Thursday, April 28, 2011

Counting the Days Until I Can Post Mei Mei's Pics!

Within the next few days, we will finally be far enough along in our adoption journey when we will have the complete blessing of the Chinese government to post our youngest China-born daughter's pictures on our blog! Keep checking back! It won't be long now!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Reason to Hope and to Love

"And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
1Peter 3:15

Dear Readership,

Life is good! Life is good because of God! Life is good because of the God we serve (who is Merciful, Gracious, Kind and Awesome)!

Our God has a plan for us. His Plan for us is so indescribably grand and all-encompassing that if we were to realize but for a moment all that is involved in Him bringing us to His Will, we would stay on our knees continually praising His Mighty Name for I have found that the Lord our God wants to bless us!

I never understood until most recently just how much our Heavenly Father loves each of His children. More specifically, He loves me! He wants to bless me! He always has wanted to bless me even when I couldn't see my own worth.

In the past I always pictured Him loving everyone else, or I pictured that there was only so much love to go around so if I wasn't the center of attention and shining more brightly than everyone else, then I wouldn't be able to receive any of His love. Strictly a performance-based mindset, I am grateful to report that was a long time ago.

To go from not feeling the love of the Father to feeling the love of the Father; to go from not feeling His desire to bless me to feeling His desire to bless me is my journey to date on this earth in a nutshell.

Now I know love and blessings go together. They are not separate in His eyes. We separate them with our mortal eyes and with our limited, earthly understanding, that is all.

Not long ago, I went to the mailbox and found a card addressed to Randy and me from a dear friend. Contained within the card was a lovely note and a sum of money. When I saw the amount sent, I felt an electric charge (the Holy Spirit) through my entire body, and I had to sit down before I fell down. And I wept...for a good ten minutes. Not because the sum of money was so large in comparison to our whole adoption bill, but because I knew this person had to sacrifice a lot in order to help us.

And I wept because I felt the delight of the Lord all over me and through me, and He gave me a picture in my mind of how much He plans on blessing this young woman - for her obedience to Him, for her desire to do His will for the sake of doing His will and for no other reason than this.

And the Lord showed me the reason he wants us to obey Him is because He knows that when we obey Him, He can bless us fully and richly. There is no way to receive His blessings than through our obedience to Him.

He showed me what delights Him more than anything, what gives Him the most joy, is in blessing His children who obey Him for the sake of obeying Him and not because they are seeking a blessing! It is so simple really yet so profound for my mortal mind to comprehend such a love as this!

In my daily life, it is not so easy for me to see His Hand of Blessing in certain situations because I already have an idea in my mind of how something should go or how something should be. For instance, Sonya's filling fell out today which means we need to go to the dentist tomorrow and pay to have a new one put in which wasn't in my plans or our budget.

Very quickly, initial discouragement led to agitation over the whole situation, and I forgot to Praise the Lord that we have dental insurance or even that Sonya could feel the whole in her tooth with her tongue to let me know there is something wrong that needs to be fixed in order for us, her parents, to help maintain her oral health. Which, is our job, BTW.

Praise You, Father! Thank you for Your desire to help me to grow and to overcome and to learn lessons and to be the woman You designed me to be, free from fear and doubt and anxiety and hang-ups and all the things in my past that prevented me from feeling You and hearing You! Thank you for giving me a sharp mind and a ready heart! Thank you for hanging in there with me and knowing from the very foundations of the earth that You always would! Lord, I know and You know I am not perfect. I am "a work in progress", but man oh man, have I come a long way through Your extended Hand of Grace and Mercy! Lord, please continue to guide, guard and protect me as I seek to do Your will as a mother, wife, friend. Thank You for my many blessings! Help me, Father, to never take them for granted. In Jesus' Holy and Mighty Name, I pray. Amen and Amen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

When We Are Called

God has put so many people in our lives for this adoption who have been truly supportive and understanding of what this whole journey has meant to our family. It's really not just about adoption, though. It's about obedience to our Heavenly Father. For the most part, most of us will live on this earth for maybe seventy or eighty years, but this is not our home. We are simply passing through. As born again believers, we can be sure of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ alone. As born again believers, we are called to be His hands and feet and to minister throughout the four corners of the earth to a lost and dying world - sharing with them the good news of the Atoning Blood of Jesus Christ.

