Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Birthday Blessing for my Daughter

From the Book of Isaiah
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you." Isaiah 60:1-2.
May His glory always appear over you my sweet Maggie Mae.
" 'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10
May you experience Freedom and LIFE within His covenant of peace my precious daughter.
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." Isaiah 50:10b
The name of the Lord is a strong tower and a lighthouse for you Maggie Mae.
"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." Isaiah 48:17
Follow Him my little princess.
"I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:6-7
I pray you SEE life with His eyes, He is your healer Maggie Mae.
"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." Isaiah 32:18
You are loved, accepted, and safe, WELCOME HOME Maggie Mae.
"I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1b
May you see the face of Jesus and praise Him day and night saying Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty. He is your constant, everlasting Father Maggie Mae.
Happy Birthday Maggie Mae. I love you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reflections of Reality

Time flies when you are running an infirmary in your home:):) Ever since we've been home, someone has be sick with the flu. We have shared it with the Hufham household also, and we are so sorry!!!!!! Other than the flu epidemic, life is resuming. I won't say to normal because normal is just the setting on the dryer:) Parker did very well getting his makeup work done and has caught up and done very well. He thinks he needs to leave the country more often, hahaha! Baseball has begun and we won our first tournament. So proud of the integrity of our coaches, players and families. This is going to be a fun year of travel ball. Sarah-Gracen and Camden are trying to get back into a routine of homeschool, but we are finding it a little hard to do school with a two year old running around. They are greatly enjoying the distraction:):) Tony is still looking for a job; however, he is the latest victim of the flu and is miserable. Dexter is still trying to catch up with work and coach baseball and help me. He and Maggie Mae had a great morning Sunday. I went to church and he stayed home with her because Camden was sick. They had a good time, and he discovered she loves to swing and she loves the dogs. God is answering our prayer and that bond is beginning to happen.
I know you all want to know how Maggie Mae is doing, so I'll give you a quick update. She is happy most of the time. She can get around the house with no problem. She is especially good at finding the bear mount and digging all the moss out of the bottom. Bedtime happens to be her favorite. She loves her crib, and she loves to sleep. I have to wake her up every morning around 9am, she naps from 1-4, and then goes to bed at about 8:30. She is waking up in the middle of the night, but only to play, and not needing us. She loves to eat, especially Cheerios.
Yesterday we had our first doctor's appointment with the Pediatric Ophthalmolgist in Birmingham. He confirmed the original diagnosis of Primary Optic Nerve Atrophy. She has about 20/200 vision, which is considered legally blind. He did say her vision at this point was functional, and we will only know if it will deteriorate over time. He believes she was born this way. His exact words were, "God just made her this way for whatever reason." We were very impressed with him and his plan. Right now we are scheduled for an MRI of the brain at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. He wants to see the rest of the optic nerve and rule out any cysts or tumors. He also wants to have a good look at the brain, since we don't have any history of her. On March 8th, we see the International Adoption Pediatrician in Birmingham for a head to toe assessment.
So how are we doing with all this? I'm not sure I can find a word that describes our emotions; however, I will say that we knew all this was a possibility, and now it's a reality. I have praying for God to show me how to pray. I'm not sure what to do at this point in seeking Him, so I am relying on the Holy Spirit to show me what to pray. Earlier today I was processing some of this, and this is what He showed me. We look at this as she has lost something. We grieve for her loss. BUT God reminded me that she was born this way. She has never known anything but this. Most importantly, she hasn't lost anything. She has gained a family who will introduce her to Jesus who has a Hope and a Future for her life. We get to see life through a completely different perspective now. We were talking with the kids last night, and I thought about what our first hiking trip to Oak Mountain with her would be like. I told them that we will have to watch out close for her because of the roots and rocks etc. BUT, this will cause us to see things we might have missed along the way, feel things we might not have ever touched, hear the beauty of His creation, and smell the goodness of the Lord. I was so encouraged by this. Will it be easy? No, but once again, I am reminded that He never promised us that following Him would be easy, but He did promise to never leave us or forsake us. So we are praising Him that she can see some, and that other than her eyesight, she is a healthy little girl who is filled with LIFE. Her laughter is contagious, and we are falling desperately in love with her.

