Waiting for Ru

Waiting for Ru

Thursday, October 29, 2015

SLOOOOOOW moving, but moving progress!!!

This morning I am in anxious waiting.....

-For a message from our Currier saying the Chinese Consulate accepted all of our 15 documents that  need authentication.

-For my agency to then receive those documents and prepare our dossier to go to China.

-To be DTC, which feels like an uphill battle (more on that later).

-To get any updates at all about our little Thalia Ru, a picture, an email??

-To get LOA which takes us so much closer to our "gotcha day"

-To have TA (Travel approval) which means I will have that special day marked on the calendar!

-To Hold that sweet girl in my own arms even if she is accepting of us at first, she is ours, and we are  hers and God holds us all.

-To have her in her new home, with her new sister and big brothers and a mommy and daddy that will fight for her till we are taken home.

I am just so anxiously eager for all of these things, and patience is not my strong suit as many of you know.

So if you saw some of the updates on our Bringing Ru Home FB page you will have heard some of this already, sorry in advance!!

We received our first bit of good news after the homestudy was finally complete as our I-800a approval came in the mail!!!! This document arriving started the next phase of operation "Bring Ru Home"!!! So we were very excited, here is your biggest brother holding this precious document!

We were very excited that I was going to be able to take all of our 15 documents from medical exams, birth and marriage certificates, employer letters, our homestudy packet, financials to our immigration approval letter (I-800a) to Albany in order to get them all State sealed.

All 15 Documents to be Sealed in Albany

We had already gone through the arduous process of getting them county sealed in 4 different counties which was sometimes a crazy effort, but no task is too difficult or too crazy in order to get Ru home!!  So I was able to go to Albany the first Monday of October meaning we could be DTC (dossier to China) by the end of the month or at the very latest first week in November! This was such a massive relief, we have been document gathering and pushing and sealing for about 6 months in some capacity so DTC looked like it was never going to be here, let alone a day in China to bring her home!
I was so excited, everything went beyond smooth, went to two different state buildings for notarizing and then sealing and headed back to my van in the parking garage in the middle of Albany!!

Your mommy so excited in the state court building!!!

This is hilarious now because after this happy moment I realized I had locked my keys in the van!!! I was so excited to finally be doing something for you little Ru that I took all the documents and left my keys in my van!  So  I waited, not too long, for some help, and was still too happy to be bothered by the inconvenience of my own stupidity! See, here i am still cheery, finally inside my van with my very important keys;
Ok, maybe there is a touch of crazy in my eyes here! haha!
After returning home from Albany and having your amazing daddy send all those newly sealed precious docs to FedEx to ship off to our courier so that they can hand deliver our documents to the Chinese Consulate to be sealed there next we get another little set back.  I received a phone call from the courier who informed us that the state had sealed 7 documents UP SIDE DOWN???? Which of course the Consulate could not accept............so you guessed it, back to Albany to fix this minor/major error,  We could have mailed the docs, waited for the state to get to the documents and then hoped we would someday have our papers in China but we decided it was the personal hand delivery method that would ensure it was done quickly and correctly this time! Silver lining, a little road trip with daddy!  No losing the keys this time, but your dad really enjoyed the scenery! 

Your daddy can make friends with anyone!!
We will take you here some day! this building is so huge!

Our second trip to Albany has so far been a success as we have not heard anything negative!! As a matter of fact two new pieces of information have come today;

1. Our Currier says he will be sending our Consulate sealed documents to our agency by next week so that we may be DTC in 2 weeks!!! I will believe it when I see it but it is sooooooo much closer!

2. We were able to send Ru a gift package with photos of us, introducing ourselves, a stuffed animal, some candy and a letter from us as well as money for the orphanage to give her a birthday cake on her birthday on November 17th!  We found out today that she has received our package!!! I am so excited and nervous about this!!! She now knows about us, she knows we love her and that we are coming to get her in a few months!!! I pray she is just as excited to meet us as we are to hold her and bring her home! We love you sweet girl!!!

We will get some new pictures when she gets her birthday cake so that will be an amazing treat!!  I am not sure which  I am more excited for, DTC day or new pictures of Ru day!!!!??? 

