Preston Party of Six

Preston Party of Six

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The God of HOPE!

One of my very favorite Bible verses is Romans 15:13,

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

HOPE...six months ago tonight, I was sitting by my mom's bedside knowing that she would soon be in the arms of Jesus.  I felt hope knowing she would no longer be suffering.  But I also felt extreme sadness knowing I would miss my mom SO VERY MUCH.  And now, six months later, I feel the same...hope knowing she is healed and experiencing true joy in the arms of Jesus.  Yet I still feel extreme sadness, wanting to much to talk with her, hug her, hear her voice, and call her to tell her good news about the children and about our adoption process.

For tonight was very good news...we have been matched with an amazing little girl in China!  She is almost 26 months old and is precious!  We got a call from our agency 48 hours ago on the night that the Shared List was released.  I tried not to have my hopes up, but they were...I was SOOOO hoping to get a call but realized we very well might not.  Then at 10:07 PM, Andrea Sisler with Lifeline sent an e-mail AND called to say she sent us a file to look at.  I was STUNNED!!!  I told Jason to look at it first because I was so nervous!  He did and told me she was 2 years old, so that was great.  Then when I couldn't take it any longer, I looked at her picture on the computer screen and all I could say was, WOW!  Tears of joy and love started streaming down my face and I felt she could be our daughter!!!  I wasn't familiar with her special need...a congenital skin disease, so we called Jason's sister, Nicky, who used to do dermatology work.  Then the next two days, I was able to get in touch with two amazing dermatologist who were willing to look at her file and pictures.  We requested additional pictures to show more of her skin, as well as a video, but when this morning came and there was nothing in my Inbox, I didn't think we would get any before our deadline of tonight to make a decision.  But God can do anything and just before taking Andrew to preschool, Andrea called to say that a picture and video were sent and on their way to us.  AWESOME!!!  I fell more in love with her when I saw the second picture, and was also encouraged to see her hair had grown some.  The video showed her playing outside at the orphanage (which we were told is a "good" one, thankfully) on a slide and although it revealed more of her deformed ears and skin problems, I am more in love and so anxious to get her here to get proper medical care for her. 

Jason called me on his way home from Atlanta tonight and I asked him how he was feeling about this and our decision--to accept the referral or not.  He proceeded to tell me that she is our daughter, and while there are many unknowns, we must walk by faith and not by sight.  He even said he'd asked the Lord to speak to him through music while in the car yesterday and the very next three lines of the song said, "We walk by faith, not by sight, even when we don't know what the road ahead is like."  AMAZING GOD!!!  He said he'd come to terms with the fact that we probably wouldn't get any new pictures or a video, and then when the picture and video came this morning, he realized the Lord was saying, "Trust me and then let me prove myself to you."  WOW!!!  I was crying and laughing and rejoicing as we talked!

Once Jason got home, we signed necessary paperwork and I submitted it to Andrea via e-mail.  Overwhelming, surreal, exciting, and scary all at the same time.  All I know is that I love our Jenna and can't wait to have her here with us!  We're planning to tell Nathan, Shelby and Andrew this wonderful news tomorrow night...and may even order Chinese food!!! God is THE God of hope and as hard as all the waiting has been and will continue to be until we have sweet Jenna home with us, THE God of hope will sustain us and will keep her in the palm of His mighty hands!

Jenna....seeing your face brings me joy and a huge smile.  You are beautiful and more than ever I cannot wait to have you in my arms.  I love you, sweet daughter of mine!  And Mom...I miss you more than ever and yet I know you are smiling and rejoicing with us tonight, too.

*For her safety, we can't post pictures of our precious Jenna yet but once we get approval to do so, you can bet we will!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

On Pins and Needles

Tonight the new "shared list" of special needs children available for adoption from China comes out and to say I'm on pins and needles is an understatement!  Now that we are LID and officially "approved" by China to adopt, this is the first time we've been ready to be matched with a child.  I am trying SO HARD to not get my hopes up, for it could take several more months for us to be matched with our daughter.  But if I'm honest, my hopes ARE up because I am SOOOOO ready to see Jenna's face!  Thankfully we have a busy night of baseball and T-ball for Nathan and Andrew, but I will more than likely not sleep much tonight, anticipating "the call" from Andrea with our agency. 

