Friday, August 31, 2012

We have an announcement!

So we've been keeping a secret! What could it be? Are we moving? Are we pregnant? Does Michael have a new job? Ummm, No! No! and No! It is a wonderful one though, and we are thrilled to be able to finally share it with everyone. We've made a video to share it. So scroll down and watch it! Don't forget to mute the songs at the bottom of the page first.

Ch*na recently changed their rules to allow two biologically unrelated children to be adopted at once if they are from their special focus special needs program. When we started our adoption journey this time, Georgia found us. We were just thinking about starting again. We hadn't done a single piece of paperwork when we asked Ch*na for permission to adopt her. However, we knew in our hearts she was our daughter, and so, we took a leap of faith. From the beginning, Joy felt like we were supposed to bring two children home, but Michael always the practical one, just wasn't sure. We weren't even sure if we could bring home Georgia without adding on to our home first. However, God opened the door when our social worker approved us in our homestudy to adopt not only one, but TWO children! Now, God was working on Michael's heart for two, and He was opening Joy's heart for a little boy. It's funny how we have vision's of how we think things should go. We thought we'd adopt another child with thalassemia like Vivian. Georgia's special need is spina bifida, with a lot of unknowns. Something we'd never really considered. But in the end, we knew she was ours..... and so that meant we'd deal with whatever came down the road. Joy thought we'd adopt two girls, and we'd have four of each. Nice and balanced. Works better for the bedrooms etc... But then, God started whispering in her heart about the little boys from Ch*na. You see, everyone thinks it all little girls needing homes, but that isn't so anymore. There are both boys and girls abandoned in Ch*na due to their special needs, and most adopting families prefer little girls. Our girls both happened to be waiting for a long time, because of their needs, but lots of little boys wait even longer because families aren't open to adopting a son. We both prayed about it a lot! And talked and finally shared our hope with our agency, who sent us, about seven files. It is always so hard reading files, knowing we you accept one, you say no to the others. Real children, all with such potential, who need, no deserve a forever family. After much prayer we felt like TongXiao was the one. He also has spina bifida as his special need, something he and Georgia will share in common. Although, their real need was a family. Again, we weren't sure if we'd be allowed to adopt a second child, we'd have to ask for special permission and a couple of waivers from Ch*na. We stepped forward in faith, believing if he was our son, God would move the mountains. And a few weeks ago, we got a big yes! The paperwork will be processed together, and we will bring them home on the same trip. They aren't from the same province, so we will travel probably to Calvin's city first, and a few days later to Georgia's province and city. We hope to travel towards the end of the year, although we've had some hold ups in immigration, and now getting our dossier authenticated, so we will see. We are anxious to go, but know God already knows the day we will finally meet our new children face to face. We started out this process knowing we'd have to depend on God to provide the funds. Knowing we had part, but that it would be a faith walk to complete the adoption. Adding Calvin's adoption, increases the fees of course. It doesn't double thankfully, but we will have extra fees, plane ticket, medical exams, orphanage fee. We are in the process of applying for several grants, and we are planning on hosting the bbq dinner fundraiser again. Joy is almost finished with a cookbook of our favorites to sell, and we are thinking about a cool t-shirt that we hope everyone will want. We hope that you will consider supporting our adoption journey in some of these ways, or all of them, lol. We hope you will share our blog with your friends. Post about our fundraisers on facebook. We all have so many connections. What doesn't seem like much, maybe what you would have spent on a dinner out, makes a huge difference when multiplied by all our friends. More than that, we ask that you keep our family in your prayers. Now, and in the coming days. For Georgia and Calvin, as their whole world is about to be turned upside down. While we know it's for good in the end, they will be so scared. For our family as we all adjust, and make room, not just in our home, but emotionally. For our travel. For Gods provision.
Keep checking in with us here, you never know what's next :)

We want to give a special thanks and shout out to this family
They are an amazing and talented family also in the process of adopting two children from Ch*na. They wrote and recorded the song from the video and have their own video that inspired us. They were kind enough to allow us to use their song. Especially grateful as we are a lot of things, but not much for singing ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer flies