I am praying that God is keeping you safe and that you are excited about your new things that you have receive today! We love you so much little Thalia Ru, your are so loved and we pray you can somehow have a peace about that, all the way across the world!

While we wait for you we get to celebrate Halloween this year and I can not help but wonder what you will want to be next year when you are home!!! Here is what your brothers and your sister are up to this Halloween!

Cant wait till you can join this crazy fun crew!!!! Love you Sweet Daughter!!! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tears, Tears and more Tears......

That is correct…..

tears…..actual, dripping from my face….uncontrollable wet stuff flowing from my ducts…….

Anyone who knows me knows that is just uncalled for! Haha! Well, more along the lines of unlikely. 

But this girl, this sweet sweet girl who is countries and oceans away from me, whom I already love with all of my aching soul and feel so blessed to call our daughter has me in inevitable tears.  Tears for what I cannot speed up in this long process……tears for just how much longer I have to wait till I see your beautiful face in person, tears for the ache in my heart that is pounding physically out of my chest for your little hands to be in my own.  Tears for your life up until this point, in a place that is doing the very best they can with what they have so that you can be in a family someday, that family is us little Ru!!! Tears for all of the other little kiddos whom you share a room with, or a foster momma or even that you encounter every day……is their mommy and daddy on their way to them soon too? Do they know how much they are loved and being fought for just like we are fighting for you? And tears for you little Ru, on that amazing day that we will meet, and you will look at me as the a stranger and be so confused and heartbroken to leave your foster momma, the only momma you have ever known since birth.  My tears are for her, and for your broken little confused heart on that day…..when I think about the magnitude of what your little soul will have to go through to be in the family that God has designed for you from your birth I have tears…….your poor little heart Ru, I don’t take for granted one second the amount of pain and confusion you will have to endure to be where you are supposed to be…….

So you will have tears too……pain, and trauma and frustration and tears……

But guess what my little daughter? We will be together, and God has a plan, he is teaching me patience, and his timing and trust! He is teaching your daddy trust too, and it is great to see in action!

So when you have your tears of sadness and heartbreak and confusion and uncertainty and you won’t know who to trust or even where you are going I get to be there to wipe those for you; to hold your hand and to hug your little frightened body.  It will take time for you to trust me but I want you to know that I will be here all along the way for your giggles, your questions, your joy, your sadness, your anger, your excitement and of course for your tears…….I love you sweet Ru and I am so excited for the day that you are not a world away…..and an ocean of tears has finally been crossed…….

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Big Fundraiser is Almost Here!!!!

Ok, so it is 1:00am and I desperately need to go to bed but just can shut off my brain!! 

So I will write instead!

When we wake up in the morning there will be 2 full days left before our major fundraising event on Saturday which I am beyond excited about, I am praying for some major things to happen and not the least of those things is good weather, which looks like it may just happen! 

The 5K/Yard sale/spaghetti dinner/all day event with games, Chinese auctions, Raffles and other fun things begins at 9:00am and will go till 7:00 with various start times for things such as the actual 5K which begins at 3:00. Here is the flyer for our fun event; if you haven’t already signed up I will also attach the link to our ticket/donation website.

My son Noah is so excited to have a sharpie tattoo booth where he can raise some money for his own plane ticket to China as well, don’t worry, if you don’t like sharpie there will be regular face paint too!! 

Good news to report as well, our homestudy is officially complete and we have sent our I-800a into homeland security for immigration clearance which should take a few weeks then we can seal our dossier documents and get our paper work to China finally, hopefully, by the beginning of November! Praying that things go a little quicker than our homestudy at this point, but realizing that the waiting is half the battle in this journey!

I cannot say enough right now just how excited I am about this weekend! We get the most amazing opportunity to meld with our community in a big way and bring awareness to our friends, neighbors and business about the children in China just waiting for a home, medical treatments and a mommy and daddy!!!  I hope that Ru can see pictures of this day and really feel just how special and loved she is in this small area!