If we can be obedient and care for these orphans so that they can be introduced to Jesus Christ and hence gain eternal salvation themselves, then Glory, Glory Halleluiah! So I ask, what's $30,000.00 in the grand scheme of things? Could we ever possibly think that sound financial planning while on this earth is more important than the time we will spend in eternity when money won't matter? I told someone yesterday that even though I do not believe for a moment that God has ever intended that Randy and I go into debt with this adoption, we would take a second mortgage out on our house before we would ever walk away from our child.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank you, Father!

Thank you, Father, for a gift to write - for the distinct ability to articulate feelings, plans, images and thoughts on paper. I know with all assuredness, however, that without the hand of the Holy Spirit holding mine, my words would be dull, lifeless, unmoving. As He flows through my mind and then down through my fingertips as they press the keys, I marvel at His well laid out plan to evoke from people I will never know a need, an idea, a resolution, courage to do, think and act in ways in which the Plan of God can manifest through them, to bless them!

Time is short. The time to do right is now. The time to follow God's calling in our lives is now. "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Poem About You from Your Mother

One day while living out my life
the Holy Spirit blew my way
and told me,
"You have another daughter."

Scarcely comprehending this Truth
I called my husband to seek his point of view
forgetting soon after it ever happened.
Until it happened again.
And again.

Then while sitting in my pew
the Lord God on High showed me what to do.
Ask my husband to take me up front
and pray for His will concerning adoption.
Or relieve my burdened heart.

Later that evening while at church again
the call to come forward laid on my heart
heavily...until we responded,
approaching our pastor with a fervent plea
to help us by praying
for the Lord's will
in this most delicate issue.

So what began on the wind
made its way inside the church walls
and the lives of our brethren
to hold us up in prayer
for His will to be done.

What seems to have taken place
so long ago
happened only last season
and the time is flying
for our departure
to bring you home.

What of your existence?
Did you only become a reality
when the wind carried your
existence into my reality?

Or have you always been mine
before the very beginning of time?
To daughter me as I mother you.

As the days fly by,
time stands still.
When will I see you?
When will I hold you?
When will I get to kiss
your cheek the way I kiss
your sister's?

Will you like my kisses
and my hugs
like your sister does?

Will you know us as yours?
I pray that you do.
Your big sister has hugs
all prepared for you.

Your sister who is choosey
and not so easily swayed looks
forward to showing you her love.
From the beginning.
When she saw you
for the first time and said,
"Oh Mommy, I want her to be my sister."

And your father
whose love for you is true
presses weights to be ready
to carry two daughters
and not just one.

We heard you asked about us.
"When is my family coming?"
Even though no human being
has yet told you the news.

Our God is preparing your
beautiful heart for your
new life with us as you sleep
...and dream.

Do you dream of us as
we do of you?
I pray that you do.

I cry for you, dear,
as I wait...
the long-awaited
"Gotcha Day."

May the Lord on High
Surround you with His Ministering Angels
as they guard, guide and protect
your every step
while we wait.

And when we meet for
the very first time,
"Please Lord, let their be
a recognition of love and
genuine belonging in
our little one's awareness
from us to her.
From her to us."

We love you, dear Mei Mei.
We always have and
we always will.

"Lord, keep our little Mei Mei
in your loving hands
until you bid us
safe passage."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Support Our 2nd Fund Raiser on May 21st - Parking Lot Sale at Avalon Missionary Church

If someone would have asked me even six months ago if we would ever adopt again, my answer would have been “No”. Now we as a family are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to travel to China to bring home our second China-born daughter and a little sister for our first.

