It's super cold right now in Texas, as our first real cold front of the season has blown in making the kids run to the hot chocolate and pull out their winter gear. But that's not why this post is titled "frozen". I haven't written in such a very long time... the words...they just have been frozen. I've felt paralyzed to write as we waited to hear news about our little girl in China. What could I say that would encourage others or tell them about our journey... That's what August through November has felt like for me. I think I'm ready to share now so let's catch up.
We're in the home stretch and all the paperwork, the prayers and preparation are coming to be fulfilled. She is coming home - soon. The official invite, our Travel Approval, is coming soon. Then our agency will help us book our Consulate Appointment and then we book our travel arrangements from our home to her province. Our agency takes care of all the in-country flights, hotels and guides for us.
Up until this point, our lives have been filled with concern and trying to trust in God's will and hand in all of this. Since September, we've wondered how Emme was doing and since September, no one could give us any answers. We received little tidbits though - two times we received little two line updates. Another family were the ones to let us know she had been taken to the hospital when they visited the orphanage to adopt their little girl back in September. Such a surprise that was! We had assumed she would remain there until we brought her home and then have her surgery. But my prayers all along were for God to hold her tight and take care of her heart. He did.
Once in October our news was that she had surgery and was on breathing support - a ventilator. Nothing else... Goodness that was so hard to hear, but knowing what I know now about heart surgery, I knew most heart patients come out on breathing support but many go off of it quickly. So we assumed her surgery must have been recent. Then recently, this month, our news was that she had a second surgery in October and was released from ICU early this month. A little better news, but nothing to tell us HOW she was doing or WHAT surgeries she had. Our agency called to tell us we shouldn't plan to travel very soon since she would need to be released back to the orphanage before we could bring her home.
That was just a frustrating time for us and we really struggled with it. The lack of information took it's toll. Loving a child half way around the world yet knowing her little complicated heart underwent surgery just left me feeling empty. Selfish reasons took over and the "whys" set in. Why wasn't she with us when she had surgery? Why did they take her without asking us? Why wasn't the paperwork moving faster? Why can't we find out anything about her? Thus the frozen feeling. But we were ok. Because overall we knew who was in control of the situation and that everything would happen in His timing.
So now we're up to date and it's the end of November. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and all the little pieces are falling into place. Many paperwork milestones have been met (see our timeline link above) and Emme is out of the hospital, back at the orphanage and recovering well from the pictures we recently received. She's rocking' her Daddy's no-fuss hairstyle. (They shaved her head while she was in the hospital). No worries - we'll be bringing many cute head bands! Since when we were waiting for some type of news... I was shopping! haha She's so beautiful. She has the biggest brown eyes and the tiniest little fingers. She's standing on her own and sitting on her own. This is so huge for someone who has been hospitalized for 3 months. We just can't wait to pour love into her and welcome her into our family. Soon baby girl...soon.
While we've been doing paperwork and waiting - lots of waiting - life has been going on as usually. Allie celebrated her 9th birthday with getting her ears pierced. Fun!
Grace and Jessica celebrated their 14th birthday! I don't know why but I love this picture of the two of them. Maybe it's all the personality it shows, because they tend to be pretty shy at this age - I'm sure that will change!
The fair came to town and my girls baked up a storm. Two won grand prizes for their cake decorating!
Now as we prepare to give thanks for all that we've been given, we look back on all our blessings of this year. Our Thankful Tree is up and how fun it is to look back on the reasons we were thankful last year and the year before. This year, I'm thankful for everything. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. There's been plenty of ugly and spiritual warfare type things happening all throughout this year. But that just means we are doing what God has asked of us and we are stepping out in obedience. The beautiful is waiting and it's so exciting to know we are almost there!
Happy Thanksgiving & Many Blessings,