Sunday, December 27, 2009

She's Thriving

We are smitten with our baby girl! Elie, our 6 year old, has been praying in our family worship time that God will teleport Maren straight to our living room. It is hard for her to comprehend the paperwork and time involved to complete this adoption. She wants her baby sister home yesterday!

I am finding the wait, the hopes, and the reality challenging as well. And, I am coping. Our adoption contract says it will be 4-12 months until we can bring her home. This is completely out of our hands and our agency's. It is in God's control and the government of Taiwan. It depends on what judge we get, what the judge requires, and how quickly the consulate processes our paperwork. I don't want to make any predictions as far as specific timing. I am praying hard that God will give us favor in the courts. And, I am praying that He will watch over our documents as they go through many offices and travel great distances. I pray that they will be processed quickly and will not be lost. My prayers are for "warp" speed. And, at the same time I am trying to mentally prepare for the long haul. I want to be on guard against the agony of disappointment from delays.

His Hands has processed one adoption in 4 months. The rest have taken much longer. Please join us in prayer for a quick adoption process. We long to be united with Meg! And, please pray for us to be full of God's peace and grace as we wait. Pray that God will do His work in us, in Maren, and please continue to pray for her birth mom to know the unfailing love of Jesus.

Maren has gained a few pounds since her birth. She is eating well. And, we hear that she has a cry that cannot be ignored. We are so happy that she is thriving.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Maren Xi En

With great joy in what God has done we announce our referral, Maren Xi En (pronounce Mar as is in Mars. Xi=She En= Un). She was born November 15, 2009 weighing 5 lbs. 1 oz. Maren means 1. pearl, 2. of the sea, 3. wished for child. We plan to call her Meg. It will take somewhere between 4-12 months to bring her home. Please pray with us that the Lord will help our process, give us favor with the judge, watch over our documents as they travel to and from Taiwan. Also, pray that He will prepare us to love Maren, and prepare Maren for us. Maren's mommy is in mourning. She loves her daughter very much. Pray that she will know the unfailing love of our Lord. She wants the best for Maren's future. We hope that we can give it to her. Lord, lead us.

Psalm 68:5 & 6, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His Holy dwelling. God sets the orphans into families."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's the time of day when...

I want to sit by my computer and watch His Hands Facebook page like a hawk. I hope that tonight is the night they will announce that they have a new arrival. It's the time of day when we are ready to head to bed here but the day is just beginning in Taiwan. I can't help but wonder if it might be the day that we find out about her. It's the time of day when I well up with tears asking, waiting, wondering, and praying. I really didn't think it would be so long. I wonder sometimes if I should just find a waiting one somewhere in the world, anywhere and bring them home. But, I know the Lord has led us and I don't want to go off and try and make things happen some other way. Lord, give me the grace to wait. And Lord, please watch over our baby and bring us together soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's a Small World After All

This morning I received a phone call from a friend in Kearney. She asked me what city in Taiwan our baby will be from? She will be from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

A little over a year ago I had never heard of Kaohsiung City. But, now we have connections with 2 people who live there. One is our friend's son who is there studying Mandarin. And, we also had a foreign exchange student who came to Holdrege and lived with a couple in our church last year. She was also from Kaohsiung City. This is so exciting!

This phone call was encouraging to me this morning. God weaves people together. It was a little reminder that He has a plan and He knows where our baby is, who she is, and He will bring us together in His perfect timing. I am longing for it, Lord. Please let it be soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Joseph and Jesus

I've been reading a book on adoption called, "Adopted for Life" by Russell D. Moore. And, for the past week or so I have been chewing on something that the author pointed out. It is so good I wanted to share it. It is from the chapter called Joseph of Nazareth vs. Planned Parenthood. Many times when we think through the "Christmas Story" and contemplate the engagement, marriage, and fatherhood of Joseph we focus on what Joseph was not. He was not the biological father of Joseph. Jesus was born of a virgin. Joseph almost did not marry Mary. The Holy Spirit is behind the conception of Jesus and not Joseph.

