Glory’s coming home!

IMG_3945It seems like yesterday we were coming home with Ruthie, getting ready to become a family of 3.. But here we are, getting ready to travel in less than 2 weeks to bring Glory home!

September is a significant month and despite what we thought was best for our family, we are always humbled by His grace in showing us that He’s got everything under control. We will sadly miss Glory’s actual birthday but will meet her a few days later and celebrate then. Her family day (when we meet her) is 9/14, the day after Ruthie’s birthday, the day before Ruthie’s family day anniversary!

IMG_3676We are so over the moon excited to bring our daughter home and our hearts our overflowing with thanksgiving and great expectation for what the Lord will do in and through these mighty ones He has called by name. He knows the hairs on their heads, he knew them from when they were in their mothers’ wombs. He has great plans for their lives and we are just so thankful that we have the honor of being their parents! God has already shown us so much of His heart through Ruthie and we are so eager to see how He will continue to show us who He is through Glory.

We’ll be having an extra special countdown to travel via Insta/FB beginning tomorrow :). Please continue to pray with us as we travel and for Glory’s adjustment home. We love you all!

What a Glory-ous Day!

UntitledToday was our benefit picnic for Glory and can we just say, we have an amazing, amazing God. We had been checking the weather all week and it looked clear for this morning.. but today, the dark rain clouds came in and rain poured down as we were setting up. At that point, the “Sunshine” theme for the picnic seemed so laughable! We prayed and prayed and low and behold, the rain cleared up right before we started and it actually kept the heat and humidity away for most of the event.. The rain was actually a blessing! Praise the Lord!!

DSC_9303Our prayer for this picnic above all else, was that God would take center stage and that His heart would be revealed to all who came. We know and have faith that from that place, all other blessings flow! Glory’s Picnic team, comprised of friends and family came together to help make this possible. We prayed and planned for weeks, and seeing everything come together on the day of was surreal. We were so touched by the many people who came to show their support, many going out of their way to help and provide things that were needed.  We are so thankful for each one of you!

DSC_9241We had an awesome time of worship and feasted on Korean buffet. The team did an amazing job with facilitating games for the children, face painting, photo booth, and more. Some novice face painters worked very hard and made beautiful face paint-artwork that the children were more than pleased with. The kids had a blast while the adults stayed back to listen to testimonies, do some global adoption trivia, and mingle!

DSC_9221We heard a heart-moving testimony from our friends, Chris and Amy. They shared about how their journey in adoption began and how God has shown His heart through it all. Chris and Amy adopted their first four children (internationally and domestically) and just recently gave birth to their fifth child! They shared some background on each adoption and how God has unfailingly provided and has showed them the greatest blessing through each child. Adopted or biological, their children are their children and the love is the same. We were moved and stirred by their testimony of faith and love. Thanks again, Chris and Amy! We are so thankful that God has brought our families together and you guys are truly an inspiration to us all. <3

IMG_3233We were so blessed by the community book that was made at the picnic, with so many love notes for Glory. As we read through all the messages and photos, our hearts were filled to the brim with gratitude and joy. Thank you all for loving Glory so much, even before meeting her. We remember as if it were yesterday, the community book that was made for Ruthie at her benefit last year. And how after a few months home, we read the book with Ruthie and she could call out the names of some of the people she knew by name. And now, to see her running around and being in community with all of you, who so fervently prayed for her and supported our family, there are no words to express what that feels like. As with Ruthie, it truly takes a village to raise a child. And we are so blessed to be raising our children in a community of Hope.

Friends, we are so happy to share that after our picnic and the generous contributions of our community, we have not only reached our matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans but we have reached our goal for Glory’s adoption fund! Thank you for your part in bringing our daughter home. As Amy mentioned today, maybe you aren’t called to adopt but you can always pray or support ones who are called, and that is how God may use you to make a difference in the life of an orphan, to be united with their forever family. We are hoping that Glory will be home by mid-September at latest! Thank you all once again, from the bottom of our hearts. We love you.

Lam, Ann, & Ruthie

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Photos from the event can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153994740764056.1073741840.797299055&type=1&l=5277c9ce2e

Broken toes and broken people

I think the Lord is teaching me to slow down… I think I broke my toe this morning as I rushed to get things ready for Glory’s picnic. So as I sit here in the hospital waiting to be seen by the doc, here is my heart…

We are at the crux of adoption paperwork; we just received 800 approval and now the documents go to the final step in the U.S. before being sent off to the U.S. Consulate in China. We are praying this final step goes quickly so that we can travel and be back from China before Ruthie begins a new school year. But all in God’s timing.. We’ll pray and see.

Glory’s benefit picnic is this weekend and have been running around getting things ready. Getting ready to move (next week!). Husband may be starting a new job, and I’m  trucking away at mine with the little time afforded. And all the while trying to parent Ruthie in the best way I know and help her through this season of transition. Things have been chaotic but even in that, God is in control and He is faithful.

The other day while we were in Speech, Ruthie forgot how to rote count 1-3. When we got back in the car, I asked her to count and she could not, even though a few weeks ago she could count to 10! I coaxed her and encouraged her, but nothing could jog her memory.. And instead of letting it go, I snapped at Ruthie for not remembering and I cried. I cried.. A lot.

This was not a proud mommy moment, but I’m just being real here. Mommyhood isn’t always the bright, smiley faces you see as our profile pictures or the cute moments captured on Instagram. Something big stirred up in my heart – worry about her future, fears of the severityΕ‚ of her delays.. I was shaking inside. Raising a child, any child, is hard. My expectations are high because I believe in Ruthie, but then I realized that Ruthie is still a child who was adopted from China not even a year ago, one who has Downs and with that comes delays.. As I cried and prayed aloud, that is what God spoke to my heart. My purpose as her mom is not to teach her to count, my purpose is to love her, and raise her to know that God loves her.

As I looked back in the rear view mirror, I saw Ruthie’s downcast face and it really broke me. I would love to say the story ended with my hugging her and telling her she was awesome, but truth be told, that didn’t happen till much later when my spirit calmed. I turned on some songs from VBS and her demeanor perked up as she sang along to the familiar tunes. And there I realized, what a true (huge) blessing Ruthie is in my life.. That even when I’m overbearing and mean, she is so quick to forgive and brings an instant joy that melts the hardest of hearts. My heart and head hurts when I think of my bad parenting moments … but my thankfulness for God choosing us to be her parents will never cease.

I will be the first to admit that I am a broken person. Yes, saved by grace but still utterly broken without Him. There is truly nothing good in me apart from Him. There is no handbook on how to be a good mom.. But there is the Holy Spirit who guides us and teaches us. When I came to God and to Ruthie to ask for forgiveness, it is so freely given and it makes me feel so unworthy of it all. What is this grace, that we might have life? It doesn’t make sense, I don’t deserve it… But I’m so so thankful and though my flesh fails me again and again, I won’t give up living my life for His glory.

Thankful to a God who covers our sin, instead of exposing it. Thankful to our Daddy who loves us, even when we make mistakes. Thankful for Our Father, who sent his only Son to die for us so that we would be blameless before Him and live in eternity with Him. Thankful for our Abba Father.

.. what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? …
O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Psalm 8:4,9