Saturday, June 21, 2014

And here we go again...

    We hear " you're crazy" often.  I doesn't bother me.  There are days when I tell myself how crazy we are! As I'm running late to church ( yes I overslept because I was up every two hours all night feeding goats or piggies)   and realize someone put the three year old in the car with no shoes, my seven year old son, decided to put his pj shirt back on at the last min, ( and I didn't see it until I looked in the rear view mirror)  and oh yes, the goat milk spilled all over my pants as I was running back from the barn, and I couldn't change them even if I had time because that mountain in the laundry room is not Mt. Everest, it's dirty laundry for nine people! So, when someone says how crazy I am, I'm thinking, " you have no idea!" But, for every hectic, crazy moment, my life is filled with twice as many blessed moments.  Not a day goes by that I dont get a love note,( adorable crayon scribbles telling me that I'm the greatest mom in the world).  I fall asleep to little hands and " I lub you Mama" 's I wake up to giggling voices climbing all over me, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  All the chaos, all the noise, and all of the mess, can not even match all of the love and laughter that fills my heart! So when God opened the doors for us to go back to China, and get the precious little boy, with the huge smile, that followed us around the children's home, we couldn't be happier! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

     Okay, so the first month home has been busy to say the least, so I've totally neglected the blog.  Some might think if you already have six kids that adding a seventh might not change the routine much, but when you factor in all that goes with adjustment and the sleep deprivation of being up all night with a child whose body is on a different time zone, our past month was has been some readjusting. We feel so blessed that Amy IS adjusting wonderfully though! She has days where she is a little tearful but overall is very happy almost all of the time! She has loved trying new things and joins right in with everything we do.... She's amazing, smart and so kind!



( Amy at the lake, getting " messy feet" )



She's joined the ranks of " Daddy's girls"


..and loves wrestling with big brother..

...and dressing up like a princess...

First day of church...


and she loves teaching" little sister" all sorts of funny things! 

Amy Joy was the perfect name as she fills our house with joy every day!!




Sunday, February 23, 2014

China 2014

I apologize to all who were wanting to follow the blog.  Facebook and the blog were blocked in China. It was disappointing but I've learned with international adoption you have to just be flexible, as many things don't go the way you plan, I guess that's part of the adventure! 
     Our trip to China went well, but we were so tired by the time we arrived! We flew to Shanghai and then caught a flight to Fuzhou. We probably looked like zombies Saturday night when we got off of the plane in Fuzhou.  Things were a bit confusing as someone other than our guide picked us up at the airport, but we managed to get to the hotel and check in with no issues.  We met the guide the next day to go get Amy at the Civil Affairs office.  When she arrived, she informed us that the plans had changed, and we'd be picking up Amy at a hotel.  Hey, we didn't care where, we just wanted to meet her!! We took a taxi to the hotel and after the cab left, found out it was the wrong hotel and it was the time we were supposed to pick her up.  The guide said there would not be time to catch another taxi that we needed to just run over to the other hotel...which would have been easier had it not been pouring rain.  We were so excited to meet her we didnt care at that point!  When we arrived, ( a little wet) she was sitting in a chair, playing with some magnetic letters.  She kept looking at us out of the corner of her eye, and then handed us letters one at a time, saying the name of each.  When they told her we were her family, she said she knew that. :)  She let us hold her and pulled the book we sent her out of her bag, and pointed at each of our pictures, and then at us, saying " Mom and Dad"  The passport pictures were funny as they had to take over 15, since she decided to make a silly face or pose for each one.  We realized we had a little tease on our hands- ha ha. 

She was a little frightened of her first bath since she'd never been bathed in a tub. but now asks for a " bubble bath" every time she's in the bathroom.  She was very quiet the first few days, and woke up throughout the night, afraid, but each day we noticed her opening up to us a little more, and starting to smile.  She copied my every move. If I read my novel, then she'd sit in the same position and read, ect.  She even went in the bathroom after me and tried to wear my makeup. We were absolutely shocked at how smart she is.  She can speak English, Chinese and Sign Language. 


We had many paperwork appointments, but also found time to visit some museums and parks, and learn more about the Chinese culture...


One of the best days we had was when we had the opportunity to visit Hidden Treasures, the home Amy was in. What an amazing place, ran by the most incredible people.  Rick and I were so moved by their passion to rescue special needs children. God is doing amazing things there, and we felt so blessed to visit.  The love and care Amy received there is reflected very much in her personality and development! We hope to one day return there with the older children on missions trips. 

We traveled all around china by taxi, bus and plane, and amy was an excellent traveler.  she loved taking in all the sights and was excited about everything we did.  She especially like flying.
 After a week in her province we flew down to Guangzhou where we had her medical exam..

and Consulate appointment...


