Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sharing the Good News

So blessed to be able to attend the Camp of Champions USA chili supper last night with one of my favorite families. Blessed to hear all that God is doing through this ministry that provides Christ centered day camp to children in our area all summer long. I can't help but sob each year at this supper when I hear the stories of these children as they are told by staffers who faithfully serve in this ministry. So many hard to reach children, more than 40% from single family homes, loved on and shown Christ each and every week of the summer because of the sacrifice of so many working in this ministry. Many children each summer accept Christ and come to know him because God is using this day camp. I truly love this place. Love it so much that I send my own darling kiddo there a couple of times each summer. Love it even more because it provides a godly, Christ centered work environment in which many of our ministry youth can serve Christ while serving these children. We are blessed to have this ministry working right here in our community- reaching our kids with the gospel through the miraculous power of a God who is mighty to save the least of these. If you are looking for a place for your precious treasures to grow in the Lord while having fun this summer check out their website to find out more about COCUSA. (I know summer seems a long way off, but it will be here before we know it. I am especially hoping for that this year as Jill will be in our arms.) Happy Monday. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Those Eyes Say So Much

There is so much that God is working in my heart this weekend and so much that I am thinking and feeling.

As I stare into the eyes of my baby girl, waiting a half a world away, my heart is shattered at the emptiness there. The lack of joy, the absence of relationship, the numbness that I see in her eyes brings me more sadness than I think I can bare. How I long to see her smile and for her to experience the relationships that come from being in a family. How I want more than anything for her to experience the depth of love that comes from a mother and father. How I want her to know the love of the only Father who has been with her since the beginning-God. How I want her to know the happiness and Joy that come from Him.

Dreaming of Jill so much lately and praying that her little heart is ready for the healing that can come from our God who is bigger than all the trauma she has faced in her little life. Praying that God will use our family to bring her hope and joy. Praying that I can be the kind of momma that she needs to love her with the love of Christ because He first loved me.

Loving and Missing her so much today. Turning it over to the Lord and resting in His plan to bring her home in His time. Knowing that this journey is ordained by Him and finding rest in His peace and perfect plan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Letter Is In the Mail

Our I-800 approval is in the mail. This is the official piece of paper that says Jill can enter into the US and will be granted citizenship. This is it!!! The final leg of the journey. We should be traveling in about 8-9 weeks. That puts us at Easter..just like my praying friend said all along. :)

While I am thrilled there is so much left to do and so much more money to generate. Pray for us. I simply can't wait to have my baby home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We May Have Some Trouble

We were blessed to be able to spend our free afternoon (thank you President's Day) with two sweet sheep in our college flock. Love em.

Yummy noodles with Chopsticks!! Too fun!

More Chopstick Cheer!!

Don't leave us out! We're in on the chopstick thing!

We may have some trouble though because at lunch we ate at a noodle joint that offered us chopsticks (as you can see). So. Much. Fun. BUT Daddy refused to even give them a try! So.. I'm thinking he is gonna have some trouble eating in China. Jill may have to be feeding her daddy. LOL :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Pray That..

I am blessed with one sweet friend that has been praying faithfully for my baby girl and for this adoption. Today she wrote..

I have been praying that she will laugh today.

My response...



Ministering to this momma's heart oh so much.

Momma's praying that you laugh today too baby girl. Momma's praying that the empty, numb look that I see in your eyes will soon be replaced by pure joy because you are in our family. Love you oh so very much my baby. Praying that you laugh.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You Know It's Going to Be a Good Day When..

Blessed beyond words to have attended the Connecting Hearts to the Forgotten Conference held at East White Oak Bible Church. It was an amazing day focused on raising awareness about adoption and orphan ministry. People from churches everywhere gathered for the orphan's sake. OH. BE. STILL. MY. HEART.

You know it's going to be a good day when...

the first session opens with an introductory video containing priceless images of children and half the women watching are sobbing.

the prayer warriors for the conference are praying over the church and rejoicing that some children are being "born" in their adoptive parents' heart this very day.

you see 147 million gear for sale when you enter the ministry fair. (See it for yourself here.)

there are women in every nook and cranny speaking about bloggers as if they are personal friends.

there are more books about adoption on the display tables than you can even count.

all those sitting around you are signed with AGCI and adopting orphans just like you.

you see a grown man cry when he speaks of his adoption experience.

you are holding a Bible in your lap and the sweet referral picture of your daughter in your hands with tears of praise streaming down your face. Thank you sweet Jesus!!

What a blessed day. Still can hardly believe that I am really walking this road. Still pinching myself and asking God are you sure you have chosen to bless me with this? If you missed it, Kelly Putty from Ordinary Hero is coming to speak, in person, on April 9 at Cornerstone Baptist Church outside of Morton, IL. I wouldn't miss it for the world. Will you join me?

Friday, February 18, 2011

What About James?

My dear husband had the chance to share from the pulpit on Sunday. His sermon was titled..What About James? He gave us just a glimpse into Jesus earthly family and we dug into scripture to see what we could learn about James (Jesus earthly half brother). Check it out HERE.

So very lucky to have such a Godly man leading our family.

Got Junk?

Bringing our girl home costs money. While we have seen God move in miraculous ways, there is still a long way to go in order for us to say..We are fully funded. (Oh those would be precious words!) We still need about $13000 toward the orphanage donation and our travel expenses. SO...We are planning a huge indoor garage/bake sale. We would love your junk (aka treasures) and/or bake goods to sell in order to help us get our girl home. We are having the sale the first Saturday in April and would be happy to pick up any donations you have for the sale as soon as you have them ready. Just give us a call and we will be happy to accept anything you have laying around to donate for Jill's sake. Praying over all the details and so appreciate each and everyone of you who will be considering getting involved in some way.

No junk? We need volunteers to help us set up, man the stations, take cash, and tear down that day too. Keep watching the blog for more information and spread the word for us. Getting so close to actually having her here. Can you believe it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gotta Read His Story

Tears streaming down after I saw this handsome little man and read his mamma's post! (Hard to believe coming from me I know. :) Can you even imagine that sweet face starving in an orphanage with no mommy and daddy? Alone. Rejected. Orphaned. Rejoicing that he is home, but my heart is breaking for soooo many like him who are still there. WAITING. What was I waiting for all this time ignoring these children? God forgive me.
Go here to read his sweet mamma's post about an wonderful weekend he recently spent-orphaned no more.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too Much Cuteness

Jill's closet went from this....

to this.....

And her dresser from this...

To this....

(All four drawers are full!!)
because of a gift from some super friends. Can you even believe how wonderful our friends have been? So very blessed to walk alongside so many people who care so much about our baby girl!! Let me just say there is way too much cuteness here!!!! How will I decide what to put on her? So sweet to purchase the baby laundry soap and wash these small, very pink clothes. I can't wait to try these dresses on her. I am dress kind of momma! She has quite the wardrobe and so now all we need at our house is her sweet face. Stay tuned..her room is almost done and it is sooooo cute!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Miraculous Provision

He's done it again! God has provided in such a miraculous way that I am left standing in the middle of the room with my jaw dropping to the ground and tears streaming down my face. There are things, that as a family, we willingly laid at the foot of the cross-gave up for a time- so that financially this adoption would be possible. We were given an incredible gift this week, by some very precious people, that has given back to our family something we would have had to go without this summer. This thing that we were going without has been a huge part of our family's best memories over the last three years. It has been a huge part of the Lord challenging us and growing us in our faith together as a family, but it comes at a price. A price we weren't going to be able to pay because of the adoption. That now is paid in full because of this gift! The best part is..Jill will be with us when we are able to experience it. WE WILL BE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY IN THIS SPECIAL PLACE EXPERIENCING IT TOGETHER AS A FAMILY BECAUSE GOD CONTINUES TO MEET OUR NEEDS ABOVE AND BEYOND ALL THAT WE DREAM AS WE STRIVE TO SERVE HIM!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

Feeling a lot like David in 2 Samuel 7:18.. "O Sovereign Lord, Who Am I and what is my family that you have brought me this far?".. lately as He continues to blow my mind with his goodness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Should Have Known Better

What an incredible day on Sunday we had spending some precious time with our ministry students. To say that I love, love, love them would be a gross understatement. They make me cry, laugh, inspire me, give the best hugs, and they are just so much fun. We had a super sub fundraiser at the church in the AM to help support our children's outreach ministry in the public housing this summer...... way to go..working oh so hard!