What started out as a prayer on December 5th, 2010 has turned into our adoption journey. With this journey comes a huge expense both emotionally and monetarily. Not only are we enduring the long wait of finally being united with a daughter and a sister who was always meant to be with us, we are also faced with the financial hurdle of collecting the necessary funds to bring the adoption to fruition.

I have learned in the past two months that there are millions of orphans world- wide who will never know what it is like to belong with anyone. Although my heart breaks in two at the thought of my youngest daughter living in an orphanage for the past six years of her life, I also rejoice in the knowledge that her longing and waiting for a Forever Family will be recognized the day we travel to China to bring her home. While I am happy for our circumstance, I am still left with the knowledge that money and knowledge of the Lord’s vision is what keeps the countless millions of orphans from ever being adopted into their own Forever Families.

As her parents, my husband and I are doing everything possible to raise money to bring our little girl home. As some of you know, we are asking for donations from friends, neighbors and strangers in the way of gently used household items we can then sell on Saturday, May 21st at our anticipated HUGE parking lot sale.

The collection process has begun! Please contact us and let us know what you can donate at We will be happy to come and pick it up. Thank you once again for caring! God bless your day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Salvation Testimony

In order to apply for Christian adoption grants, Randy and I were asked to pen our salvation testimonies. I am sharing mine with you now as a testament to our Father's enduring faithfulness and mercy and love for His children. God is revealing to me in my life right now that He has always loved me, and through His Healing and Sanctifying Love, I am learning to love others with His agape love, to care more for their souls than their pocket books or their high esteem of me as a person. I am learning that speaking the Truth in love is a priceless demonstration of our true love for others.

We are called as Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth and thus to minister to a lost and dying world. Let us be "salt and light" now to our neighbors, friends, associates, loved ones and even our enemies for the purpose of glorifying our Father in Heaven whose ultimate joy comes in blessing His children in their obedience to Him!

The following, then, is the submission of my Christian testimony to the adoption grant process:

For many years, I thought I knew Jesus. I thought I knew the real Jesus who loves everyone no matter what their beliefs. I was partially right in that Jesus loves everyone no matter what, but I simply could not comprehend that the way we believe could kill us - by causing eternal separation from God our Father in a place called hell. Back then, I was completely misinformed about what true salvation looks like or even feels like. That is because I did not know the bible – at all. I did not know God’s Word. I did not know that Jesus is the Word and that the Word is Living.

Because of my lack of biblical knowledge and understanding, I was prone to poor judgment involving the character of others and hence trusting people who were untrustworthy. Because the Word was not LIVING in me I would fall victim many times over to the deceptions and half-truths of man, for I had turned to man and not to God for the truth.

It was in November of 2009 when I experienced a shattering realization about how far “good” people can stray from God’s will without ever knowing it. My husband Randy and I had made a decision concerning our future that we thought was God’s good and perfect will for our little family. When we discovered that not only was our decision not God’s will for us but because of our faulty judgment we were standing completely outside of His will, I wept bitter tears. Never in my life had I experienced such sorrow of spirit. I felt complete humiliation, and a deep despair welled up within my very bones. I thought I had it “all figured out”, but it turns out I didn’t know a thing.

I can see now how God used that experience to draw me closer to Him because it was in the experiencing of humiliation that I was humbled. For the first time in my life, I fell down on my knees and repented of my every sin. I called out to the Lord to save me. It is then while I lay weeping and sobbing with my faced pressed up against the floor that the Lord spoke to me and said, “Learn my Word so that this may never happen to you again.”

