Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's still not a choice

This morning I received an email I had hoped would never come. The worst case scenario laid out in writing.
We have known for a while a little more about Patrick then we first disclosed. He has cerebral palsy and he might have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. When the mission team visited several months ago he was a happy, smiling energetic baby boy. He did have delays because of his high tone but he was happy.
About six weeks ago we learned he had been hospitalized for a seizure due to a high fever. We have been waiting to get word about his condition. Because of his seizure it has increased his muscle tightness.  There may be brain damage.

As a mother who has experienced pregnancy loss, I can tell you this feels like several things. One being worried the orphanage will deem him not adoptable and will figure no one in their right mind would want this child. I can only liken it to feeling a huge loss all over again. A loss not of being able to bring him home, but knowing he would be left to suffer and eventually die.

Secondly, this feels like being pregnant and told your child will have serious issues. He may not live independently, he may die young. Some might even rationalize we have a choice. A choice to not impact our family, a choice to do hard, messy things. A choice to leave him.

We won't do it. We won't leave OUR CHILD to die. For now we will wait for a medical expedite on his file, have the appropriate specialists review the information, and proceed as fast as the system will allow to bring him home.

I pray we get to him in time.

Please pray for better care for him while we wait, please pray for him not to have any more seizures, and pray for our family as we begin a new journey. This one may not be covered in rainbows but it's what we are called to. I know most will not understand and it's okay if they don't. We only have to answer to God, and we have said "send me."

We are neither amazing nor courageous. We simply are incredibly messed up sinners being equipped for what we need when we need it.

Pray for our son.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Big Announcement

I know, I know. Two blog posts in one day after I haven't posted for weeks. It just so happens we are finally ready to announce publicly our news.


We aren't crazy.
We don't want to be like Brad & Angelina.

We simply
We have found.

Yes, a boy! I have known and loved him since before we traveled for Sophie. I knew in my heart he was ours and God was calling us to once again be obedient and say yes. To once again endure the criticism, endure the economic stretching, and paperwork process. Endure the waiting.

Waiting which we are doing and trying patiently to do. We do not have his file yet from China, which means yes, I could have my heart broken in not being able to bring him home. It is also why we cannot share his photo  or any other info at this time. In most likelihood though we will have a file sometime in November and the process will be official.
For now we are in the process of applying to immigration to be approved to adopt again abroad. We've already completed the process to update our home study.

Please pray for this process. Please pray for us.
We've gotten information from people who visited on a mission trip this summer and this poor baby boy is confined to his crib or a bumbo seat all day. The team  also told me anytime the team picked him up he was happy and smiling.
My heart is breaking for this beautiful boy who will turn two in January.

Earlier in my post I stated I knew he was ours from the moment I learned he was a boy and delayed like Isaac. I composed a letter to Chris expressing everything my heart felt. I am including the letter at the bottom of this page so you can better understand the power in God's calling.

Please pray for this little boy who is all alone.

My letter to Chris in April:

To my beloved,
I decided to write everything in my head down because for the last week it has been all I could focus on. I imagine it is somewhat like how you felt when you first felt called to adopt. It was all you could think about but didn’t know where to take it.
Boy, we have sure taken your calling and run with it! I cannot wait for our adventure back to China and our adventure to adopt sweet Sophie. I think she is going to be amazing, but even if our trip is crazy and Sophie hates our guts, God is good all the time.

So back to my heart. Ever since I saw the red haired baby’s picture I couldn’t stop thinking about him/her. When Diana wrote me and said he was a “he” and he was possibly delayed like Isaac I felt more in my heart than if she had told me he was on target.

I know it would be scary financially, but everything else I feel very confident about. We know this baby doesn’t have a chance being a boy, delayed, and in China. Not very many families are moving forward to adopt a boy or a visually impaired, delayed child.

I believe in my heart he is our son. I believe his name is Patrick Louis (for your mom).
I know we can make a difference and can indeed save “one more.”

