Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Dossier!

 It's crazy to think about and time and effort that goes into this paperwork. But really it's just multiple pieces of paper with signatures on it.

Here's my filing system :)

All notarized and ready to go for State Authentication. Minus the homestudy. That will be added very soon!

The turn around should be pretty quick unless something get's lost or done wrong... After it gets Authenticated by the state, it will go to the Chinese Embassy for Chinese Authentication.

Once we get a copy of our completed homestudy, we will send it along with our application to immigration to ask for permission to bring our daughter home... they will fingerprint us, again... and once we get "provisional approval" we will have that approval form notarized, authenticated, etc, as fast as we can move it.  Then the whole thing goes to China and we wait for them to do their part of the process...

I'm ready to bring this baby girl home. I hate paperwork and I'm not good at it. I swear every time I do this I will never do it again. That makes me laugh LOL!

Blessed & Happy

Blessed, Happy, Couragous, Free-spirit, Compassionate, Enduring, Strong, Warrior, Prayerful, Paitient, Kind, Loveable, Awesome, Artsy, One-of-a-kind, Asher! 

I believe he will go unto all the world to tell others about Jesus :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No Matter what you go through today; 
I AM with you.

Even in the face of your uncertainty;

I Am all knowing
and I Am with you.

When that storm comes; I Am shelter

I Am all knowing
and I Am with you.

When all your own resources fail and are empty; I Am rich 
and abundant

I Am shelter
I Am all knowing
and I Am with you.

When you are fearful; I Am courage

I Am rich and abundant
I Am shelter 
I Am all knowing
I Am with you

When you are sick, hungry, thirsty, depressed; I Am.

I Am

Healing, Mercy, Peace, Forgiveness, Comfort, Righteousness, Gentleness, Bread and Water.


I Am - Forever

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On a hike!

It's been a while since we went on a family hike. So I drug the family out for exercise this past weekend.
 We went to a state park in south eastern PA... about an hour away.

It was HOT and HUMID but we brought plenty of water and even a few snacks. There were a few complainers; but as I said, it was very humid. 

The path was pretty darn easy, at first.

As time passed the kids started to get into it. We have hiked before but since Asher and Arielle have come home we haven't done as much. So this was a bit of a test of endurance for them :) Our last hikes were not always successful but we are all a bit older and a bit more mature now. You can learn a lot about yourself during one of these journeys... and there are some interesting sights along the way if you choose to "see"...

The hike started out on a level path, wide and nicely level. Little or no obstacles. We then had to choose from that "easy" path which way to go as it took us to a crossroad. So I let the kids choose...they chose a path that went up a rolling hillside and was very became narrow. Praise God for trees! We had no idea where we were going.

As the path became more narrow, fallen trees were down from a recent storm. I said "lets go back" because there was really no way around them. But they wanted to continue.

So Brad led them through the trees and brush and on we went.

I'm pretty proud of these guys because all complaining stopped as they became more aware of their surroundings. I didn't even prompt that, it just happened. I am convinced we need to do this more because I think they learned so much just walking. Like being aware of their feet or they could roll down the side of a hill, or tripping over a rock or branch. Keeping an eye out for one another and learning to think outside of their own personal wants and needs; ie. being considerate not to let go of the branch your holding back so it doesn't hit the person behind you. It may seem silly, but that's a big deal when your 7 or 8.
And how about that large muscle development! And balance! I have a few kids that need a bit of help in that area :)

And the most pleasant surprise is what we found! The road was rough, but this cool refreshing creek made it worthwhile... my grandson Levi LOVED this place LOL! It was fun to see him put his feet in the water! But Arielle was the first to test the waters. 

Then she assisted the little guys out onto the slippery rocks to dip their feet in...

(below)This was right before Levi (middle) fell in... Oooppps! But it was close to 90 degrees so who cares! Should have taken a picture!  
Asher only poked his toes in, the water was a wee too cold. There were plenty of rocks to stand on. Evan stayed on land haha, my "saftey first" child.

