Thursday, February 17, 2011

May God's Will Be Done

It is difficult for my brain to comprehend it was only two months ago that our adoption journey to bring our second daughter home began. Even though two months is a short span of time, the waiting feels like it's been going on forever.

Last week we were finally able to send out adoption grant applications to four separate agencies praying like thousands of other families in our same shoes that our family will be one of them that is helped. I rest in the calm assurance that whatever happens will be God's will in this matter. However the money is paid to secure our little one's freedom, it will be God Himself who directs its flow.

Very recently, I walked around as though there was a heavy weight placed directly on the center of my chest, threatening to cut off from me my life and my calm. I was this way until one afternoon three weeks ago I received a call from Randy from his work place informing me he took out a ten thousand dollar loan against our 401k in order to buy us a little time and to allow me to breathe easier.

And breathe easier I have done, except I will say as a woman, mother and wife the reason for restored peace and calm to my person is because my husband showed me he is willing to do everything it takes to get our little one home. How could we ever ask God to do everything it takes unless we are willing to do it ourselves?

The amount of planning and preparation for our first fund raiser has been monumental. We have been busily calling companies and businesses in our area to secure items and certificates for our silent auction at the spaghetti dinner as well as items for door prizes. Randy has been all over town hanging up fliers as well as picking up the donations. I have been asking anyone who offers to hang up fliers at their churches or anywhere they frequent and to invite family, friends and neighbors. We are prayerfully hoping for 500 in attendance, and Blondie's Cookies is obliging our vision by providing us with 500 cookies!

We have met with much success so far in the way of donations. Companies and stores donating to this event are Rainbow Furniture, Holiday Inn, the Mastodon Grill, Ciocca's Cleaning and Restoration, Dantzer Heating and Cooling, Diamond Air-Rainbow Vacuums, Blondie's Cookies, Cookie Cottage, Crazy Pinz, Rave Theatres, Regal Cinemas, B. Antonio's Pizza, Comfort Quilters, Atz's Ice Cream, Home Transformations Residential Cleaning Service, Cottage Flowers, Spyro's Pancake House, New Haven Bakery, Abby Brown's Chocolates, Forever Friends Floral, Office Depot, Too Much Fun Rubber Stamps, Art by Mindy Bermes, Roberts Shoes, Azteca Restaurant, Pro Bowl, Georgetown Bowl, Neuhouser Garden and Gifts, Eagle Tile, Three Rivers Natural Grocery Food Co-op, Mary Kay Products, the Country Baker, Stitch N Frame, Umber's Do It Best Hardware, Chik Fil A, Peg Perego and many others!

A friend reminded me recently that whoever is supposed to be in attendance at our dinner will be there, and that whatever the outcome, it will be God's will because God is in charge. These are helpful words for me to remember as my mind races to calculate figures and numbers. The simple truth is, whatever the outcome, it is all good and it is all for God's Glory. I am reminded of His words to me not so long ago when He told me that He will "make a way".

Just the other day God showed Randy and me how He does things. While I was on the phone with a restaurant whose representative was sharing with me that they do not donate to individuals, unbeknownst to me Randy was in this particular restaurant conversing with the owner about what we've been up to, and the owner of this restaurant decided to give us a $25.00 gift certificate toward our silent auction! God showed us in this simple yet profound instance that He will be the one to decide the outcome of every circumstance, not man, because what we are doing in adopting little Mei Mei is His good and perfect will for us, and He wants to bless our efforts and our hearts for it.

"Praise you, Father! Praise your Good and Perfect Name! Praise you for so graciously and gently directing our steps throughout our adoption journey! We are nothing without you, and we are so grateful for you!"

I simply feel that Randy and I need to cast the net as far as we can by talking to as many people as we can and generating as much enthusiasm and support for the cause of the orphan as we can, and then in the end, God will decide who will be blessed with the blessing.

For all of you who have faithfully followed our adoption blog or who have simply demonstrated caring and interest for what we are doing and going through as a family, let me say now, "Thank you! Your kindness means so much to us. Your words of comfort are like a healing balm to our hearts. God bless you all! We will not forget what you have done for us!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser

Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser!

Please help us bring our little girl home from China this year.
Our daughter is six years old and in desperate need of her parents and big sister!

Door Prizes!
Silent Auction!

