Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trusting Him

Yesterday, several huge tornadoes destroyed areas throughout Alabama.  The death toll is close to around 200.  Thirty minutes from us, Tuscaloosa has major damage.  This is a city that we love and we're heartbroken watching the coverage and seeing photos of the damage.  Please pray for the families who have lost loved ones and everything that they own. 
As the storms raged all around us, our family was safe in our basement...all but one of us.  Unless you've waited to bring your child home from across the world, it's hard to explain how it feels.  I was heartsick yesterday because all three of my children were not with me.  We go through our daily routines, but part of us is missing.  It's so strange because we didn't even know about Lily until around a month of ago.  Now, everything is different and I just want our family all together.
God once again reminded me that He is in control and has the perfect plan for our family.  Mary Ashtyn planted a little flower garden when we found out about our Lily coming home.  She planted some day lilies but they had not bloomed.  She worried about her garden all during the storms last night.  I woke up early this morning to check on the storm damage in Alabama.  I stepped outside to check on the flowers and saw this.....
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   Jeremiah 29:11

This lily reminded me that God is holding my Lily until she is in our arms!  So thankful that God is always in control!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lily's Bedding

Lily's bedding was delivered today.  I can't wait to decorate her room.  I've ordered all the matching accessories for her , valences, pillows,  ladybugs for her wall...anything I can find!  The four of us are so excited!!  It breaks my heart that 13 hours away, she is sleeping in a crowded room with nothing of her own.  We have so much for her here and want so badly to share it with her.  I look at her pictures and video and it hurts because I want to just scoop her up and hug her.  Waiting is so hard, but we know God has the perfect plan for us and our little one.
Please pray for us to not be too trust God's timing.  Our fingerprints have been received by SBCN for processing, pray it goes smoothly.  Pray that Lily will stay strong and healthy and that God is preparing her heart for our family.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Three weeks ago, we thought our family was complete.  Now,this family picture is missing our Lily Joy!!  It is hard to believe that we will be a family of five, hopefully, before this time next year.  Mary Ashtyn is holding the doll that we are sending to Lily.  Praying that very soon we'll be holding our real doll for a complete family photo.
We love you, Lily!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Trent and I are busy, busy cleaning today, making room for a 6 year old and lots of new toys!!  The four of us are so excited to bring this little girl home.  If we could just make this paperwork move quickly.  I am trying to remember that God's timing is perfect and she'll be here exactly when He plans it.  It's just so hard because we are so ready to love her NOW!!
Her hip x-rays came on Thursday, so we are waiting for an appointment with the ortho specialist so that she can review them.  Please pray with us for good results.  Whatever the outcome, we have peace knowing that God meant for Lily to be ours.  We will praise Him for leading us to our daughter.
Her first doll was delivered today.  We are going to make some pics of us holding it, then send it to her with another family who is traveling to bring their children home in May.  I wish I could see her face when she gets it. I know we'll get to see her reactions to so many "firsts", but it's hard knowing we're missing so much.
Please pray that our fingerprints that we had done on Wednesday will be processed quickly so that we can get our first round of clearances completed.  Pray for our Lily...that her heart is being prepared for us, to be loved and hugged and spoiled rotten.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An update

 Late last night, I was reading some of the required adoption reading materials, when I heard my e-mail notification.  When I checked, we had 3 new pictures of Lily!!!  Sheri, from Gifts to China with Love, sent us a short update with the pics.   Our Lily is a little doll!!  She is sitting at a tiny desk in her classroom.  She is working hard drawing pictures.  We were so proud to see that she is drawing a person with eyes, a mouth, arms, and even fingers.  I think she must be a genius...LOL.  The update from the orphanage director did said that she is very smart and outgoing.  She loves to talk and laugh!!  She is going to fit perfectly into our family :)  She has already made such a difference in our lives.  I am so thankful that God led us to this sweet little girl.
Trent and I got fingerprints done and in the mail today for our state clearances.  Seeing the new pictures of Lily has really motivated us to get busy on the paperwork.
Please pray with us that these fingerprints and clearances will be approved quickly.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Finding Lily (2)

