Sunday, January 27, 2013

God's Story

Can I just tell you God has a funny sense of humor? No, really he does! When we as humans try and steer life by our own hands, He has a way of reminding us our ways are not His ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

For several weeks now, God has been moving rapidly in His own timing, and giving me little glimpses along the way. I started cleaning and organizing Wy's old bedroom in preparation for Ellie to move into a "big girl" room. One day, she was playing as I was organizing I told her the room was going to be her big-girl room and the bed, her new, big-girl bed. She had lots of fun climbing in and out of the somewhat boyish, but rails all around, twin bed. Later in the afternoon as we prepared for her nap she asked "big girl bed?" All I could think is sure, we have time and if it doesn't work, back to the crib she would go. No rush, right? I mean at that point my paperwork was still with the courier. We hadn't even sent it to China. Big girl bed was a big hit! She napped peacefully and went to bed with out a peep. She's been there ever since. New bedding arrived the following week and I settled into nesting and decorating her room, all while promising God I would be patient in my waiting. Our paperwork got to China in record time! Then this past Monday our social worker called to give us our Log in Date (LID). For all you non-adoption speak folks, THIS WAS HUGE NEWS AND LIGHTENING FAST TIMING! I had been praying in the morning, again telling God I knew I had to be patient and settle in for the long wait. Then the email arrived with the news of our LID. I thought, wow, this is moving really fast. First, the smooth transition of Ellie into her new room, then the very rare, ultra fast LID. In fact I had prepared my caseworker, who took over at the end of our adoption with Ellie, the process for Ellie,her LID and match was with in two weeks, just so she would know to hold my hand a little and update me as time went on because I wasn't used to waiting.
On Thursday, after Ellie being sick with a cold the whole week, finally on the mend and me just wanting to get out of the house, I decided we needed to go to the big Target in our area. We have three nearby, but I just don't get to the great big one very often. Just like a mom in waiting, I headed straight for the baby aisle. (After loading Ellie up with a bag of popcorn so she would let me shop) I found the perfect double stroller, for just under half price. I couldn't believe it. I thought, wow, something is happening. Something fast. I brought the stroller home and wondered where the story would go next.
The next day, Friday I woke up very grumpy. It was a cold, gray day and I only had chores and laundry facing me. I did however have some super cute photos of Ellie I had taken and wanted to quickly try a couple of new editing techniques. It was mid-morning when my phone range. I looked at my phone and it said the state my agency was located, but the caller id didn't identify it as my agency. Normally I would have let it go to voicemail, but I answered. At first when I said hello and the woman asked if this was Julie, I thought, bummer, sales call. But then she identified herself as our caseworker! I don't know why I didn't recognize the voice but I guess I was already prepared for a "junk phone call." My heart skipped a beat, when she identified herself as our caseworker. She then asked if we no longer had our land line? I thought, shoot, she's just updating her file information. We chatted briefly about the need/non need of land lines, when she got to the real reason she was calling...

Our agency had a file, it was a special need we had at the top of our list, it was a young baby (7 months) and...........IT WAS A BOY! Our agency had been busy late the night before, trying to match other families who had been waiting a while. We weren't even being considered for a match. But when our agency's director saw the baby and his special need, she knew in her heart this baby was meant for us, and locked the file.

Did we want to review the file?I thought for a moment. I had tried to drive the bus as Chris calls it. I didn't even let our state caseworker put three little letters into our homestudy B O Y
Margaret assured me it was no problem. I said sure, send me the file. My heart was racing. Where was he from? Would it be an orphanage with better care or a rundown scary facility? What did he look like? She told me we were up against a time frame deadline and she could be reached by cell after hours. I quickly hung up the phone, opened my email and began to cry at the awesomeness of God. This little boy was beautiful, perfect, and I knew he was mine. I also know that God was laughing because the night before at ladies bible study I had told two moms of only boys, I only wanted girls. When I saw this little boy, I knew I was his mother and all my wants, my likes no longer mattered. I was his mom.

So, now I knew all these things, but Chris was sitting with out a clue at work. When he called back I excitedly told him about the baby. He was still a little afraid because the special need requires we use a lot of sunscreen. If you know Chris personally, you know, he's not a great at applying sunscreen. I assured him we could handle it, I had immersed myself in learning about this need ever since he brought up the idea of adoption the first time.
After about ten minutes of discussing things and me answering most of his questions, he said "let's do it!" Let's make him ours!
I couldn't wait to tell the kids. Wyatt had begged us to consider a baby boy, he wanted a brother so much. I had told him then, what I wanted. He has been talking nonstop ever since about not being the "only boy."
This morning as we spent time in worship, I was overwhelmed at how awesome God is. This little boy is so beautiful, and all I can think about is how he will be a part of our family at such an early age in his life.
Back in July, as we prepared for our yard sale, knowing the little girl we had begun the journey again for had been already matched with a family, we KNEW God still had big plans for us. When I look back now I realize our baby boy was exactly four weeks old! We were both starting a journey, which is still being written.
How great is our God!

