Monday, December 28, 2009

A Troubling Update

About 6 weeks ago we received an update on Addison. In it, the foster mom noted that Addison's head would shake in 2-3 second intervals when she slept. In response we asked that they take video of her, and run and EEG. They were more than willing. As you all know, we received the video about 3 weeks ago and Addie looked happy, and developmentally right on target, even ahead in some areas. They also did an EEG and we received that a couple days ago. It noted that "there were several sharp wave discharges from the right and left central areas of her brain" which indicates she is having partial seizures. She has been put on an anticonvulsant medication called Valproic Acid for 6 weeks and the doctor has ordered blood work, and an MRI.

I think it goes without saying that we are heartbroken and worried about our little girl. It is also somewhat surreal that this is happening again. I would be lying if I didn't initially struggle with anger, but after much prayer and struggle, God has brought me to the place where I can see that this is clearly no accident. Very few people have adoptions fall through like we did. Very few people have serious health issues arise with their babies as these children are very well cared for. So when you consider that we have had all this happen once and now are walking that path yet again, it impossible to face the fact that God has placed us here.

Here's how you can pray, (and we covet your prayers)

  • Pray we can find a good pediatric neurologist to look at her file who can give us a clear indication of what were dealing with. It could be a very minor issue, we just don't know.
  • Pray the doctors in Korea have wisdom and insight as they treat her so she gets all that she needs while we wait to go get her.
  • Pray we will not worry. It extremely difficult knowing your baby is out of your reach, being cared for by strangers, and you have no say in her care. For lack of a better analogy, its just a weight that hangs over you.
  • And of course, pray we glorify God in whatever path he has for us.
  • Psalm 40:11 "You, O Lord, will not withhold your compassion from me. Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Story Bible for Kids

I want to HIGHLY recommend the following children's story Bible. It is The Big Picture Story Bible written by David Helm. I have read countless story Bibles to my boys over the years, but this one is so much better there is absolutely no comparison to any other. What makes it so different and superior is the fact the author takes each Bible story, each event in Israel's history, each phase in Biblical history, and ties them all together to show how the Bible is one coherent book, with one message instead of lots of little inspirational stories compiled into an anthology. He shows with each story and each account of Christ's life how they fit into God's overall purpose of redeeming a people for himself. There are no random stories that don't fit here! On each page you see, as will your child, how each account draws us closer to the fulfillment of God's promises. Its definitely worth purchasing!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What’s Next??

I've had many people asking me what happens next in our adoption. Right now we are waiting on immigration to approve our i600 which is a petition for the US government to legally classify Addison as a relative so we can get her a visa to bring her home. Right now our paperwork is in Texas. They have received it , processed it, given it a case number and it is now awaiting review. I have no idea how long that will take. It could be one week, or it could be 6 weeks. You just never know! After Texas processes it, they will mail it to the Kansas City office where they will actually review our file and make sure our ducks are in a row so they can approve the i600. They won't approve it initially because we will need to be re-fingerprinted, but once that's taken care of, we should get that approval. The total time frame is really hard to nail down. I think the fastest would be 6 weeks, and the longest, well who knows, but I don't think we'll wait more than 10-12 weeks. We would have to have some pretty serious snags for this to happen.

After we get our i600, then we our paperwork is sent to the National Visa Center where we start the process to get her Visa. This is a completely different timeline and process, so I'll explain that when we get there!

We appreciate your prayers and support so much! Thanks to all of you!

Are You a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

I just listened to a great sermon by Steve Lawson.
(recommended by my brother...thanks Jeremy!)
It is entitled "It Will Cost You Everything."
I urge you to listen to this!
It is excellent.
Click here to listen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A New Book!

I just started reading the book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. I'm excited to see what he has to say about a healthy church. The introduction really wet my appetite; maybe it will prompt you to read it too - or at least start thinking about what a healthy church really looks like when one uses the Bible as your measure of health instead of our own subjective opinions. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

"How is a church supposed to act? What does it mean for a church to be faithful? And how can you tell whether or not you're succeeding? Is the fact that a lot of people are attending the proof that what they're doing right and blessed by God? It's hard to argue with numbers. Faced with attendance in the tens of thousands, mega complex buildings and budgets bigger than those of small countries, its not easy to question whether this is really a good idea. 'Of course it's a good idea!' the evidence seems to scream. 'Look how BIG it all is!'

