Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 more days!!!

     Ten more days til we board a plane and start the final leg of this journey that will change our lives forever.  I am SO excited, SO happy, and yet SO sad all at the same time.  So many times throughout this journey I have experienced this mixture of emotions.  I never knew you could feel so many feelings all at the same time.  Yes, I have cried because I was so happy about something, and I've laughed because I was so sad or scared. But, now, I truly feel happy and sad, and scared and excited....AT THE SAME TIME.  It's confusing and crazy!
     I miss my children who I have not even  met yet.  I love them more than I could ever imagine.  I am anxious to hold them in my arms even if they are screaming to get away from me.  I long to bring them home to their siblings to show them how wonderful it is to be a part of a family.  I want to watch them grow to love each of their sisters and brothers and of course their mom and dad.
     I am not looking forward to being away from three of my children while we go to China.  I am dreading packing and getting from plane to plane at the airports.  I am not looking forward to being on a plane for 15 hours straight at all.  Just thinking about it makes me want to freak out.
     But the prize at the end of all this..........priceless!!

As I sit here, I think about how badly I wanted to have our family together in time for Christmas.  Most of the time, I really felt that was not going to be possible.  Now, our flights are booked and our appointments are scheduled.  We will arrive home on Thanksgiving Day.  What a beautiful blessing!!! We will be together for Christmas as I had hoped and we will also have Thanksgiving together.  I cannot think of a more perfect way to spend Thanksgiving Day.  I plan to watch as my children meet each other for the first time, spend the day getting to know each other, and start to love each other.  This Thanksgiving will be the first day of a lifelong relationship between my children.  "Faith" and "Little Guy" will no longer be orphans.  They will be a little brother and a little sister, my son and daughter.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His faithful love is everlasting!"
                                                                                   ---Psalms 106:1

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Final Update!

It is getting close now! In fact, we could very likely be on a plane to China just one month from today. So, here's the photos we got of our sweeties :

Sweet, sweet "Faith"

Our Handsome "Little Guy"
And, we received measurements.....Our "Little Guy" is four years younger than "Faith" but he weighs more than she does. Of course, I was happy to see healthy chubby cheeks on his face.  And, sweet "Faith" was using a walker in her photos instead of the plastic kids chair she used to push around in front of her.  The best part of all was that her walker is PINK, my favorite color.  We are definitely going to have to find out if we can buy that one from the orphanage!

So, now that it is getting close, I am feeling a wide range of emotions.....excited, nervous, worried, crazy in love with my two China babies, sad to be away from 3 of my kids while in China, comforted to know they will be well taken care of and in good hands while we are away, mentally exhausted from all the thinking and attempting to plan with practically no details yet.......did I mention excited ?!

I don't know what all to pack, but I decided I will go ahead and start packing.  Then, I realized that I need to go shopping for some things, but who has time to go shopping when there are so many other things that need to be done.  I signed up to sell some things at a craft fair, thinking it was a perfect idea for a way to get the last bit of money we need to travel.  Now, I ask myself what in the world was I thinking ?!  I need to get enough items sewn to make it worth my time.  Plus, I need to go buy last minute items that we will need to pack, and diapers and clothes for the two new kids.  I will be flying for the first time ever in a month or so, and it's going to be a long flight.  I have no idea what it's like to fly, or what it's like to be so far from home.  And, let's not forget that I NEVER leave my kids with anyone, much less for two weeks.  Makes me crazy just typing it!  See, so much on my mind, that all the thoughts get all mixed up and then I'm left with what we all like to call "pregnancy brain."  And, of course, all those thoughts running crazy in my head leaves me totally mentally exhausted.  I am going to bed super early tonight, and when I wake up, the mental/emotional roller coaster will begin again.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Photos and Fantabulous News ! ! !

Last week we got new photos of our "Little Guy"
Today we got fantabulous news !!!
We have our LOA !!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wanna see a video of our sweet little girl ??

