Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Adoption Update....

"Faith doesn't grow in a house of certainty". Those were words I read recently in a great book (new post coming soon about my latest book reads of the year). I will admit that initially, I just skimmed over those words. But, they really are true. Faith isn't grown when everything is aligned just perfectly and all of our plans are going as we had envisioned. Faith grows when our plans are thrown out the window, nothing seems to be possible, and we are left knowing that we were never in charge to begin with.

I happen to think that God enjoys our uncertainty. It proves His might, His power, and His love. Think about it. He doesn't owe us anything at all! He loves us beyond our wildest imaginations, and when we are at a point of feeling like all hope is lost, He gently reminds us that He is always constant, always loving and always in control of our lives.

We are living in a "house of uncertainty" so-to-speak. This week there have been many reports of adoption corruption in Vietnam, and the end result is that they are going to close the country to adoptions as of September 1, 2008. You can read more here. The bottom line is that we must have a referral (a match to a specific child) by that date, or we will not be adopting from there at all.

Please don't read this as me moaning and being scared to death. Not at all! I write this with much joy, for I believe in my heart that this a great chance for us to give God some glory! It's a chance for Him to shine as He works out His plan to bring Ellie home to us. You see... we are in uncertain times with all of this, and our faith is growing exponentially! We trust Him; we believe He called us to adopt from vietnam. We believe that He is the same God today that He was when he called us to this journey. We believe that He is more powerful than the Embassy or the Department of International Adoptions, or any other entity involved in this whole process. We believe that He loves Ellie so much more than we are capable of, that He created her and knew her in her birth mother's womb. We believe that He will love us through every step of this. And ultimately, we believe that if September 1st comes and we do not have our referral, He is STILL God, and we will still praise Him.

We do covet your prayers. I have been humbled by the many people who have told us that they are praying for us or who have emailed us to let us know they are doing so! We believe in the power of prayer! We trust that God hears our cries to Him. Please pray for a speedy referral for our Ellie. Thanks so much!!

I'll keep ya posted on the latest, but until then.... I pray and wait.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

He keeps on teaching me...

For the past week or so, I have spent time in God's word specifically looking for what He says about me. You see, sometimes I tend to say all sorts of untruths about myself. I'm too fat, too picky, too....whatever. But, God's word tells me otherwise, and so I was looking for His words about who I am (all of that is another post for another day; it just happens to be how I got to this post). My reading took me to the 139th Psalm because there just isn't a more clear picture of how beautifully and perfectly God created each of us than in that passage of scripture.

Anyway... as I was reading, I got to verse 16 where it says "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be". It struck me as I read those words that God knows exactly how many days I will be here on this earth. He always has. And not only does He know how much time I will spend in this life, but He has ordained all of my days. To ordain means "to appoint" or "to give holy orders for". My life was not by chance. My life was appointed. My role as a wife and a mom are not to be taken lightly; God ordained those roles, long before I drew my first breath.

He did the same for you too. It's true. Your life is ordained as well. You are not here by chance. Are you living like He ordained you to live? Am I? Our days are already numbered. Let's not waste a single minute more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Special Delivery

For the past 2 weeks, I have faithfully called the Consulate General of Vietnam's office in San Francisco. We know they received our dossier on the 8th of this month (because we sent it Fedex with a signature required), and we had been told to expect a 1-2 week turnaround time. I didn't mind if they were not yet finished with our adoption paperwork. I simply wanted to know if they were working on it. Very quickly I found out that I needed to speak with someone at extension 106. The only problem was that "106" never answered, nor did he or she return my calls. I was patient, and I simply called extension 105. That person answered on day #6 of my endeavor. She told me politely that I needed to speak to "106", but I begged her not to transfer me, explaining that they never answered. She assured me that she was "looking right at him" and that he was not on the phone at that moment, so she transferred me. He didn't answer.

On day #10, I got someone else to answer (I believe it was extension 107). I explained in great detail that I wanted to check on the status of my adoption paperwork. After an almost 5 minute explanation, she said "You speak Vietnamese?". I answered "No. You speak English?". Her response: "No. I transfer." You guessed it; no answer.

