Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Numb.

Back in early spring, the orphanage told us SJ's case had been filed in court - five months ago. Our caseworker called this morning with gut wrenching news. Our case hasn't even had it's first hearing yet. Basically the case I've been following for the past five months that I thought was ours is not. Upon hearing this, I cried my eyes out in the craft section at Walmart while Ryan rolled duct tape down the aisle and made duct tape towers, blocking the aisle (sorry Walmart shoppers). One of the roadblocks we are facing right now is a hold up in the legal system. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do on our behalf - not our agency, not CARA, not the orphanage, certainly not us. Only GOD can turn this around and our prayer is that he will in some supernatural and miraculous way but this doesn't mean I'm not angry, frustrated, and hurt. Not because I'm being denied what I want but because there's a little girl 9,000 miles away that has been waiting for a family for five years. I know God doesn't want her to grow up without a family and I can't help but wonder why is she still waiting. 

Over the past several days and weeks I've been asking myself, God, anyone who will listen :::::  

Why are we not going to India yet? Why does she have to see the caretakers she loves as parents leave and we can't be there with her to comfort her and just bring her home ? Why must she wait, needing surgery (to fully extend her arm that's been stuck in a right angle position all her life) and not be here where she can receive the best care? Why isn't God answering prayers to bring her home now? We've been faithful to obey, stepping out in faith to adopt (for the second time, from one of the most difficult countries in which to adopt) ...........and still she waits. 

Five years without a family isn't right when we are HERE and we are READY. 

We've asked again and again and and again and still she waits. So many of our friends and family have prayed on her behalf. (And we thank you!) She will be celebrating her fifth birthday in a few weeks without us. In fact, all of her birthdays have been without a family.  I can't imagine how she must feel and how she must wonder why we haven't come yet. I bought her new summer clothes, sandals, PJs and much of it she won't be able to use because summer is ending and well, in about 6 more months she will be much bigger.  

To answer all the whys.. SATAN - that's why. He is the reason children are orphans, he is the reason the judicial system gets clogged up with prideful people, he is the reason children wait needing life altering surgery, he is the reason adoption has become an overly complicated process. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and the battle we are fighting is one against him and those that are influenced by his evil ways. While God has a plan for SJ's life, so does Satan and that's what makes my heart sick. I know God will prevail as we fight as hard as we can for this little girl 9,000 miles away. 

BUT

God's word says the battle belongs to Him. Not to me, not to lawyers or judges, not to those caring for the least of these. The battle belongs Him.  I'm trying to let that soak in but it's just really difficult. 


In other news, SJ's bedroom is about 98% complete and if she isn't home soon, I may buy every type of hairbow known to man, in every color of the rainbow, from Amazon.com as you can see in the photo below.  

Yeah, ooops. I hope she likes hair accesssories. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A God sized goal



We received NOC (No Objection Certificate) in late January and we were excitedly waiting for our case to enter the court system. In March our case was filed and we were hopeful to clear court in April before the courts closed for summer break in May. That didn't happen so we waited through May, which happens to be a busy time of year - end of the school year events, kindergarten graduation for my K kids - so it went by quickly. In late May we were able to FaceTime our sweet girl. Oh my goodness! Talk about falling in love with a kid we've never met, all over again. She appears to be a daddy's girl already which is pretty awesome! SJ asked to see daddy and sadly he wasn't there at the time so she called back the next day. The next morning we were serenaded by our sweet girl and her friends by way of technology. When her pals started blowing kisses to Scott she indignantly said, That's MY dad! I then picked up Nugget, our mini schnauzer, so she could see our dog. Her friends started shouting and cheering. SJ then informed them, That's MY dog! Needless to say she has no problem saying how she feels and how wonderful is it that she's so possessive of us already?! She knows we belong to her and that makes my heart so happy! We can't wait to smother her with lots of love! I'm thinking she won't have any problem telling us when she's had enough. From what we can tell she appears to be self confident, mature and maybe slightly bossy. These are pretty common traits of older kids that have grown up in an orphanage so we are aware bonding and attaching may be a challenge. We know she's been loved since she arrived at her orphanage and we are so thankful for those that have taken great care of her all these years. She's ready to come home though as she tells her caretakers almost daily that she's ready to pack her bags and go to America! I really wish she understood how hard we have worked to make that happen....

We are currently entering our fifth month in court and praying we see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.


(In NC face timing with our daughter!!)


