Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blessed

It has been hard

I am trying to be "normal"

I am trying to just focus on living in the ordinary things of the day

I am trying to concentrate on being a Mom and making sure the kids have their routine to count on right now, as if nothing has changed.

It's funny because they are so used to having to cut corners and hearing, "Sorry guys but we just can't afford that right now," that this kind of is our "normal."

Sigh.

I have to admit that a part of me really hates to say "no" all the time.

I part of me thinks that the kids are getting cheated out of something but if you ask me what, all I can come up with is, stuff or eating out or movies or water parks or vacations to really expensive places

and while all of that every now and again is great and fun and really OK,

I am learning that having to say "no" to this "stuff" doesn't mean having to say "no" to loving my kiddos and spending time with them and having fun with them and showing them that life is not all about having stuff and doing stuff.
 
Do you know that none of our kiddos got birthday gifts from us this year?
 
Nothing...
 
and you know what?
 
It was OK.
 
They understood and they enjoyed their birthdays - even the 6 year olds - and they still know that we love them - without all the "stuff."

Together we are learning that it is OK to wait,
 
it is OK to not have stuff
 
The Lord is working on us, all of us and how can that not be a good thing?
 
It is hard.  I am not going to lie.  
 
It is so hard knowing that we may loose this house.
 
It is hard knowing that  we may have to use up the last of our retirement to pay the bills.

It is hard knowing that it may get worse before it gets better...

and it is so incredibly hard knowing that we may loose our daughter.

This is what I am struggling with.

This is what I am really having to pray through.

I have no doubt that the Lord will bring our XM home if this is His plan for her and for our family.

I have NO doubt that He will provide the way and provide it in His timing.

Knowing this and trusting this does make it easier and keeps me from totally freaking out but the thought is still never far from my heart.
 
The Lord, however, has had this mapped out even before we were born and in His perfect way, He made sure to surround us with friends who could guide us, friends whom He sent our way to help us make sense out of what He was doing, friends who would help us to draw closer to Him and to lean on Him instead of falling away from Him.
 
Some of these friends are YOU, those whom I have never met in person but whom have impacted my life just by the way they live theirs.

Some of these friends I have met and feel incredibly blessed to be able to now call them my dear friends, to get together with them, laugh with them and pray with them.

Our children are becoming friends as we become friends and that is a beautiful gift from Him.

Two such friends are Jennifer P. and her beautiful daughter Rachel!

Weeks ago Jennifer called to tell me that she and her wonderful daughter Rachel had been trying to think of a way to help us with our fundraising.
 
Even though they are right in the middle of their own adoption, they felt led to help us

They decided that they wanted to plan, pay for and run a week long summer camp for us!

WOW!

Really?

Not only did they want to help us with our fundraising but they were willing to spend countless hours planning and preparing...

AND

take an entire week out of their summer to run a camp - for kids - a lot of kids!

WOW!

Really?

However, knowing these 2 and their incredibly giving hearts, I was not surprised!
 
They are amazing and it was such a great week,
 
 
 full of fun 
 
 
and games
 

 
and crafts 
 

 
and friends




 
and pirates
 

 
and contests like a rice eating



with chopsticks 


and a crazy food eating contest


with pistachios dried chicken brains


and capers lizard eyes


and honey with raisins toad slime


and cocktail sauce snake blood


and chunky mashed bananas goat's stomach!!!!!
 
 
EEWWWW!

Em didn't win but she was the last girl standing!

Heh!

Apparently, dried chicken brains taste just like pistachios! 


 Who knew?
 
Hehe!
 

What a great week!
 
In the midst of the struggle it was a week full of blessings and reminders of  the love that He surrounds us with.
 
 
Jennifer and Rachel raised almost $1800 for our XM but more than that, they helped us to understand how incredibly blessed we are!

Thank you my sweet friends.
 
 
I pray that one of these days I will be able to tell our precious XM about how much she was wanted and loved!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We Need Prayers!!

So you all know that there has been so much happening in our lives lately.

The Lord has been working overtime on our family and on our hearts and on the path that He has laid out for us.

I have felt for a very long time that we were supposed to sell our house.


I just felt like that was how He was leading us.

We needed to be free from the burden that this house had become but it was our home and we loved our neighbors and we loved our neighborhood and and and 

So, after much prayer and discussion and letting go we made the decision to downsize.

Crazy right?

Right when we are "upsizing" our family...

We downsize our house...

but we both felt as though this was what the Lord wanted us to do, what He was asking us to do.

So, as of yesterday, our home officially went on the market 
 
and just in time...

and this is where we need prayers y'all
 
because...

Hubby lost his job today

with NO warning

as a matter of fact his boss had just signed his letter of employment for our adoption
 
and are you ready for this...
 
signed it JUST YESTERDAY!

However, we are trusting in His perfect plan and know that He has this all figured out and just because we can't yet see the big picture, we know that the Lord has our backs!

We know that this happened with His knowledge and that He sees it all and that He has this all mapped out and while it may get harder before it gets better...

WE WILL WAIT WITH JOY!
 
We have BTDT and the work that the Lord was able to do within our hearts the last time hubby was out of work was amazing and So worth all the struggle we had to go through, so...

We will rejoice in Him knowing that He is working for us, even when we are unable to to see it or feel it, He is working for us and ...

HE LOVES US

more than we could ever imagine.

