Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ringing in the New Year

Ah, new beginnings...

2006 is laid to rest, and 2007 has begun. A New Year with new happenings. What do we expect in form 2007? A baby girl, for one (no we haven't heard anything, yet), Keith starting his Master's, a trip to China, an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for David, a trip home this summer, Jeremiah turning 12 and starting 7th grade, David starting his JUNIOR year of high school (how in the world did he grow up so fast?), college aptitude tests, college applications...a year of growth and praising God!

Sadly, we know that 2007 will go by as fast if not faster than 2006. When I was young, I remember feeling that it took FOREVER for my birthday to come, and even longer for Christmas to come. I spent my teenage years waiting for spring break, or even better, summer break. My mom, in her wisdom, told me that time would fly by when I got to be her age. Of course she had not idea what she was talking about (since, I , the ever smart teen, knew everything). Yet here I am, her age...and wishing that I could go back and relive those moments that I wished away. Oh how life just speeds by.

OK, enough of the for a baby update. Referrals for December have not been received by the agencies yet. Yes, I know that in a few moments it will be January. No, I am sure that they are not skipping a month. Occassionally, referrals get sent out late enough that they arrive early in the next month. There is still a VERY SLIM chance that we will be inccludedin the December referral batch. Most likely, we are still looking at the late January batch to see Hannah for the first time. As usual, we will know more once they actually send out the referrals.

Good news, we finished the nursery (except for the screws for the dresser knobs, which are, of course, not available in Germany).

Keith and I made these shelves. Most of the dolls are ones that I had growing up.

A crib fit for a princess!

See the knobs on the dresser? They are not really attached...we need longer screws!!

Her name, painted, varnished and hung!!

The finished product...of course Brutus is keeping the window seat nice and warm.

Now for our baby girl to come home and put this room to use!!

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas everyone!!

Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. How wonderful that we have a God who loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son to earth, to be born as a babe, grow to a man, then take on the sin of the world, be crucified and then raised from the dead! Our God is so gracious!

We know that God is watching over Hannah today. It is hard to think of her lying in a crib, thousands of miles away while we are celebrating here at home. It would have been so nice to have her here, where we could care for her, provide for her needs, and share this time of joy with her. But we know that she is not alone. We pray for her, the other children of the orphanage, and their caregivers today that they will all feel the love of Christ.

We have saved her presents...they are still under the tree. We still have the ones that we bought her last year, too, when we thought that she would be home in early summer of 2006. Her ornament (a family tradition) is not hung on the tree, but is also waiting for her. What a celebration there will be when she finally makes it home...many celebrations!!

Hannah, know that Daddy, Mommy, big brothers, David and Jeremiah, grandparents, family and friends are all praying for you today. We wish you a Merry Christmas and promise that the next one will be even merrier. Stay warm, know that you are loved, and that we'll be there soon!

Referrals still have not come in for December, but we have resigned ourselves that we will be in the late January batch anyways. At least then, if we get it in December we will be thrilled, but if it is January, we will not be disappointed.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Soon...I hope

December or January? That is the question. We will see Hannah's face soon, though...real soon. Referrals (picture, birth information, health history, etc.) usually come at the end of the month, so Hannah's face will either be a Christmas present, or a late Christmas present :) I'll take either one knowing that my God is in charge of her arrival.

We received our travel packet from our agency last week on Sunday, the 3rd of December. I did not even know that our post office had special holiday hours that included Sunday, until we went in to check our mail box. What a surprise! We know a little more about what to expect once we get our referral, and have a stack of forms about an inch thick to fill out between now and travel time. We have even more forms to fill out if Keith cannot travel with us. :( But we are hoping and praying that he will be able to go. If he doesn't, I still have to take an adult travel companion...any volunteers? (Valid passport, Chinese visa, and endless patience and energy required.)

Keith will be home soon, and in time to celebrate Christmas with us. He's been playing in Denmark of all places (His location is no longer classified). We are all going to be so happy to be back together.

I praise God for each of you and your support for us through this adoption. We cannot wait to share our good news with you.

Oh yeah, and leave a comment or 2...I know you come to visit this site, so let us know that you have been here. Someday we will be able to share our wait with Hannah, once she is old enough to understand, and we would love to share with her your thoughts and prayers, too. You can either click on "comments" at the end of the post time stamp, or over on the right, under "links", you can click on the "guestbook". Either way...just do it!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thanksgiving, it's not just a day to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie until you are so full that you cannot breathe (although that is good, too). This Thanksgiving is a day of reflection on how God has so truly blessed our family.