The author challenges us to think of who Joseph was. Joseph did take Mary as his wife. He did parent Jesus. Jesus would have called Joseph, "Abba". Jesus obeys Joseph. And, Joseph would have been responsible according to Deuteronomy 6 to train Jesus in the scriptures.

And, "Jesus' identity as the Christ, after all, is tied to his identity as the ancestor of David, the legitimate heir to David's throne. Jesus saves us as David's son, the offspring of Abraham, the Christ. That human identity came to Jesus through adoption. Matthew and Luke trace Jesus' roots in abrham and David through the line of Joseph. As the Presbyterian scholar J. Gresham Machen put it, Joseph's adoption of Jesus means Jesus belongs 'to the house of David just as truly as if he were in a physical sense the son of Joseph. He was a gift of God to the Davidic house, not less truly, but on the contrary in a more wonderfu way than if he had been descended from david by ordinary generation.' It is through Joseph that Jesus find his identity as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise. It is through Joseph's legal fatherhood of Jesus that the 'hopes and fears of all the years' find their realization in the final son of Abraham, son of David, and son of Israel. Joseph's fatherhood is significant for us precisely because of the way the gospel anchors it to the fatherhood of God himself." (page 67 & 68)

I have never considered that Jesus was adopted. That is amazing! I love it. I am amazed at how many ways Jesus can relate to us in our specific situations and sufferings. WoW!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baby Names

Alex and I have a couple of names that we are thinking over for our daughter. I love picking out names. I love name meanings. And, there is something about dreaming over a name that gives hope to the wait (whether pregnant or adopting). Every so often out of the blue I will suggest we go over the names we have thought of so far and discuss which one is in the lead. Alex is probably used to this by now. He is a great conversationalist and he enters into the discussion but I don't think we have the same level of enjoyment over the naming process. Maybe that is unfair. Maybe he does have the same level of enjoyment, he just wouldn't choose to discuss it as early as me.

With our first 4 children we did not share the names we were thinking of until the baby's birthday. Alex loves having a secret between us. And, loves the joy of the announcement. I am usually struggling to keep the details to myself. I love sharing. This time around is no different. I want to talk. I want to tell what we are thinking.

I suppose we will make an announcement when we get our baby's picture. Can't wait!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Wait Strengthens Our Soul

"Be encouraged that in the midst of silence-even when it is the last thing we want to hear-something in the waiting still works to strengthen our soul." Sitting in God's Sunshine by Alicia Britt Chole

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Feel, Do, Think, Faith

I travelled in a music group in college named One Accord. I was a vocalist along with Kristina Fulks (now Sieh) and Heidi Heaston (now Hewuse) and Ian Lindsay. At one point in our travels we got on a people analysis kick: personality tests, birth order, spiritual giftings, and just in general how people are wired up. I think being stuck in a van with 9 unique individuals we were looking for answers and survival techniques. Those were the days! Anyway, one of our conversations revolved around 3 words Do, Think, Feel. People do all of these but not in the same order. For example, I am a feel, do, think.

(FEEL) I have wanted to adopt since 1996. Hearing the stories of abandoned little girls in China went deep into my heart. I have cried over orphans for years. I have begged the Lord to place an orphan into our family. I have been inspired by others who have adopted and watched them with great joy in my heart, longing for my day to come.

(DO) This past fall we believed that God was showing us that it was "time" to pursue adoption. We have done everything we can at this point to be ready. We have done a home-study, we have been and are reading about adoption, internet research, talked to other adoptive families, we are praying, we have been fingerprinted twice, filed the I-600 A, learning a little about Taiwan's people and culture. There is lots of doing here.

Just in the last month with our adoption getting closer by the day, THINK, is coming on strong. My mind is full of thoughts like: Wow! This is real. Can I do this? Who is she going to be? Will she bond to us? Can we afford this? The flight to Taiwan is really long and I don't like to fly. I have never adopted before, this is going to be new and different.