This adoption has taken nearly two years to complete. Two years of paperwork, praying, waiting, wishing, dreaming, more praying, even more paper work, plenty more waiting. Every twist, turn and delay has pointed right back to our girl. We started this adoption with a God sized goal -  all five of us would go to India and come home as a family of six. Since we hope to visit Ryan's birth city and orphanage as well, we wanted Katie and Braden to see where their siblings were born and experience their culture first hand. One day we won't be on this earth anylonger but the little ones will have their older siblings to answer questions about their culture and recall their time in India. We didn't know how a trip like this would be possible but we prayed, saved, fundraised and God made it happen! It still blows my mind that the God of the universe cares about little me and my minuscule problems. He provides in ways that are unimaginable. While he may not answer them how we would like, he hears every single prayer. You see, my husband purchased a cancer policy 19 years ago. Sometimes it pays for things and sometimes it does not. We were blindsided by God's provision. God took something meant for evil, and turned it into something good - oh so good. A total Genesis 50:20 moment! This girl has such an amazing story and we can't wait to share all the details with her! 


Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good
Genesis 50:20

Saturday, July 2, 2016

When the night is holding onto me




God is holding on



This court process of our adoption has been relentless...

It has drug out over the last five months and it seems to be never-ending. I've been clinging to this song the last few weeks and remembering He is good.





Let the King of my heart be
The
mountain when I
run
The
fountain I drink
from; Oh
He
is my
song
Let the
King of my heart be
The
shadow where I
hide
The
ransom for my
life; oh
He
is my
song
Chorus
You are
good
good,
Oh
You are
good,
good
Oh
Let the
King of my heart be
The
wind inside my
sails
The
anchor in the
waves; Oh
He
is my
song
Let the
King of my heart be
The
fire inside my
veins
And the
echo of my
days; Oh
He
is my
song
Chorus

You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let,
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
|2x|
Chorus

You're
never gonna let,
Never gonna let
me down
|4x|
Ending
When the
night is
holding
onto
me

God is
holding
on




Sunday, March 13, 2016

How long will she wait?

Since we have received NOC and our case has been filed in court, I get the question several times a week - when will she be home? I surely wish we knew! We are praying she's home by summer but we know to expect the unexpected in the adoption world so that's only a hope and a prayer right now.

God placed adoption on my heart as a child. I had this idea that I could go into an orphanage in any city and just pick up a child and bring her home (yes, HER). Apparently I watched Annie a time or two as we all know orphanages don't exist in the U.S. Scott and I talked and prayed about adoption for ten long years. We didn't wake up one day and say, hey the cool thing to do is adopt, so how about we do that like... tomorrow! We talked about it extensively - we discussed adoption when the tsunami hit southeast Asia in 2004 taking the lives of over 200,000 people, we talked about it when the earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010 killing over 150,000 people and leaving countless children orphaned, we talked about it when people we knew were facing a crisis pregnancy. In April of 2012 we stepped forward in faith with plans to adopt a toddler girl from India. For several months we are filled with so much excitement about who she would be but God had other plans. Instead he sent a precious BABY BOY to us and I can't imagine a second of our lives without him. Before we even left India to bring Ryan home, Scott and I both knew we would soon adopt again and this time we would find our daughter. Nearly two years ago we started the process and six months ago we saw her sweet face for the first time. The daughter God told me would come our way from the womb of another mother, the daughter we officially started searching for when she was just eight months old, yet through a series of detours took a little longer to find, the daughter that's waiting for us so patiently.  Please pray with us for a smooth and quick court process - for all the evidence to be ready and for sweet SJ to find favor with the judge and the advocates working on our behalf. She's been living in an orphanage for 4.5 years and while it's evident she's loved so very much, we are just anxious for her to be home with her family. Pray with us for God to continue to move in a supernatural way so that the only explanation for any of it is just simply HIM.

In other news, we have completed our SHOE DRIVE!! We collected 10,540 pairs of shoes and yesterday we loaded them all up in the truck sent by Angel Bins. The driver will come in the morning to take them all away (yaaayyyy!!) and I will finally be able to park in my garage again. :) We sincerely thank every person who helped us collect shoes by sharing info about our shoe drive, cleaning out closets upon closets and dropping bags of shoes on our porch, at our church and through friends. We couldn't have done it without your help and we are very grateful!

We had a pretty good system set in place and it only took about 3 hours to load and stack all the bags. Scott is a beast!


