Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"We almost could have missed this!"

"In a defining moment in your life, you either step forward in faith and power or you step backward in fear." -James Arthur Ray

I saw this quote on another adoption blog, and it struck me because just minutes before I read that quote, I was thinking about something very similar.  In an adoption video created by Steven and Mary Beth Chapman, they say something that has rolled through my mind over and over.  When talking about the amazing journey of adoption, they said, "We almost could have missed this."  And I'm struck by that myself.  We almost could have missed this!!  

When we first learned of Reece's Rainbow's website, we could have looked at all those precious faces of special needs children who are waiting for forever families and then walked away.  It was a choice to either enter into a child's pain or to say a quick prayer and never look at those faces again.  How many other times in my life have I seen a need but then walked away, turned my head, wanted to DO something but felt powerless to help?  What would have happened if we would have let one of the dozens of concerns stop us (we don't have the money...we don't have a big house...we don't want to burden ourselves with therapy for a special needs child...we already have a "complete" family, etc etc etc...I'm good at excuses!)?  

What would we be doing today if we had not stepped forward to adopt one of these treasures?  I can tell you that we'd not be wondering where the remainder of our adoption fees were coming from nor going through the stress of putting together fund raisers.  In fact, we would have probably bought a big screen TV with our tax return money...we'd be snuggling up comfortably on the couch.  We wouldn't have had headaches with piles of paperwork, doctor's check-ups, fingerprinting, trips to the state capitol, fees for everything imaginable, etc.    And we probably wouldn't be aching with the deep pain that comes from entering into another person's suffering.  We'd be comfortable in our predictable life.  

BUT, oh my goodness, what an adventure we'd MISS!  What blessings we'd miss!  What closeness with our Heavenly Father we'd miss! What miracles we'd miss!  And what a precious TREASURE straight from God's Hands we'd miss (really...look at Grace's picture...I would NOT want to miss out on the joy of being her Mama)!  We are human, and we are creatures of comfort.  We seek the easy road...we seek the way of less pain...we seek comfort and predictability in life.  We could have very easily just walked away, and many times in life, we have walked away.  Very easily, WE ALMOST COULD HAVE MISSED THIS!  That thought is almost unbearable to me because though this road is filled with unpredictability, uncomfortable realities, twists and turns, sorrow and pain, it is also the most amazing adventure into God's beautiful LOVE and GRACE.  There is a peace and beauty on this journey that overrides everything else.  There's no other road in the world I'd rather be on!  And it's the road that my Jesus walked.  He willingly entered into my pain.  With unconditional love, He adopted ME.  May we continue to willingly and humbly submit to His Will.  

Thank you, Jesus, that You helped us not to miss this road to amazing Grace!  Lord, please give us strength in our weakness.  And help us to never take the comfortable road and miss Your plan and purpose for our lives, no matter what it may be!       

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gearing up for the Walk-a-Thon

Four more days until our Bring Home Grace Walk-a-Thon!  If anyone else wants to sponsor our family in the walk-a-thon, please send us a check or donate online through our adoption fund (click on Grace's picture in the upper left corner of this blog).  Please keep in mind that online donations are anonymous, and we will not know whom to thank individually.  So, a big THANK YOU to everyone who donates!

Thank you to all the families who are collecting donations and joining us for our walk!  We are asking God to bless everyone who helps us bring Grace home.  :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Pictures Arrived!

We love mid-month because the mail lady delivers Grace's new pictures!  Today was that day, and we all gathered around to oooh and ahhhh over little Grace.  :)

We have mixed emotions as we see her new pictures.  Sad to see her little sling and cast.  Happy to know that she's in a good orphanage with excellent medical care.

We are sharing 4 of the pictures they sent us today.  One shows her in her cast (not looking too happy).  :(  Two of the pictures are of her in her cast and sling (she is more chipper and seems to be saying, "No problem!!  This cast and sling don't slow me down a bit!").  :)  And one picture shows her after her cast was removed (she's really examining..."Well, lookie...there's my arm!").  Her arm is red from the cast.  :(  But the cast is OFF now!  :)  See what I mean about mixed emotions!

My Mama heart is YEARNING to go scoop her up and hug her and love on her and bring her home!!!  Four more months...four more months...four more months...

