Family picture

Family picture

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Red Thread Connections

I wanted to share this beautiful poem entitled "An Ordinary Day" that was posted on a blogspot I visit. It sort of sums up an adoption journey from the very beginning to Gotcha Day.

An Ordinary Day

Every call has a beginning

A quiet moment when God

Whispers a promise to a mother's heart

A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts

The journey set before him.

A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns . . .

Casting its first light on a chosen threshold.

A gentle knock . . . a closed door opens.

A sacred invitation sent by the Father . . .

Leads to the other side of the world.

Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows

Praying for someone to care . . .

And then one morning,

On an ordinary day

An orphan's life changes . . .

God sends them a second chance . . . Through you . . .

-author unknown

When I e-mailed this bloggy friend to ask permission to use that poem, she wrote back and said she had a Red Thread Connection to us that she had wanted to share for over a year! It seems that her mother had a brother who had been my husband's boss years ago and who also had been my grade school principal (many more years ago). Kevin and I both just dearly loved this man and had been very sad when he passed away shortly after retiring from his principal's job. He and his wife have had a great impact on both of our lives in such a positive way. In fact, we still keep in close contact with Jane and her husband. They are dear people, and we love them very much, too! What a small world, and what an amazing Red Thread Connection. My bloggy friend's e-mail today helped make our newest adoption journey that much sweeter because of this connection.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eli's coming home!!

We got the call tonight around 9 from our agency!

T H E C A L L ! ! !

Ch*na approved us for our little boy - we are all sooooooooooooooooooooo excited and happy here. As Ted, Kevin, and I were making our calls to our family to tell them the good news, each of us on a different phone, we looked over at Philip and noticed he was pretending to make his own calls. He was jabbering away excitedly about Eli coming home. It was so cute! One of those priceless moments!

Our agency told us the message from Ch*na said we had been accepted but that they do not accept families with any cancer history. And yet, we were accepted!! God is good! He did what He said He was going to do. Eli, you are coming home!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kevin's birthday AGAIN!

Over the weekend we celebrated Kevin's birthday yet again! He really has stretched this one out! Then the next day we had a family work day in the backyard enjoying the beautiful weather. What a nice weekend.

The boys helping their dad blow out the candles on the cake.

It's great having a big cousin named Alex who likes to give fun wagon rides . . .

. . . and another big cousin named Brian who poses as a human basketball goal.

Even Gram scored a basket.

Enough partying for Kevin . . . now on to our backyard project.

First of all the garden had to be prepared a couple of days ago. Then Farmer Philip had to haul in the soil. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it!

What's that in the wheelbarrow? Is it something to plant in the new garden?

Well, what do you know? It's Philip Bao - a new variety of spice all the way from China!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Still waiting for news

We are still waiting . . .

Our agency said they had no news today out of China.

Still trusting in God no matter what and believe that He called us to adopt this time as much as with Philip!

Speaking of Philip. . .

He is soooooooooooooo happy his older brother is finally home for the summer from college. They have been having great fun together. Needless to say, we are also sooooooooooo happy Ted is home.

Ted and Philip have been doing a lot of playing . . .

And Ted has been doing a lot of this . . . (must be worn out by his little brother!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waiting on pins and needles

We got a startling e-mail today from our adoption agency. They said the CCA* in Ch*na had rejected us due to having below standard income! That is just not true!! Our agency pointed out to them that was a mistake, and so once the CCA* saw they had read our information incorrectly, they said they would review our Letter of Intent again and get back with them soon!

That means we are still being reviewed by Ch*na even as I write this. I don't really know what this means as far as being able to adopt Eli, but I do know that at this moment, we are still being considered by Ch*na.

We are praying, praying, praying. We sure could use your prayers, too! One thing we know for sure is this. . .God is bigger than anything this world has to offer. We are trusting in Him!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not your usual Monday!

One of my favorite things to do each morning before Philip gets up is to check our e-mail, other people's website that I follow, and look at our agency's Waiting Children's List (list of children with special needs) to see if there are any updates. This past Monday I did exactly that and quickly noticed around 100 new files had been added to the Waiting Children's List! I tried to access them but had difficulty doing so. That's when I made a phone call that might just change our lives!

I phoned our agency to explain that I couldn't access their files, and our coordinator said, "Good, I'm glad you called because I was just about to call you." It seems they had already locked in a little boy for us just a few minutes before!!! She said he was one and a half, had a cleft lip and cleft palate, and had a heart defect. Those were all conditions we had checked on our list of things we thought we could handle. She quickly e-mailed me his picture and medical information.

