Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spill the Beans...the Back Story!

So, this is the post so many have been asking for. My inbox is full of requests to know the BEHIND story of how we are adopting again! ...And from China! ...And a BOY!

Go get a tall glass of lemonade and sit for a spell. I love to tell a good story!

You may remember this post about my heart aching and me not knowing what to do about it, yes?

It was mid April, Zeb's adoption had finalized at the beginning of the month yet I was beside myself. I couldn't do ANYTHING but think of the millions and millions of waiting orphans around the United States and the world.

I would do everything I could to think about OTHER things--summer schedules, house updates we want to accomplish, gardening--but I simply could not get it off my heart!

Waiting orphans.

Children waiting in cribs.

Special Needs Children.

Teenage Children about to age out but longing for a mom and a dad.

All of them: Alone.

My conversations with friends would turn to my burden for these children. I would literally cry out to God to allow this burden to be productive. "Use me, Lord!" I would beg. One friend prayed for me to find a way to unite all the waiting children of the world with families! I was shaking in my shoes about that request but if God wants to use me, then I'll DO IT!

This was not a self-manufactured burden, it was clearly from the Lord.

And it was driving me insane!

It would seem as though God was doing SOMETHING...

I was becoming an addict. My vice? Spending hours late into the night looking through waiting children lists. I would email my dear Brian with different children. It got to the point that he wasn't reading them anymore, I got creative and stopped using the child's name in the subject and instead writing something to the effect of "you hot, sexy thing!" That would make him open the email! ;) Ha ha!

After a string of nights in bed sobbing for these children, Brian told me he wanted me to STOP looking.

"We are not going to adopt now anyway. Zareb is still working at fitting in."



I tried. I really did.

Then on a Sunday I had a conversation with a friend at church. I just belched out my whole story of how my heart was breaking for children I didn't know and that I wanted to be a family for one of these forsaken ones. I remember distinctly her husband asking me incredulously, "Really? You mean you actually WANT a child with special needs???"

My face lit up!

"Yes! Yes I do! I want to love on a child who has been rejected because of their needs."

I think the dear man thought I was literally out of my mind.

Perhaps I was am.

All along I have followed another blog called Ni Hao Y'all. The author is a mutual friend of two of my friends who run Wild Olive Tees. I've never met her, but I am inexplicably drawn to her blog. I adore her pictures of her sweet children. Looking back now, I can see God using it to place a specific hunger in my heart for Chinese orphans.

Then I began texting my dear friend Amie. She too has adopted from China. Six times in fact! I began just asking her general question about how in the world to start such a process. She gave me great advice...but Brian really wasn't on board.

Remember, he said we weren't adopting yet. It was too soon!

And sometime along the way I was crying over the orphans waiting here in America. I begged Brian to adopt a 11 yr old African American boy. He is AD-OR-ABLE. He let me pursue it to a point, but then pulled me back when things got serious. He said it just wasn't a smart idea to usurp Jensi as oldest at this time. Yeah, I know. But I would STILL love for him to get a family, so if YOU have an ache in your heart, please go watch this video about the adorable Omar!

Ok, back to the story!

Now let me tell you a really cool thing about my husband: He is ALWAYS willing to do whatever God tells him to. Because of this, he lets me go about my many children that I am drawn to. But one day, it was different.

I was not on waiting children lists.

I was not even at the computer for the purpose of children.

I was simply reading a blog I love and it was a harmless post about a day trip they had with another family. She had a link to the other family, so I clicked.  This blog also talked about their fun day trip. But there was another link to another friend of hers that I clicked on.

And then it happened.

I saw him.

I wasn't looking, but there he was, looking back at me.

"Are you my Mommy?"

And then I read the story. He and I share the same birthday! 

My heart did a flip flop!

I read about his special needs and read that they were looking earnestly for his family.

But the posts were back dated to December and January. Certainly this gorgeous child had a family snatch him up by now!

I wrote to the blog author just to be sure.



And it turns out, he was waiting for...US!!!

I shared the entire story (and his full file!) with Brian that night. He didn't turn a deaf ear, but listened with an open heart. He said, "*We can knock on this door with a feather," meaning God had to do some HUGE door opening to confirm that this was really right.

And God did.

Fast forward this story through paperwork to our adoption agency and background checks, visits to the doctor and filing an official Letter of Intent with the Chinese government and 7 days later we hear:

China has said YES!!!
We are now the family for this precious child who was waiting a long, long time to be chosen! He had been advocated for on many blogs and social media, and over 1,200 people clicked on his picture and read about him, but we didn't see it.

I think we weren't ready.

But then God prepared my heart, gave me a willing husband and away we go!

So now, after having just finished paying off Zeb's adoption in April, we begin again.

And the reality is, we need help. We cannot fund this adoption out of pocket. (Not many people can!)

We have partnered with Adopt Together, a non-profit organization that acts as a holding place for funds raised for family's adoption needs.  When donors give, they receive a tax-deductible receipt and 100% of their gift goes to the family. We have opened our page with them and you can visit by clicking here.

We are waiting on the Lord to bring Toby home and trusting in Him to fund it! We would be honored if you would choose to become part of Toby's story by supporting us in prayer, encouragement and/or financial support.

As always, we love to hear your comments and feedback and will answer any questions you may have!

And so, this is where the story is to this point! Stay tuned for more!

*{I foresee this "feather knocking" phrase as a very cool future catch phrase! I suggest we all start using it! ;)}

*If you are interested in reading about us finding Toby from the blogger who advocated his story, you can click here as she tells it from her perspective!


  1. your burdened heart sounds just like mine right now! not knowing what to do with that burden, i pray daily for the Lord to use me how He sees fit! and I too long to adopt a sweet babe with down syndrome. oh my heart loooongsss daily. sounds like my hubby and your hubby should talk! :) He's not exactly on the same page as me right now! :)

  2. I love it. The whole thing :) Let me know if you want to have a Tastefully Simple party as a fundraiser and I will donate all my commission!

  3. Heehee, I could have written this story - oh wait I did! We wer home with 2 in Dec and I about fell over when God was making it abundantly clear that we were supposed to bring home another . . . oh and it's a little one who also had been hidden for far to long! We call it our OOOPS adoption LOL!

  4. Michelle! I want to do that but I've tried to figure out how to contact you but I can't seem to do it!! Hopefully you will see this and find me on Facebook!


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