I am overwhelmed with the amount of donations, support and offerings of random people that came out of the blue to offer help for this weekend too, just amazing to see!
Our pastor two weekends ago spoke about how God uses us to fulfill his works, specifically the message about the classic 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  Those poor disciples were hungry, tired and just plain spent when the crowd behind them made their need of hunger known. Jesus didn’t just produce an abundance of food for these people, he had his disciples who were tired, weary and couldn’t see straight quite honestly, to gather what they could and bring it to him.  And they did, and Jesus did do something with those loaves and fishes and so I am asking God to accept our fundraiser event as our loaves and fishes because I am exhausted and overwhelmed with paperwork and document signing and emotional stress of not having my girl home, please use my weariness to His benefit!  I pray that he produces not only the funds we need to bring our girl home but that many people will be touched by the things they see, a community joining together to enable a little girl who would otherwise sit in an orphanage alone with no hope a way to come home to her family.  What an amazing opportunity to see our town’s band together in support of such a great adventure!  To say that I am humbled and beyond grateful is the most egregious understatement!

There really is so much to say about this journey, Little Ru I know you will read this someday and I hope can see how your little heart, so far away, has touched so many hearts, so far away!! Love truly can move mountains, and oceans and continents.  I cannot wait till you get to meet all of the people who have given so much of themselves so freely to be able to one day meet you, you are an amazing special girl indeed!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Long Overdue Update!

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH <-------------------------- 

(this is what is in my brain on a 24/7 loop since about april)

Take yourself to the Cuckoo's Nest!

Phew, glad we got that out of the way!!

Baseball season is over!!!!! Noah and Oskar played an amazing year on the Lydnonville modified baseball team.  They both pitched, Noah caught, Oskar played third and short and both boys had a phenomenal batting average! It was so fun to see how they are developing into such great young men with some serious baseball skills! Must be in the blood!!! 

Oskar and Roman were on the little league team that Matt and I coached this year that, yes, ran simultaneously with the modified boys season.........yeah.....it was as nuts as it sounds, especially when adding Evee's softball season and Roman's soccer league all running concurrent!! I Think God maybe wanted us busy to distract us from how long this home study process was actually going to take!!! Well played Lord......well played.

Both Roman and Oskar were chosen to play in the all-star game under the lights!  It was a pretty cool night, under the lights, baseball in the air.....summer at its best!

Roman is a little athlete, he surprised the heck out of us this year with his growth spurt and agility in sports! He was a boss pitcher, catcher and fielder with a great at bat stance this year! Very proud of my third boy as he grows into quite a young athletic man. Watching him in soccer is another surprising treat! He is a maniac, plays center half back and is up and down that field like it is his job! scored a few goals already and he has a few games left to go! This should look good on his resume as he plans to play for Manchester one day.

Evee had a second year of softball and has really shown some great improvement from last year! As you know from a previous post she does ballet, so sports is a new thing for her but she is a born athlete and did so good this year!! very proud of my multi talented daughter!!

I was very proud of Oskar and Roman as they chose to do some extra curricular band events, Oskar did the graduation band with his saxophone and Roman, who plays french horn normally, chose to do marching band for the 4th of July parade with the mellophone!  It was kind of sweet to watch roman put in all sorts of practice and marching in the heat for 2 hours at time to be able to preform with the precision that they all were able to achieve!  They looked and sounded great!!!!
Roman after his parade march!! Sorry no pic of  Oskar in Grad Band!!

Little Ru,  I can not wait to put a personal update on this blog for you next year!! You will be home in our arms!! Will you like to watch your siblings play baseball? Would you want to play too? Will you like the parade and the fireworks? Or will they be too much? Will you like summer? or do you prefer the cold? What will be your favorite foods, activities and games to play? It hurts my heart in a way that it has never been challenged before to not know any of this about one of my own children!  I know that I love you already so very much, as if I had known you since birth, but I do not know anything about you!! How do you spend your day with your loving foster momma? I know you get snuggles often, will you let me snuggle you too? I have no knew updates but from the last one I received you had already broken another bone, how much I want to bring you home and get you the medical care you need so you can live an active life full of and adventure and love!

Your big sister is so excited too!! She has been saving her money to buy you a great gift for when you finally come home! She draws you pictures every day and puts them up around the house! here are a few of her recent ones!! Little Ru just know how loved you are, even though you don't know us yet we love you so much and hope that you feel it a little bit, have a little bit of hope and Gods peace with you as you wait on this long journey for a home!