It is then that I finally yielded myself to God completely and began the journey of understanding His Truth from His own mouth. And again I say, AMEN! It is then that I finally understood that when I am walking close to the Lord I will feel the warning of the Holy Spirit and hence avoid the snares of the adversary, and in this be able to sing All Glory, Honor and Praise to God my Father. Amen! “Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

In December of that same year, the Lord led me to search for a church that would preach the Truth of the Word in its entirety and fullness. I covered much ground, and felt disappointment time and again when I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit lacking within the walls of so many churches I visited. Or I might find a church loving and kind yet when comparing their doctrine to the Holy Bible it would not match up with the Word. I almost gave up until it dawned on me that if God told me that my family and I belonged in church, then God already had a church picked out for us.

I once again opened up the yellow pages, and saw for the first time an advertisement for a Southern Baptist church located twenty minutes from our home. I promptly called the church office to find out their position on abortion and marriage and discovered they hold a biblical worldview. What’s more, I found out the Preacher was willing to speak the Truth from the pulpit regarding such relevant issues. I decided then and there to pay Waynedale Baptist Church a visit, along with my then six year old daughter, Sonya, to their bible study held that very evening. I learned that night that we had found our home.

Since attending Waynedale Baptist church, I have learned that the only thing which assures us of our eternal salvation is Jesus Christ alone. As the Preacher likes to point out, church membership, tithing, baptism, etc. will not save us. Jesus Christ alone through His atoning blood will.

On July 11th, 2010 Randy, Sonya, and I were immersed together in the baptismal waters, not so that we could boast that by doing so we would gain a free pass into heaven, but that by doing so, we could testify before the body that Christ alone is our Lord and Savior and that in dying to ourselves we can live in Him. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! “Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins so that we may live!”

At Waynedale Baptist Church, I have also learned through studying the Word together in church and in Sunday school that I am a sinner and will forever fall short of the glory of God. Absolutely nothing I will of my own accord will get me into Heaven. Through Jesus Christ alone I am blood-bought, born-again and kingdom-bound, and as a natural extension of my salvation through Jesus I have become a new creature and behold old things have passed away.

Through this new birth spiritual works will manifest through us, only to show God’s Glory, and how He can work mightily through us and in us. Yet I fully recognize and attest that works will never ever pay for my debt and wipe away my sins! Only Jesus can do that!

It is important I share a bit more regarding my salvation experience and the wondrous and mighty Hand of God at work in my life and in the life of my family. It was about three years ago that the Holy Spirit began “building a fire underneath me” for my husband Randy and I to renew our vows. Simply explained, Randy and I were not wed in a Christian church, and the Holy Bible was not at all utilized in the wedding ceremony. I had been for a while feeling deep regret over this, and hidden within my heart was the painful recognition that Randy and I were not fully married.

Well-intentioned Christian friends would tell me that God still honored our vows, but I knew they were in error. I knew that once I found a church that really loved the Lord and practiced true Christian love and forgiveness that Randy and I needed to walk down the aisle and be joined in Christian marriage by a true Christian pastor who believed in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Holy Bible and who was willing to preach the Word from the pulpit. I knew that our renewal would rid me of the nagging feeling that our marriage was still outside God’s Ultimate Plan for us as a married couple.

On Saturday, October 2, 2010 Randy and I renewed our commitment to one another as husband and wife with the Word of the Lord as our Anchor. As we stood at the alter facing one another and as Preacher quoted at length from Colossians, a miracle happened.

Suddenly I felt below us as if someone behind me took a very wide board and slid it below our feet. I felt as though in one moment we were standing on soft ground and then in the next solid ground was placed beneath our feet. Then above us descending from the heavens I sensed or felt a covering placed first over our heads and then draped over our entire bodies. We were completely covered from head to toe standing together underneath this covering, and at that moment, at that exact moment, and for the very first time in my marriage, I felt truly married to my husband.

I believe it is in that precise moment when God sealed our marriage and set us apart from the world. Standing on the foundation of Jesus Christ - our Most Honored Guest - covered by His Atoning Blood, God supernaturally gifted us. No mortal words will ever describe my deep gratitude to My Father for never giving up on me or turning His back on me so that he could ultimately bring us to this place to bless our marriage in this way. All Praise and Honor and Glory be to God our Father, Jesus His Son and God the Holy Spirit forever and ever!

