Wouldn't this be cute...?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On your little guy?

Fear Not - Boys

And wouldn't this one be precious
on your little girl?

Beloved - Girls

If you're interested in buying one of these tees, click here.
Please remember to put our family code (BANDIMERE0124) in the coupon code field during checkout.
(The last four digits of the code are numbers, starting with a zero.)

Thank you so much for helping us to bring our sweetheart home!

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dreaming with God

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I find dreams so facinating. While we're asleep, God has the opportunity to speak to us apart from many of the distractions that we encounter during the daytime hours. Of course, not all dreams are from God, and dreams are certainly not equivalent in significance to Scripture.  But, God-dreams do have a certain quality that is unique and we can ask our Lord what these dreams mean in the light of Scripture.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my children had a significant dream. I knew that this dream was from the Lord, so I asked her to write it down:
I had a dream that we all lived in a place where you had to buy gas masks, because it was dangerous to breathe without a mask. These masks looked just like the ones in the World War 1. Kinda looked creepy, but it was okay. These masks were kind of like clothes. They could all come in different colors and styles and stuff, and you could refill the air in a machine almost everybody had. Most wealthy houses had many gas masks, but they were expensive for the “poor people.” In the dream, all the poor people lived in the dump. Truckloads would come with used gas masks. All of them would usually have about five minutes of air left in them, and the trucks would come about every 30 minutes. The trashed masks would be set on a metal shelves in the dump. The poor people couldn’t afford the masks, so they would usually use the air left in the trashed masks, but usually they wouldn’t have enough air in them to sustain them while they would try to find another. Many died this way. In my dream, I would go to the dump to visit the “poor people.” When I saw their condition, I brought them masks so they could breathe easily.
I asked my child what she thought the dream meant. "It's love," she replied. "The gas masks are love. We have so much of it (in our family and in our lives). It even comes in different colors! But there are many people who hardly have any love. Sometimes we visit these people (like orphans), and we give them what is left over. Sometimes we even bring them an abundance of love. But then we go home, and we forget that they don't have love. I don't want to forget anymore."
Neither do I, baby. Neither do I.

dreaming of a day when all will have an abundance of love...

dreaming with God...

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just because...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I can barely stand the cuteness.
(oh my goodness, wasn't she adorable?!)

I love you, my curly-headed, beautiful grinning Yana-girl.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Leave all to Me. This is your great task, to get calm in My presence, not to let one unruffled feeling stay for one moment...No matter who frets you or what, yours is the task to stop all else until absolute calm comes.
God Calling, January 26

Oh my precious Jesus, how I have ignored You over these past couple of weeks. Forgive me, my Beautiful One. I have been ruffled more times in the past month than I dare say...hurt feelings, concern for R.'s adoption, irritation, focus on myself, and frustration with people...distraction, distraction, distraction.

I turned to You for moments, but I ignored what I know to be true...that I must remain in Your presence until peace comes. Thank you, Jesus, that You continued to pursue me, that You waited for me when I forgot all about You. Thank you, Jesus, that you are the calm in the storm, that I can rest peacefully in Your love despite every circumstance. Thank you that You care more about R. than I ever could and that You are working a great miracle to bring her home.

Jesus, I am learning. I am learning not to let distractions deter me from Your love. Please keep teaching me. I so want to love you more. I so want to live in Your presence every moment of every day.

Thank you, Dear Jesus, for Your absolute calm.
It always comes when I let You in.

And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" And He said to them, "Why are you timid, you men of little faith?" Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
Matthew 8:25-27
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participating with God

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

As of today, David will have finished up his current job. And even though it was financially detrimental, we are grateful for some of the things that we learned. I'm just so proud of my husband. He truly is a humble, giving and amazing man.

As we have been thinking and praying about adressing the financial need we have for adopting R., I have had a strong sense that the Lord would provide abundantly. He has provided for all of our other adoptions and we are absolutely confident that He is the One who led us to adopt R. So, we trust that He will give us all that we need!

That is not to say that the sum of money isn't a bit daunting at times. When I feel overwhelmed, however, I choose to remember all that He has done in the past and to trust Him with the future. Already this past week, we received $150 more than we were expecting from an insurance claim due to hail damage last summer, David received a check for over $200 from a job that he had forgotten about, and some dear friends offered to pay for our girls to take dance this semester (that made me cry). Our God is so generous!

