give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. --- Unknown

Monday, December 30, 2013

check it out!!!

This is a short version of our journey to our first adopted princess, Ariana, featured on Show Hopes blog today!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


I posted on Facebook but didn't update this blog. Sowwy!  I seem to be saying this at the beginning of all my posts.  :(   Anywho...  December has been a whirlwind for us, my last post was on the 9th, since then so much has happened.  We received our TA (travel approval) for Elijah on the 9th and then waited and waited for Eva's LOA.  We got a early Christmas gift when we received word that her LOA (final approval to adopt her from China)  was showing in the system on Dec 19th.... YAY! Hard copy was receive by Dec 23, and overnighted to us.  We were ready and sent off her i800 paperwork that same day... it was received Dec 26 at the lockbox, but we still haven't gotten the confirmation text or email.  We included a plea to process her paperwork quickly due to Elijah's TA already being issued and rushing to get hers before we need an extension.  We also included an adorable photo of her to tug at their hearts :). We will see if it helped very soon, it normally takes 10-14 days to get to our officer who is aware of our situation and has promised to get it out as soon as he gets it.  Say a prayer for speedy paperwork processing!  Then we wait to get our GUZ number and PDF from the US government so we can have our Article 5 dropped off in Ch*na.  That process takes about 2 weeks as well, but January has Chinese New Year which could delay us a bit if we don't beat it.  Then Article 5 is picked up and TA wait begins (again another 2 weeks or so).  Once all of that is done we can request a US Consulate appointment and then travel is scheduled, flights are booked and we have a flurry of activity to get there!

Now... I have some specific prayer requests.

1) We still need over 24 thousand dollars and aren't sure where it is going to come from. 
2) We need help, we have used up most of our fund raising ideas, and haven't had a lot of success.  
     We have a couple ideas but need a place to promote them.
3) Please begin to pray for health and safety on our trip for our whole family. 
4) I am trying to get fit (as fit as I can before we go) we cannot use any money for this due to the
     adoption cost so I need to be creative.
5) Please pray for our children in China, that they have a smooth transition, that it will be easy for
      them and that they will feel our love and Gods love comforting them during a scary time.
6) Pray for their health, and especially for Eva's.  We received a newsletter from our agency and part
     of it shared about the great need for basic necessities, please pray God be her provider, that she
     have enough to eat and that she stay healthy. 
7) Pray for our family as we transition into a new church and a new body,  we believe God has led us
     here, to a place where He has placed others with a common heart for orphans.  We want
     desperately to do all we can for these precious little ones everywhere. Pray for direction and peace
     for a quick transition, and for healing for our hearts.  Please pray for Ariana, that her needs will be
     met and she will adjust well.

I want to say thank you to Jason and Merissa Yusko,  you have been such a blessing to us,  thank you for all you have and are doing to help bring our babies home.  your love. kindness and friendship is priceless to us and it means more than you will ever know.  Also thank you to everyone who has given to their fund raising efforts for our family,  we do not take one dollar for granted.  We are blessed beyond words by your generosity.  I love you all.

If I am saying thank you, I must include the most important one of all.  Thank you God for being faithful, for meeting every need as it arises and for loving us and these babies you have led us to more than we could ever deserve.  I love you always.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Waiting and waiting and being reminded about who God is and who I am to him.

Ok so....  so little and so much has been going on since my last blog.   We have been waiting for Article five pickup and then on to TA wait for Elijah.  This part is usually a whirl wind and goes very quickly, and is normally very exciting.  For us this time has been very hard,  as Eva's LOA has been stuck in this new rule China has instituted due to some issues with the new system, and a very ugly article published about rehoming.  It is a horrible thing (rehoming) when it is done underground and incorrectly.  So it caused quite a stir.  I cannot imagine ever letting one of my children go no matter how bad things got.  maybe that is because I have walked through some really tough stuff with our birth children. I would die before I gave one of them up.  Anyway... that said, we were stuck... we submitted everything China wanted and then waited... and waited.  It felt as though we would be walking through a long wait for Eva's LOA.  There was also a change in leadership in Ch*na. It has been so very hard emotionally, couple that with an all out attack from the enemy to destroy my hope and faith, and you have a recipe for sadness and hopelessness.

