Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One Year Ago Today

December 23,2008

It is hard to believe that it has been 1 year since I got the call from Tiffany. Though we had been told that we could not begin the process until the end of January -when we had been home 6 months with Gracie-Tiffany called to say she had been praying for our Gideon and for us. She had read the story of Gideon in the bible and decided to talk with her supervisor again. After praying and talking they had decided that since no one had expressed any interest in pursuing Gideon's adoption that they had decided to allow us to begin the process right after the holidays. I was ecstatic but knew we had a long road ahead of us. Little did I know that 1 year later we still would not have our little warrior home. We came across many obstacles but today we are on day 58 of our wait for our LOA. We are praying to get our LOA before Chinese New Year on January 26th. We still have the hurdle of finances but we know that God will not dessert us now. His timing will be perfect! I found this quote today and it is so fitting for us:

"God calls us to go where we have never been in order to do things we have never done so we can see God's power in a way we have never seen it before."

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.

God will be and is with us now and when we bring our boy home. That day is coming!
This picture of Gideon is the first one I ever saw and fell in love with.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

God is Good! We Have a LID!

As you know we have been waiting to hear what our LID is so we can start the countdown to our LOA (Letter of Acceptance), the next step to bringing Gideon home. Our dossier was sent Oct 13 and we knew it had arrived because CCAA confirmed this on Oct 22. Well on Thursday Kate called me to finally tell me that we were logged in as of Oct 27th. That means that today, Saturday is day 48 of our wait. Typically it is taking around 90 days. Kate thinks we should hear something before Chinese New Year at the end of January. Hopefully we will get Travel Approval (TA) by mid Feb and travel early March. Not the timeframe I had in mind but again it is all in God's timing not mine. He knows we need more time to get the money together. We had another denial from a grant but are applying for more. We are trying to come up with more fundraising ideas as well. We are of course praying for God's mighty hand to do a big work as we know he can! The verse he keeps giving me is "Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." My hope is in him and I am praising him and will continue to praise him always. I will shout from the rooftops how he has made all of this possible for he is a mighty God bringing home our mighty warrior.

Please all of you reading this blog pray for a mighty work to happen with our fundraising. Also pray that out little "didi as the kids call him remains healthy and warm until we can bring him home to his forever family.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trust in the Lord with all Your Heart

November 17,2008
I was feeling a little down today and I admit was doing some worrying about finances. I was dwelling on the fact that we were still $8,000 to $10,000 short needed to bring our boy home from China. We are planning a fundraiser this Saturday. It is a Scrapbooking fundraiser and everyone I talked with today was telling me that they couldn't make it. My sister was hearing the same thing from the people she talked to. So driving home from work I was thinking about this and what we were going to do. As I drove up one of my songs came on. "The Voice of Truth". This was my song throughout Caleb's adoption and it continues to remind me to only listen to one voice--the voice of truth. So I picked up the kids and we went home. I was on the computer checking emails when the phone rang. It was Roberta from church. She called to tell me that this morning they had received a $1000 donation for our adoption. Praise God! I needed some encouragement and affirmation that He was going to provide and not to worry and there it was. Our God is an awesome God and He promised from the beginning to provide for this adoption and he has. I should never doubt that he will complete that which he has started. He has carried us throughout this journey so why would I think he would leave us now. But that's just how we are--just like the Israelites. Even after all we have seen the Lord do we forget and begin to doubt. "Jesus said, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." John 14:1. Lord forgive me for doubting and letting my heart be troubled. I know you will never leave me or forsake me.