We know that it is totally up to our Father to provide the funds that we need for R.'s adoption. But, we also want to participate with Him! So, David will be working some extra hours over the next couple of months, we're tightening up our budget, and we've decided to do a couple of fundraisers. The first fundraiser is something that I'm really excited about, because I LOVE these t-shirts.


Shine - Girls

BelovedYes, we're doing a fundraiser with Wild Olive! And if you click here (or on my sidebar), it will take you to the page where the adoption fundraiser t-shirts are sold (there are many wonderful designs). In order for our family to get credit for any of the t-shirts that you buy, you must enter our family code (BANDIMERE0124) in the "enter coupon" field. Please note that the last four digits are numbers, starting with a zero. And please do not feel any obligation to buy a t-shirt, but if you'd enjoy having one or if you know of someone else who'd love one, we'd greatly appreciate your support.

Thanks so much, dear friends. I'm excited to see what God will do!

Look who's got a new mama and papa!!!

Precious Lucy (now Heidi Eleta) is officially a Jacobson now! And oh my goodness! Don't they make a beautiful family?!

So very, very grateful for the the Jacobson family and their love for this little sweetheart. Darling Heidi will be going home soon!

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Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gong Hey Fat Choy!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is always special at our house. It's the most important holiday in China and we just love celebrating this festive time of year with our beautiful Chinese children. 

We kept things very low-key this year, but the kids were super-happy with Chinese food at home and red envelopes with chocolate inside (instead of the traditional money in the envelopes).

After eating a few bites, Lily exclaimed, "I wish it were Chinese New Year every day! I love this food!"
Everyone else agreed, and I promised them more Chinese food  during the rest of Chinese New Year (which lasts for 14 days).

Happy New Year everyone!

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Are your ears cold? (I stole this title from Meredith)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don't you absolutely LOVE this adorable headband?! 
(and I think that the model is pretty cute too)

Well, you can have one for your very own!
(the headband, that is, not the model)

And even better than getting a totally cute headband, you'll be helping Leslie and her husband with unexpected adoption expenses. Just hop on over to Meredith's blog to see this and other ear warmers that you yourself could be wearing in a very short period of time for a very reasonable price!

Thanks so much!

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a battle of love

Saturday, January 21, 2012

This photo has nothing to do with this post, but I just think my four-year-old Jadie-boo is beyond cute. Oh how I love this boy!

Isn't our Jesus amazing?! No one loves the way that He does! I do so want to be like Him. The battle that we have been engaged in continues to worsen. But, our God is and will be victorious! His victory is in His love and in His justice, but it is HIS justice, not my own. My job is to love and bless. Jesus, I don't want to forget that! Help me to love. Help me to bless. This is a battle that can only be won by the precious love of Jesus. And I'm not talking about the money here. Money is truly no obstacle to our Lord. But, I'm talking about the battle to trust, love and praise in all circumstances. You are worthy, Jesus! Thank you that you let us play a small part in Your battle of love. May we be found worthy and may You have all the glory!

a little something good

Friday, January 20, 2012

After 8 months of attempts, we are finally officially registered with the central*adoption*registry in Ind*a. Woohoo!!! We had gotten caught up in the restructuring of adoptions in Ind*a, but now things finally seem to be moving a bit. It's a busy time for adoptions from Ind*a and nobody really knows how everything is going to look when the restructuring is finally all in place. We're expecting to get more news, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. Please keep praying for all of the waiting children and families.

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sleeping cuties...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

While sitting here, waiting for news (soon please) from Ind*a, I decided to distract myself with a little trip down memory lane.

Oh my goodness! I had forgotten that David and I always used to find these two in the same bed.

Could they be any cuter?!

Goodness gracious...melt my heart.

Uh...that doesn't look so very comfortable.

sniff, sniff...where does the time go?
I love you, my little sleeping cuties.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We recently received an email from our agency representative, informing us that on January 20th, Ind*a's central adoption authority will open up the special needs section of their website. At that time, our agency may be able to lock in R.'s file and we could finally have an official match. But, since this site is completely new, no one really knows how it will look and whether or not it will work without glitches right away.

Except our Father.
He knows.
And He cares.

He cares for all of these precious Indi*an children.
He cares for all of the families who already love them.