When we finished, we needed to get the extra supplies back to our house next door to our church. So..the high school boys (and one precious girl) volunteer to carry the stuff home for us. So sweet, so helpful, so like Jesus..Right? My husband gives them the go ahead and they head off to our house while we stay and continue cleaning up the kitchen in the church basement. What great kids.. So sacrificial to offer their weary muscles up to serve us..

Then...we come home to find this...

soda cans hidden all around the house like Easter eggs. The soda cans were among the supplies they had so kindly carried over from the church. We have been in youth ministry for almost ten years now and my dh should have known better than to let the high school boys in the house alone. LOL.. Seriously though.. these kids are so much stinkin' fun. They leave me in stitches so much and so much creativity. They are truly the best kids in the world! So blessed to have them in my life. Especially thankful that the girl with them had enough sense to tell them not to put any in the stove. I probably would have preheated without looking inside and blown up a soda can..YUCK!

Praying that my house is always overflowing with teens. Thanks to Jesus for putting such great kids in my life!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebrating Chinese New Year

We were out of place indeed, darling kiddo and I, at Saturday's celebration observing Chinese New Year in our area without our Chinese daughter. Oh I wish she was here to experience it with us. Still, darling kiddo and I enjoyed ourselves making crafts, learning about cultural practices, and eating yummy (American) Chinese food. The Chinese daughters were oh so beautiful in their traditional dresses. I couldn't help but dream of our Jillian here wearing a little silk dress next year right alongside mommy, daddy, and sissy.

Waiting for you here my sweet one. Praying for the days to move quickly until you are in our arms. God has so much in store for your little life already and we are beyond blessed to be preparing to add you to our family. Love you, Love you, Love you little one.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

5:30 AM..Really Lord?

God is laying something pretty exciting on my heart. He began to reveal it to me yesterday and it involves my teen girls which always excites me. It is going to take a lot of time though and despite my reasoning with God that I am adopting (remember LORD?), traveling in the next twelve weeks to China, still need to come up with $10,000, planning fundraisers, running my house, trying to stay sane..He is not giving up on me. This idea just won't leave my mind and so just as God does...this thing is coming together pretty fast. Please pray that I am obedient to God's leading despite the thousand excuses that I sometimes use to excuse my self from following his will. So excited to see what God does with this. Just wish he would not wake me at 5:30 on Saturday morning to "talk" about it...Praise Him for His involvement in my life and the life of my girls. Praise Him that He loves them so much..He demands my time and attention! What a thrilling adventure indeed to serve Him!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Arrived

That's right..twenty inches of snow across the entire middle section of the country can't stop the USPS from delivering my immigration papers to Texas. They arrived in two days (instead of one because of the snow) and are now in the hands of the US govt. Please, please pray that our Jill's visa paperwork is processed quickly. It is all up to the US they are in charge of the rest of the process. It could take them three more months, but I am hoping they will pass us along sooner than that! As soon as they approve, WE ARE CHINA BOUND!!! I can hardly keep from crying at the thought. What will it be like to finally hold my daughter in my arms? PRAISE HIM THAT HE HAS ALLOWED THIS TREMENDOUS BLESSING!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My She's Grown

The team from Parental Care Ministries is back in the US safe and sound after taking a mission team to Uganda to serve in the schools they support there. They were able to deliver a small package to the nine year old girl we sponsor there. They just sent us this new picture of her..She looks so well and so much bigger than the last picture we received. She is wearing her school uniform and has on shoes. God is so good for providing for these orphaned children through this ministry. What a blessing to be a small part of what God is doing to meet the needs of these children who desperately need Him. What an amazing journey it was for the team from PCM last week. You can read about it on their blog. If your snowed in like I am, it will bless you!