Now we continue to wait for our LOA. We have not officially heard what our LID (Log in Date) is so we can't officially count. Our dossier was mailed Oct 13 and our agency says we were probably logged in within a week of arrival so I am guessing around Oct 22nd. The wait for LOA (Letter of Approval) has been as short as 65 days and as long as 185 days. We are praying for the shorter end of course. So we are looking at the end of December for the short end and we don't want to think about the long end.
Our Gideon is well. We had those pictures a few weeks ago from families that were there. We are praying that he stays healthy and warm and that we get him home very soon. We are of course trusting Lord to provide the remainder of the money we need to bring him home. We'll keep you posted on any news.
Our friends the Clarks are still waiting for their LOA and they are over 140 days now. We are praying they hear this week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pictures From Friends

Oct 24,2008

It has been a very emotional week. Cyber friends from the Yugan Yahoo group went to Yugan this week to be united with their baby girls. They promised to check in on our little warrior. I received several emails from the group telling me they had done just that and more. They said they kissed him and told him his mama was coming for him. They all remarked what a special little boy he was and his eyes tell such a story. One of the mom's travel mates said she was so taken with our little guy that she spent all her time with him and had to be told to leave. She was even able to get him to giggle. I have not seen any pictures of him smiling but it does make me feel good to know he does smile. It is very overwhelming knowing families are there with my child and I am here. And now he is alone again waiting for us. They forwarded some pictures which I have attached and just can't quit staring at. The wait is really getting to me but I find comfort in my Lord. I have known from the beginning that he has a plan for our little warrior and for us and I have to trust him. His timing is perfect though right now I just don't quite see it. So for now I need to find my comfort in Him and in his word. "Do not be afraid for I am with you, I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." Isaiah 43:5. Now there isn't anything more comforting than that!

Then Kate called yesterday from All God's Children to tell me that Benjamin confirmed with CCAA that our Dossier had arrived but they did not give him a LID. Kate said she will call me as soon as she knows. I pray it is already logged in so the count has begun!

My other prayer is for our friends Doreen and Scott-they are at 120 days for their wait for LOA! I pray that they will get word soon and that our wait is not as long! I am still praying for LOA by the end of December and travel no later than Feb---It used to be to travel by December. It is all in God's hands and I know he can move mountains! I'll post more when I know more. In the meantime I will try to focus on the one that matters: Our Lord and Savior!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We're Coming Soon!


Oct. 14,2008
We are finally DTC! Our dossier was mailed out yesterday 10/13/2008. Kate is hoping for a quick LID and then we can begin the countdown. It seems like the average wait is about 84-85 days but many have been waiting for over 100 days. Last year our wait for Grace was 67 days. I know God can do that again. If so we could have our LOA by the end of December. Our God is the mover of mountains! Oh Gideon we are coming! I promise.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Sept. 26, 2008

At the beginning of this week I emailed Angela in China requesting her to contact the SWI to make sure our little guy wasn't effected by the tainted formula. The orphanage stated that they had indeed been using that formula but took all the babies to the hospital and had them checked out. All are fine now and they said they would forward pictures. To my surprise they not only sent new pictures but updated measurements as well. He is quite small but I think so precious. He is 72cm tall, weighs 7.4kg (16.28lbs) and has 8 teeth on top and 8 on the bottom. I was thrilled with the update but it still worries me that they were actually using the bad formula. Who knows what long term effects it could have. I will just have to trust God to keep him safe and to speed up our paperwork. I still haven't heard whether it has gone to China yet or not. Praying it goes soon so we can start the countdown. Maybe we will hear by Christmas yet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 15

Quite a bit has happened in the past weeks. We finally received our I171-H last Monday the 7th. Tues myself and my friend Cindy drove all over to finish the county certifications and to get the state certifications for Ky. We went from Alexandria to Newport to Louisville to Frankfort and back to Alexandria. It was quite a day. Cindy said she felt like we were in the Amazing Race. It was quite climactic as we arrived at the capital at 4:oo pm and they closed at 4:30. I also then found out I had another paper that needed Ohio certification so on Thursday my mom, and the 3 kids and I drove to Columbus to get this. I then needed to get my pictures together and finish my dossier. So on Friday it was all finished but now I needed 4 copies. Our agency wanted 3 and one for me. After trying to find someplace cheap to make the copies for me to no avail I finally made the copies myself with permission at my church. Everything was sent by fedex on Saturday Morning. In the meantime there was some mixups on the amount we owed. There was much confusion about some of the private donations we had received but finally today, Monday a week later it was all straightened out and our dossier will be sent tomorrow for authentication! We should be dossier to China soon! Praise the Lord! Now we need to concentrate on the remainder of the money we need to raise. We are of course praying for a grant to come through as well. Don't worry Gideon, I'll be there soon! But not soon enough! I'll post another sweet pic of our little warrior.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our precious Gideon James Meng Niu