Would you pray that the site would run smoothly on the 20th?
Would you pray that waiting children and famlies would move one step closer to one another on the 20th?
Would you pray that R. and V.'s files would be locked in on the 20th?

Thank you so much, dear friends.
Thank you, also, for your prayers for our adoption finances. The issue with David's client is not fully resolved yet, so we would greatly appreciate your continued prayers. I just know that our God is ready to do some amazing things!

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God is chuckling : )

Monday, January 16, 2012

When we moved into our house two-and-a-half years ago, I told David, "Those are the ugliest cabinets I have ever seen. But, we won't ever get new ones, because I don't want to spend the money on cabinets."

Well...I think that God is chuckling right now, because we are currently the proud owners of an amazing set of custom cabinets. They can either sit in our garage, or we can put them in our own kitchen. Quite incredibly, David will only have to modify one cabinet in order for them to fit in our kitchen. Soooo, we are doing some remodeling this week! And because David is a carpenter, he has enough leftover materials from other jobs that all that we need to buy in order to finish this job is a used oven fan for $20 (ours is broken) and some paint.

Here's a sneak peek of our new cabinets.

I'd much rather have the money (for R.'s adoption), but if it had to be something, at least it was something we could really use!

Yep. God is definitely laughing right about now!

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guess what we're doing...???

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'll give you a little hint:

think lemons/lemonade

Thank you again for all of you prayers! I cannot even begin to express how much your kindness and love have encouraged me. Just know that I am so very grateful.
Our circumstances may not have changed, but our perspective certainly has.
And in all things, our God remains completely faithful...He is so worthy of our complete trust. I am confident that He is going to do a miracle to bring R. home to us!
 I'll update soon.

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So, do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I woke up early this morning in tears. We had received an email back from David's client saying that her decision remained final. I felt angry and disappointed and all that I could think was how could anyone care about perfect cabinets in a world where there are broken children?

I came upstairs to pray and the tears kept coming. What were we going to do? How could we adopt R. when we would have to use every single penny that we had for this project? Would we have to completely start over? Would this delay her adoption even more? I wept for a long time.

But then our dear, precious Father reminded me of something..He reminded me that He was the One who gave us the money (miraculously) in the first place. The week after we had said "yes" to adopting R., we found out that we could get back taxes from past adoptions with the tax refund. We hadn't qualifed for the credit, because we didn't pay enough taxes, but we had no idea that the refund could also be carried over from past years.

Immediately after He brought this to mind, His overwhelming peace came over me. How could I be worried about money? Hadn't God provided for every single child that He had brought into this family? And then I remembered the verses that He had given to me last week. "Do not be worried about your life...who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself." (Matthew 6)

Last week, when I read these verses, I knew that He was asking me to trust Him in that particular circumstance, but now I realize that these verses were also given in preparation for this time. We may have zero money for R.'s adoption, but our God owns all of the earth's riches! I don't have any idea how He will provide all that is needed, but I know that He will! And it will be just one more story that we will be able to share with R. one day about the faithfulness of our God in bringing her home to us.

God also reminded me that I know nothing about David's client's heart and life and that I may not judge her. I must bless her! So, would you bless her today, as well? Would you say prayers of blessing and love over her life? May she know the love of God on this day!

Dear friends, thank you so much for your kind words and especially for your prayers yesterday. I know without a doubt that God used them to give me a new perspective today. We'd still appreciate your prayers as David needs to finish resolving some things today. But, however it turns out, we know that our God is in control. He is good and He takes care of all of our tomorrows!

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear ones, I am so very weary. Would you please pray for our family? The news we received from India was not bad, but it wasn't exactly what we had hoped for either. It seems that everyone is correct when they say that adoption from India is extremely difficult and a very loooooong process. I was looking at photos of our little girl when she was about 8 and feel so sad that we have already missed so many years of her life. I don't want to miss another day!!!

I know that the evil one is hard at work at the moment. David is a carpenter and usually his customers are very happy with his work. But, a client would like him to re-do all of the tile and cabinets that he just put in. David has offered to fix anything that she does not like, but she is insisting that he re-do it all. This would cost us over $10,000 (which is all of what we have for R.'s adoption). Please, please pray! I actually wrote David's client an email (I've never done anything like this before), asking her to reconsider. I even attached R.'s photo.

