Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big Weekend

Awesome signs courtesy of  Kelly Ratcliff of Collinsville, Illinois
Wow! It's been a hectic few weeks! Every since we decided to answer the call to adopt again, we have been BUSY! We know God is faithful, but we also know we must do some of the hard work. Since this is His timing not ours, we were not prepared financially, nor could we be having just returned from our first adoption in China. We decided to start out having a fundraiser yard sale to raise the money for some of the fees we need to begin. I had been organizing and cleaning out closets ever since our return home from China. I knew I would not be able to get organized enough for our big city wide sale in June with Ellie demanding most of my time. Being two and all, it's her job. I continued to put stuff away, organized as if in my mind I was having a yard sale. When we decided we were going ahead with our journey, we put the word out to family and friends, cleaned out EVERYTHING we could find to sell and went to work. Donations of furniture, knick knacks, and more bags of clothes than you could imagine poured in. We cleaned the garage in 106 degree heat. On Monday ten members of our church's youth group pitched in and help carry up items, price and organize. Good friends stopped by to help sort, or to lend a helping hand with child care.

 I am over joyed to report two awesome affirmations from God...1) During horrible, record setting high heat, for most of the month of July...Friday, the first day of the sale, there was continual cloud cover and a high of barely 90 degrees by end of day. Most of the day was a gentle breeze and pleasant, cool weather. Saturday was a bit warmer but still very pleasant. 2) And this is the best part.... we made TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS! Enough to begin to start again. It's a long road but it will be worth it! We can't save them all but we can save at least one more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Last night I was putting Ellie's scrapbook away in our fireproof locker for safe keeping. It was given to us on gotcha day and it contains photos of her first year, including when she was just days old. Most adoptive parents are not given such a wonderful valuable gift. I studied the photos like I had never had before, knowing I was tucking it away for safe keeping. For the first time I noticed a photo, of Ellie when she was about a year old, covered in scabies bites from head to toe. I realized then for the first time how hard the first almost two years of her life had been. We can't even imagine. We see this beautiful, intelligent, sassy, smiling toddler and can't even imagine what she endured in the first months of life.

We know there is one more who needs us.

Today the one who lives in darkness tried to discourage. He doesn't like when Christians are obedient and he lights fires wherever he can. Today we heard the words spoken, "you're too old", "China is a scary place to take your oldest child", "you'll die soon." Really, we're going to die....soon? Who knew?

We know this will be a hard road, we have no funds saved for a second adoption, we know we have to pretty much start all over with paperwork. We're willing to sacrifice everything of value to get her home. "Stuff" has no meaning anymore.

Pastor David Platt has written about Christians living radically. Many love to attend secret church simulcasts and then go back home, back to their same living. Unchanged. I can't really express it more than the following words, which I stumbled across today (accident? I don't think so) and the writer so graciously has allowed me to use whatever words bring glory to God. So here thoughts only written so thoughtfully by someone else I've never met. The beauty of it being I didn't have to expend brain cells thinking!

We are...

in love with Jesus.


imperfect parents.

sinners saved by grace.

completely dependent upon the Father.

disappointed in ourselves daily.

adopting again.

Yes, we are.

We've pondered this little announcement.

Honestly, if we could do this privately, we would probably opt for that.

But maybe the journey has much to do with the destination.

Because we know we are not equipped.

We know we are not capable.

We know we are not strong enough.

But we know the One who is all the above and so much more!

We realize we need to look to Him for assurance now more than ever.

And we trust Him for direction every step of the way.

As someone has so beautifully said, 'kids are dying.'

And yet we go on with our comfy life.

Can we 'save' them all?


Can we make a difference for one?


Probably the biggest difference is made in our own hearts.

We are being refined.

We are NOT, I repeat NOT 'working our way to heaven.'

That deal is done. Sealed. When Jesus died on the cross and we (in our much-adult years) surrendered our lives to Him.

This is what we know:

There are over 147 million orphans

We are one family

There is this one little girl

We are her family

Someday maybe she will follow hard after the Lord

For now, we are committed to work wholeheartedly to bring her home

And we can't make this journey a private one because we are fundraising our way to her

Oh, the 'F' word

But the sooner we start fundraising, the sooner she comes home

We can't wait to share her with you

We cherish your prayers

In 50 years this won't make any difference to the nay-sayers, but it will surely have made a difference for us and for one little girl.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tonight we enjoyed some of the Key lime pie Auntie Leann left us. Then we decided to have a "Key Lime Facial"

Then we got silly!

So we had to have a bath right then!