On Wednesday (3/23/11), Trent called Lisa at Lifeline to find out more about "Angela".  He found out that another family placed her "on hold" that morning.  This meant that they had 2 weeks to review her medicals and decide if they wanted to move forward to adopt her.  When I talked to him around 10:00 am and found out that there was nothing we could do at this point, I was so upset.  I went back to my classroom and cried.  I felt so strongly that she was meant to be mine, but was trying to come to terms with the fact that God had other plans.  For the next three days, I prayed for this little girl and the family that had a big decision to make.  I also grieved for her...wishing that we were the family getting to make that decision!!  My kids grieved for her and talked about her.   None of us could let her go.  I barely slept on Thursday night just thinking about her.  I could see her so clearly with our family.  I prayed most of the night for God to give me peace.  I just got this feeling that she was supposed to be a part of our family.  On Friday morning, I e-mailed Lisa just to ask that she please let us know when the family decided to move forward with the adoption.  I needed some closure and peace of mind that this sweet little girl would find a family.  Lisa responded immediately (as usual) that she would be in contact as soon as she heard anything.  By Friday afternoon, I was drained.  Reece had a practice game, but I decided to stay home.  After everyone left, I checked my e-mail.  Lisa had sent another e-mail...I was shocked to read that the other family was NOT moving forward with the paperwork to adopt "Angela".  I ran through my empty house screaming like a crazy person.  I knew that I had to get to Trent to tell him and find out if he wanted me to put her "on hold" for us.  I drove like a maniac to the baseball field.  As soon as he saw me jump out of my car (that I left in the road, oops), he knew what was going on.  When I made it to the fence, he said "they let her go, didn't they?".   We quickly decided that, of course, we would put her on hold and I hurried back home to e-mail and call Lisa.  By 7:00 pm that same night, we had heard back from a Dr. who reviewed the medicals and videos that I had forwarded to her.  She gave us a very optimistic report and we knew that we had a huge decision to make.  Honestly, we were a little scared.  This little girl has a hip dislocation....she walks in a crouched position.  The Dr. told us that she may not ever walk normally or she may walk following a tough surgery and recovery with extensive rehab.  We won't know until she can be examined.  After watching her video, it's obvious that she is one determined little girl...full of life and joy :)  As we talked about what to do, we were in turmoil.  We weren't planning on a third child, but God was sure opening doors for this one to be a part of our family.  We decided to have a movie night and not make a decision until we rested and prayed a lot more.  Before we started our  movies, I had found a blog of a family who had a daughter from the same orphanage who was around the same age as "Angela".  I e-mailed her to see if she had seen this sweet girl when they adopted their daughter, Hope, around 6 months earlier.  Two movies later, around 1:00 am, Trent and I were on the couch talking when I checked my e-mail.  We were both amazed to read that the family I had contacted not only knew of "Angela" but their daughter, Hope, had talked to her on the phone since she'd been home!!!   We realized they lived in Auburn, only a few hours from us!! If this little girl was meant to be ours, she had a friend that close...WOW!  They went on to say how badly she wanted a family of her own.  Our hearts broke to think of that sweet little girl wanting a family...NO child should be without a family to love them.  God kept gently showing us that she was meant to be ours, but we were still scared.  After another long night with no sleep, we were wide awake and discussing our decision.  Trent sat on one couch and me on the other, both of us on our laptops, watching her video over and over.  The decision seemed so easy when we focused on her.  I got an e-mail from another family whose blog I had found.  She just wanted me to know that she had been praying for us and wanted to check in.  Her e-mail closed with a quote from Hudon Taylor, a missionary to China in the 1800's,  "Every great work of God, first is impossible, then it is difficult, and then it is done".  I read this to Trent and he kept asking me to repeat it.  As it sank in , he looked at me and said, "ok, let's go get her"!!!!!!!!!  We both knew without a doubt that she was ours.  God gave us complete peace about it.  We have always tried to follow God's will for our lives, but have never felt so strongly that we are exactly where He wants us to be.  By the end of the day we had notified the agency of our plans to move forward and started on paperwork.  We also chose our sweet girl's name...Lily, which means beauty.  Our beauty is coming home!!!

We found out yesterday (4/08/11) that we have been granted Preliminary Approval (PA) to move forward with the adoption.  This is 4 days after submitting our paperwork to China.  God is so good!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding Lily

Our family of four is growing!!!  Two weeks ago, we saw a video of the sweetest little face that is changing our lives.  A co-worker told me about an adoption agency in Birmingham and I decided to check it out when I got home.  As I was looking at the site, I clicked on the waiting children photolisting.  I scrolled through the pictures and clicked on several videos to watch.  I do this often and although I thought all the children were precious, I was just looking...we had NO plans to add to our family.  UNTIL, I clicked on "Angela" (not her name, just how she is identified by the agency) and fell in love.  I couldn't stop looking at the videos and finally e-mailed the agency about her at 6:17 pm.  Three whole minutes later, her medicals were waiting in my inbox with a message from Lisa from the agency...still available for adoption.  By the time Trent came in from baseball practice, I was anxious for him to see the video.  He has said for years that our family is complete and we would never have 3 children.  At this point, I was so emotional...I just wanted him to tell me that I was crazy and to forget about it :)   He watched quietly and then agreed that she was a doll.  Most importantly, he didn't say no.   As he got up to load the dishwasher, I sat watching her over and over and started crying.  I went to Trent and he held me as I said over and over that I didn't want to want her.  But I couldn't let her go.  Since he does adoption homestudies, I asked him to please try to find her a family.   After I stopped crying, I called a close friend to have her look at the videos.  As we were talking, I was urging her to share the website with another couple who was interested in adopting.  As I'm begging her to do this, Trent holds up his hands and says, "don't give her away"!!!  He couldn't get her out of his mind either.  Neither of us understood what was going on, but we went to bed with a plan to call the agency the next morning.  I don't think we slept, I prayed for this little girl most of the night and for God to show us what He wanted us to do....
To be continued