Ok, so there has been nothing to report at all as our home study is unfortunately taking FOREVER to complete!!! We have had our papers in and all of our work done on our end for well over a month now and there has still been no home visits, of which we need 4 total in order for them to write up a home study for us to send with our Dossier to China.  We also need to send all of our immigration information to China in the Dossier but we can not even begin work on our immigration process till.......you guessed it, the home study is complete!!! 

So with baseball season wound down, and the only thing left is roman's soccer league we had been fully expecting to hear from our case worker, which we were assigned over 2 weeks ago, to contact us for our first home visit.  After hearing nothing for this entire time I finally emailed her directly and FINALLY received a phone call from our case worker!!! Yay!! She is willing to help us expedite the process since our dossier has to be in China by October 5th so we are doubling up on visits; 2 next week and 2 the following week which means we could potentially finally be done with our home study by the end of JULY!!!!! Please keep us in your prayers next Tuesday as we are judged in our own home!! haha!!! It is a great process to weed out the potential crazies but I think the process has the potential to make one crazy as well!!

A tiny update on our fundraiser that we are trying to put together to bring this little girl home:  We had a great first meeting on July 3rd to gather ideas and get potential direction, how big, how little of an event we want this to be and I am very encouraged by all the help and support! So thank you so much to everyone who came to help plan and those who couldn't make it but are still very involved!! I can not express to you enough how excited and humbled  Matt and I are by your support and assistance!! 
Stay tuned for more Run for Ru Info!!!

In case you are wondering where Matt is on this process or what his thoughts are stay tuned for a blog from Daddy in the near future:-) 

Thank you all for your support and prayers!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Surprises from China!!!!

Ok, so it has been a while since there was last an update, and to be honest until about 1 day ago not much has happened! haha! 

About 3 weeks ago I was scouring the internet to do what people in desperation for answer do, stalk stalk stalk......and sometimes emailing those pages that I stalked!!! I was stalking to find a glimpse of Ru, a tiny new bit of information as I had, up until this point, not been sure where she was or under what person's care. Now Imagine your a mom who has a deep heart connection with her child, you know what this is because you have felt this love if you have been pregnant.  You haven't even physically met this child yet, but you would step in front of a bus for this child,  and pray to someday be able to snuggle them closely, tuck them in at night and watch them grow.  You feel  that sweet baby rolling around in your tummy, you see ultra sound pics that confirm their delicate heart beat and tiny fingers and toes.  You love this child with all your heart.  Now imagine that love and not being able to feel that sweet foot gently nudge your ribs, or a flat space on your belly where a bump should be but you know there is  connection to this child that you have not met.  Imagine the insanity you must feel when realizing how much you love this little one but you have no idea where they are, if they are safe and who is taking care of them........so if I have described the desperation of needing to know clear enough thus far than you can understand why the stalking needed to happen!! haha!

So I as I sat in front of my computer, searching for orphanages and facebook pages with foster homes and other such crazy leads incliding other momma that have adopted from Datong City and have blogged about it, looking for picture after picture of a possibility of a glimpse of my sweet Ru I finally came across a lady who had blogged about her own journey to the Datong City Orphanage.  The picture she used drew me in Immediately!!!! I am sure you remember the pic I posted of Ru on my page here, well right behind her is a colorful cubby and this woman's child was sitting right in front of the same cubby!!!! Confirmation!! I had found what orphanage she was in!!  Step 1 complete!!! I emailed a few of the blogger moms, and messaged some facebook sights to see if anyone else had journey'd to the orphanage in the last few years that may have a pic of my girl.  Not expecting much I went to bed satisfied that I had exhausted every avenue to find more info that I could. Luckily baseball season started soon after this lovely evening of stalking and I got busy and distracted!!

