Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Year's Celebration

As much as I love tradition, our family doesn't really have any traditions for New Year's Eve. For a few years while we were dating, my husband and I went to Pasadena for the Rose Parade.  For a few years, we went to a friend's house for a huge dinner with several families.  For Y2K, we planned to be at my mom's house in Missouri and ended up at my brother-in-law's house in California due to a family emergency.  Last year, we started what we expected to be an annual tradition - a big dinner at our house with family and friends.  On December 31, 2010, we had no idea that God would turn our world upside down like He is so good at doing and exactly one year later we would find ourselves in Taipei, Taiwan picking up our newly-adopted son on New Year's Eve.

Our adoption would not be possible without our friends and family, but especially our church family.  Our church has a heart for orphans like I have never experienced.  Several families in our church have adopted, locally and internationally.  Through this desire to help the orphans, our church created Project Nic.  This is more than just a fund for families to use for adoption expenses, though it definitely does serve that purpose.  It is also a network of people who have adopted or just want to help walk families through this oh-so-confusing process.  Because of Project Nic and the people behind it, this little boy was put into our lives in July and we will be bringing him home in a matter of days. 

As you consider your New Year's celebrations, would you consider helping Project Nic give another orphan a home and family to call his own?  So many families like ours would love to bring a child into their home and call him their own, but the cost of the adoption itself is standing in their way.  If we work together, we can bridge that gap.

You can click here to donate or get more information to mail in your donation.  Make sure to designate your donation for Project Nic.  Your donations to Project Nic are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Up To Date

We first heard about National Adoption Day two years ago as we sat in church and watched a short video about adoption and our responsibility to care for orphans. What happened next took my breath away. Our pastor invited everyone to stand who had adopted, been adopted, or was in the process of adopting. He also included foster parents in this call. More than half of the 250 or more people in the room stood!

My husband and I began attending this church only three months prior to this event. In the winter of 2009, DH experienced cutbacks at his job in California and we faced some big decisions. Unable to find a comparable job, he accepted a job in Iraq as a contractor using the skills he learned in the army. We felt that God was leading us to take some bold steps. We rented out our house in California and, while DH was in Iraq, I moved our household to the Kansas City, Missouri area where my mom lived and where we felt God calling us to go. After six months in Iraq, DH came to Missouri and quickly found a job. We knew we were where God put us, but it wasn’t clear yet why He put us here.
That Sunday when so many people stood left an impression on us. Here was a body of people that did not hesitate to make a difference in their world. We were also impressed that their world didn't stop at the edges of the small farming community where this church was located. Adoption wasn’t on our hearts, but we knew from that moment that this was where we wanted to be. Little did we know how much this church lived their faith, but we learned quickly. A few months later, our church put on “Love Out Loud” where we went into the community over the course of a weekend and loved hundreds of people by visiting nursing homes, babysitting children so single moms could have a day off, and performing all sorts of home improvement projects. Our family had the pleasure of going to a senior apartment complex to repaint the recreation room and remove some debris from their basement. It was a great day and again we were blown away by this church body and how they lived their faith.

As we got more involved in the church, we became friends with many of the families who were involved in adoptions in various ways. Our two older daughters began to feel a desire to adopt, but DH and I did not. We encouraged the girls to pray about it and we began to do the same because we always want to be open to where God is leading us. Two major factors that held us back were DH’s crazy work schedule and the small duplex that we called home.
In March of this year, our church announced the dates for the annual mission trip to Taiwan. DH eager to use his passport again and travel, signed up for the trip. We also decided to sign up our 11-year-old daughter. This trip was for the purpose of helping two churches put on an evangelistic play that our church does every year.  Our daughter has been integral in this play for the two years we have been in Missouri and we felt that it would be beneficial for her to participate. So the planning began, or so we thought.
On June 30th, I received an email from one of the ladies at church saying that there was a little boy at Harmony Home, Taiwan that needed to be adopted. Her husband is on the Board of Directors for this children’s home and they had adopted from there earlier this year. When they heard of this 6-year-old boy, they thought of our family and how well he would fit in.  DH and I discussed it at length and talked to other friends who would add valuable insight. We decided to wait until the end of July when my husband went to Taiwan to make a decision.

As time progressed, one of the churches in Taiwan chose not to follow through with the program and that left a week of unscheduled time in Taiwan. Our church chose to fill that time with a camp for the children at Harmony Home.  DH was asked to be one of the leaders and so he and Annie spent an entire week with this boy whom we had been asked about. Within a day of meeting each other, the boy called my husband Papa and melted his heart. While in Taiwan, DH felt the concerns of his heart lifted as he continued to pray over the decision. By day three, my husband texted me and said he wanted to start the paperwork.
We knew that there were still obstacles to overcome, but if this was God's will, it would all work according to His plan. My husband was offered a new job at his company which allowed him to be home every evening. Somehow, we passed the home study even though we thought our home was too small. Also, God has provided the necessary funds at just the right time for each step in the process.
All the way through this we have prayed for God’s will and things have moved at an incredible pace. Our home study took only two weeks, my passport came in less than three weeks, our son’s Visa was approved in a few short weeks, and our judge has chosen to cut in half the wait time after the judgment is issued. It is progressing so fast that we are speechless at times, but we can clearly see God’s hands in all of this.

At this point, we are excited to put together a bedroom and toys for our little boy and prepare for the addition to our family. We expect to hear from our attorney in Taiwan any day telling us that we can come and get our son. We aren’t always sure how we will make this all work, but we know that we look forward to celebrating National Adoption Day in 2012 with a whole different perspective than we could have imagined when we first celebrated in 2009 with our newly-adopted church family.

If you'd like to find out what's going on with our adoption, you can go to Thank you for taking a few minutes to read our story.