11 Months a Family ~ Every Day a Joy

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Love

 

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Sharing

 

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Joy

 

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Togetherness

 

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Assurance

 

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Belonging

 

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Tenderness

 

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Reaching for the stars hand in hand….

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With Every Act of Love

We are thrilled to announce that our dear friends, the Castagno family, have chosen to bless us by hosting a 144 Envelopes fundraiser in light of Lillianna’s extreme need to come home for medical care. Please visit and share! The response has been so encouraging to our hearts!

http://www.facebook.com/witheveryactoflove

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And in just 24 hours the love poured out faster than we could even keep up with!

 

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There’s still time to be a part of this miracle! We are getting closer and closer! So blessed!

“What Will She Be Called?” The Power Of A Name

What will she be called? This was the first question I was asked when I received my daughter. “We are so glad she is returning to a family.” The young man in the Civil Affairs office spoke the words he had no doubt uttered for every adoption he presided over. Then, his glazed eyes cleared. The staunch look of duty was replaced by a moment of true sight. He paused for a moment to take in Abigail’s shorn head nestled in the wrap where I wore her over my heart. His voice softened,”Yes, we are glad she is returning to a family.” Those words echo in my memory, they play around the corners of my dreams. I hear them in my sleep. They have become a part of me, just as Abigail has. I cannot forget them. I wish to remember them, to pull them back in closer and hear them clearly when I am weary, “Return to a family.”

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A few months ago I almost thought I had heard that phrase again when I realized that I had actually read it! There, tucked between “physical development” and “laboratory results” of Lillianna’s referral was that phrase again. “She is a lovely child. We hope she can return to a family and be happy.” A lovely child she is indeed, a delicate angel, and while meditating over this I realized the very concept of returning to something implies that relationship once existed. For, one can only return to something from whence she came.

My precious children both came from family, probably very loving family who longed to keep them. The babies of China do not blossom in gardens or fall like stars. Contrary to their referral paperwork and orphanage files, they do have a history, an origin, with aspects of their lineage that makes them unique and special, the evidence of a marvelous creation. Yet, when babies are taken into custody and care, all of this dematerializes.

Like the scent of their mother’s last embrace the previous identity of the new baby vanishes. The rupture of the first relationship loosens the thread of life deep within and it dangles. The new arrival is given a name, a moniker of sorts, perhaps the next in a line of characters in a Mandarin dictionary or something that denotes physical appearance. The given names are often used over and over again, in a cycle  for each new set of babies. As my dear friend describes it,                ” Her name truly meant Orphan.”

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One of the tragedies of the fatherless is a complete loss of identity. This is the state in which my daughter was handed to me, a most beautiful babe with no identity other than a police Certificate of an Abandoned Baby to prove her legal eligibility for new parentage. Herein lies the miracle of adoption. Just as in that moment when we receive Jesus the Son, and the Heavenly Father grafts us in to His family forever, so is the orphaned child redeemed at the moment of adoption.

The love of the family who enfolds the fatherless and ushers them into the fullness of relationship renewed, restores unto that child identity, presence and worth. In that very moment the baby shifts from the realm of the invisible into one of recognition within her own culture. She has, in effect, been restored and the threads of her identity can be rewoven, no longer left to dangle. The unknown becomes known, the questions answered, Hope is rekindled for she has “returned to a family” . She has been given a name! Redemptive love has opened the door to a bright tomorrow at last!

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In just a matter of  twenty-four hours, the single, stark, Certificate of an Abandoned Baby, is joined with a joyful Certificate of Birth, a Certificate of Adoption and a Chinese passport, the ultimate in identification forms from the child’s own country. This is the gift of adoption. This is the beauty and fullness of saying “Yes” to one waiting face, to your child’s worried and wondering eyes. This is the gift of hope. This is what it means to “return to a family” and I pray I will never forget it. Thank you for helping our sweet Lillianna Grace, our lovely child, “return to family”. Thank you for hearing the heartbeat of the fatherless. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Love to carry one more waiting child home to the embrace of family forever.