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Few Days Home ... Click Here for Video

There's no place like home!!!!! Oh it feels so good to be home. We have had an eventful few days, hecnce, you haven't heard from me in a while. We left China at 4pm Wednesday afternoon (Alabama time) and got home Friday morning at 3am. We almost missed our flight to Atlanta due to a long line in customs, but thanks to Maggie Mae crying in her daddy's arms, we got bumped to the front. We saw another family getting special privileges because their child was crying so hard, so Dexter looked at me and said "Give me the baby!" And yes we thought it was funny that time and it worked. We ran to the gate and got there right before they were closing the doors! We then found out an hour later that the de-icing mechanism was not working on our plane, so we made a detour to Knoxville to change planes again. We didn't care, we were going to make it home. Tony was home feeling anxious because of the impending weather coming in on Friday. So we got in around 3am and got everyone settled in, went to bed about 5am and got up at 10:30am to Sarah-Gracen throwing up. Everyone was so excited about the snow, but she was so pitiful and wasn't able to go out in it at all. She was sick for 2 days. Yesterday, Camden started running fever and has a sore throat. Parker is getting over jet lag and doing 2 weeks worth of make up work. Daddy has gone back to work and mom is trying to dig her way out of 2 1/2 weeks of laundry. So that's where we are now, but again, all is Great because we are home.
Maggie Mae is doing well adjusting to her new home. She is loving her high chair and her car seat! Praising Jesus for an answered prayer! Sleeping was rough at first because of the time change, but it's getting better. We went to church yesterday and she did very well, even went to Jalapenos with some friends and she loved it! As we speak she is on the floor playing with her new toys Maw Maw and Christina brought her. This is huge because she has not wanted to be out of my arms since we got home. You will see in the pictures and video, she loves taking a bath, and she got a real special treat the other night. She and Elsie Hufham got to take one together. She really loves her friend!
So many thanks to so many people who made our homecoming special. My house was clean thanks to Sarah, Gayna, and Georgia. Groceries were stocked thanks to Nan! Lisa had the sweetest Welcome Home sign made for us! Amy added her special touch with signs from our friends at church and flowers in Maggie Mae's room and most importantly, praying over our house!!!! My secret pal made a visit and left cookies, hot cocoa and some beautiful flowers. Thanks to Sharon, Suzanne, Georgia, Glenda, Martha, and Lisa for the meals. I haven't had to cook once since returning! Martha, my mother in law came on Saturday bearing gifts, food, but most importantly her love and support. She and I got all the bags unpacked and got the laundry started. Maggie Mae has a very special Maw Maw! One of the sweetest things was the first thing I saw when arriving home, Tony put a yellow bow on the mailbox. He was so ready for us to be home, and we were so ready to see him too! I know I probably have forgotten someone, but know that so many people have done so much, and we are eternally grateful for every single detail. God spoke to me regarding community last May, and He has given me a new perspective on living in community. I will never be the same again.
Lastly, I will leave you with something God has put on my heart. Amy and I were talking the other night about our whole experience and she said something that illuminated this in my heart. She asked me how I REALLY was! She said she could read between the lines in the blog and knew me well enough to know when it was a good day and when it wasn't so good. When someone really takes the time to get to know you, they can read your words and know your heart. This is the same with the Lord. Anyone can read His word, and He will reveal Himself to them through His word. However, when you really know Him and know His heart, and then read His word, it comes to life! It's just different when we really know Him. How do we get to that point? Well I think it's different for everyone because we are all on our own individual journeys. However, one thing I know for sure is stepping out and taking risks in following Him is vitally important in establishing our relationship with Him. This has been the hardest thing I think I have ever been through, and I have been through a lot in my life. But oh, how intimate my relationship is with my Lord because of it. I am so in love with Him and truly am beginning to understand what "I Surrender All" truly means. Please continue to pray for bonding and attachment for Maggie Mae and Dexter. I am patiently waiting to see God breathe life into that relationship. She has been given an incredible earthly father who loves her deeply. I pray as she begins to trust him, she will give her heart to him completely!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Last Day in China! .. Click for video!

Dexter types:

So, its my turn. It is very hard to sum up two weeks of China in a message you could read in one sitting. We have had many challenges with all that goes into being over here, from language barriers, to food choices, to just about everything you could imagine being half-way around the world with your whole family. The hardest by far for me has been trying to get Maggie to want to come to me and feel comfortable with me. Today, it was a breakthrough. We retried the highchair and the stroller and, at first, she screamed again, but only for a few minutes this time. We were making progress. I had her giggling in the stroller after just 2-3 minutes down the streets and sidewalks of Shamian Island with wheelies and curb jumps and all kinds of acrobatic stroller tricks. She loved it.

