Thursday, March 27, 2008

I-171H!!!



Today, I received a surprise in the mail! Our I-171H for Taiwan!!! This means that if we get to adopt Li-Xuan, there will not be any delays on our part trying to get paperwork together and we can submit our paperwork just as soon as possible!!! Yippee! I am surprised because the USCIS still hasn't cashed our $360 change of country fee.... hmm... anyways, no complaints here, just excited to have this piece of paper in my hand! Tomorrow, I'll get a copy of it notarized and sent off to ASIA!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What??? We have to wait?

Ok, So it looks like we have to wait some more.....

Yesterday when we talked on the phone with Fei, it sounded like as soon as we turned in our paperwork and if we were the FIRST family, we'd automatically get to adopt Li-Xuan... well, that is NOT the case... I received an email from Fei that said Taiwan receiped our homestudy addendum and LOI and we are so far FAMILY #2 who has turned in the paperwork ... (sounds like we are family #2 for every line).... anyways, The orphanage has decided to take as many applicants as possible until April 4th and then a committee will decide out of those applicants who gets to adopt her... So, I am a little bit disappointed that now we have to wait for 2+ weeks to find out if we are chosen or not... Looks like we might end up finding out if she's ours while we are vacationing in Gulf Shores, AL after Judah & Trish's wedding. It'll be kinda cool to find out while we are there with the family.

I trust that God is the ultimate decision maker on this and even though I know it'll be hard if we don't get her, I know that God's will and perfect plan for her and us is what I want. Let it be according to Your will, Lord.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Extraordinary Monday!

Aaron usually has a full day of surgeries on monday, but it seems God had other plans for him today.... He had ZERO patients scheduled for surgery, which meant, he could stay home with us! The boys started Spring Break today, so that was a treat for us... and as it turns out, we really NEEDED him to be at home because God wanted us to pursue adopting the little girl on our agency's waiting child list!!! We woke up as usual and had our bible reading time and Aaron & I started praying, talking about adoption, and meditating on scriptures that I felt the Lord gave me lastnight as I was thumbing through the book of Psalms. I couldn't sleep lastnight, partly because I was feeling so much excitement about the possibility of petitioning for the little girl so I decided to do what Bill Johnson had said in one of his messages... (He said that sometimes he just reads the book of Psalms from chapter one and he keeps going through all the chapters until he finds one or two or more that God speaks to Him).. So, I did that... went through the Psalms after praying God would speak to me....

He gave me a BUNCH of them, but here is one that REALLY brought peace to me and I felt like He was directly speaking it to us for this situation:

The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."

When the LORD is watching over you and telling you that HE IS GUIDING US ALONG THE BEST PATHWAY FOR OUR LIFE, then there is NO FEAR. I had mixed feelings about "What if this is NOT God??" "What if this is just ME wanting what I want?" So, knwoing that God knows our hearts, our weaknesses, and knowing that He knows we just want what He wants, this verse gave me so much peace.

Another incredible one He gave us was this scripture...