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Our First Fundraising Event is here!

 

Our first fundraising event has begun

and………

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we always have room in the nest!

We are sooooo excited! Its a Scentsy party hosted to bring Lillianna home!

My dear friend is donating all her commissions from today through June 30th to help us bring our baby home! please visit our party and share everywhere you can! thank you!

  http://www.blessedbyhim.scentsy.us 

( if the link doesn’t connect directly just copy and paste into your search bar and it will come right up! )

Becoming Family Through The Gift Of Liberty

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Her Precious Smile!

 

It is a blessing beyond measure to have a daughter to call my own and the thought of having two precious baby girls just delights my heart!

For those who have not walked the path of foreign adoption and who only see the smiles and laughter after our children are safely here, it is impossible to grasp the sheer magnitude of what they have already endured. Truly, they are survivors. Though some children who have been abandoned to a future without family find some warmth in a caring facility or foster home, precious few do and most of these little ones land in a world lacking the warmth of love.

These dear children lie in their cribs often sharing with a cribmate, watch for a precious few bottles and diaper changes a day and wait for they know not what. For many of these babies the days are long chapters of fear and loneliness, knawing hunger and thirst, depravation, emptiness, neglect and even abuse. For others the institutional life is less dramatic but equally empty and sparse. Some never escape, while others are carried away by a gentle pair of hands one day to discover a wonderful new something called life with wonderful new people called family.

 

The reasons behind the heartrending abandonments are many, yet they are simple, cold and hard. Very rarely does that chill originate in the parent’s own heart. On the contrary, most birthing parents are aching to embrace their long awaited child with arms of love. However, it is the arms of the uninvited party, the rigid lack of liberty, the communistic rule that snatches the child away. Whether the child is a girl, a second or arrives with a handicap very few parents have a choice. They know there is little to no provision for the medical need and unless they meet with favor of provincial authorities the chances of taking home their second child are slim. If they are blessed with a daughter the choice to raise or release her is a moral one tightly dictated by cultural mores and familial pressures. Sadly, a private adoption plan for a Chinese infant is not permitted by the state. So, for too many parents there is no other path to choose but infant abandonment.

This abandonment is often a closely watched and monitored process that falls to the mother of the baby. It is hard to imagine a vignette where those final embraces, that last suckling and the parting kisses are not watered with tears. It is hard to imagine a birthmother whose heart does not tear forever when she lies her swaddled child down and sends her to an unknown future alone.

This is a gift of love, for it is the gift of life given twice.  Any birthmother who can give this dearest gift on earth for a price of sorrow that never wanes, must always be honored in the heart of the mother who receives the gift of her precious child. It is the receiving mother’s joy to embrace this child, treasured twice, and usher her into a life of liberty, the taste of which her birthmother will likely never know.

 

The liberty to live, the liberty to love, to taste, to know, to learn, to feel, to believe and to become the woman of strength, courage and promise she was created to be, is the gift we give our daughters. This gift is one we give to our future generations, our family to come. This is the gift we give by bringing our beloved children home. As for the gift we recieve, we mothers who hold our daughters, this gift cannot be measured. It can only be felt and treasured as we live each day together. This is the gift of family.

 

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We will stop at nothing to bring family to our precious Lillianna Grace, who lies in her crib with her eyes closed because there is very little to see when they are open. We will keep pressing on until we can be the arms that lift her out and bring a new world of Hope and love. Thank you for walking alongside us on this journey of love. It is long and arduous  but the promise of liberty is o, so sweet!

 

By God’s grace and provision I have given everything I had to bring Abigail Rose home myself and still managed to cover half of this second adoption journey alone, but now it is time to reach out for support and I thank you for hearing the call! May God richly bless every soul who hears the silent cry of the orphaned child and stir their hearts to realize that these are our sons and daughters!  

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