I apologize for the lengthy delay since our last update. It would seem that life got in the way for a little while. To be honest, we thought we were finished with expanding our family. Even as I write the last sentence I know that God chuckles at the finality of that statement. Of course He knew all along that we had not yet fulfilled the purpose for which we were created. Everything that has happened in our lives has prepared us for this special journey and we must listen when the Lord speaks. To that end, we would like to introduce Mark and Faith. These two amazing children are biological siblings and have been in the orphanage since their parents passed away when they were very young. This Friday, July 1st, 2016 we will depart on a remarkable family journey to make them a permanent part of our home.
For us, this will be an unprecedented journey of faith. We are taking all four of our resident children along with us every step of the way. It is our fervent desire to show our children the world as it truly is. We wish to give them a more complete picture of the realities of life apart from American affluence and plant a seed within them to grow the servants hearts which God has placed within all of us. We pray that the next four weeks will be life changing for each of them in their own, unique ways.
Our journey begins with a week in Korea exploring the past of our Korean adoptees. We will learn much about their cultural heritage and will even be afforded an opportunity to visit their orphanage. We are expecting many difficult and challenging emotions to be experienced here and we ask for the Lord's guidance as we navigate this portion of our sojourn.
Next we will be off to Beijing to explore the many wonders of Chinese history and culture. This should be especially interesting to Caitlin, our oldest daughter and Chinese adoptee. In her previous life in China she was not even permitted to attend school and this will be a learning experience for her in many different ways.
Following Beijing we will be flying to the Anhui province to visit Caitlin's orphanage. Here, she will have the opportunity to spend time with the one kind nanny that cared for her and perhaps another friend as well. She will be able to stand tall before those who mistreated her and know that they will never be able to hurt her again. We will have the opportunity to show Caitlin's siblings the nightmare in which she was raised and garner a new understanding of their sister and the sad realities of orphans in this world.
On July 17th we arrive in Guangxi for what will be the pinnacle of our journey. The following day, we will hold Mark and Faith in our arms for the first time, knowing that they are finally safe and breath a giant sigh of relief. We will spend several days here waiting for paperwork to be completed and getting to know our newest children.
After Guangxi, we're off to Guangzhou where all new adoptive families go. Another week of waiting, medical exams, paperwork and more exploring.
Hong Kong is the last stage of our journey. We will spend a day here being tourists and then, at long last, we will head back to our home in Houston, Texas on July 30th.
We humbly ask for your prayers during this journey of exploration, growth and adoption. Specifically, please pray for our middle son, Luke. He broke his ankle a few days ago and we've just learned he will be having surgery the day before we leave to insert a metal plate into his foot. Please pray for a swift recovery and comfort on and off the airplane.
To all of those who have aided us in making this remarkable experience happen, we are eternally grateful. (You know who you are:) Thank you also, in advance, for all of the support and prayers from our amazing friends in the U.S., Canada, Korea and China. We treasure each and every one of you. To God be the glory!
By His grace,