Doing it again!

Here we go again! Heading to our new “home away from home”! I forgot how crazy-long a 16 hour flight feels-especially when you spend the first two hours sitting on the plane (yes, again!) that hasn’t gone anywhere, bringing the grand total to 18. I’ve watched 3 movies and still there are 10 hours left (update- I have now set a personal record for most movies watched in a row-5- and most hours straight with no one bugging me!). I know it will be worth it, and I have to keep reminding myself of this for the first 36 hours after having to say goodbye to my babies and endure the grueling travel and jet lag. It was a lot easier, emotionally, when I could take my youngest baby with me. This time he cried at the door as I was leaving and it broke my heart! Having sweet Caitlin and spunky Claire have helped to make it an easier transition. They are so excited to be on their first flight and to see the China they have heard so much about- and, of course, to meet their new sister! Here’s some great before and after pictures that really sums it all up:

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Delayed...

Still happy after an hour on the tarmac in Newark…

During...

During…

After.

After.

A neat little surprise happened when we were first getting settled into our seats (thinking we’d be taking off any minute- silly us- maintenance “paperwork” held us up for over an hour after boarding!). Joey got an e-mail out of the blue asking if we’d be interested in free tickets to Hong Kong Disney! Well, of course we would! We have seen the Lord provide for us in each adoption in such tangible ways, and it has been faith building and exciting to see Him use people to meet a common goal of providing for His children and bringing them into a family. I don’t believe it “takes a village” to raise a child, but I do believe it does to care for the fatherless in the myriad of ways we can do that. We could never have done this alone. We have had people we have barely known, or that we have known only a short season of our lives give in abundant ways to help us bring Chaela home.

We been amazed at those who have reached out, and I don’t just mean financially, either. Locally we have had friends coming by with meals to freeze for when we get back, people driving us to and from the airport, friends who are coming to help my mom by taking our kids on fun outings so she can go to the store or have a break, and celebrating with us.  When we first started the process to adopt Charlotte, I wrote a few blog posts about “Do something radical, Why adopt, Why adopt Internationally, why China“, etc., so I hope those that really just don’t understand what in the world we are doing or why, will go read those posts. We have coveted the prayers and words of encouragement from our faithful friends!

Just yesterday, a colleague of Joey’s showed up at our door with a large monetary gift and a note with a quote that read: “Seek to encourage large families. But, be there for them. Show them support in practical ways. Thank you for choosing LIFE”  How awesome to have those who understand and have a heart for the “least of these” in our lives!

Perhaps the most amazing blessing of this process came in December after reading a book about George Meuller. He was a great man of faith who cared for hundreds of orphans and his only method of asking for support and financial help was through prayer. Reading this book was convicting for both Joey and I, and we knew the Lord was impressing on our hearts to be more faithful in prayer, and to trust Him to provide for our needs and for the resources to bring Chaela into our family. Joey and I were at the Billy Graham retreat center in early December when I had just finished reading this book and we had been talking about it. George Meuller’s faith was one of the topics in a session at the retreat (not just a mere coincidence, I’m sure!) As soon as we got back from the session, we decided to go to the Lord in prayer together about the adoption and our concern over the lack of resources we would need to complete it. No sooner had we gotten off our knees from asking the Lord to provide when my cell phone rang. Christian Orphan Fund was calling with the good news that we would be receiving a grant for $4,000!   After that event we decided to stop soliciting support directly and just let people know we were adopting, and pray, trusting God to provide.  In response, we received more than triple the financial support AFTER we stopped asking for donations! This story is not unique. I have heard dozens of similar stories of the Lord providing every penny for families willing to open their hearts and homes and take the risk. Don’t let finances stop you from obeying!

As we step out in faith with this adoption and enter the foreign territory of ‘older child’ adoption, we pray that our story is an inspiration to you as you follow along. Not because we are perfect or that we have it all figured out (we’re learning and growing out of our comfort zone continually and working it out through much trial and error!); but because this is one way to love the hurting, in word and deed, to reach out to those you know whom you can help, and to trust the Creator and Sustainer of all things, who has a special love for His people and especially for the widow and the orphan.

 

Let’s go to China! But, first, to Hong Kong Disney- not necessarily the happiest place on earth when starting out with severe jet lag and getting there at the time when at home, you would be going to bed. But, when in Hong Kong…