Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Giddy we are SO close!!!

Yay!!!!   Yay!!!!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!  He is faithful!  He is able!!  He is worthy to be praised!!!!

Yes, I just had about 4 different praise songs going through my head :)

We got our Travel Approval on 1/24 - this says we are allowed to travel from the China Welfare Agency.  Then waiting again....

Now anxious for news about our CA (Consulate appointment)....have I said that this waiting is HARD?!?! 

In an effort to take my mind off the waiting my dear hubby used his free tickets to take us to Universal Studios!  Woohoo!!  None of us had ever been so it was an exciting time (and nice to live just one hour away)!

Well, first ride we rode was "Despicable Me."  If you haven't seen the movie - you should.  It may lead you to adopt. :)   The ride....well, definitely didn't take my mind off the wait!  The whole ride was about celebrating their one year "Gotcha Day" and wondering if their dad had forgotten.  Ughhh!!!  I must've been the only one on the ride crying.  LOL...good attempt by hubby, but I'm learning that my life is forever changed already.  Adoption will always be on my mind, my heart and my tongue....  We did have fun there - although Harry Potter caused me to lose my breakfast...yep, twirling doesn't do much for me. ;)

Normally I don't like Monday's, but Monday the 29th was the BEST Monday EVER!!  I am on a Facebook group that has been an amazing support and source of information on which I've made some wonderful new friends who are all adopting.  Those around me hear me frequently talk about my DTC FB friends... Well, Monday morning I got to wake up and see many of them with their newest members of their families.  See some gotcha day videos of them with their sweeties, see pics of first kisses and smiles with their new Mama and Baba (daddy).  Couldn't ask to wake to better thoughts and news!!

My Bible Study (the online one I am doing) was on Luke 3 that morning.  Luke 3:5 really stuck out to me when talking about the work God had planned for John.  "Every valley shall be filled in, Every Mountain will be made low, the crooked roads will become straight and the rough ways smooth."  Instantly my mind and heart went to prayer... Lord let this journey be as that.  It seems each new stage is a new valley of waiting/wanting, each mountain so hard to climb/exhausting, each bend in the road - such a challenge to my heart and trust, each day of waiting longer - rougher and more ache in my heart.  Please fill in all this longing, make the mountain easier to climb....Lord please make it possible for us to get our consulate appointment the week of the 26th.... Ask and you shall receive

That Monday got EVEN better!!  Brian calls to see what I was doing.  He said, "Guess you haven't checked your email."  I said, "Oh no, is it bad news??"  He says, "Other than they spelled your name wrong, no."

YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!    We got our Consulate Appointment for 2/27, will have gotcha day (the day we get Meisi - she will stay with us for forever after this)....hehe giddy and goosebumps just saying that!!!  Sorry, that wasn't a complete sentence...
Anyhow - "Gotcha Day" is on 2/18 and our sweet Princess's birthday is 2/19!  YAY!!!  She will never have a birthday without a family EVER again!!! Yay!!!!   This is where my songs of praise come!  I asked for this child and God has given her to us - even to the day of asking...

If you remember we have been praying since we received her file on August 22nd that we would be with her on her birthday.  Prayer Answered! :)  How awesome is our God!

We are leaving on 2/12!!!  That is just 2 weeks from today!!  SOOOO Much to do!!!!  BUT SOOOO excited to be doing it!! :)

Thank you Lord for your AMAZING, never stopping, never giving up, forever love and faithfulness. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seeing God in action through Love Without Boundaries

I've cried a lot lately, but today were mostly tears of thankfulness....  I'm certain I can't do justice writing about God's amazing power and healing love He has already done in our daughter, but here is my attempt....

Today Love Without Boundaries posted this before and after picture of "Delyth", who is our Meisi, on their facebook page:

I was so thankful to finally be able to share a glimpse of her life with you publicly.   The over 200 comments made over her photo on the LWB page, our DTC pages and my page has brought many happy tears today as people were praising God,  talking of how you've prayed for her for almost 2 years now and financially supported her through LWB....

No words could express our thankfulness to our awesome God. 
No words for our thankfulness to you for answering the call to pray and give...

Many of you talked about how shocking, amazing and nothing short of miraculous her transformation has been....

Yes it is...
God in action through love without boundaries...  I keep saying this in post after post, but we are so thankful for Love Without Boundaries!

I have been asked many questions about her today and I felt it easier to answer on here.

Did we find her?
We did not find her on the LWB website.  Believe me, we were searching every known list out there - including LWB, yahoo groups, Pearl River Outreach, New Day, and New Hope...  I think I nearly drove our poor referral specialist crazy asking her if she could find out if another child I'd seen listed was available for adoption from these lists.  Every time - EVERY time the child I inquired about was either already matched, with another agency or not paper ready (the orphanage must pay money and fill out paperwork.before a child is adoptable).

