Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Moment of No Words

                WOW!!!! What a week. As we are nearing the end of our adoption I'm thinking back to the fear and uncertainty we had to saying yes to this big step. International Adoption is not cheap as you can see from our goal and the fear that slipped in often as to how in the world we are going to raise that much, took over my heart quite a few times over the year. But time and time again, My God showed up over and over again proving He is bigger than the number, bigger than my fears and bigger than life! Through family, through friends and even through complete strangers!!! As of last Wednesday we were still $7000 short of our goal. To see that we had come that far was amazing in of itself. We were not too stressed as we had just found out the day before that we received approval an interest free loan to pay off the rest. So we had all but laid the fundraising mindset down to continue getting ready for our children, when we got some shocking and exciting news on Wednesday afternoon. A family friend on my husbands side donated $5000 to our adoption!!! My husband walked in that day with a huge grin on his face but neither of us had much time to rejoice together in it as we had church and dinner and bedtime. Finally as Josh was finishing up the kids bedtime routine and I sat to catch up on Facebook before heading to bed I got a friend request from someone I didn't know but had mutual friends so I accepted not thinking much of it. Then my new friend sent me a message...

  • "Four years ago, my husband Andy could barely run one mile without being totally out of breath. Since then he's ran multiple 5K's, 10K's, 15K's, 50K's, half marathons, the Chicago marathon, Bourbon Chase Relay, the Peace, Love and 50 miles trail marathon in Hell, Michigan, as well as his first 100 mile trail marathon at the Indiana Trail 100 in Albion, Indiana. When Andy first started talking about wanting to run 100 mile trail marathons, he had a strong desire to simply finish the race in the 30 hour time limit. He ran the Indiana Trail 100 in 27 hours and 30 minutes under some of the absolute worst weather conditions for Indiana in April. When he talked of wanting to run more 100 mile races, he discovered a passion to start running for a cause. We talked and prayed about it and decided his next race in Leadville, Colorado on August 17 would be a great opportunity to accomplish that goal and help bring a sweet two year old boy named Tucker home to Ryan and Amy Abell; however, God clearly wanted us to do more, so we set a goal to raise twice the amount of money that they still needed to fully fund their adoption in hopes of helping other families, as well.
  • On August 17th and 18th, Andy completed 100 miles in 28 hours and 44 minutes. Our friend Matt Limeberry ran 50 miles with Andy and I ran the last 5 with him. We were even able to talk with Amy on speaker phone the last half mile while we crossed the finish line. Andy wouldn’t have finished the race without the help of family, friends, many prayers, but mostly the motivation to help bring these sweet ones home to their forever families. God rocked our world when we found out we had raised all $10,000 of our goal almost right after crossing the finish line.
    Read Andy’s race report for a more detailed description of the race:

    Since then, we have raised a total of over $11,300 for the Abell family and five other families who are choosing to be obedient to God’s desire for their families to adopt a child. We have prayed over this money, as well as the families we feel God is leading us to bless with these funds. So many people were involved in getting us past our $10,000 goal! Over 100 #runningtuckerhome t-shirts were sold, a 12 year old girl held a China themed babysitting night for our community, doctors, nurses, children, Andy’s patients, family and friends donated to help bring Tucker and other sweet ones home to their forever families.
    God put a desire in so many individuals to donate to #runningtuckerhome. Most of them have never met and will never meet the Abell family or yours. We know that adoption, whether international or domestic, is incredibly expensive, but we are so excited to help and be able to pass along these donations to your family and continue seeing your adoption process. We have written and will be mailing you a check for $1,000."

                           How amazing is our God that He would allow a family all the way from Indiana take up a wonderful cause to help another sweet and great family, and in the process help other families bring their families together!!! That is what it is all about! God's family is a body! A complete body of fingers and toes and heads and feet and legs and arms...EACH one of us playing a roll to do HIS will. We not all called to adopt-SHOOT we're not all called to run 100 miles! I like to run but I don't ever see 100 miles in my future! But it was in Andrew's! And he and his wife said yes to the cause of helping the orphans! And they are going above and beyond, simply because they said yes! As my friend Amy Abell said in her BLOG :

     "We are not special. We do not have super human powers. We are just a husband and a wife, living in Indiana with our two of our sons, and we said YES to God's plan for our lives. Initially, we didn't feel joy...just submissive obedience, but within days the JOY of our decision covered any sadness we previously felt about the change in our life's plan. Now that we're living God's plan, I am so grateful that we said YES! This life is better than anything I've ever imagined. ".

