Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Today I had the privilege of going with Leo and his mom to a doctor's visit. He now weighs 16 pounds. It was a good visit, but it left me emotionally drained. I am still not able to put into words our visit on Friday and today is the same. The feeling are intense and leave me feeling emotionally drained. It is extremely evident that Leo is loved by his mom. He is bonded to her and she to him. Today, I felt like an outsider, someone coming between a mother and her son. In my head, I know adoption is her choice, but today I have begun to see and sense the grief and lose she is experiencing and will most likely experience for the rest of her life. My heart is breaking for her.

I arrived home feeling drained, but mom-mom was on the scene and had everything under control. We can only do what we are doing with God's strength and the support of family and friends. Mom-mom offered to take us out to lunch and shopping. The kids all had a great time buying some "gifts" aka- needed items for Leo. Thank You Mom-mom and Pop-pop for all you do for us.

We have been blessed by so many in the last few days and we greatly appreciate each blessing. We had a friend offer to gather some guys and come help Jeremy finish a basement project and turn our office into a bedroom. This is such a huge blessing as this is something we were planning on doing, but Leo's arrival and need of a sleeping space as made it a higher priority. We have also been offered an infant car seat. God is providing!

God even cares about the little things. We had to take a CPR class. Ideally, we would take the class in the next 2 weeks before Leo's arrival. I looked around and finally found a class time that was convenient. I called and registered. We were the first people to register. I called back on Friday to pay, Jeremy and I were still the only 2 registered. I asked if they would still do the class. The women thought they would, but wasn't certain. I explained to her that we really, really needed to take this class because we were adopting and things were moving really fast. I guess I sounded desperate enough because when we showed up for the class last night the instructors asked who we knew. They were certain we were either VIP's or knew someone high up because they had gotten a phone call telling them that they couldn't cancel the class even though there were only 2 registered. Two instructors, who were wonderful, taught Jeremy and I CPR in record time. It was just the kind of class we needed- upbeat and quick! Because we finished the class in record time, Jeremy and I had time for a mini date at Rita's.

I love that God gives us tangible evidences of his love for us just when we need them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Simply Obeying

Today has been a whirlwind day. Lots of cleaning and straightening and cleaning and organizing and cleaning going on. I am about to give up. But first I have to go purchase more outlet covers from the Dollar Store.

If you haven't guessed yet, a Social Worker is coming to our home tonight to check us out and make sure our home will be a safe and loving environment for Leo. While here she will check out smoke detectors, outlet covers and a multitude of other things, but she will also talk one on one with each child to gain their insight into Leo becoming part of our family. The responses should be interesting especially from one certain almost 6 year old boy.

When we talk with people about Leo joining our family the responses range from "Wow, I could never do that" to "you're amazing". The fact is we are just an ordinary family attempting to do our best at following God's will for our family. I was reminded of this verse the other day.

Proverbs 24:12 (New International Version)

12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

We know about Leo, for some reason a social worker thought of our family when Leo's file came across their desk. There is no denying that this little guy deserves a family. Leo might not have been in our plans, but he was in God's plans for our family.

We were ready to adopt again- a toddler- Leo is basically an infant.

We thought- go back to China- Leo is in the USA.

We had some specific special needs in mind- Leo's needs are nothing we feel prepared for.

We gave all our infant stuff away- (I was done with diapers)- Leo will be in diapers for a long time.

Isaiah 55:7-9 (New International Version)

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Leo may not be what we had in mind, but slowly he has become a part of our family and we haven't even met him yet! God has expanded our vision and given us a love for this little boy. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and wonder how he is doing. I wonder how his mom is coping. Is she already grieving for this little boy? My arms are longing to hold him and rock him.

We know it will be a transition that will have ups and downs and be filled with difficulty. Leo will have numerous doctor's appointments and therapies. He will also grieve for the only mom he has ever known. He will miss her smell, her voice, her touch. We will need to grieve with him and yet find ways to help him remember the women who gave birth to him and took care of him for the first year of his life.

God is in control. He has brought Leo into our lives, we may not know why he picked this little guy for us. We don't need to know the why's, we just need to obey. So we are no one's hero, we are simply obeying the still small voice of a God who loves us.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's gonna happen!

With our first 4 children, we had approximately 9 months to prepare. When Jonathan joined our family, there was a very structured process in place and we knew approximately when he would join our family. We had about 1 year to prepare for his arrival. Apparently, God thinks we should know what we are doing by the 6th child because we have less than 1 month to prepare for Leo's arrival.

Leo turned one on April 30th. He is currently living with his birth-mom. She has made the most difficult decision a mom can make. She has decided that she can not provide for the lifelong care he will need. Both of Leo's birth parents are Chinese, but his mom is currently residing in Pennsylvania. Jonathan is so excited that he will have a brother who is Chinese.

There are still many unknowns to the medical care Leo will require, but he is already connected to many wonderful doctor's at a fantastic children's hospital in Philadelphia. For the immediate future we will be keeping all of his doctors the same so that we can get caught up on exactly what is going on with Leo.

We are scheduled to meet with Leo and his birth-mom on May 13th. I can't even begin to describe the mixture of emotions that I have concerning that meeting. After that meeting we will begin transitioning Leo to our home and it looks like he should be home permanently with us by the beginning of June.

There are still so many unknown twists on this road we are traveling down. We are excited, but we are scared too. We set out on this journey with our hearts bent towards hearing God's calling, and following it. Did we get it right? Did our hearts "hear" the right thing?

We comfort ourselves with the reality that God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. We also remember that no one is ever really ready for life change, no matter how joyous.

So, now is the time to pull up our socks and get ready for our family to grow again. Now is a time to prepare!