Saturday, March 19, 2016

A time of challenges

As the title indicates, these last few weeks have been really challenging for us as a family. God is providing blessings and encouragement in the midst of those challenges, and we thank Him for that, but we both feel pretty tired and worn down.

One of the biggest sources of encouragement has been that Jonathan's process has continued to move forward. We hit so many unexpected difficulties during the first few steps of his process, that it is a bit of a surprise that everything is moving so well now. We did sign and return the LSC, so he is now officially matched with us in the eyes of the Chinese officials. We just submitted our next set of forms to immigration. Also, donations have continued to come in for his adoption. We know that some funds have been donated to our matching grant, but we aren't sure exactly how much. Greg just wrote to ask for an update on our account, but we don't have that yet. We will update you when we do. A few more donations have also come in to his Shepherd's Crook account. We are still far short of the amount we need to bring him home, but God has faithfully provided this far, and we know we can trust him to provide the rest of what we need. We should be traveling to bring our son home in about two months now. That is an exciting and terrifying thought! :-)

Many of you know that my father was diagnosed with cancer right after the beginning of the year. This has been very difficult for our whole family. His long-term prognosis is very, very good, but the logistics of getting him the treatment that he needs are pretty complicated. Both of my parents will be moving to Knoxville, TN for the month of April, and they will be taking 19 special-needs children and teens with them. I have spent a great deal of my time trying to help my mother put the pieces in place to make this move possible, and Greg and I have been keeping their kids for them so that they can go to the appointments that my dad needs. We will be keeping their kids for five nights starting on Easter Sunday, so we would appreciate your prayers during that time. We are unbelievable thankful that my father is not any sicker, and that he should make a full recovery, but we are also tired and drained from the extra challenges that this has brought.

Greg has been working very long hours over the past few weeks, because he has to rebuild the Shepherd's Crook Website completely before we leave for China. He is not getting nearly enough sleep, but continues to have a good attitude about everything. I have learned quite a bit from him in this area.

About two weeks ago, I was driving on the interstate in the rain when the truck in front of me dropped something. By the time I saw it, it was too late to avoid it, and it shredded my front passenger tire. 

Thankfully, I was not hurt, and none of the children were in the car with me. We found out after we replaced the tire that it had also torn up the catalytic converter, so that had to be replaced as well.

Then, the kids were playing outside yesterday, and one of the other children dropped a rock on Hallie's hand. As soon as we saw it, we could tell that it was really bad, so we took her the doctor.
Another sign of God's grace is that Hallie's primary doctor was in the office and had an opening exactly when we needed it. We were concerned that if Hallie had to see a doctor that didn't know her very well, he or she might not realize how serious the situation was. Like many former orpans, Hallie does not cry when she is in pain, and her doctor has learned to read her pretty well. He agreed with us that it looked pretty bad, so sent us to Children's Hosptial to have it X-rayed. X-rays confirmed that it was broken in two places, and one of the breaks is bad enough that she will need surgery.
They sent us to the Emergency Department to have a splint put on her hand until we can make an appointment with orthopedics. Greg and I kept reminding each other that nothing happens outside of God's control, and that this was somehow part of his plan for our family. Neither of us can imagine how we can fit a surgery into our over-filled life, and we don't know how we are going to pay these medical bills. We are thankful for our insurance, and this means that two of our children will have met their deductibles in the first quarter of the year. That might be a record, even for us.

We appreciate the support of our community and friends during this time. They have been a constant source of encouragement to us. They continue to remind us of God's love and provision during this difficult time, and we can't wait to celebrate with all of you once Jonathan comes home. Please continue praying for us. Thank you all.

1 comment:

  1. Praying that God will give you everything you need.