Keep praying for Grace.  Her Heavenly Father has her in the palm of His Hand.  She is one of His precious gems, and He is graciously leading us to her in His time.  Isaiah 45:3, "And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness--secret riches.  I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sling, cast and court papers!

It's been a week of ups and downs, but thankfully mostly ups!  :)  Our court papers were sent to our placing agency and then on to Taiwan.  They should arrive on Monday at the latest!  This is wonderful news for us because this officially starts our 4-month wait (approximately).  So YAY for our court papers being on their way!!!  We've been waiting for this moment for a long time.  :)

And then the down part of our week...  A couple of days ago we received a call from Julie (placing agency), telling us that she received the new pictures and update of Grace.  In her pictures, she has a sling and cast on one of her arms!  :(  Julie called the orphanage, and apparently Grace fell out of her bed and fractured her arm.  :(  My Mama heart was so sad, and I so desperately wished I could be there to hold her!  But, we are also very grateful that she is in an orphanage that provided her with immediate medical care.  God is watching over her.  Keep praying for Grace!  She's a busy girl!  :)

We were hoping to receive the new pictures of her today, but they didn't arrive.  Hopefully tomorrow...  We LOVE getting new pictures!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Everything is Signed and Sealed!

We left the house at 9am and got home around 5pm.  Long day...but very productive.  We went to the county courthouse, Secretary of State's office and TECO.  It was a ton of paperwork and running around.  But everything went very smoothly.  We breathed a sigh of relief every time our paperwork would get the approval of one more official government worker, and we were SO relieved to finally hand in the final stack of papers and know that they are out of our hands.  We are FINISHED with paperwork! In about a week our papers should be sent to Taiwan to be entered into court.  The next step of our process is to WAIT for approximately 4 months as our papers proceed through court in Taiwan.  

It was a wonderful day...and unexpectedly fun too.  We ate lunch in a neat food court in the building where the Secretary of State's office is.  They had remodeled in December, and it was really fabulous...there was Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Quizno's, as well as a salad bar, Mexican food area, etc.  We each got a cookie for dessert.  Then as we waited for copies of paperwork to be made, we walked the balcony area and had a fabulous view of the Capitol building across the street.  And then top all of that off with the neat "tubes" we walked through to the buildings, the enclosed over-the-street walkways, the rotating doors, escalators and elevators...well, let's just say we had fun playing in the big city!  :)

One of the pics is of our children in front of the window where we were looking at the Capitol.  The other pic is of us after we submitted our paperwork at the TECO office (very neat place, by the way!).  Did I mention we are FINISHED with paperwork??!!  Whooo-hooooo!!  Now, can we go get Grace????  :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Official Referral!

We received our official referral!  :)  So, we have more pictures of Grace.  :)  These pictures are from the past 6 months or so.  And notice the picture of her standing...she is walking on her own and doing really well.  Isn't she a CUTIE??  Chris says we will need to get her a hair cut soon!  :)  

Our court papers got lost in the mail (more practice in patience!), but this morning they showed up at our post office (more lessons in God being in control!).  This afternoon we headed to get our paperwork notarized and authenticated.  It's a long story that I won't get into, but let's just say that I had never burst into tears like that in public until today (and not tears of joy this time)!   It had its iffy moments, but in the end we did get everything notarized (and then we headed to a restaurant to have southern cooking and relax my throbbing head!).  Authentication (both county and state) will take place Monday (prayerfully).  I'm really looking forward to having all of the papers out of our hands and into the hands of Taiwan's court system.  This has been a fairly smooth adoption, and we have been blessed that we have only had a few rough days in the 5 months we've been in process.  So I can't complain of the rough day.  God is good always.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Postponed a bit...

We were hoping to go to the capital today to have our court papers authenticated, but we had to order a few more bits of paperwork to go along with it. We are also still awaiting our court papers. It seems that they take longer to get to us out in the woods. :) We are hoping to be getting things wrapped up and submitted at the beginning of NEXT week.

We appreciate your prayers! We also need $1450 extra within the next week or so in order to pay the next step in the process. So keep praying! God is providing step by step. We fully TRUST Him.