Thursday, January 21, 2010

On our way

We are on our way to bring Adam home. We've made it as far as Newark.

How many times a day do you hear the word wheelchair? We have heard it three times today. At the check -in counter Greg asked which rows had power outlets. He said "I will check it for you. I can tell you which rows are wheelchair accessible or anything else you need to know." Did he know we might need to know that one day!?!

Then after we went through security we stopped by the restrooms. When we walked out they were training new employees about wheelchairs going through security.

On our flight we overheard two flight attendants talking about wheelchairs on the airplane.

Our flight to Newark was empty. They upgraded us to first class. Then we overheard our attendant talking about adoption. We spent the rest of the flight talking to her about our journey and her journey.

All this and we only left home 4 hours ago.

Anyway, our next post will be on our travel site

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Praying People

Mack and Karen's Sunday School class
Rachel Ladnier
Bible Study group (missing Deidre)
Mimi and Pappy
The Buddos
Michele, Jimmy, Sarah, Matthew, and Emily
The Lanes
Richard, Sheila, Jada and Ruby
Pop pop
Munnie
Doug and Joy
www.shesworththewait.com
Kim, Julie, & Me
Jessica, Libby and Angie

Here are just a few of our praying people. There are so many others I don't have pictures of. I really just can't stop thinking of all of you praying for Adam. It has been such a comfort to us.

I will mention a few at the risk of leaving someone out. There are just several that I must tell you about. Some of them are living out their faith right at this moment.

Doug and Joy are in China now. Monday they were forever united with Sarah Mei. You can visit their website(mentioned above) to read their story.

Jessica is writing a book. It is going to be fabulous. God put a story on her heart and she is sharing it with the world. When she is a famous author I will say "I knew her when...".

Angie and her husband are adopting from the Dominican Republic. It has not been an easy road and has been full of disappointment. They are staying faithful to what they have been called to. Read their story at www.ourtreasureourheart.blogspot.com. Angie and my friend Becky are headed to the Dominican Republic next month on a medical mission trip.

Rachel Ladnier and her family. They are a living testimony to the power of God. We listened to Rachel give her testimony this year at the Luke 14 banquet. All parents would wish for a child with her faith at the young age of 17. Mark and Paula, her parents, are involved with Orphans Ministry locally and in Kenya with Gethsemane Garden Christian Center.

Marta and Rommy (not pictured) just returned from a mission trip to Belarus to minister to orphans. They took 70 pounds of medical supplies with them. They are working on a student visa for one special boy they love named Ihar. Please pray for him.

The HOME ministry team at Calvary Church in Charlotte. They are preparing to celebrate Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 24th at 9:45. HOME stands for Hearts for Orphans Ministering for Eternity. Please join them if you are in the area.

The Lanes are always raising money and awareness for Project Orphan Blessing in Kingsport TN. They have also worked closely with Living Hope International to bring a group of orphans to the states this month. This talented group of Chinese dancers are actually performing in our area at Carmel Baptist Church near the end of the month.

My bible study group is full of women who are doing Gods work. If you have a need they are there. If you need prayer they will do it. They have prayed through illnesses, job loss, children, adoptions and relationship problems of all kinds. They serve at Harvest Kitchen, Lois Lodge, Elon Homes for Children and the list goes on.

There are so many of you being used by God and so many others God is preparing for his good works. I just thought I would share a few stories with you.

I will have one more post to this blog tomorrow if time permits. We have a full day of preparations for the trip and it is a very special day today. Our oldest, Stephen, turns 17 today and Audrey Kate turns 10. We are going out tonight to celebrate!

Just 5 more days until Adam is in our arms. Just three more days until we walk the floors of Harmony Outreach. I can't wait to tell you all about the kids there. I will have a special post on our travel site just for them.

Blessings to you!



Monday, January 18, 2010

Funny story

About 15 years ago I gave this family tree to my parents as a Christmas present. At the time there were only 5 grandchildren. My sister had three kids and we had two. That left three empty hearts.

Just this past summer, after a move to Wake Forest, my parents decided to have the back taken off of the frame, take the print out and have someone write in Audrey Kate and Samantha's names.

Then they had it re-framed. They commented on how there was just one empty heart. At the time they were certain it was not going to be filled in. Of course you know the ending to this story. It looks like they will be filling in the last heart and having it re-framed again. Don't you find it interesting that a print I bought 15 years ago has just enough hearts for ALL their grandchildren? Back then adoption and having 5 children was not on our radar!