Alex, my husband, is a THINK, FEEL, DO by the way. Thank the Lord! I know He put us together perfectly. We really compliment each other in a true way. I am feeling when Alex is thinking. Alex is convinced and confident when I am finally getting around to thinking. I think he continues to be shocked that thinking comes on the scene so late for me. :)

(FAITH) I have been taking my "thoughts" to the LORD. And, He is my Rock. With Him, I have everything I need and I don't need to be afraid. I think God has been telling that now is the time to believe. Up until now adoption has come easily for me. And, I have come to my "crisis of belief". I am standing at the Red Sea. I know in the deepest part of my spirit that this is the LORD's will and with Moses I will cross the sea. Like, Abraham and Sarah, I want to believe that what GOD says, He will do! Abraham not knowing where He was going set out in faith. I don't know how things are going to play out. I have not ever adopted before. I hope the baby will bond to us. I hope I will be a great mom to her. And, it is in the Lord's hands. I will trust in Him.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Lord Will Take Us In

I woke up this morning with a verse from the Psalms dancing in my head. "Though my father and mother reject me, the LORD will take me in". I read about an orphanage in Honduras that has this promise written over their entrance. This verse gives incredible hope. We were the LORD's idea and we are His. Every family in heaven and on earth gets their name from Him. We didn't decide to be born. We didn't choose what family we would arrive in. We didn't choose our brothers or our sisters. We have no control over the beauty or lack of beauty in those surrounding us. Our significance is found in Our Heavenly Father. All of us let others down and we have been let down. Even if those closest to us hurt us in the deepest way, the LORD will take us in. He will never leave us or forsake us. We have an open invitation from the One we really belong to.

Baby, I pray this verse for you. That you will know that you are the Lord's idea. Praying that in the deepest part of your being you will know He thought of you and that He planned your life. He will never leave you. He will take you in. You are His. Praying that we will grasp together the beauty of the Lord's unfailing love.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bubble Tea

I read a blog last night written by an adoptive mom who is traveling home from Taiwan even now. They spent a week in Taiwan and have been sharing some of their experiences. I can't wait to get there and experience a little corner of Asia. I have been to Mexico, Canada, Africa, flown through Germany, but never even been close to Asia.

I have a facebook account and I have read statuses my city friends have written about Bubble Tea. And, through the aforementioned bloggers blog I have learned that Taiwan has Bubble Tea. Don't ask me what it is because I haven't had it yet. But, I am excited that when we fly from South Central Nebraska to the busy city of Taipei, I am going to find out what all the hubbub about Bubble Tea really is.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Would Be Great Because...

With every month that passes I come up with a reason that this would be the best month for our baby to make her grand entrance. This month's top reason is:

None of our children were born in October and we weren't either. It would be great to have a baby in a "space" on the calendar.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How I Wonder Where You Are?

Dear Baby,

I think about you every day and pray for you and your birth mom and dad. I am praying for you and for them to know Jesus. I am praying for Glenda and Mary Joy. They are the nannies who will be caring for you. I ask that God will give them lots of love for you and other His Hands babies until I get to take over. I pray that God will help them as they care for little ones without all the sleep they are used to. They have a big job. I am praying for Holly and Trena that God will give them wisdom and strength and grace for each day and it's challenges. I keep wondering if you have already made your entrance into the world or when you going to. I am really excited to see a picture of your face and know who you are. Time is passing slowly as I wait for you. I guess in that way adoption is similar to carrying a baby in your tummy. There is a dull ache continually there that wants to be answered/delivered. There are all kinds of unanswered questions swirling in my mind: Where are you? What will you look like? What is your story? What is your personality going to be like? What is your voice going to be like? What is the adjustment going to be like? Will you accept our love? What will it be like to bottle feed? I am looking forward to finding out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jesus is Longing for our Adoption

This past spring I wrote a song for our baby. I call it Waiting. The first verse says, "I'm getting ready for you. Making a place just for you, and waiting, wishing that you were here." As I sang those words at my keyboard I was overwhelmed with a sense of God's longing for us to come home. Overwhelmed at how different we are from Christ and yet he gave his life willingly for us and he is getting ready for us. He is making a special place just for us. The words, "I go to prepare a place for you. And, if I go I will come again and receive you to myself" rang in my head. Jesus is longing for our adoption. He cannot wait until we are home. He really, really wants us. He is not passive. He has feelings and longings for His children. WOW! As Junie B. Jones would say, "WOWIE WOW WOW!"

