Once Upon A Prayer

Monday, April 23, 2012

Showered With Love

A group of our amazing friends decided to surprise us,
and shower us with love as we wait
to leave for China.

 Delicious Chinese food table

Yummy ladybug cupcakes

We played games...

This activity was one of my favorite highlights from the night.
Each ladybug stick had the names of people
who have or will interact with Mackenzie & Lily in special ways.
From the orphanage nannies, to the doctors & nurses, 
and all of our family members.
Each friend took a ladybug stick, circled around us,
and prayed for the person on their stick.
It was absolutely beautiful!

Spoiled with gifts...

And loved us in a way that cannot be put into words...
we LOVE you sweet friends!

Monday, April 16, 2012

There's Always Hope...

Last Thursday night I made a discovery 
that would have a HUGE impact on our family 
over the next few weeks.

I was working on our visa applications, and noticed that Jacques'
Canadian passport expires on 8/9/2012.

We leave for China on May 3rd and return May 18th.
No problem, right?
We will be home WAY before his passport expires.

Not so.

International travel requires that you have 6 months 
until expiration on your passport.


Throughout this adoption process, 
I have dotted every "i" and crossed every "t".
I have checked and rechecked 
Multiple times!

What I failed to realize,
 is that Canadian passports expire
every 5 years.

I quickly emailed our adoption courier explaining my oversight.
The next morning I received a message
stating that she would not be able
to help us get our visas.


She said that there was "no way" we could get a new passport
and visa in time to travel.

I called our adoption agency, and they referred me to a courier 
out of Chicago...great place :-)

Denise was hesitant at first, 
but I must have sounded pathetic enough,
and she agreed to help us.

The name of her courier business is,
"There's Always Hope".

My hope is not found in Karma,
nor happenstance
or coincidence.

It is found in the promises of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.

Jesus loves Mackenzie and Lily more than I could ever fathom.
He fashioned them together with the utmost care and love.
He orchestrated things in my life and Jacques' life
that would lead us to each other.

He created our family in a way that the 
sixteen-year-old me never 
would have guessed.

Today Jacques went into the Canadian Embassy to request 
a temporary 6 month passport to travel.

His application was rejected due to the wrong passport photos
and the lack of a Canadian guarantor.

Please join us in prayer as Jacques returns to the embassy tomorrow
with new photos, a new application
and renewed HOPE!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fast Forward

Have you ever felt like someone hit the fast-forward button in your life?  That happened to us yesterday.  I was at the White House with the girls when I missed a call from Emily. The voicemail said, “Hey – I think we have to leave for China May 3rd.  Can you make that work on your end?” Wow - that’s 3 weeks away.  This is CRAZY!  I thought we didn’t have enough time to prepare already.  And that was with us leaving at the end of May.  Ready or not, I guess, here we come!

God must be up to something – because this in not how we would have planned it!  We have spent months (and when I say “we”, I mean Emily) making sure that every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted.  We knew how much time we needed for every step along the way. Or so we thought!  I am reminded again of the words God spoke through his prophet Isaiah.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  

 I actually feel better knowing things aren’t going according to OUR plans!

Peace and Goodwill,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Travel Approval!

I am a planner.

I need to have a plan...planning is what I do.

Apparently, China could care less about my silly plans 
or my desperate need to always
have a plan!

With the amazing news that China issued our official 
Travel Approval, came the news that we need to leave for China
as soon as possible.

Translation - Emily's plan - out the window!

Lily has been living the past year 
at a dangerously low oxygen saturation.

Waiting is no longer an option.
Our baby girl needs to come home NOW!!!!

God's plan has always been so much better than anything I could 
ever possibly dream up or imagine.

So tonight, I am clinging to the promise that God has known 
the exact moment
our girls will be in our arms forever...

Today was just the day that I was let in on His plan!

So we are still waiting on a few more things from China, 
but it looks like Mackenzie & Lily 
will forever be in our arms
on Monday, May 7th.

Plan or not...China here we come!