Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Final Home Study Complete

Monday afternoon we had our last home study.  Our home study agent came to our house to meet our kids and ask them some questions.  I was definetly more nervous for this study then any of the others we had.  Scott took the day off from work and we spent the whole day straightening up the house, installed a couple smoke detectors and just spent the day getting ready.  We literally were down to the wire.  She was due here around 3:15 and I was jumping in the shower at 2:50. 

She certainly got a taste of "normal" life here.  The boys raced each other up the basement steps to meet her, one grabbing the others leg and attempting to pull him back down the steps so they could make it up first.  Then as they showed her their room our youngest decided to jump from the ladder off the top bunk, just after she said "I hope you don't jump down from up there."  While she was taking a look at our room they came storming in, leaping on our bed, one on top of the other, wrestling around, pillows and a blanket flying in the air.  Oh yeah, she certainly got a sight of "normal" here. 

They were still polite and answered all her questions and then they went off to play, and quietly I might add.  Then Scott and I answered a few more questions for her and she left.  That was that.  Now we wait for her to write her home study report and once we get that we can move on to the next step.

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."  Psalm 127:3-5

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grace and Healing - A Must Read!

When we were planning for our spaghetti dinner we always set out to have it be more than just spaghetti and fellowship.  We committed this evening to the Lord early on and continually asked that He would take this event and do wonderous works for His glory.  I'll admit that I (Jane) always assumed God would use it to lead someone else to adoption.  BUT just like His word says:   
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV) "
While I have yet to hear of anyone considering adoption after attending Friday night, there is a testimony I did hear.  This is one filled with grace and healing that only the Lord could do.  It is not something I could have ever "thought" of myself, and it causes my heart to rejoice and be thankful that "His ways are higher"!!! 
Yesterady, a dear sister shared with me something that took place on Friday night at our Spaghetti Dinner.  I asked her if she would be willing to write a testimony of it to post on our blog.  She willingly agreed, both of us hoping that maybe God would use it to bring healing to any mother who has walked the road of giving up their child for adoption.  This is her testimony...but before you read any further I will warn you to have tissues ready!  She writes: 
"Nine years ago my daughter was going through health and financial issues.  She was in a dilemma, as the father of her child was incarcerated, and she already had 2 other children.  She sought the advice of her social worker, who gave her the phone number of Catholic Social Services.  She became very close to a social worker there who did not judge her, but directed her to an open adoption program.  Through this program she learned about different families who were waiting for a child.  She became quite familiar with her family that she picked for her baby.  When her baby was born, she held her and cared for her for 2 days in the hospital.  Her doctor and nurses told my daughter that she was brave and loving to do this for her newborn daughter.  On the third day, my daughter, the social worker and I went to the office; met the parents, and handed over the child to the excited parents.  There were tears of joy and sorrow in that room.
My daughter received pictures and letters from the adoptive parents; however, my daughter still had doubts that she did the right thing, and suffered depression.  We have seen this child and have talked with her.  We have relayed these feelings to our daughter that her child is happy, loved and cared for.
Last Friday night, my daughter came to the dinner; however, when the video started she darted for the door.  Something pushed her back.  She watched the video. When she saw the happiness on that child, and entire family, a great healing occurred.  She thanked me for taking her and said that now she knows that she did the right thing.  The Lord was in that room."
If you have adopted a child I want to encourage you to pray for your child's biological mom.  Maybe you already do, but if you don't, please consider it.  As your child's parents, you can lift their biological mommy up in prayer.  Why?  Because maybe giving up her child was the most difficult decision of her life.  Maybe it was circumstances like the woman above, or maybe it was a teen pregnancy, or maybe her country wouldn't allow her to keep her child.  Whatever the circumstances may be, there is a good chance she needs healing, whether from guilt, shame, depression, a drug/alchohol addiction, a grieving aching heart that wanted to keep her child, but couldn't, or maybe it was something else.  Consider these things and let God's compassion move you to pray, for her, or any mom who has walked the road of giving a child up.  Realize that this woman loved her child enough to give them life, and now that life has become your gift.  You can choose to give a gift back to her...PRAY!  Thank God for her and pray she is comforted by His love and grace somehow, someway.  Pray for her salvation and for healing; however God leads you, just pray. 
If you attended our dinner and you enjoyed a fortune cookie then you will remember we had this verse inside of them:
 "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."  (Matthew 25:40b ESV)
Lastly, if you are wondering what video she watched, you can click Adoption Video  You can also find it in our blog archives under "Adoption Video" posted on May 6, 2012.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spaghetti Dinner

 "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."   (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

May 4, 2012 - I woke up in the morning and had 13 emails in my inbox, all from different friends who woke up praying for us. I had three text messages from other friends also encouraging and praying for us. I spoke with a friend last night who said she woke up several times throughout the night and the first thing on her mind was us so she prayed every time she woke up. Well I can testify that those prayers were answered.  She was losing sleep, but I on the other hand slept all night despite being a little anxious about the home study and spaghetti dinner. I woke up with a song in my head and a peace that passes all understanding, and that peace lasted throughout the day. It's amazing to me that so many care and the many ways they continue to show their care for us.

