This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

11.30.2011

Scott on "Why We Adopt"

We are preparing our hearts and home to celebrate the birth of Christ... and also the arrival of our new daughter! Advent was already my favorite season of the year. It is just all the more glorious this year. As we near our travel time, I thought I would post this little note my husband, Scott, wrote to the Orphan Care Ministry at our church as it says so simply what I often try to say in too many words :-) And the post by David Platt so beautifully exalts the God who first loved us.



Dear friends,

As we are now less than 10 days away from flying off to China to bring our daughter, Mei, home I have been so blessed to read the words of David Platt, author of "Radical" and pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, as he and his wife are in China right now bringing home their newly adopted daughter. He wrote on his blog (here) yesterday some powerful and poignant words that serve to me even now as reminders of why we're so crazy for "this adoption thing". It isn't because we just love kids or because want a big family. We adopt because we have been adopted by our ever-loving, Almighty Father. We love because he has first loved us. We see more clearly now than ever just what Abba Father has done for us and want so desperately to enter into that same love and sacrifice that he has shown and done for us.

I strongly encourage you to take a moment to read what he's said. You will be blessed. I have no doubt.

Your brother sharing in God's adoptive, redemptive, unending love,

Scott

11.20.2011

Completion-- (Part 2)

*This is a continuation of the post from yesterday*
**We found out our travel dates yesterday!! We leave December 8 and return December 23, just in time for Christmas together!**

So here's the scripture that sent the tears running down my face in church yesterday morning...

To set the stage... Babylonians had ransacked Jerusalem and the city and beautiful temple were now rubble. The people were in exile. Seventy years later, God let a few come back to rebuild and amongst them was Zerubbabel. Certainly, he was overwhelmed and afraid at the task that lie ahead as he surveyed the ruins. But God spoke to Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah, and here's what he said:

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ' Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty. 'What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground.” (Zech 4:6-7a)


Our pastor helped clarify what was being said here--
---” not by might”- meaning your resources
--- “not by power”- meaning your human strength
Then he told us that from where they were standing there was actually no mountain in sight! God is talking about the 'mountain' in Zerubbabel's mind- this incredible task that lies before Him that seems as impossible as moving a mountain.
And in my heart I heard “Yes, this obstacle before you appears to be a mountain, but soon it will be level ground. And it will not be by your resources or your strength that this adoption comes together.”


As our pastor shared on the next verse, I felt so much like the presence of God was right there with me, speaking to my heart.

“Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of 'God bless it! God bless it! Then the Word of the Lord came to me: 'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. '” (Zech 4:7b-8)


You know what the capstone is? The last piece. The finish. God is going to see this task through to completion. God is going to see this adoption through to completion! It was like a promise to us that God has not just left us dangling here. Our hands have prayed and worked to lay the foundation of Mei's adoption... and our hands are going to hold this little baby girl very soon. He is going to see this through. You know why He's going to do it this way? For His glory...



“ Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.” (Zech 4:9)


These words were like grace falling all over me this morning. Washing away all this doubt that had weighed me down for the past few weeks. And reminding me... confirming the words that had been with us for many months... that we kept coming back to when we doubted what God was doing or if we were hearing Him right.

“I will make you into a threshing sledge... You will thresh the mountains and crush them... I will make rivers flow on barren heights... I will turn the desert into pools of water... I will set pines in the wasteland... so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:15, 18-20)


To our hearts he has spoken
- “Scott and Haley, I am going to provide for you when you think there is nothing there. That everything is dried up. Because I make deserts into pools of water. You walk in faith with me and you will get to see this... these miracles that I will do for you and for Mei.”
These aren't just strange words from thousands of years ago. God still speaks to His people, and He still moves mountains.

And I really don't know if anyone reads this blog, but I know that I have to tell of the wonders of the Lord. As my offering of thanks... and “so that people may know... that the hand of the Lord has done this.”

May we be found faithful... May we simply be found faithful...


Dancing Now


Last week we found out we have TA (Travel Approval), and tomorrow we should know our travel dates and our consulate appointment. The time is near! We will be leaving soon to meet our precious daughter, whom God has birthed in our hearts, and bring her home to her new family.

We are beyond amazed that this part of the journey is nearly coming to an end. This is a day we have waited and longed for. And yet, I must confess that the excitement was mixed with a decent amount of worry and fear. Until today.

As it stands today, we are still short of the finances that we will need in order to be able to complete this adoption and travel to bring Mei home. Throughout most of this adoption, I have had a tremendous peace that God is going to provide everything we need. In our minds, the amount needed for an international adoption is astronomical- not something that we could even touch with good planning and control of our finances. Many would call us foolish for even beginning this adoption considering what appears to be a serious lack of resources on our part.

It has been a little scary, and many times we were found on our knees together crying out to God for guidance and direction. Lord, what do we do? Do you want us to fundraise? How will we get the finances to see this adoption through?

And every time He would give us an answer that was not what we expected and required far more faith than we thought we had. Usually it was somewhere along the lines of “Wait. Trust. Remain faithful to me.” We questioned again... so sure that we needed to “do more”. But whenever we asked, the “do more” turned out to be “keep giving... keep trusting.” His word was opened up to us in a way we have never ever experienced before, and we have clinged to His Words and sought Him desperately in prayer. And He has provided beyond our wildest dreams.


Yet here we are. Two weeks before we leave for China and, in our eyes, things are looking a little iffy. And I let the doubt come in. Perhaps we were being foolish? Perhaps we had heard him wrong. Maybe I should have grabbed on a little tighter, worried a little more, done more (even when I felt Him telling me to wait)--- And then the scariest of all was this little whisper in the back of my mind, “What if God is not who He says He is? What if you really can't be this free... this hopeful? What if He doesn't come through for you?”

But because my Father is so gracious and so very merciful, He has come and spoken to my heart again. And the doubt is gone, and quite frankly I want to laugh and dance and celebrate because I know my God is going to come through! And I want to write this now. When it is not done yet. Because I serve a God who has promised to see through to completion the things He has started. And all I want in the end is to be found faithful... to be found praising Him and giving thanks instead of giving in to the temptation to be anxious (Phil 4:6-7).

“Hope is the ability to hear the music in the future. Faith is dancing now.”
(Anonymous)

** Tomorrow I will share with you the specific scriptures that God has used to strengthen us as we wait upon Him. Crazy cool stuff that I never saw this way before the sermon this morning in church... Oh, how I pray that it will be an encouragement to you as you seek to be faithful in whatever God has called you to as well!