Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sock Count


I haven't posted much about the ongoing sock collection, but as you may have seen previously on the side bar, it is going WELL. Tomorrow is our last day of collecting at WSA, so we will post the total then.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Article 5!!!!

We just got word that our Article 5 was issued today (our last night) in China.  They expect TA in a couple of weeks!  HOORAY!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Monday, January 25, 2010

100 Day

Today was 100 day at school--the 100th day of the school year. Samuel was suppose to dress as a 100 year old, took 100 of something for a snack (he took Kix, but was jealous of the friend who brought Twizzlers!!) and did lots of counting to 100 in his class!

While the boys were at school, Molly and I made a little treat for after dinner......
They had a fun day......
No news from China today--maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fun Times

While this blog has been 90% about adoption, life has not. How could it be with 3 other great kids around here??? Even though my heart does skip a beat when the phone rings, we are not sitting around waiting for it to do so. Here are some fun pics from the last few days...

Molly has become quite the 'chef' in the last few days. A new favorite activity is making her own creations using her food and a LOT of my kitchen utensils....



We had our first experience with basketball this year. Both boys played, really enjoyed it, and learned a lot. These are some pictures from today, which was the last game of the season. They both did great. (These pictures show my lack of photography skills as the lighting in the gym is really weird, they are moving fast, and I am pretty much at a loss how to get good pictures--got lucky a couple of times here! Any tips would be most welcome!)
Go Samuel!

Great defense! Block him!Bball buddies...
Thomas takes it down the court.


Steal! Go Thomas!
Team pic.


After the games, we were off to a great friend's birthday party (Happy 5th Sean!!). The magician 'Magic Mike' was there and was very entertaining. Molly has never seen him before and was quite impressed as we found out later as she recounted much of the show to us and then was heard in the other room, singing, "Magic Mike, Magic Mike....."



After the morning flurry of activity, we came home and did some things on our 'To Do' list around the house. Little jobs intermixed with playing for the kids. This evening we all sat down to dinner and Jeff asked Samuel to pray. He thanked God for the food and for being able to spend time with his family.....my mother's heart is full tonight. What blessings we have been given.
"Children are a heritage from the Lord." Psalm 127:3

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still Waiting.....

Well, it has been an emotional few days for us. We found out yesterday that our adoption agency did receive 13 travel approvals, but ours was not among the mix. Disappointing, needless to say. I inquired this morning, asking about any update or news and our wonderful agency is looking into our file. I am hoping that our Article 5 has already been issued and we just haven't heard, yet. This is the paper that says the USA is finished with all of their paperwork/approvals/etc. When that is sent from the American Consulate in China to the Chinese Authorities, they can then issue our TA, or Travel Approval. The Article 5 had been taking about 4-5 weeks. Apparantly, sometimes you don't learn that it has been issued until after the fact, but since we haven't heard anything after 7! weeks, they are making an inquiry. Since China is about 12 hours ahead of us, it is now tomorrow, business hours there and things happen while we sleep. Hopefully, they will send information quickly. PLEASE, let it have been done already!!! So, we wait....

As you can imagine, I am getting very impatient. Jeff, not so much--calm, cool, collected, trusting in God's timing. I told him last night that my HEAD knows he is right--that we will travel and meet her at the perfect time, that it is out of my hands and I need to trust--I really do know that! However, there must be some blockage between my head and my HEART--my mother's heart that is aching to hold her in my arms, hear her voice and learn all about this precious little girl! This heart feels like a mother bear--willing to do anything & everything for her cub!!