We had our second home study in the morning.  It went really well and when we left I said to Scott that I needed any "Easy" button, because it was a lot easier than I had expected.  Our home study agent is a sweetheart and I'm enjoying getting to know her as she gets to know us. 

In the evening, 239 people gathered together at Penn Valley Church to eat spaghetti, watch a video and hear our story of why adoption.  They came out to support us in this journey.  It was overwhelming!!!  We don't even know how to begin thanking everyone.  Several dear friends helped us with planning and preparing for the evening.  Many people donated some wonderful gifts for a raffle.  We had 17 items ranging from gift certificates, to handbags, a BBQ set, candles,  5 beautiful gift baskets and flowers.  Friends and teens came to help set-up, serve dinner, man the raffle table, and clean up.  So many others prayed, even those that live far away and couldn't come still supported us through prayer and encouragement. 

I know everyone is anxious to hear how we did with our Spaghetti Dinner event.  We compiled every one's envelopes into a box and will be FedExing them all to our agency Monday.  We should get a phone call or email sometime in the coming week with a total.  So hang in there and be patient with us.

I can tell you that a total of $1600.00 in cash was donated either through the donation box or our raffle.  That is incredible!!!  We deposited it this morning and will be adding a check in that amount to the FedEx package going out on Monday.  I promise as soon as we hear a grand total we will post it.

We hope all those who came out enjoyed their meal and a great time of fellowship.  In case you didn't figure it out, May 4th, was our 16th wedding anniversary.  We joked in the morning that planning this event was like planning our wedding reception, only we didn't have as many people at our wedding.  We could not think of a better way to celebrate 16 years than having those we love dearly gather together for a cause we are becoming more and more passionate about.  So thank you all for making our 16th anniversary one we will never forget!!! 

Here are a few pictures from the evening. 

Our creative kids made this sign.

40 lbs of pasta

The Raffle Table

Can I get a drum roll?

We received an email from our agency and the total received from our Spaghetti Dinner was:


We don't even know where to begin thanking everyone for all of the support you have given from praying, helping and contributing to this event. We need $5,400 to finalize our dossier and God has seen fit to use this event and so many of you to help us reach the goal. We are humbled and amazed and will never know the best way to thank everyone for their generosity.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:19

Adoption Video

"Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name."
Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

We played this video at our Spaghetti Dinner.  The LeSuer's are a local couple who adopted their daughter from China in 2011.  This is their story, and a beautiful one at that.  Before you hit play, scroll down and hit pause on our Playlist to avoid hearing music and the video at the same time.

This video was done by Dave Peters of Global Story2 Films.  If you are looking to share your story by way of video this is the guy to contact. 
You can check out his website here: Global Story2 Films

 Grab some tissues, you're gonna need them!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 4th is going to be busy day

Just wanted to give a quick update.  We have our second home study tomorrow morning, May 4th.  It's exciting but it falls on a crazy day as we also have our Spaghetti Dinner event tomorrow night.  It's going to be one busy day.

For those who are coming tomorrow night and have been confused as to what a Chinese Auction is, I wanted to clarify so you know what to expect.

It's really not an auction at all, but more of a raffle.  We will have a table set up with all kinds of goodies from gift certificates to gift baskets that will be raffled off.  You may purchase tickets, write your name on them and deposit them into a jar.  Each item will have it's own raffle jar, this way if there is a certain item that you really like you can put your raffle tickets in the jar to the prize you wish to win.  If you like several items, you can put a few of your raffle tickets in each items jar.  The more tickets you place in a jar, the more chances you have at winning.  The winner will be drawn at random, sometime during the evening.  The reason for this type of raffle is to help eliminate you winning something you didn't really want.  You only buy tickets for those items you like.  So that is what a Chineses auction is.  It's not really an "auction."  Hopefully that helps with any confusion.

We are very excited to be with so many of you tomorrow night.