Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Special Summer Memories

This summer we were surprised with a blessing to go to Branson. It was short but so sweet and refreshing for all of us to just go and play outside of our usual stomping grounds.

What will I Find?

I've spent so much time praying for this one boy. I looked into his eyes many years ago and spoke words to him. I told Maxim I would do all that I could to make him an orphan no longer and make him my own if God would allow it. I never forgot as God embedded this child in my heart in a moment and sealed him there. But as beautiful as that moment may have been and as life marking it was for me, it was over 4 years ago and they were words breathed to a child who could only feel me, not understand me.

The last few months have been much that it seems only now as we come around the bend into what appears to be the final sprint until we leave to go back for him that I am just now flooding with thoughts of what I will do when I see him. Will he remember my face? Will he wonder what took me so long? He's 9 now...not the four year old I met. I pray that at the moment God touched my heart, he impressed Maxim's with mine...that he might know me by heart if by no other way.

I remember all too well the little bodies I held there; the time in isolation and little nourishment had wasted what was once life. Their skin and eyes told a story their mouths could not speak. And these are places I just cannot go to in my mind. I already know what I can expect to see but can I see Maxim like this? Father, prepare my heart to see things I may not want to see. Give me courage and strength to see pain and respond in your grace that brings joy to his heart.

I long to return, don't get me wrong. Standing amongst these children may very well be the holiest place I could be. Weak, poured out, clinging to hope, something so beautiful can exist within a place so obviously not compatible with life may very well be a miracle in itself. Father God, revive the hearts of these children and continue to embed hearts, sealing them with your love that sustains...that cannot be stolen.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Long awaited update on our Adoptions


I apologize for the very long wait for an it is!

For Dolly, we had finished all of our papers for her dossier and had them sent in to the agency only to find out we needed some more items apostilled. We got them sent off and then all of them returned because one of the items was not notarized. I don't know HOW that sl.ipped through! So we got that fixed and sent back and NOW have all of the papers sent back to our agency. I can't imagine another's felt painfully long.

A blessing to count however is that we have received photos and even several video's of Dolly and she looks amazing! I know many of you have prayed for her and have a special place in your heart for her so that will do your heart good to hear. She is very slow and deliberate in her movements...not too slow..just shows more of her personality. When the other kids are crying she sort of looks at them like, "really now, is it that bad?" She is feeding herself and we were able to see how they are caring for her special needs. She has a wheelchair and goes fast! She looks very much like our baby Rainan. While the wait for her has been so very long it seems, we just love knowing that she is in a place that cares for her and loves Jesus.

We are looking at a likelihood of late spring/summer 2011 to travel for Dolly girl.

Our Maxim update! We have made a new friend who has adopted from the same institution that Maxim is at and she sent us a couple of photos from two years ago. It was such a blessing to see him. I don't have it posted here yet because I do not permission just yet but I will once I know I can. :o) Any photos is a blessing since where he is staying is very needy and many of the children do without much food or care at all. The photos help to see how he is doing. He was in the bedridden room when i was there in 2006 but I don't know if that is the case now. I am praying for someone to be able to update us on how he is doing until we can get there.

We have our I-600A submitted as of July 21st and we have received our notice of action so we wait now. On the good side, we have already fingerprinted so we won't have to do that again so hopefully this will save us more time. We'd love to get submitted around the same time as some friends of ours here locally who are adopting a child with special needs from the same country too. Our fundraising journeys have been interlinked so it'd be pretty cool to travel the same time as well although we will be in different regions.

Our prayer is to travel this year yet. Randy has saved his vacation days (oh how we need a vacation day!) and we need to use them this year especially in light of the fact he will need next years vacation days to travel for Dolly's adoption. This time would also be wonderful to get Maxim settled in and get his medical needs started before we Dolly's adoption.

As far as fundraising goes, we have about $9,500 for Maxim as of now (I need to update the ticker for accuracy) and we need $22,000 total. We know it's taken care of and we make every focus of prayer to cement that truth to our hearts in faith when that number just seems overwhelming. We aren't focusing on Dolly's adoption costs yet but we know that will be right around the corner as well. We still need to raise another $4,000 for her in country fees which we have to send when her country sends us approval and travel date. And then we will need to raise the funds for travel and staying there for two weeks. God knows all of those details.

I seem to have developed this habit lately of looking at everything and assigning orphans to it. Driving down the road I look at a vehicle..."Hmm....I could adopt two children with that car." You get the idea. :o) What a blessing this time has been on our family and especially our children as they give and learn more about sacrifice for greater things- ETERNAL blessings. I know that at anytime God can cause the rain to pour and all of the funds covered in an instant. But for us God has blessed us by teaching us to trust Him every moment for just the amount we need at the moment we need it. His goodness has been shown to us time and again and through many of you. We can't even begin to thank each of you for the prayers you have lifted up on our behalf.

We do ask that you would continue to pray for Dolly and Maxim. Specifically for Maxim that he is being fed and that the Lord would supernaturally heal him and protect his mind and body. He has had no education and has been placed in one of the most poor and lacking places I have seen on earth. He is 9. There will be much he will need when he comes home. We know this and pray God's providence and grace over all of these needs. We already rejoice at the thoughts of his homecoming and all that that represents...

We pray each of you are blessed for the ways you have shown love and support to our family.

With love,