Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (NIV)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Embarassin Moments at the Asian Market

We went to the Asian market yesterday.
First, Owen said, "Is everyone in here Mexican?". I said, "No, honey they're Asian."
Then I needed some help figuring out how to make the plum tea because the instructions were written in Korean. I asked the man working there, "Do you speak English?"

I am not sure if I should have asked, "Do you speak Korean?" Because he could have been Japanese and I was asking him to read Korean.

THEN as I check out, the NICE young man bows to me as a show of respect to an elder. I of course am so honored that I bowed my head back. I hope he wasn't offended.

All I can say is that it was very intimidating going to the market. I will venture back there again some day, but next time I'll have done a little more research first.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Through the Eyes of Children

The other day my 4 children and their cousin were sitting around the snack table and Faith was eating seaweed.  I had forgotten that their cousin, Evy (that's what the littles call him, sounds like Chevy), likes dried seaweed snacks also (probably even more than Faith does). 

Owen (6 years old) said, "Ew, why does Evy like seaweed, too?"

I said, "Because they both come from the same place, South Korea."

He said (with amazement in his voice), "Oh, I didn't know Evy was adopted, too."

My 10 year old and I giggled.  Evy has been home less than 2 years, but it amazes me that in the eyes of a child, my son didn't see the physical differences between the parents and the child.  What a blessing to be a witness to that innocence.

Another really neat thing that happened recently is that my nephew has finally called me, "Aunt Chris."  It was music to my ears.  He is my nephew and he is loved, but it was important for me to give honor to his mother by insisting on him calling me by my name.  This is important to me because it is important to me that my children call me Mommy and no one else.

God Bless.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Truth About One Secret

Tonight, after my daughter threw her tantrum at bed time, I was reading the secrets on postsecret.com.  I don't normally visit that site any more because I don't have the time and I forget the site is there.  The site also makes me sad. 

There was one postcard that said, "I FEEL SO ALONE."  And then in the middle of the secret it said, "MERRY CHRISTMAS." 

The truth about this secret is that sometimes we do feel alone, but we are truly NEVER alone.  For one God is ALWAYS watching (even if you don't believe it, you will when judgement day arrives).  A second thing is that there are 7 billion+ people on this earth right now.  If you feel lonely, chances are there are probably about a billion people feeling that way too.  I don't know.  How many emotions are there any way?  If there are 20 emotions then there are still some number of millions of people feeling the way you are feeling.  If you've lost your job, someone else did, too.  If you are happy, someone else is, too.  Scared, ditto.

Back to the tantrum, I threw one right along with my daughter (of course I threw mine starting at least 10 minutes after hers started).   I had told her not to hit me in the face because she was tossing her dolly around and putting her finger in my face.  I told her that if she hit me in the face again that I would leave the room. She hit me in the face with her dolly, so I left the room.

That started the tantrum.

After a couple of minutes and her running and screaming into the hallway, I took her back to her bed and laid down with her.  I asked her, "WHAT do you want? (for the 15th time and in extreme frustration)." 
Her answer blanky and pillow.  She had both, so I'm not really sure what she was crying about at that point.  I checked her over to make sure she didn't have anything physically wrong.  Waited a couple minutes and tried to be near her.

I yelled, "QUIT CRYING."  (I must say that was an extremely good move on my part [sarcasm]. So, I won't win mother of the year award for that.)  Then the guilt set in.

I put on a change of attitude, remembering that she had her life as she knew it ripped from her 3 months ago, so I needed to change my attitude.

With her still crying (CROCODILE TEARS AND M-A-D), I  held her against my chest.  I stroked her hair and softly said, "Sssshhhh."  My heart became gentle and tender and GUESS WHAT?  So did hers.  She softened, and calmed down and looked into my eyes.  She put her hand in mine.  Of course all of this wasn't instant, it probably took more like 1-2 minutes.  She tossed a couple of times and then went to sleep with her hand in mine.

We'd had a good day today. I am working on controlling my emotions and not yell at my kids.  Transitioning into 4 kids takes a bit of getting used to.   I hope to have an even better day tomorrow.  I want to be respectful to my kids and see things from their point of view.   Being a parent isn't easy, but they are learning from me, so I need to teach them gentleness and self-control.

I had read someone's blog that we need to guide our children. 

I need to be an example that leads them to God (to love), not away from Him (yelling and anger).

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4

If there is one job in life that I don't want to fail, it is raising my children.  I love them all dearly,  I need to show it and they need to know it.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, December 3, 2011

February 2011 South Korean Dol

I was overjoyed to find these pictures (3 of 10) below in my mail yesterday.  Here is a picture of my precious little girl for her Dol (1st Birthday) in South Korea.



I am in search of the other adoptive parents of these 2 children.  If you know who they might be, please let me know.  The picture was taken at the Holt celebration.  This picture again was taken in February 2011, so it would have been babies born in South Korea in February 2010.  I have blocked out the faces of the 2 babies that aren't mine along with one of the baby's foster mother.

Friday, December 2, 2011

3 years and 3 months

Mr. Liam Caelan has been with us for 3 years yesterday.  He was a dream baby (he didn't cry much).  He is an extremely laid back child and smart.  I love him bunches.
He is funny and reminds me a little bit of the character Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory."  He has "his spot" on the couch.


Faith has been with me for 3 months today.  Here is our baby girl and this is what she is doing right at this moment.  She doesn't like blankets very much, but the blanket she has on her is the "MY" blanket.   She won't sleep under any other at home.  The little baby doll in the lower left is the same one I took to Korea when I met her and it has been her favorite ever since.


People are amazed at how well she understands me.  She says several words and she likes to imitate, so I've really got to be careful what I do.  The words she says lately are: no, yes, pillow, blanket, eat, nice and LET ME (H)AVE IT.   We are working on having her lower her voice and asking politely with a please and thank you.  My ultimate, favorite phrase is:  "LUV YOU."   Said with her little voice inflection.

She has had some nights of grieving lately.  She rolls all around in her sleep on her bed and onto the floor (the mattress is on the floor, so she doesn't fall far).  She was sick with a fever a week ago, followed by a cold with some big, snotty sneezes.  I think she has had some extra difficulty due to the holiday family get togethers and over stimulation. 

She has also had some bumps and bruises lately.  First, she was playing with Owen.  He was giving her a piggy-back ride and I told him to be careful because she doesn't understand to hold on.  Right after that she fell off and bit her lip.  Then, she was playing with her Dad's shoe and a light saber toy and fell on it and skinned her chin on the toy and bit her tongue.   I am thankful that she likes ice.  I shrunk some ice and put it in her mouth to stop the bleeding.  Her third accident is when Aiden didn't know she had her hand on the door jam.  He shut the door on her finger.  I told her with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat that that is enough getting hurt.  She is ONE TOUGH COOKIE and barely cried in any of the 3 instances.

She has taken on what I call, "the throwing of the tantrums" (another thing possibly linked to grieving, but also to being a toddler).  She cries louder and harder during one of these than when she is actually physically hurt.  She also sometimes bangs her head on the floor or wall when she is throwing one of these tantrums.  I can see her frustration when mommy either doesn't understand or will not give into what she wants. 