Donut break :) 

He was convinced I could jump out of the truck into his arms. :)


Thank you all for supporting our family and thank you for praying with us while we wait for SJ to come home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A long awaited UPDATE!

I have really been so bad about blogging sister's journey. We are plugging along but the home study update took so long, which led to delays with the i800 supplement and then the i800. We actually forgot to sign one of the forms. :( I mean, who does that?!? I was growing so weary of the months it took to get our immigration approval but it finally happened in mid-January. Once that was complete we could apply for Article 5 which is the catalyst for India to begin their side of things. We received that January 25 and we were hopeful to receive the coveted NOC (No Objection Certificate) in a few months.

....

It took nearly four months to get Ryan's NOC so we knew we could possibly be in for a long wait.
....

Sister's came via email, five days after Article 5.  FIVE DAYS Y'ALL!!!

It all happened in the midst of some heavy spiritual warfare. We were at the culmination of our Both Hands Project and satan was relentless. BUT God provided miracles in our adoption (we got NOC days instead of months!!), He provided miracles with our Both Hands Project widow (she prayed to receive Christ), He is mending hearts in our family and He is good!

Even when we don't understand his ways, He is good.

Even in the waiting, He is good.

Even in the hurting, He is good.

Even in the exhaustion, He is good.

I just can't top any of this right now. Tonight I am going to bed with a thankful heart. We are one step closer to our sweet girl - AND we can finally send her a photo book of the family she's been waiting four and half years for!

Next up - our court date(s) to declare that we are her parents and then it will be time to go to India!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

These are the feet that belong to our DAUGHTER!!!

What a whirlwind this journey has been .. We started out in India, switched to China, then back to India.

In January we were matched with Little Panda in China. Then God closed door after door. None of it made sense at the time. After much prayer, we went back to the India program and we rejoiced in June when we found out Little Panda had a family!!! Once our homestudy was approved by India, we dug in to wait for a match. We waited six weeks... then we were matched with a precious, three year old little girl. Unfortunately her orphange would not respond to repeated email requests for photos, videos, or health information. We asked India to intervene and the orphanage still would not reply. Week after week seemed to drag on. This was a very difficult time since school had started and that's already stressful enough, then the added anxiousness of waiting.. and waiting..After seven agonizing weeks we prayerfully decided to withdraw the match at the advice of our case worker. This was another difficult and confusing time for us. A day or two later a little love showed up on the database. Barely four years old. Our case worker had not seen her.. until we had released our first match. I knew when I saw her, she was ours!

And here we are, in love with a teeny 4 year old butter bean from India! She's beautiful - fearfully and wonderfully made. I wish we could tell you more but we can't share her photos, her name (which we are keeping), or where she's from on the internet so you'll just have to take our word for it.. She is just gorgeous. This time everything makes sense.. all the road blocks, the waiting (we started this adoption in Sept 2014, over a year ago!), the confusion.. none of the roads would have led to her at any other time than right now. HIS perfect timing... Which admittedly isn't always easy for my flesh to accept.

This is a text we received last month when we were matched with sweet Miss SJ 



Thank you for praying with us and we covet your prayers as we endure the long wait to bring her home! We anticipate it taking about 12 months since we have to amend our home study and immigration documents before we can wait for India to begin their process of clearances and court proceedings. Of course we pray it's much quicker than that but adoption is unpredictable so we know to expect the unexpected.

We are rejoicing that these are the feet that belong to our precious daughter! 



Monday, September 28, 2015

We are SO SO close to an adoption UPDATE

DYING to spill to beans but we'll wait a bit longer...... besides..... changing the subject here...  so many of you have asked for me to bring back the old "My heart is for India" shirts and I'm honored they've been loved by so many but.. I wanted to come up with something a little different this time. Fund the Nations helped design this snazzy shirt and ALL proceeds will help bring our little love home from India. They are available in youth sizes too (extra small and up)!!! I'm really excited about that!

These are a soft style shirt and run a little small so order a size up if you need to.

The shirts are $20 ($3 extra if you need them shipped to you). If you need more than one shirt shipped, I may be able to combine shipping, please ask.

To order, you can Pay-Pal $20 to natashachalker@gmail.com with your size and address. Deadline to order is October 23. Local friends, can get cash or checks to me, no shipping fees if you come get them from me. :)






2XL and 3XL shirts are $2 extra.

Thanks for having a heart for India, too! #myheartisforindia


Pin It button on image hover