Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Keeping the Kleenex Handy

It's just one of those days. Tears have come easily. I am ready and longing to be Maren's mom. I am ready to move on with the new "normal". I am ready for all of our children to be home in our house.

God knows. God cares. God is working. His time will be the right time. I will pour out my heart to Him and wait and hope and trust. He is answering and it will be good.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting So EXCITED!

The Bachman family sent us some pictures of Meg via facebook yesterday! You bet we are EXCITED! Elie stood at the computer and talked out loud to the pictures saying, "Aren't you just the cutest? Are you ready to come home? Yes, you are! Yes, you are!". We are love sick and verbal! We hear from 2 of her nannies that Maren also has quite the voice. She talks and sings quite often. In fact her nickname in the nursery is "Miss Bollywood". She is going to fit right in! We are a loud and musical family. ;)

We still wait for permission from the judge to travel. She will issues the 1st and 2nd Decrees and then we can go get our daughter! We could be weeks away or a couple of months. We have no idea. Please continue to ask the Lord to bring the 1st and 2nd Decrees. And, pray for our social worker. He/she may have submitted the reports to the court but she may not have. We just don't know but our eyes are on the LORD! He knows. And, we know Him!

Please pray for our His Hands friends:

The Farmers are waiting for thier 171-H from the US government to travel to Mylee. It could come any day! Please ask the Lord to bring it. Mylee has been waiting a long time.

Praise the Lord that Owen received his miracle visa!!!!!! Now all his family needs is an appointment with the American Institute of Taiwan and they can book tickets. Please pray!

Also, the Raboins are waiting for 1st and 2nd Decrees like us. Please join us in asking the Lord to bring Leia home.

Happy Weekend to You!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Happy Little Daydream

The phone just rang. I let myself indulge in a happy little daydream. I imagined that caller ID said, "Out of Area" and that Holly and Trena from His Hands Taiwan were on the other end with surprising good news. My mind heard them say, "Guess what? The judge issued your final decree today! Maren officially belongs to you. You're going to travel!".

No such luck. It was the Omaha World Herald calling to see if we wanted to subscribe. :) Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. (I am smiling as I write this.) I know that God is working! He will bring Maren home at just the right time. But, it is fun to daydream, even for a realist.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2 Pictures of God in Adoption

The waiting in adoption is killer. Part of the way I mentally battled while we waited to be matched with Maren was through reading books about adoption. One of the books I read was Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore subtitled The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches.

Moore and his wife, Maria. adopted 2 little boys now Benjamin and Timothy (previously "Maxim" and "Sergei") from Russia. When adopting from Russia two trips are required because of Russia's legal process. On their first trip to meet their sons they found the orphanage to be a grim and dirty place. Their sons were both in cribs, in the dark, lying in their own waste.* Moore describes the last day of their 1st trip this way, "(Leaving) was the hardest thing either of us had ever done. Walking out of the room to prepare for the plane ride home, Maria and I could hear Maxim calling out for us and falling down in his crib, convulsing in tears. Maria shook with tears of her own. I turned around to walk back into their room, just for a minute. I placed my hands on both of their heads and said, knowing they couldn't understand a word of English, 'I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.' I don't think I consciously intended to cite Jesus ' words to his disciples in John 14:18; it just seemed like the only thing worth saying at the time."

Adoption is a display of what God has done for us in Jesus.

1. We are adopted by God. We are not His "biological" children in that Jesus is His only "begotten" son. Jesus is the first born. Jesus is the exact representation of God and He is God. He is the only man born in flesh who can claim this. And, because Jesus was forsaken on the cross by His Father we are now welcomed by our Heavenly Father adopted as His children. Because of our Elder Brother, Jesus, we have free access to God. Adoption is a living illustration of this covenant. I am different than Jesus and yet God the Father gives me full rites and loves me as the Father loves Jesus. AMAZING! I did not and never will earn this. Jesus gave it to me. :) "To as many as received him and believed on His name He gave the right to be called sons of God." One day Jesus will come again and receive us and take us to our forever home with our Father.

2. Jesus has not left us as alone He has given the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus says in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." Jesus promised us this. He has not left us as orphans. He has sent His Holy Spirit (Acts 2). We are not left to ourselves. We don't have to pull ourselves up by "our boot straps". He is here. He is with us and he is leading us! The Holy Spirit longs to comfort us and help us through life.

Today one of the His Hands families is being united with their son for the first time. I love adoption! I am rejoicing with the Bachmans and for Jake! And, I am amazed at the beauty of it! I am amazed that God has adopted me! I rejoice at being able to see families united with their children through adoption. And, look forward to the day that I experience this first hand with our little Meg.

Please pray for the Bachmans today as they begin their life with Jake. We need God's grace every day and especially in transitions.

Also, pray for Trena and Holly as they guide the Bachmans through more paper work, AIT, and travel. Pray that God will bless them and supply everything they need so they can continue in the work God has called them to.

Pray for Jake's birth family as they say good-bye.

And, pray for the nannies who have given so much to Jake. I am sure that it is very hard to love so much and watch theses precious babies move to the other side of the world.

Also, please keep praying that God will bring Maren home soon! We can't wait to be a part of Maren's life.