A friend got the luxury of seeing our little girl last week, and she kept asking, "How much longer?"  Please help us get to her.  She is SO ready to be with us!!

 To see a short video of our little girl click on the link below:


Sunday, July 21, 2013

The James Fund has chosen our family to receive a matching grant !!!!

The James Fund, which is set up by Family Christian stores has chosen to bless our family with a $6000 matching grant.  This means if we can get friends and family to donate a total of $6,000, they will give us another $6,000.  And, that will bring us $12,000 closer to paying for our adoption expenses.  This will put us SO CLOSE to being fully funded !! 

James 1:27 says ""Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…" 

God calls us all to help the orphaned.  Some are called to pray, some to give financially, some to serve on mission trips, and some to adopt.  If you feel led to help support us financially, you can make a donation by sending a check to Lifesong for Orphans, P.O. Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.  On the memo line of your check, please write "preference Northrop 3709 adoption" to ensure your donation goes towards our adoption expenses.  Every dollar received towards our adoption will be matched by The James Fund, up to $6,000.  If our donations received exceed $6,000 (what a blessing that would be!) the excess will still be applied towards our adoption expenses.

If you feel called to pray for our family, we ask that you pray for us to have our entire family home and together in time for Christmas this year.  We also ask that you pray for our children's caretakers.  I know their nannies will experience a good deal of heartache when our children leave their orphanages and come home with us.  We, of course, pray for the same each and every day, as well as giving thanks to the Lord for choosing us to be parents to these two wonderful children.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Finally!! Our dossier has been logged in since June 25th and for some reason that didn't show up in the computer system until today.  LOVED getting that phone call this morning!!!  Now......we wait some more :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

And.....another fundraiser

My friend bought this awesome pattern and then
I had a blast making it --

$85 each

New Fundraisers !!

A very nice young lady who we recently met made LOTS of lovely hair bows for us to sell.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sometimes it's something so simple that makes you feel such a big emotion.  Friday our dossier finally got submitted to China.  There are no words to describe the overwhelming feeling I had the entire weekend! 

Then, on Sunday, I went and bought a high chair from someone selling it on Facebook.  Sure, I was excited to have found such a good deal on something so nice.  But, the real feeling hit when I had it in my car and was taking it home. 

Excitement, Joy, Happiness, Victorious,
And, also a longing to have that sweet little boy
here and sitting in this high chair.....
Now, this high chair is sitting in the corner of my dining room, waiting for Little Guy to come home and eat his meals with his family.  I can only imagine how it's going to feel when that moment is finally here.
Adoptive parents write about how crazy it seems that we miss a child whom we have never met.  I "get" that.  But, I don't think it's crazy at all; it just makes sense.  A good friend recently told me to take peace in knowing that our little ones do not know what it is like to have "loved ones" and therefore do not know what they are missing.  So, as we wait and we miss them, we know that our little ones are not experiencing these hard feelings like we are.  But.....once they are home, then they will learn what it feels like to love and be loved.  And, they will learn what it feels like to miss Mommy while she goes to the grocery store or Daddy while he goes to work.  And, the best part of all, they will know how wonderful it feels when Mommy or Daddy gets back home and scoops them up in to their arms, and tells them how much we love them!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Amazing Find !

Several adoptive families have shared a Chinese search engine where they search their adopted child's Chinese name and find his/her "finding ad".  The finding ad is the ad placed in the local newspaper when a baby or child is found abandoned.  It has a photo and other information regarding date and place found.  This is a valuable piece of information to have for your adopted child when they grow up and begin wanting to know more about their history.
I tried this search, but well, let's just say my "internet search skills" are not up to par.  So, out of frustration, I copy/pasted my daughter's name in Chinese characters in to the regular ole Google search bar.  After clicking on "images", I was speechless.  There popped up a picture of our daughter as a baby.  A friend was able to get the information around the picture translated for me.  Here's what I know.  The picture was posted on a blog written by someone in China.  She posted pictures of about 5 of the kids in "Faith's" orphanage to show people what sweet cute children were looking for families.  I also learned the picture was taken when she was just one year old.  She is lying in her crib with her crib mate. 

