Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

We had a wonderful day celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. Our church's sunrise service was beautiful. Each year it is held down by the pond, and it is so amazing to take in all of God's creation. We hope that you also had a special day with family remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross over 2,000 years ago, and that He lives today!

What a lovely little group except that we are missing Ellie. Next year there will be 6- WOW!

Ready to go to the sunrise service. Thankfully it started at 8:00 not 6:00, so we made it on time- no small feat for this group. Here Lilly is practicing showing that she is 2 years old. She has a little trouble holding down that other finger. Oh well, she will be ready when she turns 3!

Ethan and Lilly enjoying the candy from their eggs that they found at our church's Easter egg hunt.

Lilly looks a little confused, but she had lots of helpers who spotted the eggs and then led her straight to them. Thanks to Katie and Mary Francis for helping Lilly find her first Easter eggs.

It was quite a brisk morning since Easter was celebrated so early this year. Ethan also had a great time hunting for eggs.

Fulton showing off his loot. He found more than most children and with a little coaxing, he did share a few eggs with his siblings and others.

Katie and Lilly taking a break from finding eggs. Lilly sure enjoyed her first Easter Egg hunt.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Introducing. . .

Ellie Jean Yuanying (named for her special great- granddaddy, Gene)
Born: September 20, 2006 From: Yunnan Province, China

We are so excited to be on this journey again to a daughter who waits for us in China. Ellie's story begins quite differently than Lilly's. After living the miracle of Lilly's adoption and seeing God's fingerprints on so many aspects of our ordeal in China, David and I both knew that we would adopt a special needs child again from China. Quite frankly, how could we not? God had so clearly delivered us through probably the most difficult experience we had ever faced in our lives. We simply could not say "Thanks God for providing for our EVERY need, but we can't do that again so please find somebody else to take the next orphan." No, we both knew we would go back for another child, we just didn't know when. I really felt the pull on my heart to China during my friend Sharon's adoption trip last August. I knew then that there was another child waiting in China for us. I didn't know where she was or when I would find her, but I knew she was waiting.

Fast forward to October 15, this is the day that I first saw the beautiful face of Wu Yuan Ying. A lady posted on a Yahoo group (for families of SN children from China) that this little girl was listed with a small agency in Alabama and was still waiting for a family. As soon as I saw her face I said to myself "You might be Ellie!" David and I talked and prayed. We researched the agency, Children of the World, and found out that they are a wonderful Christian agency who does a tremendous amount of humanitarian work around the world. We researched cleft lip and palate. Initially David shared with me that he felt the timing was not right because he felt "something" was getting ready to happen to our family. On Friday, November 9, we had to give the agency an answer because another family had become interested in Ying Ying. We said YES and began paperwork the next day.

Sadly, on Monday, November 12, I was told that my grandfather had been diagnosed the Friday before with liver cancer. This was the "something" that David had felt was coming to our family. We tried to proceed with paperwork and attending Dr. visits with my grandfather. By Wednesday, I was an emotional wreck so David said we could not proceed with the adoption at this time. The other family accepted Ying Ying. I was elated for her and sad for us, but I also knew this must be the right decision as I am a nurse and my grandfather helped raise me so I knew I would be very involved in his care in the coming months.

Only God knew that Granddaddy would live just 3 1/2 weeks from his diagnosis. The aggressive cancer started in another area of his body and had spread to the liver. He died on December 5, 2007. We were distraught, but our life with 5 children continued. On December 10, the same lady posted again on the Yahoo group that Wu Yuan Ying was available again as the other family could not proceed with her adoption. Her file was to be returned to China the next week if a family did not come forward. David and I prayed for a week and decided on December 16 that God had given us a second chance to be her parents. Ying Ying was the rainbow after the storm for our family. God gives and He takes away. He took my grandfather earlier that any of us wanted, but He also gave us a new daughter. How good our God is.