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Keep praying

Monday, November 30, 2009

Please, please keep praying for Sarah in India. She is fighting a battle that truly is the Lord's battle. Pray that He would give her supernatural strength as she receives these 39 children. One of the precious little boys died recently and instead of receiving 40 children, there will now be 39. This should not be!! This little one's life was cut short! But the Father sees and cares. And He is and will be victorious!!

It is truly miraculous how God has worked in the lives of the children who are already at Sarah's Covenant Home. They are being transformed by the love of God! If you haven't already, please visit http://sarahscovenanthomes.blogspot.com. Take a look at the beautiful children who live there now, pray for the ones who are coming, and ask the Lord how you can help.
Thank you so much, friends. Truly these little treasures are worth it.

40 new kids!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our great God, the One who is the Father to the fatherless and who cares for the neediest ones, is doing great things in India! Please stop by http://sarahscovenanthomes.blogspot.com. Pray for Sarah, the 40 (!) new kids who will be joining her, and all of the staff and workers at Sarah's Covenant Homes. May God be greatly glorified!!

Having fun with Mandarin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lily and Grace have been taking a wonderful Mandarin class on Sunday afternoons. The teacher is very good and also very patient. I'm so glad that we started doing this (thank you, Linda, for encouraging us along!). Grace seems to remember most things, and Lily is really enjoying learning her native language. Here they are practicing on the website at home.
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Lily is doing a great job learning to recognize and write the characters, as well.

"The balloon flew away."

Zai Chien!

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What fun!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We got the absolute sweetest box of surprises in the mail today! Jennifer, over at http://ourchinastarfish.blogspot.com/ sent us a bunch of incredible treasures.
The box was filled with beading supplies, a really neat puzzle, beanie babies (which Jadon was so excited about!), a Chinese jump rope (which Lily and Adam loved), cookie cutters and fall sprinkles for the cookies, Wendy's frosty gift certificates, a book of Bible word searches, a sweet letter from Jennifer's daughter Morgan to Yana (Yana was thrilled and started to write a letter back to Morgan), and I'm sure something else that I missed. It was amazing how much fit into that box!!
But for Grace, the sweetest surprise of all was five packs of gum! All of the kids had a piece, and Grace kept saying, "Aren't I nice for sharing my gum?" We just smiled and humored her.
By the way, I DID NOT dress Grace today. The outfit was her choice. lol!

We spent the evening by the fire, working on the puzzle.
Thanks so much, Jennifer! We are so blessed by your thoughtfulness!


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My virtual twins

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When we brought Jadon home from China, he was 23 months old. Lily was 29 months old. To say that things were sometimes rocky between the two of them might be a bit of an understatement. On the other hand, they had some serious moments of bonding while unrolling multiple rolls of toilet paper, and emptying out all of our cupboards. And after a few months, when Jade had learned who was in charge (er...that would be Lily), they truly began to become the best of friends. They loved to play together.

And they learned to bond through all sorts of girly activities (I told you that Lily was in charge of this relationship!).
I will spare Jadon the embarassment of posting the picture of him in the green tutu that he loved to wear around the house.



As time went on, and Yana joined our family, things have become a bit more gender separated. The girls like to play with their animals and dress up (Jadon no longer joins in with his tutu!), and the boys are seriously into legos and street hockey.

Still, my two little virtual twins have a special relationship.


And now sometimes, Lily...

even follows...
Jadon.


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May Your Kingdom come...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Psalm 72: The Reign of the Righteous King

May He judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thine afflicted with justice...May He vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy...May He come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth...let all kings bow down before Him, all nations serve Him. For He will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy He will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; and their blood will be precious in His sight...Let them bless Him all day long...May His name endure forever; may His name increase as long as the sun shines; and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call Him blessed...And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.

I dream of a day when God's Kingdom will break forth on the earth. I dream of a day when the Righteous King will be blessed on the earth, day and night. I dream of a day when the whole earth will be filled with His glory. I dream of a day when our beautiful, merciful King will hold all the precious, afflicted ones in His arms, and their will be no more mourning and no more tears. I dream of a day when our King's justice and His compassion will come crashing down upon this earth. I dream of a day when all nations will bow down before our Righteous King and give Him all honor and glory.

I see our Righteous, Glorious, Merciful King continually before my gaze and I beg of Him, "May Your Kingdom come quickly, Lord Jesus. May Your Kingdom come!"



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Happy Birthday, wonderful friend!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You've just got to meet Meredith! She is such an incredible woman of God, she is a true friend and she is so much fun!! She's also got two of the cutest little guys that you're ever going to see (and I am not biased at all, even if one of them is my godson). If you get a chance, go visit her blog and say "Happy Birthday!" It's on my sidebar (The Crosland Capers). For some reason, I can't cut and paste the link.
I'm looking forward to a fun day tomorrow, Meredith! Happy Birthday, my friend!!