Spaghetti Supper
French bread

When: Friday, March 11, 2011 from 5-8 p.m.
Dinner served from 5-7 p.m. with doors opening at 4:30 p.m.
Silent Auction closing bids at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Avalon Missionary Church
1212 Lower Huntington Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46819

Cost: $5.00 minimum donation per person at the door
(children ages 5-8 $2.50 each with a paying adult;
children 4 and under eat free with a paying adult)

All proceeds will go directly toward the Hoium International
Adoption Fund.

Please share our story with everyone you know! Spread the good news of what God is doing in our family! Come and Share in the Blessing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You May Donate Directly to Hand in Hand

For any of our readers who are interested in financially supporting our adoption of Mei Mei, you may send your donations directly to Hand in Hand International Adoption Agency and request anonymity if that pleases you.

The address for Hand in Hand is:
210A North Orange Street
Albion, IN 46701

The contact person at Hand in Hand for the adoption of our little Mei Mei is Vickie Truelove who can be reached at 260-636-3566. Thank you so much for your act of generosity and loving kindenss! May God bless your heart and your walk! Randy and Cheryl

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Hope of a Promise

Even though our first and oldest daughter, Sonya, is adopted, I do not recall experiencing with her such a degree of anguish as I do right now with this adoption. This time around, the Lord is opening my eyes to a pain I have never before experienced because this time around, I am perceiving for the first time the orphan's story. Although try as I may to walk in my youngest daughter's shoes, to feel what she feels and know what she knows, I will never feel or know the full reality of what she has lived and born all her life, that of being a physical orphan on this earth.

I do, however, have a wealth of understanding of what it is like to long for acceptance and belonging as a child, with a sustaining hopefulness that life can get better and that real love can abide with parents and family. For me, mine was a hope unrecognized, yet for my little girl who must have this same deep longing as I did at her age, I must hold onto the hope that the fulfillment of such a longing in her will be met through our love and acceptance of her. Now and when we meet, I hope and pray that she feels and senses in every cell of her body that she belongs with us, and that she recognizes somehow in her spirit that the four of us were always meant to be.

Romans 8:24-25 reminds me of the hope I should rest in, although not acquired I believe without a great deal of patience. "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."

I wrote to a sister in Christ recently, "What I am experiencing as a mother with this international adoption is both soul-inspiring yet at times gut-wrenching as I walk through this process and jump through every hoop - recognizing on my best day that God is completely in control and on my worst day, that our fate lies in the hands of godless men. I know that the latter statement is a lie from the very pits of hell, although my emotions try to convince me otherwise.

Knowing that I have a daughter who is six years old that I cannot hold when she cries or hug when she needs one is the hardest part I think. Knowing that she's been without me all this time while having pictures of her to look at brings me immediately to tears.

I ask for prayer for my family that God opens His floodgates in His good and perfect time, and that when He performs His miracles involving the rescuing of our daughter from her life as an orphan, that everyone who witnesses this event will receive the blessing of knowing that it is 'All Him.'

I believe that everything I have just described in the way of human emotion and the ups and downs that go with the process of international adoption measures perfectly the walk of millions of Christians finding their children in distant lands."

A couple of weeks into the adoption process when Satan was operating at full throttle against my husband, trying to convince him he's too old, too sick or too tired to go through with it, robbing him nightly of much needed rest, God delivered Randy from the adversary's stifling grip with a beautiful dream. In the dream Randy was walking with our youngest daughter, holding her hand as she looked up at her daddy and spoke fluent English. Randy recalled in the dream how very polite she was.

A few weeks ago, Randy and I prayed to God that He would give Sonya a dream of her little sister that night so that the miracle working power of heart-level bonding between these two sisters could begin. The very next morning, the first words uttered out of Sonya's mouth to me were, "Mom, I had a dream of sissy! In the dream she was with us in our home, Mom, and you told her to wash her hands and she obeyed!"

Just last Monday I received word from a dear friend that her daughter had shared via email that she dreamt about our little one the night before. As she recounted the dream to her mother, "I had a dream last night that the adoption was finalized and that Mei Mei came home!"

I cling to these dreams as a hope of a promise yet to be recognized yet fully real and forthcoming nevertheless. I hope for the day to arrive soon when the three of us can travel to a distant land and bring our sweet and wanted daughter and sister home! Until then, as I sometimes cry with deep sobs of frustration and longing for her to be with us and to be safe, I will remember that God cares for me, and He is listening to my prayers even when I have no clear words to describe to Him my needs born out of such a vulnerable time as this.

"Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26