Thursday, March 17, 2011

Journey to Gracie Joy Part III's the conclusion. Again, remember, this is how things were written as I was walking through this.

2/9- I have been frustrated the last couple of days wanting God to give me a clear, tangible, sign as I have seen him give others. I was praying asking for this and started to ponder what I should read in my Bible. What was my main problem? I decided it was faith. So….where do I read about faith? I didn’t know. I decided I would google “faith bible study”. There were many choices that came up and I decided that might not be such a good idea. Who knows who wrote those Bible studies and I certainly didn’t want to read some off-the-wall crazy thing. I decided I should go to my church’s site instead. When I got to that site, I decided to go to the sermon’s online. (I have never done this before) I found a sermon by Christine Caine. We had seen Christine a couple of weeks ago and this was the continuation of that service that night. It was titled “A Place For You” pt. 2. As she started to speak, she said to “turn to Hebrews 11…the faith chapter”!!!!!!!!! Wow…that was pretty tangible! She spoke about Abraham and Sara having Isaac when it should have been impossible. She read, “faith without works is dead”. You can believe but you have to act in order to conceive. In the same token, you can have works but if you don’t believe, you won’t receive. Believe-Conceive-Receive! “He who promised is faithful”. I knew that we believed. We decided we could adopt again. We conceived when we started our paperwork. Now it was time to receive! But who?

I have now come to the conclusion that if Gwynne is still on the list on the 18th, we would be foolish not to lock her file! Every child is a leap of faith. You will NEVER have all the information you want. Wesleigh was a leap of faith. There is no way we can walk all the way down this path and not choose this gorgeous child! Now all that is left is to wait for the 18th. Ugh…..
When I shared this with Richard, he smiled and said he was “waiting for me to come to my own conclusion”. He has never wavered on wanting to take her. I love that about him and am really glad I was the one struggling with the decision instead of him.

2/10- I was on my computer this morning emailing our agency to tell her that we wanted to lock Gwynne’s file ASAP, when I received an email from her with a great medical report from the CCAA!!! They report that she is potty trained!
I am so excited about this! I immediately called her and told her that we absolutely wanted to lock her as soon as we could. Thursday night is the magic “hour”. That is one week from tonight. I am a little nervous about it, but really feel like she will be there. I think God has really been working on me these past 3 weeks. My faith has definitely grown. I felt like this information came to me as a confirmation/reward for being obedient. The new shared list will be coming out very soon, so people are already looking forward to that being released. I really don’t think anyone will lock her file. I think they will wait to see what the new list brings. This is going to be a LONG week!!

2/17 – Tonight is the night. Tonight will be the 18th in China. My agency contact is at her computer waiting for Gwynne’s file to change to “special focus”. There are only 6 children on the list who are not special focus. As the night goes on, we are emailing back and forth. For some reason, Gwynne’s file won’t flip. The other 5 do, but hers just sits. At this point, I’m a little nervous, but mainly it makes me laugh. This has been such a roller coaster ride…of course, her file would sit!! Finally, 2 hours after the other files flipped, hers did too. At 9:30, I get a call “I just locked her file…she’s yours!” Whoo Hoo!!! The words I had waited to hear for almost 4 months. What an unbelievable journey thus far!!

3/10 - 797C arrives. I bring it to be notarized and certified, then pass it on to our agency.

3/16 - I get a call from our agency. She congratulated me that our dossier will be send to China on Friday!! She called it "record breaking" time! Whoo Hoo!!

This was not a journey I chose. This was not my plan. I was very comfortable with 4 children. I’m still overwhelmed at having 5! I can’t stand the look people give me when we say that we’re going back. That open-mouthed stare…. That’s ok. God never said his path was easy, and hands down, I’d rather be on His path any day of the week! We are believing that our faithfulness will be honored and Gracie Joy will live a healthy, happy life, safe in the loving arms of her forever family and her heavenly Father.


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

she is beautiful.


The Gutmans' said...

Precious, love it!! Hopefully this will help others to step out of the boat and really consider adopting & be totally blown away of what a blessing these precious Gifts from God are!!!

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord & has made the Lord his hope and confidence." Jeremiah 17:7

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your beautiful family! Making the decision to bring this little girl into your family was such a wonderful thing to do!

Stacy said...

So awesome, Jennifer!!
Very much like what I went through (feelings) with Isabella. Leap of faith.

I can't believe your dossier is on it's way to China.
You beat me!! And I'm jealous!! : )

Love you all!

Paige said...

I cried as I read this, our journey is very similar. I just told my sister in law yesterday that we are going back and there was dead silence:) I have accepted that most people just don't get it and don't understand the need to be obedient to this call. I struggled with God for 6 weeks about doing this again, I was not EVEN thinking of going back let alone falling in love with a child I don't know but He had other plans. Right now I am where Richard was and Hank is where you were:) It is such a struggle but God does know where he wants our hearts and our place in HIS plan. So very thankful that I have gotten to follow along with yours, I just can't wait to see you all with her!! I will email you later to tell you some of Hank's fears and it has to do with Gracie:)

Football and Fried Rice said...

