Monday, April 29, 2013


Man, just let me tell ya', God is good! Good times? He's good. Bad times? He's still good. We, as flawed human beings are the fickle ones. God is constant. Unchanging. Never fazed by what we perceive as a sudden roadblock or disaster. He's already been there.

So, we were having a nice Saturday. We were loading up into the van to go to the park and I side-tracked to the mailbox. Sometimes I do just wander a squirrel, only not that fast. Anyhoo, what should I pull out of the mailbox but an envelope with the USCIS address on it. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?? I'm thinking it's probably a a request for more information or some such, which would not make me happy, AT ALL. Ben kept saying, "Is it good news?" Then, I opened it.

OH, THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUR I800 HAS BEEN APPROVED!!! We mailed the application on April 11, 2013 and it was approved on April 24, 2013. I took it out of the mailbox on April 27, 2013. I just finished e-mailing the National Visa Center in an attempt to get the NVC letter!!! Happy, Happy Day!!

Of course, my happiness and praising the Lord really irked the devil. Have you ever noticed that nowhere in the Bible does the devil promise anybody anything. Now, he coerced and lied to Eve, but he didn't promise to love her, protect her, care for her and abide with her for eternity. He can't. He doesn't have the power. Or the right or the capacity for those things. And, he tried to tempt Jesus. That didn't work. Throughout God's word we read about the devil's plot against God's people. We know how the story ends. And still, he was able to plant a tiny seed of fear in my mind--RIGHT IN THE MIDST OF MY JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He started saying, "Awww, Root, you can't do it. You know, nobody believes you can go to China alone. Your plane will crash. You know how afraid you are of flying. Buy into it. Remember the nightmare you had. It'll come true if you do this crazy thing. You all alone. It's a bad idea. You'll get lost. Even if you make it to the hotel, something bad will happen. Think about it." He talked loud, my friends. It was ugly.

But, I know how to fight that business. CALL ON THE NAME OF JESUS!!!!!!!!!!! Because the devil is a liar. He may know my fears, all those ugly, dark, terrifying, things that could keep me from serving and trusting the Lord. But, at the mention of my Savior's name, Satan has to go. He must flee. He cannot stand The Light. He has given me nothing. He's promised me nothing. He wants me to fall, to fail, to give up. That's the only way he can win, if I let him. Nothing would make him happier if I gave up on my son. Didn't go to China. Chickened out.

WELL, LET ME TELL YA' SOMETHING satan, THAT IS NOT AN OPTION!!! No more joy-stealing. No more fear. I owe you, NOTHING. And you DO NOT control me. Sometimes, folks, I think you just have to call him out and throw him down.


Some people may think I'm silly. That this post is just a bunch of bravado and will result in me failing, anyway. But, I already am a failure. I'm capable of absolutely nothing without Jesus. My life is not worth living without Him. My "righteousness" is like a dirty rag---worthless. But, covered by his blood, I'm a conquerer!!! Covered by his blood, I'm a warrior! Covered by his blood, I'm FORGIVEN!! Covered by his blood, I'm royalty. Covered by his blood, I'm protected, sheltered, favored and BLESSED!

I expect I'll travel soon. Please do pray for me. There is no greater responsibility that the Body of Christ has than to support and intercede for the saints. Please pray that the funds will be available for my travel and the last few fees associated with the adoption. But, most of all, please pray for my sweet Patrick, that God would continue to guard and nurture his physical and emotional heart. I cannot wait to hold him in my arms.

In Jesus,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hoos and Hockies: A Moxie Update!

Oh, how I love my Moxie Socks. This morning, she is at the surgical center getting her fourth saline fill. The surgery to remove the nevus on her scalp and forehead should be in about 5 weeks. She is tolerating the fills well. I do believe her proprioception is a bit affected by her ever-growing noggin. It's like if you were to cut the whiskers off of a cat. No, I haven't actually done that. This is just an example. Don't call PETA. Cats use their whiskers to tell whether they can fit into any given space. If the whiskers don't touch, the rest of the cat is confident it will fit into the space. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, no whiskers means the rest of the cat is duped into thinking it can fit anywhere. Moxie doesn't realize how big her head has become with the expanders. She thinks she can fit into places she cannot. The head tends to get bonked quite a bit. Yeah, a helmet might work, but trust me, they don't make helmets in Moxie's current size.

