My cup runneth over

It is an unspeakable privilege to welcome this precious child into our family. We are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and delighted to introduce our son, David George Brown.

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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

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I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:1-9

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George Brown, we love you so much. You are a son, a brother, and a grandson. You have aunts, uncles, and cousins. You have a church family and friends and neighbors all waiting to welcome you home. You have been loved, prayed over, and pursued, but all of this pales in comparison to the love of the One who made you in His image to glorify Him. Telling you all about Him will be one of our greatest joys in this life.

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We are coming for you, sweet boy. Hurry home.

 

Leaving on a jet plane

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

At the very top of our inbox tonight is our travel itinerary! We had word this morning about travel dates and have scrambled to book flights and a hotel as we prepare to make our way to Taiwan. We leave at the end of August and will be back just twelve days later with our sweet son. We are weepy with joy that, Lord willing, in a matter of days, we will finally hold our baby for the first time. We would be grateful for your continued prayers for our family over the next two weeks and as we travel. We’re planning to post updates and prayer requests here during the trip. We are so thankful for you!

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Taipei evening skyline featuring Taipei 101 (formerly the tallest building in the world)

Bless the Lord, O my soul

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul! Psalm 103

We received word today that we passed the final civil ruling. We are overwhelmed and abundantly grateful for this precious, wonderful, life changing news. As of yesterday, we also have our final USCIS approval so there is nothing left except our interview with the American Institute in Taiwan while in country and some final paperwork to bring our sweet baby home. We’re still awaiting travel dates and may hear something this week. As I type I’m listening to Wheeler bellow How Firm A Foundation over his Ancient Egypt coloring book.

How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!


Our hearts are soaring and we are filled with hope for the days and weeks and months ahead. Thank you, thank you for waiting and praying with us. Wheeler is now singing Let’s Go Fly A Kite and is discussing which key to sing it in with Tommy so I’ll just leave it at that.

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Betsy is relieved to be older than George again after turning three

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Waiting to pick out ballet shoes on her third birthday with cousin Annie

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Celebrating Tommy’s emerging reading skills

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#missingonemore

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First day of school 2017 (3rd, 1st, K4, and Along for the ride) #missingonemore

Q: Who is like the Lord?

A: There is no one.

The Lord is enthroned in the heavens! He does all that He pleases! We are bowed down low today. THE CALL CAME. God has heard and answered our cry. We received the news  this morning that not only do we only have to travel to Taiwan ONCE (not twice) but also that there has ALREADY been one court hearing. Now we are waiting on the final decree. We were told to expect to bring him home in AUGUST!!! The Lord is full of compassion toward His children. We are overwhelmed and are completely undeserving of His kindness toward us. Lord willing, our baby will be in our arms in a few (long) weeks. We cannot express enough gratitude to you for praying with and for us. There could still be a myriad of hiccups. Please, please, please don’t stop praying now. We will post an update again when we have travel dates.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3

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Waiting to meet baby brother via Skype for the first time

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The boys made little airplanes to decorate for George’s birthday party

I just haven’t met you yet

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Our dossier made it to Taiwan in record time and is currently being translated into Mandarin. After that it will be submitted to court, and we should be able to make plans to travel to Taiwan! It could be just a few weeks away or it could be August or even later…we just don’t know. We do expect to bring him home before the end of 2017, but there are often surprises in the adoption process, and we want to keep praying hard for things to run as smoothly as they have to date. We learned recently there is a small possibility of only having to make one trip to Taiwan instead of two before we can bring him home. This is the strong desire of our hearts, and we are praying hard for this to be a reality for the benefit of everyone involved. Please join us in asking God to allow us to bring him home in one trip instead of two!

We were allowed to send a care package to our sweet boy and were overjoyed to receive a few new pictures of him looking at a little photo album of our family we’d sent. See photo above. We pasted his picture in with pictures of each one of us. The knowledge that he has seen our faces is overwhelming. The wait is excruciating, and we are praying all day everyday to hear the news that it is time to bring him home. In his package we included several light up toys (requested by the orphanage) and things that play music (he loves music), some soft clothes and teething toys (one shaped like a banana because he is particularly attached to a toy banana), some of our favorite board books, and a couple of recordable books with our voices reading stories to him and telling him how much we love him.

We are so grateful for your prayers and hope you will continue to ask the Lord to move the court process along and to prepare his little heart for the transition that is coming.

Potentially, the next time we update the blog we might be leaving on a jet plane…

We give thanks for you often and are so grateful for how the Lord has worked through you to help bring our family to this point.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. Psalm 145:4-6

Taking care of business

We’d been warned many times about the mountain of paperwork that comes with adoption. With the Lord’s help we’re on the other side of the paperwork mountain and are pleased to report it was not as overwhelming as you might think. We would do it over a million times, and it really was nothing in the big scheme of things. Not long after I’d been neck deep in home study forms and grant applications we realized this had all made a clear impression on our children as well.

I had the pleasure of teaching Tommy in K5 this year at our beloved homeschool cooperative. One day, another student was proudly sharing photos of her new cousin who had recently made it home from China through international adoption. As everyone awed over the happy pictures I reminded them (in my teacher voice) that in the same way this child who was once far away now had a mama and daddy and a forever family so too anyone who repents and believes in Jesus is adopted into God’s forever family. Without missing a beat Tommy said, “Yeah, but Jesus didn’t have to do all this paperwork.”

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Sign, sealed, delivered, I’m yours

Our dossier is officially in the mail bound for Taiwan! We check the tracking information approximately every five minutes for progress. We are bubbling over with excitement to have hit this milestone, and it’s hard to believe this process began just over four months ago. The Lord has heard and answered many of your prayers along the way.  He has orchestrated people and paperwork and appointments and more… moving things along at lightning speed and we are so thankful. Please keep praying for our precious little guy. Please continue to pray his caregivers would take a special interest in him, meeting all of his needs swiftly, and pray that the Lord would prepare his heart for the huge transition that is ahead.

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What’s next?

We wait. When the agency in Taiwan receives our dossier they will review it and have it translated. Next, they will appear at the first court appointment on our behalf. After that, we should hear something and be allowed to schedule our first trip to MEET HIM! Both Lifeline and the agency in Taiwan anticipate we will be home for good from our second trip with our new son by the end of this year. Please join us in praying that it will not take that long. We are grateful for each of you and your willingness to join us in the journey. We’d love to hear what’s going on with you!

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21