We walked for the next 2-3 hours, just strolling along the sidewalks and talking to people in the park. It was magnificent. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Some shopping, we packed up most everything for leaving and met our new friends for dinner at our favorite restaurant on the Island. Now, we headed home and got ready for baths and bed, but tonight would be different than any of the other ten. She let me bathe her while she played in the bath tub and splashed water to her hearts delight, and to mine. All the rest have just been "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (for both of us)! For several nights, though, she has been letting me give her a lotion massage and get her dressed for bedtime, but that was it. Nothing more. Tonight once I had her dressed she let me hold her and snuggle and give her a bottle. All of this was a first. It was fantastic! "She DOES love me," I thought.

That was almost two hours ago and she is still singing and playing in the bed next to me. I almost want her to stay up so that she wont forget in the morning how much she loved me tonight. God has been showing me this whole time how He feels when we, His children, reject Him and want to push Him and His love away when He tries to give it to us. Jeremiah tells us that God "knew us before we were formed in the womb" much like I knew Maggie before we got her last week. I knew how long I had wanted to hold her, protect her, cherish her, and give her all the love she could stand, but she did not know me. I had to show her my patient, kind, tender, forgiving love that I have for her for her to trust me enough to come to me. I am a sinful human, and I can show her this love how much more perfect is God's love for His children in that He is perfect. God has shown us His perfect love, in that, He made a way for us to see His love to trust Him and come to Him and accept His love. I have known that for many years, but today I really understand it.

I cannot believe He has seen me, even into my deepest being, and trusted me with this little girls life. I truly am the luckiest man on earth. I have been given such a wonderful family that I love so deeply. Thank you all for being there for us through this wonderful journey. I have a feeling that this is the ending of another chapter, but only the beginning of a really good "book".

Many Blessings to you all,

DEX and Patricia and the family.

Click here!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 10 ! A day of VICTORIES! ... Click for video!

"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty." Need I say more? He is the Great I Am! He is Worthy of all honor and praise! So many times I try to find the words to say to Him and am reminded of what the creatures in Revelation 4 did 24/7. Acknowledging who He is and who I am because He says so makes me stand in awe of Him.
Today was a victorious day. I decided after 10 days of eating with her in my lap, today would be the day we conquered the dreaded high chair. She didn't like it one bit for about 10 minutes (which seemed like an hour). I reassured her I was there and she sat on the edge of the seat so she was still touching me, but hey we ate breakfast in separate chairs. So feeling very triumphant, I decided to go for it with the stroller. When we finished breakfast, we went for a walk and workout in the park. Wow, that really made her mad. She cried for about 30 minutes. All the people in the park kept staring at the American mom power walking the circle with a screaming child in the stroller. Dexter and I tag teamed and guess what. She stopped crying. She loves his singing. She even was beginning to mimic him with "Old McDonald had a Farm". She ended up loving the walk through the island for about 1 1/2 hours. In the park, we listened to singing, watched Tai Chi, Ballroom dancing, and playing with this thing that's like a "hacky sack ball". The kids enjoyed just being out of the room and getting some much needed exercise. When we returned to the hotel, we ate lunch and put her down for a nap. At 2:30 we left for the U.S. Consolate. We got some of our papers and were sworn in by an officiate. Tomorrow Emma will pick up her visa and immigration papers. We were told that when we check in at the immigration desk and they stamp her passport, she will then officially be an American citizen!!!! Big day, simple ceremony, but brought tears to mommy's eyes. She's really ours! Tomorrow, we will probably walk the park again and begin packing. It will probably take us a week to get unpacked, but that is okay, we will finally be home. All the family's are weary and ready to leave. As you will see in one of the pictures, Maggie Mae and Rainey are becoming friends. Maggie Mae sat in the high chair for dinner after another 5 minutes of crying, but then she stayed there without touching me for well over an hour. She's definitely made some huge steps today. We thought this would be good preparation for the car seat saga on the way home from Atlanta. Once again, we love hearing from everyone and love hearing what God is doing in your lives through all of this. Can't wait to get home and just sit and share with everyone. Can't wait to be at The Pike on Sunday! 1 more day and we are heading home. Pray for safe travel and good rest on the plane. We have heard it takes a little while to adjust back to the time when going back home, but we are so excited about just being in our own home and having some space. We can't wait to be reunited with Tony. He has been taking such good care of the house and animals. We are blessed to have such a responsible and dependable son. Pray for him also, he has 2 prospective jobs with the state!!!!!!! He will be an asset to whom ever hires him!
Time for bed, mom is tired!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 9 ... Click for VIDEO!