 Two nights ago around 1:00 am I received an email notification, don't ask why I was still awake, so I checked it and was overjoyed to see that it was a response, essentially out of the blue since I first started this crazy search a month ago!!!!! They had such amazing pieces of new information about my sweet girl!! I now know for sure that she is in a foster home with a foster mom that she is heavily attached to. This makes me happy and deeply sad for the lose my sweet girl will have to endure when we first take her from her homeland.  They told me that because of her OI they are very cautious with her, especially if she plays outside so they tend to keep her inside.  The even emailed two new pictures for me to dissect every new piece of info that I can about my little girl!!  So here is my little Ru and one of our first "ultra sounds".
This is Ru sitting on her foster mommas lap
I love this one, look at those cheeks!!!

I cant even begin to tell how this has lifted my spirits and even pulled Matt to emotion as well!! God's timing is as always perfect!! In the middle of this crazy baseball/soccer season when we don't even get home in time at night to throw a proper meal at our kiddos and we don't have time to even stay awake long enough to feel like we are finishing paper work to bring her home He sends this little gem of encouragement; "I am still over here in China waiting for you Mom and Dad, Please come get me".  All of our paper work has essentially been submitted to the home study agency so now all we need to do is wait for our in home meetings!!! I am so relieved to be even this far even though it is the tip of the ice burg!!!!! I think when the home study is complete  I will call it the end of our first trimester!!!   Thank you all for your continued prayers!!! <3 <3 <3 


Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Waiting begins......

So there hasn't been much to write about recently because now, after we have finally met with our home study case worker, is the hurry up and wait part of this process.....granted every piece of paper we sign, every check we write and every moment we spend on adoption education to complete our home study we are one step closer to bringing our little girl home.........but the waiting......ugh.....  I have never been good at that so bring her home seems like such a long ways away!

I know there is a reason for this though!!

The paper work, the running around, the fundraising, the process.......the waiting.....all of this is Gods way of asking; 

"What are you willing to do to become this child's parents?"  

"How much do you love her?" 

"Will you go through all of this for little Ru, and continue to do so once she is in your home and in your care?" 

Of course the answer to this is emphatically YES I will gladly jump through hoops, sign papers, get finger printed twice and be at the mercy of my agencies all so that little girl can come home to her family. YES we will advocate for her every need, medically, emotionally, physically and most importantly spiritually.  YES YES YES!!! So even if I cant quite see the end of this tunnel, where she is in my arms on "gotcha day", I know this plan has been made for a reason.  Matt is being spiritually tested by placing his trust fully in God to see how the financial part of this process will all work out as I am being tested daily to be patient and know that it is all in his hands and she will be home when His timing is perfect!  

I impatiently wait to see if I can catch another glimpse of her on someone blog or Facebook posts that are specific to her orphanage, maybe she will be in the background of one of those photos?? Maybe someone will have actually met my sweet girl and be able to tell me just another nugget of information about her little personality.  Or even more difficult for me to swallow, and probably what God wants me to feel the most right now, is that none of that is available at the moment because I am to be still and know he has it under control and when I am supposed to know more about my sweet Ru, I will be the first to know!  And Oh how excited I will be when new information is discovered, but until then I need to relax and focus on signing papers, going to adoption classes, making copies of everything, signing checks and getting my fingerprints done as many times as they require because in the end of this all I will be holding my daughter from China in my arms, forever. 

Until then here is a little bit of what we have been up to....

The month of May means baseball,softball and soccer. But before any of that can start we have to see the end of Ballet for Lou and here is a pic of her beautiful little self after her recital. 

We are so proud of the amazing lady she is turning into and the sweet big sister that is about to have a little sister. In china little sister is "Mei Mei" so Lou has been calling her Ru Mei Mei and walking around with her little "Learn Chinese" booklet. I do believe she knows more than we do currently!

So this is another moment where God is asking me to just enjoy the now, the future will come and in that future little Louise will be dancing with her Mei Mei..... 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fundraising Fun!!

Hello again!!

This will be a short and "sweet" post about fundraising! 

I kind of hate the entire concept of asking for help of any sort so this is very difficult for me.....that being said I am going to be very conscientious of how we go about all of our fundraising to make sure it is family and community interactive because the truth of this is, we need to raise some extra funds, I know God will provide, but this is us meeting him halfway so we will be crafty in doing so!!  

