This weekend I went on a women's retreat with my church. Every year that I've gone, I've had such a nice time and this year was no different. It's at Fairhaven in Tennessee and the scenery is just breathtaking. Our study this year was on Psalms which was great. I had a great time hanging out with some ladies I don't get to see much and even met some new people. I love the ladies at my church so much--they really are like sisters to me.
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"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." --Proverbs 31:30
Today we are one step closer to having Molly home. Yesterday, I overnighted our I600 packet and our agency received it today. So what happens next? Vietnam is working on their side of the I600 which should take about 4-6 weeks. It feels so good to finally be moving forward again!
I'm writing this blog for two reasons--the first is to share this really cute story and the second is to share of God's faithfulness to provide. This weekend we went out to dinner with our friends from church, Pete and Amy. Well, we were excited to get to go out with them because we LOVE them but then they told us that there was another reason they wanted to see us. They told us that the children at our church had been working on a fund raiser for us called C.O.C.O.A.--COcoa and COokies for Adoption. The children ran cocoa and cookie stands in their neighborhoods to raise money for our adoption--is that not the most precious thing?! Some of the adults at our church also donated and we were just floored and humbled by the generosity of these lovely people.
I just have to give a testimony of God's faithfulness to provide for us financially. When we started our adoption journey last year, we had a little money in the bank and we weren't really sure where the rest of the (HUGE AMOUNT) of money was going to come from, but we decided that this was God's plan for us and that we were going to take a leap of faith and trust that God would provide--even if that meant getting a loan. Well, I'm so incredibly touched and amazed to say that through situations such as selling our old house, saving, and people's generous gifts, it is looking like we are going to be able to complete our adoption debt-free. It is so easy for me to get stressed about money (especially being the Wemberly that I am!)--but I know that I just have to trust God and He will provide all that we need as He has time and time again.
We wanted to say thank you to the children at Church of the Redeemer for allowing God to use you guys in a big way! :-)
"He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen." --Matthew 28:6
Being a parent makes me think of Easter and Christ's resurrection in a whole new light. Even though I currently have no children in my home, I am the mommy of two precious angels--one in Heaven and one in Vietnam. Being a parent to these two special children makes what Christ did for me so much more beautiful. Because of Christ's death on the cross and his resurrection, I know that I will see Zeke again some day. Without that hope, I don't know how we would make it day to day. I don't know if I would appreciate Christ's resurrection the way that I do had we not lost Zeke. At church this morning, Pastor Dean talked about how we had to make it through the death to get to the resurrection--Christ's death and suffering on the cross made His resurrection so much more beautiful. Having gone through the suffering of Zeke's death makes what Christ did for us (and for Zeke) so much more meaningful to me in my life. I've also thought a lot about Molly and adoption today. Even though we did nothing to deserve it, God loved us as sons and daughters so much that He sent His one and only Son so that we may have eternal life. (Ephesians 1:5, John 3:16) So today, like everyday, I think about Zeke up in Heaven and Molly in Vietnam. I praise God for our past with Zeke and our future with Molly. And I praise God that because He came to Earth as a man, died on the cross, and was resurrected, God has an eternal plan for all of us as a family.
I truly can't believe the day is finally here--we have the referral of our sweet Molly in Vietnam. Her Vietnamese name is Thi Houng Nguyen. She was born October 22, 2007 and is currently living in the province of Hanoi in an orphanage called Dong Anh. This is very exciting news as her friend Maia Edmisten was also in the Dong Ahn orphanage--how fun for her to have that connection! Her medical was done March 10th and at that time she weighed 12.1 lbs. We are just thrilled and can't wait to go get her and bring her home! I honestly think she's just about the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen--but Brian says I'm a little biased. Please pray for our Molly and for her Mommy and Daddy as we continue to wait on God's timing to bring her home. God is so good!
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. --Psalm 127:3
My cousin Daniel got married this weekend in New Bern, NC. Daniel and Billy are the same age and good buddies. It's so funny to think of my "little" brother and "little" cousin both being married. The wedding was beautiful and we had so much fun spending time with our family. The weather in New Bern was a little rainy and very windy so we'd like to go back sometime and site-see when the weather is better.
