Monday, August 31, 2009

2:17 pm

What do you do when the phone rings at 2:17 pm? Well ANSWER IT, of course. But before you do - you PRAY that you won't sound disappointed with the person on the other end if it's not your social worker. BUT IT WAS our social worker - so then I try to hold my emotions in check as she tells me she has talked to Grand Rapids - do we DARE hope that it is about our TA??? AND IT WAS!! We got our TA today (sorry for all the caps - it's the only way to share our excitement over here!!) Now, just like God, we have one more hurdle before we are cleared to go. (I am telling you what - I could do a whole post on how God keeps me SO dependent on Him - not a bad thing, but for me, it's DAILY!!!) Ok - here's the deal - the consulate in China has an appointment for a Bethany group for Sept. 24, but they also have the power to say "NO, The Bilby's can not be in that appointment." We are begging for more prayer - that God moves the hearts of those workers - that they let us in. Our social worker reminded us that that leaves us right about a week to travel. She said we may even travel and have no itinerary or travel arrangements after arriving - but I just had to smile - see, that's exactly how God works with us!!!

We are just praising God for answered prayer - and we continue to sit at His throne for yet another request. We know He's just smiling as He has it ALL worked out already.
I love this scripture that a friend sent us today:
Psalm 115
11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.

12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
(I will add – he will bless the house of Joe and Becky)

13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.

14 May the LORD make you increase,
both you and your children.
(including Jada with Micah, Caleb, Aaron and Chloe)

15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
What a GREAT God we have - One that has been there before us and LONGS to bless us.

One other thing: I want to be SO cautious how I post this - I know there are many other families that are waiting that read our blog. Our hearts are truly with you - I pray your TA's came today as well but if they didn't - I pray, as I did for us every time word came out and we didn't get ours, that you will rest in His peace. There is NOTHING easy about this wait and we GET IT. We have been there and pray with you all.

So continue to pray with us - we are supposed to hear by Tuesday or Wednesday a firm "yes" or "no" - if it's a "yes" - this momma needs to "get packin'"!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where in the World is Jada?

Yes, we wonder the same thing most days!!! BUT - we do know where she lives. :)
So let me show you where we are headed to get our girl.
This is where she lives:
Changshu Jiangsu Province, China

We know that she has been in foster care for the last year and a half or so - but before that, she lived in the Changshu Social Welfare Institute. (Nope that's not it with the tall skyscraper in the picture - that's Changshu - gosh if that's where she lived I'm not sure I want to show her our humble abode!!!)







This is it -
Jada's Orphanage

We will actually be in Nanjing - the capital of the province - to get Jada. They will bring her to us. Looks big to me!! But then, I wasn't in one city last time that didn't look big to me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

No News

It is Friday night - 7:00 and we've heard nothing. I want to ask God MANY questions but He already knows them all and has the answers before I even ask. He may not ever show me the answers here on Earth and that's ok too. I give it to Him.

So you resolve yourself to all of that and then go online and read THIS. This is a family we do not know, but that sent their I800 to China the same day we did. UGH, do we dare to get those hopes up again!?!?! That is the roller coaster we are on! AND, if we did get our TA on Monday - could we still get into this coming travel group?? Our agency had said we would if we got it today - hmmm.
I could stew over these things all weekend but no, instead I'll just look at this!! (And pray!!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

HOPE

A friend shared this - it has been just what I needed today. May it encourage you too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Jada Fix

No news - we haven't given up hope - today could be the day - one never knows!! We pray daily and ask God for a miracle. We were looking online last night - comparing how long we've waited with others and we are, by far, waiting longer than most families - even I800 families. We can't understand it - it makes no earthly sense to us - but that's the great thing about God - it ALL makes sense to Him. We are SO touched by the outpouring of love that SO many have given to us - the prayers are amazing. We have people praying for us that we don't even know - God will get all the glory!

For now, we'll take this (to be honest, it only makes me want to go get her more!! But that's the momma's heart in me!!) This little gem was in our inbox this morning when we got up! Thanks Lord for a small glimmer of what we are doing all of this for!Does she look three to you?? I think she looks so old - and SO tall!! Slow down Jada - don't grow up so fast - we ARE coming!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prayer Power

I struggled on Sunday - it was just a rough day for me - and then guess what shows up on my desk at work on Monday??? This little book - that has hit all the right chords for me. The company was asking me to review it - but I know it was really GOD TELLING me to review it. He always knows what I need. So I title this post the same as the book - PRAYER POWER because I believe it - God moves mountains through prayer. Which is why I am typing this post. We REALLY need God to move a mountain for us - and I am asking for prayers for us.

We found out Monday that another family we have been in correspondence with - another Bethany family - with our same LOA, PA, I800 approval Date - let's just say we are tracking together in this adoption paperwork - well they got word that they have a Consulate Appointment and Travel Approval - and they will travel Sept. 9 to China. We are THRILLED for them - I love to see God work like that - but here's the deal - if we've been tracking together all along - how did we fall off the wagon and not get our letter to travel?? Hmmm.

All of that is ok - that may just be God's plan - and it isn't about travelling sooner - here's what it's really about in my mind. We found out that in October - our homestudy and background checks and fingerprints expire. For those who have not adopted, that may not mean much - but to those that have - you know it means paperwork, time, AND MONEY. Yes - like a substantial amount of money!! (This will be our fourth homestudy renewal and at $500 a pop - that adds up!!) So I dropped to my knees and begged God to work on our behalf - to move a mountain for us. And that is what we are asking of you as well.

