Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Stage

So the classes are done, and we are now starting the application phase. Once we get the initial application done, we will continue with more paperwork (it's called a "paper trail" for a reason) while we complete our homestudy.

On the way back from our LAST class, Joey turned to me and said, " I am so excited." And that just about sums it up for me as well. Excited- to have our first step completed; to have the paperwork needed for the next step in our hands; and to be on the verge of finally being old enough to begin our "paper pregnancy."

I would like to note that we are also excited to begin our homestudy. I dreaded it at first. And I will admit, a small... teeny tiny part of me is still uncomfortable with it. BUT, after the classes and finding out what exactly a homestudy entails, we are excited to begin the process. As with the classes, we intend to cooperate fully and try to get the most that we can out of the experience. It helps to have met the social workers, and honestly, I can say that our agency has some really knowledgeable and friendly people on their staff. They really opened our eyes to things we never thought of before, and I believe we will be better parents to all of our children because of this course.
Until next time, Tasha

Wu~ Momma and Daddy are constantly thinking of you. Your brothers and sisters are excited about your arrival. The Wii has little "me" characters in both a boy Wu and a girl Wu, and your siblings enjoy "playing" with you. They also are sure to pray for you every night. It is such a blessing to be your family already. We are so curious about who you are, and look forward to seeing you, meeting you, and caring for you. Until we meet, we will be loving you from a distance, but will be keeping you close in our hearts. Love you! ~Momma

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Less than a month away...

...until we are paper pregnant! We are over halfway done with our Hague accredited courses. We are learning a bunch and preparing ourselves to be the parents that our little Wu will need us to be.

It is snowing in Beijing tonight. It is exciting to know that we may get to experience snow when we go to China to get our little one. I wonder what the Great Wall looks like, covered in snow? I bet it would be breathtaking, but not as breathtaking as seeing our little one for the first time.

We are anxious and excited to begin our paperwork, and homestudy in the next month. We are getting things ready around the house. And soon I will be gathering the necessary documents needed for the paper trail.

Thinking of you little Wu, and praying that you are warm and well cared for. We all can't wait to warm you with our hugs, and surround you with sweet kisses and blessings before you go to sleep at night. Just thinking of the day, brings tears of joy to my eyes. Love you baby!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Through the Storm: Weathering Judgement

I know that people judge, and unjustly so. It hurts to hear others judge us because of decisions that they themselves have made. I hate to hear that people are negatively judging mine and Joey's JOINT decision to answer God's calling for us IN CHINA.

I also know that we will have to learn to live past this judgement, and not let it bother us. And we will do it, because there is always beauty after the storm. For us, the beauty lies in holding and loving our little Wu for the rest of their life.

People talk. This is true. Let them. I have heard about discussions regarding our "decision" to not adopt domestically. "There are so many children here," they say. "It's rediculous," they say. Well this is what I say:

The "decision" you refer to was not ours but God's. He lead us to this adventure we are currently going on. He placed this child in our hearts. We both, yearn for this child. And no matter where they are, we will go.

So how did we hear God's calling? This is our testimony.

When I was 13, I felt a calling to the plight of the orphan in China. I told anyone who would listen about how I was going to adopt a little girl from China one day, and name her Emily. One of my sisters would laugh at me, but she knew I was serious.

Flash forward several years... Joey and I have dated through 2 years of high school, and 2 years of college. We are now engaged, and going through a marriage preparation class. Several questions are proposed for us to discuss on our own. One of them was regarding family size. Joey wants 7 children, and I want 3 or maybe 4. Secretly, I think he is crazy, but looking back, I believe God may have put that number in his heart. I bring up the subject of adopting from China, IF the opportunity would present itself when we became of age. Joey agrees that this is something that he would like very much.

So we begin our marriage. Over 9 years, we have 4 beautiful children, and we are building a house. Our lives are BUSY. I am checking my email, which is a daily ritual. We had several orders coming in for the house, and I was tracking them down. When I log off of my email. This featured article pops up on the screen, and there is this photo of this adorable Asian child. I read it out of curiosity, and discover that Joey and I were on the verge of being elligible to adopt from China.

Joey gets home, and I go back to show him this article. It wasn't there! How could that be? Featured articles are usually there for the entire day and into the next. It's only been 2 hours! So I search for the article, and find that it dated back to 2007. Weird. Or so I thought at the time. Anyhow, Joey and I pour over it. We decide that this is something we will consider further.

