Another sort of mish-mash post. I realized I forgot to blog an entire weekend of ministry, and we’ve had some fun stuff with the kiddos too.
First, we started the month really well with an awesome cardiology visit for Noah! As many of you know, he had some pretty serious complications after his open heart surgery, but he’s been steadily improving, and this time they gave him the all-clear for six months! The difference in him is simply amazing since the surgery! When we first met him (you can read about there here), he was very sick. He would turn blue with any kind of exertion, and when we brought him home, he would have to rest holding onto the handrail halfway up our stairs before he could finish climbing the flight to get up to bed. To see him now is to see a miracle! He even did a walk/run event at school and he went 5.5 MILES! It’s truly amazing, and it’s so fun to watch him realize that he doesn’t have those same limits that he’s lived his whole life with anymore. We are so grateful!
We also decorated for Christmas which was a first for Noah. It’s been fun for all of us to explain what Christmas is (and what it isn’t! Shout out, Santa!) and to be reminded ourselves of all those truths. Noah got to put the angel on the top of the tree. My favorite quote from him as we were putting all the decorations up was, “Hmm, so Americans just put these big socks on the fireplace for Christmas? Okaaayy.” Pretty funny!
I had a great weekend of ministry in Pennsylvania at the Church of the Open Door the first weekend of December. It was great to be with this church – I had done their women’s retreat a couple of years ago, but that was at a camp, so I’d never actually been to their church building. It was so fun to reconnect with some of the ladies from the retreat, and we loved working with Sally the women’s director, and also getting to stay with Lorraine, the women’s retreat director – she and her husband were so lovely to us! The church has done a Christmas outreach event for years for their women, and it’s become so popular that they kept selling out, so this year they had identical events on Friday night and Saturday morning instead. I think it was a great success for them – they were able to get many more people in that way, and while I know they were so tired afterwards, we heard from many women who met the Lord at the events! On Sunday I stayed and did special music on their services as well. I love the heart for people at this church. They really value reaching out and loving on people!
I got home from that event, and then flew out the next day to Chicago and then onto Freeport. I did another Christmas event for the women at Broadway Covenant. This was a little bitter sweet for me. I love the people at Broadway – I was there last spring, and they were just so lovely and warm. But this is where Donna is from (my former assistant who passed away this fall) and we were there together last time. Her best friend, Kim, came to the event, and Donna’s husband, Larry, happened to be in town visiting family and surprised me by coming too! It was so good to see them, but we were all remembering Donna, and it was an emotional evening for me. God is good, and I think the message was really used by Him for the women at the event, and also for Larry and Kim and for me. He is such a comforter.
And also in family news, we have finally completed Noah’s readoption under US law! In our state, they make you wait until the child has been home for 6 months, so we started the process in the late fall. It’s not strictly necessary since the US recognizes our Chinese adoption, but it’s one more layer of protection for Noah, and it also allows him to get a US issued birth certificate. This is just so much easier for his future life, because his birth certificate from China is a four page book in Chinese, and doesn’t look anything like an American birth certificate. If he lost it, he’d have to physically go back to China to try to get a replacement, and I just couldn’t see that birth certificate being the easiest way to get a driver’s license or to register to vote, etc. So now, all we have left is to wait for it to be registered and get that boy a passport, and we are officially done!! And then, as Noah says, “You can do it all again for Long Ning, mom!” He’s so fun. 🙂