Saturday, January 28, 2012

Picture Updates

Okay, so many pictures to share with but so little time.  Randy left for the afternoon with the girls and I have homemade chicken rice soup to make (a comfort food for Cassie) and the house to clean or at least partially clean that is.  Here we go!

A gift presented to Cassie by Stacy Hand from the CIA (Children in Action) at our church, Waynedale Baptist a few days following her heart catheter procedure. "Thank you, children, for being like Jesus to Cassie!"

Cassie's first time EVER out in the snow!

Cassie loving on her daddy!

Following the Chinese New Year Festival at IPFW 
Cassie at the Miller Farm with all the children and helping Sonya and Polly with the dishes

Cassie out in the snow AGAIN! 
More pics of Cassie and Sonya!

Lastly, Cassie cleaning in her Christmas dress!
Hope you enjoyed!  God bless you today!

How was China?


At any given time lately, I may have as many as 600 unread emails in my account, so please do not feel badly that i have neglected keeping you up to date with Cassie's adjustments into family life.  Shepherding a child who speaks another language and who has lived a life devoid of family values has been quite a challenge for me, for all of us including Cassie, yet quite rewarding in the very same instant.  Suffice it to say, it is in the nitty gritty every day living of life that presently keeps me from applying pen to paper.  Until now, and only for a moment.  Below I have written some of my experience and views in visiting China this time around which will soon be followed by a Part II.  I hope you find it interesting and in need of checking back to read further.  May God bless your day!

I, along with my husband, shared our adoption testimony at church recently.  As I choked back tears, the first few words out of my mouth were just how much i had missed that place (church) while we were away.  China, a country I had visited only eight years prior, has either changed a great deal in that amount of time or I have.  I know the latter to be the case.

Often people ask me how my trip to China went.  Honestly, the farther away I get from it the more i will say i could not fully enjoy myself or relax into it.  I shared at church that when i was in China to bring Sonya home, i was not a Christian, and now that i am, I sensed a darkness there i could not feel before.  Oh sure, there were moments that were priceless, and I am grateful God made a way for my whole family to go to China to bring Cassie home, but overall it was a struggle for me..... 

I think the underlying factor in this struggle has to do with the fact that i did not have my church family to physically turn to when stress levels were at their greatest.  In the past year, they had carried me in prayer, encouragement and hugs through my countless tears, frustrations and heartache of being without my little girl, Zhong Feng Mei, and the worry over her untreated heart condition.  Even though i recognize I am to stand alone in Christ, I was made aware while far away, by my ever-present human frailty, just how precious is the assembling of the brethren.  Just a side note, if you do not have a church family who truly serves and loves the Lord Jesus Christ whose very presence is made known by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then ask God to lead you to one.  Being LOVED in the Body - well, there's really nothing quite like it, and i am grateful for it.

Eight years ago, I would have sworn up and down it did not really matter what you believed.  I felt as long as you were trying your best to live a good life, demonstrating kindness, compassion and love to your neighbor, then God would make a place for you in the eventuality of Heaven.  Before that, I went through a "season" where I questioned the very existence of God and openly scoffed at the fools who believed in Him.  And i definitely did not believe in Jesus.  Or, so i thought...

Until one night when I was twenty two years old, having gone through a major life crisis and complete emotional breakdown, having no where else to turn, I turned to Him, and He. showed. up.  In a very big way

That night, I experienced the Presence of Jesus by my side, the Living Word.  It was a life-changing experience indeed, yet i was at the same time completely in the dark about God's Written Word - the Holy Bible.  Because of this ignorance, i wandered through my life for years, seeking Jesus in all that i did, yet encountering time and again the slipperiness of works and the humiliation and frustration that went along with it.  You see, I erroneously believed that if I could just be good (All.the.Time), I could earn a ticket off this God-forsaken planet, no kidding.  Because I did not know God's Written Word.  I did not know that eternal salvation is acquired through Christ ALONE

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Great News!

We are home from Indy now, and Cassie's surgeon said they accomplished everything with her heart they had hoped to accomplish.  And what's more, the three medications she's been taking since being at the orphanage are not necessary.  It seems the heart team at Riley can't quite figure out why they had Cassie on them in the first place.  That tells me that not only was Cassie's heart forced to go over seven years without being provided the medical intervention desperately needed, but giving her medications was only to make it appear as though she was being treated when in fact no real medical help has ever been given to her at all for her heart until now.  Thank you, Father, for sustaining Cassie through the years and giving her the hope of a forever family.

During the catheterization, it has been reported that when her ventricle was opened with a balloon and blood was able to flow through her heart for the first time ever, Cassie's oxygen levels shot up from 68 to 94.  She is now maintaining in the 80s which is to be expected while her heart is relearning and adjusting to its new conditions. 

Cassie has some pink in her skin now and much of the blueness has gone away but not entirely as she still has a whole in her heart, but nothing to concern ourselves about for a while.  And as Cassie's mother, i still hold to the belief that God will fill that hole without further medical intervention.

When the interpreter asked Cassie what she'd like to learn to do now that she will have the necessary energy, she told her she would like to learn how to fish.  Imagine her surprise and joy at discovering we have a pond in our addition stocked with fish and that Randy has been taking Sonya to fish there for the past four years. Cassie was so happy to hear that it will be her father who will teach her.  Folks, Cassie has come a long way with her relationship with her dad, and we are certain it has only been through divine intervention.  Without God in this, we would not be seeing such rapid improvement not only in Cassie's health but overall demeanor and disposition.

I would like to share some pics taken since being home and her visit to Riley as well as one or two from China to demonstrate visually what i am referring to when I say God is in this and working on a transformation in Cassie 24/7.  I can't imagine doing any of this without Him in it.  Btw, Cassie is starting to pick up some english and today for the first time after Randy said our lunch time prayer, Cassie chimed in loudly and crystal clear, "Amen!"

Sonya presenting Cassie with a gift of a doll

Cassie thanking her big sister, Sonya, with a kiss

Cassie's very first ever dental appointment

Playing in the bedroom that she shares with Sonya

The girls taking turns tickling eachother.  This time it is Sonya's turn to tickle!

Cassie meeting with the doctors at Riley

Preparing for Surgery

Cassie in recovery with her interpreter, Yen Chen, present

Cassie's nighttime nurse, Claire, taking her temperature

Claire and me bribing Cassie with a  popsicle to get her to wear her blood pressure cuff. 
There's just something about the pressure coming from that cuff that sends Cassie
into all-out panic mode.

Happy, Happy little girl!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request

We are leaving early for Indy since Cassie's heart catheterization is scheduled so early for tomorrow morning at Riley hospital.  We had Cassie in the emregency room this morning as she had what I would term an "episode" where she appeared to have some kind of a seizure but without the tremors.  This episode was brought on by low oxygen levels which threw her heart rhythm off.  But her pediatric cardioligist is very confident that the procedure scheduled for tomorrow will have Cassie well on her way to a long and healthy life.  Please pray with us that that it is so. 

Please pray with us that God shows His hand in this again.  As He always does and has been so faithful even when our faith and strength waivers.  Please pray once again for Him alone to receive the Glory and Honor and Praise as He restores her health and shows Cassie through this of His great and unending love for her.  That he brought her here all the way from China where there was no hope for her future, but now....Through Him Alone... 

Please pray for Randy and me as well as the past month has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride, and quite hard on the emotions at times.  We are not complaining, but we could use your prayers, okay? 

I will kkeep you posted...