Now let me tell you the other process that I have been walking through.  I am going to very open and honest and real with you.  I have always had this nagging voice (I know it is the enemies voice) every time things go south in my life,  telling me I am just not good enough for God to bless me like that.  I grew up in a "christian world" that sort of fed that belief.  If you were seen as good enough you were honored and uplifted and the things you felt called to do were supported. If you were family, or a close friend, or super talented, but if not, then you were ever so lovingly shoved back into the box you were good enough for.  You got the smiles and the head nods when you shared what you felt God wanted you to do, but you could see through there eyes the questioning heart.  "Did you really pray about this?" The doubt "I don't think God is telling you that" and the "I am not sure that is a good idea".  Oh those words would never dare be spoken to you.  But they were there, and even spoken to others about you when you weren't there.  You can feel it when others have faith in you,  when they are with you when you leap, and with you if you fall.  I say all of that so say, we moved across country and found our selves in a strange new world,  full of people who all looked different and felt different and came from different places but were standing shoulder to shoulder doing Gods work (and just to clarify this was not a perfect world).  We were invited to step in beside them,  and it changed me.  I didn't need the fiery sermon or the fancy worship song,  I didn't need to be good enough because it doesn't matter how good you are if you are handing someone a loaf of bread, or supporting a missionary, or helping a family make an orphan a son.  I watched in awe as God birthed beautiful ministries from unlikely places. I walked through and dealt with the ugliness of judgment in my own heart.  I also learned I would never allow myself to be put into a religious box again... I wish I could say I have held strong to that.  Honesty requires a different answer.  We have found ourselves feeling exactly like that at different times over the last couple years, and I found myself making the same excuses, I also found I was believing those old familiar lies.  So here we stand today,  taking some bold and scary steps at the worst possible time, and trusting that God will walk with us and before us.  Trusting that every penny to bring our kids into our home will come in.  Funny because with those steps and the fear,  I can feel a new sense of freedom growing in my heart.  I can feel my faith beginning to rise from the ashes.  I can see that the dust is clearing and my babies faces are coming into view again.  I don't know exactly where this road will lead,  but I know for sure that we are watching hard for the Fathers footprint in front of us to know where to place our foot with the next step.  I feel strength welling up within me for the first time in a long time.

I must say two things... One: "Thank you Father for your faithfulness, thank you that you are always
                                       with me even when I cannot see, hear or feel you."

Two:  Don't let the words and opinions of others define you... I have done it many many times, and it is soul crushing,  and wrong.  Only God was meant to hold that place in our heart.  Only He was meant to write on the tablet of who you are.  Men will fail us, but God is faithful.

As a final note,  I am not angry as I type these words,  I have learned so many things I needed to over the last few years.  I am thankful and blessed for every person I have worked with and gotten to know.  No man is perfect,  we do our best, we fall and we learn from it.  We take on the words and actions of those before us as if they are our own, until we find our self on the other side of those words and realize they aren't so true after all.  We have also been blessed with a small group of people that through it all, have believed in us.  They carried us, and lift up or heads when we weren't sure how to go on. We are truly thankful and blessed to have each and every one of them placed in our life by of faithful Daddy.

Soooo..... today we got an email.  We have Elijah's TA (travel approval), :)  if it were just him we would be booking our flights and scheduling or consulate appointment.  However or sweet Eva's paperwork has been stalled, and as you can by the thermometer to the right we still have a lot of money to raise.  But I have faith,  an ever growing beautiful faith.  I am choosing to trust that God has the answer and He has a beautiful miracle waiting for us,  one that will glorify Him. I have no doubt He called to our hearts to do this.  Pray for us... and for our babies.  Pray they have an easy transition on what could be a very scary hard day for them,  Pray for their safety and that God will whisper of His love and ours to them while they wait.  :)  Oh and for wisdom to know what fund raisers to do and favor that they get done quickly and are blessed beyond measure.

Thank you for your love and support... I love you all