Hebrews 10:23- "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two monts later......

Well we have had our little girl for 2 months now and everything continues to go well.  As stated before she is definitely 3, so there have been many trying 3 year old times, but nothing too bad. 
 She continues to bond and attach, especially to me.  I start back to work tomorrow night.......then work again Saturday and Sunday nights.  I'm a little nervous about how she will do at bedtime.  She only wants me, so hopefully if I'm not an option, and only Daddy is, she will do ok......
Getting back to work will be a hard and trying time for us. It has been so nice to feel normal with a normal schedule.  I'm not looking forward to the constant exhaustion that comes along with working nights, but my schedule is the best it could be with a newly adopted toddler at home.  

For the first 5 weeks home we were at the doctor 4 out of 5 of those weeks, all of which she had to be stuck for something......she's had a double ear infection, Scarlett Fever, and Giardia........Don't worry giardia is only contagious if you have come in contact with her poop, and I think I'm the only one who has, and I'm fine!  The doctor actually thinks that she is just a carrier of it, because she has not had any symptoms, other than eating poorly.  
We did get her blood drawn including vaccination titers, to see if they really did give her all the vaccinations they said they did.  They all came back that she was indeed immune to what she should be, so that was good news.  All her blood work looked pretty good, so we were glad to hear that as well.  The orphanage had said she never really got sick, my theory is that she didn't get sick because she was never exposed to anything.......I think she stayed indoors and was never given a chance to really strengthen her immune system.  
She isn't very fond of wind or the sun......She pretty much whines when the wind blows and she burry's herself when it's bright outside.  We are trying to get her more use to it, since she will be at a lot of baseball games this spring!  

So all in all we are still doing great!  
I had written a blog post on Gotcha Day while we were on the train going to her province, but because we met her the second we walked in the hotel, I never got a chance to post it. So hear it is, a little flash back to two months ago.......
There is also another slideshow for your enjoyment.... ;-)

We are on the train to Olivia’s province!  I am not nervous, just anxious.  Well I may be a little nervous, because I have only been on a train once in my life, and we just stopped and are sitting.  Anyway, Mike didn’t sleep well last night, he is very nervous.  He’s afraid she isn’t going to like him….so he has been up since about 3 am.  I slept good. J  When I think about her I just get teary eyed, yes already.  I know once I meet her I’m going to be a sobbing mess.  I keep thinking about what she is doing right now, what she must be thinking.  She is riding a train as well to the capital of her province, Jinan.  That is where we will be staying until Friday.  I think her train ride is a little longer than ours.  She must be scared to death; I doubt she has ever left the orphanage before.  I have been praying for her to have peace, peace in her heart when she meets us.  That she will understand our love and feel safe with us, that she won’t be afraid.  I know that only God can prepare her for this union.  So I put total faith in God that whatever happens He will take care of us all.  I am so thankful to God for leading us here, for putting us on this AMAZING path of adoption.  I love her so much already, I can’t begin to explain. 

Our guide, Sylvia was telling us yesterday that we will have 24 hours to make our final decision to adopt her.  Our decision has been made.  God did not bring us here to turn around and go home, childless.  This child has been placed in our hearts by a power above all understanding, a love that will out win any human trials.  Adoption is nothing short of a leap of faith.  Faith in God, faith that He will guide us, take care of us, and help us along the way.  I truly believe God has given Olivia to us, that we found her only through Him.  So many things that have happened throughout this process have only happened because God made it so.  When you pray for God to move mountains and then the next few days, all you see on church signs is “God moves mountains” or hear on the radio about God moving mountains, you know God is telling you to trust and have faith in him. God also timed everything perfectly. Adoption is not cheap but God does not always call the equipped but he ALWAYS equips the called.  And then there is the peace that I have had after a storm (or freak out).  Many times I have had anxiety or stress over something and then I would pray, worry, and pray some more, and there would be an overwhelming peace that would come to me, which would soon be followed by an answer to whatever was bothering me.  When I prayed for another child, I was also at a time in my life that I wanted to have a deeper understanding and relationship with God.   We had found an amazing church and I was longing for a day to day walk with God, not a Sunday fix.  I would pray for a life change to live and work for God.  I even strongly considered missionary work.  When God opened the door to adoption, I did not realize what else He was going to show me.  I have needed more faith in the last year than I ever would have imagined.  I have grown so strong in my relationship with Him.  It has been an overwhelming feeling of God’s strength and grace in me over the past year.  I finally understand what it’s like to want to need Him every day.  And this cannot be changed now.  This path does not end.  I will not let it.  I can describe it best as a relationship with your spouse, you thrive in it, you need it, you want it.  Yes, you can get lazy and relaxed and not continue to keep it special.  But that is when God will pull you back in and show you that you need Him always. 
Well, that’s about all for now.  I’m hoping to get off this train soon. Yay, we’re moving, hoping that means we’ll be pulling into the station soon.  Next post will have some beautiful pictures of a precious little girl!!! 
Love from China, Katie

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

She WAS saved.......

So many times over the past 2 months I have heard 
"God will bless you for doing this",
 "You are an amazing person",
 "You have saved her".  

I have such a hard time with all these 
And I couldn't explain it........until now. 
 I don't feel like a hero, I don't feel like I can take ANY credit here.  
Mike was playing with Olivia the other night and said
 "I'm so glad Mommy chose you", 
that made me feel really weird......
What about all the kids Mommy didn't choose......