As we approach our day of departure, I find myself already looking back at how far she has come. As you will see in the two pictures attached, we made big progress today with daddy. He decided to put her in the carrier when we went to the Pearl and Jade Market. He also decided to put in his ear plug, HA!. She cried for about 30 minutes as we were walking through Guangzhou, but then she settled down. He was singing to her the whole time, and when she decided not to fight it any longer she began to hum and sing too. Even when we got back to the hotel room and he took her out of the carrier, he could hold her for a little bit. Also, he seems to be the one that can get her to lie down and go to sleep much better than I can. The kids are counting down the time til we leave to go home, just like they were counting it down before we left. Two weeks is a long time for Dexter and I, so I can only imagine how long it seems for them. Parker said he didn't care if we got home at 2 o'clock in the morning, he wanted to jump on the trampoline. They are already talking about what they want to share in Sunday School. Church is all they talk about, oh how I love that!!!! Well tomorrow is the big day! We go to the U.S. Consolate for our official ceremony. Then, we are done! Emma will go pick up Maggie Mae's visa Wednesday afternoon, and we will be packing and preparing for going home. Our room looks like a bomb went off in it, but 6 people in a single hotel room about 1 and 1/3 the size of a normal hotel room is a bit tight. I'm looking forward to having my space back.
TRUST is the big word this trip, and I think the Lord has been teaching me about trust in so many ways throughout this whole process. It's one of those things that is too difficult to explain, you just know that is what He is wanting to establish in you. I am so encouraged and blessed by all the emails we have received. I am overwhelmed by what the Lord is doing in so many peoples lives. We love you all and miss you terribly. Be home soon!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 8 a week since "Gotcha Day" .... Click for video

The girl likes to shop!!! We went shopping this afternoon for "squeaky shoes"! Took a while to find sizes and colors and she was a trooper. She did very well today. She was a little tired this morning because the construction workers were literally on our window ledge at 7am and woke us all up. However, we got her to go down for a nap in her crib which was huge. She slept for 2 1/2 hours while I was gone to the store and getting pizza for lunch. It was raining all day today, but we have severe cabin fever, so we put on our jackets and hit the streets. We met up with our new friends from North Carolina again for dinner. We found an Italian Restaurant owned and operated by an Italian couple so it was very good. We are loving the European flair to Shamian Island which is where we are in Guangzhou. Tomorrow night we are going to try the German Restaurant! Maggie Mae, as you will see in the video, was very happy tonight. She is talking so much. I tell her I love you so many times and tonight she looked right at me and said "luv you" in that sweet voice. She laughed a lot when we were running in the rain. She loves her Boba (the carrier I'm using). She and daddy had some good moments too! Once again, she loved her massage, and she touched him a lot during dinner. Thank you all for praying about that. We are seeing prayers answered all the time. We believe in the power of Jesus name, and we call on it often. He is SO GOOD to us!! We are truly falling in love with this precious gift. Enjoy the pictures and video (sorry it's so long, but I didn't want to cut any of it out). We only have 3 more full days then we leave Thursday morning. Oh how we are all so homesick. We can't wait to see everyone. We are praying she will adjust quickly to yet another change, and we will soon be able to spend time with everyone. Did you see more of Jesus today?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 8 Daily Manna

