Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday, Feng Mei!

Happy Birthday, Princess!

7 candles!

Here's Jie Jie blowing out your candles for you after
 praying a special blessing on your behalf!  

Feng Mei,
i promise 
next year
 we will
all be together
on your 
very special day!
and we are so thankful
your ayis
 gave you flowers
 for this birthday.
Your very first


Friday, September 23, 2011

Feng Mei's Birthday Celebration!

Right now in China, our baby girl has just turned seven years old!  Happy Birthday, baby girl!  Love always! Mama, Baba and Jie Jie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Results are in for Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravaganza!

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to share some pictures from Sonya's BIG DAY!  The weather couldn't have been lovelier.  Thank you, God!  All the children had so much fun, and it was all because of YOU, Lord!

Before I go any further, though, I'd like to thank everyone who came out and helped to set up and run the games.  A particular shout out goes to Mark and Cherish Madalinski who not only built all the games themselves but provided most of the prizes and organized all the volunteers and even made the most awesome signs to advertise the event - all in the name of love for their brothers and sisters in Christ, but most especially love for the Lord.  So here we go!   Welcome to Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravanganza!

The BIG Set-up


We EVEN had a Story Tent so our visitors could hear about Jesus.  For Randy and me, that's what this whole adoption is all about..  It's all about Jesus.  Cassandra Mei is a part of our family now because of Him directing us to her, and because of who we are becoming as a family in Him and through Him.  Thank you, Don Korreckt, for sharing the Good news of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world - willingly, gladly, gratefully!



Well we've just about reached the end of our pictures for today, and I have saved
 the best for last! 

See what happens when my husband tells a full grown woman that "girls can't throw".
He just looooves to taunt.  TRUST ME. :)

At the end of the day, we did not make a great deal of money on this one.  But, the kids. had. a. BLAAST!  AND Sonya was able to earn another $285.00 towards her little sister's airline ticket!!!!  That's after subtracting expenses and a one hundred dollar donation to Waynedale Baptist Church.

The very best part of this whole thing, at least for me, was the very next day when Sonya  shared with me her thoughts about how she would like to see our church
invest the one hundred dollars. 

 Without hesitation, Sonya declared, "I would like to give that money to Penny's husband to start a church."   Interesting.   Exciting.  Thrilling!  You see, just that morning, i had prayed to the Lord that Sonya would of her own volition do something really nice for a woman by the name of Penny Gooch at our church.  Penny has gone out of her way to look out for and show Sonya that she's thinking of her and that she loves her, and I so wanted Sonya to recognize and reciprocate such loving kindness.   I love it when God answers prayers so quickly!  Sonya is allowing the Lord to do a good work through her by listening for His voice and
following in obedience.  Sonya gave her life to Jesus back in July of 2010, and friends, I want you to know as Sonya's mother, i see Him in her.  Oh, how this awareness brings
comfort to my heart!  

I sure do love Sonya, and I am very proud of her!  I am looking forward to the day when these two little girls, Sonya and Cassie, grow in their knowledge and understanding together of the Lord's good and perfect will for them so that He may use them as an instrument to lead many to salvation through Christ aloneNow it doesn't get any better than that! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Pics of Zhong Feng Mei! Yay!

One of my FAVORITES of my beautiful Feng Mei.  She is the sweet little girl to the far left.  God is good - ALL THE TIME.

Can you spot her again?  She is to the far right holding up her fingers and laughing.

Far left.  Happy, Happy  Mei Mei!
Wavey Mei Mei!

This is the picture I posted before, with Selina, the sweet momma who met my daughter and delivered a package to the orphanage for us to give to Mei Mei after we received LOA.

More to come, but gotta run for now! 

Pray for success for Sonya's FUNdraiser, please...  I know many of you already are. It's getting closer, friends.  FINALLY!!! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And the Latest News!

Sonya has two very special friends from church who have made a decision to walk along beside Sonya in getting her baby sister home to America.  These two friends, children close to Sonya's age and of their own volition, hand-made over 100 bracelets of various styles to sell to prospective buyers in an effort to offset some of the cost for Cassie's airline ticket.  To date, they have made $32.60 by selling these treasures at their family's block party last Saturday afternoon, and  will continue in their efforts to raise further funds at Sonya's FUNdraiser this Saturday.  So please, while you are visiting Sonya this weekend, remember to stop by and check out and purchase some of Madisun and Jack Madalinski's totally awesome bracelets made with love for Sonya and a precious little girl they have yet to meet. 

Thanks Jack and Madisun!  You totally ROCK!

What's New?!

I'll tell you what's new!  But first, I would like to share that last Thursday I was having another one of those days!  You know, the kind of day I "seem" to "like" sharing about, you know the kind when I find my face pressed up against the carpet crying out to the Father for some kind of holy and supernatural news, something tangible that I can wrap my mind and heart around.  And just so you know, I don't find myself on the floor crying out to the Lord every day, but when I do, and God always seems to know my breaking point, He provides an answer and always in a MIGHTY WAY.  Before I share further, something i am learning and relearning through this adoption process is that God makes me wait on Him so that I can be totally dependent on Him for everything. 

