Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dreams...



"Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake."
-Henry David Thoreau

I am reading a book right now called, "One Month to Live". The purpose of the book is to get us to live each day intentionally, as if it might be our last. The reading today was on dreams. The dreams we all have for our lives that get lost under the burden of everyday life and problems. The author talked about our dreams for ourselves and God's dreams for us. How do we know when a dream is from Him?

God's dreams will always rise to the top while all the others melt away. God's dream will be so big that you cannot do it on your own. It will require faith. God's dream will also make a difference in the lives of others. It will not be selfish. God's dream comes from your heart, the core of your being. It will be a passion in your life.

When I read these things I couldn't help but think of our adoption story. I believe that it is a dream God placed in our hearts a very long time ago and throughout all of the challenges we have faced this dream has always risen to the top. It definitely requires faith and is bigger than ourselves!

The author goes on to remind us that God has a purpose for us, but that the devil also has a purpose for us. God wants to give us a dream and Satan wants to destroy it. Simple as that. I have felt that so many times in this journey.

At first it was the money. How could we ever do this? That is where the faith came in. We did not ask anyone for money except the grants we applied for and money has come in through friends, parents, cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles, and our church family. And even a grant! Everytime we have been tempted to give in to anxiety and unbelief, God has provided.

Next came the doubts. What will people think? Will people accept this child into our family? Will people think we are trying to replace Emma? Will we feel guilty for loving another child? Will Allie be able to accept a new sister? Are we too old?(Big One) So many questions going through my head. So many doubts that came from my enemy.

And now as we finally are nearing the completion of this process, there are new reasons to fear and doubt. I don't talk about it on here much or at all, but things are going a little crazy with Vietnam adoptions right now. I won't get into all of the details but there is a very real possibility that all adoptions between the U.S. and Vietnam will be ended soon. It is a very scary time. All of this has happened since we began our adoption. Sometimes the fear overwhelms me. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because the thought of losing another child fills me with dread and anxiety.

Reading this chapter today reminded me that this dream is God's dream, not mine, and He will see it through. We have seen Him intervene in so many ways and He will again. We believe He chose Anna to be our child and He will bring her home to us. What a relief!! I can rest in His promises.

I was looking at a website the other day that sells adoption jewelry and I saw this Chinese proverb:
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet; regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."
For me, that red thread is a symbol of a dream, God's dream for my family, and it will never break. I took a red thread and wove it through a silver bracelet to remind me of that dream and the promise that it will become reality.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Introducing...

The name game has been a long one for me. I have been thinking about it from the moment we decided to adopt. My husband, on the other hand, refused to think about it until we received our referral. He wanted to see her face and consider her Vietnamese name, which I totally get, but I just wanted to have some options ready. So, for the past year I have been saying, "What about this name, ______?". And he has been looking at me with that "You're so not going to get me to talk about this" look. And to further annoy me, he started to refer to her as Michelle. Sorry to any Michelles out there. I don't dislike the name, it just wasn't one of my top choices. Anyway, now that we have a referral and such a sweet face to look at, we finally started to really think about a name. After much thought and discussion, we have finally made a decision.
Drumroll, please...


Her name is Anna Grace.


Those of you who know our family know that Anna is Dean's mother's name and we are so honored and pleased to name our daughter after her. She is a Godly woman with a gentle and loving spirit who I know our Anna will look up to and emulate all her life.


I love family names. Allison is named after my great grandparents whose last name was Allison, Emma shares my middle name, and Anna will be blessed to share her name with a very special grandma.


Well, I guess it is officially Easter morning, so Happy Easter!! I hope you all take time to thank God for the sacrifice He made for us so long ago. By the way, that's why our Anna will be Anna Grace. Without God's grace to us, there would be no hope of new life. And as a reminder of what new life looks like, I leave you with a picture our friend painted for us of how she pictures our Emma now that she is experiencing her new life with our Savior...



How I wish all of the people we love would accept this gift of Grace. It's the easiest and best thing you will ever do! I know Emma would tell you it is so worth it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Little fingers, little toes

Today we sent all of the paperwork to our agency to accept our referral for this beautiful little girl. It seems so unreal that she is living and breathing so far away from us. I feel so close to her in my heart. It breaks my heart to think of her growing and changing without us there to watch and enjoy her. I know that it is similar in many ways to our love for Emma. We are not with her but we know she lives and she is never far from our thoughts and dreams. We are becoming all too familiar with loving from a distance.


I do believe, though, that God has a plan for this little girl and we are a part of that plan. We need each other. I have found that it is not popular in the adoption world to include God in the picture. I guess I don't know how you can take Him out of it. Just as I don't know how someone could go through the loss of a child without Him, I don't know how you could go through an adoption without the faith that He is with you and guiding you. To be honest, I don't know how you could go through anything without Him. If I did not have the belief that He is my father, my savior, my defender, my life coach, my reason... I don't know why I would bother getting out of bed in the morning.


We have been so blessed with our family and friends who have shared our joy this week. So many of you showed your love for us and this new member of our family in amazing ways. I have prepared myself for the fact that some will not be excited and, as usual, they have not disappointed. We all have our share of those people in our lives, don't we? I love them anyway. What else can you do? Thankfully, the rest of you more than made up for them!


Anyway, I will hopefully be sharing her name soon...


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The big call!!

Well, most of you who read this have heard our big news by now!! I didn't want to post it on here until we were able to share it with our family and church family. I think we have everyone covered so now I can share it with the world!


We got our referral!!!

Last Thursday, March 6, I received a call from our coordinator who shared the good news with us!! I cannot share details on the internet yet but I can tell you she is absolutely beautiful and we are so in love with her already. When I looked at that face I felt an immediate connection and I felt like I knew her already.

Now the hardest part is yet to come. Now that I have seen her it breaks my heart that I cannot hold her and give her the love and care she needs and deserves. Please pray for her and for the process to bring her home to go smoothly and quickly. I really mean that. We need your prayers.

I will post more about her and everything later but I wanted to share the news with all of you!!

Thanks to all of you who commented last week. It was nice to know you are really reading this!!



Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Almost There!!

I just received an email from our adoption coordinator and we are now Number 4 on the list!! I am trying to be patient but it is getting harder and harder the closer we get. I just want to get that phone call! It could happen at any time now.

By the way, does anyone read this thing?