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Through our first Adoption Fundraiser [Karaoke and Chinese Take-out Night] we learned two significant things: first, we learned to never underestimate how crazy-fun our friends, family, and church family can be! Everyone came out in droves, depleeting our food reserve in the first hour! We thought we would safely overestimate by cooking for 150, but this was to be the first sign of the extravagance shown that night. Everyone joined in the fun - singing, sponsoring and cheering on mistake laden performances! It was a huge success, and we were moved beyond measure.
The second thing we learned was to never limit God. Our vision of what we 'might-possibly-but-let's-not-get-our-hopes-up' raise through the fundraiser was embarrassingly short of what God provided through all of you! Like, light-years away from our finite expectations. Over $6,000 was raised that night!!! A number that still leaves us staggering today. We also came home that night to an online donation here on the site for $1,000, furthering our incapacity to take in the depth of love and generosity that we were experiencing!
In Ephesians 3 it says, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever..." These words leap off the thin pages of my Bible and sink down from the head to the heart. In living, breathing, tangible ways I feel like I'm touching the truth of those words today. The truth that Jesus has done, is doing, and will do more than I can even formulate in my most daring request. My wildest imagination can't grasp His abundance and love. And the Karaoke and Chinese Food Night was a taste of the truth.
After the decorations were taken down, and the room cleared out, I wondered if somehow she might have felt us or heard us in her little spirit on the other side of the world that night. The sound of hundreds of her brothers and sisters laughing and singing to bring her home. The sound of an Extravagant God rejoicing over her with singing! May it be.
With a grateful and overflowing heart,
Tim & Kristinjoy
A knock at the door. Beau goes bananas. So do we! Our Dossier is back from the Chinese consulate in Houston and ready for the country of her birth! We are waiting to do the same procedure for the home study [sending to the Secretary of State, then to the consulate] and THEN we will wave a final farewell to our ever-growing paper stack, leaving our future and our hearts, in China's hands.Share This Update!
I stood at the end of our sidewalk, peeking through the leaves of our overgrown ficus. With a tangerine popcicle in hand, I nervously chomped down on the icy sweetness waiting for the mail truck to leave. Tim slipped passed me and speed-walked to the mailbox to retrieve the big white envelope. Walking back with eyes wide, we ran into the house and pulled out our Dossier fresh from the State! Each page with an official State stamp and ready for the Chinese Consulate in Texas! Every step is celebratory in our house, because every step is a little closer to finding her! ~KristinjoyShare This Update!
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Walking Beau tonight, a stillness covered the street and felt as though the world had been muted. With silence all around, save a few frogs, I was lost in thought looking up at the fuzzy white moon. If she has been born, she sleeps under this same moon. I thought about how China feels so far away, so 'other', and yet we inhabit the same world. We sleep under the same exact moon. We are so very far, but so close at the same time.
When the distance feels far, I wonder about the cultural change for her coming to the United States, and part of me already aches at the thought that she will be removed from her spot in the world. I ache that she will have this big looming mystery in the background about her native land, her parents, her culture... But when I look up at that mutual moon, I can't help but feel the deeper reality that goes far beyond culture, race, gender and geography. The spiritual reality of life flows like white-water rushing passed the rocks and jagged edges of my hesitations and fears. That rushing confident water is the reality that this little one is ultimately and most truly, a spirit; a soul. And though her culture would have been different in China, her soul is no different than mine: in deep need of Love, and in dire need of a Savior. I long for that little soul to know that her Maker loves and cherishes her existence in this world. Though her journey will have started in Asia, my prayer is that her desination will be the same as mine...the same as those who have lived throughout a thousand generations and followed the same small, still Voice. One day, I believe all cultures and peoples of every kind will gather around the welcome table of the greatest Adoptive Parent of all, and Jesus will lift the glass as we enter our true family, forever. At that table will be people from every tribe and tongue, all coalescing into the same family...sitting at the same table. And I can see her sitting there.
If there were no spiritual reality to life, I would struggle with removing a child from their culture. But the truth is, we all have the same lineage. We *are* the human race. And by the grace of God, I believe that it is the work of Jesus, that Firstborn among creation, to continue to draw the human race back into the family we are intended to be. One family. Created people living under one fuzzy moon, and coming to know the One Love that set the world in motion in the first place.
'What kindness she will find in his calm-water eyes'... these words came so simply sitting across the table from Tim over fish tacos last night, sun glowing through the window into his Florida-Keys eyes, filling mine with thankful tears. What a sweet father she has across the world waiting for her.Share This Update!
By the grace of God, we have moved beyond the initial 'deer-in-headlights' shock of international adoption paperwork, and are actually starting to make some headway! The movement forward has pumped us full of adrenaline, caffeine, and a voice whispering ever so softly, 'this might actually be possible'. We are zipping around Tampa together, feeling short of breath and full of possibility, as we get background checks, fingerprints, write autobiographies, request birth and marriage certificates...and each place asks the reason for the visit, and we say 3 beautiful and crazy words: 'We. Are. Adopting.'Share This Update!
Every time we turn around there is another surprise, another act of generosity, another message of love, and I'm spending my days choked up and amazed at how the LORD is providing and encouraging us already in these beginning steps. We are off to an amazing start! After attending orientation last week, we tried not to hyperventilate at the realities of putting together our Dossier for the Chinese government [gulp]. And so we begin our paper chase! Wish us luck and God-speed! ~kristinjoyShare This Update!