The Path

So here I am contemplating this whole blog thing.  I have never done this before, except for the micro-blogging that comes from using Facebook.  I decided “Hey, it is the, why not give a go?”  I probably won’t be as eloquent as my lovely bride, but I will try.  I have been thinking about this for the last several days as to what to say.  Many of you who know us, know about our incredible journey of adoption and our boys E and Z.  It started out as a God ordained quest to get a cute little girl.  The path to it seemed very clear.  God gave us signs along the way.  Some of the ball peen hammer variety, others of the 15 lb sledge type.  In most cases our response was, “Ok, ok, we read you. We are moving on it.” Throughout this long arduous process, I have been the paperwork hog.  Whether intentionally or not, that’s how it ended up.  I think Lori said to herself, “Hey, he handles federal paperwork all the time, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for him.”   All right here we go.

As Lori may have mentioned, we recently both had our 20 year class reunion at our perspective schools.  20 years ….where did the time go? Oh my, what happened? At Lori’s reunion, which was very good, they had a nice program at the banquet.  One part of the program spoke of “The Path” we take.  If I remember it correctly, it was about that over our life we make many decisions that take us down different roads that eventually takes us to where we end up today.  Upon further reflection and a brief conversation I had with the lovely Lori, I believe we should think about it a different way.  We all think that we are in control of our destiny, that we make our decision to send us down the “Our” path.  In reality, we make a decision for a particular path and God takes the control.  There are no coincidences or accidents.  He is in control.  Yes, our decisions do have consequences, but God uses those situations to shape us into what he wants us to be, either through our good decisions or in spite of our bad decisions.  It is now God’s Path.  Dumb decisions are turned into part of the God path for lives.  Smart ones too.  So the path is set before us.  Coming to terms with the fact that it is God’s path for us can be difficult for many who feel that they cannot let go of the control.  It’s a daily struggle.  Can we let go? That’s the challenge.

For us, the path started out for the search for a little girl. God said, “Consider this.” Then, it transitioned into getting a little boy (E).  God then said, “Hey I have something else for you to consider if you are up for it (Z)”.  Now, 2 is the magic number.  If we had decided no on Z, would God be upset with us? Of course not.  Our decision still has God in it and his ultimate plan will still happen no matter what.  I do find it amusing that when a while back we said “We are going for two – boys.”  Many said, “That’s so awesome!”  Now some of those same people are saying “Are you insane?” Nah, … well maybe a little bit.  😉

I’ll leave you with a couple of verses that I think illustrate my point from above.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

On the “What’s the status? When are you leaving?” front, cause I know you are asking.  My best answer is that we aren’t sure.  The Chinese Children Welfare Institute that handles the adoptions has all our paperwork.  According to our adoption agency, it may take 1-2 months to process Z’s papers to get them to where E’s are now.  However, our agency also said that it probably won’t take that long.  Let’s us hope and pray as such.  This last week has been somewhat stressful after hearing that.  You would think after knowing that we found them, the next phase would be quick and painless.  Arggggg!  However, a little “angel” did provide us calming peace, and we have found ways to divert the “wait pain” for each of us.  Lori and D have been studying Mandarin Chinese via Rosetta Stone.  Lori has found it be challenging and D, …well,…he is a human sponge.  Young minds, nuff said.  I, on the other hand, have been painting E and Z’s room (formally, D’s room).  Needless to say, I went with an Asian color theme and scheme.  I hope it’s not too cliché and low key.  I found some images of bamboo decals and projected them on the walls, traced them, and then painted.  I even found the Chinese characters of the boys names and projected, traced, and painted them too.  I think it looks pretty good.  Check it out for yourself.  Until next time.  -Bill


This weekend is my 20-year high school class reunion. As I listened to former classmates talk last night about back problems and teenage kids, I thought “man, I am getting old”. One of my translators in Honduras last week asked me how old I was. When I told her I was 38, she said that her mom is 38. Ouch.

And here we are with a 6-year-old and 2 almost toddlers in China. Some days I feel old. Most days I feel like my life is just starting. A new life. A new chapter. Honestly, God hold of me again once I started reading the bible every day (at the urging of my sweet friend Patty). 1/1/10. Unbeknownst to us at the time, it is our Chinese son E’s birthday. I guess you could say it is my rebirth day.