When I opened his picture, I was hooked. He had the cutest, roundest face with the biggest, roundest eyes looking so sad that I just wanted to reach out across the miles and gather him up in my arms. I immediately called Kevin at school and had him bring up his picture. As soon as he saw him, he was hooked too. We called Ted at college, but you know those college kids. He wasn't up yet, and I got his voice mail instead! I did get to talk to Ted personally later on, and he also was smitten with this child.

Kevin and I did worry about the severity of this little boy's heart defect. I immediately took his records to our pediatrician and explained to her office staff that we didn't have very much time to decide and that I was sorry to give them such short notice. They were all so sweet, smiling and all interested in his info. I left thinking I would hear from her in the early afternoon, still plenty of time to get our paperwork in to our agency. I later found out our agency needed our final paperwork no later than 5 o'clock our time. I found this out around 3:30 at which time I still hadn't heard from our doctor.

Kevin and I decided that since this little guy had a heart defect, we simply couldn't move forward and say yes without our doctor's input. When I called her shortly after 3:30, her staff reported she was swamped today and couldn't possibly review the file until 6 that night! That would be too late by then! I explained the situation to them, but they said they were sorry but she really, really was busy.

When Kevin got home from school, we discussed it and felt that if we were meant to have this child, God would move to help our doctor respond before time was up. We prayed off and on until about 10 minutes to 5 when Kevin said, "Well, time is almost up. It's now or never." With that, the phone rang. It was our doctor! She felt this little boy was in great health, and we could handle his heart condition. In fact, she said that the heart defect was small and may not need any surgery. She felt this little one would be a perfect fit for our family.


Please pray for China's heart to be open to accepting Kevin's long ago cancer history (I wrote about this in a previous post last week.) They told our agency just last week that due to Kevin having had a bout with cancer 22 years ago, we would need to be open to adopting a child much older and/or with much more severe needs or they wouldn't let us adopt from them - both of which we felt we couldn't do. We wrote in that post that after much prayer and soul-searching, we knew God was bigger than any person, agency, or country. We believed in HIM only! We still do! We continue to pray that if this is our child, then China will say yes to us!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baking for Teddy and Daddy

Philip and I spent a couple of days this past week baking for two of our favorite people! First, we sent cookies to Ted at college to help him through finals week. Kevin also got to enjoy some of those cookies for his birthday. Philip not only helped me make the cookies, but he also worked hard on coloring a picture for his brother and a birthday card for his daddy (Pompa as he likes to call Kevin). Then we worked hard on a birthday cake for Kevin yesterday. Kevin is really stretching out his birthday, that is for sure!

The busy baker and artist hard at work. See the creative mess around him!!

Concentration is key to creating a masterpiece.

"Hey, this is fun!"

A truly great chef always tastes his special creation!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day of Questioning

With all the grim news coming out of the international adoption community these days, I had a really hard day yesterday questioning what in the world we were supposed to do about our current adoption. It seems that Ch*na is beginning to say, "No, no, no!" to any and all history of cancer. Kevin had a bout with it in 1987 and is completely cured and has had NO reoccurrence since then. I checked with our adoption agency again yesterday on how realistic Ch*na seems now, and she got an answer from Beijing again. Same answer with a little different twist than before. They would consider us if we would be open to older children and/or more severe needs in children.

That answer seemed crushing in light that our homestudy agency does not recommend adopting anyone older than Philip (who just turned 4) because it might not be good for him if we disrupt the birth order! He needs to be the "alpha male" of little kids in our home!! I spent the next several hours researching our other options - other countries, perhaps domestic adoption which would be an infant, etc. . .

After much soul-searching, researching, and praying, Kevin and I came to exactly the same conclusion. We simply trust God more than we trust any person, agency, government, or country!! We trust in Him only and will lean not on our own understanding. He made it clear yesterday that He is in charge, and we are to still pursue Ch*na no matter what it looks like at the moment. Again we were reminded of His power over everything when we read last night that with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26).

We are thankful and grateful that the Lord is ultimately in charge and not man! We hold to God's promises told in His word. We love Him, and we trust Him no matter what!

Things I am thankful for on this Friday for Thankful Thursday yesterday!! . . .

1. God is in charge!

2. It is spring and new life abounds!

3. God is in charge!

4. I have a beautiful family who loves me.

5. God is in charge!

6. I have a beautiful family I love.

7. God is in charge!!

8. Philip wrote his name today all by himself!