No, I didn't find her and as much as I prayed over almost all the heart babies on every one of those pages mentioned (and listed on my sidebar) - including LWB, somehow I had never seen or read about "Delyth." 

The day after we found out we were LID (paperwork had been logged into system in China) our referral specialist called to tell me she had a partnership file that had just been released that day and she thought was a perfect match for us.  Brian and I opened the file while in separate locations (I couldn't wait for him to come home) as we talked on the phone looking through things, we knew we were both in love from the moment we saw her face.  We had prayed we would just know.  I know that may sounds silly, but we just knew she was ours.  Ask and you shall receive....  It is hard to explain the joy and excitement that peace can bring. 

How did we know she was with Love without Boundaries?
In our referral paperwork were a few medical reports from Love Without Boundaries.  Even her physical report mentions LWB throughout.  A photo similar to the "before" picture above was also in our paperwork.

It was heartbreaking and breathtaking at the same time, to see her transformation then and even more so now.

Today, in the picture above, was the first time I saw how pitiful her little legs were.   I know - all of her looked pitiful, but something about her little legs.... tears and more tears... 

It is hard to see your child in such a state, but to see the change and beauty that came from God's outpouring of love through Love Without Boundaries...  

Nothing short of miraculous... another reminder that -
NOTHING is impossible with God
We are so very excited to see what God has in store for her life.

So what is her story?  Why was she so sick?
Our precious daughter was found and taken to an orphanage within the first day of life they think. She was actually born appearing healthy at just over 8 lbs. 
However, LWB was contacted when "Delyth" was just under two months old.  She was very sick with pneumonia.  It wasn't until being hospitalized for her pneumonia that her heart defects (ASD, VSD and PS) were found. 

Once better from her pneumonia LWB took her to a cardiac hospital fo open heart surgery.  After which she still struggled because of another pneumonia and inability to eat requiring IV nutrition. She was very sick. 

People around the world prayed for a miracle as LWB posted updates on their website. 
Thank you if you were one of those people who has been praying for her.
Thank you if you were one of those people who donated so she could have life saving surgery and nutrition. 
Thank you nurses, doctors and nannies who cared for and loved on her during this very hard part of her life.
Thank you LWB for responding to the call from her orphanage, for saying yes to love and care for her and so many other beautiful children. 
Jesus replied, "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you do for me." Matthew 25:40

We are blessed by you and so very thankful for each of you.

Will we call her "Del"?
I love her LWB identifier, "Delyth".  I don't think she has been called this name, but hope to find out.  It may stick as a nickname for her, however we have named her Meisi Zhen.

We were told in her referral paperwork that her name the orphanage gave her meant "Thought" - because they wanted her to grow to have good thoughts and good morals and "Treasure" because they felt she was a treasure."  We felt it was important to keep that as we hope and believe the same things for her.    Our son said we should name her "Beauty" because she is so beautiful - ahhh...melted my heart.   We read that "Delyth" also means beauty but wanted to keep her Chinese heritage in her name so we named her Meisi Zhen. Her name fittingly means - "Beautiful Thoughts and Treasure". 

We are so very thankful that God chose us to see her file the day it was released.
Our love for Meisi has grown stronger every day since we first saw her face on August 22nd. 
Our hearts ache to get to her.
We have been praying since the day we got her referral to be able to be with her on her birthday. Our agency says we must have our TA (travel approval) by this week in order for that to happen.  Lord, Plleaassssseee, let that be Your will. 

We cannot wait to see what the future holds for our precious Meisi.  God has already done such amazing things in her. 

Again, I can't thank you enough for all your prayers and support.

If you aren't familiar with Love Without Boundaries - please go to their website  There are many ways you can help support children just like Meisi through this amazing nonprofit organization who truly lives out their name. 

Meisi, we love you and cannot wait to be with you, hold you and love you forever sweet baby girl. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to be supportive before the airport

Ok guys... I had to copy this from another blog....but thought you might find it, um, belly laughing funny and/or helpful if you don't know how to be supportive before we or other adopting moms you know get to the airport.  Please keep in mind - I am not easily offended, so please continue to ask away with questions...  I just cried laughing when reading this so I thought I'd share. 

