Travel

Hello from Xi’an!  Can you believe we are in China!?!?  We had a great trip arriving here at our hotel after 11:00 pm local time.  We did not get much sleep on the way, but that probably helped get us on the right sleep schedule as we were easily ready to go to bed even though it was mid-morning back home.

This morning we took a walk in the rain to look for SIM cards and bottled water.  So fun to see all the people going about their daily life.  We got some great pictures that we hope to be able to share with you soon when we get the computer online.

I am praying for our Lucy… This is her last full day with all that is familiar to her.  Tomorrow we will meet her at the Civil Affairs building after she, the director, and a caregiver make the 2-3 hour drive here.  So excited to have her with us!

More to come later!

Partnering

I am so inspired by what I read here… the story of this daughter is somewhat different than the story of our daughter, but similar in many ways too.  Here is a quote that puts our hearts into words…

The Father looks on my daughter not with eyes of hopelessness and fear. He stares into her deep and calls forth Himself, planted in her from before the day she met the streets. What the enemy calls misfit, He reclaims as heiress.

And as her now-mother, my role is to carry this torch over her life. I live advocacy in my flesh and in my spirit. My prayers and my words form the bridge of partnership between His promises and her reality. I partner. She is being made new and it’s my job to speak it loud and to believe it in my quiet.

We see that our trip and arriving home from China with our girl (!!!!!!!) is just the beginning. We have another journey ahead that will begin as soon as we get home.  There are some things about adoptive parenting that are the same as parenting a biological child. There are also quite a few areas that we have learned are different. We have learned that our daughter needs a specific type of environment and parenting when she first comes home in order to feel safe and secure and to learn how to live successfully in our family.  Our child needs to learn that we’re the parents. She needs to feel nurtured and safe. She will not be used to having parents to love and care for her. We’ll be living a very quiet life with limited trips out and no visitors in for a little while to help us make this happen. By keeping our lives very boring at first, we’ll be helping our Sparrow feel safe.

After our airport celebration, we will enter into a season of family time and bonding at home.  Although you will still see some of us out and about, we will not all make it to church for awhile or to all of the wonderful  festivities that will be happening this season.   We believe that this will go a long way to helping Lucy adjust and bond as she joins our family.  Sometimes things are not always what they seem.  If Lucy appears too comfortable with too many people in too large of a circle right from the beginning – this might not actually be a good thing.  As strange as it may seem, adopted children  acting very outgoing and affectionate with “everyone” is not a healthy thing. It is called “indiscriminate affection” and can mean that they haven’t really attached to anyone. We hope by doing life and family quietly and privately for a season, we can help Lucy have a successful transition home.

We cannot wait to get to China… and then get home… and we cannot wait for all of you to be able to get to know our girl too!  Just think, she will be adapting to a lot of new things . . .  parents, family, new home, new foods, new language, new time zone … and on top of all of that, she will be taking all of this on without the foundation of an early childhood in a loving family as God designed it.

We are believing for  healing, adjustment, bonding, and a wonderful future for our Lucy Joy.  Thank you for understanding how we are going about partnering with Him hoping to bring all this to reality for our daughter.

As we prepare to go…

It’s almost time!

We will be leaving early Thursday morning.
Something tells me that this week is going to go really fast!
Our travel plans have us stopping in Chicago and Beijing on our way to Xi’an.  We will arrive late Friday night.  According to our itinerary, we will meet Lucy Joy Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm China time.  With the 14 hour time difference, this means that when all of you wake up Sunday morning… our Sunday will already have happened and we will have our Sparrow with us!!

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Last time going to church as a family of six!

Last time going to church as a family of six!

Also, great news!  We were able to speak to our guide this morning, and she has made the necessary arrangements for us to be able to visit Lucy’s orphanage in Baoji!  This will happen on Thursday or Thanksgiving Day. This could be a difficult experience, but one we believe will be helpful to Lucy in the long run.  As you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration on Wednesday afternoon and evening… you could be praying that God would prepare us all for this time.  Friday, we will fly to Guangzhou where we will be until we come home.  Please remember to also pray for Becca, Spencer, and Michael who will be holding down the fort at home.  They have an adventure of a different kind ahead of them and are also doing important work during our two weeks apart.  We appreciate them and their servant hearts so much!  If all goes as planned, we will arrive back in Omaha on
Thursday afternoon December 4 at about 4:30pm.

We would love for Omaha friends and family to help welcome us home by coming to the airport!  More information on that coming!  We also plan to share some thoughts with you here on the blog about how we will be doing life and family when we first get home.
Stay tuned!
*smile*

The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14

China Send Off Party

Today we were blessed with a
surprise
China Send Off Party!

Worshipping together, precious prayers of the children in attendance for those of us who are going and those of us who are staying, delicious Chinese food, red velvet cake,
a prayer chain craft, and thoughtful and generous gifts to help us
welcome our Sparrow home to her new nest!

Here it is in pictures…

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I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

A Beloved Daughter

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We are so humbled to be part of the story
that the Lord is telling with Lucy Joy’s life.
Even at only eight years old, she has touched many lives with her own.
We count ourselves lucky to be among those that her story has already impacted,
and look forward to the time she can  begin to tell us more of her story
in her own words…

In just 10 days!

Some of you may remember me mentioning that we have been beyond
blessed to receive a special glimpse into Lucy’s life in the form of
pictures, videos, and stories shared by the Sparrow Fund team that
visited her orphanage in October.
I have been sharing blog posts with you that tell some of the
stories of what the team did and experienced.
Here is a special story told better than I could have
every told it by someone who was there.

Sing to the Lord, for he has done
glorious things;
let this be known to all the world!!!!
Isaiah 12:5

Taste and See

Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, Pumpkin yumminess, grilling chicken breasts,
Shepherd’s Pie, and baking granola…

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Can you just imagine how wonderful it smelled at our house today?!?!
Our kitchen was full of Grandmas and helping hands…

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Keep moving or you may get ziplocked and labeled!

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By lunchtime, we had 16 freezer meals and two batches of muffins and granola
in the freezer or ready to be labeled and packaged as soon as they cooled.

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EVERYONE had an important job…
including the toddler entertainment!!

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Taste and see that the Lord is good
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8