And He loves me!  And he knows what a train wreck my life would be without Him in it.  I can do nothing good outside of Him, friends - guiding, shielding and encouraging and even sometimes withholding from me what I think I want when i want it because He knows His ways and His time are best.  The Bible reminds me that His ways and His thoughts are not like ours, and i am soooo glad about that because to be perfectly transparent, my thoughts can get pretty dark and desperate at times. :(

So...last Thursday, following my fervent prayer, I received this email from the JSC Foundation:

Dear Randy and Cheryl,

Congratulations! You have received a grant in the amount of $13,530 for your upcoming adoption. The check has been sent to Hand in Hand and should arrive shortly. If there are fees that you have paid so that your balance with your agency is less than $13,530, you can use the excess to use for travel by having your agency reimburse you for travel fees. It has been a pleasure to learn about your heart for adoption. We would love to have a picture of your family after you bring your daughter home. God Bless!


JSC Foundation
I could not get to the phone quick enough to call Randy, and you do know what I said to him, right?  I said, "Are you sitting down?"   It used to be that Randy's four favorite words out of my mouth were, "You are right, honey."  Now it's been replaced with the former.  I can't say that I blame him since every time I say those four special words to him the news is excellent, and I do so like saying his new favorite words so much more than the previous ones if you get my drift.  Like Sonya always likes to say, Ahem...
Once I hung up and before calling other friends to share the good news, starting with our church because they really have been so supportive of our adoption, Sonya and I did the Happy Dance together and praised the Lord from Whom All Blessings Flow!
Thank you, Lord Jesus!  I am not ashamed to tell the world that You are my Lord and Savior, and that my family belongs to You!  Jesus, before You, I would never have had the courage or fortitude to walk this path of becoming the hands and feet to a real life orphan who has known only institutional living, enduring through this long and arduous process such depths of heart ache and at times PURE JOY!  Thank you for picking me! 
Miraculously, had we traveled in September as we initially anticipated, again our plans and not God's (and let me just say this momma knows God will show her His reasons for the delay before eternity), it would have covered all expenses related to paying for her ransom including the two weeks in-country mandatory travel.  But, God has a plan to bring about the rest of the money for as we near the end of 2011, air line and hotel prices will increase and by December even double. 
With a concerned look, Sonya said to me tonight as I was tucking her into bed, "But mom, what if the prices for Mei Mei just keep going up and up and up?  What will we do then?"  I said to her with all certainty, "God has it covered, Sonya.  He will provide all that we need, so not to worry.  And the people that are supposed to be at your FUNdraiser this Saturday will be there, and the amount of money He wants you to make you will make.  He has a Plan, Sonya."  And with that, her sweet little face grew soft again.  Thank you, Jesus, that Sonya "gets it".  What a blessed child she is! 
So here we are preparing, with the help of a few friends, to help Sonya raise money to cover her sister's airline ticket.  At one time, Cassie's ticket would have cost roughly $1,000.00-$1,200.00.  Now I am anticipating paying $1,800.00 for a one way ticket from China to America.  It is at times like this, when everything about adoption boils down to money, I need to remind myself why we are doing all of this in the first place. It is for this little girl, whom God has placed on our hearts to LOVE, that we are doing ALL OF THIS.  We have a daughter in a foreign country, in other words, who we need to get to, and we have learned to humbly and gratefully ask, "Will you help us to free her?  Please walk along beside us.  More specifically, walk along beside Sonya so she can get to her little sister." 
As you all know, we have been waiting a long time to receive LOA, longer than many but not as long as some, and i have been assured this letter is en route to our adoption agency in Albion.  As you may recall, we were asked to wait for LOA before we posted our baby girl's pictures on any public forum due to CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) rules, and we have readily complied, and I am feeling that it's okay now to post Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravaganza flier which also includes a picture of Cassandra Mei.  Actually, I can't get the flier to fit, so i am typing out for you the content of the flier with the essentials- date, times and location.  And then i will include the two pictures I used but scaled down for the flier.  I sure hope to see all of you there!  Even you folks out in Ohio and Michigan! :)  So without further ado:
Please Come Out and Support Sonya
In bringing her little sister home from China!
At Sonya's FUNdraiser Extravaganza
On Saturday, September 17, 2011
From 2-5 pm
At Calvary Chapel: 4900 Old Maysville Road
(corner of Caribe Blvd. and Old Maysville Rd.)
Adult and Kids' Carnival Games
w/Guaranteed Prizes for Kids;
Lemonade Stand; Chinese Auction
and Art Work by Sonya!
(Get an autographed copy while supplies last!)
My two beautiful girls who don't belong to me but who are on loan to Randy and me from the Lord!  Thank you, everyone, for caring so much!  It means so much to us.  And be sure to check back in a few days when i will share about the events leading up to Cassie being made available for adoption and what God was doing in this momma's and big sister's hearts to prepare the way for her to join our family forever!  I believe this Almighty Powerful God-story could make even an atheist believe, and Glory Halleluiah for that!