Firstly I am going to have a long running fundraiser through etsy where I will be selling these knit bracelets/cuffs:

As you can see they will all be red to represent the Chinese proverb that has become so dear to families waiting to adopt their special heart connections in China; the Red Thread of Fate.  If I haven't taken the time to explain this beautiful sentiment yet it is simply that according to this proverb we are all connected to whom we have met and who we will meet in our lives by an invisible red thread of fate that may twist, knot and tighten but never break. I love this sentiment as it beautifully portrays the truth of how we can love little Ru with all our hearts so hard already! It has been designed that way from the start!!! How cool! 

So there will be many variations are offered, thin bracelets, or thick cuffs, children and adult sizing as well!! I will be adding another Item that Evee and I are very excited about and more info will be given when we are sure we can make them! 

We will be having some fun activities planned to raise awareness in the community about the need to adopt or foster children here and all over the world. This overwhelming heart calling can not be stalled right now and  I am super excited to post more of those events information as the details are finalized!! Also, I am very open to suggestions so feel free to share your thoughts!!!

Thank you all again for your overwhelming love and support!! 

p.s. As soon as i figure out technology i will have a link to my Etsy blog sites wall but for now here is the link on this post!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Questions, Answers and Blessings!!!


So let me first take a second to say THANK YOU all so much for the incredible outpouring of love and support, we are truly overwhelmed at the amazing comments and prayers that are now coming our way on this amazing journey to bring our Ru home!!! You are all so special to us and we thank God for all of you in our lives!!


Let me take the time to answer some very valid questions that have come our way,

1. "Why adopt from another country when there are so many in need right here in our own country?"

      To this is answer that is completely true and overwhelmingly so.  To be honest that is where we started this journey, with local foster care and possible adoption that way.  I agree whole-heartily that there are just as many orphans and children with horrible circumstances right here even in our own county.  The same can be said for any county, or any state or any country in the world.  So why then are we going to travel across the world to expand our family? Because for whatever reason, and certainly a reason that I cannot even fathom yet, God has called us to this particular little girl.  I believe in my heart that she has been there from her very birth but I wasn't ready yet.  When the time came for us to be ready, God let us know, and we listened!  We will continue to be involved in local outreaches for foster care and adoption in our own communities, but God lead us to Ru, and that is all I can really explain it as.  Kind of like Jonah, I could tell the Lord "This is too difficult and too far away, surely I can be just as much help here in my own state??" but I have a feeling that a hypothetical "fish" will consume me until I pray for Gods forgiveness and continue on the path of his original will in our lives:-) I don't know about you, but like the path of least resistance sometimes.

2.  "Isn't adoption too expensive??" "Do you have that kind of money??"

     I answer this one carefully as well.  Adoption is completely super expensive.  When God calls you to do something you may look at the big picture and say "NO WAY" cause who has that kind of money laying around?  But I have to believe that if He calls us then He will also provide a way for it to happen.  So no, we don't currently have that kind of money set aside, however, we are going to be so amazed at how God is allowed to move in this situation of provisions being met! At the end of this process, money aside, we will have our daughter home where she needs to be, given the medical care that she needs to function and God will provide.  We will be fundraising and I am picking up a job, and we will be creative with our finances, but all and all we have faith that if God lead us too it, he will lead us through it.......I am so excited to see how!!!
     And just for a taste of how God is already showing us that this is in his hands here is an example; So back in the beginning of me pleading and praying for my husband to see what God has in store for us he made the declaration that "If I am even to consider adopting a child you are going to need a job."  He stated this before our lovely trip to Mississippi......so while we were in Mississippi, while God was softening his heart with little Ellie, I get a phone call.......randomly.....from our local winery gift shop......"I was wondering if you were interested in working for us, can you give us a call when you get home from your trip?" It should be noted that I did not put in for a job at the winery, I just enjoy going there! haha! I should also mention that I had not committed to a job yet thus far because I didn't want it to take away from my children's time with me at home.......so when I got home from vacation and met with her and she said she would need me from 9:00am - 2:30pm.........you know, when my kids are in school......I almost laughed out loud!! some things are coincidence.....this is decidedly not......one of Matt's first "tugs" if you will:-) 

3.  "Are your children OK with this?"