She has grown SO much since she has come home.  She was in 18 months when she came home and now she is almost growing out of some of her 2T things.  I am blessed that she is a good eater.  She does have some dislikes, but at least the likes outnumber the dislikes (unlike my 6 year old whose diet would consist of mac and cheese and hot dogs if I let him).

We live in a rural area, so we don't have a lot of Asian type food in our area. My SIL told me about these Seaweed snacks that are sold at a grocery store about an hour away.  So a few days ago went to the "fancy" grocery store and picked her up some seaweed snacks.  Her eyes lit up and you couldn't give it to her fast enough.  So, I'm thinking stocking stuffer for sure.

I am very thankful she is home and is continuing to do well.  We have to work through a few things, but what family doesn't?  I yearn for the day when she sees this as her home, too.  Please continue to pray that she has joy in her heart and is able to accept us as her own.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where in the World Have We Been?

Here is a little hint:



This is one of my favorite times on the beach.  We were all sitting and playing in the sand.  I was blowing bubbles using the wind.  It was a time for peaceful chaos.  I loved it.


She loves to be thrown up into the air. 

 This is one of my beautiful cousins playing with Faith while on vacation.


 After a long outing on the beach, it was time for a snack.  A nap followed.

I want to praise God for allowing us to go on this trip.    It was an answer to a prayer. 

I will give you the short version (keep in mind that these things took place in about a months time):
I had a dream that our family would be going on a vacation for $280/person.
I told God, I wanted to get my prayer life in line with Shawn's.  I was feeling like I had been selfish only looking at what God wanted for our family from my point of view.
I asked Shawn what he wanted me to pray for.
Shawn wanted to go to the beach. I didn't pray for it at first, it took me a couple of days (and going to Revival at church) before I was ready to pray for it. At Revival that Evangelist said, "Pray for the impossible. (See Luke 18:27).

I decided to pray for the impossible with man.  I want to go to a spectacular beach with my dear husband.  Keep in mind that his salary meets the basic needs and wants of our household.

Frontier Airlines had a special for $8/one-way ticket from Kansas City to Houston (Galveston is only 1 hour from the airport).  With charges, taxes, and fees our tickets for 4 (because Faith is still a lap ticket for a few more months) was $114.  So we decided to go down to the Galveston area to the beach. Shawn drove the car with one of the bigs to and from because it would have cost us $600 to rent a car because of car seats and such.

Thirteen years ago Shawn and I traveled to Houston for the first time to visit MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center (In April 2012, he'll be cancer free x 13 years).  Thirteen years ago, I worked for a man in Lawrence, Kansas.  I had to quit this job because we were going to be in Houston for 4 months.  This man that I worked for 13 years ago was on the flight back from Houston.  It was great catching up. 

So here is your statistical question for the day:  What is the chance out of more than 7 billion people that live on the earth that the man I worked for 13 years ago would be on the same flight back from Houston to Kansas City?

There are other details about the flight home and in what has happened in the last month that I am leaving out that still leave me in AWE of God, but those details are too personal to our family.   Let me just say that if it is God's will, we will be going to a spectacular beach.  Just the two of us. According to God's plan.

Anyway, I am going to continue to pray for the "possible with God".  I hope you will too because miracles are way better than ordinary life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November 1

Here are a few pics from Halloween and Faith being Faith.

This was before we went on a trip to see Grammy M.  She was helping me pack the cold stuff. :)


This was the best pic out of like 20. 

I have a low cabinet that I keep all of my cooking utensils (that aren't sharp) pots and pans, and plastic containers.  All of my kids have played in this cabinet.  I keep my utensils in a plastic flower pot.  She put it on her head herself.  I love the chef's hat.

 All gone.

Peek-a-boo!

Waiting patiently for their big brothers to take pictures at the Church Fall Carnival.

I hope you've enjoyed our fun.  God Bless!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gotta Have My Coffee

 My child loves coffee -- half coffee, half milk and a little bit of sweetener.
 Cheese.
 All done.

Silly time.

Thank you Jesus for this precious gift.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power Struggle

So much of my life and time is struggling between the powers that be -- good and evil.

A few days ago I was thinking about how I was addicted to being overcome by fear, loneliness, tiredness, hatred, and negativity.  Why are there so many bad feelings? 

So there is the choice.  Do you dwell in the negativity or do you dwell in the presence of His holiness?

I am also addicted to the Father.  He is the only one that can heal and fill.

Psalm 68:5-9
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
   he leads out the prisoners with singing;
   but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
 When you, God, went out before your people,
   when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
   before God, the One of Sinai,
   before God, the God of Israel.
You gave abundant showers, O God;
   you refreshed your weary inheritance.

I am weary most days these days.  I find it so amazing how God continues to be so refreshing.  The only other place I'd rather be besides home is church.  Not necessarily the building, but with fellow believers. 

I hope you are choosing to be in His presence.  You can always come spend a minute with me and we can enjoy His presence together.  God Bless!

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2 Blue Lines

I had a dream last night that there were 2 blue lines.

At a different point in my life I would have been ecstatic, but at this point I find it terrifying.

I sure hope that dream was for someone else.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Praise God for Mundane Days

When we were waiting for Faith to come home, I had a woman comment to me that she would take the rollercoaster over the merry-go-round any day.   A few days after I read that comment, there was a woman who has a daughter that has brain cancer that posted on her blog that she can't wait to get off of that merry-go-round.  Oh, how my heart aches for her.

I praise God for mundane days.  For those days that my children and I can go outside and have no worries.  Where we can take a moment and watch while a leaf from our big trees slowly spins and floats silently to the ground.  Where I am not rushed and neither are they.

We had a bit of a scare and a not so mundane night Friday night.  All four children wanted to lay down with me in Faith's bed.  Her mattress is thankfully on the floor.  We had shut all the lights off.  Liam put his pillow next to me.  I was trying to read my Bible on my phone.  The next thing I know I hear a bump (I thought he fell off the bed, but was later told by Aiden that he jumped).   He then started crying, you know the cry where you know that they're really hurt.  So I jump up and turn on the light.  Blood is dripping out of his mouth onto him, the bed, and the floor.  I grabbed him up and ran to the bathroom.

I told Aiden to go get me some ice.

I looked in his mouth and asked him,  "Did you bite your tongue?"

Tearful, "Yes."

"Did you bite your cheek?"

"Yes."

"Did you knock your teeth out?"

"Yes."

I knew that the blood was coming from somewhere, but couldn't quite see where.   I could see there weren't any teeth out of place, no cheek bites, no tongue blood.  Of course I'm panicking.  I yelled, "Aiden, please bring me a flashlight that works."    (Guess what I want for Christmas?)

Keep in mind that Liam is my child that doesn't like to open his mouth even for brushing his teeth.  I look in the back of his mouth and there is a hole a little larger than a dime in the back of his mouth (soft pallet).  I then yell at him in my panicky mother tone, "DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN YOUR MOUTH?" 

Head nodding, "Yes."