Friday, January 25, 2013

I am bursting full of excitement which I cannot share at this point. So I decided to share the photos I took yesterday of Ellie. I wanted to take some of her for Valentine's Day. When the big kids were little Valentine's Day was really special. I loved Valentine themed clothing and making handmade valentines.
Here is our little sweetheart!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We are DTC!!!

Wow, I cannot believe I was able to correctly compile all our paperwork! With Ellie's adoption, I let our amazing agency do this step and even though they are awesome, doing it myself saved us around a thousand dollars. I also felt comfortable doing it, having paperwork to compare with. Our agency sent our dossier to China this week and it should be received by week's end. I feel so blessed we were able to write the check for the full amount for this step and did not have to delay getting our paperwork to China. All those sleepless nights (right, Leslie?) sure paid off! I never doubted God would provide, but I knew we had to do the hard work! Our trivia night was a huge success and I am still overjoyed at the love and support which was shown to us and the little girl who is only known to God at the moment.  We still will need to continue to look to God to be faithful and provide for the last steps of our journey. We are hopeful our tax credit for Ellie's adoption will bring us close to the full amount, but I know it will be provided for us. We have been blessed so much already! Ellie continues to amaze us! She can count past ten, recognizes shapes, colors, numbers and letters and much more. She transitioned into her big girl room with enthusiasm and pride. She is my buddy during the day and I can't imagine our life with out her. God IS great!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Waiting is THE hardest thing! I remember our first journey just a little over a year ago. We were waiting on our Letter of Approval (LOA) for Ellie and I was about to lose it! Along the way, God had given me little signs of encouragement to keep me going. We had only been matched a month with Ellie, when Chris had a bad accident in a softball game. He was hit on the head with a softball and we spent several scary days in the hospital. The day of the accident, I had found my dream bedding for Ellie's room at Goodwill! I couldn't believe it! I had only a week earlier, been shopping online and had told Chris if money was no object I would want a specific pink and green dragonfly set. Anyone who knows me, knows dragonflies are my trademark. So when I found this set, I was overjoyed. I couldn't believe I found the exact thing my heart desired along with a Goodwill price. I felt it was confirmation we were on the right path to Ellie. Later that day when Chris had his accident, I felt God knew I would need some big time encouragement in the days to follow.
Chris did recover but it took many weeks, and as he recovered, we waited. Just after Thanksgiving I thought I couldn't wait any longer. We had received one update about Ellie, the update being she was in the hospital with pneumonia! Apparently in the fall of 2011, you couldn't be a member of our family with out visiting the hospital and Ellie was no different! Unlike the rest of my family however, Ellie was alone with out her family while she was hospitalized. The wait seemed endless.
The week of Thanksgiving I had gotten word another adoptive mom had gotten her LOA on Thanksgiving. I was a little bitter but had to remind myself, her whole dossier had gotten lost and she had been waiting a lot longer. Then the following Monday our agency posted to Facebook they had received five LOA's! Oh the agony! Would my phone ring? The came word they had received another delivery and there were actually TEN LOA's! I thought "if mine isn't in there I am just going to lose it right this minute!" An hour later we got the call!!!!!!
 Later in the week I found I had won a charm from Jiayin Designs. I had seen a post on Jiayin Designs Facebook about a "Julie in cyberspace waiting for LOA", and I thought wait "I am JULIE WAITING ON LOA!" Turns out I had entered a contest (my first ever) on her blog and had not left my contact info. So she resorted to a plea on Facebook. I was sure glad I hadn't missed the post!
It was THE best week! The minute I got the charm (of Ellie's Chinese name) I wore it everywhere. I never took it off in China. Towards the end of our trip we ate in a restaurant in Guangzhou.  As we were leaving the two hostesses were talking and pointing to me, and saying Ellie's Chinese name "Han Shuang", I looked at them and smiled and said "that is my baby's name." Deep down though, I knew why they were giggling. You see, Han Shuang is also the name of a Chinese actress. I would compare it to being like a Chinese woman walking around America with Angelina Jolie's name around her neck!  We're back in the process to adopt again, and if you would have told me this a year ago I would have told you, you were crazy! We don't yet know who our child is, or what her Chinese name is, but you can bet I'll have a charm with her name too!

Me with Ellie in Guangzhou wearing my charm!