Another momma is visiting my Molly Kate's SWI as she just welcomed a new little man from there into her family. She was able to see my treasure and sent me another small look at her. They were sleeping again, but she looks so cared for. Her clothes are girl clothes! She has sheets, a hair cut, and is being rocked and held in one of the videos I got. It doesn't make the wait any easier, but these are by far the best images I have ever been given of my girls during a wait. She looks really, really good and while I believe she will look much better in a momma's arms, I am grateful to the women who are dedicating their lives' work to loving on her until I can get there. Precious, Precious One momma is on her way to you.
No matter how you stack it, I love four. I love that language is blossoming. I love that attachment is securing after two years of pursuing my treasure with all my heart. I love, love all the pretend play. I love this stage of beginning to "read", "write", and make sense of the world. Today, my sweet girl and I had about thirty minutes in the dental waiting room together. Her cleaning was finished up much, much quicker than her big sister's was and so we waited. We moved to the hall with big, large windows so the sun would stream in on us. We also happened to be the only two waiting here and so no one would see me allowing her to eat before the recommended thirty minutes after fluoride was applied. (She still has food issues people so don't judge!) During this thirty minutes, she talked, talked, and talked some more which is completely 100% normal for my angel. Silence is not a virtue to her. It is what was said though that is so, so precious because she is beginning to have her heart moved for the gospel. As a believer, one of the most important things to me is that my children will accept Jesus' sacrifice and grow a personal, dynamic relationship with him some day. I pray often for this to be true for my babies. I try my hardest to let my own need for, reliance on, and love for my Jesus shine through my moments with them. During these thirty minutes of waiting and talking, she asked me to draw her a post it note with Jesus on the cross. Then, I laid out the gospel in four year old terms for her which I have done at least once a week as God has opened the door to her heart so often lately. Today, her little heart was so stirred. She had many, many questions and some seriously complex emotions. Today much was said and it reminded me of the privilege it was to lead my oldest to the throne of grace when she was four years old herself. What an immense blessing to have these babies entrusted to me. Though each and every single day I feel so inadequate, my heart is soaring that I get the chance to share Jesus with just one more precious little girl from China. I love watching God working in the heart of this sweet, amazing four year old who I am so lucky to call mine. I am praying that soon her heart will be completely open and that she will claim Jesus for her own. Oh what a JOY that will be. Until then, I will capture each of these precious moments as the Lord leads and pray like crazy for Him to draw her to himself.
So, what does a precious four year old choose to do on her birthday? Sledding. My little treasure wanted to go sledding. Luckily, it was a beautiful, warm for winter, sunny day so off we went!
And she played.
And giggled. And giggled. And I thought to myself that spending time with this amazing little one is just about as close to heaven as I can get on this earth. We slid down the hill at the park a million times. We hiked to find sticks buried in the snow. We ran, had snowball fights, and built a snowman. These are the moments I wish could last forever. These moments, when my amazing little girl truly lives and experiences simple JOY that comes only in childhood, are absolutely heavenly. During these times, I pause to thank God for her life and my part in it because she is one of the greatest blessings of my life! Oh that fourth birthdays could only last forever!
While my girl's birthdays are one of the happiest days of the year, I can't help, but also always feel such a tinge of sadness on this day as well. As I held Anna Mei just now, I could not hold back my tears for the precious woman who likely tries to go on with life as usual on this day though a piece of her rests on my lap here in another part of the world. I cradled Anna against my chest like a new born while she drank her hot milk from her sippy cup in my arms and I just wept for her birth mother. I wept at how unjust is it that I am the one cradling this sweet, precious girl on her fourth birthday. I wept because everyday I look deeply into the eyes of a child that matches another woman that I will likely never get to meet. I cried because it is unfair that she was not able to keep this amazing little girl, that she will never hear her laugh, comfort her as she cries, or watch her as she dances. While my girls are some of the greatest blessings of my life, it is impossible to escape the fact that they are mine because of the deep, deep loss of another. How I would give anything just to get a glimpse of Anna's China momma. My sweet girl, even at four years old, has so many questions about her. This morning as she asked, "Why it my birthday?", I was happy to tell her that this is the day she was born from her China momma's belly. Just like she does so often, she asked, "What is my China momma's name?". With everything in me, I wish I could tell her that I knew. I wish I could give her just a few pieces of the puzzle that is the first two years of her life. I wish. I wish. I wish, but the reality is that we are living in a broken world. A world were poverty, sadness, loss, illness, and pain exist and I just can't answer her questions because of it. On this day, and on many other days, I think of my girl's birth mothers. I have a deep, deep love for them. I pray so often that they will somehow come to know the Lord and that one day in eternity we will all sit together worshiping the God who, by His great design, intertwined all our stories so intimately.
Four is beautiful. A bit less than two years ago, I took this girl into my arms for the first time. Today, we have come so far together, grown so much, and this smile is here throughout our days..a true genuine smile. The smile I waited for, pursued, believed was in there flows so freely from her these days.
She loves her family.
She loves being the center of attention! She loves to play, giggle, and be silly.
She is passionate, vibrant, and full of life.
Words come so easily to her and she is never, never quiet.
She is tiny little peanut for four. She is not yet 3 feet tall and weighs only about 26 pounds, but she is mighty.