I run into Faith's room to look at the toys on the floor and there is this plastic, molded together french fries pack with blood on it.  I was angry at the situation.  I have had a fear that Faith would get hurt somehow since she came home.  She's clumsy.  I have been telling Faith since she has been in our care to keep things out of her mouth. 

I said, "We need to go to the ER."   

When I was a little girl they had this "911" episode with this child on it where he had ran with a toothbrush and it got lodged in the back of his throat, so something like this has been a big fear since then.

So we called Aunt J and Uncle S and asked if they could take care of the 3 that weren't injured.  Thank God they live close. 

Car seats are a great invention until you want one out quickly.  Once we dropped off the kids, I sat next to Liam and held his hand.  I think he gave me more comfort than I gave him because I got car sick (luckily didn't throw up, but ill all the same).

We got to the ER and I asked the tech to give me a cold, wet wash cloth and tears start coming down my cheek because I can't handle worrying about my boy and myself at the same time.  You know mad that I'm sick and scared and trying to be the caretaker at the same time. 

They got him all checked over.  While the Doctor was looking in his mouth, I noticed there wasn't one hole, but 2.  The 2nd one was on the right side and it wasn't as bad as the left.  They took 2 xrays to make sure it hadn't gone into the sinuses (nasal cavity).    Thank God it was just a soft pallet laceration and it would heal over in a couple of days.  We are to follow up with his family Dr.

Then we went to pick up Faith at Aunt J and Uncle S because we were worried that she would be scared not waking up at home.   We left the 2 other boys there.

I praise God that it wasn't worse, and for Faith transitioning easily, and for family close by, and for cold-wet wash cloths, and for Aiden that he found a flashlight QUICKLY in the heat of the moment, and for Owen who usually takes 5 minutes to put on his shoes was in the car WAY before Mommy got there, and for the 2 older boys grabbing there jackets.

But most of all, today,  I praise God for the mundane days that He gifts us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Girl in Her Blue Dress (in honor of girleebird's little girl)

I Want to Take the BACK seat

I was listnening to my Christian music this morning and there was a song on that had a lyric that says, "Your Word never fails."

I had to find the Bible verse and share it with you:  For no word from God will ever fail.  Luke 1:37

John 1:1 says:   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 says:   The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

SO the WORD is a who NOT a what.

The Word is Jesus and Jesus NEVER fails.

So, which team are you fighting for?   Because if Jesus never fails, then that means the opposing team ALWAYS loses.

I pray that you find Jesus today if you don't know HIM.

If you know of HIM I pray that you cling to HIM and allow the Holy Spirit to take over your life.  Get closer to Jesus through the Bible (the WORD). 

I want to take the back seat and let Jesus drive.

God Bless!
Christina

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

L-O-V-E

Today marks one month home for Faith. She is a BLESSING.

We are in Revival at church this week.  Loving God and God loving you was the topic both Sunday morning and evening.  We studied Mark 12:30 Sunday evening.  Monday morning this was the verse that was in my devotional:

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.


Thank you God for being love and showering us with love.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Witness to a Miracle

I don't even have the words to describe what happened at church today.   Can you believe it?  A miracle at church? 

Now, isn't that funny.  Most miracles that I have actually seen with my own eyes have happened not within the church doors, but out in "real" life. 

A little background to the miracle:  Approximately, a couple of years ago, in our town there was a man and his son in an automobile accident.  It was rumored that there was alcohol involved, but this hasn't been proven by the courts.  His son ended up dying as a result of the accident.  Anyway, family members and the community at large pretty much judged and shunned the guy.  They would NEVER sin like he had.  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

I remember the day after the accident, I was speaking to someone on the phone and I said, "This is the time to lift him up, not reject him. He belongs at the feet of Jesus just as much as the rest of us do.  He has to live with the guilt for the rest of his life (whether he is actually guilty or not, I don't know, but I mean because he was the one behind the wheel).  Just because our sins haven't been revealed to the community, doesn't mean we are perfect."  I chose to pray for him.  I had never seen him, so I didn't know him, but I knew his son.

Recently, my husband and this man started restoring my husband's old car.   My husband asked him if he'd like to go to church with us a couple of weeks ago.   He said, "Not this week, but maybe next week."

We went through church service.  Our preacher, our Sunday evening worship leader and myself were talking about the music for this evening.  My preacher then said, "Tell your husband thank you for bringing this man to church.  It is an answer to many prayers."  Then it was time for Sunday School.

We went to Sunday School and the man went with us since he was my husband's guest.  The topic was evangelism (speaking to others about Jesus).  We happened to be talking about every day miracles that happen, but people don't realize it's the work of God.  So, the Holy Spirit moved in one of our students.  About 3/4 of the way through our study she said, "You know how a few years ago when _______   ________'s dad was in the accident and the community judged him."  SILENCE in the room because 2 out of the 7 of us knew the "Dad" was sitting right next to her.  My husband is pointing at him.  But she can't see him because she is looking at me.  I'm sitting there with tears coming down my face.  I think I must have been pointing and nodding also.  The student realized that he was in the room so tears started coming down her face, but I was urging her to go on with my eyes, heart, and soul.  She turned to him and said, "He needs to know that God forgives."

I pointed to the girl sitting next to me (today was her first day coming to our class) and said to the man, "She doesn't know the story."

She said, "I don't know the story, but I can feel the love." 

WOW!  He had a tear that ran down his face.  Thank you, JESUS! 

After Sunday School, the man hugged her.  I hugged her, also.  I thanked the student for saying the words that I always wanted to say to him, but couldn't (didn't, wouldn't). 

I also reassured the man after church that she really didn't know who he was.  I wanted him to know that we weren't trying to pull anything over on him. 

It was truly the Holy Spirit.

After we got home, the man called us and he thanked me for letting my husband take him to church.  I said, "I didn't have anything to do with it." 

He said,"That was really ironic what she said."

I said, "No, that was a miracle."

I invited him to come next week.  He said he would.

Our church isn't perfect, but our Heavenly Father is.  Sometimes He lets us glimpse His perfection.  This man may never again step foot in our church, but at least he knows he is welcome.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No Substitutions

Today for lunch I made Tuscan Soup.  The recipe called for chicken bouillon.  DRAT!  I used that up a few days ago and haven't made up a shopping list to replace it, so I substituted beef bouillon instead.  I substituted half and half for the cream also.   The soup was still delicious.

It got me to thinking that there are sometimes no substitutions.  For example, there is no substitution for kindness, love, human touch, and most of all God.

Often waiting parents ask what they should be doing to prepare for the wait between application and referral and then referral to having your child in your arms.  My recommendation is this:  get to know your heavenly Father better.   You can never, never, NEVER go wrong with making that relationship stronger.  He'll carry you through your toughest days.  That actually goes for everyone breathing.

The other thing that got me through was pictures of people's precious children who had come home recently, so here ya go! 



Worth every minute and every sleepless night of the wait!
Blessings!

Monday, September 19, 2011

FIERCE

Even in your quiet time alone with God are you fierce in your prayer?

I want to be fierce in serving Him, in teaching about Him, and in loving others.


