Saturday, April 30, 2011


For a long time now, I have let fear and discontentment rule my life. I have always been a "the grass is greener on the other side" kind of person.  In the times when I wasn't dwelling on my discontentment, I was dwelling on fear.

My heart has been so burdened lately thinking about our adoption and how it plays a role in my contentment. What happens once Willa gets home? How long will I be content then? Will I then just let fear control me?

My bible study on Wednesday was about restoration and joy. Not just joy, but true joy in Jesus. It was about finding Him in the midst of trials and sometimes He ordains the trials so when restoration comes, His glory will shine through. When I got done with the study, I just had this huge smile on my face. I got it. I really got it! When Brad came home, I told him all about it. He said to me, "Michele, I think you finally found true contentment." I just looked at him, and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. He was right! For the first time in my life, I found true contentment.  It was not in a material thing. It was not in a finalized adoption.

It is in my SAVIOR! 

For the first time, my heart was in line with my head. I mean I knew that true joy is found in Jesus, but I really, really felt it on Wednesday. I could literally feel the release of my fears. I knew in that instance if nothing ever worked out the way I hoped, it wouldn't matter.

I knew in that moment that if my worst fears came true, I would be able to get through them because of Him. His strength and His love. Eternity with my Savior. That is ultimately all that matters. Sure, there are hard times here on Earth, but soon, I will be with my Father in Heaven. It makes everything here pale in comparison.

I long for the day when that trumpet sounds and we meet Him in the sky! I long for the day when I am worshiping Him face to face. I am content! I am joyful! I am free from fear!  I have an eternity secure with my Creator! Brad asked a really good question -For eternity, if you could have Jesus but no heaven, would that be ok? What about being in Heaven with no Jesus, would you still want to go? Can you honestly say He is enough? ABSOLUTELY!

It makes me think of the chorus of a Casting Crowns song:

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified, freely forever
One day He's coming

He is my portion. He is my inheritance. He is all I need!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Maybe you noticed my side bar updates------------------------>
if so, let me share a few things:

1. The Sparrow Fund - just click the picture and it will take you directly to The Sparrow Fund website. Thanks to TSF, we will be using CHOP to review Willa's medical file. I am so relieved to know this! They are accepting applications for grants - if you are waiting for a referral, go to TSF and apply! They are doing a great work!

2.  April is coming to a close, and our Baby Bobo fundraiser is too. If you haven't placed an order and plan to, now is your chance! Also, for the month of May, Baby Bobo will be raising funds for The Sparrow Fund, so April and May are great months to make a purchase! You get a beautiful baby blanket (or bib or pillow) and you help raise money for families adoption children!

3.  My fundraising thermometer keeps growing in the goal funds area, and that's because our fees keep growing. Sigh. I did change the goal to reflect the total amount needed, and not just what we are short. So that is why it is so much higher. But notice I also changed the amount we currently have! So that is good news! Jesus keeps providing!

So that is it for the side bar. I do also want to share that we got an email from our agency today telling us that the new shared list will be out Monday night. They also shared some new statistics with us, so it is nice to be somewhat clued in to this process. Anyway, I believe our agency matches families based on log in dates, so we should be near the top of the list. Our log in is 2/4/10. So hopefully that puts us at an advantage.

Please, please pray with us. I want my Father's will above all else. I want His timing. However, He also tells us that He gives us the desires of our hearts. So with that in mind, here are some specific things, if you don't mind:

1. Please pray that Willa is on THAT LIST! There are many reasons we are asking that - 1. We just want to see our daughter's face. 2. We are still hopeful to avoid the new fees (almost $4000). 3. We are just so ready to be done with this process. 4. The longer it takes to be matched, the longer my little girl has to live in a orphanage.

2. Please pray for the money we are short. As you can see, it is still around $21,000. That does include that new fee, so maybe less.