So, I come to you not asking for sympathy but simply asking for prayers

Please pray that we will continue to be strong, that we will continue to trust and to let go and give it all to Him, allowing him to mold and shape us even more.
 
Pray that we will continue to wait on His perfect plan and His perfect timing and please pray 
 
 
that our precious Xiaomeng is a part of that perfect plan.

Wordless Wednesday - cause she takes my breath away!




Monday, June 18, 2012

New Button!

Most of you know that I recently moved my advocacy site, Wonderful Waiting Kids

It is still a work in progress as I am learning all the new little tricks that I can do but I am very excited about all the new features and hope all my members will be too!

I have also updated my button for the site 

It is on the upper right corner of this blog and it now directs you to the new site.


Wonderful Waiting Kids

If you all don't mind updating your blogs with the new button, I sure would appreciate it!

Thanks y'all!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Big Brothers...

Big brothers can be frustrating

and they can be difficult to get along with, especially the teenage variety

However...

They can also be fun and really handy for when you want to practice your backflips!




For the past 2 summers my boys have taken it upon themselves to teach their sisters how to swim.


We did not ask them to do this


They just did

video

I tell ya, there is nothing better than watching those boys BE big brothers

video

Almost as good, is just sitting there watching those boys BE big brothers!


Heh!

When these guys turn on the big bro charm, they are irresistible to their younger sibs!

video

and to their Momma:)

Happy summer y'all!

Monday, June 11, 2012

4 years ago today...

Our sweet, wonderful, feisty little Lizzie was placed in my arms!


I will never, ever forget that day and how my heart was racing and how the tears were flowing and how you seem to just "know"


At 2 years old, you seem to truly understand, to know us.


It was as if the Lord had placed us in your heart and you had been waiting for us...
 
 
and wondering why it had taken us so long to get to you!

Knowing you now - I KNOW that was what you were thinking!  


I am surprised you weren't stamping your foot at us in frustration that you had to wait as long as you did

hehe

and as much as you "knew" the first time we met, the day that we pulled away from your orphanage and waved bye bye, your knowing truly took hold of you.


We understood where you were coming from and you understood where you were going.


It has been quite an adventure my love and through it all, you have shown courage and determination and love, such deep wonderful love and I feel so very blessed to know you and love you and call you my daughter!


As always, for this day, I am posting the video that I made for our sweet child after she had been home a year!




Love you my dear sweet Lizzie May!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Funraising Help!!!


I have posted some really great things on my fundraising page!!!


It all goes to help bring our precious little girl home


Just as the Lord blessed us with video answering the one question that had not been answered before...


He once again blessed us with pics!

Just as I was about to ask a dear friend of mine to try and get some still pics off of the video we had....

The Lord sent these - WOW!


So please, check out all the great things on my fundraising page, especially this beautiful necklace from Tammy!


This wonderful family is once again donating the proceeds from the sales of this necklace to us, to our precious, yet still nameless (sigh) child!!!!

Please feel free to share!

Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SO many wait...

OK, so I know I have an actual advocacy site but...

There are some kiddos...

Some beautiful kiddos...

Who have waited for such a long time...

A few of them are aging out - sigh...

A few of them are a little older than many families are willing to consider...

A few of them have a little more of a need than many families are willing to consider...

However....

They are ALL precious and beautiful and waiting.

They are all on Lifeline's waiting child list - MY list and my heart is breaking for them.

Please help me to spread the word about these precious, waiting children.

You can go to my site, Wonderful Waiting Kids and look on my "Annie's Waiting Kiddos" page to see their sweet faces.

There is Phil who is wonderful!!!  Dear sweet Phil has not toes and weakness in his left arm and is oh SO cute!!!!  Apparently this wonderful boy who is so helpful with the younger children, gets teased when he goes to school.  Oh my heart!!!  Just wait till you see his big, beautiful smile!!!

There is Juliet who will age out in September!!!  I have video of this precious girl swinging and jumping rope with such joy!!!!  Please don't let this wonderful girl age out!

There is precious Colby who is described as "full of sunshine" as well as "active and outgoing, clever and able little boy."

There is beautiful Jizelle who will age out in January.  This sweet child is described as "loving and knows to take care of younger brothers and sisters."

There is precious Justine who will age out in November!  This wonderful little girl is described as active, polite and clever and she wants a family:)  I have video of this beautiful girl as well.

There is wonderful Chaz who will age out in March.  Who, when the staff asked him if he was willing to be adopted by foreign family, looked very happy and said "I want to have a family. I am willing to be adopted and want to have my own parents."  Oh my!!!

There is Cain who is described as "loveable" and an "excellent student".  What a sweet face this child has!!!

There is precious Cameron who has the biggest, most beautiful, saddest eyes!!!  Precious Cameron needs his momma!

There is Chad who is 12 years old and HEALTHY!  "He has good habit, he can get along with other sister and brother, and is a warm hearted boy, he usually help the younger children do what he can. He usually plays games with other sister and brother."  Sigh!!!

There are many, many more listed on this page, MY page.

Some of them are due to go back to the shared list soon and that will break my heart.  The rest will be with my a little while longer and I pray that their forever families will find them.

Please, please help me spread the word about these beautiful, wonderful, waiting children!!

Wonderful Waiting Kids



Wonderful Waiting Kids



Thank you!!!