Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Without Further Adieu...

...I would like to introduce to you Melia Xinai Horner! (pronounced Meh-lee-uh Shin-eye)

Just today Ryan and I received word from our adoption agency that they have approved us to be the parents of a sweet, 13 month old girl from China. We are bursting with joy, excitement and anticipation! She is our long awaited, hoped for daughter and we feel so very blessed!

This past week has been an incredible journey of faith and trust in God as we learned about some heart conditions that our daughter has. I won't go into all the details, it's her story to share, but I will tell you that God has changed us for good through the process of finding our daughter.

Our precious Melia was born with a heart condition that will likely require some surgery down the road. We spent the week educating ourselves on her heart issues with several doctors, other mothers and our social worker. In the end, we felt God drawing us to this gem. Every time we resisted the idea of adoption anxiety would well up in me and I realized that fear of the unknown was the source of that anxiousness. When we submitted to God and made the choice to say yes to what God already chose for us,"peace that surpasses understanding" flooded over us and has been "guarding my heart and mind" against fear ever since.

This process also made us dive into the idea of God's goodness. After all, how is it good that any child should be born with physical affliction? Why should any child be living outside the love of a family? How is that good, God?

That's when my wise, wonderful husband reminded me that God's good is not ours. His definition is greater and far better than mine. That's when I became aware that most of the time I define good as something that makes ME happy, makes ME smile or pleases ME. It's so self focused. God's good is bigger. He wants us eternally and His goodness seeks to save us eternally. That's when I began seeing good in Melia's physical condition.

Melia's heart is her way out of an atheist country. She will learn about God and His eternal love for her in our family. It is good to live life fully with a mom and dad, brothers and a sister. It is good that we are more aware, after only one week, of the blessings and goodness of this day. Because, we are not guaranteed tomorrow or the next heart beat. Melia has already made us more intentionally thankful and thus more fully alive and present in our moments.

So, I give thanks today for...
921. Another daughter
922. Her smile, her button nose, her beautiful eyes
923. Her growth and development thus far
924. A husband who repromised to love me always...in sickness and in health
925. Hallie's squeal over a new sister
926. Jacob's confidence, "I knew that was my sister"
927. Zac's determination to be her protector and helper when she comes home
928. Our parents joy, support and love for their new granddaughter
929. New friends to help us with new information...Chelle
930. God's promises fulfilled when we act in faith, trusting His goodness always (Phil 4:7)

If you have read this blog post, then you are part of Melia's story too. I would ask you to pray for her while she is away. I ask you to pray that God would prepare her for all the new sights, sounds, smells, foods, textures, experiences that she will have in our family. I ask that you pray for our other children as they welcome a new child into our family. It can be very emotionally difficult. Please pray that our marriage would remain strong. Please pray for God to touch her body with healing and that his strength would be powerful in her weaknesses.

Thank you for sharing in our joy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm having a great day...

911. Quiet car rides while children look at books from the library

912. Chalk Art with my kids
913. Genuine "Sorry" from littlest one.
914. Mid-day phone calls "just to check in" from my love.
915. Repairing doll shoes
916. A chat with my Aunt, who is my friend
917. Vacuum lines in the carpet
918. Making our own fun when the rain "ruined" our plans.
919. Jesus time on the couch with my kids
920. Jacob's head resting on my shoulder.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


901. Listening to Zac sing, "Our God is greater, our God is stronger..."

902. Zac's daily drawing for me...a tree with a "chickmunk" peeking out with a rainbow, flower, sun, grass and clouds.
903. Hallie and Zac laughing together
904. Intentional parenting by Ryan...he and Jake took a date to a CWS game today.
905. Summer jobs...some help keeping the house clean from kids that are not complaining.
906. Goober peanut butter and jelly because the kids asked and it's summer.
907. Cheers and smiles over Goober PB&J
908. Dreaming and planning for our little Melia...we are getting closer!
909. Ryan's sound mind and reasoning.
910. The smell of chicken in the crock pot for dinner.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Camp Week

This morning I put all three of my kids on a bus to go to Camp Pokamoke for a day camp! They will go all five days this week from 7:45-4:50! I can't believe I sent Zac at five years old (I never would have sent Hallie or Jacob at that age) but he is such an adventurous kid and loves to do whatever his older siblings are doing so we sent him too. He will be in Jacob's group which gives me a little more peace about sending him.

So, that means I have the whole day to myself (yes, I planned it that way)! What to do? What to do? Believe it or not, I started by cleaning the first floor of my house. You might be thinking, "how foolish...why not get your nails done or go to the spa," but let me tell you having a clean house for more than 15 minutes makes me very happy! :)

Later today an interior decorator is coming by to give me some wisdom and what to do with the front two rooms in our house and if she gives me the green light the rest of the week without kids might involve some painting...we'll see!

That's our family update but now to more important things...how and where I saw Jesus this weekend and today.

So, so thankful for...

891. God placing me in relationship with hurting people. I feel their pain so deeply and I know my heart is becoming more like Christ's.
892. Hopeful prayers to a powerful God for my hurting friends.
893. Celebrating God's healing power in our physical bodies with two friends...Evan is tumor free and our friend Rich is tumor free and both give God ALL the glory!
894. Watching my hunk of a husband in a triathlon.
895. Our whole family going to the triathlon to cheer on dad, to Hallie's swim meet to cheer her on, to the boys' baseball games to cheer them on, to my running race to cheer me on. We love to be together and support each other.
896. Ryan's phone calls all day long.
897. Seeing an old friend at the baseball game.
898. The kids getting an overnight at Grammy and Grandpa's house.
899. Serving in the local church
900. Peach Iced Tea in summer.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When you see the finish line...

...1,000 recorded gifts is in sight. It's not too far away. I know the Lord wants me to finish this race, but when the finish line is in sight Satan's attack ramps up! I know from God's Word in Philippines 3:12-14 that God desires that we press on in our spiritual disciplines and press on to finish what he has started in us. That tells me that Satan would want the exact opposite. He wants us to fail and give up. He wants us to lapse back into old habits and ways of living.

That is the way I have felt lately. I press on to memorize scripture or give thanks in all things and Satan whispers...what's the use, you know you will fail again, what good will it do you anyway...

So, today I will start my thanks again to defy the evil one and bring glory to my loving, heavenly Father...

876. Scriptures promises, promptings and encouragement
877. Smiling when I see my family
878. Lunch with Ryan
879. My daughter's intensity before her first swimming race
880. My daughter's beaming smile when she finished.
881. The hope of Colossians 1:17 "He is before all things and in Him all things hold together."
882. The joy that fills my heart and brings a smile to my face when I write out my thanks.
883. Grandparents that come to swim meets and ball games and babysit our kids.
884. Running in the mornings
885. Talking and swinging on the front porch swing when the kids go to bed.
886. Flowers blooming. How they come back to life with a big drink of water.
887. Zac's quote of the day. "Mom, if you were ever a harmonica teacher and lost all of your harmonicas and needed a little green one, I would be happy to share mine with you."
888. Jacob sleeping soundly at night with doggy and beary wrapped in his 6 (almost 7) year old arms.
889. The kids joy at Vacation Bible School!
890. My job. Talking slowly and intentionly. Making people feel validated and listened to.

Lord, thank you for instructing us to give thanks and how it blesses us!