Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Still waiting.....

Seriously, it did not take this long to get the biometric (fingerprinting) appointments for Maisy's or Moxie's adoption. However, I'm not stressing as much as I would if I hadn't been learning to wait. I'm a very slow learner. We got the letter from USCIS saying that the application was received on 1/15 and that the biometric appointments should be issued in 10 to 15 working days. I almost broke a leg jumping out of the van before it came to "a full and complete stop" just so I could be the first one to the mailbox. Nothing. Except a sore leg. Oh well, they might come tomorrow. Our local USCIS office is closed on Wednesdays anyway.

We plan to be DTC (dossier to China) on February 15, 2013. It will be a good day! Since China is basically closed for business from the 9th to the 15th, it's just a chance to get our ducks in a row before they are processing dossiers again. I think once we are DTC, things will really speed up due to the expedited status of Patrick's adoption. Trust me, I'd go get him today if I could!

I'm worrying less about traveling by myself. I wake up in a brand new world everyday, anyway. So, really, what difference does it make where I am---I'm still ME!!!!

This evening I asked Moxie, "Mox, do you remember any Chinese?" She looks at me with her trademark cocked head and huge grin and DRAWLS "NAWOOOOOOOOOH". Maisy, not to be outdone, says, "I do!" Pretty fantastic since she came home at 10.5 months. "Really?" I said, "What do you remember?" Same drawl different baby, "Shaaaaaaanghai!!" Hilarious. I love my little Chinese Okies!

This Friday is our Heart For Patrick Fundraiser at Freddy's Frozen Custard on North May. If you are local, come see us between 5PM and 9PM. We get 15% of the sales before tax with the presentation of one our flyers. Freddy's is awesome! If you have one in your town, you should check it out! Think of me if you eat a Chicago dog! I love them so!

Our profile at Adopt Together is up and running. You can access it at http://adopttogether.org/aheartforpatrick

My friend Katie Hurst has made us a beautiful necklace to sell benefiting Patrick's adoption. You can purchase one at www.adoptionbracelets.blogspot.com.

The tee shirts that my hubby designed and had printed came in today! We used them as "perks" for contributions to our indiegogo campaign. They feature a Celtic style shamrock with a traditional heart in the center. The heart contains the Chinese symbol for family. As soon as I figure out how to put pictures on this blog, I'll post a picture and take orders. Ben did a good job! They really are very cool!

Ben has shingles. Please pray for him. Are those caused by stress? If so, IT WASN'T ME!!!! I DID NOT DO IT!!!! I AM INNOCENT!!!! I'M BLAMING THE KIDS!

I feel good. Nothing as nutty as I am ever stays down for long!!! BWWAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!!!!!

Please continue to pray for Patrick. Soon, his best friend will leave to go home with his wonderful mama and Patrick will be the last Musketeer standing. Please pray that he will find favor with those in authority and feel peace in his little heart until I get there!!! I cannot wait to hold my boy and tell him what a treasure he is. Soon and very soon........

God Bless You with Every Good Thing,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Lamentations 3:22-24 says Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion. Therefore, I will wait for him. Have you ever considered the result of being "consumed"? To be so overcome by grief or fear or hate that there is no going back, no opportunity to be who you were, ever again? To be so engulfed by that absence of God you are no longer recognizable? My goodness. That person could have been me. If you know Jesus, it could have been you. If you don't know Jesus, Friend, it is you.

His love prevents us from being consumed because His love, "his compassions" never fail. But there is another kind of "consumed". To be "consumed by God's great love and purpose for your life. You know, those people who just talk and talk about how much they love Jesus. They seem genuinely happy driving a used (okay, very used) vehicle, living in a smaller home and eating a whole lot of macaroni so they can give their money to missions or adoption or some other crazy thing that is surely somebody else's problem. Right? Right? Do I hear a cricket chorus? Those people are consumed by God's love, by their love for Him and an overwhelming desire to DO HIS WILL!!! I want to be consumed like that!!!

I have contemplated many, many times this week what would have happened if we had not said "YES!!" when God gave us the miracle chance to adopt Patrick. The picture is very frightening. For starters, I would not have met two, already dear friends, Katie and Sandy. I would have missed multiple opportunities to share the love of Jesus with my friends who don't know Him. I would have missed the lessons that come with humility in accepting a love offering. I would have missed having the opportunity to grow in my reliance on God. To feel comfortable in coming to Him, in tears, pleading for my son's life--that my baby be healed---that he get to know the love of a mama and daddy and experience every "first" that are so often taken for granted but that he has never experienced. I would have missed reconnecting with my friend Julie, who was in our 2012 travel group. I would have missed experiencing Facebook and what a technological alter it can be for prayer. I think Facebook, like nothing else, gives Christians the opportunity to pray for one another and collectively like nothing else. I love, love, love watching The Body of Christ pray for each other and lift one another's children up before the throne of God. I am blessed beyond words just for saying "yes".