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coming home

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For those families who have traveled to China more than once, the final leg of the journey in GuangZhou, can feel like coming home. Since Lily is from Guangdong province, we spent almost all of our time in GuangZhou on our first trip. Then, when we adopted Jadon, we spent the last few days in GuangZhou, finishing up the U.S. side of his adoption. For this third trip to China, we again ended our time in Guangzhou to complete Grace's adoption. While there, we met two more AAC families. We already had an incredible group, and these two families simply added more fun and good conversation. Here's our group photo, taken at the White Swan.
We had stayed at the White Swan when we adopted Jadon. It was beautiful, but we were actually glad to be back at the Victory for this third trip (we stayed at the Victory when we adopted Lily). We had a very large room with 3 comfortable beds, filtered water in the room, and a great breakfast buffet. Here are Lily and Grace after a shower in our very clean bathroom (aaahhh...so nice!).

The restaurants in GuangZhou are incredible. What a beautiful view off the balcony of this restaurant. We were so blessed to have Morgan order for us!

We went to the zoo outside of GuangZhou and Lily got to see her pandas.
One of the highlights of our time in Guangdong province was visiting Lily's orphanage in ZhaoQing. God worked some incredible miracles to bring this about. First of all, Lily had a high fever the night before we were to go to the orphange. We all prayed (and some of you prayed!), and she was totally fine in the morning! God is so good!!
Here we are in front of the old ZhaoQing SWI (this is where Lily lived).
We also visited the new SWI. Here's our precious girl, outside the gate. We waited and waited while our incredible guides, Morgan and Judy, tried to get us into the SWI.
They were successful! Here's we are with some of the nannies and the old director. What an emotional time for this mama. The nannies were loving and kind to our girl, and we were so very grateful.
A very special spot for our family.
There is a beautiful park in ZhaoQing. A perfect setting for our beautiful girl. We hope to be back to visit again some day.
Back in GuangZhou, we did a little shopping. Here are Grace and Yana outside one of the little shops.

We spent a lot of time at the playground in the middle of the island. The boys had a good time!
So did Grace!
And no trip to GuangZhou is complete without a visit to Lucy's.
Or maybe two visits...or three, or four...

After a busy few days in GuangZhou, we boarded a plane to take our little girl to her new home in Colorado. She did great on the flight, and charmed us all with her smiles.
She's still charming us today with those same smiles. Thank you, Jesus, for this amazing journey, and thank you for this amazing little girl! We love you, sweet Grace!

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changes

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I wanted to post one last photo from our time in Guizhou. On the last night, we bought a cake and celebrated all of the birthdays that we had missed with our special girls. Here's Grace on that night.
And here's Grace on her adoption day (November 2) this year. What do you think? Has she adjusted to her family and new life?!
Thank you, God, for changing the lives of your precious children. Thank you for bringing orphans into families. Thank you for adopting us into your family!! You transform us, oh Lord, and we are so grateful!

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lovin' it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE China!!


I know that for some people, the actual trip to China to adopt their beloved son or daughter is, at least in part, one of the many hurdles that they need to jump over to form their forever family. I understand this, and I in no way think negatively about other people's experience here. But, I just have to say...I LOVE China. I love the people, I love the food, I love the history and the culture. I just love it! So, even though we had dirty carpeting in our hotel, and the hallways smelled like smoke, and even though the bathrooms en route to our touristy destinations were not exactly what we were used to, I can honestly say that I LOVED our time in Guizhou.


Of course, the best thing was seeing this girl's precious smile!

And experiencing her snuggly warmth.


But, we also really enjoyed visiting this Miao village. And like I said before...we had a WONDERFUL travel group.

We loved walking around the Miao village as a family of seven. Oh, how grateful I am that our whole family could travel to China together.
You just see some really neat things in China. Where else would you find a water buffalo walking down the road? Okay, okay, I do know that China is not the only place for water buffalos, but we don't exactly see them regularly in Colorado.




And we loved meeting Grace's nannies. What a privilege it was to meet the ladies who took care of Grace and the other beautiful children at her CWI. It was a hard day. Grace was very clingy and emotional, but we were so glad to meet these women and experience a little more of Grace's life before we met her.

The kids loved the carnival rides at the local park. They cost about a quarter (hugs...free!).

How many places that you know of boast camel rides?

Ummm...are those my children feeding those free-roaming monkeys (who we had been told, do actually bite!)?! Okay, maybe there are some things in China that I can live without.


After all of those busy days, we loved watching Grace curl up in her bed and sleep peacefully...we finally had our little girl!!
Next stop: Guangzhou
Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane!!


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