God has given Keith and I a wonderful marriage. I am so thankful for Keith and everything that he is to our family: a follower of God, a great husband, an awesome dad, a hero to our boys, and a father-to-be for our precious Hannah. I am so thankful that God has brought Keith and I together in this way.

God has given us two handsome sons. It is incredible to watch David grow to become a man. He is a faithful Christian and is not afraid to stand up for what he believes. He is a friend to everyone. He is so intelligent and aspires to be just like his dad. He has grown so much this year physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am thankful for him.

Jeremiah is such a blessing to our lives. He is kind, caring, and compassionate. He loves nothing more than to serve others and to gloify God in doing so. He, too, is a wonderful young man, and I am thankful for him.

Although we have not yet met Hannah, we are also blessed by even konwing that she exists. This adoption, and watching God be so faithful in it, has brought our family closer. Hannah, as we wait for you, God has given us patience, understanding, and an unbelievable peace. Yes, the wait has been so much longer than we ever anticipated, but we have seen God's hand throughout each day.

So this Thanksgiving, we find our family all over the world...our parents, brothers, and sisters in the states, Keith away from home at an undisclosed location, the boys and I here in Germany, and Hannah in China, but we know that no matter how far apart we all are, God's arm is not too short to keep us all together.

I am thankful for an awesome God who is always faithful. His love for us is beyond measure, and we see it every day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

David Speaks

Wow! I really do talk. I thought that I might tell all of Mom's friends about what I think about the adoption. First of all, I would like to verify that the window seat was REALLY my idea. I would also lke you to know that Mom spent hours (no joke) doing trigonometry to figure out what angle to cut the wood in. She probobably wore holes in graph paper redrawing this toybox/windowseat.

My thoughts on the adoption at first were that it was kinda like a phase or fad. They would talk about nonstop for about a week or so, then drop it completely, wonder were the money was going to come from, and cancel the adoption. (makes no sense, I know. I tried.) Then, when I realized that they were serious, I had to think about whether or not I really wanted a baby sister. Eventually after much thought (and a couple of grounding threats (just kidding)) I decided that getting a baby sister from China would be kinda cool. I mean, how many other 15 year old guys get to go to China to get a baby sister? My only concerns right now are noise control (wailing baby, screaming mom, etc), damage control (peanut butter in the keyoard, memory card over here and over there at the same time, broken nose, etc), and college money. I am clearing out my savings to go to China, so hopefully mom can pay me back (with a 200% interest rate, compounded daily) in a few years. I start college in 2 1/2 years, so I'll just have to trust that God will provide. And with FoxMarkt, I can start saving money on everything! At FoxMarkt, I was able to get a suit for homecoming for only 20 Euro! The only thing that they do not have there is shoes for guys in high school. I know, I digress.

I hope that Hannah is nice to mom after I am gone, or I will have to make her live with me and that would not be much fun for both of us. But, deep down I really do want a baby sister. I have prayed about God helping me to live with a new sister. It will be challenging, but I will get over it.

That's all I have to say about that.

Big Brother David
who has a myspace, so if you are really bored, you can hit the link to myspace, then the link to mom's blog from myspace and go in circles all day!

OK, blogger is having difficulty with the links so if you want to go to myspace, just copy and paste this url into the browser.

So when it works you can do the circle thingy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

We expect to see her face in December!

Can it be true? Is it possible? We might actually get to see Hannah's face in the late December/early January set of referrals from China! Our baby girl should get to come home in February or March! Since it looks like we will be receiving our referral in late December, we will receive our travel approval (TA) approximately a month later. The TA is China's official invitation to travel. Once we have received that, we have to ask for an appointment at the US consulate, called the CA. Usually, you get approval of the CA within 24-48 hours after receiving the TA. The CA determines when you travel to China to pick up your new daughter.

Our only possible problem lies in the fact that the Chinese New Year is in February this year. It starts on the 18th of February and lasts for 15 days, so there is no traveling to China during this period. Well, we could travel, but nothing would be open and hotels would be booked...

However, God has carried us this far and will not leave us without a plan. From the beginning, we can see how God has orchestrated this entire adoption, and have NO DOUBT that He will see it through to completion!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Eager for news?

Eager for news? Me too! I am waiting to hear how far many dates the CCAA has matched this month. Each month, we draw a little closer to seeing our baby Hannah's face. Right now, December is looking good, but we won't know much more until then. Well, we could know that the wait is getting longer, but we won't be able to tell that the wait is getting shorter, unless of course we receive a call in November!

For now, we will just have to settle for no news...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, China officially received our paperwork requesting a baby. What a long year that has been...