Moxie, even with her ginormous head, is still a doll baby!! She tells me all the time. "Motsie da baaaaaaaaaaaaaaabeeeeeeeeeee!! She loves being my "tiny baby". She is such a snuggle bug. Or, a "nuggle buh", if you speak Moxinese.

Moxie talks a lot. Maybe she will need speech in the future. Maybe not. It's too early to tell. I do know she does not qualify for our state's early intervention program. The program requires a child be "behind" 25% in each of 3 development areas or 75% in one area. There is no way Mox is 75% behind in speech. She does substitute the letter "H" for the letters "S" and "F". She wears "hoos and hockies" on her feet. She does not like her "hace" washed. She loves to play "outhide". I can understand her about 98% of the time. She has my drawl. Perhaps she is "Southern Chinese"!!

Moxie's favorite book is entitled "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb". Oh how she adores that book. I loved it when I was very small. Frankly, it kind of creeps me out, now. The image of "Millions of fingers, millions of thumbs, millions of monkeys, millions of drums" kind of weirds me out. She calls the book "Dum ditty dum." She says it in a very low voice and has to put her nose on the end of my nose to say it. She is very serious about my reading it. Over and over and over. Once we misplaced "Dum ditty dum". It was a bad scene.

Moxie knows that "Patick" as she calls her brother is coming home soon. She does not approve of the idea of "Mama go Nina". I use to worry that bringing Patrick home so soon after bringing Moxie home was unfair to Mox. I had the same worry when I gave birth to Abby in Dec. of '96 after having Bobby in March of '95. It's a good thing God operates on His time and not mine. I am certain that Moxie is seriously attached to me, her daddy and her siblings. We were in the store yesterday with her in the front seat of the cart and Maisy in the basket. The entire time we were in the store everyone within a 5-aisle area could hear, "Mama, I luh loo!!!" Kiss. Kiss. Kiss. "Matey, I luh loo!" "Maaaaaaaaaateeeeeeeeeey, I luh loo." "MaaaaaaaaaaaaMaaaaaaaaaaa, Moxie is pulling my hair!" Sometimes, love hurts.

I cleaned out the baby girls' closet last night. I put things they had both outgrown in a bag to give away. Maisy and Moxie are still such babies. So snuggly. And cute. And full of wonder. It's funny how children stay "babies" longer as I get older. Patrick, to me, is not much more than a baby. I will treat him much younger than his 7.5 years. We have a lot of time to make up for just snuggling and rocking and singing and loving on my newest little sweetheart. Isn't it wonderful that love multiples and does not divide? Even as I packed those small clothes into that bag, I wondered, God do you have another one for me? Because if you do, I'm ready. Here I am Lord, send me.

To God be the Glory. Great things He has done.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Me, A "Heart Mama", Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat????

In 2007, when we began our first adoption journey, we chose to get in the "regular" line. As has been established, I am a very slow learner. God takes extra time with me because He is patient and I am thick-headed and easily distracted. We were in the "regular" line because for some reason we didn't think we could raise a "special" child. Forget the fact that we already were raising a "special" child and loving her right where she was, I think I, in particular, was just bent on having a "perfect" child. That erroneous,(for me, not dissing the folks in the "non-special needs line)feeling lasted until my heart and arms began to ache and overtook the fear in my mind. That process took 2 years and 2 months. On Mother's Day, 2009, we sent our application to GWCA to be put on the Waiting Child list. We were matched with Maisy in August of that year. PRAISE GOD!!!!! I have never, not for one nano-second, regretted the decision to adopt from the Waiting Child list. Maisy is a blessing a million times over. In all honesty, though, I would not have looked at her file if she had had Patrick's diagnosis. My mind could not go to that place. I had said, over and over, through the process that I could not even consider adopting a "heart baby." But God, oh My Friends, but God!

I knew when we left China with Maisy that we would return. I knew we would adopt from the Waiting Child list. I knew we would adopt a little girl. No boys. Ever. No older children. Ever. And absolutely, positively, no "heart babies". Ever.

