Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Almost Gone!!

This time tomorrow we will have been in the sky for 10 minutes, if our plane takes off on time, that is.  We are packed, unpacked and repacked.  I have determined that if Ben takes one pair of pants and a toothbrush, I can take a lot more stuff!!!  We have packed everything from batteries to cheerios.  We've also packed oodles and gobs of power bars (odwalla--they're pretty darn good), dried pineapple, crackers and peanut butter/cheese, cookies and some candy.  From what I can tell, we are going to need those power bars because "duck blood soup" and "braised duck gizzards" are specialties in Nanjing.  I'm just not so sure I can eat that.  We will fly into Nanjing on Nov. 1 and get Maisy in the Civil Affairs Office at 2:30 the next afternoon.  She must have to travel a ways since its so late in the afternoon before we finally get to hold her.  I think yesterday was actually 48 hours long---it took forever.  So, tomorrow we fly out of OKC and into Newark.  I'm told there will be no breakfast---What?  I might starve to death in 4.5 hours.  GOOD THING I HAVE POWER BARS!!  We fly from Newark to Beijing and then do the tours and stuff until Nov. 1, when I'll be singing "Stop, it's Maisy Time"!!!  I am so thankful to God that this long journey is finally coming to a great and glorious conclusion.  My precious girl is coming home!!!  Everybody here is excited---Bobby and Abby are ready to "help", Aunt Laura can barely contain herself and Yaya and Pa are prepared with hugs, kisses and cookies.  My mom insists that Maisy "looks like she likes cookies."  Judging from those little cheekies, she definately likes something!!  Our friend Paige mailed Maisy a book called "The White Swan Express."  It's really cute.  Abby loves it.  She calls it the "China Book" and insists that one of the babies in it is "Sister".  The White Swan is the hotel we'll be staying in when we are in Guanzhou.  From Guanzhou we go to Hong Kong by train (about 2 hours) and then fly out of Hong Kong the next day at 11:30 AM.  We will land in OKC at 6:20 PM on Saturday, Nov. 14!!!  Please continue to pray for Ben and I as we travel, Maisy as we welcome her into the family (she already resides in our hearts), Bobby and Abby (I've never been away from them this long) and Katie (our super kid-watcher, who will be staying with Bobby and Abby), your prayers are wonderful, priceless gifts that we appreciate with all our hearts.  I doubt I will be able to post to the blog while I am in China.  We are not taking the laptop (more room for power bars).  I'll post lots of pictures when we get back. 
May God bless you and keep you.  May His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Joy Unspeakable and Full of His Glory,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Countdown!!!

Today our pastor preached a sermon about how Joseph named his first son Manasseh because it means "The Lord causes me to forget."  With Manasseh's birth Joseph was able to forget, through God's grace and mercy, the hate that Joseph's brothers had for him, his being sold as a slave to a caravan, being taken to Egypt, and being wrongfully accused and then imprisoned.  With the birth of a child, God demonstrated, to Joseph, that His hand is always upon his people and that He has, and continues to, lead His people through tribulation to His Glory.  As I anticipate holding Maisy for the first time, I cannot help but think that I will be like Joseph, and in the light of God's miracle of my child, forget all of the tribulation, tests, sadness, worry and fear that I experienced on the journey to Maisy.  Children are such an amazing blessing from God.  Children are often the center of many a parent's lesson from the hand of God.  I think about Isaac and how Abraham and Sarah longed for that child and then Abraham's willingness to give him as a sacrifice to God.  I love the verse where Abraham tells the servants to remain at the foot of the mountain because "we will return."  Abraham obeyed God and expected God to make a way to keep Isaac, the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, alive.  I think about the brilliance and death-defying faith that Jocabed, Moses' mother had when she hid her baby son in a basket and floated him into the heart of an Egyptian woman.  Not only did Moses' mother save her son's life---she saved the life of the man who led God's people out of Egypt.  And I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus, who loved and cared for the Prince of Peace, the Messiah.  I'm sure that when the Bible says Mary "pondered these things in her heart", in reference to the wise men from the East visiting her son, that she remembered those moments of holding and loving her infant son when she was with him as he died on the cross of Calvary.  Children are precious.  Thank you, Jesus, for my Maisy, she may have been unwanted or maybe her birth mother just couldn't care for her, whatever the reason, she's mine and I love her beyond anything I can put to words.  Help her Lord, to never doubt that she was wanted, an answer to my prayers.  Help her, Lord, to forget, like Joseph, the fear and abandonment of her earliest days and to walk in her love all her days.  Because I am certain that I will forget dates and moments in the weeks to come, here is a timeline of the milestones that brought us to Maisy:
March 23, 2007--started the adoption process
December 17, 2007---LID
May 10--2009--application to Waiting Child List
August 16, 2009--Maisy's referral
August 19, 2009--sent Letter of Intent to Adopt Maisy
August 25, 2009--PreApproval
September 8, 2009--Approval
September 14, 2009--Letter Seeking Confirmation received, signed and mailed
September 31, 2009---Travel Approval
We leave for China on October 29, 2009.  Happy Maisy Day (aka: Gotcha Day) is November 2, 2009.  We have all of the necessary paperwork ready to roll and are practicing packing.  I'll probably fly off without socks or my toothbrush, but I'm working on it.  Thanks to everyone who has prayed us through this.  Please don't stop now!!
With much love and more joy than my heart can hold,