Which brings me to this...I can't tell you the number of times I've heard, "Oh, it's a great thing you're doing adopting all those kids." Uh, no it's not. And, really, 3 is not "all those". It's not "a great thing" I'm doing. Obedience is not a great thing. Don't you expect obedience of your children? So does God. Don't get me wrong, adoption has blessed my life beyond measure and I would go toe-to-toe with the devil for my babies. But, I wouldn't have heard the call to adopt if I hadn't been listening. And even if I had heard it, I could have been disobedient and done nothing. Just ignored Him. Gone on about my business. Disobeying. Have you ever used the old excuse, "I didn't hear you" when you just flat didn't want to respond to someone--or didn't want to do what they asked---or thought the request was too hard, or boring, or stupid? Do you do it to God? Because I'm just wondering if all those people who "aren't called"---ARE. They just don't want to answer. Because it's scary and financially sacrificial and time-consuming and invasive and lots of other things when you decide to be CONSUMED by God. Listening. Obeying.

Please, for yourself, for your relationship with God, consider whether you are "called" but just not listening. It will make an eternity's worth of difference to a child. Taking care of the widows and orphans is not somebody else's calling. It's EVERY Christian's calling.

And, as for my darlin' Patrick....He's gorgeous. I cannot wait to post pictures of him and listen to everybody say, "Wow, Amy, you were right. He is crazy cute!!!" USCIS has cashed our check!!! WOO HOO, never have I been so stoked that someone has taken my money!! The fact that they cashed the check means we should expect the fingerprinting appointment letters (probably) this week. SWEET!!! We have a fundraiser at Freddy's Frozen Custard on May Avenue in Oklahoma City on February 1, 2012. We have an Adopt Together fundraiser at www.adopttogether.org. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid checking any bags because I don't want the hassle of carrying more than I have to when I leave to bring our boy home.

Please continue to pray for the orphan children of Russia. There are American families in Russia, right now, petitioning the courts to allow them to bring their children home. My prayer is that God will treat these children just like he did the Children of Israel and never let Vladimir Putin rest until God's children go free. He alone sets the lonely in families and NO ONE can stay His hand.

Joy Unspeakable and full of Glory!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Waiting Thankfully...

God is so good, isn't He?!! Our indigogo campaign ended last night with a wonderful total of $2,800.00. What a blessing. Even after indiegogo and Paypal get their cuts, which are deserved, we still have enough to pay the USCIS fees!!! God's like that---providing what we need when we need it. I am so thankful! If you contributed to our campaign, bless you. I hope you reap 100 times what you have sown!

My prayers as of late have been for the children of Russia and their adoptive families. I prayed that the Christians of Russia would stand in the gap for their children, for God's children, and they have. I don't believe the world has seen, yet, what God can do in Russia and how very, very precious those orphan children are to Him.

I am such a blog hound. I get such a blessing from reading the blogs of my sisters in Christ. I love praying for others. I believe that one of my spiritual gifts is intercessory prayer. I take that responsibility very seriously. So, if I've read your blog, it's pretty likely I've prayed for your child or children! I won't put your children's names on my blog. I think that would be invasive. But, I do think initials are okay! So in that vein, let me say, "Thank You, Jesus, for HS, KS, IJS, SH, DK, MB, EB, JP, EP, CP, CP, and an entire alphabet's worth of miracles!!!!

I'm going to sew on Patrick's blankets this evening. I've washed the flannel I bought with Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man on it as well as the Transformer fabric and now I'm going to put the satin binding on it. I bought a yard and a half of each one, so that my sweet little boy can wrap up. My mommy heart tells me he will need a security blanket in the near future. Right now, I've got him wrapped in prayer!!!

I look forward to showing everyone the beautiful necklace my friend Katie has created in Patrick's honor. They will sell for $20 with much of the profits going to Patrick's ransom!!! God bless you, Katie. I love you, Sweet Friend.

Isn't it nice how adoption doesn't just create nuclear families but also big ol' flawed, loving, praying families of believers that will drop on their knees for somebody else's child because they know what that much love feels like? I'm so blessed to have been adopted by the King of Kings.

The USCIS application is in the lockbox!!! We are waiting on that fingerprint appointment. Then we are going to ignore the appointment and walk-in ASAP. Our local office is great about allowing that for adoptive parents! Every day is another day closer.

Hold on Patrick, Mama loves you!!!
To God be the Glory--Great Things He has done!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jesus is not my co-pilot!!

Before the collective gasp sucks all of the oxygen out of the room and the intervention planning begins, allow me to explain!! I'm not denying my salvation, I'm stating a fact. Jesus is not my co-pilot because I am not the pilot. You see, nobody in their right minds would let me pilot anything. Not even a riding lawnmower. I get lost in parking lots, malls, (which I visit only when absolutely necessary), hotels, big rooms, hallways with more than one door, thought....You get my drift. So to think that I needed Jesus only as "back-up" is beyond ridiculous. Jesus is my "pilot", my leader, my Savior, my dearest Friend, My All in All. He isn't "Co" anything. He's everything.