I can't believe it is almost time for school to start again. This summer has flown by. I always think I will accomplish lots of extra projects during the summer, lol. Ummm, but that has not exactly turned out how I planned :)
We have however, had a great summer. Lots of beach time, and lately, we've been blessed with that elusive green flag. You know the flag at the lifeguard tower. It seems like it is almost always yellow. The waves are a bit rough, or there is undertow, or jellyfish, or a dropoff or or or....
So it is pretty unusual to find the green all clear flag. I think it has been though the last three times we have gone! Yesterday was about as perfect as it gets, not too crowded, very small swells, no undertow, the water was so clear and beautiful. It was a bit cold, the water that is. 73 said the lifeguard board. Seeing as how it's been in the 90's, we didn't mind much. Even Abram, my little guy was able to play without fear. I wish I had pictures from yesterday, but I was too busy playing. I do have some from other trips this summer that I will post. We are so blessed to live less than ten minutes to our favorite beach!
School is looming around the corner though, so I'm working on wrapping up last year's portfolios and thinking about what we need to start school this year. Abram will officially be in school this year, even though we did what I like to call Kindy light last year. His birthday is in less than two weeks so he has that late birthday that makes it hard to decide if he should be in this grade or that one..... nice benefit of homeschooling is that I don't have to decide. Hoping to stretch these last few weeks of summer out.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Mountain Awaits:

You might be wondering why we would chose to use the term / name "A Mountain Awaits"? When Joy & I first started talking about the idea of having a blog to encourage and share with others the ups and downs of the adoption process we first thought we need to have a name that really captures the process as a whole. With this current adoption being our second experience we have a much better idea of how things work from beginning to the end. But just like a snow flake no two experiences are the same and each has its own uniqueness both good or bad.

So as we started this journey again; which I have come to believe is journey that never ends. In that once your eyes and heart are opened to the orphan you will always be on a road that works to find these children a family. Our hearts have been broken for the orphan children most of whom have had no input or choice to the situations they have been thrust into. Most of these children were orphaned at a very young age.
When you start the process of an adoption there are so many items and or tasks involved the you quickly can become very overwhelmed and most often I believe people give up and find reasons to say they just can't do it. Well I am here to tell everyone of you most certainly CAN do it. We have actually had the opposite approach in that we feel how can we not do this? Our heart and lives have been changed forever after going through the process to bring home our daughter from China in 2010-2011. As a father and husband the experience tested all of my qualities both good and bad but our God is so good & sovereign Lord in providing for all of our needs even in area we weren't aware of being a need. It was during this process and time that trusting in my faith and leaning to Him for direction rather than myself (which is very unnatural to a man that is used to fixing problems and providing in anyway he can when the need arises) but I was humbled many times and learned to be closer in my walk with Christ, trusting his direction, learning how to be patient, and following him. Then everything seems to work out in his timing but also in ways that far exceed my initial view. This is where the analogy of A Mountain Awaits comes from in our journey. Most of us haven't actually climbed a physical mountain. I would say most people would venture to try by taking it head on and just starting to climb for the top. That's the same approach I had in my mind when we started our first adoption in 2010. Being a man that sees a goal and the tasks ahead I take it head on and move forward towards that goal. I quickly learned that my timing and all the other many many tasks don't agree or mesh well. Patience is so relevant in our lives but also so difficult for some of us to grasp and truly apply in our lives. I can honestly say I am not the most patient person but after our first journey I have learned that if I cant change the situation for the better its best to let it go and wait for the resolve. If I just started climbing my own path up a mountain without planning and understanding what was ahead I would not get very far. But at the same time there are steps up the mountain that we have to take on faith and our knowledge that without moving forward we will never succeed. As the old Chinese proverb says: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or the another translation of "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." both indicate you must take the first step and that first step begins where you stand at that moment. Every journey has a starting point and when we are still and have patience that journey can begin.“Your off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So...get on your way!”