Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adoption Recap

I am having fun getting reacquainted with some folks from high school on facebook(Hi old friends! ;) and I thought I might just give a little adoption recap for them. If you know our story then this will be boring...but if you want to know how and why we chose to add to our family through adoption, then read on.

The decision or calling to adopt began a long time ago for me. I was just a "tween" when I read the books, "Little Women", "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys". Those stories tell about one sister who opened a home and school for orphans. The dream to adopt was planted in my heart then. When I was 19 I was a camp counselor in north Georgia for a summer and met a group of young Filipino girls and fell in love. It was that summer that I felt a call to Asian missions and a renewed call to adopt Asian children. When I was 21 David and I got married. I felt the call to missions work and while he was open to that call, He did not feel that we should go overseas at that time. I settled into married life and we began to have children. During all this time I would ask David about adoption. He did not feel led to adopt a child. Years past, still bearing children and still occasionally asking if he felt called to adopt yet. He would tell me that he did not. By this time it was not an area of contention for us, I was just trying to figure out why God has given me this passion that remained after all this time. I wrestled with God about it. I tried to get away from it. I asked God to take the desire away, but everywhere I turned adoption was before me. So I waited and wondered not really believing it would ever happen. It was after 20 years of marriage and many years to grow together that God laid it on David's heart to pursue my dream of adoption. It was a miraculous thing. That was in 2002. At the time our 3 bio children were 15, 12 and 6 years old. In October 2003 we received this photo: This was the first photo we ever saw of "Fu Hui Bing"-Davie Anne Bing
Our hearts were ready and soon our bags were packed. Early in the wee hours of the morning after Davie was placed in our arms I told David that "we were done". I was so thankful for Davie Anne, but the adoption was hard. Placing your dreams in the hands of a foreign government(I know they were really in God's hands, but the process makes you feel completely vulnerable)so I just felt like I could not go through it again. I told him our family was complete and I got no arguments. Later that same day we went to visit the orphanage where Davie had spent the first 9 months of her life. It was a life changing visit for me. There were little Chinese babies EVERYWHERE. I stood looking at all those babies with tears rolling down my cheeks, looking at David I said, "I could do it again." This time I received an argument :) It was just overwhelming to both of us. The idea of going through adoption again was a burden I took on that day and then had to lay down in order to enjoy our little Davie Anne. I knew I was willing to adopt again, but it had to come from David. About a year after we brought Davie Anne home he came to me and told me that we needed to adopt from China again. About 2 years later we received this photo:This was our first glimpse of "Fu Lin Qi"-Eliana Joy Lin. I am so glad that God called us to grow our family by adding these two little girls. It was not easy, but it has been life changing for our family in so many ways. I know now that the journey is so far from over. At our age there are days when it feels impossible. In fact, there are days when it is impossible. Balancing the raising of older children with the younger ones is almost always a daunting task. David and I have days when we feel every bit our ages, but then there are days, like Sunday, when we take these two little girls on bike rides where our calling and our feelings match and we know without a doubt that we are right where God intended us to be. Please know that I do not tell this story to get any kudos from anyone. Seriously. I don't think what we have done is any big thing. I think it would be great if it were completely common to adopt :) I just share because I know that folks don't understand why we chose to do this, especially at this time in our lives, so I offer an explanation hoping to give testimony of God's call and to encourage people to hold onto whatever passion God has given them for His kingdom. I so want to be one of those folks who show up at Heaven's gate with tattered clothes, scraped knees and just generally all worn out saying, "Wow! what a ride!" and I won't get to do that by playing it safe in life. One has to take risks in order to see God work in and through us. Why not share some of your story of faith in the comments...I'd love to hear all about it. Much love, JS

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that there are still TONS of orphans that need homes. China, Africa, and Eastern Europe are just a few of the places that still have children available for adoption. Should you feel led to investigate the possibilities I can highly recommend our agency. Here is their website:www.awaa.org

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just for Amanda (and anyone else who stops by)

So, apparently Amanda is bored. Isn't that sad? She wanted me to post something...oh wait, last time I mentioned her it was to compliment her....maybe that's what she is looking for...Amanda is so nice and pretty and she has a post from me just for her. Now that's Christian love...don't cha think?