I am now a more devout Christ-follower, an athlete (sort of), wife, and mom of 3. Sometimes I laugh. Like Sarah in Genesis 18. Verse 12 says that Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Then in vs 14, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?…”

We had a birthday party our friend’s adopted daughter today. She turned two this week. I look into EG’s beautiful face and know that God has a plan. For EG. For our friends (one of whom graduated high school with me). It has very little to do with our age and more to do with God’s will. It is best.

Psalm 84:10 (ESV) For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.


Here is me trying to blog more often (especially because I need to explain the “tease” I mentioned yesterday).

Yesterday, we received an email from our adoption agency. It did not say “you are ready to travel”. It said, “China has received your dossier copy on Z (our second Chinese son), and it is logged in”. A dossier is the mountain of paperwork that tells China everything they need to know about us. Ugh. I thought they had already logged it in. Bill emailed our adoption agency today and asked what we are looking at in terms of wait time. Everyone is asking. EVERYONE is ASKING!They said, “Oh, the next step is to receive the acceptance letter on Z from China. Then your travel will be approved 2-4 weeks after that.” Not encouraged. Sigh.

I love when God takes ahold of my iTunes. Today, instead of listening to the radio at work, I played my iTunes on shuffle. As I was reading these emails and getting discouraged, the songs playing on my iTunes shifted. Rather than jamming music (which is most of what I have), the mood changed over several songs to more contemplative, soothing tunes. Most of which had a “God will help you through” theme. When I finally realized what had happened, the song playing was Steven Curtis Chapman’s ” I Will Trust You”. Here is just a part of it:

God I trust You

I will trust You

I know Your heart is good

I know Your love is strong

And I know Your plans for me

Are much better than my own

Then peace.

Shortly thereafter, we received an email from our adoption agency reassuring us that their representative on the ground in China has spoken with the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) about our case. The CCCWA is aware of our situation, and hopefully will “speed” up the process.

God is so good. May these empty cribs be filled soon.


Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Heart and Soul

I just returned from a mission trip to Honduras. God’s perfect timing. He knew my spirit needed to be with fellow believers for a whole week. Truly being the Acts 2 church. We loved the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. We are back spirit-filled and physically/mentally exhausted.

Acts 2:44-47  And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Next step for us, China. We received a teaser email today. We are desperately waiting for our travel approval. Sometimes (many times) it is overwhelming (like today). Our hopes up, up, up. Then crash! Think of the best gift you have ever received. Go ahead, close your eyes and think about it. Now imagine that instead of receiving the gift, you received a picture. The gift was actually halfway around the world, and you could not get it until certain people did certain things. You could not go get it early. You had no control over when you get it. That’s us.

People ask if we are excited. Yes, but it is not like the excited of having a baby. Our babies are born, and we are separated from them by many many miles. ALL I want to do is get to them, wrap my arms around them, tell them how much I love them and how much God loves them. There are lots of preparations that probably need to be done, but I cannot focus enough to take care of them. I feel I am in the middle of a whirlwind. Life, questions, tasks, work, etc. Right now, it is taking all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to stay focused on the One who is in control.

It is where I am.

Waiting. Again…

Well, our Dossier Copy has been sent to China for Z. We have our travel visas in hand. Now, we wait. Again…

I have talked about waiting before. Waiting is good. This is a time to get prepared. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Financially.

The next step is getting our travel approval from China. Travel approval means that China has all the paperwork for both boys, and they are ready for us to travel there and pick them up. Right now, Z’s paperwork and E’s paperwork is not together. All the paperwork must come together. Then, China has to coordinate getting the boys together (as they do not live in the same city) and to us once we arrive in the Henan province capital city of Zhengzhou.

As part of preparing, we had a garage sale yesterday. Money to go to China. De-cluttering our home. A cluttered home yields a cluttered mind and spirit. How did we accumulate so much stuff? Would Jesus want it this way? I don’t think so. If I have a lot of “stuff”, I am not free to move when God says move. If my money is tied up in possessions, I cannot give when God says give.

OK, this is me practicing inserting pictures:  The picture is D’s rendition of a Chinese lion. E is inside the lion suit controlling it. D is on the left. Z is on the right. Also, he drew the Chinese symbol for family himself.

Acts 2:45 And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

What is tying you down do you cannot move for God?