If we could get word that we could travel in September - we would not have to renew. BUT - if we do not hear - we have to go through all of that renewal for probably ONE MONTH to travel. It seems like such a waste, but I know God knows. He has a plan. We are just praying - praying for mercy on this - that He will miraculously grant us acceptance to travel. We have even asked our agency to advocate for us - we are pulling out all of our "earthly" stops, now we ask God to pull out His "Heavenly" stops!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gifts from Him

God gives you just what you need when you need it!

He's given me words of comfort this week:
(I'll let you in on some of them because they may be something you need to hear as well!)

Isaiah 42:16
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them,


John 9:1-3
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be manifest in him.


Isaiah 43: 5-7
Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

Here is what we are praying for this week - It could be SOON that we hear on travel. We have thought since June that maybe it would happen, but now, after watching others on the internet and being in touch with our agency - we have been told we are close. Well, with the whole new CDC ruling on TB tests, we have asked our agency to test Jada now - we just need to know before we travel, if she can even come home or not. It is SO sad, so many of these children can test positive - it's not that they are contagious - it's that TB is much more common in Asia AND especially in orphanages and many have been exposed. Even out of Chloe's adoption group, one little girl came back and tested positive. So, as long as Jada is not considered "contagious", she will be allowed to travel. We are covering this test in prayer - if she comes back positive and can not travel - that just makes things harder for us - so we are praying now that God clears her of any traces and she gets a good report.

Secondly - Jada should get her second package this week. This is BIG to us, we sent her fun things we thought she would enjoy - which isn't easy - we really wanted to find things that she can use for her senses, other than sight. We are getting better at thinking that way - just give us a bit and we'll be pros! We are just praying that God touches this foster mom to share with Jada what is ahead - to help prepare her for her family. We aren't naive, this transition could really be interesting, but we know that God has that already taken care of as well.

I just wanted to thank Him for His words of encouragement to me this week - words that tell me not to worry - and words that share of His love for everyone - reminding me again that even those with disabilities are created in His image and for His purpose. What a mighty God we serve!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Running Water

I had a meeting yesterday afternoon, so I had to leave home for a bit. When I returned I heard water running somewhere. That seemed odd to me - my first thought was a toilet running - but nope, wasn't that. So I kept searching. I just could not locate it - but two things caught my eye - a sweatshirt lying in the toy room - odd for a 90 degree day AND a watering can. Hmmm.....

I peeked outside through the bedroom window and found the water - the hose had been left on and there was water gushing on our back patio. I FIRST, wasted more water and called the kids up to see who the culprit was (I know, I know, should have turned the water off first!!) and then sent the culprit out to turn it off. It was one of those stories where you are furious - I mean how much water we just wasted I have no clue - but the story was quite comical.

Apparently Chloe told the boys that she went outside and she could not see the flowers growing so she wanted to water them. The boys saw that as a wonderful activity for her and allowed her to venture out. She wore her sweatshirt - since that is what people do when they water (even in 90 degrees????) and took her watering can and watered VERY important plants - one by one. When she was done - she went inside - never worrying about the water.....

There you have it - "How the Bilby's Wasted 85 Gallons of Water in one Day" OR "When the Cat's Away...."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What are we up to?

Not so much to share on the home front, but I will say - we are closer to Jada than we were yesterday!! That's what I cling to over here. Are we tired of waiting? Yep! Are we wondering what in the world China is up to? Yep! Can we do anything about any of it? Nope! So we continue to wait and pray. We have been following other families that are on our I-800 track and we are encouraged - a couple of other families that sent their paperwork in about the same time to China have their Travel Approval (TA) and that is what we are waiting for! Once we get that - then we wait for a consulate appointment and we can FLY - literally!

The whole TB immunization issue is now a concern since the CDC came down with some new rules. That is one more thing to cover in prayer - we DO NOT wish to go through anything like this brave family.

I took Chloe in for her Kindergarten physical yesterday - the girl is in the 90% percentile for height - she just keeps growing! People tell us she is tall and that proved it! She had to get four shots though - she kept asking me all the way there, "Do you think they will decide I don't need the shots?" Hated to let her down, but I said I doubted they'd do that. So no, she got them all - didn't cry out loud, but those silent tears running down her cheeks about did me in. Glad that's done!!

In the meantime, since I have nothing more of excitement to share - enjoy our new favorite!
Oh, and for this SUPER HOT weather - you might need my other new favorite - that was sent to me as a sample - one of the best I've tried yet! (Do you see a fruity theme going on here??)
And Chloe won't let me leave off one of our favorite new games - Hey, we may even learn some Mandarin while we play - Don't worry Jada - at least we'll be able to count with you!
So there you have it - nothing exciting but you can count on me to keep you informed.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chloe's Art

This was laying on my desk when I got home today. I'm thinking that China needs to see this and know we are now ready to go!! (Make sure and read Chloe's words at the top. You can double click on the picture to make it larger.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Proud of THE MAN!

When Joe gets a bee in his bonnet I start to get worried - sometimes. BUT this man is GOOD!!! He started working on our kitchen last Thursday - and now, less than a week later, he is truly almost done. Here is the BEFORE - this was shortly after we moved in 10 years ago - I loved it then too - loved the blue soffit - I just think he's so smart!But one thing we've always disliked are those SUPER dark cabinets - in a small kitchen - it just made things look even smaller. SO - thus begins Joe's BIG WORK!!! He tried stripping and varnishing again but that dark grain was STILL dark - we knew our only option was paint - that scared me, but the guy is a genius!!So there's one drawer face he has to make yet - but I couldn't wait to post so I went ahead - just picture it finished in your mind!! :)You will notice just a portion of the desk in the top picture - bottom right - it was made of the same wood - so to keep it all matching he painted it too. All new hardware - new lighting - the guy is just good - and carpentry is NOT his job!!! I am impressed. We plan to do all black accents - that we have not even looked for yet - but when we do - I may have to impress you all with that too!! Good job Joe - I am proud!
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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