You can hear Waiting at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Update from His Hands Taiwan

Not sure why this is showing up like this. But, if you click on the underlined stuff below you can view the latest newsletter from His Hands Taiwan.

'Click the Share button to create links to this email on popular social networking and bookmarking size like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg.'

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

2 Things You Can Know For Sure When Adopting...

My friend Janet Bailey who adopted a little girl from China has a saying, "Two things you can know for sure when adopting...

1. You will get a baby (or a child).

2. There will be delays."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Things We are Praying For

His Hands Taiwan is located in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. This past weekend a typhoon hit there.
Everyone is safe but they are facing hardship. They are without running water in the buildings. People must go out and haul drinking water into their homes. The city is hoping to have water restored within the week.

This jogs my mind to our time in Sudan. We were often without water and/or electricity for one reason or another. And, on those days the battles for contentment and against homesickness raged. It was hard to lean on Jesus and say with Paul, "I have learned the secret of being content whatever the circumstances. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Please pray for the Muirs and the Campbells, the missionary families that we are working with, that the Lord will encourage them and that they can receive His encouragement and have the strength hope in God and joyfully give to others.

Also, please pray for Mary Joy. She is the nanny at the House of Hope who takes care of the babies. Her arms are full right now. They are looking to hire another nanny to help her. Pray that the Lord will bring just the right one. Pray that Mary Joy will have physical strength, health, and emotional reserves as many young babies are depending on her.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Bunny for Baby

Last week our family went on a little vacation to Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha is about 3 1/2 hours from our house. On our final day there we went to Build a Bear Workshop and made a special bunny for our baby. We hope to mail it in a care package when the time is right. Each member of our family put a heart into Snugglebunny so that she would be full of love for baby. And, we purchased a voice recorder and all spoke a special message of love for baby. Building the bunny was emotional for me and enjoyable for all. We hope baby will love Snuggle the bunny.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2 Sides to Every Story

I feel like blogging, I guess. Sharing only about my "excruciating wait" is narrow-minded and not the only side of this adoption story. I desire to be patient and hope in God's perfect timing because I know it will be perfect and there are 2 mothers involved in this story. My gain, my joy will be another woman's deep loss. Who is she? What is her story? It must be one of some deep pain and struggle.

I have been reading Dear Birthmother. I checked it out from the local library to help pass time as I wait. Somehow reading helps. I am learning and taking steps to be connected to my child who is on the other side of the world or about to be. The first chapter addresses a myth that women who give up their children for adoption must not care about them. A birth mother remembers the day her child was born. She will never forget. She will remember them all of her life. May the Lord bless the mom of our baby and lead her to Himself. May the Lord give us grace in learning how to relate with her when the time comes.

The Wait is Excruciating

I suppose that the unknowns of adoption are what make it so difficult. We are at the point in our adoption that it could be any day, anytime, or it could be months. It is hard to keep a balance between being hopeful and letting the desire to adopt consume me.

In some ways our adoption process is going very quickly and I am so thankful. The Lord opened a door and made the way at just the right time. In other ways this has not been a quick process. It has been long. I have been seriously considering it since college over 10 years ago now. I started researching after our first daughter was born.

There have already been many ups and downs along the way. If this dream were not so deep in my heart I would have quit by now. But, the Lord places orphans into families... and, we have been praying that the Lord will place just the right child into our family for years... and, our hope is in Him.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Can't believe the time has come

Dear Baby,

I have been waiting for this time to come for over 12 years.  The Lord planted the dream of adopting in my heart a long time ago.  The time has finally come and I am so excited to be in the process.  It feels like it is taking too long even though we have much further to go.

We started our home-study a few weeks ago.  This Thursday we meet with Barbara again.  Then one more meeting before we are finally approved and get on with the fun of finding you.

I am reading a book called Adoption Parenting.   Dad and I are trying to learn and get ready to love you.  We are praying for you and waiting.

God places the orphan into families.  We know He knows who you are and we will be a good match for each other.