     My children, especially my oldest and youngest (we have 4) are some of the biggest advocates for this adventure and we are so very blessed to have been able to have 4 amazing beautiful talented healthy biological babes and now God is now granting us a brand new adventure, not just Matthew and I, but our whole family......this journey will move us all and I am excited to see how!

Now I should take the time to mention that these questions are not the only concerns we have come across, and they certainly do not offend me, so please ask whatever you want, we are an open book. We would love to show you what we know, and maybe even how you can help too!!! We do not know everything and we do not have all the answers but we are willing to share with anyone interested what we do know!!  I do not offend easily so please don't assume, just ask away!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

First HE will Tug, then HE will Slap!

Hello All!!

Ok, so I do not blog, this is more for documenting our family's journey to bring home our little girl from China.  That being said, WE ARE BRINGING HOME OUR LITTLE GIRL FROM CHINA!!!!!!

Bare with me, this may be gratuitously long!

My husband and I have always known that God wasn't done with our family yet, even though biologically he was, we knew we wanted to offer our home to children without hope, or children in tricky life situations so we considered foster care. We knew that God wanted us to wait for the right time and when our children were at an age that they understood what was happening and could actually be involved as well.  Then my Dear amazing grandmother recommended a book for me to read a few months ago (we share books) and it was Jodi Picoults Handle With Care. I read it quickly and was sucked in at the first page, if you want to feel emotions.....read this book....so well written!!  The long and short of the plot, without this becoming a book review, is that it is written in many perspectives of the people that surround this little girl willow who was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease).  There are many moral battles in this book about quality of life and it is beautifully written to capture all of these complex thoughts and internal battles we have as humans.  I was so moved by this book I just had to go to my grandmas house and discuss it with her, my heart ached for this fictional family and this fictional little girl. Crazy, I know! So I had an amazing coffee chat with my grandma about children in the world who don't have the same loving family to surround them and I spoke to her about my heart to help but feeling like I had no idea where to begin so I end up doing nothing instead which is not where God wants me, he had something else in mind!

I went home feeling blessed to have such an amazing grandma with such a like heart and sat down to check my emails, start some homework and of course peruse facebook! ha! When I clicked on my facebook notifications my amazing friend Stacey had tagged me in a beautiful video about a couple who were about to meet their new born adoptive son, right at the hospital! It was so moving and I was already ripe with emotions at this point.  After watching that video I felt my first tug, the kind of tug that you have to listen to every so carefully, that may point to a major life decision guided by God, but by the end of the series of "light tugs" there are actual slaps in the face if your not quite getting the message! haha! We will  get to those, on with tugs..........I go back to my home page and see another notification which happened to be a post by my sweet sweet friend Amiee who was publicly announcing their second adoption was approved!!!! It was a beautiful post about their amazing faithfulness, you know, listening to the tugs all along, and God blessing them with yet another opportunity to adopt another child from China!  They had adopted a little girl a few years ago from China, both of these amazing kiddos have spina bifida which makes Steve and Amiee the most obeidient and inspirational children of God that I have yet to meet!   So I am reading her blog, a hot mess of tears streaming down my face as I watch their story continue and feel a more substantial tug, the kind of tug that makes me open google and begin searching for waiting children in China websites.  As I looked over all the pictures and read about each of their needs ranging from birthmarks, to blood disorders, to downs syndrom, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, blindness, deafness, albinism, and just was heartbroken, all of these sweet babies were discarded, left on the sides of roads, under trees, on doorsteps.  As I was praying a silent prayer in my head, questioning why God would want me to even look when he knows how overwhelmed I would get, how can you choose just one? And if you do, how do you pick ONLY one!?  After a few more tears, prayers and looking for guidance I came across a little girl, Ruyika (Ru), and i was immediately drawn into her little sweet eyes, she had me.  I then read her special need........she has OI!!!!! she has brittle bone disease, a disease that up until finishing that book that morning I was not aware of......a special need that I had not yet come across in the hundreds of pics that I had seen up until that moment....that is when I felt something slightly more powerful than a tug but not yet a full slap....that is next.  later that evening  I was picking up my daughter from her friends church event and was talking to her in the car hypothetically;

me: So how would you feel if did adoption instead of foster care?
lou: Really??
me: yes, I know we talked about foster care but how about adoption, from another country even?
lou: You mean like the book I brought home from school TODAY called When Will We Be Sisters?