Lord Jesus, please calm my anxious heart.  As much as I long to know who Jenna is, I know that You are with her and have her in the palm of Your loving hands.  I so badly want to have her here with us, but I know You will bring us to that point in Your perfect timing.  Please give Jason and I wisdom and unity whenever we do get a referral, and help us both to "know" and have peace in our hearts that she is our daughter!  Please be with Jenna's caretakers--give them strength and mercy to care for her and all the other children in need of forever families.  Please be with the new President of China--awaken his heart to Your Truth and Your love.  Help me to keep my eyes on You, Jesus, as this journey continues!  It is hard, emotional, and yet amazing.  AMEN.

Friday, March 15, 2013


It's amazing to me the various reactions I get when I have conversations with people about our adoption.  The overwhelming majority of people have been supportive and are super excited for our family.  A few have asked questions that have led me to believe they aren't quite as supportive.  One example of this type of question was "Will you have enough room in your home?"  My first instinct was to say, "Most people in the world don't live like we do and would be thrilled to have our house!" I refrained and said matter-of-factly, "Yes, our new daughter will share a room with her older sister Shelby and she is very excited!" 

This past Sunday I flew to Ohio for a very brief visit.  My dad's mother/my grandmother, Eileen Snow, died at the age of 95.  She lived a long, wonderful life and I was thankful to have the opportunity to go see my dad's side of the family as we celebrated her life.  I knew the service would make me miss my own mom all the more, and it did, but it was also a time of healing as I reflected more on my mom's life as well as my Grandma's life.  It was also such a joy and blessing to have conversations about our adoption journey with aunts, uncles, and cousins that I rarely see since we are scattered throughout the country.  They are all so excited for us and look forward to meeting Jenna one day!

Then tonight, I had a short but precious conversation with Andrew, our 4-year-old son.  He was getting his pajamas on and we were talking about our family.  I asked him, "Who is your brother?" Andrew answered, "Nathan."  Then I asked him, "How many sisters do you have?" He said, "Two, Shelby and Jenna."  This made my heart melt to hear him already including Jenna into our family!!!  I said, "You're right, buddy!  Jenna is your sister even though we don't know who she is or what she looks like yet."  Andrew said, "Yeah, she's a question mark."  I chuckled, knowing he was referring to the picture frame in our family room with a big question mark in it that will one day be replaced by sweet Jenna's face.  I asked Andrew who already knows who Jenna is and what she looks like, and he said, "Jesus!" 

AMEN, son, AMEN!!!  As much as I long to know who are daughter Jenna is, it brings me comfort knowing that the One who created her is watching over her and will bring her to us in His perfect timing. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

LID: Stamp of Approval

What in the world do the letters "LID" have to do with adoption?  In two short words...A TON!!!

Today was another HUGE puzzle piece in our adoption journey.  I received an e-mail from our wonderful adoption agency that we are LID, which means "Log In Date," which means we are officially approved by The Chinese Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) to adopt a little girl from their country.  In other words, we got the "stamp of approval" from China today and my heart couldn't be happier!

This past week has been tough emotionally, as I have been missing my mom A LOT!  And the waiting involved with adoption--waiting for things that are virtually out of my control--also weighs heavily on my heart.  Yet the Lord has been SO VERY GRACIOUS in providing amazing people to love me through this journey of missing my mom AND as we anticipate welcoming Jenna into our home from China.

So as I look at these three simple letters that now mean so very much to me, all I can say is THANK YOU LORD!

Jenna...we are getting closer to finally seeing your face, and wherever you are right now sound asleep (hopefully warm and cozy!), I just want you to know that I love you, I am praying for you, and I can't wait to have you in my arms!