This picture was taken after we arrived at the airport from Seoul, South Korea. I LOVE my eyes in this picture.  They are filled with joy and ferocity.

I was tired because we had been up for most of the 24 hours before and I had held Faith for probably more than half of those. 

I want to be more FIERCE in my prayers.

My prayer for you is that you seek this fierceness also, which only comes from God Himself.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One More Pic


This is one of my favorite pictures that I took yesterday.  Her hair is pulled back because it gets in her eyes.   I am not very good at doing her hair yet.  When I first put the hair band in, her hair was sticking up leaning to one side. 

I can not capture on camera how big her smile is or how big those dimples are. 

Blogger and my computer don't get a long.  After I put up 2 pictures yesterday, they freeze.  I think it is because my computer is ancient (you know at least 5 years old).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Couple of Pics


Dimples.

This is how she puts her lips when she says, "mool."

Progress

The littles are having the biggest difficulty adjusting to their new lives.  Faith does not like to share Mommy with Liam.  Liam thinks that he needs to boss Miss Faith around, so that she can walk the line.

Today, Faith was crying and Liam's way of comforting her is "Ssshh,"  saying it so forcefully that he spits in her face.  I am constantly trying to keep my guard up between the 2 of them because there is a lot of physical contact.  It's not positive physical contact either.  Hitting, pushing, kicking and biting is what I have to protect them both from.

We had a breakthrough today though.  Liam has been sick with a fever (probably caused by stinking seasonal allergies).  I had him lying on the floor and was taking his temperature.  I was stroking the side of his head.  Faith was watching.  I asked her if she could stroke his head.  She stroked his head. 

I said, "Poor Liam, he is sick." 

She then kissed him 4 times.  Each time she kissed him, he whimpered.  I asked, "Liam, are you scared?" 

He said, "(whimper, whimper) Yes."

I said, "O.k., Faith, that is enough."

How this girl understands me is beyond my understanding, but she understood the entire dialogue.  There is no way she understands English.  She understands body language. :)

I have tried to capture 2 different moments in the last couple of days for pics.  It is really difficult to capture a toddler as busy as she is.  I'll post pics when I can.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Kisses and First English Word

Faith is sparkly.  Her personality even when she is grieving has hints of smiles in there.  Oh, and those dimples.

She is so playful.  Daddy received the first kiss on the cheek a couple of days ago.  Mommy was slightly jealous, but Daddy revealed how to get one.  All you have to do is tap your cheek and make the kissing noise.  Well, why didn't I think of that?  I've only received one kiss, but I'll be patient.

A few days ago I was eating a bowl of ice cream.  She came over and wanted a bite.  I gave her a bite.  She signed, "more".  She devoured almost half of my bowl.  Needless to say, we had to get more.  I kept saying, "Mmmmm, ice cream."

She said, "Ice crea."  We've since had a couple more bowls in the last couple of days.  She doesn't discriminate against white, brown, or pink.  We like our Neapolitan mixture.  And for some reason it is better out of Mommy's bowl.  She doesn't want her own bowl.

She's also a little thief.  She steals my coffee.  That is one thing I am not too keen on sharing, so she gets her own mini (A&W) mug.  My middle boy also drinks coffee.  He used to steal my coffee, too.  Out of all of the drinks I've given her, coffee is her favorite.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MORE

Faith's Foster Mother had taught her a sign for please, so that we would know that she was asking for something politely.  I taught her the sign for "more."  She likes to eat and I wanted to make sure that she was getting enough. 

Tonight, she was teasing me and laying on the bed.  I was attempting to put her pajama top on over an undershirt.  She would roll over and giggle.  I started to tickle her.  We did this over and over again.  I was done playing and she looked up at me with a huge smile and she signed "more."  I said, "Oh, you want more tickling?" 

Of course I couldn't stop playing then.  So I tickled her a little more and let her avoid me putting on her shirt.

Once I finally got her to bed she was playing with her glow worm doll.  She gave it several kisses last night.  So tonight I decided I would kiss the glow worm, too.  She blew me a kiss.  That's progress in the right direction.

I am so thankful that she allows me to hug and kiss her.  She hugs me sometimes.  She has been with me for a week.  God has brought me so much joy.

She has adjusted so well that I am hoping to go to church on Sunday.   Here is the Bible verse that God laid upon my heart today.  It is from my devotional book, but it wasn't the verse of the day.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

I am signing "more" right now.  God Bless!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Sense of Calm

Have you ever done one of the biggest things in your life and had an almost complete calm about you?  That was our trip to Seoul.  I told my Dad that I felt like God was flying the airplane.  I'm such a child at heart that I pretend He's playing.  It was God's decision on how all this worked out.  Before I left for Seoul there was a Bible verse that kept playing over and over in my head:

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:29  (NLT)

How easy is that?  You don't have to fight for your life.  You just have to give it up.  Surrender and ride.  Surrender and ride.  REPEAT.

The only time I didn't have a sense of calm was when we were in the TSA line and we were going to miss our plane.  I wanted to be home with my husband.  Faith traveled extremely (heavenly) well for a toddler.  I lost it and big crocodile tears wer pooring from my eyes.  It was the only time I really cried on our trip.  My Dad said to me, "What happened to God flying the airplane?  Remember God's flying the plane (and then he makes an action like holding a toy plane)."  I stopped crying and started to smile.  I thank God for that moment.  We missed our flight.  Luckily, we were able to catch another one that left a couple hours later.  What a blessing.  I sat next to a lady that had lost her father that morning.  She said that when she saw us in the airport it looked like Faith and I were already in sync.  She had no idea that we had just picked her up 2 days before.  She made a comment about how God took one life, but was starting a new life with our family.  I hope that meeting us gave a little rest to her soul. 

If you've noticed I haven't said much about meeting Faith.  It is her story.  She is doing extremely well.  From the beginning, I told DJ (the social worker in Seoul) to please reassure the foster mother that it isn't that I don't like Faith or don't want to touch her, but I want her to come to me.  I wasn't going to force it.  THAT my friends has worked out smoothly.  She did come to me and we are buddies. 


Above she is walking with her Foster Mother and her Foster Father.  This is the outfit she was in when I met her.  I will not show pictures of anyone else from South Korea because I didn't ask their permission.  Faith was LOVED by her FM.   Her FM did an outstanding job at mothering her.

She comes to me and wraps her legs around my waste when I hold her when she is feeling insecure.  She doesn't like her brother (the youngest) to receive any of my attention.  I really thought that he'd be the jealous one, so I find this a little funny.  She and her Daddy had a little bit of bonding time tonight.  He made supper while I took a break for myself for a couple of minutes.  I would come in and out of the room to let her know I was still around, but also I didn't want to miss any of this "bonding show".  She is already getting better about letting me out of her sight for more than a minute.  Not that I really want to be out of her sight, but I want her to feel secure in all of her home surroundings with or without me.

She is an amazing child with a HUGE smile.  She has dimples at the corners of her mouth.  She loves to take a bath.  Did I say she loves water?   She has stuck her hands in the toilet 3 times since she's been with me.  Eeeww.  I've become quicker about closing the toilet seat.