We are still working on our trip details. It appears our trip home will involve planes, trains and automobiles. We are taking a train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong on the way home. We will spend one night in Hong Kong then fly to Newark and then home.

I was able to talk with my pediatrician today. She said by the terms they have listed he needs a surgery soon. She didn't want me to wait until we get home to get started. She has me calling the pediatric surgeon tomorrow to line up his first appointment.

Thank you for continued prayers for his health.

I would like to post some pictures of all you praying people. We have a picture of a Sunday School class of one of my neighbors I will be posting tomorrow. Please email me your picture and I will include it. www.home4ever.smith@gmail.com

Blessings to you!

If you click on the picture you can see the one empty heart.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Just One Thing Missing

We have loved him since we first saw him.
His Christmas presents are waiting.
His pictures are all over the house.

His name is on the book.
His name is on the backpack.
His name is above his bed.
His name is on the bank.


There is just one thing missing.....

Him!

The good news is we are leaving Thursday January 21st to bring him home. The Lord willing he will be sleeping in his new bed on February 6th.

We found out after his doctors appointment Friday that he does need a surgery. We have been thinking this all along given the medical terms they were using to describe his condition.

Our biggest request for this trip would be that Adam's health remains stable so we can get him home and get him the help he needs. We are not sure why they chose not to do the surgery in China. They told us to come get him as soon as possible so we could have his surgery done here.

We thought the spina bifida and his catheter were our biggest issues to deal with when we got him home. As it turns out his intestines and his appendix are much more pressing issues.

I will post a new itinerary on our travel site at www.myadoptionwebsite.com/adam/. Once we are home I will continue this blog to follow Adam's medical progress.

We would appreciate continued prayers for health, safety, and protection from all harm over these next few weeks.

I know I said we were ready to go but my list says there are about fifty more things to take care of between now and Thursday. Oh well.

Blessings to you!

Covered




We drew names and prayed for each of you. Some of you we knew specifically what you needed and we covered those request. We also prayed for the 123 visitors that have been to Adam's site. The kids really enjoyed our family project. Even our teenage boys did not complain and their prayers were sincere. This is the best way we know to say thank you for praying for Adam.

We do have some news as far as our travel dates. I will fill you in tomorrow!

Blessings to you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prayers for You



Today is the day we pray for you. We spent some time yesterday doing a little bit of planning for today. We have had 123 unique visitors to our site. They have been from Germany, Iceland, Spain, Canada, and the USA. Some of you we know personally but many of you we have never met.
Whether you said a prayer for Adam or not it doesn't matter. We are praying for each of you today.

Those of you we know we have put your name on a card. Later tonight when everyone is home we will draw a card and pray specifically for you and your family. If you left me a prayer request we will cover that also. Then we will pray for each of the 123 people who visited this site. We have counted out 123 Lifesaver candies to represent each of you. We may not know you but God does. So we will talk to Him tonight about you.

We hope it blesses you. Greg and I already spent time praying for you this morning. I will post pictures of our time praying as a family tomorrow.

Blessings to you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praying for You


We have been so overwhelmed by the prayers said for our son Adam. You have all played a part in his recovery and we are thankful.

We would like to pray for you too. So tomorrow we will spend time in prayer for all of you. You can see to the right we have 11 followers. Those people we will pray for by name. We also know we have more than 120 people checking in on Adam. We will pray for you also.

If you have a specific request please send it to home4ever.smith@gmail.com. Otherwise we will pray for an "unexpected" blessing for you. Adam coming home without his catheter was our "unexpected" blessing.

Of course we should all pray for the people of Haiti and the devastation they are facing.

We are hoping to head to China for Adam on Jan 22nd. We are still not sure this will be possible. Many things have to fall into place for us to be able to leave. He will need to have a good report after his doctors appointment tomorrow. There will have to be an available consulate appointment. There will have to be seats available on the flights we need and there will have to be staff available from our agency in China. This is our prayer request today. If we can't leave on the 22nd we will not be able to travel again until the end of February due to Chinese New Year.

I just can't imagine waiting another month and a half. We have not unpacked our suitcases. We are ready to go.

We are looking forward to praying for you tomorrow. Please contact us for specific requests. It will be our privilege to return the favor.

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They Belong

Phoebe, Judy, Adam, Josiah, Lisa, William

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God and our Father is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
(emphasis mine)

Yesterday I posted about how we all belong to God. It is true for the estimated 147 million orphans in the world also. The bible is ancient. It was written thousands of years ago. Did you know it has specific instructions on how to treat orphans? There are three groups of people mentioned over and over in the bible, the widow, the alien, and the orphan. Yes, thousands of years ago God left us an instruction manual for life. He included everything we ever need to know including how to treat orphans.

