Our home study, which we began about seven weeks ago, is done!!!! Can I get a Halleluiah? We are now ready to officially move on to step two which is the first half of US immigration. We also received a donation yesterday that just happen to put us just a bit beyond what we need to pay for this phase...only God! So with the funds in place we are ready to mail off our next packet of paperwork! Please pray for favor for our documents as they are processed and for a speedy fingerprinting appointment. The next two months around here are CRAZY! Braces on (bad teeth=lots of appointments..my poor baby), ear tube surgery, Daddy's bball season, Em's bball season, a big fundraising dinner, the holidays, but when USCIS says go we have to go to Des Moines to be fingerprinted. I hope it is sooner than later. In my heart of hearts, I am dreaming of being to my baby by her second birthday though that would be nearly impossible. This momma is petitioning the Lord to do the impossible again anyway as I ask for Him to speed things along so I can hold her in May. Time will tell His will and until them I am holding out hope that she will be with her momma on May 4 celebrating!
In the last three years, we have made two journeys to China for our beautiful daughters. We have had many, many support us along the way with their prayers and their financial donations. We are so very grateful to each and every one that had a part in making our daughters ours. We could not have done it without each and every one of you. In addition to the many who supported us, we cleaned out retirement accounts, sold things, and made sacrifices (insignificant sacrifices compared to those risking their lives to share the gospel right now) ourselves so that our beautiful treasures could be called daughter. So when the need for braces for our oldest couldn't be put off any longer, I have to admit that I felt a little bit hopeless. I knew the cost and I knew that we had cleaned out every possible account that could cover such a cost in the last three years for our adoptions so I was searching. As I was searching one summer day, I prayed to the Lord for His provision and I was lead to an organization online. This organization provides braces to individuals who need them by matching them with orthodontist who are willing to donate their services for screened families. There were a few orthodontist listed that worked in our state and so I began the process with my biggest girl. Four months later, we have visited the orthodontist with our Em and she is getting her braces. I can't believe it! This wonderful orthodontist is donating his services to meet this need for our family and we only have to pay 10% of the actual cost. Truthfully, there are times as a parent that I worry about all that my oldest has had to give up as we have added these beautiful siblings with special needs to our family. I should always trust the Lord with this I know, but at times I question how she can handle it. Yet again and again, God just shows up! He just does exactly what we need and as I see this unfold again and again..you would think I would trust more and doubt less. What little faith I often find myself with. Honestly, I choked up pretty considerably when thanking this kind, kind doctor as I met with him last week. He is using all of his expertise, top notch technology, and treating us so very well though we can't even begin to pay him what he is worth. Isn't this the picture of the gospel? Yet again, I am watching the gospel lived out in my life through the gesture of this doctor as he fulfills a need our family couldn't possibly afford on our own. My God is faithful! He loves and cares for our every need. He lavishes grace and mercy on us abundantly again and again. If I hadn't stepped out and adopted in these last three years, I wouldn't have experienced this near as dramatically. Oh to know and trust Him more is the song on my heart! He is so so very good!
Somehow despite the huge gaping hole in my heart because my baby girl is not here and still waits in China, life goes on. We get up everyday, experience joy, sadness, and change all while aching to know the one who we call ours though she lives a half a world away. As long as I live, I will never understand how I can love and miss someone so very much that I don't yet know, but despite having done this adoption thing before it still baffles me that I am Molly Kate's mother already in my heart and that every single day I long to have her home.
We visited the pumpkin patch together and, though it was chilly, we had a great time.
Anna Mei lugged this wagon with our friends pumpkins inside the entire trip. It must have been heavy, but she insisted she pull it.
This was the first year our Jillian wasn't afraid of the pumpkins. She really enjoyed it!
Anna made the teens that were with us get in the cars when she did. Emily obliged.
We took a trip to Bloomsbury Farm too. It was the place we visited last year that Jillian really, really enjoyed. It didn't disappoint as she was one happy, happy girl here again this year.
Anna got some good air on the jumping pillow.
Jilly loved running while holding Daddy's hand on the pillow.
Awe..the corn. Need I say more because for those of you who know my love bug, you know Jillian was over the moon in this giant crib of corn. She and I played in here for hours.
Anna Mei explored with Daddy while Jilly and I conquered the corn bin. She went down the HUGE slide by herself at least eight times. She is getting to be such a big girl.
