I just realized this week that we are LONG overdue on posting, when John said a coworker, who subscribes to our blog, had no clue we were adopting again! I’m so sorry for the neglect thus far! We truly felt it was an AMAZING blessing to have you right along with us on our journey to Elyana, and we want to be sure you are there with us on journey #2. And though my time is more limited now, taking time post allows everything to sink in a little deeper! Our hearts are truly overwhelmed with the goodness of what God is doing, and excited just doesn’t seem to even suffice in saying how we feel about finally sharing it with you.
Elyana helping with adoption paperwork.
Our adoption journey began so very slowly at first this time, so there was nothing much to share other than, we didn’t “feel” a whole lot. We were stepping out in faith and honestly both struggled with doubts and fears. It’s so true, what I heard a teacher say lately, “When you step out into a new area of your life be ready for attacks. A new level, a new devil.” I agree, and cannot imagine if we had stayed frozen or backed out in fear. During this time my dear friend Susannah sent me the song “In Over My Head” (crash over me) by Bethel. The song gives a beautiful picture of arriving at a place where you are no longer satisfied with keeping God in a box or staying in a “comfortable” place, but allowing God to REALLY come in – remind us He is a BIG God with BIG plans….
So our cardboard walls began to dissolve, allowing self-doubt and fears to begin to float away. We began to give up all reasoning while letting go in trust “He would faithfully complete the work He had begun in us.”
It’s been a time of stretching and growth. But this prayer remains…
“Come do whatever you want to! Whatever it looks like, whatever may come we are yours; further and further our hearts moves away from the shore, whatever it looks like, whatever may come, we are yours.”
As we prayed this prayer, we began to trust as we seemed to not be moving at all. And come to find out, we weren’t, but God was. Our application somehow didn’t get put in the system, so we were at a standstill. Which was ok, because it gave God time to do what He needed in John and I.
After the first few months comparable to a snail race were behind us, things took off like a drag race, and now that our hair is all blown back, bugs stills stuck to our teeth, we can take a deep sigh, laugh, cry and finally share our special news with you!!!!!!!!!
We can say it in no sweeter way than…..
God found two very special boys for us!!!!!!
When John and I filled out our initial application on December 31, 2014, we listed boy or girl and requested an older age we were open to, also listing that we were open to adopting 2. After weeks of hearing nothing, and feeling nothing, we prayed…bewildered about why we would feel this way. Now we realize we were truly taking steps of faith. And faith requires believing something unseen and often unfelt. About a week later I’ll never forget the morning I was standing in my bathroom and heard “Come and get us Mom.” Up until then we hadn’t even felt the urgency to even begin paperwork, but after hearing that….I started running full force. And all the “feelings” have now caught up and are pouring in at waterfall force.
Late in March we found the younger little guy first. His picture and description was listed on the waiting child site, and John (who usually doesn’t get on the site at all…looked) Well that was it. God used John’s open heart as an avenue to bring this sweet boy to us. He texted me to check out his file, then we both prayed hard, emailing a few days later to review his file. John and I were both in tears that morning as we opened his file and realized he was from the same orphanage as Elyana was adopted from!!! As we read about his abandonment, saw his special needs, and realized his birthday was only in a few short days….something amazing happened. He was born in our hearts on his birthday week.
For the next few weeks we waiting for the rest of his file to be translated into English, and submitted our medical questions to the orphanage in Baoji. We got some great info back that we were able to submit to Cincinnati Children’s.
As we were actively pursuing this first call, something just wasn’t complete in both our hearts. We felt unsettled. And unable to fully rejoice yet. I know that sounds bad – but God had something left to do before we could see ourselves going to China for this one little boy.
Only a few weeks later I saw an email from our family coordinator sharing the information that new files were added to the waiting children site. So I looked. And that was it. I saw a boy dressed in yellow, alone in this world….with a face I felt I knew, though I’d never once seen him before. I honestly got so excited I was ready to email our family coordinator that day!!
But God had a little more moving to do. John wasn’t sure, and isn’t an emotional decision maker. (which I appreciate) He leads us well. So anyway, I mentioned it to our social worker and she cautioned, presenting us with a list of (scary, yet realistic) scenarios we had to address and answer if we truly felt God wanted us to move forward. Honestly my heart was already calling them my boys, and I even printed out 2 sets of referral acceptance paperwork. I waited. Literally mourning for this little guy. I cried, and felt a pain deep in my spirit. I asked God to send a family if we weren’t his, but God didn’t. And the feeling I was his mom never left. So I prayed, harder, fought off the many darts of fear being shot at my heart regarding bringing two broken, older children into our home, and cried out even more to God.
