It's here!! It's here!! It's here!!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our agency received our travel approval today!!!! They have requested consulate dates that would have us leaving for China either on December 12th, or December 25th (Yes, Christmas Day!). We should have definite plans early next week.

Thank you, Jesus!!! And thank you, friends, for praying for us and supporting us through this journey to our precious boy.

We're almost there!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is the video that really stirred my heart for this amazing little boy.

Our little Stephen Yuankai, we can't wait to hear your precious voice and see your sweet smile, in person! Hold on, little one. It won't be long now.

Come on, TA!!!

Do you remember...

Do you remember this little darlin'?
(I posted about her a couple of months ago.)
Like sweet Lauren, Burgandi is a Reeece's Rainbow Angel Tree Child this year! That means that someone is trying to raise money for her grant fund, to make it easier for a family to adopt her!
Precious Burgandi's Angel Tree Warrior is having an incredible art giveaway to benefit Burgandi. Some of the pieces are simply amazing (honestly, really amazing)! Please go check it out here.
Also, if you'd like to see Lauren's grant fund grow, please visit this site to order beautiful jewelry and Christmas ornaments. Please mention my name (Sarah Bandimere) at checkout so that Lauren will receive 75% of your purchase towards her grant fund.
Thanks so much, friends!

a little bit of whining, a new smile and I think that I'm going crazy...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Okay, the whining first...


Whew! I'm glad that I got that over with.

Now, on to other things...

like this incredible boy's new (braceless) smile!

Oh my goodness gracious! I think that Adam is so handsome. And honestly, the inside of this young man is beyond wonderful.

I know that I'm bragging here,
but Adam is such an amazing gift to everyone he meets,
and I hardly ever get to brag about him,
and I'm anticipating adopting our new son,
and just how wonderful that little boy will be,
and it makes me want to brag a little bit more about Adam,
becuase he love, love, loves every new child who comes into our family.

Shortly after we adopted Grace, she asked, in all seriousness,
"Is Adam Jesus?"

No joke.
She really thought Adam might be Jesus.

I tell you, I sooooo want to get our new little guy home,
and see him interact with all of his siblings,
and well...

you get the picture.

Yep. Definitely going a little bit crazy here.

Come on TA.

I need you!

and a little mountain getaway...

Monday, November 26, 2012

David and I have had a tradition of going away for the weekend after Thanksgiving to celebrate our anniversary (which is on December 9th). But, since we have been getting ready to go to China (think, saving all of our money!), we didn't plan on doing that this year.

David's parents, however, gave us a spectacular early anniversary gift...a night away at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.

When we walked into our room, this was the view that we saw from our window!

And in the morning, it looked like this...

The inside of the hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Although the regular decor was amazing, as well!

You can see the windows of our room in this photo. It's on the middle level, on the right in this picture.

It's been a crazy past couple of weeks...going to MN (which I am sooooo glad that I was able to do), lots of illness in our house, getting ready for China and finishing up many odds and ends at the school. So, it was wonderful to simply have some time with my sweet hubby. I sure love that guy!!!

A Mountain Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 25, 2012

We had such a great weekend! Oma and Opa (David's parents) took us to a cabin in the mountains to celebrate Thanksgiving, and we had a wonderful time!

I think that my kids like their grandparents! : )

We all played games and worked on puzzles.

We relaxed...oh yeah, we definitely relaxed.

We smiled a lot!

And, of course, since it was Thanksgiving, we ate quite a bit, as well.

ummmm...I think that turkey leg is bigger than Grace's head!

We took this awesome family photo to send to Kaikai.

But, I see upon closer inspection, that David looks a bit psychotic in this photo (gotta love that sweet hubby of mine!).

So, this one will have to do.

And on that note, we are on day 9 of our wait for TA.
I'm pretty much thinkin' that's long enough.

The Spirit of Adoption

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God!
I John 3:1

A couple of years ago, I read a book entitled Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship, by Jack Frost. This book was life-transforming. While reading it, I experienced deep revelation of what it means to be a child of God. Our Heavenly Father used this book to show me patterns in my life that were not indicitive of my identity as His daughter. He healed me in many ways and I will forever be grateful for the things that He revealed to my heart.

After this experience, however, I foolishly thought that I really had a grasp on understanding the heart of our Father. I know now that I was only just beginning...

A few weeks ago, we were having a time of praise and worship before the start of school. My amazing brother, Brett, was leading worship. He read from Romans 8:15-17:

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, 'Abba, Father.'  The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also co-heirs with Christ)." 

One of the students leaned over to me and asked, "What is a co-heir?"

And as I began to explain this concept, the eyes of my heart were opened...
We are co-heirs with Christ.
We are co-heirs with Christ.
We are co-heirs with Christ.

Was it possible??? Was it truly possible that our Father, the One who created the heavens and the earth, had bestowed upon us all of the riches of the Kingdom, just as He had bestowed these riches upon Christ?! Was it possible that our Father loved me, just as He loves Christ?!

Truly, this seemed impossible to me, but as my eyes were opened, I couldn't deny it. It was impossible...yet  miraculously true.

The Father does love me, just as he loves Christ.
The Father has given me access to the riches of heaven, just as He has given them to Christ.