Today is day #14. I have called numerous times this morning, leaving a message for old time's sake. I didn't get a return call, but I didn't really expect to so that was okay. Tonight, though the infamous "extension 106" answered!
I will get to the good part. Our dossier is authenticated, and according to "106", on its way to Vietnam as of late yesterday! This is INCREDIBLE news, and we are thrilled about it, to say the least.

We don't really know what the next step is. We know that our dossier is headed for our agency's Vietnam office, but after that, we are clueless. What we do know is that this puts us one step closer to having Ellie here at home with us, and for that we are tremendously thankful!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I hate to brag....

But my husband happens to be the best ever!

This weekend we went away for a little R & R together.
Just the 2 of us.

cost of B&B room..... worth every dime
money spent shopping....... $1.60 (seriously)
the fact that he planned it all..... PRICELESS!

Check out Jeff's blog here for some pics that he posted of the weekend.

It was cold and rainy, but who cares? We were in a gorgeous place together. No phones. No cell phone reception. No TV! (yes, he gave up the tv on Master's weekend)

Jeff, I love you so much. Thanks for the beautiful weekend. It was one of the best of my life. You are an amazing husband to me. Thanks for loving me like you do. (And thanks for letting me win that game of trivia at BW3's). You have given me everything in this life that I have ever wanted and so much more. I am honored to be your wife. Let's do this more often!

Love, Bird

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


In my quiet time this morning, I said to God "I really want to live like you today". I thought I meant it when I said it. But God wasn't so sure. He wouldn't allow me to say anything else. Literally, He made me shut up (again). As I walked into my office, I felt out of sorts, awkward. I couldn't quite explain it. I sat at my desk, and said to God, "What?". And that's when He hit me. He said to me quite plainly "You don't really know what it means to live like I live. I want you to. I will show you. I will remind you of scripture. But it's gonna hurt to do it".

He was right. He always is.

What He reminded me of was how often I waste. I waste time, energy, efforts, money, resources, etc. You name it, I can waste it. Specifically, I waste a lot of opportunity to get to know people. I hide a lot, keeping just far enough away from people so that I don't have to get personal with them. And that's not how Jesus lived on earth. Not at all! To be like Him, I have to be willing to know people. I have to be intentional in my relationships.

Jesus didn't waste a day. So, I asked myself: What will I do with my days? Will I use them for good, or will I squander them away? Will I really love those I come in contact with, or will I approach them with disinterest. When I meet with a client at work, do I genuinely love them, or am I only interested in getting the job done and moving to the next client. For that matter, are they just a client, or do I see the person with feelings, needs, desires, and purpose? Am I trying to KNOW people, or am I trying to convert people?

Proverbs 3:27 says "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act". That reminds me of a line from my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption. In one scene Andy (Tim Robbins) says "get busy livin', or get busy dying". That's true. To LIVE as Christ, is to never withhold good from others when it is in our power to do so. To LIVE as Christ is to always be intentional in my relationships. To LIVE as Christ is to put others' needs ahead of my own. To LIVE as Christ is to die to myself.

Today has been hard because He is humbling me. I have lost my temper today, literally cussed the lawn mower, assumed the worst about people, and over all acted like a fool. But yet, God has surrounded me, whispering in my ear every minute, "I am here. I will mold you to be like me if you allow it. I told you it was going to be hard. But I will not leave you alone".

My response: "Let's get busy living"

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Next Step...

The Honorable Le Quoc Hung, Consul General

Today was a big day in the adoption process (aka: Destination Ellie). Our dossier was sent to the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco CA for the final Vietnam Embassy Authentication. Literally, the man pictured above will give his stamp of approval for us to bring our little girl home.

This is the last thing we will do before the dossier goes to Vietnam. We are thrilled to be at this point in the whole process! Here are some things you can be praying for at this point of the journey:
  • safe and quick delivery of our dossier to San Francisco (there's a lot of money in that envelope!)

  • speedy processing by the Consulate General

  • safe delivery of the dossier to the Vietnam office of our agency in Hanoi City

  • a quick referral for our little girl

  • most of all.... for Ellie to be safe, well cared for and loved until we bring her home

  • pray also for her birth mother to have peace and comfort in her plan to place Ellie up for adoption. I feel incredibly indebted to this woman whom I will never know.

We'll be sure to keep you posted if we hear anything!