"I've touched the hem of Your garment, and I have felt the leading of Your hand. But today my eyes look much higher, to see the face of the Great I Am, More of You Jesus!
This is one of my favorites songs, but today something occurred to me as I reflected on the words of this song and Matthew 25:35-40 where Jesus is talking about whatever we do for the least we do for Him. We want more of Jesus, and somehow I think we believe that this requires more on His part. We want to see God move, yet I think we will see more of Him and His glory when WE MOVE! What are we missing in our fellowship with God. Well this scripture spells it out very clearly. When we give our lunch or snack to the guy standing at the exit ramp with the sign that says "Hungry", we give unto Him. This is more of Jesus. When we love the old lady down the street that doesn't seem to have many visitors, we are loving Him. This is more of Jesus. When we show up to help groups like Urban Trec on a Thursday afternoon and go out and give food to the homeless, we are feeding Him. This is more of Jesus. When we look into the eyes of the cashier at Walmart, who is probably working 3 jobs to make ends meet, and smile and say "How are you doing today?' We are looking at Him. This is more of Jesus. So many opportunities we pass by everyday that would bring More of Jesus into our lives. We, the church, want more of Jesus and for God to show up and do something amazing. Well, He already has!!!! We are redeemed aren't you? For me, it's obvious loving Maggie Mae and bringing her into our home is walking this out; however, this is not the end. Today as I walk the streets and encounter store owners who are pushing me hard to buy something, I have a choice. I can get frustrated and leave, or spend some time breathing the breath of Life in their store. His presence and glory will fill that place because He is with me. More of you Jesus, More of your face, as I see you in the faces of the people all around me!

Day 7 in Guangzhou China ... Click for video!

Would you ever think cold water could throw you over the edge. Well, believe me, it was the straw that broke the camels back for me this morning. Once again, the whole family slept all snug in their beds, while I lay restless in mine. I finally quit the fight and got up to take a shower and spend some time with the Lord. I decide to take the shower first and much to my dismay, NO HOT WATER!!! Can you say meltdown? I mean really, I can't believe I'm having a meltdown over no hot water. Poor Dexter is so wishing he could fix it, and you know what, he did, with a great big hug. Soon after that, the hot water miraculously came on. As I was getting ready to take my shower the Lord gave me a thought to ponder. Yesterday, I started my day out with LIVING WATER and as you remember, I said it is what sustains me. Well, as I was sitting on the side of the tub crying like my baby, I thought, do I fall apart when I don't have Living Water. I'm not sure I can put into words this time what the Lord was trying to teach me other than I need Him more than anything. So after a long, hot, QUIET shower, we started our day. We had a good buffet breakfast. Oh the sight of all the adopted children with their new families, all sitting happily in their high chairs. So I tried once again to put Maggie Mae in one and she wouldn't have anything to do with it. She sat in my lap and ate a big breakfast. She is a good eater. The only thing I've found that she doesn't like is melons. After breakfast, we went to our medical appointment which was a bit of a joke. It was more like an assembly line of checking the boxes. I guess Dexter and I being nurses gives us a different perspective on things. She hated every minute of it, but thankfully we were out of there with no shots in 30 minutes. We also got her Visa picture taken. Yep it matches her passport, both screaming:):) We are surrounded by so many people adopting and most seem to be doing very well or just faking it, HA! We did meet up with the people we met in Kunming from North Carolina and had dinner with them at Lucy's Bar and Grill. It was such a good evening with very REAL conversation. We decided you become good friends fast when you are frazzled. Anyway, Maggie Mae had her first steak and broccoli and cheesecake and LOVED IT! Now I am happy to report, she is lying in bed WITH DADDY, ASLEEP! She is a sucker for his after bath massages, it really calms her down. Tomorrow we have a free day, so hopefully we'll do some shopping. Well time to go download some video to send, I know that's what yall REALLY want! 4 more days then we travel home with our new addition!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 6 Ends

Well we just arrived in Guangzhou, our last stop before heading home. Today was all about packing, going to a floral market, and flying with her for the first time. She did GREAT! No crying at all on the plane. She laid in my lap and talked for 2 hours. Amazing how the day goes when it's started out in His presence:) We really did have a good day. Dexter had some good moments playing with her and feeding her. She still wants me to hold her, but she is at least letting him play, change clothes and feed her. We already LOVE Guangzhou and it's dark outside, can't wait to see it in the light. The pace is much slower and the city is just very different. When we arrived at the Guangdong Victory Hotel, we saw 6 American families with their newly adopted little ones. That was so fun talking and sharing with others. Tomorrow is a very early day. Maggie Mae is going for her "body check-up" (aka, dr. visit). We are told she will not have to get shots because we are a non Hague adoption. The Hague adoption children have to get 7 shots, YUCK! This is some new governmental policy. I'm so thankful our paperwork was before the Hague Convention implementation in the US. Well I know this is short, but I am very tired and ready for bed. We have an early morning. Sorry there are no pictures or videos today, but we really didn't take any. Well Dexter did take one at the hotel of some interesting statue in a fountain, but I won't let him post it. We are going to keep this blog G-rated:):) Thank you again for all your thoughtful emails. We too look forward to reading them. Love and blessings.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 6 Early Morning Inspiration