She loves stuffed animals, but for some reason she likes to bite their noses.  She then gets fuzz in her mouth.  Eeewww.  She likes to drop food on the floor to get a reaction out of my DEAR dh. 

My dh and I had a few minutes after all 4 kids were asleep to spend some time with each other.  The bonding would have been better if it weren't for my hay fever.  How cute is a woman with a red, snotty nose and a hacky cough?  Have I told you lately how much I love him?  He's done a wonderful job these last few days taking care of me, so that I can take care of Faith. 

Tomorrow will be the day to start our new routine of a family of 6.  That seems so weird to say.  What a blessing. 

Seoul Fabulous

Wow!  I never would have thought that I would have loved a city 7,000 miles away from home.  My favorite things about Seoul are 1) the people are so kind, 2) the traditional buildings are so ornate, 3)  it smells "normal" for the most part, 4) the views of the mountains are breathtaking, 5)  lots of people speak or understand English 6) plum tea (the version we had was purple in color). 

We were only in Seoul for 4 nights, so I didn't get to see very much of the city.  I was too tired from traveling and then I couldn't sleep (go figure), so I didn't feel like going out to far from the hotel.

We visited Namdaemun Market, Insadong street, and the Gyeongbokgung Palace.  I have a book that I borrowed from a friend that says there are 100 things to see in Seoul.  There are several places that I didn't get to see.  My Dad said that he will go back with me in 6 or 7 years to take Faith back to see Seoul.  He has traveled much of the U.S., but never outside its borders, so this is saying a lot about Seoul.

There are several pictures that I didn't take, but wish I would have. 

I never thought that I'd be a world traveler.  I had no need.  BUT if you ever have the chance to go to Seoul, please visit.

Here are some of the views:


This was at the palace.

Well, I'm having trouble with blogspot and adding pictures.  I'll have to try and add more later.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HOME!

Yes, we are home and doing well.  I'm tired.  We've had lots of company.  She has handled everyone well.  I'll get you updated soon with some pics.  The best time to write is in the middle of the night and right now all I want to do is catch up on sleep and play with Miss Faith. 

So glad to be home. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Regular Western Toilet for a Regular Western Girl


This is a picture is of the toilet in our hotel room at the Somerset.
I was looking forward to South Korea's fancy toilets, but I guess they aren't in every hotel.




Here is our complimentary breakfast. It was delicious.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Travel Day

We left the local U.S. Airport at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 30.  We left our connecting flight at about 1:00 p.m.   Our flight was sort of long, but we made it.  We arrived at our hotel almost 24 hours later with only about an hour of interrupted sleep.  We both agree that it went pretty smoothly except our legs were extremely restless by 2 hours before arrival time.

The notes in the guidebook from our adoption agency made it extremely easy to navigate the Korean airport.  Our driver spotted us immediately.  

We went to exchange our money  and my Dad noticed that he lost his wallet on the plane.  Our driver took my Dad immediately to Korean Air lost and found.  My Dad left a report.  He didn't think we'd see it again.  A few minutes after we arrived at our hotel, the airlines called us.  They delivered the wallet about three hours later for a small fee.  I had told my Dad that I felt that God is carrying us.  We tried to tip the driver, but he wouldn't accept.  

Korean Air is the way to fly internationally.  The crew served us 2 meals and at least 2 snacks.  I think they offered drinks 3 times, always with a smile.  

Whoever suggested to bring a handheld fan on the flight was a genius.  It helps to calm the nerves and the Korean flight was hot at certain points in the flight.

We ordered a pizza and went to bed at about 10:30 p.m. I woke up at almost 4:00 a.m.  That sounds like how I sleep at home.

I want to thank all of you that are praying for us without ceasing.   I can feel your prayers.  They are working.

I am so excited that it is only one more day until we meet Faith.  I will hopefully post pictures of our trip later.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Finished IT, Finally

So, several years ago, I made a goal to read the entire Bible. My thought behind that was, "How can you sign up (believe in something, teach, be completely passionate about) for something you haven't fully read?"  I can't know God unless I read His word.

I started with the New Testament and then I read the Old Testament.  I struggled with Ezekiel and Isaiah.  I believe both of those books took at least a year or more to get through.

I am not saying this to brag, I am saying this because if I can read the book from cover to cover (even though it takes a long time) so can you.  And, I think I'll start again. 

Now, the topic of God's Providence, has been the theme of my mind and heart for the last week.  I want to know more about it.  I read an amazing sermon about Providence by Charles H. Spurgeon here. I hope you will take the time to read it.  

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

TRAVEL CALL!!!

We received the travel call to go pick up Faith at 11:22 a.m. CST.

Now, I am waiting on the travel agent to call me back.

Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Last Night of Ladies Bible Study 2011

Tonight was the last night of our church's Ladies Bible study for 2011.  We studied the Book of Esther (I don't know the real title because I'm too lazy to walk about 10 feet to look at the cover) by Beth Moore. 

Earlier in the study we learned this:  Esther 4:14b "Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Tonight we learned about God's Providence. 
We looked at Ecclesiastes 3.  It's about a time for everything.  If you read it and take it in, I promise you will be blessed by it.

Mmm.  God's word is delicious.  So fulfilling, and you can't ever get enough.

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Basking in the Psalms

I believe Psalms will be a good place to meditate on the Word of God until we receive Travel Call.

Keep the faith my dear brothers and sisters.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

Well Baby Check - 18 months

I was so excited to get a WBC today.  I was worried because I didn't know if she'd grown any/ how much in the last 2 months.  I want to take the correct size of clothes to South Korea with me.  She only gained a few ounces and 1/2 an inch.  I'm pretty sure she should still fit in 18 month clothing.

She is speaking a few words in Korean:
umma = Mommy
abba = Daddy
Aniya = no
Anyeong (I might have spelled this word wrong, but I had to read the Dr.'s handwriting) = hello

No she does not speak English, but she'll learn quickly. 

She is doing well.  I hope to meet her soon.

Lord, God, I praise you for giving me this information today.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today is the Day the Lord has MADE!

Today, Faith is 18 months old.  I can't wait to finally meet you baby girl.  I was really hoping that you'd be in my arms by today, but God has other plans.  We'll wait.

Yesterday, my boys had their first day of school.  My dh bought me a used i-phone so that when I go to South Korea I don't have to take a video camera, a camera, and a computer.  I was so proud of myself that I figured out how to use the camera and email it all by myself.  I'm a big girl now.  Here are 2 of my favorite 4 children.


Breathtakingly handsome!

Oh, I have to share one more thing that melted my heart.  My oldest had an assignment called brown bag it yesterday.  He had to fit several items on a list in a brown lunch bag.  One item was "something special to your family."  Aiden is taking a picture of Faith.  That warms my heart.

Celebrate, the Lord made today.
God BLESS!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Preparing a Place for You

We are making preparations for the homecoming of our daughter.  We are cleaning, adjusting, and fixing.

I want her to feel safe.  I want her to feel welcomed.  I want her to feel wanted, significant and loved. 

