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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Look Through the Eye's of an Orphan

So some time ago I found this article that totally had me in tears. When I started reading I was skeptical of what it could do to really make me see what being an orphaned adopted may or may not be like...but my heart was touched. My eyes were opened and I feel like I might truly have an idea of what these kiddos feel l having to leave all that they have ever known. All the sights, sounds smells, food, people who look like them...everything. I will let you decide for yourself. But if your taking the time to read it...please really put yourself in the place of this person.

Imagine for a moment… 

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancĂ©e. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by "soul mate," for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow. 

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life. 

The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face. 

But IT'S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved? 

You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,...even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay. 

But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him? 

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone. 

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact. 

Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it. 

More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you? 

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried. 

The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you. 

You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy. 

The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to "get along." You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation. 

Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair. 

Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before. 

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black. 

You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to sleep. 

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness. 

Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along. 

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait. 

--Written by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, analogy courtesy of Dr. Kali Miller

Love you all!!!

Have a GREAT weekend!
Thank you ALL to the MEN and Women who gave their lives to fight for our country and our freedom!!!!!!!!! Please don't take tomorrow for granted! It came at SUCH a great cost!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why This Call is SO Important

I just need to get this out there. Josh and I are NOT adopting to grow our family! We are perfectly happy with our four children. We are perfectly happy knowing they are all here, they are all healthy and they are all well taken care of. We do not need more children because we think "how fun it would be to have a large family". That was never me. I have ALWAYS loved children, but more than four was never in my future as far as I was concerned. Being told constantly wow your hands are full, or getting the stares from having more than 2 kids, was not in my plans. Josh and I were called to adopt because it is COMMANDED. Nothing more, nothing less.

"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

Isaiah 1:16-17, “wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Job 29:11-12, “Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.”

There are so many verses on taking care of orphans! I've said it many times and I will say it again...We are not ALL called to adopt! It would be awesome if those who felt led wouldn't let things stop them (believe me, I wanted to many times) but it would be amazing if our churches, pastors, and church goers, would fully understand this calling. We are missionaries in a way to these children. Just like missionaries, we are not all called to go across seas and reach those in other countries...but we are called to support them, to care about them, to support them fully and to pray continually for them. 
Do you have 8 minutes? This video will explain it to you in a way that I never could. 

My child is a million miles away right now-and I will do EVERYTHING-with or without help or get there!!!!

For all those who have been behind us 100%, Thank you! For all of you who really know how Big our God is and are excited with us and for us, THANK YOU! For those who have loved us, prayed for us, and who have showed up for us in a big way, THANK YOU!!!! You will forever be apart of ours and Nina's lives. And I'm pumped to show our once orphaned child the love you all have for her! The same love God had for us we were once orphans ourselves...

Have a great week! Love you all!!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

LOA!!! And Other News...

CAN I GET A WHAT! It has been an INSANE last couple of weeks! Most of it having to do with planning our big Ice Cream social. (Which I'll get more to later.) BUT First-in the mist of all the craziness we got LOA!!!! LOA or letter of approval is a BIG step for those who are adopting internationally. It is the LOOOONGEST step to wait for. No one knows just why or how, but this wait has been anywhere from 12 to 100+ days! We were somewhere in the middle but more towards the short side of average. They say usually you travel about 8 to 10 weeks after LOA but there are so many variables coming up in China that there's just no knowing. There's a Dragon holiday coming up this month and also they are re-doing their computer files so that may take a week or more. :( Soooo we wait and see when the next move happens!
In other news Our Ice cream social was this last Friday! And let me just tell you-I have AMAZING friends and family that came out. I don't know if you all honestly know what it meant to see your faces! It wasn't just  to give money, but to stand behind us, and pray for us, and show us that we are not alone in this journey! I just can't say thank you enough to ALL of you!!! I hope to be posting some pictures soon! :)
In more news, my hubby and I had our 9 year anniversary this year!!! WOOO HOOO!!!! To which he spoiled me rotten! A Dunkin run for breakfast before I got out of bed (which I found out after the fact he was working in town so he didn't even HAVE to get up that early) and Sweet Frogs date later that night! I tell you all, if you hate mushy stuff turn away now! Because this man is amazing! He really is sweet and kind and involved and just...amazing. I'd go on and on but he really gets red in the face when I do! HA!!! I LOVE YOU!
Also this last Friday was my little man's 2nd birthday! AHHH someone please tell me when that happened?!?!?! I love this kid. He knows how to make me want to scream and laugh, cuddle and fight, sing and throw balls!!! He is 100% rough and tumble and 100% charm! I LOVE HIM!
ANNNND this coming week is my sweet girl Emma's birthday! 7 years olds...sigh...She is my competitive,  hard working, SUPER helpful, little mommy who wants a cell phone car keys and lip stick YESTERDAY! I have a feeling I will be telling this one to slooow down most of her life! HA!
Well, I've caught you up for now...stay tuned as I try to catch up as the week goes on! :)

Love you all!!!!