Thursday, March 27, 2008

********UPDATE ON MYLEI******

Nope not her!!  Just some random baby to catch your attention
 I still can't show you  a picture....until I get pre-approval (PA).  

(I can tell you this,  the Chinese are "slower than smoke off poop".  That is a quote my mom used to to say, only she didn't say poop.) (That was for you Jennifer!)

 How long does it take to send over a paper that says we are pre-approved??  Aren't we pre-approved anyway?   They have our life story over there- birth certificates, marriage certificate, doctors notes, child abuse reports, fingerprints, and a book about our life story.  And, all those things are notorized, county certified, state sealed, and Chinese authenticated.  Geesh!!

Anyway, I got an update from our agency today saying that Mylei is in foster care.  Her foster brother and foster sister-in-law (not sure why the brother and sister-in-law term... sounds kinda sketchy if you ask me) love her very much and they wanted to adopt her.  However, they can not take care of her financially and want her to have a loving family.  She will be returning to the orphanage so she can begin to prepare for her own forever family.

I received this news with very mixed emotions.  It breaks my heart she will leave the only 'mom and dad' she has every known to go back to an orphanage and wait for us.  That will be so confusing for her.  Also, she will go through a grieving process.  So sad!!  But, it also made me happy because it is much better to be in foster care than to be in an orphanage, for many, many reasons.  Physically, they tend to be in better shape.  Emotionally, there is always the risk of attachment issues with children in orphanages, foster care greatly reduces this.  I was secretly hoping she was in foster care!

I was also told that I could expect photos and updates in a week.  I want that, but I also want a stinkin' PA!

So pray for poor little Mylei!!  And, pray that they will get off their duffs and get the paperwork done!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

God speaks... at a concert

(The above picture is of Steven Curtis Chapman on his way home from adopting one of his girls.  The guys in the picture.....  I have no idea!)

God used the void in my heart of never having a sister.  He used it to direct my love to little girls in China that have a bigger void, no family.

But, even though my heart would melt every time I saw a little (live) China doll, and even though I talked about adopting all the time, in the deep recesses of my heart, I never really believed I'd do it.

Why, because I had seen the price tag to adopt.  $18,000-$25,000!!  And, while God has blessed us beyond measure and has always provided above and beyond, the fact remained that we didn't have $20,000 lying around.  My mom was right all those years, money doesn't grow on trees. Shoot!!  To further complicate matters, we do missions/campus ministry work and live on support.  The last time I checked there weren't too many missionaries topping the Forbes list!

Fortunately, God is persistent.  When he lays a desire on your heart, it doesn't go away very easily.  He manages to sneak his messages in all over the place and the very thing your wrestling with seems to pin you down.  I lost this particular match at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.  I didn't buy a ticket to the concert nor did I have any intention of going.  My good friend Amber, however, 'happened' to have an extra ticket to see ol' SCC.  (Her husband wanted to stay home and watch an IU basketball game.  By the way, my friend Amber is so good to me and I totally do not deserve it.  She is always blessing me.  Last year she GAVE me two tickets to the American Idol concert.... on the floor!!)  Anyway, SCC is a huge advocate for adoption.  He has adopted three little chinese girls himself.  I am sure he speaks about adoption at all his concerts, but that particular night, he said these exact words when speaking about the financial end of adoption, "I have often found that if you just start, God will provide the money."

Now, how in the heck do you argue with that???  So, I left this concert and rode home on the clouds.  I was believing God for the money, I was excited and pumped up.... for about 24 hours!!
Then I went back to being the poor missionary wife with no money, no hope and certainly no little baby from China.

Oh me, of little faith!! 

Why China??

That's a great question.  I think I have a good answer.

 I have two younger brothers.  I love them both dearly, but to this very day I would give anything to have a sister.  I know there are those out there who have sisters and who would tell me having a sister is not all it's cracked up to be.  I guess I would have liked to have been given a chance to find that out on my own.

I decided that if I couldn't have a sister, I would pray to have daughters.  One day, those girls would grow up and hopefully, they would be like sisters.

     So, after Paul and I were married and I found out we were going  to have a child, I desperately wanted a girl.  God blessed me with Shelby.  If you know her, then you understand.  She's different.  I mean that in the most flattering way.  She is creative, entertaining, gifted, funny, teachable...  I could go on and on.  I can't wait to see what God is going to do with her.
Then, I found myself wanting her to have what I never had, a sister.  Along came Gracie!!  How could I make it without her??  She is one of the most observant people I have ever met.  She  knows where everything is and, if she doesn't know where it is, it is not to be found.  She is also sensitive, caring, helpful, loving...

As far as the sister be honest, right now, it's not all it's cracked up to be.:-)  They argue, fight, complain about one another.  But, they are friends.  I can't expect too much because they are together all day, every day.  My prayer for them is that as their age increases so will their fondness for one another.  

     Now, to the man-child, who everyone calls Action Jackson.  His nickname says it all!  He is the coolest boy.  Not only does he embody all that the word boy means, he has a very gentle sensitive side.  I can't imagine not having him.  He makes life so fun!

     So, back to why I chose China over Romania or any other country.  It goes back to the daughter/sister thing, I think.  Right after Paul and I were married, a couple from our church adopted a little girl from China.   It opened my eyes to China and the one child policy.  It was then that I learned that not only were girls in China not valued, they were discarded.  For the little girl inside me that still longed for a sister, this broke my heart.  It was then and there that my heart started aching for a little girl from China.  I wanted to love one of those little girls that someone left.  Left at the front gates of  social welfare institutes, on the sides of roads or in front of a stores.  Left alone.

     On a side note, after Paul read my first entry, he said he felt like he just ate a dirt sandwich.  I guess he thought it was depressing.  I don't think this one is very uplifting either.  But, if I want to document my journey, this is part of it.  It hasn't been an easy road.  This journey, like life, is full peaks and valleys.  We have to hit the valleys first, but the peaks can be seen in the distance with the sun rising behind them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Beginning

When the first cameras entered the Romanian orphanages in 1990 the world was stunned by what was revealed.   Children tied to cribs and chairs, often cold, underfed and smeared with their own feces. The pictures of starving, unloved children had a huge impact.


Thus began my journey into the world of adoption.  Those very cameras going into those orphanages.  I was watching.  I was 19 and a sophomore in college. I begged my mom for weeks to adopt one of those babies from Romania.  The pictures have remained etched in my mind.

Not all the children in the orphanages were actual orphans.  Many had been abandoned by desperately poor families who had been forced to have more children than necessary as past of Ceausescu's insane population building policy.


Psychological damage and developmental delay

Imagine what is could be like to be brought up in an institution in Romania in the worst circumstances.  You could be cold and bored, with meagre and unvarying meals, bleak mealtime experiences fighting for food or your bottle propped up in a cot.

You had nobody to call your own, to look forward to seeing, to love and hold you.  The strict regimentation left no time for personal attention or affection and there was very little color or variety.

This could be made worse by disability, illness or abuse.

You may have often had sores and infestations.

Psychological damage suffered in this type of institution is deep-rooted and more difficult to address than physical effects.  Many orphans are far from recovering psychologically.  This lack of human contact, color, variety, stimulation, understanding and concern almost always leads to developmental delays.

  (The information was taken from  

So here I am 18 years later, about to adopt from China and not Romania.  If you are wondering how that happened, you're going to have to check back.  I am new at this blogging and I would be embarrassed to tell you how long this post has taken me:-)