Did you feel it?? I did, that was the slap......the gentle yet forceful slap that said "This is what I want you to do, be faithful, follow me, I will provide a way, TRUST ME."  She brought a book home, that day!!!!

Oh Lord in heaven, did I ever have such an obvious day with the Lord.....calling me to do something, and asking me to be brave enough to call my husband to agree to the same.......Oh boy this had to be a God thing cause my dear hubby does not like financial compilations......this would be a spiritual journey for our whole family.  God wanted us to stop talking about the life we wanted, how we wanted to help but just didn't see how, he was calling us audibly to this particular little girl but my husband wouldn't be where  I was in that moment for quite a few weeks........

Ok Lord, help me prepare my husbands heart for this calling........so that night he got home super late from work, like 10:00 and I was riding a spiritual high.........I was wanting to lock her documents immediately so I was little more than bummed but totally understood why my husband said "no way, I don't even know how to process this."  Little did he know that the Lord was working on him now.....he even tried to fight it a few times haha!  God in his infinite wisdom knew back in January what would open Matt's heart and mostly his faith in Gods ability to provide financially during this process. It was a trip to the Gautreaux's for spring break.  It must be noted that this trip to Mississippi where they are stationed was planned about 3 months before this day I had with the Lord.....coincidence? I know it isn't!   As I had mentioned before, Amiee and Steve had adopted before, a sweet little girl to add to their already full of love house, four children, all the same ages as ours and lifelong buddies!  But it was apparent to Amiee and I from the first day that God was going to use Ellie to speak to Mr. Matt!  From that day till the day we left she was Matt's shadow, "hold me please" with a huge smile that Matt couldn't say no to! "Shoulder ride please" again with the smile, "color with me Mr. Matt"!
Sweet Ellie and Mr. Matt crafting
Wrapped around his finger!!!

All with a melt-able smile and giggles to match and a heart that started the tug at Matt, he could now see and have no doubts that he could indeed love another child as he was pretty sure he wanted to take Miss Ellie home with us!

In our time down in Mississippi I began to learn alot about the international adoption community and the sites you can go to to view waiting children, agency info and much much more all because of my Adoption Fairy Godmother (AFG) Mrs. Amiee!!  I learned so much about patience as well since my little Ru's file was taken down and no agency knew where she was......I was heartbroken but Amiee kept me grounded and focused.....maybe Ru was just the little girl God was going to use to get us to be open to adoption to begin with?   I just couldn't shake the feeling that she was to be so much more but by the end of our trip she was still no where to be found by any agency, I dreaded the thought that she was being adopted by someone else but at the same time knew that if she was, it was Gods plan and she was with who he designed from the beginning.  On the long drive home Matt and  I discussed many things, moving, adoptions and life.  I finally told him I will let Ru go for a few months and if she pops back up after her file has been re-released to a shared list then that is Gods timing. God clearly wanted me to verbally speak that I "let her go and put her in Gods hands" because no sooner did we pull into our driveway after a long 20 hours straight on the road did my AFG tell me that they had her back on the thread, some agency had her file after all!!

So with lots of prayer we and coming off of a refreshing amazing vacation we took a leap of faith, together, and sent our Letter of Intent (LOI) to China to adopt this sweet girl!! Now we begin a year long journey to get her home!!  We found out Today that we have Pre-Approval from China! She is ours to adopt! This journey, i know in my heart is going to test and strengthen my spiritual issues, mainly patience and my husbands spiritual weakness, faith that God will provide the finances and everything else that a strong man of God knows he needs to keep his family afloat! My children will be tested in their
spiritual walks as well, they are excited, but not sure how it will effect them yet please keep them and us in your prayers as we begin something amazing and epic in God! I am so thankful that we felt his tugging and even more thankful for his "slap"!

This is on our fridge, we call it our prayer picture, the words to the right are the lyrics to "Oceans" by Hillsong