Ok, apart from that....here at our house things are hatching...literally. A couple of weeks ago I was outside and noticed that my milkweeds(sometimes called butterfly weeds)were looking really sick. I walked over to them and much to my surprise they were covered with Monarch caterpillars. The problem was they had eaten all the plants already. Being the "super mom" ha! that I am, I set out to rescue these babies and I picked each one off the plant and brought them inside into my caterpillar habitat. For the last two weeks I have been feeding them by bringing in milkweeds from another part of my yard. After feeding them I ended up with 25 viable chrysalises...that's a LOT! So far 5 butterflies have emerged after their transformation. That's some exciting stuff, isn't it? (Amanda, just remember, you asked for this)

The other excitement at our house is that Ellie is potty training...well, actually, she isn't that crazy about it, but I had a pretty free week and so I thought we would attempt to accomplish this task. The funny thing is that the way I motivated her to even try this potty thing was to tell her that all her friends used the potty. I named the little girls from our China travel group...I said, "Molly uses the potty, and Anna Claire uses the potty, and Emily uses the potty...", etc. I just kept naming her little friends that use the potty....and she decided that she wanted to use the potty too. She didn't stay motivated for long though so then I brought out the candy...well, you gotta figure out what works, right? Pretty big stuff happening at our house...

I am very excited to start a new Precept study this week. The class is on Daniel this time. It is going to be great I'm sure. Sarah may be coming too which would be cool. Its getting late so I'll end this riveting post with a few pictures. Pictures are cuter anyway. Take care and have a great day...oh, and Amanda, I really suggest you find some other form of entertainment...not really, I'm touched you care what is going on in my life,or saddened by your state of boredom. Either way, there you go. A post just for you. Many blessings, Jackie Sue

Ellie riding in her new bike seat(Thanks Lisa!)

Our Davie girl

Our fun New Years Eve celebration complete with fireworks. Just us and the kids. It was one of the best I've ever had.

Jo(Matt's sweetie)and Catherine with her new SHORT doo...cute, yeah, I know, but I like LONG hair :)

Matt and Jo. Oh, look! Matt cut his hair too. SHORT hair is apparently very in at our house. He's still cute though and back in school this week, YAY!

Just a great picture of my Eddie. I love it. So thankful for him. God is too good to me.

K, that's it. That's all I've got. Have a great week....thanks for stopping by. Oh, one last thing, tell me what you are reading these days...I'm looking for a good read right now. Thanks!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 A Year of New Possibilies

It's the first day of the new year. I was happy to be on my porch today. Thrilled that I've made it out there 3 days in a row. These are the thoughts I had while sitting before the Lord...

It's a new year! Abba, you are all about "new"s! New mercies, new creatures, new hearts, new names, new life, yes, Abba, it is safe to say that You are all about "new"s. Thank You for reminding me of that. I love "new"s too. New beginnings, new clothes, new journals, new Bibles, new babies, new books, new years. Maybe this is the year I will conquer my flesh, conquer my exercise demon, and get healthy...maybe this is the year we will gain a son in law, maybe this is the year I will love You more than ever...new years are filled with possibilities...

I'm so glad there are some things in the new year that I can count on. I know that this is the year I will cling to You. This is the year I will pray more. This is the year You will reveal Yourself to me in a new way. This is the year I will trust You with my loved one. The is the year I will have opportunity to love and give more. This is the year I will not give up. This is the year You will be faithful. This is the year Your will is done. This is the year You will give me strength. This is the year I will praise You. So much about this year I don't know, but these things I do.

This is the year You will love me as Your own and this is the year I will celebrate that love. Gracious Father, I am Yours forever and ever and ever. I am so grateful to be walking into 2009 holding Your hand. may Your name be high and lifted up in my life and in those lives of those who call You Lord. The day is coming of Your return...oh make us ready, Lord, make us ready.

What do you think about the new year? What things do you wonder? What things do you know? Hoping you are trusting in Him today. Love, JS