Then one very special morning John texted me “email Aimee about_____”(the older boy) I started crying tears of joy!! I asked him what happened. He said he had been up the night before until 3am, and as he prayed very honestly….God spoke this message to him in the night… “fear of the unknown is why these children are where they are at, don’t let fear of the unknown keep them there.” Then asked the question to his heart that he had asked Peter….”Do you love me? Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” I was crying again, only tears of complete bliss this time. God had lifted the dark cloud of fear off of our hearts that had been looming above for weeks since we had read all the scenarios we could possibly face. But God. Once He confirmed inside each of us, that they were our sons, He calmed all our fears with His reassurance that He would give us all the love and wisdom needed to help them heal. And we can rest in the promise that His “love never fails.”
God has gifted us 2 two boys, who will only begin to heal, when they are planted in the midst of a home overflowing with HIS redemptive love!!! We saw this first hand with Elyana. As much as she was kept in the orphanage from complete starvation and from being left in the cold, she was starving on the inside. She needed the attention and love of a Mom and Dad. As precious as the nannies and foster families are, they are stretched thin, and cannot give what these children so desperately need.
These boys that WILL find the sweet, sweet redemption of a Fathers healing and we realize it will be the fight of our lives, but God already won the freedom they need. The same Father that has loved us out of our insecurities, addictions, fears, and doubts….extends his arms to these two boys of ours. And why He has entrusted us is a mystery and honestly makes me feel we are truly “In over our heads” IN A VERY GOOD WAY! 🙂
In over our heads so deep that we have finally let go. Let go of all the unknowns of what these boys could’ve faced. The unknowns of what kind of parents we will be to five. Wow 5!! We can hardly believe it. BUT God.. was there in the 1. The 2, the 3. And now He is in 5. And He is leading us into places we would’ve never thought up in our human minds….weaving together a masterpiece we would’ve never imagined. Knowing it is His plan, comforts us into a sweet place of trust that if it’s HIS plan, HE will do it. Our job now, to keep our eyes fixed upon the one who is called Faithful.
I’m sure you all have a gazillion questions for us. What are their names, ages, faces, ect. But we have to wait to share the most personal details for a few months until our dossier is logged into China. Once our paperwork (dossier) is logged into China, we can then receive our official RA (referral acceptance). This means China will then officially recognize us as their parents, and we will share pictures.
What we can tell you. We have chosen names. Hudson will be the oldest, and Wesley the youngest. Each will be given their Chinese name as well and will be able to choose which they prefer to use. We chose strong names of men of God John and both admire. Both boys fit nicely smack dab in between the ages of our youngest Elyana, who is 3 now and our two older children, Jenna (who will be 11 soon) and Ryan who is 12. We also can tell you they are amazing, and we are in love. Each has a unique and beautiful face we’ve fallen in love with. And we will share with you as soon as we can!! What we know is even though we found them on the waiting child list, God hand-picked them for our family. I cannot tell you how many details have been woven together and have confirmed his calling on our hearts.
The Nuts and Bolts of where we are at on the adoption journey:
Our EA’s – for both boys have been submitted, and we got one of our approvals today!
Our Home Study – is almost finished/reviewed.
Our Dossier (stack of paperwork for China) is complete other than getting our govt. Immigration approval to bring 2 boys home!
As we wait throughout the summer we are hoping that an addition will be going up onto our current home, which would make squeezing 7 bodies in…just a little more comfortable! Either way, once again, we trust!
So BIG stuff going on in a short amount of time…But we have a BIG God who has already done great and mighty things!
Five….soon to be seven.
Thank you all for sharing in this very special place God has led us too, and for stepping out with us as we continue taking leaps of faith!! We are so grateful for each of you. Thank you to those who encourage us to continue to allow God to take us even deeper… in over our heads!! Your voices of faith often ring in our ears at just the moment we need to hear it most. You are treasured and dear to us all.
Prayer is by far the greatest weapon we have, so we thank you also for supporting us in prayer!! We are asking that God prepares and grows each of our hearts individually for these boys, and they are prepared for us. Please also pray that adjustments will go smoothly once they are here, and we can help each of them heal from the trauma they have suffered. We serve a healing God!