Family

Family
Lonely no More:)
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew18:5



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fortune cookie wisdom

A fellow adopting friend was recently eating at a Chinese restaurant and opened her fortune cookie to read........ "As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled".  The Bible words it a little differently...I have shown you in every way by laboring like this, that you must support the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said "It is more blessed to give than to receive." 

I have found through this adoption journey, that it is HARD to be on the receiving end.  It's humbling, and we feel so undeserving of this huge outpouring of love and generosity.  Another blogger said it so much better!  She talks about being Jesus with skin on:)  I loved what she had to say.   If you like her article and want to read more of their story, click on the title below in tan.


Jesus with skin on!

I feel so weak!... so needy!  But I don't like being weak or needy!  (There... I said it!)  I'd rather be the one reaching out to those in need... Not because I'm so holy or righteous, but because when I'm on the "giving end" of need... I set the terms.  I decide how committed I want to be... how much time I'm willing to give... how much money I'm willing to sacrifice... and how vulnerable I'm willing to risk being with the receiver of my giving.   But when I'm on the needy end, I'm helpless and completely at the mercy of the giver... whomever that might be.  


Ultimately, I believe that my times are in the Lord's hands and the satisfying of my needs, no matter how great or small, lies completely in his provision and care.  But I also believe that God delights in using broken people, just like me, to be "Jesus with skin on"...


Sometimes I think it might just be easier if God would skip the "middle man".  Get a human being involved in anything... and it instantly becomes complicated!  I mean, if my need entails money... it seems it would be so much easier if God dropped crisp dollar bills from the heavens as He did with manna.  That way, I wouldn't have to feel at all indebted to anyone or feel obligated to do the same for them when our roles have been reversed...


And if my need is physical... like failing health or a need for warmth and comfort.  Why not do the invisible by just speaking a word and letting it be done?  It seems that would be so much easier than waiting for someone else to rise to the occasion and meet my need, while inwardly taking pride in themselves and putting off an air that they are somehow better than I...  I'm fine with being indebted to God... but my next door neighbor who I'm not crazy about?  I really don't want to have to "owe him" anything! 


But right now, all those excuses are irrelevant!  I have needs that I can't meet no matter how I try.  My children have needs that I can't begin to meet in my own strength... Self-sufficiency is out the window.  "Self" has nothing to offer my incredible need!


James 1:27 says that true religion that pleases the Lord is to look after the orphans and widows and to reach out to them in their distress. Through out the Bible, we see again and again how God's heart beats passionately for the most needy among us!  But, wait!  I hate being needy... remember?  But I can't skip over this without asking"why"?  And I think I might already know the answer!  God loves the weak and the needy precisely because they can not provide for themselves... they MUST look outside of themselves for the fulfillment of their needs... they must look to Christ!   


I started this journey with a negative balance in my "sufficient" tank.  I'm certain that most people thought that we'd lost our minds before we even started!  Most days I probably would have agreed.  But part of the joy of this journey has been discovering along the way how ALL-sufficient our God is!  One of the greatest treasures has been meeting brothers and sisters along the way that have been "Jesus with skin on" to us!


Behind every check made out in our names for Rachel's adoption was a family with obligations and needs much like our own.  People gave because they wanted to give hope to a little girl that had never known hope before... and they were willing to sacrifice in order that she might meet the One who is the giver of Hope Himself!... Jesus with skin on!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prayer request for a friend

All prayer warriors........I know you already are praying for multiple people and needs....BUT could you please squeeze in one more for some very dear friends in the adoption process.  They've just got news from their agency that their 2yr. old boy has a skin disease called Vitiligo.  The rest of this post is in the family's own words. 

"We loved Lukai yesterday, when he didn't have vitiligo, and we love Lukai today, even with Vitiligo."

So what do we need?  Prayer.  Prayer for us, prayer for Lukai, and prayer for all the directors, social workers, and government officials involved not to panic and try to stop the adoption.  What does Lukai need?  Part of me wants to scream "US!  He needs a home!  Someone to take care of him.", but he has a foster family, and hopefully he is being well cared for.  God knows what he needs - and God will meet those needs, either through us, or through someone else.