                      While I was sitting there in shock my husband must have told the girls that someone donated $5000  to us because one by one each girl came running out saying, "mommy mommy, is it true someone gave us a lot of money to go get nina and Isac?!?!" I looked up at them and couldn't speak at first, I just stared at them while the reality was still sinking in that God has single handedly lifted the rest of our adoption goal! I just said yeah and looked up at my husband, who was grinning, and said, "and someone else just gave us $1000 more!!!!" The girls were so excited and were jumping all around. The love these kids have and the way their little hearts have grown by this journey still blows me away. 
                           I just pray all of us will step out and say YES! There is far too much work left on this earth for all of us to take a back seat! The joy, the blessing and the chance to see God do AMAZING work is something I will ALWAYS ALLLWAYS be grateful for!! To see Him raise $40,000 in a year for two children that HE cares for so deeply, to have the chance to meet other amazing families going all out to bring their babies home, to meet friend after friend who understood what we were facing and was a listening ear and a crazy laugh away, to watch others give so sacraficially and love us enough to give, to see a life story of  beauty from pain, and most of all to watch a beautiful story unfold from a Creator who knew every beautiful step before we saw it happen. Truly walking with Him, and growing with Him and SEEING Him, has been a beautiful journey. And I just can't wait to see what else He is planned for us!

                                    For all those wondering our next steps we are scheduled to have Article 5 drop off 10/8, which means our documents are being sent to Bejing. After that we WAIT FOR TA (Travel Approval)!!! So our thinking is probably around November 1st! Fitting since that will mark a year from China officially granting us Pre-Approval! :)

                                Well all I hope you have a wonderful Saturday  Pray we have a quick TA! I don't know how much longer can handle my brain and heart being half way around the world! :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Where We Are Today

Hello! It's been awhile since we have chatted. So here is a little recap on all that is going on. We are moving on in our process and are nearing the finish line!!! WOOO HOOO!!!!  We just got our approval for the kiddos through Immigration and right now we are waiting to get the process of their Visas done and sent to us. Once we get that checked off all will be sent to China where our Article 5 will be dropped in Guangzhou, China where it will be processed for two weeks and then picked up and sent to  Beijing where we will wait for our Travel Approval!!!!! (See I told ya we were getting there!! :)) China has some pretty big holidays in October where they close every thing down completely so while it seems like we should be traveling in October that is going to hold us up.  

Other news, we are still selling our necklaces to raise money.  

Our first necklace was Our Connected Hearts or the Connected Red Thread
Next is our China LOVE

One of  our necklaces can be customized by country and colors. It has the verse Isaiah 1:17 over the country. We have a bronze pendant with ball chain or silver pendant with black leather necklace.

And last but not least is the FOREVER and FAMILY necklace. 

All of these can be seen on facebook at

Or you can email or message me on here! They are $15 plus free shipping.

My feelings at this point...

I am soooo excited to be this far. I look at how far we have come and I am AMAZED at how God could allow me to be apart of all of this! I have always said I wanted to adopt, but to actually step out on faith and do it? I am in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM patting myself on the back, I still can't believe it, but God makes us stronger than we think some times to do bigger things for Him, if we are only willing. To know how far we have come, spiritually, financially and emotionally. I have seen God in ways I never dreamed possible. We have talked, cried, wrestled and laughed with God. He has stretched me soooo much. And shown me more and more how to take Him out of the small box we have Him in. He can do things people, BIG things that we think are beyond what should or can happen. We started with NOTHING financially, to start this process, but through working and the hearts of family, friends and strangers we are so so much closer to being fully funded. And my love for God's children all over the world, has grown in ways that I never thought would happen. My heart for adoption has forever been touched. I have met friends who I truly believe will be lifelong sisters because of the laughter, tears and prayers we have shared along this journey. People have made comments about how amazing we are and I am so truly touched by them, but honestly, it is not me, it is the God that touched our hearts and allowed us the front row seat to His amazing Big picture.
But though we are soooo excited and learning and growing, I am honestly nervous too. I wonder what life will be like with 6 kids. I wonder how Nina and Isac will adapt to our family. I wonder how all of us will adapt to them. Will I be able to handle the special needs, I have friends who have children with special needs and I have always seen a special super woman quality in them that I am not very sure I posses.
 I am a true worrier at heart and as a very sweet friend of mine says very frequently, you think too much, but I am still trying daily to lean on Him and let Him lead us day by day.
 I can not WAIT for the day that my heart and mind aren't half here half there! (Although I am sure it will be again some day ;).) Until then....BRING IT ON I'm ready to go get my babies!!!!

Please pray we will be able to get the rest of the funds and that our progress keeps moving forward!

Thank you for hanging in 'till the end friends! We are soooo close!

SIDE NOTE--Those of you who come up to us at church and anywhere else for that matter and ask how much longer we want you to know how much we LOVE IT! Seeing your excitement makes us feel loved and excited to know our babies are loved so much!!! <3 <3 <3