Since November of 2009 I have learned through countless experiences that when we choose to yield our will to the Will of God and obey Him with perfect obedience, He will bless us exceedingly and abundantly beyond the scope of our wildest hopes and dreams.

Our renewal of wedding vows took place in October of 2010, and I can’t wait to share what happened next! Please read our adoption testimony to find out what God was planning for us all along when we obeyed Him through the renewal of our vows…

Who We Once Were and Who We Have Become Through Christ Jesus

The following is our renewal of vows testimony penned for the occasion when on October 2, 2010 Randy and I recommitted ourselves to one another in a Christian church surrounded by believers in the Inerrant, Infallible Word of God. I hope in sharing more of ourselves with you that you in turn feel inspired to share more of who you are with others who care because I believe it is only in our shared humanity when we can really become friends.

Randy and I met back in the Summer of 1990. Both searching for Truth with a deep desire to draw closer to Jesus, it is fitting that the environment in which we met seemed to encompass this desired end. Neither of us being from a strong Christian background, however, and thus lacking in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the bare necessity to personally maintain and preserve a biblical worldview, the aforementioned environment of which I speak was a New Age group/church. Here we both stayed, I for
sixteen years and Randy for seventeen, Randy having joined a year prior to my introduction.

Reminiscent of the New Age tradition, we found ourselves believing that “all paths lead to God” and that in order to “graduate” from this planet, we must pay off our karma, a debt we have accumulated throughout many lifetimes. Also contained within the New Age philosophy is a crippling belief of a spiritual hierarchy, its origins rooted in the Occult. Basically, in a spiritual hierarchy we cannot have direct access to God, but instead must go through another person more evolved referred to as a “Teacher” or a Master/Saint or even a guardian angel to know what God’s will and purpose is for our lives. In effect, lacking in ability to possess a personal relationship with our Creator leaves our lives hanging in the balance and at the whim of those seeking power and control over us and our families.

After many years of a shared friendship, Randy and I wed on February 19th of 2000. Once Sonya was born and we brought her home from China in January of 2004, I believe because our love for her was so great, that God’s loving hand on us finally pierced through the thick veil that seemed to separate us from the ultimate Truth in Christ Jesus, the only path leading to salvation and a personal relationship with our Father in Heaven— Salvation attained by grace through faith, a free gift to all who will humble themselves, repent of their sins and ask Jesus into their hearts and lives as their Lord and Savior. No works or ritual of any kind can attain for us what Jesus gives freely. Amen and Amen!

After we left what we now refer to as a New Age cult, we started searching for a Christian church to attend as a family. To our utter dismay, we found time and again elements of the New Age philosophy housed within the walls of the so-called Christian churches. Everything from the pronouncement that Christianity and every other “true” religion are the same, to walking through labyrinths to find one’s purpose, to the use of non-biblical resources from the pulpit, to referring to a minister’s words as “his Teaching”, to Christian yoga, to applauding children’s books on witchcraft, to the introduction of the false Jesus and the false gospel stripped of miracle-working power and Deity, we found it.

It’s been over four years now since we left our past behind in order that we could finally know the Truth by drawing closer to the REAL Jesus. It is this Jesus , the biblical Jesus, who has shown us His desire that we renew our vows in a traditional Christian church with traditional Christian vows based in His Word.

We believe Waynedale Baptist church, our church, owes a debt of gratitude to Pastor Wayne for standing guard at the door and keeping out the enemy by securing a strict adherence to God’s Living Word - in his sermons, demeanor, expressions of love and devotion to Christ Jesus alone - forsaking man’s accolades or bids for approval In order that he may continue to faithfully and circumspectly serve his Precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thank you for coming out and sharing our special day with us to pay homage to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! We pray this special day has a renewing effect on all of us in heart, mind and spirit so we may individually and as a Body seek a better understanding of the relevance in these times of God’s Holy, Inspired and Infallible Word - the Holy Bible - in our families, society, nation and world.