Words cannot begin to describe how I felt that evening, when I stumbled across this picture.  And, seriously.....what are the odds of finding a baby picture of my soon-to-be 7 year old daughter ,who lives in another country halfway across the globe, by searching on Google.  :)

You wanna see the picture I found?

Monday, June 3, 2013


DTC means "dossier to China" and this means that all the papers about us and even photos of our family will go to China so they can learn about us and decide if they will let us adopt our children.  Yes, we already have a pre-approval for each of them, but this is more of a final approval.  China updated their computer system last week so that hopefully this process will move more quickly.  Unfortunately, they aren't quite finished updating.  So, we have to wait until they are done, and then we can finally submit our dossier.  Can't wait for that day!
Both our children have birthdays coming up, one in July and the other in August.  It is very hard to think about them not celebrating their birthday here with us, but I take comfort in knowing we have many birthdays to celebrate with them and I plan on making them HUGE memories!  Although I have never met either of these little angels, I miss them more than I can begin to describe.  I recently made a new friend thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook.  She will be traveling next month to adopt her son who lives in the same orphanage as our little "Faith".  When she visits the orphanage, she is going to ask if she can see "Faith" and give her a gift from us and maybe even take a photo or two.  I don't mind if she can't take photos.  Just hearing that she gets to see her in person is going to bring me much happiness.  I am so excited to hear what she has to say about "Faith".  I want to know how small she is, how big her smile is, how big and bright her eyes are.......all these things I know, but I still want to hear them from someone else, someone who actually sees her in front of them.  For now, I stare at pictures of our two sweeties every day........And, I smile !

I can't wait to have them home and love them and care for them and give them many reasons to smile !

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Emotional rollercoaster" is putting it mildly

Everyone warned that international adoption is an emotional rollercoaster.  Initially, I was doing great dealing with the waiting, the unknown, the anticipation, all of it.  But, lately, I'm not dealing with it as well as I would like.  It truly feels a lot more like an emotional tornado, because I don't just have positive feelings today, then negative tomorrow.  Instead I feel it all at the same time!

I feel ANXIOUS to hear some sort of update on our Little Guy!
I feel EXCITED that God is blessing us with both these precious miracles!
I feel NERVOUS when I think about traveling across the country when I have never flown on an airplane.
I feel SAD when I think about taking them from their nannies who have loved them for so long.
I feel HAPPY knowing that we will be giving them this awesome family to call their own.
I feel INTIMIDATED when I think about the total cost of this adoption.
I feel HONORED to call some amazing women my friends, who I met through the adoption community.
I feel BLESSED when someone makes a donation or supports our fundraisers.

This list could really get long!!  The point is I am feeling such a mixture of emotions that I cannot control.  So, I guess I will just "go with it", enjoy every bit of it, and do my best to never forget it.  I thank God for giving me each of these emotions because I know they are making me a better person.  I find peace in prayer.  I appreciate everyone's prayers more than I could ever type in this blog.  Thank you for continuing to keep our little ones and our entire family in your prayers!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Love the Support!

I don't even know how to start this post, so I'm just going to dive straight in.  Moving to Cobb County is by far one of the BEST decisions we ever made.  Now that we are closer to many of our friends, those friendships are just getting stronger.  Being in such a great neighborhood with such great schools has made my children so much happier.  The whole atmosphere at home is just perfect because "everything" about how we live and where we live now is so much better.  I believe God brought us here because the adoption process is stressful and can exhaust you quickly.  He brought us here where everything us in our life would go so smoothly that we would be able to get through the "rough spots" of international adoption.  And, when it gets rough, we are surrounded by our friends who help to pull us through it.

