Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Giving Heart

Tonight before bed, Andrew found a dime. He was so excited, and Derek said he could keep it. Andrew started jumping up and down saying he was rich. Then, he stopped. He walked to Cherish’s room and asked her if she wanted the money. She said, “Sure.” Andrew put it in her piggy bank and excitedly announced: “Now you are rich!!” I said, “Andrew, you don’t have to give your money away. You can keep it.” Andrew said: “I know. It’s my offering.” Derek and I just looked at each other in amazement. Derek quietly called Andrew out of the room and gave him two dimes and a nickel and told him to put them in his piggy bank.

I have a feeling that’s what God does with those who share what they have with others.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Julie's Fingerprints

On Saturday, February 21st, Derek and I received our fingerprinting appointments from the USCIS. Since I am continually marked as "unclassifiable" and invited for reprinting, I decided to try to get into the USCIS building ahead of my appointment. Several people were praying as my three sick children and I made our way to the USCIS building.

The guard asked EVERYONE wanting entrance into the building if they had an appointment for the day--everyone, that is, EXCEPT me!!!!!!! No guard or officer asked me! I was praising the Lord!

The wait was 2½ hours long--with silence and sitting still. Since I was accustomed to being in and out in 15 minutes or less, I only took in a chapter book for Cheirsh and three picture books between Hope and Andrew. But, the children did GREAT!!!!!!! With nothing allowed in the building except the invitation, photo ID, and books, the children sat quietly and read (or listened to me read)!!!!!!!! I mean silently! For 2½ hours!! It was obvious that people were praying over us!

The next day I contacted an officer at the USCIS office to let them know my standard practice: Take prints, mark them "unclassifiable", reinvite me, take prints, mark them "unclassifiable", get background check on my social security number. It's the "Julie standard". The officer was very polite and said she would look into my case daily to send out a reinvite as soon as the file marked "unclassifiable" came in.

Today she called. She said, "Your prints came through, and they are readable...!" "READABLE"!!!!!!!! After years of having no fingerprints and having trouble with Immigration, my prints were readable!!!! As soon as Derek found Daniel, he began praying that my prints would "grow back." Also, he put me on C.O. Bigelow No. 140 ("soap free" cleanser), and it repaired my prints! They were readable! This means a quicker time frame for bringing Daniel home!!!! We were hugging, jumping up and down, and squealing from the thankfulness that was oozing out of us!!!!

We are overflowing with thanksgiving to God! He is so powerful! Praise to Jesus!

Next up: Derek's prints get taken on March 3rd.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Giving Heart

Tonight Andrew was voluntarily scrubbing the grout of the kitchen floor for me before I mopped. When he was almost finished I said, "You know, Buddy, I'm going to give you money for helping me do this chore." A little later I asked, "So, what do you think you'll buy with your money?" He said, "Tickets for you and Cherish to go to the skating rink." !!!! heart emoticon

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

We celebrated Chinese New Year with some very cool people, and the children enjoyed dancing together as the "Flower Garden Dancers".

Fun times!

Friday, February 20, 2015

What a Fabulous Week!

Love, loved, loved being with family and friends this week!

Valentine's dinner with Grandma:

All-church skate night:

Learning the Fox-Trot and ballroom dance with Pappy...
and Cherish as my partners
(since Derek stayed home with the littles):
Pappy and Nanny:
And, Cherish's other sweet dance partner:

What precious people we got to spend time with
(including all the ones I didn't get pictures of)!

Love you all!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

She has come so far!

At 4½-years-old Hope did not know how to run or jump. Actually, her balance was so poor that she could hardly take a couple of steps without falling on her face. At 4½-years-old she didn't even know how to put her arms out in front of her to catch herself when falling.

So, if you saw me walking with her, you probably saw me holding her hand--until I realized that I was probably going to dislocate her wrist from how many times I would catch her as she was falling. Thus, I began holding her arm, between her wrist and elbow.

Well, in a little over a year since we have had her home, she has learned to put her hands down and catch herself as she falls--though she rarely falls any more! In addition, she has learned to run(!), jump(!), ride a tricycle(!!), and this week, she graduated to a bicycle with training wheels!!! Her balance has so greatly improved!!! 

And, she has begun showing an interest in learning to roller skate! Derek and I are so excited to see how far this girl has come! She is amazing!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Morning

Our three Valentines made us breakfast in bed!
And then took a picture:

After we ate, they presented us with gifts they had made.

We love you, Sweet Valentines!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"What are you, crazy?!"

"You are getting another child? That's like a couple of thousands of dollars! You're crazy!"

"A fourth child? How on earth can you afford to adopt again [on a clerk's salary]?"

"God is a 'Father to the fatherless'. Pray for them. He'll take care of them."

"I wish my husband and I could adopt; we just don't have the money."


Are we crazy?!

These are children!

Orphans DESPERATELY NEEDING family, love, comfort, shelter, support, help....

Does it cost $20,000? $30,000? $40,000? It.doesn't.matter!

They are CHILDREN!

Make the price of adoption at $100,000 or $500,000, and it still would not matter! They are CHILDREN!

Regardless of the cost of adoption fees, legal fees, paperwork, travel, and other expenses: money.does.not.matter! Children matter!

So, yes. My husband is a clerk. I am a stay-at-home-mom. And, we are on our fourth international adoption.

Because, our eyes are fixed on the prize! A child of immense value. A child whose worth far outweighs all the money in the world.

And, therefore, when you see my husband working first, second, and third shifts whenever the work is offered to him, you'll now understand his heart.

We will do whatever it takes to offer life, love, and hope to a child.

So, when asked if we are crazy, the answer is "yes" if you can't see the amazing worth of a child.

The answer is "no" if you have eyes to see and a heart to understand the trauma orphans suffer.

The answer is "no" if you have a soul that realizes the eternity that could lie in the balance.

The cost of redemption is money. Big deal. That's nothing.

The cost of our redemption into God's family? It cost blood. It cost real pain. It cost Jesus' separation from the Father. It cost Jesus everything. Now that's real redemption!

These orphans stand unwanted:

The cost of redemption is only money.

Click HERE to get to know them better.