Archive for May, 2015

Our Soon-To-Be New Son

Sunday, May 24th, 2015
Our soon-to-be new son!

Our soon-to-be new son!

Well, this has been one of the best and one of the hardest and most emotional weeks I’ve had in a long, long time – talk about a roller-coaster.

We have been working on an adoption for quite some time now, but didn’t want to make it public until we were reasonably sure it would go through. Many of you know that we do a lot of work with orphans around the world, and our goal was to adopt a child who would have a hard time finding a family. We had been pursuing a little boy from China whom we felt strongly we were supposed to have. He is eight and has a pretty complicated heart condition. He was abandoned at 40 days old by his parents, likely because of his condition. It looked like we weren’t going to get him, but then we found out that we had, and a few days ago we got our official match from the government of China. We were over the moon!

We were told that his heart had been fixed but he would not be able to be as active as other children. Then we were told, yes, he’d had a heart surgery, but he would certainly need another, and his future was less certain. We have prayed continually about this boy, and our whole family feels that he is absolutely supposed to be part of our family. We accepted the placement with great joy last Wednesday, and then on Thursday night we met with a cardiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital here to go over a new echocardiogram they had sent us. We had received it in Chinese, so it had taken a while to find someone who could translate it and get it over to the hospital.

The information we got was pretty devastating actually. We posted this on facebook:

How to express going from elated to heartbroken to peaceful in such a short time? We are so excited to welcome our new little guy into the family, but the consult with the cardiologist did not go the way we’d hoped. The short version is that he has had one surgery and needed another, but he needed it about six years ago, and now there is a good chance that it is just too late – the damage may be too great to risk it. We all feel very strongly that the Lord wants us to have this boy in our family, whether his life is short or long, and so we are proceeding, and asking that you please pray with us for his protection, for speed in the process so we don’t lose more time, and for a miracle for his heart. I feel such an overwhelming peace that this is the path, and that God will take us through it, and I know he loves this little guy more than anyone can express. We just want him to be loved by a family and have the best chance he can. Thanks for your prayers.

I can’t tell you what that first night was like. We’ve never met this boy, but God has already given us a love for him, and it felt like one of our children had been given a death sentence. With time to pray it through, we are feeling peaceful about it, and we know God holds him in His hands!

The doctors have told us that they is no way to know if he will be able to have the surgery until we get him here. They give it 30-40%. We are asking people to pray for a miracle for his heart, and that it is not too late, and that he will not be afraid and will know the love we have for him and the love God has for him. We’re also asking for prayer for our children and our family as we transition.

It’s been a really hard week, but these are the times we are privileged to see God show up in a way that we never would have without difficulty. He loves this boy! We are not allowed yet to release his name or the province he is in, but we would love your prayers for him even so – God definitely knows his name!

Thanks from our family. We are feeling blessed. And I will keep blogging the journey here. Soli Deo Gloria.

Scripture Memory Songs update

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Receiving fan mail from the post-girl at Polaris Christian Academy

Receiving fan mail from the post-girl at Polaris Christian Academy

Just a quick catch up. The Scripture Memory Songs album is officially being released next Tuesday, but we’ve already been shipping all the pre-orders, and we’ve been hearing about it from all sorts of places. Here’s one blogger’s review. And here’s another one. 🙂

Also, I got to go this afternoon to my friend Patti’s school and do some of the songs with them. Their school uses my songs as part of their Scripture memory curriculum, and I always feel like a rock star when I go – the kids are so excited and they know all the songs and motions. I sing with them and one year we even wrote a song together. This year they surprised me with an entire stack of “fan mail” that they had written, and it was even delivered very officially by the “post-girl” – so cute!

Ugandans, Archery, Long Island, and the In-Laws

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
With Harriett, Javura, and Millie from the Ugandan Children's Choir

With Harriett, Javura, and Millie from the Ugandan Children’s Choir

Rachel with a perfect 50.

Rachel with a perfect 50.

The beautiful tea at Island Christian for Mother's Day

The beautiful tea at Island Christian for Mother’s Day

Some of the worship dancers with me leading worship at Island Christian

Some of the worship dancers with me leading worship at Island Christian

What a very interesting and strange week I’ve been having. Never thought that would be the collection in a title!

A little over a week ago, our family went to a special welcoming party for a traveling choir of Ugandan orphans. We were housing some of them during their time in Columbus, and we got to meet and take home our three teen girls, Millie, Javura, and Harriett. We weren’t at all sure what to expect from the time, but it was such a blessing. There were definitely uncomfortable moments, like when all three of the girls at different times got lost in our house (they’d never been in a multi-story house and could not find the rec-room in the basement where they were sleeping), or when they didn’t know why anyone would keep a dog in the house on purpose and our schnauzers just kept barking at them, or when we had a hard time understanding them (even though their English was great), but we were shocked by how quickly they made their way into our hearts. They were with us about 5 days, and we had a good bit of family time together, visiting the zoo and eating dinner together, and going to several gatherings at different host homes between their concert events. Their concerts were amazing too!

Their last morning was absolutely wrenching. I had no idea I could fall in love so quickly. They all started crying at breakfast and had written us letters to thank us for our hospitality, and all expressed that they wished they could stay with our family forever. I wish they could too, and I’m not just saying that. Only about 2% of the world’s orphans are actually legally free for adoption – the system is so complicated. And none of these girls were. But I can say honestly, we would have welcomed any of them into our family. The have touched my heart, and I will be praying for them!

After they left for their next stop in Michigan, my daughter Rachel and I also left along with my mom and drove to Louisville, KY, about 4 hours from our home so Rachel could compete in the Nationals for archery. We sort of stumbled onto archery as a sport several years ago (it’s not common in our hometown!) and Rachel has a serious knack for it. She is not remotely phased by the huge crowds of watchers or archers. Last year she placed 8th in the country for her division! This year was not as good, she was in the 20s, but she still shot well, and her team did great, placing in the top 5. I watched her shoot and then I ran across the street to the airport and flew to NY and my mom drove her home.

The next morning I was at Island Christian Church for a Mother’s Day brunch and also stayed with them to do the worship services on Sunday morning. This is such a dear church! The first time I was with them was right after Hurricane Sandy and I went out to do a disabilities conference. They have a huge heart and I just love the lead pastor and his wife! There is a huge disabilities ministry there which says so much about the heart of their church, and we had a beautiful tea with several hundred women. The next day I sang at all of their services, and had the fun surprise that there was a team of teen girls who did worship dance during my worship leading as a special thing for Mother’s Day, so that was fun to coordinate with all of them! Wish I’d gotten to watch more – it was hard for me to see around the piano!

I also got to visit with some of my dear friends while I was there (we used to live in NY when Nathan and I were in graduate school and afterwards) and then I flew home that night. My in-laws had come to visit while I was gone and were staying a few more days, so we had a great visit too. And NOW, sigh, it’s all over and I can return to a little bit more of the normal. Whatever that is!