We ended the day eating fudge and talking about Molly Kate while Jilly and Daddy were (you guessed it) still playing in the corn. What a beautiful, bittersweet day without our Molly Kate.
Until the day that my sweet Molly is resting in my arms, life goes on in her absence, but there isn't a minute that she isn't on my mind and that I am not wishing she was in these experiences right alongside her sisters.
I visited a new doctor to get my physical papers completed for the China side of things and it actually happened. She said, "Why do you adopt these children when you are fully able to have children of your own?" "Why do you take this child who has a defect without knowing their genes ?" (after seeing Molly's picture) How do I even begin to explain the incredible love of a Savior who loved me so very much that he willingly gave up his own life so that mine might be saved? How do I even begin to help someone understand the reasons why we go to China to willingly embrace a child as our own when they don't yet know of this incredible love that, by God's mercy and grace, I have experienced as I have accepted his son as my Savior? The truth is I love because he first loved me. 1 John 4:19 I have been given this incredible opportunity to share this love with those least who desperately need to know it because he has lavished his love on me though I don't deserve it. I have been called, as have all who believe in him, to be his hands and feet. This is a deep honor and privilege that I don't begin to deserve.
It also deeply blesses me to be able to watch this................
turn to this...
as the love of my Savior is shared with our precious daughters because these two, this life God has called us to, is one of the greatest blessings of my life! I can't wait to see Molly Kate smile, like these two beauties, as she learns the love and security of belonging to a family sharing Christ's love with her.
My sweet Molly Kate,
You have no idea that this very minute I am your momma. You have no idea that on a Saturday morning around 5:00 AM, at the end of August, I found this photograph of you in my email inbox. I have received hundreds of emails with faces just as valuable as yours, but yours was the one I knew God intended to be mine. Your alias in the database was wRen. When I saw it just before clicking on your file, my heart stopped for a moment because your name means so much. We were matched with your big sister Jillian, out of the thousands of children on China's list by our social worker at AGCI, and her name was Ren Ying in China. Nearly two years later, we were matched by CCAI with your big sister Anna Mei whose name was Jia Ren. When Daddy and I opened Anna Mei's file and saw that her name was Ren like Jillian's we were in awe! Dare I say that I have seen thousands of files on advocating sites and databases in the last three years as I have had my eyes open to the millions of children waiting for families, and I have never seen the name Ren except for the three times I have found my children...only God! The morning that I saw you and saw that you too were a wRen..you were seared in my heart. As soon as Daddy wandered into the kitchen from bed around 7:00, I showed him your face and your video. He watched your video and then went to use the restroom. You will find that, at times, I overwhelm your Daddy with my planning that early in the morning. I must have watched your video a hundred times on Saturday. I researched everything that I could so that I could know as much about you as possible. Then on Sunday morning, I packed your two sisters in the van-as Daddy and Em had gone to church early this week- and began driving the back road to worship when it happened. I saw you there. I saw you in our van sitting in your car seat next to your sister and that was it because I cried my heart out as I longed for you to be home as my daughter. It was a holiday weekend so we had to wait until Tuesday for the agency you were listed with to open. As soon as I could, I phoned them and was connected with even more details of your life and I wanted you so badly! I remember going to your Daddy after filling out papers and making doctors appointments for your paperwork and said..her name is wRen and she is ours! Do you doubt? Daddy knew you were ours too and so we began our journey to paper chase you. It has been nearly six weeks ago that I first saw your face and we have seen miracles already as we are fundraising to you. I love you so much already and am so excited to see how God will work through your life in the years to come. You are so very wanted and we just can't wait to have you home sleeping in a bunk bed underneath your very bossy, spunky big sister.
I am so looking forward to the moment you are in my arms..FOREVER!
