Monday, March 31, 2008

A Look Back Before We Move Forward

I have been thinking about our last adoptions as we sit on the edge of another. I have gone back through all my journals to remember each moment...
One stands out as a marker in my life, a time when I put some big pieces of life's puzzle together for the first time. I wrote this excerpt from my diary after we had taken Denis back to the orphanage. It was our first trip to Russia to meet Denis and we had spent three glorious days getting to know our new son. We would not see him again until the court date was set which was indefinite, maybe weeks if we were lucky or more probably months before our return to take him home. Dropping Denis off at the orphanage was one of the hardest moments in my life!! Here is what I wrote...

"Once we finished with the notary office that terrible time of departing was almost upon us! So...back up the hill we went past the Ministry of Education, turn right, past the cracked buildings, past the many stray dogs and broken sidewalks, down the tiny alleys... left...right, past the piles of rubbish and half-finished, abandon construction...left, through the huge, weathered, iron gates, past the rusty, broken playground slide, into the cracked parking lot sprinkled with fallen leaves. We are now outside the barred windows of what is now Denis' "Home-Sweet-Home"!! Please Lord let it be quick that we can take him home!

We exited the car and stood not wanting this parting to come. I pinched back my ocean of mother's heart is breaking. Denis hugged us all one at a time, his new backpack his new brother Noah gave him was loaded with his treasures. He entered through the narrow door, back into the arms of the only caregiver he has ever known...her name is Orphanage #1.

My heart just entered the institution with him where it will live until, with God's help, I can bring them both safely home for good. America is sleeping just now in her soft, warm bed as a boy alone returns to his familiar, cold, hard world. In one moment two ends of the same spectrum suddenly meet in the middle of the adoption process. The haves and the have nots, now joined together for the glory of God...and hope comes into the world! Neither one alone could or would be complete. Left by themselves each is nothing more that a separate world moving through enjoying, the other striving, the other hoping. Neither world completely satisfied, but in unity Christ brings purpose and fulfillment to each. And as the heavy metal doors bang shut I am reminded that this door to Russia and America has and will not be closed forever because what God has started He will finish and the door that God opens no man can shut!! But the wait is part of the process and so as we drive away the floodgates open and my tears are released!! Good things come for those who wait...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Up To Date

In June of 2007 we applied with America World Adoption Agency to begin the process to adopt from Ethiopia. Our paper chase began right away and by November 20, 2007 it was in Ethiopia. Our family is currently awaiting a referral for one baby boy 0-12 months old and possibly an older child as well. God knows the timing and who is suppose to be here in this family. We wait patiently on His will.

The Ark

We have established our "new norm" with these blessings that God has given us and a peace has settled over our home. One night as we were talking before our cozy fireplace I looked around our house and realized it was a safe ark of peace. God spoke to my husband and I and said, "Pull another on! Bring another into my kingdom!" Since our dear friends are doing great works for God with Open Arms International (a medical outreach in Africa) were aware of the plight on that continent. That night I knew the next stop was Africa!!

Time Flies...

Over three years have passed since the adoption of Denis and over four years since little Isabelle came into our family. The road has been bumpy at times, but as the healing exchanges pain for the security of family joy and peace surround us. If someone had told us years before that God would have this for our family we surely would not have believed it, but I praise God that he helped us take that leap of faith for him and of course we landed in the safest place possible...right in His Will!!

Here Comes The Son!!!

We returned home from China in September of 2003. After speaking at our church some of our good friends expressed an interest in adopting as well. There had recently been a group of twenty-four older Russian children come to our vicinity on a "Family Hope" program. The intention of this visit was to place these kids in the adoptive homes they were visiting. Four of the twenty-four had not been adopted by their host families. Our friends decided to adopt two brothers and encouraged us to help them advocate for the other two boys that were left. (We later found out that one of these boys was not able to be adopted .) Since we had just returned from China it never occurred to us that we might be the family we were praying for to adopt the last of the four boys. For six months we looked for a family for this boy, then one night God spoke to us...We were to be Denis' forever family!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Double the Fun!!

So Abigail Grace was born and just seven months later we traveled as a family to China to pick up her big sister. Isabelle Faith Mei was twelve months and two weeks old when we returned home with our almost twins born half way around the world from each other!

Monday, March 3, 2008


As the pregnancy and the adoption progressed our family relied more and more on God. When we began this journey babies were not even on our radar. We had no baby equipment left except for a couple of items we were saving for grandchildren. There were no cribs, strollers, dressers, clothes. There were no diapers, or rattles, or onesies, or bottles. Nothing was left. It was exciting to watch how God provided for these two little girls. With this pregnancy I was given not one, not two, but three very large baby showers. Everything came in from car seats, to swings, to so many clothes that our closet looked like a baby clothing store. Gift certificates, layettes and support came in from everyone. I had to buy boxes of thank you notes and book after book of stamps to send them out!! I felt God's huge arms around me hugging me and loving me and my family and those two babies.

Close Call

The Chinese policy says that you can have four children and adopt one more from China making the total number of kids in your home five. This was the situation when we began our adoption, but of course the pregnancy would bump us up to five children. Although I was nervous to inform our agency about our new situation, because I afraid they would cancel the adoption, it was the only ethical thing to do. After much deliberation our agency decided that at the time we sent our dossier to China this was a snapshot of our family, and so they would let our adoption progress. (This policy has now been changed .) It was clear that God wanted us to train two more children for Him.


Now it was my turn to jump. From what the doctor told us, the chance of me getting pregnant was slim and that seemed fine to me. In the meantime God was speaking to us about the plight of orphan children all around the world. He told us that although we might not need any more children, there were children that needed parents!! So in January 2002 we started off in another direction of obedience and sent paperwork into America World Adoption Association to bring a little Chinese girl into our family. By May of 2002 our paperwork was complete. It would take over a year to receive a referral from China, so now I relaxed a bit. It was the calm before the storm because just two months later in guessed it, I was pregnant! In less then one year from the time God had spoken to our family about our priorities we were awaiting the arrival of two baby girls.