3. Please pray for Willa as she waits.

Thanks guys! Hopefully this time next week, I will be starring at a beautiful little Chinese face plastered all over my house! LOL!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We got some great news this week! First of all, we received our I-800A approval yesterday. We are approved through July 11, 2012. I have to be honest, if we do not have Willa home by then, I will need to be hospitalized, complete with straight jacket.  LOL! For all of you USCIS stalkers - our receipt date was 3/11, fingerprint date 4/11.  So, that was pretty quick! We have a super nice officer, so maybe that helped? I don't know, but it is nice for something to go smoothly. It's also nice to have that and my homestudy update done and behind us.

Also, I have a huge praise! Last time we had a referral reviewed by a medical doctor, we got a great report. In fact, she said that it would be a "happily ever after" case. Well, clearly she was wrong. Very wrong. So I have been nervous about who we would use when we got another referral. I have done research and it is quite expensive to have a full medical review. Now, don't get me wrong, it is totally worth it. It is a necessity. But, it was a necessity we couldn't afford.  Anyway, not long ago, we heard about The Sparrow Fund. It is a organization that offers grants to families for medical reviews! You don't have to use their list of hospitals. You get to pick the medical professional to review your referral. If you are awarded a grant, then The Sparrow Fund pays for your medical review. How wonderful is that? It is such a load off a pre-adoptive parent's mind knowing they can have that resource available.

Well, guess what? We were awarded a grant! I am so relieved! We have chosen Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  They have an international adoption program and come highly recommended. They offer pre-adoption support, travel support, and post adoption report. I have been in contact already, and they are so nice and helpful! What a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing that when we do get a referral, I have an awesome team of doctors lined up, ready to help!

Praise Jesus! His provision continues to amaze me. I know I often have pity parties for myself. Sometimes I doubt that things are moving forward for us, then my sweet Abba shows me that He has been moving and working all along.  He is never late! We got the grant just in time for the new shared list release! Isn't that a hoot?

We are ready Lord! Show me my girl!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I just wanted to say thank you to all the caring people that commented on my last blog post. I can't begin to tell you how much your comments and prayers mean to me.

It is truly humbling to see the number of people that genuinely care about us and our journey. Thank you all so very much!



Thursday, April 7, 2011


With last week being so great, I guess I should have expected Satan to hit hard this week. Well, he didn't disappoint. This week has been hard. As hard as it's been, you would think that I would be running to the arms of my Savior, but I haven't. It's hard to explain - its like I have this inner conflict that desperately needs prayer, yet I am struggling with it all.

It started when I found out that the CCAA implemented new post placement requirements (have I blogged about that already?). The old requirements were 3 post placement reports - one self report at 1 month, one social worker report at 6 months and one social worker report at 12 months. The new requirements are 6 post placement reports all done by the social worker at 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years.  I understand the point in these visits, don't get me wrong, it is just a lot of extra meetings. I can probably speak for the adoptive community when I say once you get your child home, you want to be done with agencies, social workers, paper work and FEES. The thought of dragging all of this out for FIVE years is daunting.

Then I get the email with the new required fees of all those visits. Keep in mind that we have already paid $1700 for the three we were originally told about. Well, the new fees due in addition to the $1700 are $3800! Thirty Eight Hundred Dollars more. When I got the email, I was sick! What in the world? How are we suppose to come up with that, when we are already so short? I am still unsure how that whole thing will pan out.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, my mom calls me today. She tells me that she ran into one of my husband's family members. She chatted with him for a bit, and he brings up our adoption. He actually said to her, "Well, we just need to pray that it never happens." He went on to say that "the children from China will bring diseases and such into our country." He said that you never know what that child is carrying, and they just need to pray it never happens for us. My mom said she was in shock! Her reply to him was that she was not going to pray that, she was going to pray for Jesus' will for our lives and if His will includes a little Chinese girl, then so be it.  I still can't wrap my mind around that. How hurtful!

I let things like that upset me. It hurts my feelings. Honestly, it breaks my heart. How could someone not want a little one to have a family? And they bring diseases into our country? What? Anyway, I called Brad immediately and he helped me feel better. He reminded me that we have never let those kind of comments affect us before, why now? He also said that she is our daughter and what they think doesn't matter in any way. Still it bothers me.