They are the most vulnerable population in this world. They cannot speak for themselves, clothe themselves, feed themselves, or protect themselves. Some are lucky enough to end up in a loving orphanage where their basic needs are met and they are loved. Most are not. All need homes. All children deserve a family.

We all can do something. If you read this today will you pray for the children pictured above that do not have families? If your like us your left feeling like there is more we can do. We have so much. They have so little. What will you do today?

Here's how you can help:

Sponsor orphans and help provide for their care

Pray for them

Tell others about them

Adopt

Help others adopt

Take a trip to work in an orphanage

Become a foster parent or offer respite care to foster parents

Adopt a child in foster care

Start an Orphan's Ministry at your church

So maybe there is something on that list that you can do. The reason God calls caring for orphans pure and undefiled is because they can not repay you for what you do for them. It is just giving without anything in return. It is by far the best thing you will ever do.

Blessings to you!



Monday, January 11, 2010

I Belong


Yesterday I was listening to a song on my ipod. It is called "I Belong" by Kathryn Scott. Here are the lyrics.

Not angels, nor demons, no power on earth or heaven
Not distance, nor danger, no trouble now or ever

Chorus:
Nothing can take me from your great love
Forever this truth remains
I belong, I belong to you, I belong, I belong to you

Not hardship, nor hunger, no pain or depth of sorrow
Not weakness, nor failure, no broken dream or promise


Yes we are God's. We belong to Him, everyone of us, whether we acknowledge it or not. Adam belongs to God. Even after we adopt him he will still be God's first. All of our kids are God's first. We pray for their protection from harm both spiritual and physical. When they are sick we pray for healing. When they recover we praise God for healing. If they don't recover we are still supposed to praise God. The ways of God are a mystery to us but his word is clear.

James 1:2

Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.

1 Thessalonians 16-18

Be joyful always: pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

So we are thankful for the trial.

I would not have chosen this path for Adam or for us. If it was up to us we would be in China right now. If things had gone the way we wanted them to we would have missed out on the power of prayer healing Adam. It has been a blessing to have you all join us in praying for him. We think this is just the beginning of how God will work in his life. He is a blessing to our family already.

We are just starting to work on rescheduling our trip. I will post again later this week when I have more news.

Blessings to you!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adam


We are still just so happy about yesterday's good news. Adam is back at Harmony House. The email said he missed his friends William and Josiah and his nannies very much. He goes back to the doctor next Friday and we are assuming if he is still feeling better we will be able to proceed with his adoption.

We know the power of prayer heals. We know so many of you have been praying for him. We received some unexpected news of just how powerful these prayers have been.

I had purposefully decided not to include all of Adam's disabilities and medical issues on the website. I am not sure why but something just told me not to, but the healing that he has received has gone beyond his current medical situation. Included in the email was the news that Adam no longer needs a urethral catheter. We couldn't believe it either. I asked Greg "Do we have a front row seat to a miracle?".

I have met with a pediatric urologist here in Charlotte and was told that once nerve damage is done to the bladder there isn't anything that can be done. He felt certain that Adam would always have a catheter.

We are taking this new cautiously and hope to get more information on this after he sees the doctor again next week. So stay tuned and keep praying. You too can have a front row seat to a miracle!

Today pray for his continued healing and strength. Pray we will travel soon. Also pray for William and Josiah. They do not yet have forever families. You can see them at www.harmonyoutreach.org.


For you Adam-

May the lord bless you and protect you.
May the lord smile on you and be
gracious to you.

Numbers 6:24-25

Blessings to you!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Praise

Proverbs 25:25
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.

We interrupt this prayer blog for a PRAISE!!!!

I woke up to an email from the director of Harmony House. She got a call from Adam's doctor that he is being released. He is back at Harmony House this morning. She said he did not need surgery and he is better. We are so thankful. We still have many questions about his condition but we are so happy he is going home to Harmony House.

So this morning join us in praising God for answered prayers.

Continue to pray that he is strong enough for the changes coming his way. Pray that he will continue to stay well while we travel. Pray that we will have new travel dates soon.

I told the director to tell Adam that many people loved him, were praying for him and couldn't wait to meet him!

The picture above is of Adam seeing his family for the first time.

