Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Close Friend

Our daughter Hannah has a friend. Her name is Kerry. You can see the two of them together in this photo with Kerry on the right and Hannah on the left. We have several pictures of them together. In all of them they seem to be close friends. Hannah hasn't seen her friend for a while because last year, Kerry was adopted by her forever family and lives in Kentucky. Her mom, Virginia, put the pictures of these two on a website for families who have adopted from this orphange, we found them, and have been communicating with her ever since. She has been a great source of encouragement for us.

You can imagine how thrilled we were when we found out that they would be driving through Georgia on their way to Florida not too long ago. We took the opportunity to meet and have dinner with them as they drove through. What a precious time we had with Kerry, Virginia, and Virginia's parents. I cannot express to you what a blessing it was to meet them. Kerry is a sweet, adorable little girl. She was very good even though she had been riding in the car all day. Virginia is a great mom and quite an example for me. Before we said good-bye, we took a few photos and gave hugs. Here is a picture of Kerry and her mom.

We had a sweet ride home as we rejoiced that we now know someone who knows our daughter. And as I ponder all of this in my heart, I praise God for His goodness to these two little ones. We realize that this is a rare and very special gift that God has given to us. There must be many children who develop special friendships while they are in orphanages, but how many of them are able to reconnect after they are adopted? Does Hannah miss her friend? I imagine that she does, but we hope to give her a chance to visit Kerry later this year. What a special reunion that will be.

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Accepted in the Beloved

The last time I wrote, we had just gotten our letter of approval. David didn't get in until late that day, but we were so excited, we signed it at 11:00 pm! We just didn't want to wait. We took a few pictures of us signing it, but waited until the next day to take pictures of us with the letter before I took it to FedEx and mailed it back to our agency.

Early the next morning, I was praying over and thinking about the term "Letter of Acceptance." We waited for that letter with much anticipation and were thrilled when it came. When we finally got it and signed it, we knew that it represented that we accept Hannah in every way--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. We don't know her yet; so, we don't know what she may be like, but it doesn't matter. We accept her just as she is and will make her our daughter no matter what. Nothing she can ever be or do will change that. We accept her. Period. That whole day, a verse from the King James Version of the Bible kept going through my head. Ephesians 1:6 in the KJV says, "He hath made us accepted in the beloved." It is part of a passage where Paul is writing about how we have been adopted into God's family and reminds me that Jesus has a letter of acceptance for me. He has one for each of you too that He signed with His blood. Later that day as I thought about how thrilled and excited we are to be adopting Hannah as our daughter, God spoke to me and said, "That's how I feel about having you as my daughter." We who believe in Jesus are accepted in the Beloved; we are His children-- adopted, loved and accepted just as we are. God teaches, corrects and disciplines us just like any loving Father does, but He always accepts us. Have you been adopted as God's child? Do you realize that He has a letter of acceptance for you?

So we have signed our letter and sent it back to China. Now we are waiting for our travel approval. Once we get that, we will make an appointment with the American Consulate in Guangzhou, China to sign papers and get Hannah's passport. Once we have that appointment, we will make travel arrangements to fly to China to meet our little girl. We are still hoping to be there by May 18, her second birthday which is only a month away!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Waiting On God

I have just been listening to "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller again. This has been our theme song ever since it we heard it. I heard it on the radio a few days ago as I was getting ready to go into Hobby Lobby. I had to stop and write the following when I got in the store. I got busy and didn't put it on the blog, but want to do it today.

We have been waiting a long time. We started this process three and a half years ago, but God is quickly bringing our wait to an end. We should travel to bring our Hannah home soon. Some of you may be waiting for God to do something for you, give you something or accomplish something on your behalf. I don't know what you might be waiting on, but I want to encourage you to put your hope in God alone. It wasn't until I began to put Isaiah 4o:31 into practice that God gave me a peace about waiting. It says that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." He is the Faithful One. I pray that each of you will hold onto Him and know that He is a work accomplishing His best for your life.

Here is a link to John Waller singing "While I'm Waiting" on Youtube: