Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quilt Raffle

Okay friends!  It is time to kick off another fundraising effort to help us cross the finish line to bring sweet Hannah home!  A dear friend of mine is extremely talented when it comes to sewing.  She has sooooo generously given her time and talent to make a gorgeous handmade quilt for us to raffle off.  The quilt is a "lap quilt," but it is certainly generous in size.  With fall weather creeping in, I can just see myself snuggled up under this with a hot cup of tea and a good book to read!  This would be an excellent Christmas gift idea as well!

So, here are the details: raffle tickets will be sold for $5 per ticket or you can purchase 5 tickets at a discounted price of $20.  The winner will be drawn and notified on Saturday, November 22nd, so you could easily have this in time for Thanksgiving and get one of your gift items marked off the list early!  To purchase tickets (cash or check are fine!) just simply contact me via e-mail, Facebook, text, phone call, or catch me in person.  You do not need to live locally to participate.  We will happily ship it to the proud winner!  One hundred percent of the proceeds from raffle sales will go straight toward our efforts to make Hannah one less orphan in this world.

It is truly a beautiful quilt.

Please share this post and spread the word!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Letter to Hannah

Dear Hannah, 
Today I found out that you received the care package Daddy and I sent to you all the way in China.  My heart skips a beat to think about you receiving this gift.  I wish I could see your face as you pull each item out of the box.  Did you draw the soft lovie blanket up to yourself and hug it?  Did you rub it on your cheek or bury your face in it?  Did you like the yummy fruit snacks we sent?  Most of all I wish I could have seen your deep charcoal eyes as you studied the photo album.  We met each other for the first time in the exact same way.  One day our social worker called and told me to read my e-mail and there you were.  I saw your picture for the first time and I knew in an instant that you were to be our daughter.  Sometime today you saw our pictures for the very first time.  Were you curious?  Excited?  Did you understand?  When I saw you, there was something in my heart that knew, without a doubt, you were Hannah.  Did you see us and know as well?  Did God tug at your heart and help you to know we are Mama and Baba?  Sweet girl, I am so glad these precious gifts made it to you and I pray every single day that you will study those pictures and wear the pages out as you get to know us.  I study you, too.  I have your picture out in our home and I like to watch the videos we have of you over and over and over.....  Daddy and I have even memorized what the nannies say to you in each of the videos.  I know you have no concept of what a mother or father is or should be and I know that despite the pictures, when we come to get you, you will be scared.  I pray that even in your fear, when you see us in person for the first time, you will at least have a sense of familiarity; an understanding that you have seen us before somewhere.  I want you to know I will be scared that day, too.  You won't have to be scared alone.  This journey to be woven together as a family is a scary one.  It is worth it and wonderful, but it is still hard and scary at times.  We have officially met each other and yet here we are....millions of miles apart and a span of what seems to be endless days before we can meet face to face.

Until then, we wait.  And pray.  The wait is hard, but it is also so amazing.  I see God working in me to prepare me to be your mama.  I see Him working in Jacob, Joshua, and Grace, too.  I know His plans for all of us are beyond our greatest imagination.  Someone told me this week that they could tell you were already woven very deeply into my heart and I quickly told them you were woven there long before I ever saw your face.  It is so true.  God placed a longing for you in my heart many years ago.  It brings me so much joy to see God accomplishing this in my life, so many years later.

I want you to know how much we love you, how often we pray for you, and how we eagerly mark the time until we can come get you.  My prayer for you, Hannah, is that you are loved--no, cherished--daily, that you know the joy of security and safety, that you are able to get the nutrition you need, and that God is working ever so diligently in your heart to soften it to accept us as your family.  We love you and we hope you love your gifts....probably the first things that have ever been given specifically just for you.  I cannot wait to hold you soon!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Care Package Update!

On September 24, we sent a small care package to Little One.  Our agency works with a wonderful woman in China who has a tremendous heart for the orphan and their adoptive families!  She works her heart out as a guide for many when they make their adoption journey to China and then she also provides a wonderful service to the families through our adoption agency; care packages.  Rather than simply packing up a box and haphazardly shipping it off to China with a blind hope that it will reach your child, we get to use this amazing courier.  She sends you an e-mail with very explicit instructions about how and where to send your package...right down her address and phone number ready to be copied to a packing label in both English and Chinese.  If you want to eliminate the guesswork of even that, she will actually shop FOR you and purchase your requested items to deliver to your child!  While I did like the fool proof notion of having her do the shopping for us in China, I really, really wanted to be the one to pack up Little One's package and send it to her.  I wanted to shop for her gifts, I wanted to touch them and hold them, I wanted to do it.  It is the first of many gifts we will purchase for her and I wanted them to come from my heart.  I knew shipping would be crazy and I also didn't want to draw too much attention to our package (read: have it get stolen) by making it super big, so we kept it incredibly small and simple.  Here is what we sent:
  • Jelly Bellies for the foster parents-These are made in the USA and an item that was recommended to me.  It is great to send gifts that are made in the USA.
  • Post cards for the foster parents--Just a couple of shots of things around our state, to show them where Little One will be living.
  •  Toddler snacks--For Little One.  Some of those freeze-dried yogurt bites.
  • A Lovie-For Little One to snuggle and hold and feel secure with.  I did a good bit of snuggling and holding it before I sent it.  I would soooooooooo love it if she still has this at Gotcha Day and can bring it home with her!
  • A photo album--A super small one that is appropriate for little hands.  It holds six pictures and was just enough space to include one of Chris and I together, one of each of the kids, and one of our home.  I labeled the photos in both English and Mandarin to hopefully assist the foster parents in looking at it with her.  This is another item I would be over the moon excited to get back at Gotcha Day!
While sending the care package was very therapeutic for me, we also hope it will serve the purpose of preparing Little One's heart to receive us when the time comes.  We hope she will study our photos and we won't look so "strange" to her on Gotcha Day.

So, we packed it up and sent it to the courier in China, hoping that it would get there safely, unopened, and clear customs without hiccups.  I got an e-mail today, and it made it! It has arrived at our courier's home!  Praise God!  Now the courier will package it up and handle the in country shipping to Little One.  Hopefully by this time next week I will have confirmation that she has received it and I can start imaging her sweet little hands hugging her soft purple lovie blanket.

While there are no guarantees that we will get any of the items back and we will have no way of knowing how much she actually gets to have access to the items, we wanted to send them to her--praying and trusting God to use the items as He sees fit in this journey.

Hopefully this time next week I can update saying SHE GOT IT! 

Oh, and did I mention sweet Little One has a name?  We don't have her full name decided yet, but her first name will be Hannah.  What a joy it is to call her by name!