The blog this is from is   I am certain I will share some of her other posts as we progress. :) 

Supporting Families Before the Airport
Your friends are adopting. They’re in the middle of dossiers and home studies, and most of them are somewhere in the middle of Waiting Purgatory. Please let me explain something about WP: It sucks in every way. Oh sure, we try to make it sound better than it feels by using phrases like “We’re trusting in God’s plan” and “God is refining me” and “Sovereignty trumps my feelings” and crazy bidness like that. But we are crying and aching and getting angry and going bonkers when you’re not watching. It’s hard. It hurts. It feels like an eternity even though you can see that it is not. It is harder for us to see that, because many of us have pictures on our refrigerators of these beautiful darlings stuck in an orphanage somewhere while we’re bogged down in bureaucracy and delays.

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things:

1. “God’s timing is perfect!” (Could also insert: “This is all God’s plan!” “God is in charge!”) As exactly true as this may be, when you say it to a waiting parent, we want to scratch your eyebrows off and make you eat them with a spoon. Any trite answer that minimizes the struggle is as welcomed as a sack of dirty diapers. You are voicing something we probably already believe while not acknowledging that we are hurting and that somewhere a child is going to bed without a mother again. Please never say this again. Thank you.

2. “Are you going to have your own kids?” (Also in this category: “You’ll probably get pregnant the minute your adoption clears!” “Since this is so hard, why don’t you just try to have your own kids?” “Well, at least you have your own kids.”) The subtle message here is: You can always have legitimate biological kids if this thing tanks. It places adoption in the Back-up Plan Category, where it does not belong for us. When we flew to Ethiopia with our first travel group from our agency, out of 8 couples, we were the only parents with biological kids. The other 7 couples chose adoption first. Several of them were on birth control. Adoption counts as real parenting, and if you believe stuff Jesus said, it might even be closer to the heart of God than regular old procreation. (Not to mention the couples that grieved through infertility already. So when you say, “Are you going to have your own kids?” to a woman who tried for eight years, then don’t be surprised if she pulls your beating heart out like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.)

3. For those of you in Christian community, it is extremely frustrating to hear: “Don’t give up on God!” or “Don’t lose faith!” It implies that we are one nanosecond away from tossing our entire belief system in the compost pile because we are acting sad or discouraged. It’s condescending and misses the crux of our emotions. I can assure you, at no point in our story did we think about kicking Jesus to the curb, but we still get to cry tears and feel our feelings, folks. Jesus did. And I’m pretty sure he went to heaven when he died.

4. We’re happy to field your questions about becoming a transracial family or adopting a child of another race, but please don’t use this moment to trot out your bigotry. (Cluelessness is a different thing, and we try to shrug that off. Like when someone asked about our Ethiopian kids, “Will they be black?” Aw, sweet little dum-dum.) The most hurtful thing we heard during our wait was from a black pastor who said, “Whatever you do, don’t change their last name to Hatmaker, because they are NOT Hatmakers. They’ll never be Hatmakers. They are African.” What the??? I wonder if he’d launch the same grenade if we adopted white kids from Russia? If you’d like to know what we’re learning about raising children of another race or ask respectful, legitimate questions, by all means, do so. We care about this and take it seriously, and we realize we will traverse racial landmines with our family. You don’t need to point out that we are adopting black kids and we are, in fact, white. We’ve actually already thought of that.

5. Saying nothing is the opposite bad. I realize with blogs like this one, you can get skittish on how to talk to a crazed adopting Mama without getting under her paper-thin skin or inadvertently offending her. I get it. (We try hard not to act so hypersensitive. Just imagine that we are paper-pregnant with similar hormones surging through our bodies making us cry at Subaru commercials just like the 7-month preggo sitting next to us. And look at all this weight we’ve gained. See?) But acting like we’re not adopting or struggling or waiting or hoping or grieving is not helpful either. If I was pregnant with a baby in my belly, and no one ever asked how I was feeling or how much longer or is his nursery ready or can we plan a shower, I would have to audition new friend candidates immediately.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

While I'm waiting...

This week I started an online Bible Study which is a first for me (doing a study online).  Thank you Holly for inviting me to join!!  The study is on Luke.  I don't know about you, but I just love when God shows me new things in words I have read many times before.  I love how He shows me how His word is applicable every day in our life.  It isn't a history book to sit on a shelf.  Rather, a book of life - where the more we read, the more abundant our life is - not in material items but in joy, hope, peace and love.

This week was a great week for this study as I have been really struggling while waiting. 

I KNOW God's timing is PERFECT!
I KNOW God had this all planned out before one day came to be....

But...but...but my human heart...and mind doesn't understand why I had to wait longer than many, many others on the same adoption journey....  longer for LOA, longer for article 5, longer to travel....

I KNOW that now we are not far away from travel,
Yet, I was sitting here jealous instead of being joyful for friends who are traveling before me.... Angry, because my plans were not playing out the way I had hoped...