In September, 2011, when I first saw Moxie's face. I knew she was mine. KNEW IT!!! It didn't take any convincing to get Ben on board. He's good like that. We had pre-approval 3 days after submitting our LOI. Our home study was filed in February. I kept checking GWCA's agency specific list. And then, God, God changed my heart in the face of a round-faced cherub in an orange tee-shirt. A boy. An older child. Severe CHD. I couldn't stop looking at him. I prayed for him. Oh, how God broke my heart for that little boy. I was still too afraid. Absolutely consumed by fear, of a lot of things, not just the diagnosis.

I'm pretty sure, at that point, God had enough. We got his file. We loved him. We committed. We got our hearts broken. You can read all about it in the post entitled, "I'm sure there is a reason, but I don't know what it is". We brought Moxie home and that little boy stayed in China.

Satan thought he had won. I grieved. Ben grieved. It affected our marriage. It affected my walk with the Lord. I remember standing in the shower, crying, asking God, "Did I hear you wrong?" "I said I would go. I said I would love him." "Why, didn't you give him to me?" And then, the day after Thanksgiving, that was God's perfect timing. That day, he gave me another chance to take his gift immediately. It was a second chance to trust Him in the face of financial inadequacy, shortages of time, mental clarity and some seriously raw emotions. And incredible fear of that little boy's diagnosis. But, as I write this today, I can tell you, because I know from personal experience, God's word does not return void!!! I did hear Him correctly. But His timing is not my timing. His ways are higher than my ways. I exist to glorify HIM. He does not exist to glorify me. This time, when obedience was immediate, oh how the floodgates of blessings opened up.

I know that the dark that came between the social worker's refusal to approve us for a second child and the LOI being submitted for Patrick in December was important to my spiritual growth. I know that Satan worked hard to beat me down while we were in China. I know that God had me covered the entire time and when he finally moved his hand and closed it over me, saying "That is ENOUGH", Satan could do no more. I know that even while I was despairing, He was working all things for my good and for the good of my son. He will continue to do so.

I was talking to my neighbor a couple of days ago, telling her that our LSC had arrived. Wanda is a Prayer Warrior. I had gone to church with her before our first attempt to adopt Patrick failed. Members of her church had prayed over me. Prayed for Patrick and for Moxie. Spoken in tongues and assured me that God would bring my children home. When that didn't happen in my time, I was angry. I confessed that anger to Wanda. I apologized. And then, that sweet lady blessed me immeasurably. She said, "Yes, I knew he was coming home. I bought him a gift. I was going to bring it over to you and ask when Patrick Judah was coming home, but the Holy Spirit stopped me." I asked her, "But why?" She replied, "Oh Amy, it was months ago. The Holy Spirit told me you didn't know yet that your son was coming home." But God, Friends, But God.

So the woman who was never going to adopt a boy, or an older child, and definitely not a "heart baby" is about to do all of those things. Because, His ways are higher than my ways and because He knows what I want and need long before I do. He knows the desires of my heart and the desires of that sweet, darlin' boy in Shenzhen. I am still concerned about my son's diagnosis. I am still amazed that I'm going to be a "heart mama". But more than that, I amazed by My God, who has and does bless me "exceeding abundantly" more than I can ask or imagine!! To Him be all the Glory! Forever and Ever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Psalm 23: What I Thought I Knew

As we all know, I am a slow learner. Slow. Very slow. When I was in third grade, I learned the 23rd Psalm because I had to for Sunday School. My memory was a lot better then, and I think somebody promised me gum if I learned it. Anyway, I could rattle it off and thought, even up until last week, that I knew it. Not so much.

Here's how my latest ephiphany went down. I was reading on one of my favorite blogs, owned by Dawn Wright, of Are Those Kids all Yours?, and Dawn challenged her readers to read and pray the 23rd Psalm 7 times in 1 day. I've been feeling spiritually battered, so I was all in for that one.

First prayer. I rattled off my 3rd grade memory version and should have yelled "Done" and thrown my hands in the air like a third grader because that was about the sum of it.