All we can do, is hold on, and push through to bring Lukai home... with or without Vitiligo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Adopt

Yeah, the title got my attention, too.  He has some words of wisdom to impart to us though!
http://www.russellmoore.com/2011/10/12/dont-adopt/

Pre-Approval!

We finally got PA (pre approval) for our 2nd little girl:)  YEAH!!!  So now I can officially introduce Iley Xiaokui (pronounced Sha ow Quay) She is 4 years old also.  She has been at the same orphanage as Wren Da Yu until the last month.  She is now in foster care in China.  (Not sure how I feel about this, but as there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.....I will just pray)

Here she is:)  We think she's pretty cute!


This next picture was our first glimpse of her.  She is in the pink bib (behind Wren pointing, both are in pink) So here are both of our girls in the same picture.  We didn't know they were going to be sisters at this point.  We just wondered who the forlorn little face in the background was, and hoped she would have a momma soon.

The next glimpse of her came in a picture and video of her at the table.  I don't know what it was about her that just captivated me.  She really wasn't doing much but eating and looking at the little girl beside her.  She did show a little personality in this picture though:) At this point, although I was smitten with her, we were still thinking one was our limit.




The next glimpse of her was in a video sent to us by a friend who was showing us her little girl.  I was totally not expecting to see her!  We had just received a video of Wren Da Yu, and she was nowhere to be seen.  When we watched the video, I felt again that this was my child. After much discussion and even more prayer about whether we were supposed to adopt two at once,  we decided to try to find out who she was, and if she was even available, or if she already had a family.  We emailed a picture of her to our agency along with another little boy's picture, who we had all been in love with for a while.  We prayed that if either of them were NOT meant to be ours that they would already be placed with a family. I also prayed that if they were ours, that something in their file would stand out or be specific to our family.  The little boy is being adopted by a family in China (we mourned his loss to our family, and pray that he will be happy and know Christ in his new family)  He reminded us so much of our Shermie.....I still say I have 3 children in China!), BUT..... the little girl was named Xiaokui, she is 4 yrs. old, Her Birthday is April 14th,(our anniversary) of  2007 She has CHD(congenital heart disease).  Her file was in the process of being prepared for adoption. She wasn't on any list yet! If our paper work and her file, got done at the right timing....we would be first to be able to review her file.  If hers got done first, then she would go on a shared list, and a family with their paperwork farther along would have first chance to adopt her.  So we waited........and prayed that our paperwork would HURRY!  We had already fallen in love with her, and considered her ours in our hearts.  Our agency received her file 1 week before our paperwork was ready!  But they said it was close enough, and they would let us review her file.  This is what we received.



After we said yes we want her!  We were able to send some questions to the orphanage and find out more about her.  This is what we know:
She is cooperative
Easy going
Clever
Outgoing
Active
Affectionate
Gets along well with each child
Yes she knows Da yu and gets along well with her
Happy
A leader
Likes to play with dolls, blocks, balls and cars
Likes out door activities
Loves clolorful objects
Is Tiny
Can't do heavy physical activities
Beautiful smile
Confident
Lovely

We laughed at the Happy beautiful smile description!  If we hadn't seen the video of her, we would have wondered if she ever smiles.

She weighs 24.25lbs and is 33.7" tall.  She is a dink.  Dayu is 33lbs. and is 37.8" tall.  Not big for a four year old, but bigger than her little sis.

This is their bedroom at the orphanage.  Iley Xiaokui is along the wall in the orange shirt.

This is only one room like this of many.  There are 400 kids at this orphanage.  We are thankful there will be 2 less orphans soon:)

Another "unsmiley" picture. She's the third one back on the left.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wren Da Yu update

Well at least new pictures!  And we LOVE new pictures.  These made me glad that she looked so well and happy....but sad that she is looking older with each one.....she is growing up away from us, and that makes me want to hop the next plane to China! 



The next picture is at a birthday party for one of the other kids. Wren is in the back on the left. The one with pigtails.