As I woke up again in the wee hours of the morning, I had an overwhelming sense to spend some much needed time with the Lord. All was quiet and dark in both rooms, so me, my bible, glasses and pillow headed for the bathtub. It was there the Lord met me with His Life giving words. If we want Him to exchange beauty for ashes, we have to give Him our ashes! Psalm 55:22 "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Sometimes we lay our ashes at His feet and expect Him to turn them to beauty immediately. Sometimes He does not "pass the cup". 1 Peter 4:12-13 says "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." When I decided to obey Him and follow Him through this adoption, I walked into it thinking "what a beautiful thing this will be". Unknowingly motivated deeply by trying to make up for past sin in my life, God revealed to me His motivation for me was just to simply love her through Dexter and I. The enemy wants not only to destroy and devour us, but He wants to confuse and deceive us into believing why we are doing what we are doing. Yet, "the eyes of the Lord are ranging throughout the earth seeking those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9. HE WINS ALWAYS!! If we will just persevere and trust Him, we will see victory! Listen to His voice and don't believe the lies of the enemy. Follow Him everyday of your life and this will be your witness and testimonty. "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." 2 Peter 1:16. Follow hard after Him and be an eye witness to His Majesty!
Love and Blessings to you all.


Today we took a day trip to Stone Forrest in Shi Lin, China. It was about an 1 1/2 hours away, 40 minutes of which was getting out of the city. The kids were excited about getting out of the hotel room and so was mommy and daddy. Maggie Mae slept a lot today. She seems to want to sleep when I am holding her especially in the sling. We had a great time, this place was amazing. I'm afraid the pictures and video won't portray the beauty of this place. Emma, our travel coordinator, had never been, so she was excited. We had a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly and
pringles. It kind of felt like home. So many people travel to visit this place. It is very famous. When we got back to the hotel Maggie Mae began a 3 hour crying fit. She wants to just sit in my arms and sleep and we want her to sleep tonight! Finally Daddy decided if she's screaming for no reason, she might as well scream in his arms. He took her for a walk down stairs, literally down 10 flights of stairs. He said she screamed all the way down. BUT on the way back up at about the 5th floor he said she gave a big sigh and gave up. She stayed in his arms cuddling for about 45 minutes even when he was in the same room as me. PRAISE THE LORD! Big step. Then she went to Sarah-Gracen for a while, even pushed me away when I got near. Now we are getting ready to eat and go to bed. Tomorrow we get her passport and fly to Guangzhou. Hopefully the doctor will be able to decide about her ear because she has pulled on it all day again, and we've given her 3 of the 5 doses of Zmax.
So many of you have encouraged us in so many incredible ways since we've been here. The common thing I hear is give it some time. I guess when you're in the middle of this, that's a hard perspective to take. I was thinking a lot while driving, no let me rephrase that, while riding in the van today. Rejection is big deal. I was pondering how long it has taken me to finally trust and receive love from others after being rejected. God was so patient with me and so was my husband and close friends. Sometimes we have to walk through something ourselves to be able to help someone else. One of my deepest desires for my kids is to walk in the love, trust and acceptance of their Lord Jesus Christ. I love them with every part of my being and will never reject them, but their significance must be established through their relationship with Jesus. Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 4 Comes to a Close ... CLICK FOR VIDEO