"But is size the measure of success? We all know the right answer is no, but I wonder how many of us truly believe it deep down – or how many of us know what to sue to measure success in its place? Maybe you're uneasy about the shallowness of the modern church. Maybe you're looking for another measuring stick for true health. But whether you're a pastor looking for a blueprint to build your church or simply a Christian asking what matters most in a church, I believe this book can help you."

I'm excited to read Mark Dever's analysis of church health. My lofty plan is to summarize each of the nine marks detailed in this book in nine different posts, so be looking for more to come!

Sheri turns 40!!

Sheri thinks she's going to dinner with a friend, but instead is greeted with a party!
Everyone chatting & eating at PF Chang's.

Back at my house, we eat cake & open gifts. Sheri had to wear her "Princess birthday" gear we provided for her! After 40 years, you deserve an evening of being treated like a princess! ...right?
All the party-goers!

Here we are playing a game called "Kiss the Prince." You are blindfolded, and then attempt to kiss a "prince" as close to the lips as you can!

My Mother-in-law ended up kissing The Prince of Darkness! I think she won!! See the pink lipstick right on his lips!!!

Ang & Sheri..long time friends

Sheri & her little sister Angela.
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

God is Good

Psalm 31:6
I will rejoice and be glad in your lovingkindness because you have seen my affliction. You have known the troubles of my soul.

Psalm 40:11
You, O Lord, will not withhold your compassion from me. Your lovingkindness and truth will continually preserve me.

Psalm 31:21
Blessed be the Lord for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Immigration Problems

We filed our i600 with the United States Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS). This needs to be approved in order for Addison to get a Visa. Immigration is notoriously unhelpful and slow. If you make a mistake in your paperwork it can delay you weeks, even months. Case in point: When I filed the i600a a year ago, I sent a check for the wrong amount and by the time they sent the check back with an explanation of the problem and I sent a new check, the process had been delayed a full month. With that being said, we have now have three mistakes with our paperwork which we just sent off last Thursday.

#1: We forgot to date a form. To correct this we filled the form out again, typed a letter with an explanation of the mistake and what we did to correct it, and sent that priority mail today. We are helpful that this actually makes it into our file it with our paperwork so this is fixed and doesn't cause delay.

#2: Our homestudy was updated by our Social worker in September. She listed our first referral by name on the first page. I was unaware of this, because our first homestudy made no mention of any child at all. So now USCIS has a homestudy with the wrong baby listed. Not good. This means we have to wait for a new homestudy, and HOPE that USCIS doesn't notice this small detail, or that the mistake has no bearing on our case.

#3 Our federal fingerprints expire on January 25, 2010. We were informed that they needed to be current until we actually bring home our baby. This is a change in policy because before USCIS stated they needed to be current until we got out i600 approval. So, we met with an immigration officer today who stated we could not get updated fingerprints until USCIS noted our expiration date, puts our file on hold, and mails us the "fingerprint form." Once we have this precious form, we can go get printed, but not until then. This a guaranteed two week delay, and could be longer. We now also need to finger print Nick because he will be 14 by this time.

We are definitely in need of prayer. Here's how you can pray:

  • Pray we don't worry, or become discouraged. God is good all the time. Even when its hard to see.
    Pray God watches over our paperwork and that these delays will be minimal and very easy to fix so these problems don't turn into months of delays.
  • Pray we bring him glory, even now for He is always worthy. I really want to exalt him at all times, but I'm afraid I'm really struggling right now.

We appreciate all the support, prayers and love. It means so much.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Visiting Santa!

My "little brother"
Jack was tired of photos! (but isn't he so cute!)

Drew was also sick of photos! Can you tell?

Some of my family!!

My older brother and his daughter

My other niece who LOVES sweets!

The girls wouldn't go near Santa...except to get a candy cane!!!

The boys are with Santa. Jack typed out his list and was explaining it to Santa!! He was very serious about this!! See the "joy" on Drew's face! He's not really "into" Santa anymore!
-He's gettin' nothin' for Christmas!! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Video, Legals & Doctor's check-up!!

When it rains, it pours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have legals!!!!!!!!!!!! I already overnighted them to the immigration office and they should arrive there tomorrow morning!!! YEAAAAAHHHH!!! Things are finally moving!