I prayed this as the week began -
Lord, Search Me and Know My Heart 
Test Me and know My Anxious thoughts (Yep, He knows them)
See if there is any offensive way in me (Yes, there is....) and 
Please Lord lead me in the way everlasting.  Psalm 139:23-24

Today He opened my eyes in His word while reading Luke 1 (this is part of the online study I mentioned earlier).  It is the story of when the angel, Gabriel, goes to Mary to tell her she will be the virgin mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I LOVE how Gabriel told Mary the story of  Elizabeth and the miracle God had done in her conception of John even though she was barren.  Then he tells Mary that - "Nothing will be impossible with God."  Luke 1:37

Nothing.  So why don't I trust Him?  Why don't I lean on Him and let Him take the burden of dates and timing away from me? 

I have no idea how I would have responded to the news Mary got.. but Mary - her response was, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word"  Luke 1:38 


She didn't question Him.  She didn't say, "Wouldn't it be better to wait until I was married before doing this?" or "Maybe you should do it on my timetable?"  She didn't question if He had given the message to the right person...... 

No. She just said, let it be as you have said then she sang a song! What faith!  What trust! 

I am quickly reminded of another verse...
"Your eyes saw my (and Meisi's) unformed body; all the days ordained for me (and Meisi) were written in your book before even one came to be."  Psalm 139:16

He had every day planned before one came to be which means He knows when Meisi is to be in our arms...the EXACT day.  No amount of human work nor human error can change that.

Ahhh... Can you feel my deep breath here?

God is faithful.  I can trust that whenever that day comes to see our precious daughter  - that is the day He ordained for it to happen.  Thank you Lord Jesus for not just leaving us to blindly walk this journey of life on this earth.  Thank you for giving us Your Word through which you will guide us - if we will allow you to do so. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

A new friend shared her blog with me about waiting and this song, "While I'm Waiting" is just perfect!  God speaks through not only His Word, but sometimes He uses our sisters and brothers in Christ as well!

Thank you Lord.  I know Nothing is impossible with you. I will trust You and Your timing.  Thank You for the much needed reminder. 

Behold, I am a servant of the Lord.  let it be to me according to YOUR will.  Amen 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Showered with Blessings

God is so good.

Waiting is Hard. Very Hard...that will be another post. ;)  

But God is so good!

The past couple weeks God has blessed me through dear friends.  First - we finally made it to Kentucky (this is home for me).  Something about the familiarity, the close is good for my heart.
Our kids (both also born in KY) want to move back!  LOL  They were so excited to see snow!  Yep- we even let them play with the dirty snow piled up at Target in Lexington.  Mind you, I would NEVER let them do this if we actually lived where it snowed.  However, being snow deprived, a little dirt won't hurt!  I didn't let them eat it - I promise!!  

It was so wonderful to be with close friends - eating at familiar places (Fazoli's doesn't exist down here).  The three of us (Shepherd's, Fuller's and ourselves) met in  a new married class in 2001.  We have tried to get together around Christmas time every year since.  Special friends and Special times. :)

Showered with Blessings?!!? Absolutely!  Before leaving Lexington, my dear friend Dana gave me all this for Meisi!  Yep, those are all clothes!  The child has more than all of us combined I think!  :)  It was fun to come home from our trip and hang them in her closet and fold them to put away in drawers. :)  

When I returned to Fl my dear friend Debbie (who has been a gift from God throughout the adoption process) had a shower for me!
Wow!  I was completely overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness in the decorations, the cake (which was a delicious cake with lemon filling - yep filling), even the cups and napkins were thought out....

Then all our sweet friends here who gathered for the shower wrote well wishes to Meisi.  Cannot wait to hang it in her room! 

I am so so blessed and thankful beyond words for the love shown.  How sweet for those who bought from our registry.  Others, brought food, made gifts as prizes, made blankets for Meisi... all were special gifts from their hearts.

I received a Leigh's Blankies, "Daughters of China" from a friend.  I mention this one gift specifically because it is also a great ministry.  And those who know me know my heart for serving the least of these...Cried when trying to tell the story behind when I first learned about these blankies on this blog here.  The website with the background  story is here...I'd probably cry again typing it. 

I have told you adoption has made me far more emotional than my pregnancies did right??

That evening it was so nice to go through each gift bag again with Brian, retelling the events of the day.  The stories behind each precious gift.  Wow - I stand amazed at the love already shown for our precious daughter!

I can't say thank you enough!!  Thank you Lord for showering us with such amazing friends!  Thank you Father for allowing your love to be lived out through them!  I truly can't say it enough - 
I. Am. So. Blessed!!!  Thank you for loving our daughter, for the prayers, for the support, for the encouragement.... Thank you!!!