Our First Adoption Story

When I was just five years old, I knew in my heart and spirit that someday I would adopt a baby. The very idea of it captured the essence of my being. For me, even at this tender age, the thought of adoption felt as natural as breathing. As I reflect back to that point in my history I know unwaveringly that God was guiding my every step to fulfill my place in motherhood. God had a child for me whom He selected even before the very foundations of the earth, planting the seed of truth of her existence within my heart at a young age – to guard within my spirit her imminent eventuality and rightful place in this world - I as her mother and she as my precious child.

While still in my early thirties, I married. Looking back I can recall how often well-intentioned individuals would inquire as to when my husband and I planned on starting a family. Mothers and grandmothers alike would often recount to me their personal stories of pregnancy and what I could anticipate happening to my own body with my own pregnancy. How do I convey to the reader that even though I have always been open to becoming a mother “naturally” that deep within my core I held onto a distant memory that I was to adopt? Although I would have welcomed pregnancy had God intended that for me, when I discovered I could not conceive and even in the midst of a deep sorrow sprung a growing elation that my dream of adoption would and could come true.

I couldn’t help but articulate to these well-meaning folks my steadfast belief that not all mothers are to become so by giving birth. I couldn’t help but further impart my belief that God has many ways of bringing families together, children with their parents and vice versa.

Adoption is a critically important and viable means of providing homes of safety and security to so many children in our world who need parenting while fulfilling such a strong need in so many of us to parent. How can I convey now to the dear reader that when we as adoptive parents are brought together with our little ones of all ages that the union between parent and child has been foreordained and is as natural and meaningful as giving birth to them ourselves?

In the spring of 2001 my husband and I were vacationing in Sedona. While hiking out on the red rock trails I inquired of my husband for the very first time ever what he personally felt about adoption and if he would be open to our adopting a baby. Without any hesitation, he stated an affirmative and added he would like to adopt a baby girl from China. The reader may wonder why I hadn’t thought to pose such a serious question as this before marriage.

Had I to do it all over again, I would most certainly have made a point of it to find out his stance on adoption, however, God in His infinite mercy and grace made sure to choose a man for me who could and would fulfill his role and purpose as the father of my adopted baby girl.

I think back to that day out on the trails with my husband, with the hope and promise that a little baby girl from China could become our daughter as a seed planted in fertile ground needing only the nurturance of water and sunshine to grow to fruition. To me that day out on the trail, breathing in the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on our backs, was in truth the very beginning of our journey together as a real couple turning to our Heavenly Father for direction and blessing upon us in starting a family.

From that moment on, my mind embraced a plan of conception to bring our daughter home. In June of 2002, I underwent a surgical procedure which was able to determine I would be unable to have children naturally. As stated previously, although there was an element of sorrow in knowing that what so many women take for granted was inaccessible to me, still I knew that the next step would be to begin at once the process of selecting the best adoption agency for us, feeling an internal urgency that there simply was no time to waste.

The morning following my surgery, I began the process of calling around to adoption agencies locally and even out of state. I didn’t know what to look for in an agency, and I didn’t know what questions to ask. I felt so vulnerable at this point for in reality, our future with our little girl felt like it rested entirely in human hands. Even though I can look back now and know God had his hand on the entire process every step of the way I, as a human being with such a strong desire to be a mother, was fearful that somehow I would not qualify.

I thought to myself, after all of this, could it really come down to some bureaucrat somewhere sitting behind a desk in some remote location deciding and sealing our fate that we would never be allowed to become parents? Would people “in charge” be able to see stamped on my forehead my inability to conceive my “own” and thus deny my destiny of motherhood? These fears and many like them began creeping into my waking state threatening to squelch my dream of someday holding my very own baby in my arms. How cruel a fate as this to never be allowed the great privilege and honor to fulfill my maternal instinct and longing to mother my own baby!