In adoption news, this week has been very exciting for our agency. We've had several referrals and several travel approvals for our agency. Maybe some good news our way soon? :-)
Some fun pictures from this weekend:
We got to steal a picture with the lovely bride and groom. :-)Uncle Hemant and Aunt Becki
The ladies--Mom, me, Aunt Becki
Nathanael and me--can you see the family resemblence in our curly hair?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. --Matthew 6:34
Every year I read my class the book Wimberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. It's about a little mouse who worries about EVERYTHING.
I was talking with my friend Tara tonight and listing out my long list of "stressers" (in all reality, my long list of worries) and it just hit me. I worry. A lot. I worry about our adoption. I worry about my friends. I worry about my family. I worry at work. I worry at church. Worry, worry, worry. And it's not like I'm just sitting around thinking about these things--worry sits in my stomach like a ton of bricks. Tara (also a teacher) called me Wimberly. It was kind of a breakthrough for me. I've always teased my mom bout being a worrier. And my Grandma was worried. In fact, my aunt recently said that that was Grandma's way of showing us she loved us--she worried about us. I had never really considered myself a worrier. I've always felt like I tend to have a lot of stress in my life, but I never really realized just how much I worry. "So, how do I stop worrying?" I asked Tara. "You trust God." Trust God. Sounds simple enough. I do that--don't I? I've been chewing on that for the last little while and you know, Tara's right. Worry is a lack of faith and having more faith is something God has been working on my heart about for a long time now. Not faith that everything is going to work out the way I want it to. Not faith that my life will be simple. But faith that He is there with me, knows how many hairs are on my head and my thoughts before I think them--that God, MY God has promised to stand beside me through whatever life brings my way. I remember the pastor at my previous church saying that there are two kinds of people in this world--worriers and warriors. Before this little time of self-reflection tonight, I probably would have said that I don't let my worries or fears stand in the way of serving God--but they do. Because the more I worry, the less I am in tune to what God is telling me.
So my prayer is that I will be a warrior--not a worrier.
Well, some good things have happened this week for our agency. One of families who I've been following through our agency received their referral this week for a precious baby girl and another family received their I600 approval. It doesn't sound like much, but given the current situation in Vietnam, this gives me some hope. Still trying to put it all in God's hands. :-)
If you would like to help with the situation in Vietnam, there is something we can do. Government officials at the National Fund for Vietnamese Children have given Ethica's (an organization that promotes ethical adoptions) representative in Hanoi permission to secure and deliver blankets, heathers, warm clothing, and formula to the orphanages effected by rhinovirus--the virus making the babies sick in the orphanages in Hanoi. For more information, please visit: www.ethicanet.org
We're exited about the good news our agency has had this week--maybe this will be our week too? :-)
If this is what we have in store for the rest of March, I'm ready! Today was beautiful--I just can't get enough of 65 degree days! Let's hope this weather is here to stay!
Things have been busy around here and I'm really looking forward to our spring break coming up. I'm hoping to work some more on Molly's room and the rest of the house. Things as far as our adoption goes are pretty much the same. We're hoping to hear something soon. Just trying to remember that our God holds time in His hands and trusting that His timing is perfect. Things are looking a little scary for adoptions in Vietnam--there is a strong possibility that Vietnam adoptions will not continue after this year. We should be finding out more this month and we are of course praying that adoptions can continue not just for us and Molly but for all of the children in Vietnam who need homes. A lot of the children in the orphanages in Vietnam have been sick this winter and several have passed away. This is so incredibly said and I have to admit that when I first heard this it was very scary. But God begin working on my heart and showed me that this is one of the sad realities of children living in orphanages and reminded me that this is why we are adopting to begin with. So we are just praying for all of these little children in orphanages (not just in Vietnam but all over the world) and praying that we will be able to fully give our adoption over to God.
My mom, Tara, and I went shopping last weekend and we bought a few little things for Molly. Tara got her a bow in just about every color--I can already tell she may be just a little bit spoiled. :-)
March is going to be a busy month. We've got a couple of trips planned and of course we're praying for a March referral. Here's to March! :-)