How much more so is our God in heaven preparing a place for us? 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”   John 14:1-4 (NIV)

The difference is that our daughter has not chosen us.  We must choose the Father in order for us to be with Him.  He is only preparing a place for those who know (have faith) in him.

See the rest of John 14 to be blessed by the word of God.  (this link will take you to biblegateway.com to John Chapter 14 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2014&version=NIV).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mending

I wanted to let you know that I am on the mend.  You might wonder why I shared the last post with you.  It was so that you can see that 1) I am not perfect 2) every human, even Christians, experiences pain  3)  I am vulnerable. 4) I want to glorify God and what he has done for us.

Sometimes when people see you every Sunday, they start to believe that everything is all perfect in your life.  Well it's not. 

On another note:  Sunday School on Sunday was awesome.  My husband and I are honored to be able to teach the Single Adult/College Age class.  Of course many times my teaching comes from my failures in life.  The subject was about forgiveness.  It was a fabulous topic.   It is helping me to heal.  Thank you God.

God is Awesome.

Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
   To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Upside Down Rainbow

It has taken me several days to write about the upside down rainbow from my dream on August 10.  I knew from this dream and this symbol that I would receive some bad news on the same day.   Most often when I have dreams, I know they don't mean anything.  It seems that they are usually a weird form of entertainment.  I am easily bored, so I guess I need to be entertained when I sleep also.  When I have nightmares, I often make a comment to God that I hope that they don't mean anything.

If you have been reading my blog you know that I have been working for an oncology clinic.  You know that I dearly love the patients that I work with.  Before I took this job I had not been working as a nurse for 3 years.  What you may not know is that I am an easily intimidated person.  I have very little self confidence when it comes to large responsibilities.  The point is that I had to build my confidence up because I was learning many new things and get back into the groove.  Just because you are a nurse in one area doesn't mean you know the entire spectrum of nursing.

I had felt that in the last month I had made great strides in the area of my abilities and my confidence.  I felt things were going much more smoothly.  Even my husband commented on how I had really started to like my job.

My coworkers told me they were glad I was there and would tell me thank you.

Everyday while I was driving to work I would pray the same prayer, "God you have to take over because I can't do this job."  You should have seen my abilities increase when God took over.   His hands are amazing.

The last time my supervisor saw me, we had a large amount of patients that day.  The other nurse that was supposed to be there was going to be late.  My supervisor was there because she didn't know I was going to be there, yet when the patients arrived, she offered no help.  I was rooming patients by myself.  So frantic and disorganized -- YES!  The added pressure was that I was told to room patients in 5 minutes or less.   Vital signs plus the questions we have to ask take at least 5 minutes.  Then we have to draw labs on most patients on top of that.

Anyway, on Wednesday, August 10, I had my 90 day evaluation.    Every single thing that my supervisor said about me was negative. Talk about completely blind-sided.   There had been no reprimands before that.  I was not called into the office to discuss anything pertaining to what was in the eval. 

Here is the short laundry list from memory:  I am argumentative and defensive so it decreases my ability to learn; disorganized and frantic; I interrupt patients;  I ask too many questions over and over again. 

Of course I am crying at this point.  Not only because many of my negative attributes are on the table, but also I would miss my patients.  There was a great divide between how I saw myself and how the supervisor saw me.

My boss asked me, "Do you have any comments?" 

I said, "I'm sort of between a rock and a hard place.  If I say anything or if I don't I'm screwed."

(My thinking behind that statement is that if I said anything I was either argumentative or defensive.  If I didn't say anything it didn't matter because what was done was already done.)

Yes, I agree there is some truth to each of those statements she said about me, but where is the other side of the coin?  It made me sound dreadful. 

The biggest problem was that they wanted me to work 2 days a week and I couldn't do that.  When I was at work I was extremely committed.  There was one day that I was so focused on my job that I forgot that I needed to pick my children up from daycare.  Luckily, I had called my husband to tell him I would be late.  So, he went to pick them up.

After my boss (who has never actually seen me in action) read these statements to me she said, "At this point I think it would be best if we separate because you are getting your little girl soon.  When you are ready to commit to work for us, I'll give you a second chance and hire you back." 

My thoughts:  What?  Why?  From what you just read about me, I wouldn't hire me back.

There were two great things my boss said about me in the conversation, "You are a child of God." and "You are a dedicated mother."

My spirit is at war.  My heart, mind, and soul don't understand.

I don't know why this happened.  It hurt a lot.

When I went to Bible study Wednesday night here is one of our Bible verses:

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,  2 Peter 2:9 (HCSB)

I'm not saying that anyone in particular is ungodly.  I am saying that I need rescued from this pain.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

God placed me in that job, but he also took me out of it.  Unfortunately, I was not spared the pain.

Neither was Jesus.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rainbows Above the Trees

Last night before I went to bed the Holy Spirit whispered.  "You'll get good news tomorrow." 

Last night I had a dream of 3 rainbows above the trees.  The colors were extremely vivid, but the trees were black.  One rainbow was upside down. 

Faith received her EP approval yesterday, but we didn't find out until today.

When do we get her?  I don't know, but hopefully within a month.  One more hurdle down.

Praise Jesus!  All GLORY to GOD!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainbows in the Clouds

Let's start with Friday.  Friday was an extremely hard day for me.  There was no news about our adoption (nor did anyone else hear from the Korean side of things) for an entire week.  When you hear no news, it is hard to fathom what is going on half a world away.  My heart was so heavy.  Then my son came home from church camp and our pastor's wife was there.  She said,"It's one more day until we get Faith home." 

I hugged her and held her tight and bawled on her shoulder.  I was broken and I surrendered to the pent up sadness I had and it ALL came out.  What a healing balm she was for me!  Thank you Miss Debbie!

After that, we had friends over on Saturday evening and just enjoyed ourselves as a few families together.  My best friend (of which one of her daughters is considered a sister by my middle son and another daughter who my 2 year old gets jealous of when I pay attention to her), my other best friend (who happens to be the mother of a very dear boy who I got to take care of for a big portion of Saturday), and another couple who are dear to us.  All of these couples go to our church.  That's called communion and fellowship.  Living life together.

I want to thank all the prayer warriors out there that have prayed for us on this journey.  I could feel your prayers especially the last few days.

Yesterday morning I was driving to work.  There were clouds in the west and sunshine in the east.  There was a tiny partial rainbow.  My heart leaped.  The PROMISES of GOD!  You see, I don't get to see many rainbows because our house is surrounded by trees, so when I see a rainbow I get excited.  I knew we were going to get good news because once this rainbow disappeared, I saw another 1/2 rainbow.  I almost had tears of JOY in my eyes.

A few hours later the good news was that Emigration Permits (EP) were submitted for the next batch of children (To clarify:  The children who would travel in the next batch after us.  The pattern for this year is the EP's were submitted for the first batch, then the next batch of children would be submitted followed by EP approvals for the first batch, then repeat the pattern).  That means our baby should have her EP approval soon.   I am excited!  We have movement.  So then when I heard the news that EP's were submitted, I couldn't get a hold of anyone.  Not my dh, not my Mom, not my SIL.  I finally got a hold of my MIL.