I was laying in bed the other night thinking about all these phrases I keep hearing and why they bother me.....
It's because I didn't do this, 
I didn't choose her, I didn't save her.......
 I can not, will not take credit for this, 
God GAVE her to us.  God CHOSE her for us.  
God SAVED her.  
God loves her more than I could ever possibly imagine.  
He took her from a sad and lonely place and brought her here to our home and our family.  

Now what about all those other kids?
My heart is breaking.....
My heart is FOREVER changed.....
I cannot go on and pretend like I am content with my life.....
Don't get me wrong, I am happy, VERY happy. 
 I have an absolutely AMAZING husband, and four beautiful children. 
 However, I do not feel like I am suppose to just live this life of ease and wealth (not that we are rich monetarily by any means, but we do have everything we NEED), when there are children all over this world, starving for food...... 
for attention........
 for LOVE. 

I feel God has layed the orphans on my heart and I cannot will not ignore Him.  
This verse from Proverbs 24:12 tells us 
"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.   
This is such a powerful verse.  
Read it again,  
God knows we know, and holds us responsible to act..........
he WEIGHS our hearts and KEEPS our souls......

Another reoccuring phrase I keep hearing is 
"You've done your part, you've adopted one."  
I don't feel like my part is done.......I feel like I am to do more.  Many people can adopt one and be done.  And that is fine for them.  God may have planned only one adoption for them and then something else in and with their life.  And I'm not saying the act of adoption is for everyone.  Some aren't neccessarily meant to adopt a child, but I do believe everyone is meant to have some part in it, whether it be financial support, advocating, or just praying
So what am I going to do......not sure yet.....I'm praying and I'm asking you to pray with me.  
Pray for me and clarity and even more pray for the 147 MILLION orphans in this world.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Giving THANKS........

As I sit here writing thank you notes to all the people that have done so much for us through out this adoption (better late than never.....) I realized I needed to write a blog about my gratitude to everyone that has supported us, not just through gifts and meals but through their love, and hugs, and thoughts, and prayers.
I cannot begin to express the thankfulness I have for all of you that have loved us through this long journey and are loving on our new daughter now! 
We would not have been able to adopt Olivia with out God. 

God made this possible,
He moved moutains for us
and for her. 
But you all prayed for us and asked for God's support and love and help and guidance
and that I am forever greatful for! 
I am thankful for the ears that listened to me cry
for many years
wanting this child,
for listening to me cry
throughout the long year of waiting for her,
for watching me cry 
through pictures of meeting her for the first time. 
All of you that have been with me since the beginning
and those of you I have met a long the way,
I thank you!
Olivia is nothing short of a blessing from God
just as Chase, Ella, and Taylor are. 
God has given me 4 beautiful, amazing kids
and even though they have come to me in different ways,
they were still given to me by God,
with the same love and hope for all of them.
I have said it before and will say it forever,

Adoption is AMAZING! 

I am hooked! 
This little girl has my heart
and will never be without love again.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Leaving her for the first time......

Our kids school has a yearly fundraising auction, it's a wonderful and fun way to raise money for their school, rather than door to door selling, which I absolutely HATE!  Well we weren't going to go this year, as everyone knows, adoption is expensive, and while I am getting paid on "maternity leave" my checks are drastically less than normal.  So we are having to watch every penny until I go back to work.  Last minute, some wonderful friends had 2 tickets come open and offered them to us.  My mom said she would watch the kids, so we thought it would be fun and nice to have some adult time.  I was worried about leaving Olivia, but two nights prior, I had to run Chase around between youth group and baseball and Mike had a meeting, so my Mom stayed with the others because it was going to be after 9 before we got home. Olivia did fine, she didn't blink at the fact we were gone and my mom was here. So I thought she would be fine last night.  I still had this enormous amount of guilt that she would get the feeling we weren't coming back, just like when she was left with us by her Nanny.  Before we left she was tired and a little clingy, so I was loving on her then tried to distract her with watermelon (her favorite food).  It worked, she sat in the high chair, ate her water melon and kissed me goodbye.  Well, about 9:00 (a couple hours later) I got a phone call from Taylor telling me Olivia was crying and she wouldn't stop.  My mom got on the phone and said she had just started and she was trying to calm her down and Taylor took it upon himself to call us.  I talked to Olivia and I could hear her crying but she seemed to calm down hearing my voice.  Don't worry, I had already decided we needed to get home, Ella got on the phone and I told her we would be leaving soon to come home.  As soon as I hung up, Taylor called me again.  "Mom, you need to come home RIGHT NOW! She is crying a lot, she's really sad, and really cute, you have to come home!" (Adorable that boy......) I explained to him we were and so we left.  When we got home she was fine, laughing and playing, of course.  Mom said she had been fine until she got tired.  So it's a good thing we left because it probably would have happened again.  In fact I went up to change into my pajamas and came back down to her crying because Mike was trying to get her to settle and go to sleep, she just wanted her mommy!
 Anyway, I wanted to remember this first because I found it SO cute that Taylor was so worried about his baby sister. 
It's hard to believe we have been home one month today. 
She is still doing so well. 
Everyone comments on how relaxed and happy she is, most can't believe we've only been home a month.  They say she acts like she's always been ours. 

I agree, it feels like she has always been ours!