Thursday, June 25, 2009

Travel is set!!

Our whirlwind adventures are about to begin! Our much anticipated last document arrived miraculously yesterday and we have a Consulate Appointment on 20 July! The travel plans began!! Our family will take off for Nashville and Camp Electric tomorrow and on to the Cherokee mission in NC. Nancy is holding down the fort here and will host visitors. We will leave the mission mid-week for home with a day and a half turn around. Then we will be off to get our girl!!! Cherokee mission is more than paid for through sweat equity and the generosity of many! God is still providing the funds for China---but He is a really big God and always provides the means when we follow His lead!

Our biggest disappointment is that we've decided that Lauren should stay behind. Although she is disappointed (heart-broken, really), she understands! Tom says he feels we would be "reckless parents"to ignore the newest travel alert from the CDC. Because of the swine flu, Chinese officials are coming on arriving planes to check temps etc and quarantining anyone who has an elevated temp or shows symptoms. Also folks in close proximity to sick ones will be quarantined---even if it means separating children from parents! Didn't want to risk that!
So.....BIG prayer request: Not only our continued health during travel but also the health of all of those around us! I told you it was big but God is certainly able! Thanks to all of you in advance! I'll try to update the blog as we travel about next week! Itinerary coming soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009


“I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

Isaiah 45:2-3

Our much anticipated Travel Approval from the CCAA arrived today!!! Kristen Hussa from America World called about 2:30 this afternoon to give us the good news! We are to confirm on Monday what our decision will be as to dates! Travel to China would overlap the end of a family mission trip we've been planning since the winter. Our choices are to leave early from the mission and immediately travel to China or wait for the next travel group sometime in late July or early August. No other travel groups are set yet! We are trusting the Lord to give us clear direction! Please keep us in your prayers as we decide. As for now, we are rejoicing that we are approved to go!!

These pics were sent to Olivia so she might get to know our faces....hope we don't scare her!

: )

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Package for Our Little One

We received word that our care package to Olivia arrived this week! The taffy is for her caregivers and the snacks to share with her house sisters. The only thing difference is that the little photo album in the pic was filled with pictures of us (each holding the hippo...even Dutch) and her room! Hopefully she will at least recognize us a bit! Also hoping they will use the disposable camera to take pics of Olivia with her friends so she will always have those memories! Thank you, Hong, for translating our letter into Chinese! Thanks to Adele and her father at Blessed Kids for getting the package to the right place!

Friday, June 12, 2009

No New Pics but an Update!!

We just received an update on Olivia! And it sure is nice since we were trying to guess her clothing size and how to prepare for her to eat! She just turned 19 months! Here are the stats and answers to our questions:

Height: 80cm (31.5 in)
Weight: 10 kg (22 lbs)
Head: 47 cm
Chest: 52 cm
Teeth: 14

We have learned that once the babies are about a year old at the Hanzhong SWI, they are placed in a foster apartment with a house mama and several children. These apartments are still within the SWI. Olivia is in one of these foster apartments now. Sounds like she is eating well. No formula. She drinks milk with a regular bottle and eats anything other children eat. Yeah! She is called by Xin Rui (pronounced like"shin ray") but has the nickname Rui Rui. Josiah had already said he was going to call her that! She loves music and colorful dolls! Yeah again...sounds like a girlie-girl to me. Doesn't like strange animal toys! These may scare problem! She is very close to her foster mom and needs time to get close to strangers. The transition will not be easy, however, we are trusting God to calm her fears and help her little heart to understand how very much we love her! We lift Olivia before the Lord even now, that He would comfort her and her foster mom as they prepare for the transition. Please pray with us that the Lord will do amazing things before and during our journey to bring Olivia home!

"The Lord protects and preserves the strangers and temporary residents, He upholds the fatherless and the widow and sets them upright" Psalm 146:9a

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oh, so blessed!!

On June 4th, some wonderful ladies came together to bless our family!! They showered Olivia with so many wonderful things to make her feel welcome! Every last detail of this affair was amazing...the delicious Asian food, the decorations, the gifts, and, most of all, the great fellowship. It had been a long time since I was on the receiving end of a baby shower (hmmm...26 years...shhh), but oh how wonderful! Sonja and Sandra, thank you so much for thinking of us, and to all who came, we were overwhelmed!!

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." John 1:16