I did have some good quiet time in the Word this morning and God very gently, but firmly reminded me that this is not of me. I was reading in Genesis when Jacob was traveling back to Canaan. He sent his family ahead and spent a night alone. While he was there he 'wrestled with a man' until morning. Of course, a few verses later, this 'man' is revealed to be God. I had heard a sermon on this passage and had several notes in the margains of my Bible. One was how it was God who came to find Jacob. He had been chasing him and it wasn't until this point in his life, when Jacob was alone with nothing that he could 'hear' God. Up to this point in Jacob's life, he was depending on himself--his lies and deceit to win a blessing and birthright, his work to win a bride, his cunning to grow his flocks and his gifts to win the favor of an angered brother. This night he spent wrestling with God was the struggle we all have of wanting to be in charge of our own lives and destiny. God says to let him, we say no...and back and forth it goes. At the end of his night, the man said to let him go, since it was morning. Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Jacob finally realizes that blessings come from God--he now wants God to bless him, not chase after blessings himself using his own will.

As if that wasn't a big enough lesson for the day, then I was reminded of Hebrews 11:1 on someone's blog.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

I am not sure or certain of much about these next steps, but I AM sure and certain about the God who is faithful and will bring his work to completion.

I was reminded that this adoption is HIS work--and has been from the very beginning. I should not hope in people, dates, agencies, paperwork, my own efforts or even China. I should hope in my God--our Father, who loves us and loves her. I am thankful that he loves me enough to know both my head AND my heart. He can love me through all of my impatience and frustration. He can give me 'peace that passes all understanding' and will sustain me until we hear news. Until later......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silence!

I hesitate to post this, but want to tell the whole story...wow, I am frustrated. We originally thought we might be traveling about 8 weeks after our LSC. Tomorrow marks 7(!!) weeks and still no word of an Article 5 or Travel Approval! No word at all.... AAUGH! It seems to be crawling and I just keep thinking about her--way over there--wondering what she is doing, learning, what we are missing. Please, news soon!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holiday Babies

As many of you know, our babies have had near-holiday birthdays. Thomas was born on Christmas Eve, Samuel almost on Memorial Day and Molly the Monday after Thanksgiving. Little Cynthia doesn't have a holiday birthday, but it seems her Gotcha Day is going to be pushed back a few weeks due to Chinese New Year. I talked with the agency today and they said there are only a few appointments left before the time when 'everything shuts down' for the celebration. Since we don't have our TA (travel approval) yet, we of course can't get one of those remaining appointments, so it is looking like late Feb will be the ballpark guess. Initially, I was of course bummed, but as I think about it more, I am reminding myself that we were originally thinking we would be much later. Our prayer was that we would have her before her birthday, which still looks very promising--we may celebrate with her in China! I know that later, looking back, these few weeks will seem very short, but right now it seems like forever! Longing to bring her home.....waiting to hear a date......

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sending Socks

As we go through this adoption process and the trip to get Cynthia, we want our kids as involved as possible. I was trying to think of something they could do when a friend mentioned she was going to take some gifts for the orphanage when they go get their son. So, we came up with this....we are going to collect socks to donate to the orphanage. Thomas made the flyer and we sent 300 copies for all of the kids at Westminster Day School. The boys will both bring home the donations every few days from their classrooms and we will pack them up to take with us to China! We are going to keep a 'Sock Count' to see how many pairs we collect.





Thursday, January 7, 2010

Girly Girl


I am constantly amazed at how girly Molly is. Following 2 boys who are all about sports, trucks, cars, noise, and dirt, she is such a jewel, flower, delight in our family. She loves all things pink, frilly, sparkly and fancy. Today, we were running errands and I gave someone my name to make a pick up. Molly said, "Jennifer isn't a good name. You should change it." "To what?" I asked. She very seriously contemplated for a minute and then answered, "Belle."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hopeful

We are getting word that we may be receiving out travel approval very soon....!!! Let me also mention an observation I have made. I always thought the 'nesting' phase toward the end of pregnancy was somehow hormonally related...something that triggers inside of a soon-to-be mother in order to help get everything ready. Well, let me say, I now think it is totally psychological--I decided this somewhere between organizing the linen closet and cleaning the bathroom!
Will post soon (hopefully!) with news!!!