After our refreshing encounter we hiked back up to this...

And this...

Yes it was hot, humid, and most people probably would have been headed to the beach, but I think I have a months worth of devotional lessons from our little hike.

And that just makes it all perfect! Can't wait to do it again... Something a little more challenging. Maybe head to Jim Thorpe next!

Don't let money stand in the way...

This post is part of Lifesong's Adoption Journey Series. See previous post, "Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey" here.


While nearly two in five practicing Christians have considered adoption, only 5% have actually done it.* What keeps people from growing their families through adoption?

One of the biggest barriers to adoption is the cost. Depending on the circumstances, adoption can cost up to $50,000! It makes sense why many families who have a heart for vulnerable children, look at adoption as something they desire, but is just too hard to grasp because of the high costs.

There are families who have seen God perform miracles as they have stepped out in faithfulness to follow His call for their family...if it's His will, it's His bill. He will make a way to show Himself as THE Provider of all things. Don't let money stand in the way, when He has provided many avenues for families to bridge that financial gap.

Here are few tips and resources for funding an adoption...
  1. Save & sacrifice. It's never too early to start saving for adoption. Try to cut back your budget to set a portion of money aside each month to pay for some of the initial adoption costs, like home study and application fees. Make sacrifices as God moves you, maybe that's postponing a big purchase or selling some of your possessions.
  2. Learn from others. In her must-read book, Adopting Without Debt, Julie Gumm shares how to find extra money in your household budget, apply for grants, and fundraise in order to build your family without saddling it with debt. 
  3. Apply for Adoption Grants & Loans. Research and apply for national, state, and local adoption grants. A few favorites we direct families to are our friends at Show Hope & Abba Fund. See Resource Report for more grants & loans available and don't forget to check out our adoption grant & loan page.
  4. Think outside the box. The fundraising creativity of adoptive families continues to grow. Check out organizations like Both Hands, who help families fundraise for adoption while doing a service project for a widow. Other groups like 147 Million Orphans & MudLOVE provide jewelry, t-shirts, and other products you can use towards fundraising. 
  5. Don't be afraid to ask. Maybe the word "fundraise" and the thought of asking people for money makes you nervous. WATCH the video below to see how God moved in this couple's heart to show them adoption was so much bigger than their family.

I want to hear from you? What ways did your family raise money for adoption?

*from Becoming Home by Frames Barna Group & Jedd Medefind

Friday, July 11, 2014

I want my followers back!!!

I miss you! I wasn't the biggest blog on the block, back at Faith and Family there were a few of us who kept in touch! Most of my followers have long since stopped reading blogs and writing, but a few are still doing it! 

I started writing less and less after our last adoption. The transition was rough. It just didn't seem time to share it all with the public. Because is was raw and rough, but we did get through it. 

And now I feel like I have so much to share. So many are venturing into older child adoption/teen adoption. It's not easy. But when you are prepared, the transition it easier. I was so ill prepared and if it wasn't for a seasoned adoptive mom somewhere in New England I'm not sure I would have gotten through. He words where few, but I never forgot what she told me. I since have lost her name, and her number. She doesn't do FB or blog but I hope to one day find her and thank her. 

I'm praying about sharing some of our transition as a family from our last adoptions. Praying about what to share, what not to share... in the coming months. Each child and situation was very unique and presented different challenges for us all...

And I'm also adopting a 6 year old! Well, she is 5 but will be 6 by the time we get to Guangdong! So a new transition begins! 

The road gets pretty rough... but the view is AMAZING once you get to the other side! hmmm, maybe my next post....

Fort Mott State Park

 We visit Fort Mott at least once a year. It's an old Fort built in the 1800's as part of our coastal defense.
This time I took the camera my family bought me for my 50th last December...  Just a few photos I took...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Endeavors!

My eldest son and daughter-in-law bought their first investment rental property last week. And look at this beauty in the kitchen! It reminds me of my Granny's oven. Of course her's was a bit smaller. I was amazed how clean! Magtag Dutch Oven.