We don’t have to decide anything now. His file is NOT prepared yet, so we would be able to see how life is with Sophie. We could do an update to our home study when Sara comes at 6 weeks post placement. We could reuse Sophie’s dossier up to a year after her Gotcha date.  

He could stay in the crib in Summer’s room until he was old enough to room with Isaac. We wouldn’t have to repaint because I picked the colors for that room to grow with a boy theme. We’re already going to be at the therapy place a ton because Isaac ages out of EI. and we could just use our insurance for all the therapies at Trish’s clinic. Trish has looked at his video for me and believes he is actually a little better off than Isaac was at that age. He has no flat head, and can lift his head on his stomach and can rotate his trunk. He just needs US!

I believe we were blessed with your job because God has great things planned for us. People already look to what we are doing and God gets the glory In a million years I never thought I could do this but I feel in my heart I can. I feel God transforming me in a way I hadn’t felt before.

I read this last week and I thought it applied here…

The Door God Opens Will Require You to Depend on Him
God is not going to give us something that will alienate us from him or make us believe we no longer need him. He is a God of relationship, and a God who insists upon being first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, if you find yourself saying “I can’t do this unless God goes before me,” or “I can do this, but only with God’s help and leading” I would say, in my personal experience, it’s likely something God is calling you to do. Hebrews 11:6says: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.” Many times an “open door” from God is one that allows our faith to be stretched and strengthened. That, after all, is God’s objective for us: to grow in faith and Christ-likeness.

You can…
·         Still go hunting as much as before
·         Still ride your motorcycle
I feel confident
·         I could travel alone or with Summer or Leann
·         We could hire someone to help with all the kids for while I am gone
·         I can take care of all these kids!
·         God HAS called us to this.

We do not have to decide about him now. We have time. We can talk to Richard in person about him more. I just want you to pray about him.
I love you with all my heart.


Sophie's 4th Birthday

I am going to begin with a confession. I LOVE Hello Kitty. My own birthday is in October. So when it was very apparent Sophie shared my love of Hello Kitty early on, my creative mojo started flowing. Since bringing Sophie home, I spend a good deal of time sitting with her and Ellie as they fall asleep. During this time I would scroll through Pinterest for party ideas. There were so many wonderful ideas and I got to work planning and narrowing down which ideas I would use. I also had many left over supplies from when we hosted a Hello Kitty themed party for Brittany when she turned 19.
Sophie and Isaac attend therapies for an hour and a half each week, which allowed me to search for items for the party. I found many things at Goodwill and Target, but my biggest score was the ceramic figurines including the #4 Birthday girl, at NINETY percent off at a Hallmark store in our mall. To me, ninety percent off is almost FREE!

Sophie understood all the party prep, and she would get excited anytime I worked on a craft or printable. She would exclaim "my party" almost as if asking a question. I knew she had never celebrated her birthday in a big way with a party and could hardly wait for party day. Her special day.
We were especially excited to not only celebrate her birthday, but the home coming of her foster sister, Gabi. Gabi and Sophie spent nearly their entire lives together in China, either in the orphanage or in their foster home. They shared a close bond. I always wanted to contact my agency and request they place Gabi with a family near us in Illinois, but I also knew I didn't need to try and do God's work for Him! My only prayer was I would be able to know where Gabi ended up, and how we could always keep in touch. Several months ago we found out Gabi was being adopted in Illinois and she would be living less than an hour away! God is so gracious!

Gabi was able to attend the party and reunite with Sophie. Having only been home with her family a couple of weeks, Gabi was overwhelmed at first. Sophie seemed a bit confused, but by cake time she was bossing her "mei mei" around like I am sure she did when they lived in China.
Gabi's mom excitedly texted me on their way home to let me know Gabi had shouted out "Wo Ay Ni Sophie" (I love you Sophie), as if she had made the connection. We plan to always keep in touch and get the girls together many times a year as they grow up. It's an important connection and we are so blessed to be able to do this.

Sophie loved every aspect of her party and she loved being the center of attention. 
While not every party will be this extravagant, her birthday from now on will always be special.

Sophie and her "Mei Mei" reunited!