Thursday, July 5, 2012

God's Provision

Today, as I was heading out to do errands, I saw the mailman walking down the sidewalk and decided to wait for him so I could save him a few steps in this heat.  He handed me a stack of mail that was mostly things destined straight-away for my recycle bin, but since I had an appointment to catch, I threw them on the van seat and headed out.  While waiting for a rather long red light, I flipped through the mail quickly to see if there was anything of interest.  There was.

Two letters down was a letter from Show Hope, which, if you have done any reading of my blog, you know is the place that cared for our Liliana for about eight months.  We had applied for a grant from them, even though we were sure there were plenty of other grant applicants with at least as much need as we had.  A few weeks after we applied, they blessed us with a bunch of resources for our adoption preparation and lots of resources from Karen Purvis (another great person I have blogged about here).  I had told B.J. at that time that if that was all we received from Show Hope it was more than blessing enough.

I opened the letter, preparing myself for a 'We regret to inform you...' opening.  Show Hope has many, many applicants and can usually, at best, only fund 50% of the qualified applicants.  Here is what the letter opened with:

Dear William and Rachel,

On behalf of Show Hope and the donors who make our grants possible, 
we rejoice with your family as you step out in faith to experience the miracle of adoption.
(It really is a miracle by the way!!!)
Thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your adoption process.
 We are pleased to inform you that you have been awarded an adoption
assistance grant in the amount of  $......

WOW!!!  Show Hope gives grants that range from $1,500 to about $5,000 and while we didn't get a huge amount, every little bit helps when you are trying to figure out where $28,000 or so is going to come from.   It was such a bit of encouragement and such a huge blessing.  

To be honest, there are times when you just have to wait in the adoption process.  There is nothing you can do but wait.  There are also lots of times when I look at the total amount we need for this adoption and I really wonder where it is going to come from, but God so gently reminds me over and over again that He is the one who called us to this adoption and so I can trust Him to provide the resources it will take.  It is so good to rest in His arms and it is also really cool to see the different ways He is choosing to provide.  Show Hope is now one of those ways and we are again blessed by their ministry and the way they are caring for the least of these and fulfilling part of James 1:27.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bit of an update...

So, what's been going on for the last two weeks or so? In a word, lots - hence my silence on this blog.

First, our dossier was delivered to China on June 20th and logged in the next day, which is almost unheard of. That was so exciting, but now there is nothing more I can do except wait and pray for a really fast Letter of Acceptance. Then there will be more to do. That being said, we are gearing up for a really cool project called Both Hands. We are working to build our team of people who will join us in asking for support while we all work on a widow's house for a day. It is such an amazing ministry and we are really excited for it. If you want to join our team, feel free to let me know :)

On the home front, I have been busy wrapping up the school year for Elianna and brainstorming with B.J. to vision cast and choose/design curriculum for the upcoming year. I have also been doing end of the year assessments which has allowed me to see just how far she has come in the past year. It is very gratifying, encouraging, and exciting to see documented growth. She continues to amaze us with how quickly she picks things up.

 Janaya is making nice progress with learning her letters and how to write them and her counting skills are showing nice growth as well. Her handwriting and ability to remember and identify letters was confounding for a bit - especially with how quickly she picks up everything else, I couldn't figure out why she was struggling to remember the handful of letters we had learned so far.  I was trying all sorts of games and multi-sensory lessons and not making any progress. Then I was talking with B.J. and realized that this is part of her vision condition having an impact. She functions so well that it is easy to forget that her visual acuity is still in the "legally blind" level. All of these books we have read and words she has been exposed to aren't really giving her the leg up that it normally would because she doesn't see the letters on the page. She can point to the words, but she hasn't noticed that there are letters that make up those words. Once we figured that out, we focused on getting her books with much larger print and having her find the letters that she knows. She is making nice progress since then, and I am very encouraged by the fact that we were able to figure out the issue. There have been a few more vision-related issues, but because she is being home-schooled, her teachers know her well (;) ) and know how her condition manifests so they can adjust the lessons appropriately. Her desire to learn to read is very strong and I know it is just a matter of time.

Simeon has been amazing us with his ability to memorize Scripture -especially considering that he really doesn't talk yet.  He sure loves to do the motions though!  He loves to be close to mommy and likes to cuddle and read - though running around and getting dirty and messy are also favorite past times. He is very good at getting his wishes known and he loves to help mommy and daddy around the house. I always love this age!

Below are some snippets of our school day pics - enjoy :)

Definitely working the fine motor skills :)

Taking her task very seriously..

Lots of fun :)

Math time

More handwriting practice

More math

Gluing the turtles in the math counting book

Good thing he likes to read along with his sisters :)

Also, here is the link to Both Hands' video if you want to check them out.