Then on top of all of that... I am really feeling defeated with the whole matching thing. I never expected a match right away, but I guess I hoped it would be quicker. I guess I thought since we have had such a rough time, we would have a high priority on the list of waiting families. I am realizing we got back in line just like everyone else. Who knows when we will get a match. It could be next week, it could be 2 years from now. It is anybody's guess.

Let me summarize this post for you:

*We will have to be involved with our agency for FIVE years after Willa comes home.
*We are no longer short $16000, we are short almost $21000.
*People suck.
*We may never get a referral.

How's that for a pity party tonight? I think I nailed it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So I have been thinking for a while that I am not loving the name Hope. Actually, that is not true, I really do love it, but I fear it's too popular. So I am in search for a new middle name for Willa. I will consider using her Chinese name as her middle name, but I need a back up in case it doesn't sound good with Willa.

So throw some names at me... what sounds good with Willa??

Monday, April 4, 2011


My sweet, sweet friend, Ashley, has offered to host another fundraiser for us! I am in awe at such generous people that are offering their time, resources and money to help us bring Willa home!

Ashley is the owner of Baby Bobo. You have to check the site out! She makes the cutest baby blankets, bibs, and pillows. We have one of the Loves and I have never felt a blankey so soft. I would love to have a Whooby Grande for Willa.

I am so excited about this fundraiser! Thank you so much to Ashley for helping us! The fundraiser will go through April. If you know someone that has a little one or is going to be having a baby, Baby Bobo is the perfect gift! They are customizable too!

Friday, April 1, 2011


What a week! I am still in absolute awe of the work that Jesus has done this week! Our Thirty One fundraiser came to a close. Thank you to everyone that helped by placing an order. The amount we raised was $165.00!! Thank you so much to Michelle, who so generously offered to host the fundraiser for us.  What a blessing!

Also, we received an anonymous gift from someone at church for $300.00!!  Woo hoo! Isn't that awesome? I couldn't believe it! What a precious church family we have!

Then, we received a generous gift of $1000.00!!!!! Can you believe it? I am in absolute awe of Jesus' provision. I simply am in shock at the way He has worked on our behalf. I tell you, Jesus' heart if for the orphan. If you take that first step in faith, He will do the rest. He has proven Himself glorious and faithful, time and time again through our journey. The best part? He isn't finish. He is saving the best for last. He has moved mountains on our behalf and the behalf of my little one waiting in China. 

So our grand total this week is $1465.00!! 

Just when you think surely He is done blessing us - He shows us He is never done! I have another wonderful answer to prayer. You know, I have posted many times about travel and how I longed for my family to be with me. If you remember, it was all of us traveling, or me having to travel alone again. Well, we are still planning for all of us to travel. That is just where my heart is, but we do have a plan B. A plan B that I feel really good about. My mom is unable to take off two consecutive weeks of work, so that has never been an option for us. However, we talked last week and we have figured out a "loophole"! LOL! She has offered to take off three days the first week we are gone, while my stepdad takes off two. Then the next week, they will flip it. It really is the perfect solution if the children can't travel with us. Actually, Anna will still travel with us like last time. The boys would stay with my parents. I would feel awful leaving them, but they would really do well with my parents. I decided to sit down and talk with Jackson about the possibility of him not traveling. He said to me, gosh, it brings tears to my eyes thinking of it. He said, "Mom. We can stay with Bubba (my mom) and Papa. We will do whatever it take to get that baby sister home!!" I just bawled! Bless his sweet little heart. I know they would have a great time. Honestly, it would be the easier thing to do. The thought of my boys in China... well, it would be a challenge. LOL. Totally worth it, but a challenge nonetheless. Hehe. 

So all of that to say, my husband is going to China with me!! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO! I can tell he is looking forward to it too. He keeps saying, "When I get to China, I am eating duck!" Or, "When I get to China, I am going to see the Great Wall!" I can not tell you how relieved I am. Seriously, everytime I think of it, I just can't stop grinning!

So the Lord is working BIG TIME for our family! Now I just need to get a referral!! LOL!

Thank you Jesus!