Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Heart on the Other Side of the World

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone

I have been a mom 4 times now and I would say that this quote rings true to my experience. My heart is traveling around with each of my children every day. Through adoption we are adding a 5th child to our family. It is a dream come true. But, I have never had my heart on the other side of the world before. And it hurts.

Half Way There?

Today is the last day of January. I am kind of glad to see it go and eager to welcome February. We found out about Maren on December 2. On February 2 we will have been waiting to meet her for 2 months. Part of me is glad that it is 2 months because the earliest we could hope to meet her from our starting date would be March 2. If it is March 2 we are almost to the half way mark. And, that would be INCREDIBLE! And, truthfully probably miraculous. I don't let myself live in the land of this dream at least, not yet. I am trying my best to think L O N G thoughts.
We don't have a court date yet. Probably we won't find out about our court date until a week from Wednesday (yes, I am counting whether I should or not). Then, our court date won't be until 2-6 weeks after that. And, everything following court is very uncertain. So, common sense says you may not be half way, Beth. You probably are not half way, Beth! You probably should plan on summer or fall, Beth.

Psalm 139:16, "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All of the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

*Hmm...maybe God is a blogger and a counter too? It is good to put my trust in Him. His plans will not fail.



Friday, January 29, 2010

Bitter Sweet

Maren, you are really changing! And, I am so happy for you. I want you to thrive, to grow, to learn, but, not too quickly without me. Adoption is such a blessing. It is a true miracle. I know that God has led us to you. He picked you out special for us. I hope you will grow to believe the same thing about us one day.

I am longing to hold you. I am longing for the day that we will finally meet and you can wrap your little finger around my pointer. You are learning to smile. I love your beautiful smile. And, I am so glad that God is giving you joy. I want your life to be full and exciting. And, I am missing being there for you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Court Date a Comin'! Yeah!


Our papers were submitted to the legal system of Taiwan! Now we wait for a court date. It will take around 2 weeks until we hear back about a date. The court date itself will probably be somewhere between 2-6 weeks after that. And, then we will travel somewhere between 4 weeks to 4 months after the court date. There are a lot of unknowns and that is a wide time span of possible travel. In addition to that, it is almost Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in Taiwan. Unfortunately for us, things may slow down during the Chinese New Year which is February 14.

Please pray with us and for us as we wait!

Pray that God will give us peace. I have heard through the grapevine that there are only 2 judges that we could receive (one has a reputation for working faster and one is slower). Of course we would chose the fast judge if it were up to us. But, it isn't. Pray that God will steady us as we wait and that we will joyfully accept His timetable in this adoption. I want the peace of Christ to rule my heart and mind. If you know me you will know that I feel deeply. I need the Lord's help. I know He is good.

Pray that God will give us favor with the judge, the social workers in Taiwan, and A.I.T. (The American consulate in Taiwan). There are so many glitches that could pop up and we hope and pray that God will send us through with as few "snags" as possible. Pray that things will move as quick as possible.

Pray for Maren. We pray that she will come to know Christ. We pray that she will bond to us quickly. We pray that she will be accepted by our community. We pray that she will know how loved she is by God, her birth mom, and us! We pray for her to remain healthy (so far so good). Please join us in these requests.

Please continue to ask God to bless Maren's mom. We pray that she will put her trust in Christ and that He will heal her broken heart. She is a precious young woman.

Pray for Maren's caregivers. They have such an important job in helping these precious little ones start out in life. Pray that God will bless their health. Pray that God will give them physical, spiritual, and emotional strength. They do such a wonderful job caring for the babies and get very attached. I can only imagine what it is like to give so much effort & TLC to so many beautiful babies only to say good-bye and watch them go to the other side of the world. You can pray for them by name: Glenda, Mary Joy, Xiao Mei, Jenna, Rae Fang.

Please also pray for Holly and Trena. They are trying to become registered as an orphanage which would allow them to take in more babies than they can currently take in. The process is long, hard, and expensive. They work so hard! Pray that God will strengthen them, bless them, and provide for them so that they can bless more expecting moms, save babies, and waiting Christian families who wish to adopt. If you would like to learn more about their ministry or contribute to their work please visit www.hishandstaiwan.org

We thank God for how He has led us so far! It is amazing! His timing has been perfect. We thank God for His provision this far as well. He is so faithful. We know He is placing Maren into our family and it is one of our greatest joys.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preparing to Bond

I have been reading books on bonding in preparation to love Maren. Alex and I are praying, thinking, talking, and preparing our home. Today I picked out the carrier I am going to wear her in after she is home. That was the highlight of my day. I have been researching them for a little while and I finally made a decision. I found a great one on clearance. Can't wait to put Maren in it!



Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Critical Time in Maren's Adoption

Dear Friends,

On Monday or Tuesday (which is Sunday or Monday night in the U.S.) our documents will be submitted to the legal system of Taiwan. This is a critical point in Maren's adoption. We will be assigned a court date and a judge. It will take up to 2 weeks after filing to hear about our court date. The court date will be somewhere between 2-6 weeks after that. Would you please stand with our family in prayer? What judge we receive will greatly influence the timing of the completion of our adoption.

I hope that I am not beating a repetitive, annoying drum here!

I believe that God is great and He helps the humble who ask for help. We are helpless in this court system apart from our mighty God who turns the king's heart like water in His hands. Praise God that He is our Defender and He hears us when we call to Him.

These are scriptures that I have been praying over Maren. They have been a great encouragement to me. If the Lord leads would you please pray them too on her behalf?

Dueteronomy 10:17-18 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Psalm 68:5&6 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home.

Psalm 72:4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the opressor!

Psalm 35:23 Awake and rise to our defense! Contend for Maren, my God and Lord!

For the sake of bonding with Maren we would like to hold her in our arms as soon as possible. For the sake of adoption expenses a speedy adoption would be easier financially (although we know God will provide). We recognize that we do not tell what God to do and that he absolutely knows best! We place Maren's adoption in His loving hands. And, we ask for His help and His favor. We trust in Him.

Thank you for your prayers at this important time!

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine on you and give you peace.




Bye, Bye, Lucy

I'm writing this post for a little bit of closure. Today we said goodbye to Lucy. We gave her to a teenage girl and her mom who really wanted a dog.

I love pets. I love little lovable creatures. I think a puppy or kitten is a little piece of heaven on earth. However, Lucy sheds and she has been leaving us some little presents that we haven't appreciated on our carpet. With the baby coming and the intense season we are about to enter we cerebrally decided we weren't doing a good job of caring for Lucy. And, Maren is much more important! We want to be ready to give her our full attention. And so with a little bit of relief and some tears we said goodbye to Lucy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunshine in Our Fog


Much of the past 3 days south central Nebraska has been in a dense fog advisory, day and night. It is strange weather. Maren, you are a bright spot in our lives! Praying for you every day.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So, So, So Excited!

Often I feel the way I am feeling right now...so excited and not much to do about it other than pray. I am ready to hop a plane and a train and meet our baby girl! I am so, so, so excited!

God is giving me scriptures to stand on and this is a growing time. I am thankful. Dueteronomy 10:17 & 18 has been one of the scriptures I am praying over Maren and the other babies in the House of Hope. Please pray with me that God will execute justice quickly on behalf of Maren, Mylee, Owen, Jake, Jasper, & Leia. Pray that we will get a court date soon and that we will have a judge who will act quickly to unite us with our beloved daughter. Pray that our interaction with A.I.T. will be smooth. Pray for Holly and Trena to be refreshed and have what they need daily. They are working so hard and face many challenges.

17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He executes justice on behalf of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just Want to Remember




This morning when we got the 3 pictures from the Ball family who are adopting Olivia. Sam saw this one and said "It looks like Maren is saying 'Whoa, do not even get me started!'" Where does he come up with this stuff? I just want to remember.

Hurray for New Pictures!


This morning when I went to my inbox I had 3 new pictures of Maren. What a way to start the day! Oh sweet baby, I hope you will know how excited we are for you to join our family!

There are still technical difficulties with the updates. But God provides! One family from Kansas is in Taiwan meeting their new 6 year old daughter for the first time. And, they thought of us and sent some pictures of Maren.

Please pray for the 2 families who are currently in Taiwan to bring their children home. They are encountering difficulty with the consulate. Pray that God will make the way smooth for their visas so they can go home. Pray for God to give Holly and Trena (the missionaries who administrate the adoptions) favor, wisdom, and the right words to say in these appointments.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Life Sunday

Today at church I received prayer for our adoption process and for Maren's mom. She is so precious to our family. She is young and has been through so much pain in her short time on earth. It is my prayer that we will all be in heaven with her never to be separated again. It is my prayer that Jesus will bring her gladness for mourning. That someday He will wipe every tear from her eyes.