Lily came downstairs, as I was writing the email, and told me that I was brave, like the women who wrote letters and protested for women's suffrage. Grace brought me chocolate. Adam gave me a loooong hug and Jadon said that we could sell his bed and that he didn't need any birthday presents so that we'd have money for R. I have to say that made my day a little bit brighter. Oh, how I love my sweet children!

I do also have a health concern that I'm sure is probably nothing, but I'd so appreciate prayers regarding my state of mind. Satan will sure use everything to get us down, won't he? With everything that is happening at the moment, I'm even more convinced that R. truly needs to be here with us. Otherwise, the evil one would leave us alone!

Please know that despite the trials and weariness, I do not question our Father's goodness. He is so kind, generous, compassionate and faithful. I'm so grateful to be His daughter! How does anyone endure the trials of this world without Him?

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today's the day

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

tonight's the night

something like that

sometime in the next 24 hours,
our agency representative is supposed to be meeting with someone from our little girl's home state. We're praying that some (really good) decisions are made at this meeting.

Would you pray with us?

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Your dogs are cute. Stay close by your mom.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"What did God say to you, Gracie?" I asked my daughter this past week.

"He said, 'Your dogs are cute. Stay close by your mom.'"

I admit, my first reaction to Grace, was aaawww, isn't that sweet? How precious that she wants to be with me. But then I realized, it's not just that Grace wants to be with me...Grace knows that she must be with me. She knows that her life is knit with mine and that David and I are the ones who will model God's love to her. This is not just little-girl sweetness. It truly is the word of the Lord to Grace. It is God's heart being revealed to her heart and she is ready to obey.
She will stay close to me.
In fact, she often makes it her main purpose in life to stay close to me!

Mom With Daughter

Grace often hears the Lord saying things like...

"Be with you mom. Give her hugs and give her a kiss. Don't argue. Just be with her."
"Be with your mom and be loving and show love."

It is beautiful and wonderful that Grace hears the Lord in this way and that she is able to obey. But what about the children who do not have a mom (or a dad) to stay close to? What about the children who cannot "just be with her"?

My heart breaks for these children, and I know that the Lord's heart is certainly even more saddened. He wants to whisper in their ear, "Stay close by your mom/dad," but there is no mom/dad to stay close to.

As we wait for news from Ind*a this week, I ask for your prayers. Would you entreat our precious Lord to make a way, to accelerate the adoption of both R. and V. (our closest friends' little girl)?

Oh how I long to ask my precious R., "What did God say to you, my daughter?" and have her respond, "Stay close by your mom/dad."

Soon, Lord Jesus. Let it be soon.

The God made world wiTh heart

Monday, January 9, 2012

One of the greatest privileges that I have experienced in my role as a parent, is to teach my children (along with David) what it means to love and worship the Lord. Gracie loves to dance and sing and praise the Lord, but this past week, we decided that she is also ready to take steps to grow in her own personal time with the Lord. So, on Saturday Grace and I went out on a date so we could talk privately.

First, we stopped at the office supply store to pick out a special journal.

Of course, anyone who knows Grace realizes that we couldn't leave the store without one extra little item.

After we bought the journal (and the gum!), we spent a little time talking about some of things that Grace could do during her prayer times (sing praise songs, read a Bible story, draw and journal about the story, and sit quietly and listen). Then we went home and decorated Grace's journal. She was so excited and showed it to everyone in the family!

Sweet girl. Her enthusiasm is bubbling over and I know the Lord takes great pleasure in their special time together. He is speaking to her heart, and it is beautiful to see.

Dear Jesus, continue to spark in Grace an enthusiasm and love for You! May her heart be knit together with Yours during these special times of prayer. May she seek You all of the days of her life.

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90% off

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I hit Target at just the right moment.
They were marking their Christmas stuff down to 90% off.
90% off.

I bought a few things for next year.
I bought some candy for Valentines day.
(Don't tell my kids. They'll never notice.)
And I bought some cookies for dessert.

50 cents for a fun time and suprisingly good taste!

Some enjoyed eating them.

And others enjoyed taking a looooong time decorating.

The only problem was that there were 8 in the box, and only 7 of us to eat them.

Come home to us soon, sweet R.!
We need you!

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