DAY BY DAY THE LORD TAKES CARE OF THE INNOCENT, AND THEY WILL RECEIVE AND INHERITANCE THAT LASTS FOREVER... PSALM 37:18

When I felt this scripture came from the Lord, All I could say was "wow"... God KNOWS this little girl... He "takes care of the innocent"... She is an innocent child, born in a sad situation, but God is saying "HER LIFE IS NOT OVER... HER CIRCUMSTANCES LOOK BAD, BUT I AM WRITING HER STORY... SHE IS GOING TO RECEIVE AN INHERITANCE THAT WILL LAST FOREVER. I explained to Aaron that I felt strongly that whoever ends up in our home will inherit GOD as part of her heritage!!! She may not have heritage that lasts forever now, but she will once she gets here. In my heart, I felt like SHE IS THE ONE that will inherit this... but at the same time, I didn't know she was 100% ours yet.... I just knew that we were supposed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.... Aaron agreed totally that we are supposed to move forward and ask our agency about her and begin the process of petitioning for her... So, at 9AM, I called our agency and asked Marci and she told me that there were lots of people asking about her, but that we had a good chance of adopting her since our homestudy is already in Taiwan and we could be the first family to submit a homestudy for her. So, we asked for more info and planned to call Dr. Faucett (infectious disease specialist that Aaron works with alot) or Dr. Chunn (pediatric infectious disease specialist) about her condition. As we began to pray and wait for the paperwork to be emailed over, we felt like God was saying to us NOT to get a "second opinion" about her condition... that we need to go by faith and not look into what others might think her life would be like with this disease...I was waiting on Aaron to make the final decision and when he said "Yes, I think we should pursue adopting her." I started bawling.... It just suddenly hit me that this girl could be our daughter!!! So, we called Marci back and said we want to pursue adopting her! She transferred me to Fei, who gave me instructions on how to write the LOI and get a homestudy addendum done to add Hep B as a special need condition. So, Aaron called Juline Bodnar, our social worker and she agreed to fax an addendum over to Fei... In the meantime, we received the information about the little girl... her name is Li-Xuan Wong... Her mother is 37 years old and has 3 other children with her ex-husband... the oldest is a girl (13 years old) and lives with her grandmother and the 2 boys live with the dad... She has no contact with her ex-husband or her sons. She lives alone working so she can send money to her mother and her daughter. Her story made me cry... it made me realize how empty life can get and how much that could've been ME. God indeed is good to bring Li-Xuan out of that life and into a new life. She was born at 4:27pm on 1/31/08 (only a day after Eden Askew, her cousin!)

We typed up a new LOI and received a call back from Marci asking us to think about submitting an LOI that includes a little more info on how to treat her condition. So we did that.

I called Ann Mara, Anna, mom, Gloria about our potential adoption! I am so excited!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday





On Easter Sunday, we were able to hang out at home ~ we had already gone to church lastnight, so we spent a great deal of time in the morning just relaxing... We also spent a considerable amount of time praying, talking and celebrating Easter. WE did some Easter egg hunt, colored some eggs, made egg salad sandwiches from the colored eggs, etc.

It was a great Easter... I am so thankful that Jesus not only died for me but ROSE from the dead so We can LIVE!!!! Jesus died so that this little girl can be HEALED of her disease. He died so that I can have a life that is abundant in Him. My brain is too human to comprehend what He's done for me, but this day, with all the understanding I have and the understanding I don't have... I give Him THANKS.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Ordinary Saturday???

Yesterday's post spoke of a "sign"... well, I didn't write about that "sign" because I didn't know about this "sign" until Saturday, March 22.

We woke up, had pancakes with the boys, like we often do on saturdays when Aaron is home, and then we started to read our daily bible reading and have some time together (Aaron & I) in the great room... As I started talking about the little girl with Hepatitis B, Aaron & I felt like maybe God is stirring something in us and this COULD be God for us to pursue her.... we decided to just be in a state of listening and waiting all day and to see if God would just show signs and begin to confirm what we felt like He was saying to us...

So, as we cleaned our bedroom, we decided to listen to some teaching tapes by Bill Johnson and in this teaching, he talked about how God sometimes talks to us in ways we are not really fully thinking he would (that is WAY over simplifying the message since Bill Johnson is a very deep, intense bible teacher/pastor). As he said that Aaron stopped the teaching for a minute and said "You know, I remembered something that I saw yesterday.." and he began to tell me that yesterday (the 21st), he was in the lunch room at work and opened the regrigerator and found a BAG marked "Hepatitis B Vaccination" on it... He thought to himeself this was very strange because it's not an everyday occurence to see a bag marked Hepatitis B vaccination in the LUNCH room refrigerator! He said "I think this is God trying to tell us something!"

So, we thanked God and asked Him to direct us step by step and to keep giving us confirmations throught the weekend so that maybe Monday, we would be able to call the Agency and find out a little more about this little girl...

Westside Church was hosting a very special guest speaker on this day... it was a man named Nick Vujicic . He is an amazing man... Click on his name and checkout who he is...