This type of mental and emotional anguish stayed with me the entire day as I made my way down the list of adoption agencies in the yellow pages. The agency I liked the best was located in a nearby town located less than an hour away from our home. No matter how many times I called them back that day and no matter how many questions I asked, the woman on the other end of the phone treated me with such warmth and humanity. How could she have known my life as a mother hung in the balance and what I needed the very most was a soft and gentle voice tone extended to me as a person so that I could keep a grip on reality and not perish in my own cruel imaginings?

In July of 2002, I asked my husband to attend our first adoption meeting at this particular agency to gather information about the entirety of the adoption process. While at the meeting, we found out how much various international adoptions cost. I reluctantly raised my hand and believe that I, judging by the head nodding going on in the room, asked a question that many people would have liked to ask but couldn’t. My question,"How will we ever be able to come up with such a sum of money?"

The husband of the director of the agency, who along with his wife had adopted five children of their own, answered my question with a profoundly simple question posed back to us. His challenge to all of us present that evening, “How many people would not hesitate to take out a car loan for $20,000.00 yet shrink at the thought of doing the very same thing for a baby?” When thought of in such simple terms, why would money ever be an issue?

On the long drive home I nervously sat in the passenger seat and prayed that Randy would make a commitment then and there to this process called adoption. I knew instinctively not to push him in to anything as it was critically important that this be a mutual decision. What came out of his mouth next literally astonished my senses as Randy wholeheartedly and unwaveringly articulated to me an agreement to begin the adoption of our baby right away. As the hair on both his arms stood straight up, we both laughed and I cried. I knew the presence of the Holy Spirit enveloped our car, and something of sheer goodness and beauty transpired between us. I can barely describe in mortal words the elation of spirit that encompassed every fiber of my being in this solitary moment forever transfixed in my memory.

Much later, we discovered that our daughter had been conceived shortly after the decision we made as a couple to adopt her. I am convinced with every ounce of my being and with the very life-sustaining air I breathe that the Lord God on High, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all things good and beautiful, waited for that particular moment in time to hear from my husband’s own mouth that he was completely and unequivocally on board with the decision to adopt our daughter before our awesome and mighty Father would come to form her in her mother’s womb.

In my human frailty and inability to impart at times the depth and scope of emotional Truth that transpired between us in the ride home that night, allow me to at least impart the knowledge that God’s good and perfect will for our marriage and the future promise of being united with our child had been set in motion. Are there any words that could ever encompass a mother’s anticipation of some day holding the baby God promised to her so many years ago while still in her tender years?

In the following months, Randy and I found ourselves immersed within a mountain of paperwork necessary to fulfill the requirements of a China adoption. While the task of completing every stipulation imposed on us felt cumbersome and at times overwhelming, we managed to trudge through it understanding all the while that if we did not dot every “i” and cross every “t”, we would never get our baby. Such urgency enveloped me that I managed to inspire my husband to work exceedingly hard at writing his autobiography in a short period of time because I knew in my soul our baby needed us to move on this with no time to spare.

Through this entire process my husband and I often marveled at how if parents who could give birth naturally would have to jump through as many hoops as we were made to do many would fail to qualify. I look back at that time in our lives and recall sometimes with a feeling of humiliation at some of the intrusive questions asked of us or even the psychological evaluation we were made to undergo, and I know it was worth all of that and more to be with our daughter now. I would do it all over again if I had to - willingly, gladly, gratefully - all for her.

By November 2002 we finally completed and turned in our paperwork to the adoption agency with a great sigh of relief. Then on March 14, 2003 we were officially “logged in” to the China adoption which meant the process of matching us with our baby girl could begin. In April 2003 we moved into our new home in preparation for welcoming home our new and very tiny family member. Immediately, I set about stripping three layers of wallpaper from every wall in Sonya’s bedroom. Little did I know that while I was busy creating a beautiful space for her to come home to, Sonya was readying herself to be born. Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow!