It is Sanctity of Life Sunday. Today I celebrate that Maren's mom chose the hard road of pregnancy, labor, and adoption when she could have easily chosen abortion. Every year in Taiwan there are 150,000 live births. But, over 300,000 abortions. God has had his hand on little Meg. We are grateful to our Lord and to this courageous young mommy who sacrificed so much for her daughter's good. I bless her in Jesus name!

Woot Woot!

I have been tracking our paperwork online and it is in China on schedule to be delivered to Taiwan by 6 p.m. I am so excited that it is near to its destination! Please keep praying as we take steps towards court.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

God is Speaking to Me

This journey has been long. It has been bumpy. And, it is so exciting and fulfilling at the same time. Thank you so much for your prayers. The Lord has been speaking to me. I have felt forgotten at times and God is reassuring me that He is near. May you know His nearness today as well.

Isaiah 40:27-29, "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?' Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength."

Isaiah 41:8-10, "But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its fartherst corners, saying to you, 'You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off'; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Friday, January 15, 2010

2 Months Old and Counting

She is 2 months today. And, today our papers finally came from the TECO office in Kansas City. Sam and I headed straight to Kearney. Spent an hour photocopying. And, prayed a blessing over the documents before entrusting them to FED EX.

Today the certified copy of our marriage license also arrived from Pennsylvania! Tuesday we will get that off to TECO in the Big Apple. Thank you so much for praying with us about the papers and TECO. We are thankful that we are this far in the process.

Would you please continue to pray as the papers make their way to the other side of the world? Pray for their safe arrival and that they would clear customs with no glitches. Especially we would ask you to pray that God would give us favor with the judge, social worker, and AIT (American Institute in Taiwan which is the name for the US consulate in Taiwan). And, pray that we will receive a court date soon. Pray that the judge we are assigned to will order that the home-studies required will be done prior to our court date. This will speed our process along. We are longing to bond with Maren. In our minds the sooner the better for everyone involved. Although, His ways are higher than ours.

Also, lift up Holly Muir and Trena Campbell in prayer. They are working tirelessly on adoptions and with expecting moms in Taiwan. They need the Lord's strength, provision, wisdom, and leading. We love them.

The nannies caring for Maren are Glenda, Mary Joy, Xiao Mei, and Jenna. Please continue to pray for them as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Excerpt of Waiting from Our Adoption Dinner

This is an excerpt of me singing "Waiting", the song I wrote for Maren, at our adoption dinner. You can hear the full song at www.myspace.com/bethbrodine


Maren, I'm waiting, wishing that you were here.


video

Little Delays and I Feel Sad

I am recovering once again from a little delay. Wish I would have had lower expectations. According to my calculations I thought our documents from TECO were to arrive at the latest today. Turns out they must have missed the mail on Wednesday or they are lost because they didn't come today.

I paced the living room floor this morning waiting for the papers to arrive. I had all the things I needed with my keys and purse on the counter. Sam and I were bathed, dressed, and ready for the mail lady. We were going to grab and go.

One day isn't that big of deal. It really is just my expectations. I hoped for all of this to be faster. I wanted my papers in back in Taiwan before they even came. I was mentally prepared for delays on the Taiwan side. I have lived overseas before. But, not in the good 'Ole USA. This is the land of customer service and satisfaction.

I should probably quit calculating. How do you prepare to bond with this baby emotionally and not get so attached to the paper chase? Not really sure about that.

Another small delay is the gal who sends out our updates from the House of Hope has been having technical difficulties. It has been over 2 weeks now since our last update and we got an email Sunday or Monday night that said the updates keep coming back "undeliverable". She is working on it. And, I guess God is working on me.

"Count it all joy when you face trials and temptations of many kinds, knowing that the trying of your faith works perseverance." This verse has been my companion lately. I am struggling to rejoice when my expectations are not met.