Oh, so much to say!! What I am most reminded of is Francis Chan's (amazing) book "Crazy Love" - he says,

"something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers".

There is hope in that! YOU are called to love like crazy and to minister to the orphaned - it will NEVER make sense to those who haven't found their hope in The One True God!

Chan also says,

"God doesn't call us to be comfortble. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through."

You stepped out of the boat! And in doing that, you risked falling. God is building your character through asking you to return to China for Gracie Joy!

Not sure I can see a greater calling!

3 Peanuts said...

I love re-living the journey through your journal entires. You faith was what got you here. I am a little surprised how people don't get it these days. I know God calls us all to do different things, But He calls us ALL to help one another in some way. How could people not understand this is your way?

I cannot wait to see the rest of Gracie's story unfold as she joins her family:)

Sharon said...

A wonderful testimony of faith! Thanks again for sharing. I can't wait to see Gracie come home!

The Hampton Family said...

What an amazing journey to your little girl! It is evident that this is GOD'S will for your family...congratulations on your little China doll!
Blessings to your beautiful family!!
Stephanie Hampton

Jennifer said...

I had tears reading about your journey! God has worked through you and your family to reach so many, because y'all chose to be faithful by being his hands and feet. I'm so happy for y'all! What an exciting journey!:)

Sammons said...

What a blessing it was to read your story this morning (all 3 parts at once)! I had been away so I was lucky to get to read it all at once and not have to wait for each post, thank goodness!! I can already see little Gracie in your family, she fits in so perfectly!! Praising God for his blessings and his perfect timing! Mary

redmaryjanes said...

These posts bring back so many memories for me. Stay on the path my friend. You are listening to God and that is exactly where you need to be right now. You are such a brave Momma. She is beautiful and I cannot wait to see her home :)

Tera said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing story and being so open! We are in the process of adopting for the 1st time and already have plans to go for a second. I know people think it's crazy but I agree with you, where else would we want to be except in HIS will?!
Congrats on your beautiful daughter!

DiJo said...

I am so blessed to be part of this rocking roller coaster journey to Gracie Joy!!!!! I can't wait to meet her SOON!!!!!!


Cathy said...

What an awesome blessing. Love her story! So excited for you all!

Cathy and Naomi

Wendy said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I just love reading it! I cannot wait to follow your journey back. Congrats again! Wendy

Anonymous said...

That last part made me laugh! Today I was eating lunch with my daughter at school and her friend said to me "my mom says you're crazy because you have all those kids!" I told her that I didn't think that 5 was that many! We may even adopt again (after Sam.) There's always room for one more at our house! Hang in there, mother to many!

Sharon Ankerich said...

I SO get the staring reaction because we certainly get it too~ how could we be going back so soon, don't you have two graduating and one getting married??? YES YES YES... we do BUT God called us back to China to. I didn't think we would go again either but I agree with you, I would rather be one this path than any other~ in God's will doing what He has called us to do!!! I am SO happy for you!
Blessings and love!!!

Valerie and Jeff said...

What a beautiful story! What a blessing that you have a wonderful journalized record of all these God-incidences. I especially love the longing to seek God in it all--talk about being there. I'm a mom to 3 beautiful and wonderful sons ... and I am so praying that someday I'll have a little China girl of my own. As you said ... if it's God's will it will come to pass ... I try to have peace with that. The wait and wonder and want is hard :-)
Thanks for the encouraging words to keep seeking the face of God and to hold on to hope through "Believe-Conceive-Receive." If it isn't adoption, I'm sure God's plan is still cool.

Ali said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. I can't wait to follow your journey. I hope it is shorter than you think!!!

my3 kids said...

What a beautiful story and we can't wait to follow along as you travel to meet your beautiful Gracie! I know what you mean about people looking at you when you say you are going back because we also got looks..not because we have a large family but because we have 1 bio son and we adopted a daughter from Vietnam and then decided to go back for another child. Everyone said "why would you chance going back when you have 2 healthy kids?" Well we always wanted 3 kids and it has been so nice for the girls to have eachother. They share a similar story and have each other and it warms my heart on a daily basis seeing them together. Congrats again!!


TanyaLea said...

Let people stare with their mouths hanging open! I am SOOOOOOOOOOO happy for you and your family. Gracie is so precious and I can't wait to follow you back to China. It's clear God has ordered your footsteps and He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him! Praising Him for unfolding such a beautiful path before you... Congratulations and enjoy the journey!! <><

Blessings and Hugs,
~ Tanya

Canada to China and back! said...

What a Crazy Beautiful story, full of ups and downs! I love,love,love what you wrote about at the end of Part 3. You are so right! I would go back in a heartbeat! My husband can't wrap his head around #5. So I wait and pray and trust God to open the right doors and close the wrong ones. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet story!It gives me hope. Praying for your family.



AC said...

She is Beautiful!! I found your blog through Diana's blog, and am so excited for both of you. Both of our girls are from Hunan. We are currently in the "prayerfully" considering stage...we want to be obedient to God's plan for us. Those folks have no right to worry about you and your 5 kids...or those who have 8 or 10 kids....God didn't want any of us to be orphans. Love your blog!!

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