the completed miracle

Our journey to SarahJoy is coming closer and closer to its culmination and she is becoming more and more a part of our lives. It is hard to believe that we are just a few months away from holding her in our arms and bringing her home!!!

So what’s next? We are waiting for a Letter of Approval from the Chinese government which will give us a better idea of when we will travel. We continue to pray that we could bring her home before Christmas! In the meantime we are gearing up for another child and continuing to pray for our miracle, that God would provide 100% for our journey.

I think it is safe to say that we are a bundle of emotions. Our hearts are full as we can now look at our little girl and imagine her home. The miracle of adoption is at work - I can see that sweet face and love her to pieces and know that she is mine. If I am honest, I am also freaking out. Not sure what five kids are going to look like. I do know that oftentimes four kids looks a little out of control! (How often do children need a bath??? Do they really need three meals a day??? And besides, shoes are completely overrated.)

And well, if I am brutally honest, I am beyond weary. We have been on this journey for the last 9 months. And we have been pleading with God to provide. He has done miraculous things – crazy generous gifts to our family, people I don’t even know giving us money, anonymous piles of cash left on Eric’s desk. It really is truly miraculous. And yet, it is not yet the completed miracle we are praying for. We still need a bit over $6000. I had (unwisely) set my hopes on receiving a couple of grants and those doors have almost completely closed. So I am just tired. I am tired of waiting on God. I am tired of relying on others. I am tired of asking people to give or to participate in a fundraiser. It is so not a comfortable place to be. It is humbling (dare I say, humiliating?), it is exhausting, it is frustrating.

So there’s the ugly. I am still holding the banner high that God is going to provide and he is going to use SarahJoy’s story to encourage and empower other families to take the leap of faith into international adoption. But my shoulders are burning and my hands are shaking and everything in me wants to let that banner fall.

So as you pray for our family, please pray for strength to keep pleading with God for his provisions. We have no doubt there is a spiritual battle going on. SarahJoy’s story has the potential to shout God’s name to a lot of people and we know there are powers working against that. Please pray against discouragement, frustration and exhaustion. We cannot finish well without the prayers of those around us.

And pray for sweet SarahJoy. From her pictures, it would appear she is in a very caring environment. But who knows… And she is super tiny (the average size of a 10 month old and she will be 2 in November). So continue to pray for her nutrition and health.

We could not walk this adventure without you. Thank you, from the deepest part of our hearts.


trying to believe

if you are here from a place called simplicity, welcome! we are a family of six, almost seven!!!! well, actually we are already seven but one of us happens to be waiting in china.

in honor of sweet linny, our story is simple. : ) we have been called by God to care for the orphan in the most intimate of ways and that is to bring them to our family. we adopted lydia in july 2008 from china as a special needs child (failure to thrive) and she has done nothing but thrive since! she is a joy to our family.

and since then, we have pressed on to God's calling and are in the process of bringing home sarahjoy. she is waiting in china, will celebrate her birthday in november when she will turn 2, and will be in our arms in december (we are praying!!!)

our first journey was miraculous. God brought us a 'special needs' child that had no special need and he did it lightening fast. he knew just who would fit in our family.

this journey has been a different kind of miraculous. we started with $0. that's right. we had just finished paying off the loan we took out for lydia's adoption and immediately felt God calling us to jump back in the game. we had nothing in the way of savings. so this adventure has been one miracle after another, laying it on God's heart for people to give to bring sarahjoy home.

we have $7000 to go. we are praying and believing that God is going to provide that. we have no debt, we live frugally, we are doing everything 'right'. but in this case, God is going to have to show up in a miraculous way because we just can't do it ourselves. at times i feel like i am anticipating a surprise party - sometime, when i am least expecting it, something big is going to happen. i rush to the mailbox, i look at strange people. i wonder how God is going to make this thing work.

other times...i am so tired of believing. we have been in this journey since november 2009 and i am weary of waiting. i have always been the person who could get a project done. this time, it's not anything i can get done. i look around, i try and figure out what i can do to produce some more money. and nothing. God just repeatedly says to me, "let me do it. this is my story."