After seeing all the world headlines about the earthquake in Haiti I keep reminding myself this is small. I guess the Lord cares when a sparrow falls so maybe he understands.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Update from His Hands Taiwan

His Hands Taiwan needs prayer. They recently were registered with the government of Taiwan. However, they have learned they need to take another further step in order to be able to take in more than 4 babies at a time. This past week they had to turn away 5 babies. Please pray for them. If you would like to donate to their ministry their are links from this link. Or visit, www.hishandstaiwan.org

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Monday, January 11, 2010

God is the Master Planner

Isaiah 46:9-11, "I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it."


Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Isaiah 25:1, "O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure".

I spent the morning with a few moms in prayer. Today our meditation was God is the Master Planner. Oh the comfort that I find when I remember who God is. I remember that this life is about HIM and His plans. His plans are sure! He is never surprised unlike me. It is good to pray with other ladies and be encouraged with God's word.

Maren, it is His plan that is bringing you into our family. We know you will be here in His perfect timing. We hope that it is His plan to work fast but we put our trust in Him. He is working it all out and it is very good.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Isn't She Lovely?

Sometimes I open my blog or photo program and I just stare at her picture. I think (as with all of my children) that she is gorgeous!!!! I absolutely cannot wait to meet her. As I am typing this I am listening to Stevie Wonders song, "Isn't she lovely?" We absolutely think she is!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where We're At in the Process

Thank you to each of you who have been praying with us and to you who have given financial gifts to help us adopt Maren. God has been so good to us! Looking back on what He has done so far gives us hope for the future. We know He has led us us and we rejoice!


We received our translated adoption papers on December 21 while we were visiting my mom in Pennsylvania. After we returned to Nebraska we dove in and started working on them. First, we mailed them to the secretary of state in Nebraska to be certified. Certification is when the state verifies the authenticity of the notary public who confirmed our documents. Most of our documents went to Lincoln. However, because we were married in Pennsylvania our marriage license had to be certified by the secretary of state in Pennsylvania. We still have not received our marriage license back from Harrisburg. So, that is a prayer request if the Lord brings it to mind.

There is another step after state certification which is authentication by TECO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office). TECO also authenticates our papers. They check the notaries of the English and the Chinese translations. They make sure that the translations read accurately. Some of our papers are being authenticated in Kansas City. However, our marriage license will have to go through the TECO office in New York City because we were married in Pennsylvania.

Soon we will mail our documents which have been authenticated by our states and TECO back to His Hands Taiwan. His Hands Taiwan will then file for a court date. Usually it will take somewhere between 2-8 weeks after filing to receive a court date. Please pray for us. Our desire is for a quick date. Please pray for God's best for us. We recognize that His time table may not be the same one that we would want.

Pray about what judge our case will be assigned to. Also, please pray for the social worker in Taiwan who will work on our case. We desire favor from the Lord and that these people will act decisively on our behalf.

Pray that none of our documents will be lost or misplaced as they travel in and out of many offices around the world. Pray that AIT (The American Institute in Taiwan) will process our paperwork effeciently.

Also, please pray for Holly and Trena, the 2 ladies who administrate His Hands. They volunteer their time and they have families of their own. They are wonderful women who love Jesus and have made themselves available to the LORD. I know when they started praying a few years ago they had no idea what the LORD was planning for them. We want the LORD to bless them and provide everything they need and more than they could ask or imagine.

Also, pray for Mary Joy, Glenda, Xiao Mei, and Jenna. All of these lovely ladies work in the House of Hope where Maren lives to care for the babies. What a huge, important, tiring job. We are so grateful to them for watching over Maren. Pray that God will keep them healthy, make their sleep sweet, and give them grace and love for each baby as they tend to their needs.

Pray for our baby's sweet mom and grandma. They are in mourning. Most of all pray that one day we will all stand in heaven together. Pray that they will hope in the day when Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Maren is a fussy baby. Pray that the LORD will help her to rest. I worry that she will frustrate the nannies because she can be difficult and sleepless. I wish I could be there! Pray that she will come to know Jesus. Pray that the LORD will help her to bond to us when we finally meet. Pray for us too that God will continue to get us ready. And, that we will be full of His peace as we wait on His perfect timing to be united as a family. We are so eager and our emotions are intensified right now.

Thank you for walking through life with us.

We are pilgrims on a journey, we are brothers on the road. We are here to help each other, walk the mile and bear the load.

When we stand with God in heaven, we will share such harmony.
Full of all we've known together of Christ's love and agony.

(The Servant Song)

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Clinging to Psalm 25

3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way.
10 All of the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.