Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thank You to our wonderful friends Ray & Dannye (http://laydfrog.blogspot.com)
Your kindnesses are taken to heart.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Thank y'all for your prayers and thoughts as our agency went through the process of matching the 23 Special Needs Children with their parents. We are blessed to be among the ones to add a beautiful girl to our family!
We intend to put up another blog which will be closed except to those who have been following "Pregnancy by Adoption". For her protection, pictures of Joanna Mei will be limited to that site. We also need to check with our agency to ensure that it's OK to post her pic before we hear back from the CCAA.
We are beside ourselves with joy as we announce the matching of our daughter, Joanna Mei, to our family. We fell in love with her when we received her photo from our agency last week, (the gal in the pic is not her) and hoped and prayed that she was the child through whom God would reveal Joanna Mei.
We consider the next 3 – 5 months before we travel to China the pregnancy period. The CCAA rarely disputes the matching of child and parents by our agency – but there is always the remote circumstance that things could change – just as in a regular pregnancy.
But, at this time, there is reason to celebrate. Joanna Mei has a condition called syndactyly – her fingers and toes are not totally formed. All other development criteria fall in the normal range, so we will be blessed many times over in our mission to help her achieve her maximum potential.
Her caregivers describe her …. At the age of 3 months she knew how to smile when teased, her eyesight learned how to follow colorful things ……at the age of half a year she began to like sucking her fingers, wanted to suck a soother (pacifier) when going to sleep. She sleeps soundly (praise God!). At age 7-8 months she began to learn crawling and can sit for a moment.
Now, Qiungxiao is more than 9 months old and grows more and more beautiful. She has a pretty face with the shape of a melon seed (a high compliment in China), large black eyes, fair skin. She can sit steadily, walk around in a walker, is gentle and quiet, clings to caregiver and likes to play with peers and new toys. ……
It has been a long and difficult 3 years of paperwork and waiting, but we never lost faith that it would happen in God’s perfect time. Thank you for following our journey and supporting us during our “Pregnancy by Adoption”.
Don & Be
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
For the past 20 years, Be and I have had the world at our disposal with my airline job. We've climbed the volcanos and did the scuba thing in some pretty exotic locales. We essentially had our retirement early on in life. We are both fortunate for this luxury when we 'had it in us' to enjoy the benefits............
I remember the day about 6 years ago ..... Be and I were standing on the pier at Daytona Beach and as we looked out over the ocean, we turned to each other and began to reflect on all we had done and what the future could possibly hold for us. We were thankful to God for His remarkable goodness to us, but the element of children had not been in the mix. The topic of adoption came up, but it was left for discussion and prayer in the future. Then it hit .............
My mom died in December 2000 leaving behind my dad who never had to function independently (he relied on mom for EVERYTHING). During mom's long illness (congestive heart failure) prior to her 'graduation' to be with God, there were many flights up and down the east coast (thank the Lord for free flight benefits) to attend to her needs and to be with her just in case God called her home. After her passing, (Be and I were both with her as she walked into eternity) there were the flights up and down the east coast to ensure that dad was OK. In May of 2003, dad came to live with us, occupying the spare room on our first floor. He had trouble walking (I tell him that he has an allergy to gravity - he doesn't find it as funny as I do) since 1995 (even though he continued to drive -oy!) and as he continued to deteriorate, it was obvious he could not be left alone while Be and I were at work. ........... During his residence with us, Be's cancer was diagnosed and the mastectomy with subsequent surgeries and reconstruction left even less time for dad. He moved into Madison House Assisted Living Center about 1 mile from our house. What a gift! We can walk the dog over there to visit and we have no worries about his care.*** In addition, Be is cancer free and our lives began to resemble something normal....... cut to March, 2005 ...........