Well, until the next news.
God Bless YOU!

Friday, August 5, 2011

STILL Waiting for Emigration Permit Approval

I would like to point out that our group of children waiting for EP Approval (length of time from EP submission to EP approval) has so far this year waited longer than 2 times the amount of any group with our agency.  We are up to 11 weeks today.

This wait is harder than most people will ever understand.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Revival

So, today is August 4, 2011.  God's work is so amazing sometimes.  About a couple of years ago, an all girl Christian singing group called "Eternity Focus" from Kansas visited our church.  It was for a father daughter banquet and then for church service on Sunday.  You can visit their web site here:  http://www.eternityfocus.com/   We had a chance to meet them, but I don't know them personally. 

I was listening to their album "Nothing to Lose" as I was washing dishes today.   I encourage you to check out this album if you are needing to be uplifted.  There is a song on the album titled "When God Seems Far Away." 

Here in the last few days especially, God does seem so far away from me.  This song helped to remind me that He really isn't far away.  God knows each day that is planned for each of us. 

I think it is amazing that I loved their music the first time I heard it.  I bought an album and look how it helped me a couple of years later.   What worship music can do not only one day, but many days later.  My soul was in need of revival. . . Thank you Eternity Focus!  You have no idea what your music can do.

Eternity Focus is supposed to have a new album out late this fall.  I can't wait to buy it. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Care Package Received



Can't wait to hold this baby girl in my arms.
Can't wait until she hugs me back.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Laundry Question

Do you think washing her clothes now is too soon?  I guess I'm getting antsy.  For about 3 months now, Faith's clothes have sat on the toddler bed.  (Do clothes sit?)

I want to wash them.  I wonder if they'll get too much dust on them if we have a while yet until travel call.

I'm going to wash them today because it gives me a sort of closeness to her.

I can't wait until I can smell her, set my eyes upon her, touch her, and hear her.  I'm sure unfortunately at some point I'll even taste her sweat, tears, or snot.  If you've been a parent you know this happens accidentally from time to time. 

Oh, God, PLEASE, let her heart be healed when it is broken by me, when I take her from the only family she can remember.

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Small Lesson in Perseverance

I am so blessed that I am working a job right now that I love.  When I first started working at the oncology clinic I told myself not to get attached.  How can you not get attached to the man who puts stickers on his chest to get a smile from his nurse (or worse yet rubber snakes and spiders)?  Or the lady that always thinks she must be dying, but her test results reveal that she is cancer free?  Or the 28 year-old that is faced with terminal cancer with the pink hair?   Or the lady who can smell the chemo drugs from the highway before they even turn the corner to come get her treatment?  Or the man with the son who on the outside looks so tough with all the tattoos and marks of a rough life, yet cares deeply and daily for his father?  This father passed away last weekend.  There was another woman with a big smile and a twinkle in her eye who we also lost last weekend. 

Another patient brought in her funeral program.  We shed a tear together.

I didn't do so well at the not getting attached part.  I have so much love and respect for these people.

So many patients full of life, that face the frailty of it to a larger degree than most other Americans on a daily basis. 

How can my heart be sad for my little situation when there are MANY worse predicaments in the world?

These patients teach me about perseverance and endurance.  Some come day after day for treatment, some week after week.  Some come year after year.  They fight for health and life. 

We are people who forget so easily that our health is a gift.  A gift like faith.  We don't fight for it until it's failing.

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, I must persevere and wait humbly with joy.  For the day will come.  I will have FAITH.

God Bless!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Sound of a Tornado

I have never been in the direct path
of a tornado, but I've seen the destruction.

I wonder when thunderstorms come
if I'd know when to run if
the sound
of a tornado
was coming.

We live in a rural area,
so there'd be no WARNING.

I worry about the deceived people.

Because they might not know
the sound
when Jesus
RETURNS.

You think the destruction
in the path
of a storm
is the worst,
but have you thought
of the destruction
that comes
to the
unbelieving
in Christ?

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
—Matthew 24:21, 24 NKJV
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Matthew 24:27 NIV

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Matthew 24:42-44  NIV

Friday, June 24, 2011

Accepting What You're Given

Every morning, I read a daily devotion from "The One Year Life Verse Devotional" by Jay K. Payleitner.  This is the verse from this morning:

10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.  Job 2:10  NLT

I then found this verse

Job 36:15
But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.  For he gets their attention through adversity.
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I tell you Job was one faithfully strong man.   Accept, grow and go.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Renewed

So since Tuesday, I've been going to biblegateway.com to look up Bible verses.  Biblegateway.com has daily Bible verses on its opening.  I feel for the last 3 days they have been for me.  Here is today's:

“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 NIV

This morning I do have renewed strength.  I will run and not grow weary.

Last night, I attended a Bible Study.  Bible Studies have played an important role in leading up to our adoption journey (long, personal story).  I revealed to my classmates that God has decided that I need to do one more Bible study before we pick up our daughter.  There are 8 weeks left in the Bible study and that should be about the time we receive the call to pick her up.   (Of course that is just an approximation.)

We are doing the Beth Moore study about Esther.   Here is the Bible verse that stuck out most to me last night:   1 Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
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I will continue to boast in the Lord.   I will put my faith in the Lord. 

In our country we are good whiners.  The smallest setbacks start our rants.  We feel we have some sort of entitlement or right to something.  We forget that we rarely suffer as much as our Lord Jesus Christ did on that cross, for a wretched people like ourselves. 

Truly take a look at the suffering people in this world.  I'm pretty sure that anyone who was affected by a tornado this year could care less that I have at least one more month waiting for my daughter to come home, when they have lost everything.   It's just a small setback in the bigger picture.  

Be renewed today in the JOY of the Lord.  Be renewed by His strength.  Be renewed with His wisdom.  Stand in awe of Him.

Praise God who carries us in His hands. 
Love in Christ Jesus,
Christina

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Broken Clock

In our Sunday School Class we had a clock that was broken.  We replaced it with a new clock and new batteries.  That clock 2 weeks after it was hung is now also broken and showing the same time this week as it was last week: 12:00.

Seems like our adoption journey is sort of like our clock.  We are stuck.  We are stuck between EP submission and EP approval.  I keep counting down the days and more days were added back onto my clock today.  I don't even know how to count now.

Time will go on and eventually, I will be traveling to Seoul to hold my daughter in my arms.  She will be 18 months old in August.  I hope and pray that nothing else is held up in this process.

To Tell the Truth

Have you ever seen that game show?  I like it, but I am not very good at guessing who the "real" person is that they are describing.  This world is sort of like that.  It is full of lies and people get confused and aren't really sure what they should believe.

Those of us that believe in the Almighty Father have hope.  He never lies.  I would like to share with you the two passages of devotions I read this morning.  The wait for my little girl to come home isn't easy, but these passages give me peace.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 NIV

2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Funny DH

Where we live, we are unable to grow a garden because of so many trees and poor dirt quality due to living on a hill.  Yesterday, we were shoveling dirt mixed with manure to make a new garden spot in an extra-large (3 feet x 10 feet  x 18 inches deep at least) container. 

