Saturday, November 22, 2014

LOA, Visas and Trivia Night

Well, it finally happened!  On day 80 of our wait, we received LOA!!  We got the call from our agency literally as we were walking out the door to church.  The girls looked at the phone and said, "It's from Oregon.  We don't know anyone from Oregon," to which I yelled, "Yes we do!!" and grabbed the phone.  Our agency had just received our LOA and was sending it out that night!  It was so great to be able to move onto the next step, and to have something to do again to help the process along.  So, we were supposed to have our package on Friday and then we could send off our I-800 application.  The package came on Friday, but I was watching my nephews and didn't open it.  Then our agency called that evening, which I thought was weird.  She asked if I had received my package and if I had opened it.  It turns out she had switched the package with another family who received their LOA on the same day.

Now, our poor adoption coordinator felt terrible.  She has never done this in 11 years of working, so we overnighted it to the other family and received it on Monday instead.  Was it hard to wait the weekend?  Yes.  Is everyone human and makes mistakes?  Of course.  Is God trying to teach me something through this?  Let's find out.

When we moved here, M needed two teeth pulled in order to start her orthodontia work.  We found a dentist and I dreaded the day we would go in and have her teeth pulled.  I sat in the waiting room for well over an hour and waited until they would come tell me she was fine and at least this would all be behind us.  They came and got me and told me that they had tried and tried and they couldn't get the teeth out.  What?!  So, we had to research and find an oral surgeon and then she had a successful oral surgery and her teeth were pulled.  You want to know how God helps you to stop worrying and trust Him?  He gives you things to worry about so that you can replace it with trust for Him.

Then this summer A had a minor fall which led to her in a neck brace for a month.  When we went back, they took x-rays and released her no problem.  Then they called us in the car as we were driving away to tell us to put the brace back on.  The specialist did not like what he saw in the x-rays and could we come back the next day for more x-rays and schedule an MRI.  What?!  Fast forward, and she needed surgery.  Spinal fusion surgery.  They set the day in August and I struggled.  My baby having major surgery on her neck, by her skull, and drilling into her spine.  I prayed, God gave me a peace even though I still hated it, but we were ready to have it behind us.  The day came, I let her go-her crying for me and asking to go home.  We sat in the waiting room with family for 3 hours and then the surgeon came out. WHAT?!  He's supposed to be in surgery!  They had been prepping her this whole time and her nerve impulses were not responding the way they should.  They tried everything they could and they were afraid if they continued it could cause permanent damage, so they were aborting the surgery and they would do more tests and reschedule it.  Huh??  So, we waited for her to wake up and we took her home.  Long story short, she had her surgery completely successfully a month ago (the nerve problem didn't show up at all this time-I fully feel due to the huge number of people praying for healing for her) and she is doing awesome and now that part is behind us.

How does God help us to stop worrying and trusting Him?  We have to have those opportunities to do so.  It doesn't count if we say we trust Him, but we don't have challenges to prove it.  The journey of life teaches us this, but wow, so does adoption.  The amount of money going out, the concerns about what he will think of us, concerns about if he is safe and comfortable in an orphanage I can't even find information about on google, planning a trip for five in China for weeks, and just trying to prepare for anything.  He wants us to TRUST HIM.  We don't know what's around the corner.  Even when we think we do, often we don't.  We have to have faith in God's plan and look towards eternity as our goal.  This world will pass and the things that matter to us so much really won't.

We sent off for our visas today and we are waiting to hear back now about our I-800.  It's getting real now and we are so crazy excited to think that we could be just a couple of months away from being a family of five and it is just awesome.  When we let go and let God, He can do amazing things with our surrendered lives.

I've used it before, but this is the verse God has given to me over and over again:

Have I not commanded you.  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Trivia Night Fundraiser!!

Well, bad news is that we do not have LOA yet, although on our Facebook group people right around us on LID dates have received their LOA's this week, so prayerfully very soon!  So far, the waiting has definitely been the hardest part of this thing.  To have seen his sweet face and then just wait to have him join our family.  I'm sure in hindsight it won't seem that long and it will seem like we've always had him, but for now each day is hard.

SO, onto the good news!  We are having what will probably be our last big fundraiser to help us pay for our trip to China!  We are going to have a Christmas themed Trivia Night!!  If you are from St. Louis, you probably already know about trivia nights and how awesome they are, but since we live in Fort Worth now, this might need some explanation.

So, here's how it works.  You pay for your seat and then sit in tables of 8.  There are 10 rounds of categories, in this case all relating to Christmas, and each table competes with the other tables for a prize at the end.  It is very fast paced, lots of multimedia and so much fun!  We are including kids in this trivia night too, so all of the categories will be things that the kids can participate in .  We are also doing a silent auction in conjunction and we already have some fun items for the auction!!  We think this is a totally fun way to raise money for our trip.  With four people going to China, five coming back, all of the fees for the paperwork over there and the $5,000 donation that we make to the orphanage, every little big helps right now.

So, to sign up for the trivia night, our wonderful friend, Kristin, make us a beautiful flyer which is on our website along with a link to sign up:  forever   or you can sign up at this link:

We also found an article talking about trivia nights in St. Louis to give you an idea of what one is like:

Prayerfully we will be posting very soon about getting our LOA.  We are at 77 days waiting since LID right now, but who's counting?  :)

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:30-31