We are on the road to Lakeland, FL (about 60 miles from Orlando) ........ we are in bumper-to-bumper traffic due to construction (it looks like the road to Baghdad Airport) .... fortunately, it's late March and the weather allowed us to roll down the windows and enjoy a cool evening for a change..... we have been basking in our freedom from the worries of the past several years ....... I'm 30 pounds fatter and Be looks like a million bucks ...... she's driving as I read to her from Max Lucado's "Come Thirsty" ..... he refers to Ephesians 1:4-5 ..... "Before the world was made, He chose us, chose us in Christ, that we should become His adopted sons and daughters through Jesus Christ......." .... the scene on the Daytona Beach pier flashed on my mind's monitor ...... I shot a look at Be ....... I think it hit her at the same time ........ and we drove and read on. We were in high gear for the Steven Curtis Chapman concert in Lakeland. We even left early to to allow for the traffic that had now come to a complete stop ("free parking on I-4") ..... but, we began to move and arrived in Lakeland about 2 hours before concert time. We sat back and had a great steak dinner (OK - Be had salad - I had steak) and parked our car in a remote area so we could escape the glut of traffic leaving the venue at the end of the event. "Casting Crowns" opened the show followed by Chris Tomlin and ending with SCC. Toward the end of the evening, SCC offered a rather lengthy video presention on adoption. It hit me. It hit Be. We were no sooner out of our seats (conviction by Lucado, Paul -of Ephesians fame- and Chapman in about a 3 hour time span) than were talking about how to begin the adoption process........ that weekend, we began the internet search on agencies......the following week, one of our best friends asked "Hey! Have y'all ever thought about adoption?" ........ "Well, as a matter of fact" .......... we decided on Bethany Christian Services (65 years experience with placing kids) and we are now in month 7** of the process. We liked their philosophy, initial presentation, encounters with the staff and overall environment of the organization.
More ramblings/reflections/prayer needs/updates/parsley/sage/rosemary/thyme as the process continues ........ Thank you for making it to the end ......... God Bless ......... Don
Monday, February 18, 2008
....... over the weekend we prayed and agreed that 3 of the 4 beautiful children, who we had initially considered, were the best choices for adoption in our unique situation. We had to reflect on our advanced ages in the decision ...... our greatest concern is for our future daughter,
(would we be able to care for a SN child with medium -or greater -impairments 20 years from now?) and although our agency graciously provided us with information on a possible 22 children, we still had to contemplate our own individual circumstances in the total mix. We feel like we have aged well beyond our years over this past weekend, we came to an intelligent and prayerful decision. One of the children has syndactyly of the fingers and toes and two have repairable cleft lip/palate issues.
In the adoption process, our agency's policy is to make the profiles of prospective SN children (that have been forwarded by the CCAA) available to the forthcoming parents of SN children from China. The future parents consider and pray for the kids and then inform their SW of their interest in specific children (what an emotional and selective process!!!!)
On Sunday evening, we both discussed our evaluations of the information, and without-a-doubt, we were in agreement on the 3 possibilities. I guess after 26 years in a marriage absent of fights and unkind words, harmony and accord are going to happen.
It is up to God and the agency as tomorrow, we will inform our SW of the direction we will take. On Feb 21, the home office will pray and consider the many applications for the SN children on the February list. Your prayers and support are valued beyond words .........
Just to clarify: The children mentioned in the above post are not "referrals" as such. We have been made aware of their eligibility for adoption into the homes of those who have indicated an interest in SN children to our agency. There could be many 'in the queue' to adopt any of them .... we'll just have to wait and see.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Our good friends, Donna & Murray, gave Joanna her first Nativity Set based on the popular VeggieTales characters. Bob the Cucumber & Larry the Tomato played a shepherd and a wise man respectively. We howled when we opened it and sang along with the angel - it was actually a birthday gift for Don, but he has already passed it down to our future daughter - whatta guy! This evening, as we were packing it in and preparing to go to bed, Don pushed the angel who began singing as in the vid clip - Be was just bringing down the foot rest on the LazyBoy and, when she heard the sound, she thought the cat had gotten caught in the workings - we howled again!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
If (your daughter's) premarital sex is just fine with you, then this is a family movie. If otherwise, watch and be ...... well, you decide.
Friday, February 01, 2008
-Gifts brought to China should not say "Made in China" but rather "Made in U.S.A."
-American or patriotic items (please, no t-shirts with US flags or "Proud to be an American" or "Support our Troops" etc...)