So, it's a good thing that Jesus is the leader considering I'll be going to China on my own. It is a scary prospect to be perfectly honest. I'm not into singularity. A very dear friend, who shall remain nameless (Dee), said, "Amy, how are you going to go to China alone when you cannot even find Edmond. Sad. It's probably true. I'm sure I only live a very, very short distance from the demarcation between OKC and Edmond. I also believe I could get to Edmond on my own. I'm just walking North, Folks, I do know that much. But, I probably wouldn't be able to tell you once I got there..... Am I there yet? How 'bout now???

Like I've said before, I can't see "my way" from here. It's all about Jesus!!!

The home study is completed, approved and will be mailed to USCIS very, very, soon. I cannot believe that soon and very soon I will be able to hold Sweet Patrick in my arms and tell him how precious, how fearfully and wonderfully made he is. I do not know why Patrick had to wait so long for a family. I do know that we ARE his family. God has made that infinitely clear, because this entire adoption process is a miracle from the beginning. I do believe that God has been stretching, testing, and molding me into the mother that Patrick needs. I was not that mother when I gave birth to my first child. I wasn't that mother when I gave birth to my second child. Although, the trials that came with her delivery and her need for me to be an advocate gave me abilities that God is using now as I prepare to advocate for Patrick and care for his special little heart. I was not the mother that Patrick needed at the time of our first adoption. But that process taught me patience and certainty and perseverance and the absolute worth of fasting to become closer to God. While I wanted to be the mother that Patrick needed when we brought our last child home from China, I simply wasn't. But, looking back, I have learned the best lesson so far. I have learned that Miracles do happen. That no child is outside the heart of God. That when my heart is broken, His is too. That He loves me so much, He will make a way where there was none. I have learned trust. Thank You, Jesus. No, I am still not refined. Still not the ideal mother. But, I'm running the race and I know He goes before me. And, when the race ends, He will be at the finish line.

Yes, there are still fundraising issues and waiting for deadlines or avoiding deadlines or discovering deadlines and then more waiting.....But, I have Peace. That Glorious Peace that Passes Understanding. I may not be able to find Edmond, but I can find Jesus. He's holding my hand and leading the way.

Please remember my darlin' Patrick in your prayers. Also, please continue to pray for my dear friend Mary Sammons and her Precious Ivy Joy as they spend time in Boston for Ivy's heart.

All Praise and Glory to Him,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Can't see "my way" from Here

I knew it would happen. I knew the time would come when I would wake up in a cold sweat wondering what in the world I think I'm doing. Why would we choose to adopt again so soon after bringing Moxie home. Where is the money to fund another adoption going to come from. What must other people think. Am I as crazy as some have said I am. And then, once the room stopped spinning and the consuming fear ebbed away, I answered my own question---because God has made the way. He has told us to bring Patrick home. He did not create in me a spirit of fear. I am a conquerer in Him.

It is funny to think of myself as a conquerer, unless conquerers are typically short, curvy, middle-aged women with frequent bad hair days. If that is the profile, I'm totally IT!! But really, I cannot think of a single reason why God would use me. I'm certain that He has, but only because He chooses to use the insignificant, the broken, the unlovely and the weak. I have been blessed beyond measure by His Grace and Patience for me. And still, frequently, I find myself wondering, full of doubt and fear, about things over which I have no control. I imagine myself in Peter's place, walking on the waves one moment and gasping for air the next as my head goes under the water--with my hands above, clawing the air for the Master's hand. Many times, I have prayed, "Jesus, if ever I've needed you to hold my hand, now is the time. Please, don't leave me. I need you. I need you." Every time he has been there.

My fear has kept me from concentrating as of late. I know who is responsible for that. I know that he would like nothing more than for me to say, "Oh man, World, you are right. It isn't fair to Maisy or Moxie that I bring Patrick home. It is ridiculous to go into massive debt to bring this child home. I've done my part. I'd sure be better off not sitting in lawn chairs around my dining table." But, here's the thing. As faulty as my flesh is, and as weak as my faith sometimes turns, I just can't turn around. You see, I've bought into God's plan so much, so wholeheartedly, I can't see my way from where I am now. It's not that I can see where I'm going. I'm pretty much taking this one moment at a time. It's not that I'm not afraid, sometimes. I am. But, I must keep following Jesus's plan because I gave mine up. I'm plan-less. The only sure thing, the only solid, light-giving, soul-lightening way I can see, one step at a time, is God's way. And God's way is leading me to China. To Patrick. To heart surgery. To massive risk. To love. To family. To eternity.

So, as I contemplate the fact that our fundraising is faltering, and the world is a flighty bird with a really short attention span, and I am not the woman I was yesterday or the woman I will be tomorrow, I remind myself---God put me on this path. He'll take me every step of the way.

Our home study is about finished. We've submitted every required document. The lifestyle pictures have been completed. They look slightly goofy. I guess that's reality for ya. And, this year, somehow, we will bring home our son. Thank you, Jesus, for holding my hand and leading me on this journey. I love you more than anything this world has to offer.

Please pray for our Patrick, that his heart would be strong, that he would be shown favor by those in authority and that words of love would be spoken to him until I can hold him in my arms.

In Jesus,