August 29,2007

Not too much has been happening lately but I'll catch you up on a few things. July 26th we had one of our fundraisers. We had a Concert/Silent Auction. Our church praise band played and sang and they were awesome. It was a very special time. A dear friend also came and sang and spoke. Shari Shepherd has been my friend since 8th grade. She is a wonderful christian and has dedicated her time to being a Christian singer. We had a great time and were able to raise about $1900 dollars toward bringing Gideon home as well as $1900 to help bring Gabriel home to our friends the Clarks. They hope to get their LOA (Letter of Acceptance) soon.

We on the other hand have been waiting for our immigration approval (I171H or I797C). I have been praying for God to Move that huge paper mountain in immigration and so on Monday Aug 25th a little over 5 weeks since sending our paperwork we got a call from our agency telling us that immigration was requesting we repeat Tim's criminal clearance check because his first name was in the last name spot and his last name was in the first name spot. But they also said everything else looked good and this was all they needed. We overnighted another request to Frankfort for Tim's background check and it came back today Aug 29th. Our agency said they immediately forwarded it to immigration soooo, we should have our approval next week sometime and then can get it all certified and authenticated and off to China! And that will begin our wait for our LOA! I am still praying to bring him home in December. It could still happen. We'll see. Hope to have more good news soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008


May 2008

Once we received our prapproval we posted to the Yugan SWI adoption group that we were approved to adopt Yue Meng Niu. We received an email from a sweet person who said she had pictures of our Gideon and would email them. She had been there in December 2007 visiting with her daughter. She sent me some very treasured pictures.

How Our Journey Began

Our journey began in November 2007 just a little over 3 months after arriving home from China with our 3rd China blessing, Grace. I had read on one of my yahoo groups about the children on All God's Children's Special needs listing and how precious they were. So I of course had to go take a peek. Of course one little face caught my attention. I read about the 1 year old little boy with "malformed arms and legs", and that sweet little face took hold of me. I tried to ignore it but over the next several days I kept going back to that sweet picture. Then on November 6th after a women's event at my church I had told my friend about him and showed her his picture. She thought he was precious but her heart had already been stolen by another little boy. Driving home that night my mind kept going to that little boy and as I was thinking about him the name "Gideon" popped into my head. I can't say it was spoken to me but suddenly I heard that name. I thought to myself, maybe that is the name this little boy is supposed to have. I went to bed that night thinking about this child and woke up thinking about him and the name. I went to the computer and looked at his picture again and studied his little clubbed feet and hands and read the description that he could not move or bend his arms or legs. Then I thought I need to look up the meaning of the name Gideon. I typed in meaning of name Gideon and chose a site. This is what I read: "a mighty warrior, a hero who wins battles through faith and knowledge not by the strength of arms". I knew instantly that the name given to this little boy with no strength in his arms was given to him by God and he was to be a mighty warrior who would win many battles in his life. Now the question was is he meant to be our child or am I supposed to find him a home. I decided to tell Tim about him. I told him all about him first and showed him his picture and then I told him about the name God had given me. Then I asked Tim, " do you think we could do it again"? He said "sure if God provides all of the money". I said well God has started to provide already because I saw where he had a $6500 grant. Tim again said well If the Lord provides. As the days went on I began to pray that the Lord would let us know whether we were to pursue this little boy? I knew financially we could not feasibly do this. We were in debt from our previous 3 adoptions and only home just a little over 3 months with the last. I wrote in my journal nightly and told God all the reasons why we couldn't possibly adopt another child. We didn't have the money, we already had 6 children and Tim was currently without a job. But then as I wrote I looked down at the page in my journal in the corner where a scripture was inscripted and this is what it said:

"Lord, help me to remember it's not by my power, nor by my might, but by your Spirit that I accomplish anything worthwhile." Zechariah 4:6. Well baby Gideon is definitely worthwhile! I realized that no it wouldn't be because of anything that we did that we would bring him home but it would be all God. He would be sure that all of the Glory went to the Lord himself. What a testimony we would have. While it all looked completely impossible to make it happen, we would be able to say that God made it possible because "all things are possible with Christ".

Well I decided to email All God's Children and see what happened next. After filling out their questionaire they determined that we qualified in all areas except for the fact we had not been home 6 months yet from our last adoption, therefore we would not be permitted to pursue his adoption. They would not give on this. We would not be eligible until January 24th. I was crushed but prayed that If God had a plan for another family for Gideon then I would pray that they came forward to adopt him. And if God wanted us to adopt him then he would still be available in 3 months. So I prayed and weekly I would email Tiffany at All God's Children to see if he had a family yet. She would tell me no not yet but we are praying. I began to tell Tiffany about how I felt God had led me to this little boy and I told him that God had given us the name Gideon. Tiffany said she would pray for us and that the right family would come along. I continued to correspond with Tiffany each week. One week she told me that a family was interested and it looked good. But then the next week she told me that they had decided it was just too big for them. Tiffany told me she had done her quiet time that night reading the story of Gideon and how he had become a mighty warrior. She said she felt that Gideon was meant to be ours so she had talked again with her supervisor. They decided that even though it was only December 23rd that they were going to let us begin the process of adoption right after the first of the year. I was ecstatic because I just knew in my heart this little boy was ours. Now came all the obstacles. Tim still wasn't working, we were still broke and there were issues regarding our homestudy. The Lord had his work cut out for him.

Well we filled out our application and began our LOI (Letter of Intent) and Family Summary and Treatment Plan. We secured a homestudy agency and the process began. We soon got all of his pictures and paperwork and sent them to our pediatrician to view. She called me and told me that she believed our Gideon had a condition called "Arthrogryposis". A condition where the joints are frozen or stiff and unable to move and this is manifested by his clubbed feet and hands. She felt his prognosis to ever walk or use his hands was poor because these children typically begin treatment right after birth and he would be 2 years old before we ever brought him home. She told me to consider my age and my other children as he would demand a considerable amount of time and energy. I was devastated. I called my dear friend and prayer warrior Bethany and told her what I had been told. We cried together and I admitted I was afraid. Could I really handle this at my age. Is this fair to my other children. Is this really what God wants? We prayed together and she reminded me what God had already done in leading us to him and giving me the name and supplying $6500 already. We cried some more and I said I would pray more about it. I told Tim and he was hesitant too. We thought and prayed for a few days. Tiffany called and told me that more money had been given toward this child's adoption so we now would have $8500 in grant money. But we were still praying. Finally I asked Tim, well, what do you think we should do about Gideon, should we try to adopt him? His answer was, "of course we should". Our journey begins. We had to climb over more obstacles with our homestudy and actually had to begin all over with another homestudy agency in April just when we were almost finished. But Tim in the mean time had a job, we had fundraisers and were raising the money we needed and now we are waiting for our immigration approval to send ourDossier to China. We have had several updates on our precious child through other families who have traveled and an official update from the orphanage itself. We are so excited and blessed and cannot wait until the day we have our mighty warrior home with us. Here is his information:

Name: Yue Meng Niu (they call him Niu Niu)

DOB: 6/24/06

SWI: Yugan SWI in the Jiangxi Province

His name will be Gideon James Meng Niu