Over the next few weeks, we decide that this is something we would like to do until we saw the expense associated with it. I am not going to lie... it is expensive. And with 4 children, it didn't seem feasible at the time. So we brush it off and commit to trying to conceive our 5th child when we move into our home.

Well, I don't think God liked our response. He came gently knocking. Through various forms. Mostly via the radio and internet. All of a sudden the radio was featuring families who had adopted, and they were speaking mostly about orphans in China. One story that sticks out in my mind at the moment, was that there was a little girl who was adopted from China making blankets for the babies in the orphanages. You see, many orphanages are without heat or air conditioning. So after hearing these stories, we ignore them. It's just coincidence we say.

What happens when Someone knocks on your door, they know you are home, and you don't answer? They knock HARDER. I am dropping Joey off at work one day. His brakes in his car went out. And I turn on the radio as he steps out, and an announcer states, "If only 7% of Christians in the WORLD would adopt ONE child, there would be no orphans. If God is calling you to do so, then you know what you need to do." Then the announcement broke, music played, and the subject was never brought up again on the announcer's show. Could this be a message from God? Have I been ignoring Him? This is rediculous! How can we afford it? Joey and I crunched numbers, and it just does NOT seem possible.

I am now back at the apartment. And I find myself at the computer, once again researching about adoption. I watched a video called, "China's Lost Girls." It was created by national geographic. There is alot to learn from it. Now there is a day in a China adoption, which is well known as being the "gotcha day." This is the day, that your child is given to you in China. I am finding several videos of babies joining their forever families on youtube. It is beautiful. I am crying. But as beautiful as it was, I still did not see how we could do it.

Up in the corner of the screen, there is a feautured video. And I watch it. It is called "The Dying Rooms." This video is disturbing. It shatters my entire world. How it was featured on a page filled with joyful unions, is beyond me. Looking back, I can see how God used it to move me. Even now, as I attempt to write about the content of the show, I cannot. I will not. If you are curious, then go to youtube and search for it.

You see, it was way beyond my comfort zone. I could not see what was in that video, and not feel altered. God knows my heart, and He knew I was being stubborn, so He sent that video to get me going. But He was not done... He had one more message. And it was in the form of yet another featured video.

This one was about a beautiful union of a family with their child in China. They included photos of her life here in the US, and at the end of the video, a message appears accross the screen. And it states, "Your daughter is in China. Go get her." Now I realize this could have been a very generic statement, but Joey and I both believe this was a message from God. Now I know you may know what I am talking about, if you have ever listened to a message from God. You get a tingle. It's like some body part you never used before starts flowing something through your system. I knew at that moment, this message was meant for us.

I needed to share this message with Joey. But how? We had closed this topic. It was unthinkable, because we would need the money. Joey gets home, and he hears about what I have seen, what I have felt, and about God's message to us. And you have to understand, my husband is feeling extremely burdened at the moment. Things are going on at work, something with the house wasn't going right, and we have 4 children that require our attention. He says "no." I am torn. He won't look at the video. I am a mess. We argue. He states that there are orphans in the United States, and through foster care, they are free. I hear his points, and I know that there are beautiful children available through foster care, and it would be easy to go into the foster care system. But I also KNOW what God has said to me.

We argue. And my friends, it was not pretty. I am ashamed that it escalated to the point that it did. But there was quiet. I prayed to God, asking Him that if He placed it in my heart, then please place it in in his. And after the storm, there was beauty. My husband, my best friend, understood and felt God's call. He agreed to watch what I had seen. And he too felt what I was feeling. Our child, was in China.

You see, God doesn't draw boundary lines when it comes to His children. He looks after ALL of us the same. We were ALL adopted by Him, our loving Father. Jesus, Himself, was adopted by Joseph. And if God's only Son was adopted, then how do you think God feels about the subject? He does not delight in the homeless, the fatherless, motherless, or widows. He asks us to be His hands and feet. He asked us to be His hands and feet for a child in China. And I admit, He does not always ask us to do what is easy either. But we both knew that if He led us to it, He would lead us through it.

This is the part we are working on: Being led through it. I tried to avoid sharing our testimony. But I realize I needed to. Too many people are thinking that it's their place to make decisions for us or to comment negatively about our situation. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but God is the only One who will ever make decisions for us. Make your ripples in the water, I prefer to surf on God's waves.

So friends, please feel free to rejoice with us! For a child has been conceived in our hearts. We are overjoyed, and we will only entertain the positive from now on. We look forward to the day that our little one will join us physically. No matter how long the journey, or what little bumps may lie on our path, we will press on until our Wu is with us.

May God bless you,