1 Thess 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wishing Away My Life

OK, so I am not really wishing away my life, but sometimes it seems that way. Each month, when referrals come out, the wait just gets longer. Sometimes the wait just increases by a month, sometimes more. When we submitted our dossier to China in September, we expected to receive an LID (log in date, the date that China officially receives your paperwork) in mid to late September. At that time the wait was 6-7 months, so we expected a referral in March or April 2006. In October, the wait was still 6-7 months, and since we did not get a log in date of September like we thought, our official wait began in October, moving our expected referral date to April or May. Then the slowdown started.

Here is a visual:
In September we expected a referral in March
In October we expected a referral in April
In November we expected a referral in May
In December we expected a referral in May
In January we expected a referral in June
In February we expected a referral in July
In March we expected a referral in July
In April we expected a referral in August
In May we expected a referral in September
In June we expected a referral in September
In July we expected a referral in October
In August we expected a referral in October
In September we expected a referral in November
Now we expect a referral in December or January, most likely January.

So, as you can see, for those of you who are wondering if this will really happen, it is not that we have been trying to deceive. We don't even know from one month to the next what to expect. In reality, I am not wishing away my life, just in a hurry to get from one month to the next to see if referrals will come sooner or later. Will the wait increase (say NO!!!!), stay the same (UGH!), or decrease (YEAH!!!!!)? Will we get to hold our precious Hannah this winter, or will it be spring?

Now on to the more fun stuff. We finally finished the toy box that we started for the room. It was a lot of work ,but well worth it. It turned out even better than I ever thought.

Now if we could just keep the cat off of it!

I am almost finished with the letters that we did for her name. I still have to varnish those and hang them up.

I have finished 2 cross stitch bibs, and am working on a third one.

We still have to sand, stain, varnish and hang 2 more shelves for her room and put the knobs on the dresser...

THEN THE ROOM WILL BE DONE!! Do you think that is why the wait is taking so long, because we still have more to do? Say it isn't so, because if we had the referral today, we'd have that room ready!! Keith and I both have experience at pulling all-nighters. (See, Mom, college taught us something!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Passing the Time

We have been very busy this month with birthdays and our aniversary. I'll give you one guess as to where Keith and I went...

Is that just not too cute? We looked at probably 15 different tourist traps, oops...I mean stores, before we came across this onesie.

In other news, we have been working hard on the nursery, trying to get everything ready for the day Hannah comes home. Our latest project started like this:

Me: Wouldn't it be fun to build a bench to put in front of the window? (thinking just a little rectangular bench...easy)

David: Come on, Mom. You could make one to fit the window.

Me: Oh, I don't know, that seems really hard. Let's talk to your dad. (thinking that he would agree to just an easy, little rectangular bench, too)


Me: Keith, wouldn't it be fun to build a bench to fit the window (making it sound like it was all my idea)?

Keith: Why don't we make it into a toybox, too?

Me: (now, what have I gotten myself into?) Um, sure...(and now knowing that I have gotten myself into a much bigger project than I ever planned!)

And we did. We drew the design, made a plan, bought the wood, took it to the wood hobby shop on base, and with just a little bit of trial and error...OK sometimes a lot of trial and error (mostly error on my part). We built it. Now, I am in the process of upholstering it in matching fabric.

The inspirational window area.

Stapling upholstery

Friday, July 28, 2006

Do I Sound Like a Broken Record?

Well, July is here and hotter than ever! Our summer has been full of activities: scout camp, church camp, church choir camp, summer classes, volunteering, vacations, nursery decorating…the only thing missing is the referral for our baby girl. We are so blessed with all the provisions of God! If we had control over this process we would have Hannah home by now, but we trust that God has an even better plan for our family. As our lives progress, we can constantly see the way God knits our lives together. What we think of as a setback is really God just preparing us for something else. Over and over this summer we have seen things come together in a way that we could not have imagined.

I have taken comfort in the Book of Romans, Chapter 8.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wow! If this doesn’t tell it like it is, I do not know what does.

OK, the “real” answer to the never-ending question…when will we get our referral? I don’t know. It is still possible that we could get it in October, likely by the end of this year; almost definitely by next spring. How’s that for an answer? Unofficially, it looks like the CCAA made it through the middle of July 05 this month. (I say unofficially because their website has not been updated yet.) Therefore it is possible that they could make it through almost all of August 05 next month, finish September 05 in September 06, then do at least part of October 05 in October 06.  It is just as likely that they will finish July 05 in August 06, take September 06 and October 06 to do August 05, then November 06 and December 06 to do all of September 05, and finally, start October 05 in January 07. Our log in date is October 10, 2005. Once more, like a broken record, I will say that we should know more next month when referrals come out. In the meantime, please continue to pray that we will glorify God in our wait.