It seems funny that something as simple as a Facebook comment can make a person feel so much better.  And, every time I start to feel a little overwhelmed, someone comments on my Facebook, or they share our news with someone and I feel uplifted.  When I started the bunny-making fundraiser, every time I got an order for another bunny, I would feel overwhelmed, but in a good way.  Many times I teared up because I felt so grateful that people were supporting us and helping us reach our goal.  We had the Thirty One party this past weekend, and first I was just so gracious for Debbie to offer to drive so far and hold the party.....and give her entire paycheck from the party to us.  I'd never even met her before and she didn't know my family at all.  But, she has a passion for helping orphans and that is what she wanted to do.  I am still so very touched by her generosity.  Then, my friend Carol ever-so-nonchalantly said, "Let's have it at my house!"  Offering her home for me to invite people to come and party was so kind of her.  But then she topped it off by baking the goodies that we served at the party as well.  We had such a great time and the fundraiser party was a real success. This morning I woke up and got on the computer, and found out orders are still coming in.(again I teared up...okay so maybe I cried a little)  Each order that was placed, I know was placed for love of my family and helping to make us complete and ........well.....that feels so good to know.

While at the Thirty One party, we got a very generous offer for another fundraiser.  Again, this offer was made by someone who I just met at the party.  How awesome is that, that someone who doesn't even know me or my family is willing to be so selfless just to help bring our sweet babies home!!!!  There will be 2-3 days at a local hair salon, when she will give 50% of her earnings to our adoption fund.  Isn't that amazing ?!!

I am so grateful and appreciative of all our friends and all the friends we are making along this journey.  I am so glad He called us to adopt for so many reasons.  We are gaining more than just two new family members.....SO MUCH MORE !

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Current Fundraiser

We are now selling these beautiful necklaces made by Rebekah Blocher of Compelled Designs in Birmingham, Alabama.  They are handmade out of pottery and a scripture verse is written on the back of each.  Plus, each necklace comes in a tiny fabric drawstring bag hand sewn by a ministry in China called Scarlet Threads. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


First adoption fundraiser -- handmade bunnies

Every member of the family had a part in the bunny making process.

 I made a bunny for each of my girls, including Faith.  We sent hers in her care package.  Then, a few friends asked if I could make some for them as well, and that's what started the bunny making fundraiser.  Before long, and thanks to friends sharing with their friends, (especially my sis-in-law who rocks!) we had lots of bunny orders.  In an effort to get them complete in time for Easter, every member of this family was given a job.  Some changed jobs when we discovered they weren't that thrilled with their job.  But, I now have a 13 year old son who is great with an iron, turning things inside out, pinning patterns to material, and sewing arms on bunny bodies.  Three kids are all about stuffing bunnies.  The youngest would prefer to just stick with dressing the bunnies.  Then, there's Daddy......who now stuffs bunnies and with much grinding of his teeth can also sew arms to body.  And....... my fabulous friend Carol came over and helped with every stage of the process, despite several pricks of the finger with a straight pin (Don't bleed on the white fabric Carol !!!!)   And, Carol's enthusiasm and motivation helped on the few drab rainy days when one doesn't feel like doing much more than sitting on the couch drinking hot cocoa.
I love every time someone shares our fundraiser on their facebook page, and I love every time another order for a bunny comes in.  I am SO grateful and hope it continues as it is certainly pushing us closer and closer to our goal. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

More Exciting News!!

I know, I know....how can we possibly have more exciting news ?!  Well, because God is AMAZING !  Not only did we finally get our final approval on our home study yesterday, but we also got a pre-approval to adopt a 2 year old boy.  We are so thrilled, excited, and overjoyed at this!  I know this gives people lots of questions.  So, here's the deal:
When you adopt an older child, you obviously aren't able to make a baby book for the child.  So, it is recommended that you make him/her a Lifebook.  You gather as much information about their listing on the internet, the whole adoption process, the trip to go get him/her and you put it all in a book or binder.  So, I went online to print a blog listing that had Faith listed so I could put it in her Lifebook.  Well, to get to her listing, I had to go past many children and I saw this photo