Let me start by saying her new nickname is Houdini. She was screaming when I put her to bed tonight and after a very long day of crying and clinging, mom took a break and sat with the kids in the next room. I was in there maybe 5-10 min and she settled down and got quiet. Well I just walked in the room and found her in my bed. That little booger climbed out of her bed and crawled up into ours. She is just laying there talking to herself and laughing. The happiest she's been all day. Well I take that back we had another 10-15 minute spell of happiness earlier today too. I really think this ear infection is bothering her too because she spent most of the day pulling on her ear. So, I guess she showed us whose boss!!!! Please be praying that she will begin to bond with Dexter. She hasn't wanted to go to him much and seems to be wanting me all the time, and she loves playing with the kids. He is able to do some things, but just not hold her and cuddle with her much. I know this is hard for him, and also for me because she is in my arms most of the day. Not complaining, we know this is part of the process. We've gone from don't touch me to don't let me go in the last 48 hours. The scripture the Lord gave me today is from Psalm 73:25-26 "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." My flesh is failing because I haven't slept a full night since the Wednesday night before we left. When she wakes up at night for just a few minutes, I can't seem to go back to sleep. Tonight my prayer is for rest. Mama doesn't do so well without sleep:):):)
So enough of all that. We did make the most of today by getting out and going to the park for a few hours. The kids enjoyed that round inflatable thing on the water again. It's like they are gerbils in a ball. We filmed a lot today for Tony, trying to capture the culture. Everywhere we went we attracted a lot of attention. People taking pictures of us. They would come to watch the kids on the lake or in the bumper cars, and this was not a small crowd, but a rather large one. This must be what it feels like to be famous:):):) I'll take my quiet Pike Road life anyday.
We came back to the hotel for some pbj's and rest time. Dexter went back to Walmart so you guys could see all the interesting things there. I'll try to post the video tonight, but sometimes it takes a long time and I am real tired. Well I know this update sounds on the down side, but we're gonna make it through all this. Just like having a baby, those first weeks are survival mode!!!! Thank you for lifting us up in prayer. Please pray for Dexter. He won't say anything but I know his heart is discouraged. I know she is gonna be a daddy's girl one day, just not soon enough for him. Love you all, and thank you for all your emails. I am trying to reply to them, but I might have missed some. Til tomorrow

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 3 .. Click here for video!

Funny! That a great word for her today. We had many moments of laughter and her doing things and repeating things that were just funny. She is like a parrot when she's happy and I'm like a marsupial (kangaroo) when she's not. Everyone in the family had some pretty cool bonding time with her today. She really wanted to play with the kids a lot today. They had fun teaching her to say different things. She loves to say "sissy" and "bo bo". When she sees Parker she says "bo bo". She spent the evening in the carrier with Daddy. She likes that "pouch" because it keeps her tight to us. She eats very well especially with daddy. She loves chicken!
She slept until 9:30 this morning, but woke up in a bad mood. We know she is cutting a tooth that looks so painful, has a runny nose, and today we discovered she had a lot of drainage coming out of her right ear. Thankfully, the Dr. in Birmingham sent me with some antibiotics just for an ear infection. So we think some of her fussiness is coming from all that. I know I would be a grump too! So, some information I haven't shared is she is tiny. She weighs only 22lbs. All the shoes and clothes we brought were a little big. The shoes are huge. She might wear a size 4 shoe. She drinks from a bottle most of the time. We are trying a cup, but for now she likes the bottle.
Okay, as for the events of the day. Our big outing was to the local Walmart. Yes, they have a 3 story Walmart here. Nothing like you've ever seen before. You can get a fresh whole goose, head and feet included. A pig's face, yes I said it, there was a lot of pig faces hanging on a hook to buy. Next to the pig faces were dried fish hanging for sale. Dexter saw a heart in a bag. Oh did I mention the smell when we went through that part, and we got lost twice so we had to walk through it 3 times. It was so crowded you could barely move. We met a guy from North Carolina who lives here with his wife and 2 children. He teaches english. It was great getting
to share with him. Along the way we saw a man walking with his dog who had on 4 boots. Then another dog wearing a full set of clothing. It is getting close to Chinese New Year, so many people are arriving to celebrate. Lots of people, small cars, bicycles, and mopeds, and very little obeying traffic signs. Oh yeah, I am so thankful for the respect our men have for us. It is very different here. They are rather rude. I had two men take my omelet twice this morning at breakfast. They got right in front of me and took it from the Chef. Finally, on the third try, he was able to pass it to me without an interception:):):) It was like that New Orleans game the other night hahaha. Anyway, I had to laugh. Well, I didn't hear anything specific from the Lord today; however, I witnessed many prayers being answered. Keep praying because He is listening
and doing exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. I am loving the emails from everyone, especially when I hear the Lord using our journey to minister to you in your life. I want to be a channel of blessing in other people's lives. He is Abba Father. To Him who sits on the throne, be blessing and honor, and glory and power forever. May we, His children, spend every minute of the day crying, Holy, Holy is the Lord God

Until tomorrow,