I came from the dentist with you just now and you know what that does to me. When you were first placed in my arms, you were so unable to process your terror and you most certainly could not trust. During that time and the nearly 15 months that followed, I never dreamed there would be a day that you could calmly walk beside me into a new building, wave at a dentist, sign dentist, and sign want his glasses to mean hand em over to me man. I just never could let myself imagine in those dark, dark fifteen months before our break through that you would get to this place of felt safety, trust, and attachment. I loved you just as much in those dark months as I do now, but I never dreamed you would be at a place that you could love and trust me back. As the new dentist asked about your history, I told him. You were fifteen pounds at two years old, neglected horribly, medically and emotionally a wreck, but look at you now baby. You are an average size five year old and, while you cried and signed scared often throughout our appointment,..YOU DID IT! You let them count your teeth, check for decay, and paint fluoride all around with their little brush. When it was over, you hopped up, grabbed your Mr. Potato Head eyes that had fallen on the floor, and signed want glasses because you really like those dental goggles. Then, you took the hand of the hygienist and went to get a prize. You immediately put the sticker and prize in my purse when you came back in to me because you care nothing about those things, but you took them from the stranger and brought them right back to me. You skipped out of there so very proud of yourself with the sideways smile that you often wear after you have accomplished something miraculous. We hopped in the car and were on our way back into the beat of life just like that. I simply never dreamed. As I drove you home, I just praised my God with everything in me that He has allowed me just a small part of your restoration. I have seen Him work in your heart and, while I always believed He could, it still overwhelms me that He did! You are an absolute treasure. I adore you with everything in me sweet girl and watching you take on this world is so inspiring.
I love you so much more, dear girl, than I ever knew possible when thinking of loving another person. I can't wait to see what you accomplish as we walk into the future together.
My oldest has made many, many sacrifices as we have followed the Lord
into adoption, three times now, in the last three years. She has grown
through it and so has our family.
I am so thankful for it and thankful for who it is helping her become,
but I am also thankful when she gets to just be a teenager. She went to
her first dance this week.
She was beautiful in her borrowed dress and we are so amazed at how the Lord continues to provide for us.
I know that I only have three short years left with her under my roof and that time is going to fly by so in between diapers, feedings, night terrors, and algebra homework I stop to give thanks for who she is becoming and for who she is yet to be!
Our home study is moving along at lightning speed which means our bills are coming due for our agency and US Immigration! We are thrilled that things have moved along so steadily, but we need to meet the financial needs of this phase more quickly than we had planned. We know God's got this and we are trusting him!
Please, Please pray about the following ways to help us with One More Loved- Bringing Home Molly Kate...
1. MEET MOLLY KATE and shop in her name..we have set up a new fundraising page, (click here), with a picture and video of our Molly Kate at One Mission Fundraising. They are an amazing, small company in our area that facilitates online fundraising by offering quality products for purchase. It isn't too early to think about Christmas and shop for friends or family. You can also make a straight donation directly through one mission. Please check it out and share it with your friends on facebook and through twitter. We will get a portion of every product you buy and the flat donations will come straight to us.
2. Virtual Garage Sale Contributions..We are selling most everything that isn't pinned down here at our house and we are grateful for the extra funds it is bringing in. If you have something laying around that you don't use, would you consider donating it to us to sell on Craigslist or selling it yourself and donating the funds to us? We are planning to sell our wedding rings, a guitar we don't use, and some antique dishes that are just being stored collecting dust. You would be surprised how quickly things add up.
3. ADOPTIVE FAMILIES .. We are in need of names of adopted children that can be listed on the back of our fundraising shirt. We have designed a front logo that says (adopt)1 more loved with 1 john 4:19 referenced. This logo will be on the front of the shirt, but we would like to list names of your adopted kiddos on the back as a testimony to the many one mores that are thriving in a loving family. We featured more than one hundred names on our last t-shirt and it was such a testimony! PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY AT, email@example.com, WITH YOUR CHILD(REN)'S FIRST AND MIDDLE NAME so that it can be included on our list! Order information for these shirts will be up on the blog shortly.
As I look into the faces of my two adopted treasures that are home and thriving, I am all the more anxious to get this new baby here. I am forever grateful to those who wrote my first two adopted daughters' stories by supporting us as we raised the money to get them home. I am so very grateful, as well, to those of you who are choosing to support us now. Molly Kate's story is being written through you with each prayer you offer, each product you buy, and every single thing you donate. THANK YOU!!!
I am a Christ follower, wife of 20 years to my best friend, and a stay at home momma to five amazing daughters. I am currently waiting for one precious special needs treasure to come home from China. I am passionate about the orphan and special needs adoption. I love to teach God's word, am involved in youth ministry alongside my dh, and love,love, love cooking. Above all, I desire to serve God and surrender my life to His call.