So, any of you who know my husband, know that he constantly has his eyebrows wrinkled, just like this little boy (yes he's a boy, even though he's wearing pink )  So, that's the first thing I notice and I think I fell in love just by looking at this photo.  Of course, then I click on the link to watch his video.  Later, I show the photo and video to my husband, who instantly said, "He is just precious! How would we get him too?"  I was temporarily in shock.  I couldn't believe how instantly eager he was to make this little boy ours too.  In my heart, I wanted nothing more, but needed to make sure it was the right decision.  We talked a long time about adopting two versus one, and about their special needs, etc.  Then, as we sat on the couch, I told him that if he is in the same province as Faith, that would mean no extra flights and no extra time spent in country.  I felt like if they are in the same province, then it's meant to be.  He agreed.  So, I emailed the lady at the adoption agency and she sent his file.  I was somewhat surprised and excited when I saw that not only is he in the same province, but he's also in the same city, in a different orphanage but only minutes from Faith's orphanage.  I ran downstairs and told my husband.  He said, "Then, I guess we're adopting him too.  What do we need to do?"
This prompted an email to our home study social worker because now we had to have an additional short interview.  We had to get approved to adopt more than one child, which we did.  Then, we sent our request to China to adopt this sweet little guy, and one week later, we got the phone call.  We have been pre-approved!  He is ours!
We are SO excited!  And, so in love with this little guy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Some times God talks to us......are you listening?

A couple of weeks ago, the social worker who is writing our home study suggested a good book to me.  I went online and searched for it, then decided to just go purchase it at the store.  Of course, my slacker side kicked in and I didn't do it.  An acquaintance yesterday mentioned this book he and his wife are reading and suggested that I read it.  I grinned and thought how funny is it they both recommended the same book to me.  And these two people don't know each other at all.  Then, yesterday afternoon I went to the severely overcrowded pharmacy, where I was 7th in line.  When I first walked up, a lady yelled at me not to dare thinking about skipping her in line (scary).  I just smiled politely and said absolutely, you're fine.  I did think to myself how rude that was, but figured she probably wasn't feeling well.  Then, I saw a gentleman looking at some products on the end of the aisle.  So, I asked him politely if he was also in line and he said, "I'm trying to be."  Then, he turned back around and smiled at me, saying, "I'm in no hurry so if you'd like to go ahead of me, you may."  I loved his smile.  I don't know why, but it was like we stared at each other for half a minute before he spoke, and I felt "good".  I thanked him for his offer, but declined, because I too, was in no hurry.  As I moved forward in the line, and the man made his purchase and left, the lady behind me spun a rack of books around and one of them smacked me on the shoulder.  She quickly apologized, feeling terrible about it.  I looked over my shoulder and told her it was no problem at all.  What book smacked me on the shoulder?...........the SAME BOOK !
I closed my eyes and said to Him, "Okay, I hear ya. I'm gonna buy the book. "

This really left me thinking the rest of the day.  There are always moments in our days where we see someone we don't know but we feel like we do.  And, you smile at the person, even if you don't know why you're smiling.  When they smile back, it makes you feel good and you don't need to know why.  It just feels good.  I believe that was an angel, that man who smiled at me.  Or maybe it was actually Him.  I believe that we can all make someone's day a little better just by smiling at them.  So, when you see me next time and I've got a great big smile on my face, now you'll know why.

When we got our update photos of Faith, I couldn't stop staring at her smile in every photo.  I've had a smile on my face since that moment and I think it's going to be here for a while. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Feeling the LOVE !

So, we finally got an email letting us know that our care package was received.  We got answers to all of the questions we had asked, and we got 8 photos of her receiving the gifts we sent for her.  She knows now......she knows that she has a family and that we are coming for her as soon as we can.  She knows what we look like from the photos we sent.  She knows that she now has 3 sisters and 3 brothers.  She knows that we have 3 dogs and what they look like.  She knows what the front of our house looks like.  She knows that we go tubing at the lake at Granny's (from the photos).  What she doesn't know (yet) is how much we love her already, and how much more we are going to love her when we finally do have her in our arms. 