We received a phone call from the adoption agency on November 18, 2003 letting us know we had been “matched” with our baby girl and that we could come into their office as soon as we were able to view her pictures and file and take them both home with us. That very next day, Wednesday, we headed to Albion, Indiana to see the pictures of our baby. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. All day Tuesday and into Wednesday I could not stop crying. The day Sonya and I would finally be united was fast approaching, and just knowing I could look at pictures of her beautiful little face while awaiting that moment brought me such joyful anticipation I could hardly stand it.

The moment finally came when we were sitting down at the adoption agency and handed to me was a folder with Sonya’s pictures. As I opened the folder to look at my baby, I immediately burst into tears and thought instantly that she was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen in my entire life! God is so good! Thank you, God, for Sonya. My dream was coming true, and the revelation that I was looking at my daughter, my very own daughter, who would soon be with the two of us, her father and me, was almost surreal.

As I stared at her precious little face, I wanted to be with her right away. I wanted to go get her right then. I wanted to be with her so I could protect her and keep anything bad from happening to her. But the red tape of the adoption process prevented this mother’s desire for another six long, arduous weeks.

Starting out our journey on January 2, 2004 from Fort Wayne to Chicago to Los Angeles we finally made our way across the Pacific Ocean to touch down in Guangzhou, China on January 4, 2004. While Randy remained behind so that he could care for Sonya for an entire month upon our return to the States, I traveled to China with three other couples who had been matched with infants from the same orphanage in Foshan, China. As God would have it, one of the babies adopted named Lucy lives only ten minutes from our home. Would it surprise the reader to know that these two little girls, Sonya and Lucy, are like “two peas in a pod” when together and when separated share a close bond that no distance or time could ever diminish?

After having traveled for nearly 36 hours we finally arrived safely in our hotel rooms, exhausted yet excitedly awaiting the phone call that would inform us of when we would finally get to hold our babies in our arms for the very first time. I got cleaned up and tried to rest, but sleep eluded me. I just wanted my baby that is all. Finally the phone rang with the anticipated news. Instead of traveling to the orphanage that day, we would instead meet in the Guangdong Province at a government building. In truth, it mattered very little to me as Sonya’s mother where we met as long as Sonya was given to me that day.

Upon arrival at the designated government building, we were finally taken into a room where we began what seemed to be an endless wait. We were all, both fathers and mothers, filled with so much joy and excitement waiting for our babies to arrive. The long and arduous process we had all endured finally culminated in this moment, the anticipated moment, where we could at last touch our babies, hold our babies, kiss and hug our babies!

The moment was finally here, and as each baby was carried into the room for their parents to greet, all of us crying or laughing at the same time, Sonya was the very last baby to be carried through those doors. When I saw her little face from across the room, I rushed to her and grabbed her from the arms of Mrs. Tang and held her close to me, silently weeping. Although the adoption agency warned of rushing to get our babies too quickly as it might frighten them I saw in Sonya’s face an immediate recognition of who I was, and I knew instinctively she would be alright with my forward nature. Sonya knew me and I knew her. My daughter and I were together at last!

What could be better than this? I thought to myself, This is what heaven must be like! All of us were so happy for one another. It was a beautiful time, one that I will never forget. Praise God! Praise His Holy and Righteous Name! Praise the Lord for bringing us all together to share in each other’s joy!

So much has happened since then. As Sonya is preparing to turn eight years old, Randy and I are preparing ourselves to receive our second China-born child into our home very soon. I am glad I had previously written down the account of Sonya's journey to us for it poses as a clear reminder that God is completely in charge of the adoption of Cassie Mei as well, and no man anywhere has the final say. God is the final Authority, "the author and finisher of our faith". Amen and amen! "And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called accroding to His purpose."
Romans 8:29