Next time, maybe I'm growing up, I prayed it slower. Okay, now I'm catching on. What's that first line, again? "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." Stop. In my mind, for the last 33 years, I have heard "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. Because God doesn't have time for you wanting stuff. Don't be bothering God with what you want. You big whiner." SUPRISE!!!! Amy Root, that is not what the Lord wants you to hear. I'd been hearing that lie for 33 years partly because of the way I was raised and partly because I never stopped to really HEAR it. To pray it. This is what I hear now. "The Lord is my Shepherd. The one who watches over me. Cares for me. Tenderly loves me. The one who is awake when I sleep. The one who looks for me when I wander off and far from him. I shall not want. I shall want for nothing because he knows and anticipates my needs. Because he wants to provide me with everything I need to be healthy, truly happy and secure. He wants to give me what I need so I don't have to ask for it.

Next Line--He makes me lie down in green pastures. What I "heard" before. He makes me lay down on the ground because I am annoying and sheep like grass. Part of that really is my childish understanding, but the other part, I think somewhere in my psyche I really believed, until last week, that I was capable of annoying the Lord. Sometimes in my imperfect parenting, it is so hard to understand his perfect parenting.

Next Line--He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. What I use to hear. "There's the water sheep. Don't fall in. Drink it. Get rested up because here comes the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I'm going to lead you, but remember, you'll be walking behind me. Remember, before you think how slow I am. You're right. What I hear now--"He leads me beside the still waters where it is beautiful and lovely and refreshing. My Lord knows how my focus is ever-shifting, a lot like a squirrel and not a peaceful sheep. He knows that I need rest. That I need to relax with Him, knowing he is there and focusing on my relationship with Him.

Next Line--He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake. What I use to hear---"Don't get out of line our you are not a Christian. Fear=not a Christian. Doubt=not a Christian. Disobedience=not a Christian. If you mess up you must not love Jesus. God wants you to be afraid of him. And you should be. What I hear now--"Unable to find a pathway on my own, I am guided by my Lord who loves me because of His Son Jesus. Praise Him!!!

Next Line--Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me. What I use to hear. God will take me into some ugly places. One of those places I will die. God carries a big stick. In an adult Sunday School class our instructor, who seemed to really believe what he was saying, told us that the shepherd would hit the sheep with the rod and staff. He used that logic to justify whipping his kids. I never actually believed that, though. What I hear now---"There is nowhere. NOWHERE that I have to go without my God. He is always with me. My comforter. My security. My protector. His rod and staff are my protection, because, being the BEST Shepherd, he is prepared to fight anything that should attack me. And My God always wins.

Next Line--"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. What I use to hear--"You justify me in the presence of people who would make fun of me, belittle me and hurt me. You show great love and preference for me. I am blessed. Strangely enough, I think I got that part right. It just means even more to me, now.

Next Line--Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever. What I use to hear---"Goodness and Mercy might be following me, but good luck on them ever catching up. It's hard out to be a Christian. It only gets good when you're dead. What I hear now--"I am constantly wooed and pursued by God's bountiful love and blessing. I cannot get over how much he loves me--how exceeding abundantly I am blessed. And when I do die, Oh GLORY, it gets that much better FOR ETERNITY!!!!

I NEEDED to read Dawn's post. I needed to re-learn and re-love the 23rd Psalm. There have been hard days lately. The LSC that we were told had been mailed on March 27, 2013, wasn't actually mailed at all. I feel a gut-wrenching urgency to bring my son home, quickly. I smarted-off to the cashier at the grocery store who asked me, in front of Maisy and Moxie, whether I "had any of my own". I said, "Well, I didn't steal them." Then I went on to say, flat out, that it is offensive when someone asks me whether my children are mine. The bad part is, I really don't feel very badly for saying it. It was high time, if you ask me. But, nobody has.

I'm going to end with this. Someone asked me the other day how we decided to adopt Patrick. I've thought very hard about my answer. And this is it. We did not decide to adopt Patrick. We loved him because God gave him to us. He is undoubtedly ours. I cannot imagine not pursuing his adoption. For however long, and I pray it is very, very, long, God gives him to me. I will love him.

That's it. I have no more.
God bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and bring you peace.