The Father, then, brought to mind my own children. Did I feel any differently about my adopted children than I felt about my biological son?


Again, and again, and again, I say, "NO!!!"

It makes no difference to me whether or not my children were conceived in my womb or in the womb of another. It makes no difference to me whether or not I bore these children. I love them! I love them and would give my life for them in an instant. They are MY children. They are the ones that I love.

But, as I pondered this reality, I also couldn't deny another reality..

Sometimes it makes a difference to them.

At times, it's hard for adopted children to accept that they are loved, just as a biological child is loved. At times, it's hard for adopted children to see themselves as beloved sons and daughters.

But, whether they see themselves in that way or not, the truth is, they ARE beloved sons and daughters. I see my own precious adopted children in exactly the same way as I see our biological son. I love these wonderful children with love unfailing, and I hope with all of my heart that they would know that and experience that love each and every day.

And, do you know what?

My Father feels the same way about me.

He sees me as He sees Christ. He loves me just as He loves Christ. Wonder of wonders...He cares for me, in the same way that He cares for Christ.

And He longs for me to know it and live it each and every day.

Jesus truly is my brother! Our Father loves me, just as He loves Jesus! And all that I have to do is receive it.

And do you know what friends?
Our Father feels the same way about you.

The Spirit of Adoption.

Oh Lord, let it permeate our hearts and fill us to overflowing. Let it inform our every thought, fill our every need, and give direction to every step that we take.  Dear precious Father, may the Spirit of Adoption take hold of our hearts and help to transform our lives to look more like the life of Your Son, whom You love, just as You love us.


Friday, November 16, 2012

(Article 5 is the approval from the US consulate in China.)

We're thanking Jesus today that we're one step closer to our precious son!

Next step is TA (travel approval). TA is the really big one, because within a couple of days of receiving our TA, we will know when we will be traveling to China!! (woohoo!!!!)

Officially, travel approval takes 2-4 weeks. We're really hoping for less since we would have to get our travel approval very soon in order to travel in early December. We want our little guy home as soon as possible!

Oh my goodness...I can hardly wait!!!

on my way

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hey friends!
David and I decided that it would be really good for me to go see my dad and mom before our trip to China. So, I'm in the process of getting ready to go to MN for a few days. Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying for my dad. I really appreciate it. So far, he isn't really experiencing any pain from the cancer, so we're grateful for that! Would you pray that we would have some good time to talk and be together while I'm in MN? I think that this is the first time, since college, that I have been to my parent's house without David or the kids. Please pray for David and our little ones at home, as well. Grace has had a pretty bad cold for the past few days and it would be good if no one else got it while I was away!

Thanks so much, friends! I appreciate each one of you!

watching popsicles freeze

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

 "Hey Grace, what are you doing?" I called up to Grace when I hadn't heard from her for about ten minutes.
(Ha! Those of you who know Grace know that ten minutes is a looooong time for her to be apart from the company of others of her own accord!) 

"I'm watching my popsicle freeze," she responded.
Yep. That's really what she was doing.

 After eight popsicles today, I'm pretty sure that we could classify it as a bona fide addiction.

two amazing girls

Friday, November 2, 2012

I can hardly believe that this little treasure has been in our lives for four years now! This girl is a

I cannot imagine our lives without Grace.
Thank you, Jesus, for allowing us to adopt this precious girl.
We are going to celebrate her adoption day tomorrow and she is soooooo excited!

And now, I'd like to show you the face of another little girl who is ready and waiting to bless her family's socks off!

Oh my gracious!
Isn't she adorable?!

This two-year-old darlin' is "Lauren" and we are thrilled to be her Angel Tree Warriors through Reece's Rainbow this year. As her Angel Tree Warriors, we will be raising money for her grant fund, praying for her, and showing her sweet little photo to as many people as possible, in hopes that her family will find her!

Would you consider helping Lauren find her family by donating to her grant fund?
You can go directly to Lauren's donation page by clicking here.
I added the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree button to our sidebar. If you'd like to donate that way, click on the button, which will take you to the Reece's Rainbow page. Then, scroll down to Lauren's photo and you can donate towards her grant fund (or towards the grant fund of one of the other little treasures on that page).
And if you'd like to help us by sharing her photo with others, we'd greatly appreciate it!
Thanks so much, friends. 

my daddy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Those of you who have had fathers who worked hard for them, who took care of all of their needs and who showed love for them in so many of the things that they did each day, KNOW that a father is absolutely a gift.

There are so many children who do not have a father to care for them. There are so many children who live, wondering where there next meal will come from. There are children in this world who do not have a home to call their own and who wonder if they will be safe at night.

But that was not me.

I am so very grateful that I had a father who always took care of me. My dad loved me through the many ways that he took care of me each day.

But, now my father is sick.
He's really sick.

Yesterday, I found out that my father's cancer has spread to his liver.
This isn't good.
In fact, it's really, really hard.

(My parents on their 50th wedding anniversary.)

And even though it's hard for me, it's even harder for my mom, who has been married to this faithful man, who has truly loved her, for over 50 years.

(My mom and dad and their four children.)

Would you please pray for both my dad and my mom?

(My mom and dad and their grandchildren.)

Thank you, dear ones.
Your prayers mean more to me than I could ever express.

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