I'm not much of a cook, but I do get excited when something made over 50 years ago still looks this good!

 The little cottage seen some years, but it's in pretty good shape. 
Needing some TLC but cozy with a lot of potential...That little shed you see in the back is Brad srs. favorite part of the house lol!

... almost hate that this will be painted :)

The cottage was built right next to the canal....

I pray that the Lord blesses this endeavor and that it will not only provide an income, 
but will also be used to glorify God...

The view of the Canal! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Orphan Status?

Isaiah 43:1 But now, this says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, 
O Israel:
 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have Called you by name; you are Mine..."

Names are important. One of the most important things a new parent does is name their child. Your name identifies who you are, and who you belong to.

And then a legal certificate is prepared, notarized, and put on file for all to know what family you are kindred. Parent and child are legally bound.

Adoptive parents understand the process of adoption paperwork and the steps to make it all legal: Notarization, Authentication, etc. and it's all delivered and filed with the proper seals and signatures.

When God redeemed us, His children, and named us, not only did he give 

(Isaiah 43:7), 

He wrote it down, notarized and authenticated it by sealing it in blood...
 it wasn't our blood, it was HIS blood, to make us His own.

We are His Children, those who call Jesus Christ Lord! We have been redeemed! And what did it cost to redeem us from our orphan status? It cost Him EVERYTHING.

So just as you, a good parent, would give everything for your children, God has given everything to bring you in as His own. He will take care of you.

My prayer today:

You are my Father, my Daddy. You love me. Today, as I spend more time with you and less time gleaning useless information from the internet, I pray to know you more deeply and praise you for redeeming me! 

You have named me with Your Name... I am Yours!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Bracelet Blog!

Started a Bracelet Fundraiser Blog-the kids and I are working hard... Just click on the photo! 

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God... Psalm 46:10 
God has this, You've offered it up and He has not disregarded you. He knows your every need, He loves you. 

10"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."11The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah (think about it deeply).

As we wake in the morning there is a whole day ahead of us. We have a choice in those earliest moments; either to mentally make lists, worry, or to just "be still" and offer it up to God who created the universe. He has this day in the palm of His hand... He will provide. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Family Time... Savoring the time...

Busy schedules mean we don't always get to celebrate birthdays on the actual day. Also, since our family is growing, it's often easier to combine birthdays. Evan, Dad/Pop, and Levi all have a birthday within a couple of weeks of each other. Their birthdays were last month but we finally sang happy birthday to them last Saturday.
Taylor (on the left) is our step-grand-baby  from California :) We don't get to see her too often but each time she's here she just gets more and more beautiful! Growing up! She's pictured here with our daughter in law Melissa... Lovely Ladies
 Daddy and Daughter... Lauren is our second oldest...

 I'm pretty sure Taylor was not hurting Amy too much! Amy is our oldest.
My eldest son... the littles really love Bradley-a godly example! :)
My mom and step dad were here as well but they ran out before I could get a picture of them.
It was a great day with the family and a great night sitting around the campfire and setting off fireworks. I savor these days. I don't want to miss a single minute. I want to remember forever...

I know how quickly these moments fly by. Before we know it they with be gone. The littles will be grown. And even some who are with us today will no longer enjoy the "moments" this side of eternity. But Jesus is still at the center of it all.
Lord of Lords!
 I Glorify You for this moment!
 I praise You for the next!

 I worship You for eternity because you are the author and finisher of life.
All that lives and breaths is in Your hands. It all belongs to You.

I pray Lord for those loved ones to SEE WHO YOU TRULY ARE...
those who have chosen to walk another road. And those who are on the fence.

Psalm 24:1-6
A Psalm of David.
              1The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains,

            The world, and those who dwell in it.

      2For He has founded it upon the seas
            And established it upon the rivers.

      3Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
            And who may stand in His holy place?

      4He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
            Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
            And has not sworn deceitfully.

      5He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
            And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

      6This is the generation of those who seek Him,
            Who seek Your face—even Jacob.