Friday, June 23, 2006

We're approved!!!

We have been officially approved by China to adopt a baby!

From the China Center of Adoption Affairs website:

"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before October 31, 2005.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before June 28, 2005."

Now that our paperwork is finished in the review room, it moves to the matching room. That doesn't mean that we will be matched soon, though, because China is still matching paperwork received in late June/early July. We still do not know when we will receive our referral, but it is looking like maybe toward the end of this year. Hopefully we will see her face in November or December with travel in late January. That would be awesome!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Waiting Game

So we wait...and will continue to wait it seems. This month, China again issued only a few days worth of referrals. We are not sure why they issued so few or when or even if it will speed up. We do know that God is good. We will not allow ourselves to question His motives nor His timing. At this point, we will have to extend our expectation to receiving a referral next spring with travel next summer.

I am beginning to feel like an elephant with such a long pregnancy!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. It was an enjoyable day, with a 2 hour cruise down the Rhine River, a castle tour, a cable car ride, a big German lunch, and plenty of shopping.

It is great to have a family to spend time with, especially when we all enjoy each other's company so much. It was wonderful to spend the day without the distractions of life getting in the way. The only thing that could have made today better would have been if Hannah was here with us. We saw several people with young children playing on the boat, climbing the castle, and getting sleepy at naptime. It made us think of Hannah and what life will be like once she is with us.

We sure are ready for Hannah to come home!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Non-Criminals Again!!

Somehow, after the non-criminal certificates were mailed earlier this month, they disappeared in the mail. Who knows if they will ever turn we went back today and obtained new letters, got them notarized (again), and mailed them (again). this time I requested a delivery receipt. I was still too cheap to pay $15 for express mail so we could track the letters. I figure that at the rate China is sending out referrals, we have SEVERAL months to get them this information. Referrals for April came out yesterday, and they only covered 7 days worth of requests. At this rate of a week a month, we will get our referral in October of 2007!!! Of course we hope and anticipate that they will speed back up, but like many things in life, there is no guarantee.

We will continue to rest in God's timing and handling of the situation. He alone knows the answer to all the whys, how long the wait will be, where Hannah is now, whether she is born or not, and knows exactly how we feel.

In the meantime, we are still working on the nursery, and saving up for our trip. Maybe it is a good thing that it is taking longer than we first least we have saved a little for the rest of the adoption fees and travel expenses. OK, so at least that is what I am telling myself. What I really would like is to quit having to wait... :o)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Non Criminals Here

We are officially "non-criminals" once again. I was able to get our police clearance letters from the military police that satisfies all the requirements of our agency and the CCAA. At first, we thought that we would have to go through the German government, which unfortunately takes weeks...sometimes months for clearance. Thanks to our lovely SPs who have access to not only criminal records for crimes on base, but to the records of military and their dependents off base as well, we were able to get the same clearance in about 5 minutes from there. Within 30 minutes, I had both letters, had them notarized, and mailed back to our adoption agency - and all for free (except postage).
Now the letters will have to be authenticated and consularized (is that even a word?) before they are sent back to the CCAA. That process takes a few weeks in itself, but is completely out of our hands. Good thing God is in charge of paperwork, because I would rush it through and mess it all up.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Review Room

Good news, we now know that our dossier is in the "review room". The CCAA has contacted our angency requesting additional information. Since we moved to Germany, they are concerned that we might have turned into a modern day "Bonnie and Clyde". Just kidding, but they do want a police report from Germany stating that we do not have a criminal record. These reports are standard adoption fare, and we got the same clearance from Oklahoma when we originally collected our dossier documents. It is actually a fairly easy piece of documentation to get. Although this will get us one step closer to getting Hannah's referral, we still do not know how soon that will happen. Once our dossier finishes in the review room, it will move to the "matchng room" where it gets matched with a child. Unfortunately for us, the matching room seems to be a bit backlogged, since they are still matching families with LID's of June.
The better news for us is that our criminal record is the only thing that they questioned in our dossier documents. To us, that means that everything else is good, and has passed inspection. Not that we were worried, but it is nice to know that part of the process is almost done.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Wait Continues

The China Center for Adoption Affairs, which is the agency that handles all international adoptions from China, has just sent out referrals (which is the name, date of birth, picture, location, and health history for the child chosen for your family) for families registered with their agency through May 30th, 2005. Our log in date (LID) is October 10, 2005. I really do not know what to say about the wait at this point. When we initially started our adoption process in February of 2005, the wait was 5-6 months from the time China logged in your paperwork. Currently the wait time is 10 months, but is on the rise...and a very quick rise at that. There is a lot of speculation as to why, but the truth is that we do not know. We trust that God is in charge, and that nothing happens that is a surprise to Him; however, this is a surprise to us. We cannot even begin to guess as to when we will receive our Hannah's information. Could the CCAA speed up their referrals? Absolutely. Could they continue to slow down? Absolutely.