 Now, I am experiencing something new.  I was already excited, but now I am REALLY excited! Though I'm not yet impatient, I still sometimes feel like shouting, "I can't wait!!!!"  I know that there is a good amount of time left to wait before we get to go get her, and strangely I am okay with that.  I feel like the time is going to fly by.  Boy, getting pictures of her and staring at her smile, makes the wait much easier.

Monday, February 25, 2013

adoption training

Our agency requires that all their clients attend and international adoption training seminar as part of the pre-adoption training.  So, this past weekend, Scott and I went.  There's only been two times that we have gone out of town together, just the two of us.  The first was our honeymoon 17 years ago, and then two years ago for our 15th wedding anniversary.  So, this was pretty exciting!  Thankfully, grandparents came and kept the littles so we could relax and know they are taken care of for the whole night we would be away.  I'm sorry to say that this training seminar, which lasted from 8:30a.m. til 4:45p.m. was by far one of the most boring things I have ever sat through.  I (yes me) actually fell asleep in the middle of it, with my chin resting on my hand which was propped on the table in front of me.  I never sleep during the day, much less while sitting up.  Texting with friends like a bad kid in high school got me through most of it, along with writing notes to my boyfriend in the seat next to me.  I am truly glad we went though because I got to see my best friend from college who I have not seen in several years.  We met and ate dinner together and though it wasn't as much time as I would have liked, we had a wonderful visit.  Then there was the amazing breakfast at our hotel....shout out for the Hyatt Place!  They made english muffins with egg, canadian bacon, and cheese on it fresh on the skillet --not frozen and here you throw it in the microwave.  There was also fresh cut fruit including peeled grapefruit, two kinds of yogurt with all the necessary toppings to make your own yogurt parfait; cereals, donuts, muffins, bagels, toast with several different jellies to pick from, orange juice, tomato juice, iced water, milk, coffee, hot tea, pancakes, and oatmeal.
So......the fabulous breakfast and the great evening at dinner with friends made it well worth the drive.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Care Package Sent

We finally sent our package to Faith in China.  When we got our pre-approval, we were told we could send her something.  I was so excited when I heard this.  I don't know if it was the idea of giving a gift, or if it was because we would be giving something to Faith.  Maybe it was just the idea of having some sort of connection with her.  I decided to sew a stuffed bunny rabbit doll for all my girls, so she could have something like her sisters.  I also decided to put together a photo album with pictures of each of us, and of her room, our house, and our pets. 
I was told we could include a list of questions with our care package.  I searched all over the internet, reading lots of blogs, and joined a couple of yahoo groups and asked its members, what kinds of questions should we ask.  All I would really like to know is what they call her.  I've heard that often times the nannies in the orphanage call the children by nicknames, and there's usually a reason for the nickname.  My 11 year old daughter wants to know her favorite color, her favorite food, and if she likes music.  So, we included those questions, along with her height and weight.  I wasn't so concerned with her size because I was told we would be told her clothing sizes when we get travel approval. 
   I asked our adoption agency worker if she has been told about us yet.  She said she doesn't know but a lot of times the orphanage uses the care package to introduce the child to their new family.  Aaaahhhhh!  So, this package is going to be the first time she is told she has a family......I better make it good.  Now there was more pressure to make this package something real special.  So, I added some fancy lace to the dress I made for the bunny, and some ribbon with pearls across the waistline.  I added eight pearls because eight is considered the most fortuitous of numbers in Chinese communities.  I bought a 4x6 photo album from Wal-Mart for $1 (love a great bargain).  It's beautiful.  It has a super sparkly pink glitter cover.  We printed out all the photos we needed.  Then, we had my daughter's teacher's foreign exchange student write captions in Chinese for each picture.  The very last picture showed Faith's two sisters holding their bunnies I made and holding hers up to show her they each had one.  I put a small picture of Faith on the front cover with her name written in Chinese so she would know it is hers and that the family pictured inside is her family.
   When I left the post office, after mailing her package, I felt........happy, excited, anxious, and .....nervous.  Why did I feel nervous?  I couldn't figure out why I felt so nervous, but I definitely did.  You see, this package is going to be the first time she is told about us, much like when you are introduced to someone new.  I hope she likes her bunny.  I hope she likes her pink photo album.  I hope she thinks we look friendly and loving in our pictures.  I hope they let her keep her bunny so she can sleep with it every night and think about us.  Here's the crazy thing -- I will never know what she thinks of all of it, because I'm not there to see her reaction.  I pray that she understands, and that she is able to open her heart to love us as we already love her.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Announcing our big news