Anyways, he came to our church to teach during all services, so we went on saturday at 4pm.... the church was PACKED! It was so amazing to watch and hear how God has used him in his life without any limbs. God used his message to bring HUNDREDS to people to salvation in Jesus. It was amazing. That meeting left me feeling like "wow, God really can do anything through anyone who is willing to just obey His voice"... No handicaps, no Hepatitis B is going to stop our daughter from becoming fully alive in Christ... If she is ours, God can heal her or even work through her virus. He is limitless and I want to stop putting limits on what He can do.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday and a "sign"

Woke up as usual this morning, the boys didn't have school but I was really sick... did some stuff around the house... Not much of a day to speak of, but around 5pm, I checked our agency's website to see if they had posted a picture of the waiting children they wrote us about... sure enough, I saw the first little girl, was not really drawn to her, saw the next one, very cute, but nothing much stirred in my heart... and then I saw the 3rd one... my heart just melted and I wanted so badly to adopt her but felt in my heart that it could never happen because of her condition... I have fears about what this condition could mean to our family... Could God be calling us to adopt her so that He can heal her? Could God be calling us to adopt her and for us to learn to deal with a child with special needs? I just didn't know what to think and because I wasn't really educated on hepatitis, I initially just felt fear and doubt that we could ever adopt her... So, I continued to just ask God to show us and direct our path. We certainly don't want to do anything that is not His plan. WE have to think about what this would mean to our family and the people around us. So much to consider.... I did some research on hepatitis in general, and specifically hepatitis b.... I felt reassured as I read further into what a typical life of a person with this condition would face. When Aaron came home, I asked him about his thoughts on whether God is calling us to adopt her. We both prayed and it was clear that God was beginning to soften His heart to this because He said that He felt God say to Him " Would you adopt her even with her condition and trust that I will work things out for you?" We just began to pray about it and since there wasn't any action we could take immediately because it is the weekend, we decided we would wait on Him the whole weekend and just see how He leads us... it's obvious that He is already doing something and it's possible that we would seriously consider adopting this little girl! It is exciting and very scary all at the same time!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The DAY of Miracle Wonders

This day came like every morning... Aaron made me coffee, I read my bible, took the boys to school, etc... After I took Michael to afternoon kindergarten, I sat down to check my email and there was an email from ASIA (our Taiwan agency) with the subject...

NEW TAIWAN WAITING CHILDREN... in the email was written:

Dear Aaron and Pamela,


ASIA has received 3 more waiting children from Taiwan! We have a 2 year
old girl with Heptatitis C, a 3 month old girl with Hepatitis C and an
angioma on her head, and a 1 ½ month old girl with Hepatitis B. Home
studies for these children would need to be submitted by April 4th. The
agency in Taiwan will accept as many home studies as are submitted for
these children......


My eyes went immediately to the one with Hepatitis B... I thought to myself... "I wonder if this is the "miracle-wonders" God is talking about?? I asked God to reveal it to us if it was Him and that He will direct us to research further into this but just let it go and let me forget about it if it's not His plan... I was curious to find out exactly what Hepatitis B was, so I called Aaron and asked him and he said it could be good or bad...and he said we can talk about it when he got home...

Well, he didn't come home in time to really discuss this, so I decided to let it go for now...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joshua 3:5

This morning, during my bible reading time, our assigned reading was Joshua 3. When I got to the verse where it reads... "Sanctify yourselves. Tomorrow God will work miracle-wonders among you." It jumped out at me.... I was a little bit shocked because it jumped out at me and I felt the Spirit say in my heart... "This is for you... do this today and I'll do a miracle-wonder"... So, I asked God in my heart... "How do you want me to sanctify myself today?" to which, I felt like He just simply said "Walk close with me and really watch the way you live"... to me, it meant to really pay attention to live the way God would want me to live today... He gave me a few ideas about how to go about sanctifying myself and even though i have NO IDEA why or what He was going to do TOMORROW, I tried my best to obey... Keeping Him on the forefront of my thoughts... it was easy to do in some aspects, because I volunteered in Michael's class, where they were doing a Good Friday Theme Day... I was really able to focus on Jesus and what He did for me personally.

We'll see what brings tomorrow... God, I am waiting for Your miracle wonder.. it may not even be something I see...