Our lives are much, much richer because she is in them! Today, I am grateful to God for this journey and for the many days ahead as I watch her grow into who God would have her become. It is my prayer that she will accept Him as her savior and that her life will bring much, much glory to Him.
Praise God, we didn't stay at zero long. The very day after I wrote the big check and put our adoption account at zero, we were given a check for $300 when we traveled home to IL. Then on Tuesday, we received an anonymous check in our church mailbox for $2,000 dollars. I am in awe that so many are willing to rally around my baby girl. This journey is so humbling and such an adventure. So many people come alongside us each time we do this and the truth is we couldn't bring Molly Kate home without you. We are over the halfway mark to all we need. We are waiting on word from several ministries about adoption grants and, Lord willing, we could be traveling to her in the next five months! Who would have ever dreamed that God would provide this so very quickly? We have been given a bit more than $17,000 dollars to this point. I have seen it before, but each time I just can't believe it! I absolutely don't deserve the blessing that each of my girls is to me, but God! God continues to call me to walk in this blessed space and each time He provides many, many other faithful believers to make it happen as they share their offerings with us. So good. So very good! Please know that we are grateful to all of you. So many have given so much so far and we THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts that you are so moved to help us get our girl home!
The one who calls you is faithful and He will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Today, I let Jillian off at school and looked back to the farthest seat. I saw Anna there acting silly in her car seat, endlessly chatting, and singing. Then I saw the empty space next to her and I cried for you. I hope sweet Molly Kate that someday you will read this and know for certain how very much this momma loves you baby girl. How I long for you to be home with us filling that seat with your little self, laughing, and calling "Momma" as I drive. You are so very deeply wanted and cared for even as you wait laying in a crib among many, many others. I can't hold back my tears for you this morning, but I know that soon enough we will be together. I let myself imagine the joy of that day this morning and wait with anticipation for that moment that I lay eyes on you for the first time, take you in my arms, and begin this life together as mother and daughter.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar
on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk
and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
It happened today. Our dossier papers were finally delivered from the consulate, authenticated, and ready to go. Our dossier will be Ch*na bound very soon!!! This is amazing news for a momma who has spent the last four months compiling these beautiful papers. These papers represent who and what we are to Ch*na so that they may see fit to say we can get our Molly Kate.
With the mailing of these papers comes the need for a check. As of January 1st, the fee increased from $1500 to $2000. Because of this increased fee, we did not have sufficient funds in our adoption account. We were able to cover the small shortfall by scaling back our monthly budget and we are grateful to God for His provision. In fact in the last four months, we have seen God provide nearly $15,000! We have paid for all our US fees so far and are half way funded. This is incredible..truly incredible! Now though, we sit back at zero again as we have used all of our funds. Don't misunderstand zero is a beautiful place to be. There is lots of room for God to work at zero because when I have nothing He has to be everything. Learning to make Him my everything is much, much easier at zero because of that. I won't lie that sometimes zero can be scary, but it also frees up so much space. Space for God to move. Honestly, most days I wait in anticipation to see just how God will do this. This morning, I am embracing zero and praying that God will make clear the next path I am to take over the coming months. Will you join me in praying?
Our church had a Christmas Eve service for the first time in our history. We were so happy to be a part of it as Christmas Eve service has always been very special for our family. These two beauties wouldn't pose, wouldn't sit, and honestly gave me a huge run for my money during the service as I was flying solo because my hubs was sharing the message. It wasn't pretty, but we survived mostly uninjured. Despite being rowdy, they are adorable and, yes, Anna did have to wear those zebra glasses in addition to a party hat that was lime green to church. It was a party hat for Jesus people and there is no controlling this girl. I am told by many that some day these things will make me laugh.
Em got a new dress as we were given a gift certificate from a local store as a gift. She looks so grown up and this is her last picture without braces as she had them placed this week!
Some crazy person (that would be me), thought Jilly would enjoy a bin of dry oatmeal to play in so that was her gift from her sisters. She did indeed enjoy it, but I most certainly did not love vacuuming for 90 minutes. I did love seeing her smile though and because Christmas is so darn stressful for her, I don't regret it. I did move the bin outside to play in though as I am no dummy.
Her gift from us was a sock swing. I found one on ebay and it was a hit.
My sweet girl is so adorable and so happy in that swing.
Anna got a baby alive doll that poos and pees. She got a real baby bottle from her sister, an Elsa dress, and a playhouse. The playhouse was a super garage sale find from the summer that we had hidden in the garage and was sitting out for both the little girls on Christmas morning!
We ate our snowman pancakes on Christmas morning. YUMMY!
More pancakes, but these were eaten much later as a teenager doesn't get up too early even on Christmas morning.
My sweet baby girl played, and played. We stay home all day on Christmas and don't usually even get out of our pjs.
Our birthday cake for Jesus was chocolate coca cola cake. I think Jesus would approve.
My biggest girl got a bedroom makeover. I just finished up her curtains and it looks so cute. Gone is the tween zebra phase as we have ushered in gray, yellow, and blue chevron. It looks awesome! She is happy with it. I have loved working alongside her on it too!
Another Christmas season comes to a close and it is our last Christmas without Molly Kate home! Next year, we will have four beauties to photograph.
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.