We also got Addison's monthly doctor report and she is doing great!! She weighs 19lbs 4oz and she is 26inches long! She is developmentally on track and is was noted that her "head shake" is "disappearing!" YEAHHAHAH!!!

And we also got video!!!!! She is so CUTE!!! I'm so incredibly happy I can't stand it!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Still waiting.............

64 days

9 weeks 1 day

1,536 hours

............and counting

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

We had so much fun decorating for Christmas! We are looking forward to a great holiday season!

Great Quote

The secret formula of the Saints: When I'm in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord's choicest wines.

-Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)
(Puritan Preacher)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A quote from: The Confessions of St. Augustine

I'm currently reading The Confessions of St. Augustine as part of my daily devotions . The Modern English Version is very easy to read and offfers some deep reflections on being a sinnner, and yet being a child of God. Here is one excerpt which I found particularly moving.

"Oh that I might rest on You, Dear Lord.

Oh, that You would enter my heart and make it intoxicated, so that I might forget all woes and embrace You, my only good.

What are You to me? Take pity on me and teach me how to express it.

What am I to you that You demands my love and care enough to be angry and threaten me with grievous woes if I do not give it? It is no small woe if I do not love You."

Page 18; The Confessions of St. Augustine (Modern English Version)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I am my biggest problem

Take time to read this article entitled I Am My Biggest Problem. Its short, honest, truthful and humbling.

A Couple Great Quotes From my Book

The Bible does not just tell the story of God's work of salvation; at the same time it reveals God's character. He is its hero from beginning to end. Sometimes we miss the point by asking to quickly, 'What is this saying to me?' A good first question to ask whenever we look at a passage is, 'What does this tell me about God?' Very often the application for us will then be obvious. The Bible is, above all, a book about God. (p.65)

...But even when we do not understand God's purposes, we can be sure that they are loving ones and that they always guarantee that His will is done. (p. 64) (I need to frame this...don't I?)

Quotes from the book: God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Legals Yet.

Yup...still no legals. We've been waiting 52 days, (not that I'm counting, well, actually my computer is counting) Everything is just sitting, waiting, stuck...nothing can start without them.

AGAHAGAH! I really feel like this woman right now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I'm reading now.

I just started reading the book entitled God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. Here's one excerpt from the introduction of the book:

"I had already completed a theology degree at university, but it left me unable to find my way around the Bible. There had been detailed analysis of individual books and passages, but no one had shown me how they fit together. My friend however was able to travel through the Bible with apparent ease. It was as if he was using a map while I was left without any sense of direction. I asked him how he did it. He told me about a book that outlined the main elements in the story of the Bible from beginning to end.

"My aim (in writing this book) is to provide all Christians, from the new convert to the mature believer, with an overview of the whole Bible that will help them see how the different parts fit together. I want to put in my reader's hands the map that I have found so helpful. "
If you've ever wondered how the Old Testament ties into and prepares readers for the New Testament, then this is the book for you. (PS: Its an easy read too!! You could get through it in a week!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where are Our Legals?

Good question!! Normally, Legals take 4-6 weeks to arrive from Korea. This is packet of paperwork that contains legal documents that must be submitted with our application for Addison's Visa. Basically, nothing can happen without this paperwork. Everything is hold until we get this. Everything. So, we are currently on our 7th week waiting for these important papers to arrive. I emailed Holt and they immediately looked into it. They do not know where they are at this point, and we were told to contact them at the end of the week in order to give them time to reach Korea. It is suspected that the Legals are taking longer because she wasn't born in Seoul. I've been told it could be 7-9 weeks as a result of the delays. AHAGAHG! Its so frustrating! Basically, everything has now been pushed back a month. I'm really tired of delays, waiting, and bumps in the road. Ug.

What Have We Been Doing The Last week?

November 6, 7, & 8th: Bowl Games all weekend
(Thats a lot of football..too much actually!!)

November 8th - Drew's 10th Birthday

His grandma gave his this hat. He wore it all morning at church, all day, and went to bed with it on. (I guess he likes it!)