As we were shoveling my dh asks, "Are you suppose to be doing this when you're pregnant?"

He caught me off guard with his sweetness.  I laughed and said, "I don't think the baby will feel a thing." 

Boy, do my arms hurt today though.

God Bless!  Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, May 27, 2011

FINALLY! I can post an update.

I've been having some troubles with blogger lately and haven't been able to sign in.

Our baby girl was submitted for her Emmigration Permit 5/20/11.  That means that as long as the paperwork goes through correctly we should receive her in July. 

My friend C was recently in Korea picking up her son.  She took several pictures of our daughter.  There is no way to repay her for her kindness.  Her and her husband took time out from sightseeing and spending time with their new son to take pictures for me.  I am so honored and blessed by her love.  What a priceless gift in friends like these.  






She's so beautiful. 

Psalm 36:7  How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chosen

Yesterday, I had a patient that asked, "Do you have any children?"

I said, "Yes, I have 3 boys and a little girl we are adopting right now from South Korea."

She said, "We have an adopted son, but he never says he's adopted.  He always says, 'I was chosen.' And he is 40." 

I said, "Oh, I hope my daughter feels that way."

She said, "Just tell her."

I said, "I will."

Amazing grace!  I love when God brings people like this into my path.

All of my children have been chosen for me to temporarily care for. What blessings God has given. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

You're Going to Get an Earful

Warning:  I am not asking for money, I am encouraging you to give to others.  Give the most to the least of these.

My rhetorical question is this:  if you are in a certain tax bracket is there a set of children that are only open to you?   For example if you make over $150,000 you get the "healthy" children, but if you only make $100,000 you get the not so healthy children, etc.  Or reverse the order, whichever way you like.  Thank God we are not matched this way, biologically or through adoption. 
You can play god if you want to, but I didn't have a whole lot of "choices" in adoption.  I was told which countries I could/could not adopt from, I was told the age they would prefer us to adopt, I was told that we couldn't choose gender.   I even get told when my child will come home.
We did choose the special needs we were open to in the beginning, however that didn't exactly turn out as "planned/chosen" either. 
I wouldn't normally donate money for someone getting an IVF (or other fertility treatments) either.  In my eyes adoption and fertility treatments are two separate, not-at-all equal subjects.
I have several people in my family that don't understand why we are adopting.  They also don't understand why we would pay fees for a WC.  We tried a "more affordable" route of adoption and that path was not ours to take.
God tells us to speak the truth in love according to His Word.  Our sermon today was subtitled, "Why Should I Care?".  It just so happens that this was one of our Bible verses during the sermon today:
Romans 13:8   Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Does God only call the rich man to adopt?  Adoption is a leap of faith and a leap of love.  Adoption is for God's glory and not ours.
Why does fundraising for adoption have to have a negative connotation?   Especially, if it is raising money for it is no way illegal or unethical.  Asking for money for any God chosen path (whether it be missions or adoption) is humbling.  When did helping orphans turn into something that is not a mission?     I see the helping an orphan mission ending in one of two ways 1) they stay with their birth family (or extended family) or 2) they end up with their AP.  I guess there is the 3rd way of aging out of care, but that path is not a choice of mine.  Speaking to mission #2:  I view the mission of helping an orphan stopping the minute they are your child (for me that happened even before we were referred a child because I view her as being created for me to raise).

Matthew 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' (NIV)
Why can't we celebrate those who want to help get a child home?  Should they not only turn their back on adopting themselves, but also turn their backs on others who are willing to open their homes to orphans?  I would hope not.

Why be a reason to cause more orphans by discouraging others not to adopt?    Why is money a big factor anyway?  AAAAaarrggghhh!
So should we not give money to organizations that help families afford adoption that helps a "specific" family/child in the end? 
I agree that it is not a good thing if you ask for donations and then you take a trip to Disney World.
Once we are slightly more financially able, my mission is to help others afford adoption, as well as, donate to help children stay with their birth families.
 James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  (NIV)
I care because God cared first.  I hope you can soften your heart and share with the needy.

So, give.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Stomp My Feet (From Frustration to JOY)

So, I'll be honest with y'all.  This week has been a heartbreaking week for me.  I know that a majority of people will not understand where I am coming from.  I have countless blessings.  This was a hard week because we found out that it might not be until the end of July until Faith comes home (or later because we have no concrete idea of timing in the adoption world).  We weren't submitted for an Emigration Permit in April. 

If you grew up with me, you know that I am an expert at whining.  My mantra as a child was, "it's not FAY- YER."  I didn't stomp my feet physically on Wednesday, but I did cry some crocodile tears.  I asked my Mom, "Why does God choose such hard things for me?"   I tried extremely hard not to cry.  I tried to keep my emotions in check.  I had to call my sister and my SIL (she's been through it), too.

My whole being KNOWS to trust in God.  TRUST in His timing.  But my heart was just sad.  I yearn for my baby girl.  I don't want her to be a full blown toddler by the time she gets here.  I want my boys to have time to attach and bond with her before they have to go back to school.

I know from the time that I was battling with infertility (prior to my first born son) that the long wait is worth it.

I praise God for the other women who are going through the same trials as I am and/or have gone through them before me.

I'll stomp my feet because God CHOSE me.  Isn't that fantastic?  God chose our family to be Faith's family.  God chose Faith to be our child.  She may not be in my arms yet, but she was mine from the day I first saw her.  I will lean on Him.  She'll be here when He wants her to be here.

I can't wait until I get to STOMP MY FEET WITH JOY, with her in my arms.  We'll dance.   I can't wait to praise God as I watch her sleeping, as I hold her when she's sick, as I watch her laugh and play, and through the rough stuff that comes with being a parent.  I hope you'll STOMP your feet with joy when she comes home, too.

So, I'll wait and BELIEVE in the promises of God.

Psalm 25:3  Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
         Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Where?
Down in my heart.
Where?
Down in my heart. . .

Bless You!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally, Some Adoption News

So I am a little slow about this post.  I have been tired from working full-time and having a family.  I come home and I am like a zombie.  Thank God for my SIL, who came over yesterday to take care of my kids and she cleaned our house.  What a fantastic gift!

Now EP news.  We weren't submitted and I was completely o.k. with that.  I was excited to see EP news for several reasons 1) they were notified 2 weeks after they were submitted, so there is a shorter wait until they are approved and a shorter wait until the next batch is submitted, 2)  EP's are moving  3) We are getting closer to getting to hold our preciousness in our arms. 

I-600 news:  we were APPROVED to bring our baby girl into the U.S.A.  This wait only took 15 days from them receiving it until we were approved.  We were notified Wednesday.

Overall, I am overjoyed about the progress of these two things.  On the other hand, I hope to see MANY more adoptive parents traveling in May.  This month was pretty slow for those types of calls.  I hope to see a TC explosion.

I pray that my friend Cindy travels to pick up there little boy in the next 2 weeks.  They have waited so long.

Praise God for the gifts He gives.  Bless you!