We received an email that today our dossier was logged into the system in China. So today is our official log-in date. This date is important because it opens us up to a whole list of kiddos that are only available to families that have their info logged in and it sort of puts you in “line” for being matched to a kiddo.

So now we wait again. Wait for a match. Pray for God’s wisdom & discernment in the process and for his provision at his appointed time.

(PS-just re-read this and it sounds very calm and boring. BUT we are actually super excited by this news and a little surprised by the speed of it’s coming! Praise The Lord for the adventures he takes us on!)

On another note, today our family volunteered at Joy Prom. Our church’s special event for people with special needs-Based on the verse from Luke 4:12-14:
He said to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

We really were blessed as we volunteered in the “paparazzi” or greeting committee. Here’s a few pics from our time there…

Getting ready…

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Shaking hands…

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Taking pictures…

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Giving High Fives…

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We got an email today stating our dossier has been delivered to the proper authorities in China!
Woohoo!
They anticipate that our information should be logged into “the system” within the coming 3 weeks. When it is logged in, that’s when we’ll receive our next email. Then we’ll wait our turn in the (unknown length of time) line for a match.

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Translation was super fast! Got an email last night from our agency that it was done and our dossier is on its way to China! It should arrive there in 3-5 business days and then be “logged in” to their system usually within 3 weeks of arrival. That is the next news we will wait for. It’s another good step!

Thank you for your prayers for us!

Big smiles around our house tonight. Got an email earlier this evening that our dossier was “perfect” and approved and already on its way to Denver for translation. I believe that process takes 9-11 business days as well and then it will be sent to China!

This led Will to ask if he could help by making and selling fancy rubber band bracelets for the adoption. We (I) have been trying to remain calm and faithful in the Lord’s timing and in His provision. I have been struggling with the temptation to panic because as an “as needed” worker, work hours are not guaranteed and lately they have been slim to none. And although we have worked and saved, we are far from the total required amount. Adoption is costly. It is reflective of our Christian salvation in that way. (Galations 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us…”)

Nick and I are in prayer frequently as of late specifically on the Lord’s leading for another job, a fundraiser, whatever His way would be. I do wish to be faithful and obedient, relying on His provision and not necessarily Molly’s provision.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his own good pleasure.

A bit of good news that I’ve been waiting to share…
I turned in all our dossier paperwork. It went out on my birthday (3/7) & arrived to our “local” adoption agency’s office in Atlanta the following Tuesday. It is now being critically reviewed for accuracy/correctness. And oh how I pray that it’s correct! Next it will be sent to Denver to the headquarters office of our agency to be translated & then off to China it will go! Then we will wait for the officials there to log all our information into their computer system. Then we wait for the computer to tell us our match based on our place in line with other families & what we requested.

Meanwhile. We’ll wait. Patiently. And pray. Daily.

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Wow friends! I am overcome with thankfulness!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
YOU gave & together we can purchase 16 special baby bottles for the precious little children at Shanghai Healing Home. Nearly $500 was given in total for them. THEM. The least of these. Sweet little children just like the sweet little children in your home or the ones you know… Only you or I are able to regularly invest in and love on the sweet little children in our homes or the ones we come into contact with frequently. THEM. Thank you for loving on them. Those that don’t have a forever family. {not yet.} And how I pray that THEY will all know the love of a family. That they will learn of Jesus’ love for them.

Thank you for your kindness to them and to me. Best birthday present!

I’ve been wanting to tell you about a  special place.  Maybe you have already heard about it.  And I know that there are many many “special places” that deserve our attention… our response.  But in the past few weeks I’ve felt God nudging me to speak out for this place.  A friend named Karen introduced it to me.  It’s called Shanghai Healing Home and it’s an orphanage in China. You can view their website HERE.

Their mission is:

“Assisting local Chinese Children’s Welfare Institutes by providing pre and post-surgical care to abandoned Chinese orphan babies born with surgically correctable deformities. Shanghai Healing Home provides a home-like environment that meets not only the babies’ physical needs but also their emotional and developmental needs.”

The precious babies at this orphanage are most likely abandoned due to their physical deformities.  That breaks my heart friends.  Especially since many/most have cleft palate issues that are correctable with surgery(s).  I understand that surgery is not a magic wand that “poofs” away all issues, but really…. how can I help these babies?… In fact, this could be one of our-my family’s babies.  We are not yet matched with our child(ren) & cleft palate is a medical condition that we said YES! to.