November 12th - Middle School Dance

November 13th - Drew's Birthday Party & Sleepover

That's just a quick overview of where I've been. Oh!!! ...and I forgot to mention basketball games, practice, and my job!! Thankfully, next week will be more sane!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Something to Look Forward to!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Holt saying they were going to get video of Addison next time she came in for her Well Baby Check. I am so excited about this!!!! How wonderful! All seriousness set aside, I'll just be thrilled to see her little face, her chubby legs, her smile, her babbling, …her. I can't wait to see how she's changed! The only photo we have of her was when she was 6 weeks old, so she looks completely different now. We probably won't recognize her! I'm so excited! Any medical knowledge that can be gained from the video will be secondary to me falling in love with her. I doubt that's a rational approach, but right now, I simply do not care. That news was a great encouragement to me! YEAH!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Update on Addison…(here we go again)

Its ironic that I just taught a lesson over fear at Bible study Monday night and then am struggling with it the very next day. (I guess God wants me to live what I teach..amazing..I thought I had this one down?!) I got a new medical update on Addison. I thought it was odd, because we already got her well baby check for October and won't get anything again until the end of November. I opened the attachments to find that the doctor and FM were noting that "she wags her head and arms three times for 2-3 second intervals, but then stops when she is held." (What does "wag" mean anyway???) In addition, she has significant head lag still at 6 months old.

Now I realize that this could be nothing at all, but I also realize it could be something. The "little something" we noted with our first referral ended up being HUGE, even life threatening. So we've decided to ask for video of both the head lag and the "wag of the head and arms." We are also requesting an EEG be done just to rule out any seizure activity. There is a huge part of me that really doesn't think anything is wrong…after all, seizures don't stop when a child is held, but there is still some uncertainty mixed in. I believe this is just the foster mom and doctors being extra careful, which I'm thankful for. Whatever the case may be, this report is unsettling and I would, yet again, ask for your prayers. I've chosen not to worry knowing that God is gracious in all that He does, but your prayers would definitely be appreciated as we pray for this situation and in doing so, thank God for is mercy, provision, and choose to trust him, even though I feel very prone to fret.

I ended Monday night's Bible study with the following verse: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-8. Pray that the peace of God guards our hearts and that our little girl is found to be healthy. Thanks so much. We appreciate you all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

YEAH! Some Movement!!!

Oh yes!!!! Korea has approved Addison's Emigration Permit!!!! YEAH!! We are SO delighted! This part of the process can take 2-3 months...sometimes even longer and it only took about three weeks for us to get it!! (It was approved on October 20th!) That is a complete miracle! I'm so excited to see some movement with her paperwork!!! We are still waiting on her Legals from Korea. Were hoping to get those within the next ten days so we can submit her i600 which has to be approved in order for her to get a visa!! I'm SO SO SO excited!!! God is gracious and kind!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update on Addison

We just received our monthly update on Addison and I'm delighted to report she is doing great! She currently weighs 18lbs. which places her in the 79th percentile for weight. As for her length she is now 25 inches long which places her in the 25% for height. So basically she is a round little chunk! She is now able to get up on all fours, but is not yet crawling. She can stand up while holding onto her Foster mom's hands. She is also laughing, cooing, and can say "ma-ma" and "um-um." (…Which is probably "umma," the Korean word for mother.) Developmentally she is right on target and we are really happy for such a great report! We don't have any new photos but were really hoping we get some soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christ = Life

“It’s imperative we see that God is not interested in making our lives better. He’ll have nothing to do with being a supplemental enhancement to support our personal goals and ambitions. He’s not a sidekick, co-pilot, or self-help guru, and we should stay as far away from so-called Christianity that presents God as a way to improve our lives. God is life itself. Christ is life itself. We cannot live apart from God.”

*quote from the book, Your Jesus Is Too Safe, -p. 225

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Awesome Photos!

I love this Website.
The photos are incredible!!!!
Check it out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Addison's Care Package

Adoptive parents are able send “care packages” to their children in Korea. They way this works is you fill a box with items you want given to your child, mail it to the agency and then they will give the package to the foster mom. We wanted to send a care package to Addison, so the boys and I went shopping to find her some things. I gave each boy a small amount of money and then we went to Target so they could choose items they wanted to send to their baby sister. We were there a long time as each boy labored to choose the perfect items to put in the care package. Here are some photos of the fun we had
Jacker decided the blanket was a far better gift than a teether!

Drew couldn't decide what outfit to choose..too many choices!

Nick & Drew were discussing who would get this outfit as they both liked it.

Oh no!!! Did you catch us shopping!!!

Who knew he'd be so cute in pink!!!

Look mom!!!! baby Ugs!!!

Here's what they all ended up with! We had so much fun!

Enjoy your gifts baby girl! We love you!