*Maren is in the House of Hope which is very small and clean. She is very well cared for by fantastic ladies who love her and love Jesus.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Every Day It's Getting Closer

I think someone is praying for me today. It sure has been a great day and I am full of hope, excitement, and peace. This afternoon the thought occurred to me that today I am one day closer to meeting Maren. I know God is working and his timing will be perfect. I loves James Taylor so imagine his song "Every Day It's Getting Closer" playing in the background while your read this. And, if you have been praying for us while we wait and for Meg, thank you and please don't stop! We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Scriptures I'm Believing and Praying

For Maren's Mommy...
Hebrews 7:25, "Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."

For the social worker and judge...
Deuteronomy 10:18, "He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow." (Let it be quickly, please Lord!)

Proverbs 21:1, "The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will."

The social worker was able to meet with Maren's mom and the gals from His Hands Taiwan on Wednesday. Praise the Lord! Now we are praying that the social worker will write her report quickly and submit it to the judge. My room-mate in college was a missionary kid from Bangladesh. She said she is praying that this will be done in "un-Asian-like speed". (He he he!)

After the social worker submits the reports to the judge we will wait for the judge to rule that Maren is ours. And, then Holly and Trena will be able to get an appointment at the American Institute in Taiwan for us to get Maren's visa. And, then we TRAVEL! Thank you for your continued prayers. We are so thankful for God's leading and God's people who have stood with us on our journey. Bless you! Our God is ABLE!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shamrocks and Snoozes

A baby named Meg fills my mind.
To wait for her I am resigned,
For my Taiwanese pearl
Is one little girl
That I'd cross an ocean to find.

A Limerick Especially for Meg



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Please Pray Today

Tonight at 12:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in Taiwan), His Hands Taiwan will meet with a social worker and Maren's mommy. The social worker will write a report from this meeting that will be submitted to the courts. The judge will use this report to make her decision about Maren coming into our family. Please pray with us today!

Pray that Maren's mom will remember the appointment and come.
Pray that Maren's mom will have the peace of the Lord as she takes this difficult step.
Pray that the Lord's presence will be known in the meeting.
Pray that Maren's mom will have a great connection with Holly and Trena from His Hands Taiwan. They want to maintain a relationship with her after the adoption is completed.
Pray for Maren's grandmother. This has been incredibly hard for her too.
Pray for Maren's mom and her whole family to know the unfailing, great love of Jesus.
Pray that the social worker will write a favorable report and submit it quickly!
Pray that the judge will rule quickly so Maren can join our family!

Psalm 68

4 Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds
his name is the LORD
and rejoice before him.

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

6 God sets the lonely in families,
he leads forth the prisoners with singing;

Sunday, March 14, 2010

4 Months & She Keeps On Growing

Maren Xi En is four months old today (it is already the 15th in Taiwan). She has been thriving physically. She has more than doubled her birth weight. And, we are praying that just like Jesus in Luke 2:52 she will grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

I love you, Maren. I am missing you so much. I pray every day that we will be together soon. I can't wait to hold you and be your mommy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

He Never Said It Would Be Easy

God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

This quote is actually a hymn. I thought it was a poem. My Great Grandma Scott wrote this in my Grandpa Scott's Autograph Book on the occasion of his high school graduation. I've always liked it. From time to time in marches to the fore front of my mind and brings perspective.

Why is this so perspective so easy to lose in times of trial? Why do I tend to complain so easily when things don't go my way or according to my time frame? God has always been so good to me. I wish I weren't so fallible and weak. I wish I would always trust the heart of a Perfect Father and rest in His love for me. He never said it would be easy. But, He did promise to be with me. And, at the end of this struggle Maren is going to be worth it all!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let Our Babies GO!

Yay! Through facebook I learned that 1 of 3 babies who has been so close to going home for a while gets to go HOME to his forever family! I am so happy! This news is a great encouragement to me. I have been watching this little cutie on facebook since August. Praise the Lord for getting him through the legal system!

2 More babies are close to going home if they can get their visas. Please pray for visas.

We, along with another family, are waiting for our social worker to complete our home-studies for our babies and their mamas. When those are submitted we wait for the judge to rule that the adoption is complete and we can travel too. Please pray for the Lord to help us through the system. We could be weeks away or a few months....please keep praying! Let our babies go!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Look What Meg Can Do!

I love this baby girl! She is really changing which is exciting and sad at the same time. I'm missing it. But, she's growing and learning and she looks well cared for. Thank you, Lord. You are good to me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Phew! You're Alright.

Around 8 p.m. last night I learned that there had been an earthquake in Kaohsiung County Taiwan. I knew it was close to Maren in Kaohsiung City but not exactly sure how close. The earthquake was 6.4 on the Richter scale. No where near the magnitude of the one in Haiti or Chile but a little unnerving when you're not with your baby. The epicenter was 37 miles away. This morning we learned through facebook that all the staff, nannies, and babies are just fine. "God was just rocking the babies for us." So glad you are safe, Meg.

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Where's the Fast Forward Button?

During the adoption process in some ways it feels like time has really slowed down. And, in other ways it hasn't. Adalynne is about to turn 11. Joseph turned 9. Eleanor is 6. And, Sam is now 4. Wow! That doesn't seem possible. The fact that today is March 1st and very soon 1/4 of 2010 will be past doesn't seem possible. The end of school is only a few months away. But, the dull ache in my heart to meet Maren drags on. That's the slow part. I reread the paper about the adoption process regularly now and pull out the calendar and think through possible travel scenarios. And, I want to push the fast forward button. And, then again I don't. I want to enjoy every day.

And, I want to remind myself that God's timing has been impeccable so far. He knows what He is doing. And, all of my days and all of Maren's days were ordained before one of them came to be.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.