We are adopting a beautiful little girl from China.  We haven't started telling a whole bunch of people until now.  It's such a long process and it seemed a good idea to wait until we got closer to bringing her home.  But, as I told each individual person, the support and prayers that have been offered are so comforting.  So, why not tell everyone!  All that support should make the wait a little easier right?
So, here it is......
Though it is not her name, in this blog, I will refer to her as Faith.  She is 6 years old and has lived in an orphanage since she was about 6 months old.  Her age is merely a guess because she was found abandoned.  She has Larsen's syndrome, which is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by congenital dislocation of multiple body joints along with other unusual features of the face, hands, and bones.  It occurs in only 1 in every 100,000 babies.  It is also a type of dwarfism, so Faith will always be small.....small but mighty.
Faith was born with dislocated knees and hips, and a club foot.  She had surgery on her legs when she was four years old.  This means, however, that for the first four years of her life her bones were growing with her joints in the wrong place.  So, her legs are not so straight and she doesn't walk on her own.  I've seen photos of her legs and feet and I think they are beautiful.  Secretly, I can't wait to paint her toenails for the first time, probably a nice shade of hot pink.  She also has scoliosis.  As for the "unusual facial features", she does have big round eyes and a flat bridge of her nose.  I happen to be in love with her "unusual facial features", and Scott thinks it makes her look "just precious."
We've always known we were meant to adopt a child.  Months ago, I started feeling God calling out to us that now is the time.  The more I prayed about it, the more clear His message became.  The day I found out that her file was sent to our agency exclusively at the same time that I began emailing them, that's when I knew that she was the one He had chosen for us.  Some people ask "why" we are adopting and why we are adopting from another country.  Simply put, we are adopting because it is what God has planned for us.  We are adopting from China because that's where our little girl is, whom He has chosen for us.  How are we going to do this?  Well, I don't know.  But, I do know that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle.  I have complete faith and trust in Him. 
I titled my blog Ready for a Leap of Faith for a reason.  Way back at the beginning of all this, I sat and pondered one day over why it's called a "leap" of faith, and I realized what it means.  You can't just say you believe God will help you through something.  You have to give your whole self to Him, trust Him completely, throw your doubts and fears and worries out the window. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:6
You have to go 100%, take the leap, not just a step in that direction and then step back when you get scared.  You see, a leap isn't something you can take back.  I was ready for that leap of faith.  We have prayed and He made His message clear.  So, now we have taken that "leap of faith" and we are going to bring our new daughter home.  We have faith that He will get us to it and He will bring us through it.  Like my blog title says, "Faith is not hoping God can, it's knowing He will."

So, now, I ask you all, our friends and family to please pray for our little girl waiting for us in China.  Also, please pray for her nannies who have cared for her for the past six years and will have to say goodbye to her when we come get her in a year or so.  Scott, our children, and I will continue to pray and give thanks to God for giving us such a wonderful blessing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I think the most helpful advice I have read so far is this:  When you tell friends or family about your plans to adopt, give them time.  It took a good amount of time for us to come to this decision, and it will take about as much time for friends and family to understand your decision.  It's a lot to just blurt out at someone and expect them to say, oh wonderful!
I have gotten a good variety of reactions from people when I share with them our plans to adopt.  Some reactions were difficult to understand, some were expected, while others were a complete surprise.  A couple of times, I felt disappointed because I was expecting the person to be so happy for us.  We are so full of excitement and joy knowing that God has chosen to bless us with this precious little girl who just happens to live across the world.  When we tell someone and they just stare with a blank expression, it's like having your birthday balloon popped right before the party.
Each reaction from each person is a part of this beautiful story and I guess, I'm glad that each person has reacted so differently.  It certainly makes for a much more interesting story.

