Monday, September 22, 2014

We have an update... with a smile!

 We received two videos and pictures of our precious, 
precious daughter!  
It is very obvious she is quiet and shy; a beautiful flower.  


Oh how my heart longs to cup my hands around her gorgeous cheeks, look into her eyes and tell her how wonderful she is.  
How wanted she is.  
How precious she is.  


Big sister and I are literally catching ourselves saying, "I'm ready to go to China..." while wistfully looking into space.  

It can't come fast enough. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pulling the Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet: regardless of time, place or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."
Chinese Proverb

BEFORE YOU READ THIS STORY, I'M GOING TO ASSUME YOU HAVE ALREADY READ 
THIS POST: Dreams
AND THIS POST: How I Know

You might want to read those first.  Without those two pieces of the story, you will be VERY lost.

Boy do I have a story to tell you.  Sit back, relax.  Maybe get a cup of coffee and a muffin.  This is going to be a complicated story, but will leave you in awe of our Creator and His mighty plan. Again, read the two posts listed above before you dive into this.  

Oooohhhh am I excited. 

With our first two adoptions we did NOT scour the internet looking through pictures.  Our adoption agency matched us with our boys based on our guidelines we listed on our Medical Conditions Checklist. 

This time we did have very specific guidelines set up for what medical needs we are open to and what we are not open to for our family. 

On August 15 our social worker came to do our Home Study update.  While speaking with her she encouraged me to look everywhere for our daughter.  She said, "When you see her, you will just know she is your daughter.  Just like dating.  You may date several men but when you see your future husband you will just know."

Following her advice, I put a post up on an adoption advocacy group on Facebook, looking for my daughter.  I did not list special needs or age specifications, as I did not want to create a box for people to only work in.  

Within an hour there were almost 75 sweet faces in the comments below that post.

By the end of the day there were over 100.

It was heartbreaking to look at all of those sweet babies needing a mother's love. 

There was one little girl who caught my eye... I'll name her Anna.  

Anna had a 5 minute long video that was just ADORABLE.  She was 10 years old.  Older than I thought I would be looking for, but she immediately grabbed my heart... AND SQUEEZED.

Hubs and I were watching her video together.  I burst into tears and thought:
"This could be my daughter... but it's not Lili Beth."

I didn't say a word to Hubs. If Anna was my daughter, God would have to lay her on Hub's heart, too.

I didn't have to wait too long.

I watched Anna's video every single day from Saturday the 16th - Thursday the 21st. 

Hubs said, "I can't get that little girl out of my head.  I've been watching her video every day this week."

That gave me the green light to find out more about her!!!  Woo hoo!

I contacted the agency she was listed with and they said she was no longer with that agency and they could not tell me where she had gone. 

First thing Friday morning (the 22nd) I called our agency and requested her file.  They gave me the file.  Same birthday month, same special needs, same hair cut, same facial features.  

We found her!!!

We decided to lock Anna's file. 

Right after locking Anna's file we found out that the file we locked was NOT ANNA'S!!!  

What the what?!?  We felt like a rug had been ripped out from underneath us. 

So who was this girl's file we had in our hands - and, more importantly, how on earth did this girl's file end up in our hands?!?!?!

We stopped.  

We prayed.  

We read each and every word in this mystery girl's file. 

Again. 

and again. 

and again. 

Since we had already locked her file, we had until Sunday afternoon to say YES or NO to her.  

I noticed something in her file that hadn't immediately been apparent to me.

She has a foot that had undergone surgery and was now fixed.

Her Chinese name translates to english as Beautiful Flower.

Her file ended up in our hands - 
AND IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE ENDED UP IN OUR HANDS.

Only at this point did I remember our daughter's dream from three years prior:


What was her name?

"I can't remember.  It was either Lilly, or Elizabeth."


Later, as we were sitting at the breakfast table, she was telling her brother all about her dream, quite excitedly.  


