The Zoo Kids

The Zoo Kids
Finally Together

Friday, October 26, 2012

Zoe knows she has a family!

It's not often that the moment your soon to be adopted child is told they are getting a family is captured on film....not only in film but on video as well. What a precious memory she will be able to keep with her for life! This is the email we received from her caretakers..."last night we told Zoe that she is going to be adopted. She's very happy. Actually before that, Ms. Qin, the nurse who knows Zoe very well ask her a question: 'What do you usually pray for God?' Zoe said, 'I want parents.' Ms. Qin told her, God heard your cry and you are going to have parents. She has no face at the beginning, she is quiet and focused. After awhile, she smiled, when she looked at your family photos she was keeping her smile." Be still my heart! Please continue praying earnestly for her as she adjusts to this reality of being adopted. I praise God that because of her medical condition, she is in a Christian foster home and they attribute all the glory to God for answering the prayers of a sweet 7 year old girl. My heart breaks that she had need to pray for a family but I am so grateful that she is getting to see God at work in her life.

Just this week, we received updated pictures of Eli getting the package we sent him and pictures of him reading the letters we sent and we get this update on Zoe. God is so good and knows when we need some encouragement!

We've had several folks ask where we are at financially and this is my answer...I have no clue! I know what we currently have in the bank...we haven't been given a final number on what we need. We did find out that The Province where Zoe's orphanage is in a totally different province from where her medical records and foster home are. All of our official paperwork will take place in the province where her orphanage is and then we will have to fly to the province where her foster home is to get all her medical files and meet the foster family that has cared or her. This obviously increases our expense but once again...we have no clue how much! We are operating on what we do know...Bailey and Sheltons tickets are fully funded. We still need about $1200 to get Caleb there. Caleb is our bleading heart! If any of our children have been created for the mission field one day, it's him. He is a servant and loves deeply. I so want him there! I think when we get our travel approval in a couple of weeks we will know exactly what our expenses will be.

Please pray with us for Eli and many changes for them. Pray that God will give us the wisdom we need to comfort them. Pray for our kids that they would willingly embrace their new siblings and that Eli and Zoe's transition into our family would be amazingly easy.

I cannot wait until we leave the civil affairs office in China, there hands in ours and we are legally able to calm them our son and daughter. I realize there will be days of struggle and that they will grieve and hurt but I praise God that they will be orphans no more!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The randomness of this post will give you a good indication of the state of my mind at this point...I am definitely feeling the pressure as the reality that we will be travelling to China in a month in a half sets in! We are currently at what they call our Artical 5 wait, this will end next week as our completed article
5 is picked up and we will then begin the wait for travel approval. This could take anywhere from 10-20 days and as soon as we have this, we can set a date to travel and start wiring ginormous amounts of money overseas!

So much has been happening on the home front over the past few weeks! There is a ministry in our community that does home improvement a ministry.... The guy that heads that ministry up came to our house a couple weeks ago and wants to give us a master bedroom suite...Tracey and I currently have the bedroom that the 3 boys will share soon. We had already planned to move to the boys current room and give up our room so that all the boys will share one common bathroom in close proximity. This will also allow the girls to share a common bathroom. Although the room Tracey and I are taking as our new master bedroon is bigger than what we have now, it is covered in wood panneling, the carpet is dated, there are ugly built in wooden bookshelves and cabinets, the bathroom is a little bity sink, a little bity toilet and a grotesque, monstrous, shower. Needless to say, this ministry's desire to give us a master bedroon/walk in closet/bathroom with an actual amazing! They are also going to turn our current pantry/closet at our back door into a half bath for guests. This is a huge relief and blessing as well since we use our house so often for ministry, primarily having college students over. The students currently have to go through or past our bedrooms to access a bathroom and although we have awesome students, we don't know them all. I am so much more comfortable with them all using a bathroom that doesn't connect with our or the kids bedrooms. Since the desire is that construction be completed prior to us returning from China, we have to get the house/rooms ready for construction to begin. We also have to find a way to fund the supplies that will be used which is estimated to be around $5000. Thinking about the financial part causes me to hyperventilate...not to mention finding a place to put everything that is in the room and the part of the room that we are doing ourselves which is taking down the wood panneling and knocking out a wall, pulling up the carpet that is currently there. After that is finished, we have to find a new place for the food that is currently in the pantry and all the items that are currently stored in the closet that will be turned into the bathroom. I am soooo excited for Tracey and I to have our own space/closet/bathroom....but sooo anxious about the process to get to this point.

Aside from the remodel project...we have to get the other rooms ready for Eli and Zoe! Briena and Mei now share a room so we have to turn the 1/2 boy side of the room into Zoe's room. We need little girl bedding (her favorite colors are pink and yellow so I'm trying to locate something along these lines). We then need to turn our current bedroom into our boys room....we are having someone quote the price to build us a triple bunk bed for Eli, Caleb, and Mei. Maybe I am putting way to much importance on this but I so want our house to be in order before we bring the kids home...I don't want them to come home to chaos and a I want them to feel like they have a place. Their world will already be turned upside down, It'd be nice if they felt like their home/bedrooms were welcoming and ready for them. We also haven't bought a stich of clothing for either of them...I take that back, we do have a few pair of pajamas and a couple shirts but have a long way to go!!

We also have many decisions to make about our trip to China....We feel like since we are adopting older kids, we need to take our older kids to build that initial bond/bridge with Eli and Zoe. We have ordered passports for Shelton and Caleb (Bailey already had one) and we are praying God will provide what we need to take them with us. We selfishly would love to take the first two days to see Beijing this time...The kids are studying ancient China in school...what an awesome fieldtrip!! It really isn't that much more expensive to do the tourist trip initially...just praying through what we need to do.

To add to everything we have going on, Mei is in the middle of having new legs built and we are travelling back and forth to ATL A LOT. Tracey is in the busiest semester I think we have ever had, I am recovering from elbow injuries and can't lift anything or do anything repetitively, and we have soccer, baseball, and football all going.

Can I just ask for prayer?
Specifically that that we would remember that God has got this.....pray that he will provide what we need for the remodel project and for our older kids to go with us...pray He will provide the help we need as we knock down walls and rearrange furniture, pray most importantly that we keep the main thing the main thing and that is getting our children less than 2 months they will be orphans no more!

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Location:so much to do, so little time!