Blessings to you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Treatment


I begin this post after a conversation Greg and I had about the treatment Adam is receiving. We are confused about the way some of the medical issues he is facing are being treated. We did get an update from our agency that said he is still in the hospital, still on IVs, still no surgery planned. A few days ago we were told he has an "acute appendicitis and obstructed bowel". Well we are not doctors (and that may be the problem) but all indications are an acute appendicitis needs surgery. He has been in the hospital over a week now.

So our prayer request today is that he will get the treatment needed to get better. We pray that if he needs a surgery it will be done soon. We pray for the doctors treating him. We pray that nothing will be withheld just because he is an orphan.

We would also like for you to pray that we will get all medical information about him and we would have clarity not confusion.

Psalm 72:12
For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.

Blessings to you today!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fever and infection


We know that Adam is still in the hospital fighting to get better. We are waiting for an update on his condition and will post it as soon as we hear something. Hopefully by the end of today we will have more news.

Adam has been running a fever and fighting an infection. We believe the infection is in his appendix. Our prayer for today is for his strength to fight the infection. Pray that the antibiotics will work in his body to kill the infection. Pray that his appendix will heal. Pray that the damage already done to his intestines will heal. Pray that his fever will subside and he will feel better. Pray that he will be able to have liquids orally and eventually be able to eat something solid.

As you know we found Adam through sponsoring children at Harmony House. He was not our sponsor child but we were led to him through another child we were sponsoring. I always knew there was a family somewhere that was sponsoring our Adam. Well guess what? That family just "happened" to find this prayer blog for Adam. They have been his sponsor family for a year and a half and have been praying for him all along. We were able to exchange emails and found out we aren't that far from each other. They are in Georgia. We are so happy to be in contact.

Once you sponsor a child you feel a connection to them. Like you are playing a small role in their lives. It is nice to know how things end up after they are adopted. It will be special for Adam to know there was a family praying for him and helping meet his physical needs all along.

So to Adam's sponsor family a BIG Thank You for loving our boy!

For you Adam-

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love
he will rejoice over you with singing

Thanks again everyone for praying. It is what he needs right now.

Blessings to you!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sweet Spirit


There are so many physical issues for Adam that need prayer and we continue to pray for those things. As a mom and dad we are also concerned for Adam's emotional well being. He is described by his caregivers as shy and sweet. We once sent him a toy dinosaur in a care package. The label said it was a toy for ages three and up. After he received the care package we heard from his care givers that the dinosaur had made him cry and he was afraid of it. He truly has a meek and mild spirit. So our sweet shy little boy has been alone in the hospital since December 31st. I have tried to think of what he is going through and it just breaks my heart for him.

Today's prayer request is for Adam's sweet spirit. I pray that this hospital stay will not leave an emotional scar. I pray he somehow knows that although he is afraid he is getting help to recover. I pray he is able to trust those who love him. I pray he remains gentle and sweet. I pray that although he must walk through this fire he will have no lingering smell of smoke.

Daniel 3:26-27

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair on their heads singed; their robes were not scorched and there was no smell of smoke on them.

Thank you so much for praying with us for this sweet boy. We hope he is home soon.

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Surgery


Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We have been told that Adam's appendix has "perforated" and he will have surgery to remove it. The doctors are waiting for his fever to come down before doing the surgery. Most likely we will not know when Adam will have surgery but will find out after it is done. So today we are asking everyone to pray for any surgical procedure that might take place.

Pray that only what is necessary is done and that the outcome is good. Pray for the doctors putting him to sleep and those doing the procedure. Pray for Adam and that he finds comfort from those around him. Pray that when he wakes up he sees a familiar face. Pray that he is not in any pain. Pray for a quick recovery.

We are also praying Hebrews 4:16 today and asking God to have mercy on our son and bring him home soon.

I hope one day Adam will read through this prayer blog and know that many prayed for him and God was with him. He will surely have a great testimony.

Blessings to you!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Adam Update


This is what we know. Adam is in the Beijing Children's Hospital for an obstructed bowel and an acute appendicitis. He is receiving excellent care. Most likely he will have surgery this week. He also has a fever from infection. He is quite sick and as much as we would love to be with him it is not possible. We are still strangers to him and we would only bring stress to his situation. The best thing we can do is pray for him, for his caregivers and for the doctors treating him.

He is our son. We have known this since March when we started the adoption process to bring him home. We have been looking at his face since August of 2008. We feel a strong connection to him and it is very difficult not to be with him.

We will not be able to travel to China until he makes a full recovery. This will most likely be sometime around the end of February or the beginning of March.

We are so thankful for the prayers and concern. We know we are so blessed to have the best friends and family anyone could ask for.

We will use this blog to keep you updated.

Blessings to you!