Some background: The CCAA usually sends out referrals once a month. In the past, they have usually sent out about a months worth of referrals each month, keeping the wait time consistent. The past couple of months, they sent out only 2 weeks worth of referrals each month. In March, they only sent out 3 days worth of referrals. Referrals usually come at the end of the month, so April's referrals will most likely come at the end of April, around the 25th. This is not a hard and fast rule and has been subject to much fluctuation in the past.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Baby Hannah

This blog was created to allow others to join in our adoption journey bringing home baby Hannah from China. Keith and Judy were both led to adopt in different ways. While Judy was initially resistant to adoption when Keith brought it up many years ago; God led her to adopt in a very gradual, but purposeful way. In January of 2005, Judy felt God leading her to adopt and began to research, although just a little, adoption agencies. Judy did not speak to Keith about it as she did not want to burden him during his difficult time at school. She knew that at this time in their marriage, that they did not have the time, nor financial means to adopt. Also, she did not realize that Keith may still want to add to the family, as our biological children were already 13 and 9. God, however, had a plan.
Keith had been going to college for now 3 1/2 years. He had always wanted to adopt, but was not sure where to start, or even if Judy would be willing. In February of 2005, Keith and Judy went to Steven Curtis Chapman's concert. It was here that God would bring their hearts together with His will to decide to adopt. During the concert while Steven was talking about Shaohannah's Hope and raising funds, God spoke to both Keith and Judy. Neither of us was led to give, but instead felt an intense desire to be one of the families adopting a child. We did not talk about it that night, but the next day, Keith called Judy into their room and expressed his conviction and desire to adopt. Imagine Judy's surprise when she had wanted to talk to Keith about it for a couple of months!
However, they both knew that the time could not be right. Keith was in school and they were accruing debt in the form of student loans. Judy had costly medical bills. David and Jeremiah were both struggling with school and medical problems of their own. Certainly God did not mean now...but He did. God led us both to realize quickly that this was His adoption, that this was His calling and this was His plan. We started to look into adoption agencies. We found Dillon, which was in Oklahoma, where we lived at the time. Amazingly, they were having an adoption seminar that very next Saturday. We went and during the seminar found that God was leading us to adopt from China. Our journey had begun. We filed our application and were accepted. We spoke to our children. We expected resistance, since they were older and not requesting a sibling at this time in their lives. However, we were stunned by David’s response. In the wisdom of a barely 13 year old, he stated, “If God is calling you to adopt, you had better do it!” We knew that Jeremiah loved to play with other children and is very compassionate and caring. His reply was one question, “Can I read her diary?” We did the calculations and decided that if she was 9 by the time she started keeping a diary, he would be 20, and probably not interested. So, we agreed to his request. Yes, Jeremiah may read her diary...once she writes one, that is!
Then came the first bump in the road. We realized truly just how much this was going to cost. We knew that we could not afford this on our own. We considered backing out, but God would not give us peace about this decision. This was HIS adoption and HIS plan. Only He would provide. We were not called to carry this burden alone. God did not give us peace until we again realized this fact, and on this promise, we have leaned throughout the entire adoption process.
We chose a name for our daughter after quite a bit of discussion. Her first name is Hannah, which means “given to us by God”. Truly, she is a gift from God. Her middle name is Elizabeth, which means “consecrated to God”. We choose to raise Hannah in a way that is pleasing and glorifying to God. Therefore, we are giving her back to God as a gift from us. We know that God has a plan for us and for Hannah, and that He will be glorified in the raising of our daughter.
God did provide us what we needed in the adoption process. Our church, in only one week, came up with nearly $4000 to pay for the home study, part of the program management fees and the dossier processing. It was truly a blessing from God. In May, Keith graduated from college, and commissioned into the Air Force. In July, the Air Force moved our entire family over to the beautiful country of Germany. Judy, of course had to leave the job that she had in Oklahoma. God has convicted us that Judy’s place is now in the home, where she can care for the family, so she has not sought a new job here in Germany. Our dossier went to China on September 9th, was logged in (received by the China Center for Adoption Affairs) on October 10th, and we are now eagerly awaiting our referral. We are excited to see God work, as He has led us each through each step of the way. We are truly blessed that He has chosen us to adopt. We know that He will provide what is needed in exactly His time, His way and to His glory.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


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