I am excited to share with you, how you can be involved in helping these kiddos.  My friend Karen happens to be a speech therapist & she has said yes to the Lord’s leading to go & help the staff at Healing Home to develop a lasting program to educate staff and all future volunteers on basic speech, language, and feeding guidelines that will promote positive and developmentally appropriate communication and feeding skills. This is an orphanage with special needs babies, so there are specific needs for these children.   Babies born with cleft lip and/or palate require specialized feeding bottles that she will take with her.  For instance, one Haberman Feeder costs approximately $30.00. They also plan to develop, purchase, and take general speech and language manuals that can be accessible in their library, children’s books that promote language, developmental toys, etc.

The Lord has led me here.  My 34th birthday is this Friday, March 7th and I am so excited to invite you to my “party.”  Here’s how we can party together-

Could you give $30(or any amount) today for a special baby bottle so that a special baby will be able to eat?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:40

When we all throw our “little” in together, the Lord can multiply it & use it for His work.

{link removed-thank you!}

Sunday felt like a joyful, beautiful spring day…in February, so it obviously couldn’t last. But we enjoyed the day & soaked it up as best we could. We took a picnic & flew kites at the big green lawn on the VA campus after church. Here’s a couple pics…

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Then in the afternoon, some sweet friends hosted (what we have come to call in our house) a “girl party” in support of our upcoming adoption. “Girl party” for us refers to just that-parties where typically just girls are invited-like bridal showers, baby showers & “shopping” parties like this one. The girls had Betty Ann’s Creations for sale (delightful handmade doll clothes, baby items, etc), lovely Matilda Jane Clothing (clothes for girls & women) & Noonday Collection (jewelry & accessories made by vulnerable people groups in poverty situations-mostly in other countries). And all to support bringing our little girl home. It was a joyful gathering. “Grandma Becky” was in attendance & had a fun activity for the little girls at the party-decorating rice Krispy dolls.

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On the way home from the party, Clara & I discussed the fun we had had at the party. She said she did have lots of fun, but she appeared rather melancholy. I asked her why. She responded, “I just wish our sister would come soon.”

All in God’s timing my dear. Lord grant us patience.

I was cleaning out the closet in the bathroom a couple weeks ago. Throwing stuff out, organizing. When I came across these two old lipsticks.

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Clearly they aren’t useful for wearing anymore-the one on the right is almost 11years old & the one on the left must be about 15 yrs old. I’m not a big lipstick wearer anyhow. So as I was cleaning out, I set them to the side but as many times before, I couldn’t quite throw them away. Why keep such old stale things that have no use? Well, memories I guess.

You see the one on the left I bought out of duty toward the beginning of my freshman year of college at dear old Purdue. It was the required matching lipstick shade of the Purduettes at that time when I was a “new woman” in the all women singing group. The shade is “Cover Girl Very Berry” or “Very Scary” as we used to jokingly call it because most of us were not used to wearing such a bright shade. Now I didn’t love the lipstick-it wasn’t particularly flattering to me, it was hard to wash off. But I did/do love the many people it reminds me of. The people that I met, the friends, the memories of growing into ourselves in the experiences college can bring.

The one on the right is the lipstick I bought to wear on my wedding day. While the day itself was lovely, it’s the memories of the journey of marriage & our covenant that makes it hard to throw this one away.

So I won’t. I’ll keep them (but not wear them-ick!)

What about you? What are you nostalgic about? What do you hold on to because of the memories it allows you to bring up in your mind & enjoy?

We in NE TN were the recipients of around 8 inches of snow in the past couple days. That’s a lot of snow for these parts (especially here in the valleys-not the mountains…) So I thought I’d share some pictures from our family’s frolics in the snow.

Our snowman family in front of our house:

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One of the amazingly talented & determined citizens of our great neighborhood & a super cool neighbor, Mr. Atkins, & his extraordinary igloo. A first time experience for us:

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And our “annual” family ski outing. This year to Beech Mountain, NC:

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Beautiful day. Beautiful family memories. Beautiful gifts of love from our creator.

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