"... and they were all so nice!  And our little sister was so nice and quiet and shy, too.  She is going to be a great little sister.  OH!  Mom!  I forgot to tell you!  Her feet were fixed!"


Beautiful Flower.  

Feet Fixed.  

How did this file end up in my hands?

We got on our knees and prayed for peace.  We prayed for peace to cover both Hubs and I; and for a clear direction as to YES or NO.  

That evening our oldest daughter was reading Beautiful Flower's file.  She put the pages down, looked at me and said, "This is my sister."

Later that night I was reading the file to our oldest son and he burst out, "That's our girl!"
I looked at him and he had big, wide eyes and a shocked look on his face.  "I don't know where that came from, I just KNOW that's our girl!"

By Saturday night the entire family was at peace - and all of us were completely in love with this 10 year old girl in the file in front of us.  By Sunday morning - deadline day - we had an excitement and joy that we had found our Lili Beth. 

Today, September 2nd, 2014 we received Pre-Approval from China to make Lili Beth our daughter. 

We couldn't be more excited.




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ways to Donate

I have had several people contact me asking how to contribute to our adoption fund.  Apparently if you check our blog on your smart phone the sidebar of the site does not show up, so I'm putting the info here as well.

The first way is to go to www.PayPal.com and send a donation to fowlerjc4@yahoo.com.
When you send a donation through paypal there are zero fees taken out!  We will get 100% of your donation if you send it and mark it as a donation through paypal.

Another way is GoFundMe:


Go Fund Me takes 7.5% of your donation for themselves.  

Either way you choose to donate is fine with us, we appreciate all of the help we have gotten so far!  God is so very good and continues to use you all to bless us!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Garage Sale MADNESS!

Never in my life have I ever seen so much STUFF in one place.

So much we took over the neighbor's garage AND driveway, AND had to borrow that trailer in the background to store all of the STUFF.

We had people calling/emailing/texting left and right, wanting to bring goodies to us for the fundraiser.

I would look out my window and see random people unloading donations in my driveway.

Be still my heart.

The outpouring of love and support overwhelmed our entire little family.  

We had support and help from people in all walks of life.  

Donations, donations, donations.

We decided to have our garage sale on two days (Friday and Saturday) since there was SO much stuff.

Only problem:  60% change of THUNDERSTORMS predicted for BOTH days.

We decided to go out on faith and hold the garage sale rain or shine.

It rained and stormed ALL AROUND US.  Just about all of our customers said they drove through rough weather to get to us.

We didn't get a drop of that rain.

We had a pretty consistent gentle breeze that gently kept the storms away from our street.

OH the outpouring of love and support we received!  

The wonderful friends who volunteered their time (and their kids' time) to help out with all of the back-breaking work just overwhelmed us. (You know who you all are!)

Garage Sale total:  $2,895

My cup overflows.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thoughts about Fundraising

You know, 

I'm not one to complain, 

or assert myself and be bossy, 

or point my finger at people and tell them what I'm NOT going to do....

But I did.

I did that to God.

You've never done that, have you?  

After the boy's adoption I told Him I was done.  

Finito.

Completo.

Burrito.

D-O-N-E

No more fundraising.

Ever.  Never ever again.

And then He said Lili Beth was ready and waiting for us.  He lit a fire under our feet.  

... So now I fundraise....

It is a HUGE blow to your pride to have to fundraise.  Period.  Everyone has needs, desires, wants.  And here I am, in your face, saying HELP ME!

And I don't like doing that.  

So I've been praying and wondering WHY God would have us fundraise.  I mean, really.  Why?  

I remembered our last journey to adopt.  We pounded the pavement and got the word out about orphans and the need for forever families.  Since then I have seen several families add to their homes because they saw how we raised funds.

Now I'm cool with it.  Let's fundraise.  Let's shout it from the roof tops if that is what we need to do.  

Use me, Lord.  Let's tell everyone about the need.