in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18


Waiting is something I am good at and it's a good thing because there is plenty of waiting in my future.  Some days I wish there was something I NEEDED to get done, something that needed to be read, a form that needed to be filled out, or maybe something I need to research and learn more about.  When I am busy getting things done, the waiting is so much easier.  But, on days like today, when it's pouring rain outside and the whole house is clean and ready for our next home study visit, I sit on the couch, wishing for something to do.  Everything has been done.  There is nothing for me to do.

Then I realize.......There is something for me to do.  I can pray.  I can pray for patience.  I can pray and give thanks to God.  I can pray that He continues to watch over my children, especially my daughter who is waiting for us in China.  I can pray for the nannies in the orphanage who have taken such great care of her for the past six years, and who will miss her when we come and take her away from them.  Who am I kidding thinking I have nothing to do ?!  I need to get busy!  I've got some praying to do......

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107: 1

Monday, January 14, 2013

Home studies include LOTS of paperwork.  I think my favorite is the autobiography, especially the part where it asks about your marriage.  Writing what you think about your marriage really makes you think about it.  I thought about the kind of relationship I have with my husband, what kind of husband he is, and what kind of wife I am. I enjoyed reading what my husband wrote about these things as well.
When I was done writing my autobiography, I felt so very blessed and grateful.  For the past few months, I have felt blessed to be chosen to be the mother of this beautiful little girl.  After writing, I felt so blessed with all He has already given me.....my husband, my children, my pets, my new home, my family......And, now, He is giving me more.  Do I deserve this?  I don't know if I do or not.  But, I will work every day to be deserving of such blessings.  And, I will give thanks each and every day for even the little things.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chosen for us

In October, we couldn't seem to make any progress towards adopting a child.  Initially, things had been moving along steadily.  There was a beautiful little girl who was listed with one agency, and then there was a little boy on the shared list.  When we decided to pursue adopting the little boy, that's when things seemed to come to a stop.  I went to bed praying one night and woke up the next morning feeling like we are supposed to adopt the little girl and that we would need to fight for her.  I told my husband when he woke up and he was full on board.  I prayed that morning for an hour straight.  Then, I got on the internet to search for a new adoption agency.  At the very beginning of all this, I had been led to a woman's blog for something completely unrelated.  Her blog was actually all about adoption, and her 6 kids she had adopted from China.  So, I looked up the agency she used, sent them an email, and waited for a response.  I got a reply within an hour.  Things got moving again.  A few weeks later, I found out that the little girl's file had been sent to this agency to advocate on her behalf exclusively, at the same time that I started emailing them.  No other agency would have access to her file.  That's why things "stopped".....because God was directing us to the agency where we could adopt her.  He has chosen her for us and he brought us both to the same agency at the same time to show us this.  I feel so very blessed that he has chosen us to be her family.  Who knew that I could love a little girl so much who I have never even met!

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5-6

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sooner than expected

So very excited!  After being told we wouldn't hear anything for at least 2-3 weeks and settling for the fact that we wouldn't get our news until after Christmas, imagine the excitement when the phone rang after only ONE WEEK, and 5 days before Christmas.  Here I was thinking we would get through the holiday celebrating with all the family and such and then would have to wait for an email.  But, that's not what happened.  Pleasantly surprised, we got a phone call, not an email, and before Christmas.  What a lovely surprise!  The lady at our adoption agency was so excited that we had gotten a response from China so quickly that she had to call herself instead of just forwarding the email like she usually does.  God is SO GOOD!  We got our pre-approval from China.  Now, this beautiful little girl whose pictures I stare at each day and whose video I could watch over and over and over again.....she is ours.