we do not have any fundraisers going on right now. to be honest, i am not creative, i can't make things, and we have 4 little kids that take up 125% of our time. we are doing this the old fashioned way and believing that God will lay it on hearts to give to his most precious of causes, the orphan.

we have an account set up at lifesong for orphans so that gifts are tax-deductible. talk about crazy love - now that's crazy to just give money away. but maybe this is how God wants to provide. who knows. i am trying to do my part and then watch him do his.

the info is below if God would lead you to give as part of the crazy love challenge. we stand believing that we will take off in that plane to china with 100% of our funds paid for. and what a story that will be. the miraculous work of God in a real, tangible, no-doubt-about-it way.

lifesong for orphans
p.o. box 40 / 202 n. ford street
gridley, il 61744

make checks payable to 'lifesong for orphans' and write 'sanzone #1284' in the memo line.

here she is!

we have received our preapproval and so now we can post our sweet sarahjoy's picture!!!

and without further ado...

isn't she the cutest thing you have ever seen? i mean, she needs some good mcdonalds food to fatten her up but seriously, could she get any sweeter? actually, these are photos from last december so who knows what she looks like now but we'll take anything we can get!

we can't wait to get her in our arms!!!! please pray for us. we are weary and feeling the spiritual battle of trusting in God for his provisions. more on that in another post...

thanks for walking this road with us. i could not do this if i thought i was alone.


true confessions

well, i have a confession to make. i did a really stupid thing and now i am reaping the consequences. let me start from the beginning...

we are adopting sarahjoy and we are counting on God to provide the funds.

we have been incredibly blessed by generous donations to our family through many of you.

and now we are at the end. almost.

and here is where my huge mistake comes in. as i have been reporting to you our need, in the back of my mind i just knew God was going to provide through a grant from Show Hope (steven curtis chapman's organization). after all, we received one for our last adoption and we certainly are in far more strenuous financial circumstances than we were then. and let's just be honest, we were in the magazine and on the website - there's no way they can deny us!

yeah, well, evidently they can. cause we received the letter the other day and we are receiving exactly $0 from them.

so that total i gave you? well, it just went up $2000. i know it was stupid. i know i shouldn't have counted on it. come on, you learn that in 1st grade. but i did.

so i am finding myself thinking about how i could possibly get a job and work a few hours. or enter the essay contest at Real Simple and win $3000. or find some money in a coat at the thrift store. SOMETHING! anxiety is setting in and the temperature is moving towards frantic.

and honestly, i am weary of this journey. i know God is going to provide. BUT...it is no longer a long way away! we are headed to get our little girl in just a few months and we still need $7000! i feel frustrated and discouraged. i feel like we are doing everything we can do and there still seems to be a huge chasm. which, of course is where God reminds me...it is not about doing everything YOU can. it is about watching ME.

got it. but i am really tired and my faith is about as small as a mustard seed ground up in my pampered chef chopper.

so pray with us. pray specifically that i would not grow weary of trusting God. pray that we would continue to hold fast to the truth that God will provide. and pray for a miraculous movement of God that we would travel debt free to China.



i am writing to ask you to join us in praying for two big miracles. we have seen God do HUGE stuff when he brought lydia home and he is no less able to do the same with sarahjoy. he has already started for sure! and now, eric and i are feeling the weight to urgently pray for the miracles to continue until she comes through our front door.

two things.

1. we would be home before christmas with sarahjoy in our arms. that is the absolute earliest we have been told we could travel but we believe God can do it!!!!

2. our adoption would be 100% paid. we are a week away from the unofficial deadline (august 12) for raising money through lifesong for orphans. we have about $5000 to go (this takes into account the airfare reduction due to estimated travel times). many of you have been incredibly generous. thank you Jesus and thank YOU!!!!!

we could not do this without you - our friends and family who have walked for a long time with us down this adoption road. many, many thank yous. i wish that i could adequately express to you how thankful we are for each of you. however, not only do i not see many of you, but i am horrible in expressing my gratefulness when i am looking at your face! i am much better with the written word! you will just have to believe me, that God has used you in mighty ways to encourage us to take this road that at times i would certainly describe as not so easy. you are an unimaginable blessing to this faith-weary soul.

we covet your prayers.