Saturday, November 1, 2014

Emily Update

When I last wrote about our Emily we were in the thick of waiting.  Day 90 I believe.  We were getting passed daily by those with log in dates almost a month after us.  I was truly despairing.  I sat in Bible study one night and asked the group to please pray that it would come.  They stopped right then and prayed, and as our leader prayed that I would feel peace during the wait, in my heart I cried out to God, "I'd have no peace - please help me!"  I sat there with tears streaming down my face feeling desperate for God's peace to settle me, to help me focus on my family now and to wait well.  I longed for a verse to hold onto, but I just felt helpless.  That's not a great testimony of faith I realize but it is truly where I was.  Desperate.

That Saturday I had an Usborne book party at a friend's house.  This is my friend Amy who is also a China waiting mom.  At the end of the party she gave me a little canvas she had painted.  On the back she had written 2 Corinthians 12:9.  "My grace is sufficient for you…."  She read it aloud to me…."My power is made perfect in weakness." And weariness she added.  And that friends is the moment the peace I had longed for took over.  I felt the words of the Lord soothe my soul.  How that ministered to me that day.  The whole way home I kept saying over and over…. My grace is sufficient, My grace is sufficient…  He is sufficient for this task.  I am woefully insufficient but He is perfectly sufficient.

A week later we hit day 100 with no change in our status.  I took a deep breath and we made it through that day.  And through the next 5 when FINALLY we got the call.  In the Target deli line.  A hate to be rude and be on the phone while checking out, but that number was from Birmingham and wild horses could not have kept me from answering it!  It was our social worker with the news our dossier was now listed as match reviewed.  Praise the Lord!!  We just had to wait for the hard copy of our LOA (letter of approval) to arrive at our agency.  

The next Wednesday, as Shane and I packed to leave on our first trip away together since Sarah came home, the phone rang and it was Anna.  The LOA was at  Lifeline and would be overnighted to us at our hotel.  Day 111.  

The poor front desk staff at The Grand Hotel.  Shane was in meetings all morning so I slept a little late, ate some breakfast and asked the front desk 10 times if the package had arrived.  I went back to our room and gathered up all the documents I had brought with me that had to go back with the signed LOA and headed back to the front desk.  Could she maybe make a few copies for me?  Sure….ok, well its like 20 pages, mostly in Chinese, and has my package come yet?  

Just before noon I got a call from the gate that my Fed Ex package was there.  The nice man brought it to me and we signed it and sent it back!  

It really is a beautiful document.  I hate that it was only in my hands for about an hour!

Everything is at USCIS right now awaiting approval.  Things will move quickly now hopefully.  I have so much to do.  Nesting has kicked in and I feel like I need to clean out every drawer and straighten every closet.  Unfortunately Sarah's nickname around here is  "The Destroyer" and nothing stays clean for long.  

A friend from my Lifeline group traveled this month to bring home her daugter from the same orphanage as Emily.  She was so kind to take a letter and some pictures and a little gift to her.  I was so happy to wake up the day after we got the LOA to several new pictures.  We got video from her yesterday and it just makes me so happy.  She is reading our letter and looking at our pictures and she sings a song.  It's a Chinese children's song about two tigers to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin."  I mentioned in my letter that I was trying to learn it and she sings it for me.  We are so ready for this precious girl to be home.

We would like to ask you to pray with us as we enter these last few weeks before she comes home.  Pray for her heart to be ready to be part of a family.  Pray for Will and Jenny as they once again scootch over and make room.  Pray for Jenny as she will be sharing a room, and although she is excited, the reality and the thought are sometimes different.  Pray for Sarah as the trip and the adjustment may be rough for her and therefore for all of us.  We do have a medical concern that we are seeking information on and would ask you to pray we will get that settled before we travel.

I am so very thankful for God's promise that His grace is sufficient.  I am so thankful for a friend who spoke peace and truth into my heart that day.  I am so thankful and humbled that God has called us to be this precious girl's family.  I am so ready to be her mamma!

11 months

I figured I better get this 11 month post up since a year is literally just around the corner!

The biggest thing Sarah did this month was start soccer!!  I happened upon this great program called Top Soccer.  Will was wanting to find a rec soccer team to play on this year and while I was looking for that online one day I came across Top Soccer, a program for people of all ages with special needs.  It seemed like a perfect fit for Sarah and it was!  Each player had a buddy and Sarah had a wonderful lady who taught special needs kids for many years.  She was perfect for miss priss who really just wanted to stand at the water table.  She loved it though and we were very proud of her!
When I put this uniform on her I just started crying.  Every now and then something stil catches me off guard and when I saw her in her soccer uniform I flashed back to other pictures I have of her.  Pictures that I won't ever show and I just fell apart.

Getting some coaching.


And the best part…Snack!!

 We also spent a lot of time making sweet rolls and we are so thankful!!  We are almost caught up but not quite!  We will have an update on that VERY soon!  I was glad for the good (and cute) help!

Sarah also discovered my scrapbooks.  She keeps pulling them out and looking through them.  

I'm so glad to have them and I am so glad she loves them but to be honest it makes me sad.  I don't have any baby pictures and I missed so much.  I'm so thankful for every first we've had this year and so thankful she is here.

Madison Central's Homecoming was also this month.  Will went with a group of friends and it was a really fun night.  Late, but fun.  We were so happy to have them here to take pictures and then they went to another friend's house for breakfast.  A sweet group of kids!!  Jenny escaped with her grandmother to Starkville that weekend and so it was just Sarah at home to watch the activites.  The girls actually got ready here.  Sarah sat and watched intently as they curled their hair and did their makeup.  Then of course it was picture time!  Sarah has gotten used to having her picture made so she felt as though she should be in these as well!

 Beautiful girls and handsome boys!

Beautiful girls and handsome boys and a cute cheerleader!

Everyday when Jenny gets out of school she calls and lets me know when she is getting close to the house (she walks home.)  That's my cue to send Sarah outside.  All I have to say is, "Sarah!  it's Jenny!" and she takes off for the door.  This is what happens next.  Every day.  

Sarah also got a sweet new ride this month!  She doesn't need it all the time but it's great for long distances.  She had outgrown all the regular strollers we could find and this is made just for her!  We love it, although she wasn't too sure at first.

It was perfect for our first trip to the zoo.  I wish I had more pictures of that but MAN! The zoo is kinda pitiful!  We had fun though and she got an icee out of it so she was good!  We also ran into some friends and rode the train so it was a good day!

Speaking of sweet rides!!  We should all be able to ride through Target like this, right!!

She got in some early morning toothpaste painting before school!

Please look carefully.  Not just her eyebrow.  Her nose, her mouth, her arm, her dress.  She smelled minty feash for school that day!

It is hard to believe we have been home for almost a year!  I can't wait to celebrate that huge milestone!!