We were so excited when Cindy ( whose living in Beijing right now) flew down to meet her new little sister. She really wanted to come home with us, so it was hard to say goodbye..



We had a wonderful time in China, but missed the kids here so much! We are glad to be home, and will share more pics later. ( Probably in the middle of the night, since a certain little Chinese girl is not sleeping! )







Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Week!!

I still can't believe that THIS is the week we travel to meet Amy! One week from today, at 3:00 pm, I will meet my daughter for the first time! It was last March that God led us to adopt Amy. The past eleven months have been a journey of paperwork, fundraising, and a lot of faith.  Adoption is not easy, it's a hard journey, but so worth it! And while the primary focus is on saving the life of a child, during the process our lives are changed and shaped, for the better.  I am not the same mom I was when I adopted my first child.  Through four adoptions, I have learned many things, and God has shaped me in ways I never thought He would. 
One of the many amazing things that have come out of our adoptions are the incredible friends that God has blessed us with through the process every time.  With Amy's adoption coming right after YiXi's financing was a struggle, and our friends stood by us, generously gave, made calendars, hosted fundraisers ect. We were so blessed! God provided in a miraculous way, and today, five days before travel, Amy's adoption is FULLY paid for!! Praising God for all He has done, and all He will do! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Not by our efforts...

I'm the type that does not sit back well and wait.  I like to try to solve issues, on my own.  I will loose sleep for nights at a time with my mind solving and figuring. The adoptions are no different.  I have dreamed  up every idea under the sun to fundraise for Amy's adoption.  This month as the time has grown closer and the amount we need to get her home is still overwhelmingly large, I've been even worse...staying up half the night painting haibow holders, and making flowered hats, initiating coin drives, printing inserts, support letters, auctions, drawings ect.  My absolute crazy schedule has brought me not much closer to Amy. Many of my brilliant ideas have been absolute failures! 
     I stayed home from church Sunday with some kids who weren't feeling well, and was watching the sermon online.  Pastor John said, " Be careful you don't limit the working of God to your ability to figure things out." I sat in front of the computer crying. I have so been doing that!  When we first heard of Amy I told God there was no way, we could not afford another adoption six months after bringing YiXi home from China, and that day, through many events, I received God's promise that He would provide.  We committed to Amy with no idea how we'd fund her adoption but knowing God had never failed us! 
   As this year has gone, I've found myself limiting God to my ideas, and in my quiet time with Him this week, I've heard His gentle reminder..He is faithful. 
   I thought of George Muller who trusted God's provision for that moment, even to the point of setting the table and sitting the orphans in his care down to dinner, where there was no food, knowing that God would bring it in time to eat! ...and God did! Not before lest we trust in our own efforts, but in perfect timing that we can see the fullness of God's faithfulness.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Heart of Adoption



     While this song is of our relationship with God, I heard it and thought of adoption. This month has been a struggle to me, knowing Amy's adoption is almost complete and still not having the funds needed to bring her home.  I thought of how much easier adoption would be if we had the money first...then I realized that if I had taken the time to save up that amount of money, the children I had chosen would have died.  Their health and nutrition so poor upon their arrival home that many would not have lived.  When Benjamin came home from Haiti, the doctor told us, he would not have survived two more weeks.  Maybe thats why God places in the adoptive Mams heart this desperation to rescue that child, that Mama's love.  As crazy as it might be, it's there before you ever meet them, this fierce desire to rescue and protect them from harm at all costs, to cross the highest mountain.  For Benjamin, that was to sell everything we could, yes including our furniture.  And just in time, he was rescued.  I held that sick little baby, sitting on that old blue hide-a-bed someone donated to us after we sold the living room couch, and I looked at those brown eyes, and knew no couch or bed in the world was worth more than that little life.  And to little Amy, Mama would cross the deepest ocean, or climb the highest mountain to get to you too, because I already love you that much!  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Well this one was a busy week for Amys adoption...lots of paperwork. 
      We received our NVC letter and filed our DS260.  Our paperwork gets dropped off in China as we wait 14 days for our Article 5.  We also applied for Chinese entry visas and had a conference call with WACAP.  Whew... many areas colored on our adoption map in one week! And each one brings us closer to meeting Amy! Travel dates are still unknown at this time, as waits for travel notice vary.  We do know its getting close though! It's harder to be patient now that it is so close, and I feel like I'm ten months pregnant! Hopefully I am not  as grouchy as if I were 10 months pregnant as we go through the final steps! Haha 
Thank-you to everyone for the wonderful donations this week! What a blessing those are!