Double portion

It has been a while since I blogged last. A lot has been going on in our lives over the last few weeks. More about that in a bit.

Our process of adopting from China has been a long road. God put it in our hearts in 2006 to adopt from China. We finally got up the nerve to begin the paperwork process in 2007. Our dossier (the mounds of paperwork that we have to send to China that has every bit of information about us) was “logged-in” on March 30, 2008. After that, we have been waiting. For a girl. One girl.

In February this year, we had to update our Home Study (a written report about our family compiled and prepared by a social worker). The line for a healthy baby girl from China is soooo long. God put the burden on our hearts that there are children in China now who need a forever family. With that in mind, we asked our social worker if she would amend our Home Study to say we would adopt a boy or girl up to 4 years old and would consider a Special Needs/Waiting Child. We also said we would be willing to adopt 2 children.We filled out a medical checklist with our adoption agency and waited.

China opened a new program on September 1, 2010. The new program is called the Special Focus program. The Special Focus children are children whose profiles have not been taken by an adoption agency in 2 months or more. They are on a shared list between agencies. These children usually have more Special Needs, may be older, and are mostly boys. Special Focus children may be adopted by a family who has already adopted from China within the last year without the family having to start over with the dossier process. Also, families who are already matched to a child may adopt a child from the Special Focus list and pick them both up with one trip to China.

Back to our process. After our Home Study was updated, my husband was scrolling through the profiles of waiting children online. A sweet little face popped out at him. After much prayer, we decided to pursue the adoption of a little boy that we will call E. A boy. A BOY! Not girl. Really?!?

So then, a few weeks later, our adoption agency called and asked if we would consider adopting a child off the Special Focus list that we will call Z. Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. Research, research, and more research on his Special Needs. Our immigration status had not been officially changed. (Many thanks to the friends, federal workers, and politicians that helped push our immigration status and fingerprints through.) Our immigration status change finally came in, and yes, we are approved to adopt 2 children up to 4 years old of either sex.

We are currently pursuing the adoption of Z as well as E. They are 3 months apart. Twins, if you will. They live in cities right beside each other. We can send them care packages and pictures. Hopefully, we leave in a couple of months to get our boys. If you want excitement in your life, come to our house!

Whew, when God moves, He moves!

Isaiah 61:7 (NASB)  Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs.


This past Wednesday, my husband and I went to the USCIS (immigration) to have our fingerprints taken. Again…We are told that it is a 75 day wait for someone to even look at our file. Waiting is not new for us. God told us to look toward China way back in 2006. The difference is we have a child (Di Di) waiting.

Now, let’s take a different look at waiting. Yesterday, our first child “D” decided he wanted to color a picture for Jesus. He wanted Jesus to come get it. Well, we had a discussion about why He could not come get the picture, but He would see it. He would see it before D even colored it. We talked about how Jesus would come back one day. D started to cry. He wanted Jesus to come now. We are all waiting. Waiting for the second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. No one knows except God when He will return.

Waiting is hard. Waiting has a purpose. What purpose does waiting serve?

  1. Waiting develops patience.
  2. Waiting develops endurance.
  3. Waiting develops character.
  4. Waiting prepares the way for what is to come.
  5. Waiting softens our hearts.

What do we do while we wait? Well, while the disciples were in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit to come, they prayed. Not for a minute. Not for an hour. They prayed for days. DAYS!

Isaiah 40:31 ESV. But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Other versions replace the word wait with trust. If we wait and do not give up, it shows that we trust that what has been promised will come true. What do you do while you wait?

April Fool’s! Or not…

April 1, and I am not fooling. I am blogging! Here is the story of why I started this today.

My husband and I are pursuing the adoption of a little boy (Di Di) from China. We thought we were getting a Mei Mei, but God proved otherwise. Hoop after hoop to jump through. Paper after paper to sign. Here we are, almost ready. Then, we hear the USCIS is 75 days behind sending out appointments for fingerprints. What?!?

Today, we get a notice that China has sent us a letter of acceptance. Once we sign this letter and send it back, the clock starts ticking. At that point we have 3 months to travel to China. We cannot send this letter back until we get fingerprints done. What do I have in my mailbox when I get home? An appointment for fingerprints…

Who is in control? God.

How do we release control to God?

  1. Pray
  2. Study the word
  3. Practice

1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB.  For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

When has God shown you that He is in control?



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