If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

My photo
I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Darn that Swine Flu

Well it looks like the panhysteria over the pandemic has now reached our friends on the other side of the world. China issued a statement today asking parents who have received their TAs to not travel at this time. They are still giving them the option right now but warn that they will need to cooperate with the chinese govt once they are there.

This is bad news first for those friends of mine who are traveling soon as they are subject to possible quarantine while there and will more than likely not be able to see their child's orphanage.

Second, it is bad news for my sweet friends who are awaiting their TA's any day now as these may be held in the next step by the CCAA. Finaly, it stinks for us as we have no idea if our paperwork will be put on hold and for how long.

Pray for all of these families and for this mass hysteria to settle quickly so everyone can bring their babies home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Another set of RA's came to our agency yesterday and ours was not one of them. I believe these were all people who received their matches after us too. The fact that China does not process their RAs all in the order they are received as matches drives me crazy. Trent says that I see the world in black and white and when things don't fit into their reasonable compartments, it rocks my world. I think it makes it harder when the "injustice" affects my child.

On a more positive note, it is interesting to look back over the last few months and see how God has inclined my heart to Ruthie. For the longest time Ruthie was just a name without a face and then I had a face and a name but in my head they were not one yet. I remember reading people's blogs where they would refer to their "daughter" and it was hard for me to think of her like that since she was not with me. God has done an incredible work over the last few months as now I can comfortably call her my daughter and I truly love her even though we haven't met YET.

This wait has been on one level one of the loneliest times of my life as I have struggled with emotions that those around me couldn't possibly understand. Not even Trent could relate to what I have been experiencing as the journey for dad is so different than the journey for mom. At the same time, it has been one of the least lonely times in life as I have become part of a community of international adoptive parents that know exactly what I am going through. They will send me emails or post to their blogs my exact thoughts and emotions. This has been incredibly validating because without them I would constantly wonder if my fears, frustrations, and thoughts were normal. Thank you to Naomi, Cheri, Kristine, Jenn, Colleen, and many others for sharing your stories. They keep me sane and give me hope for what lies just around the corner.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not in My Experience

So we sang this Chris Tomlin song in church today, Everlasting God, and I have probably heard it 100 times before, but today it stood out. You know the part where it says over and over,

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

and then he repeats it again...
Do you think he keeps repeating it to try and convince himself that it is true? All I know is that I wanted to shout out this morning, "FOR WHO?" because that has not been my experience.

I am sure Trent preached a good sermon this morning, but I spent most of my 45 minutes tuning him out (sorry babe) to ponder those times when I have had to "wait on the Lord" and I don't believe any of those were times where my strength was rising, but instead they were times when God was having to whittle me down to someone who could not function on my own, but only in Him.

I think back to my most recent wait before this one when we were moving to Houston and waiting on our house to sell. I just wanted it to sell quickly so I could essentially "get the move over with", but God had other plans and He used that time to break me of my self sufficiency and teach me valuable lessons.

Another time, long before that one, I was waiting on the Lord for months for his direction in a relationship. It was draining and I ended up with a locked jaw on the back side of it from stress, but again God taught me a lot in those days as He broke me of my plans and expectations.

You know the most encouraging thing about both of those scenarios is what happened after the waiting, whittling, and breaking. 6 months after ending that other relationship, I was engaged to Trent and 2 years after my move to Houston I can honestly say that as hard as it has been and as much as I HATE the traffic here, these have been the greatest 2 years yet with my family and God has blessed us.

So maybe it is in that whittled down weakness that God's strength is made perfect and His perfect plan is put into action. It is a good thing because from what I read, I am going to need his perfect strength to get through this next stage. Oh I wonder what the blessing will look like.

So whittle away Lord as hard as it may be I know that you have something incredible for us around the corner. Please just be patient with me as you know, I am not an easy piece of wood to work with.

And to Chris Tomlin- I think I know what you were trying to say and I like the rest of the song. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun Find as I Keep Busy

So I have a fun new find. We always tell our boys that they are part of "Team Henderson" and I had this idea the other day to make t-shirts for our trip to China that listed us all and said Team Henderson on them. Well, I found this website, www.vistaprint.com, through my brother-in-law that will allow you to create caricatures of your family and then print t-shirts, stationary, return address labels, etc. I made these last night of our family and I am going to design a Team Henderson t-shirt around them and no doubt order other stuff too. I thought it was really fun and worth sharing. I haven't ordered anything yet so I can't speak to quality, but I was impressed with the ability to design my caricature. For those of you with a Wii, it was a lot like designing your Mii. I will let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Urgency with no end in sight

So I already feel this sense of urgency to go and get Ruthie before we go to family camp.  I have these motion pictures going through my head of sitting by the water in this incredible, prayed over place just playing with her and getting to know her for a whole week with no computers, cell phones, church emergencies, etc.  Oh this would be so great.  

Now, as if I needed something to fuel this great need to go and pick up my daughter, there is more.  I have been following a recent conversation on my Yahoo group for Ruthie's orphanage about the pressure rings the kids seem to have around their legs (like from tight elastic).  I saw them on Ruthie's referral picture but just figured that they had just changed her clothes.  Anyway, apparently other parents have seen pictures of their children with torn rags tied around their legs and have heard rumors that the orphanage uses these to tie them to their cribs so they don't crawl out.   I HAVE GOT TO GO GET THAT BABY TODAY!!! 

I am trying to put myself in the position of the nannies who have hundreds of children to look after and only limited arms and ability to chase and catch all of them.  I really don't want to criticize the orphanage, because I do believe that they are doing the best they can with what they have to take care of Ruthie.  I just hate to picture my daughter tied to her crib.  

Please pray that our RA and TA come VERY VERY soon and pray for the nannies that God will give them insight, strength, and compassion as they try to do the overwhelming task of caring for 600 children. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gettin' Ready

Dear Ruthie- We are getting everything ready for your arrival.  The only thing I haven't done is to put up your bed.  There is a queen size bed in your room that I am waiting on Nana to come and get before I put your toddler bed together.  Here are a few picture of some things in your room and their significance.

I made this canvas for you last week.  Behind the butterflies are 2 verses:
Proverbs 25:25 Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land. 
Ruth 1:16 where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

This dresser used to be brown and it was your dad's when he was growing up.  We painted it to match your new bed

This trunk was given to my parents as a wedding gift.  I painted it, added the flowers, and had the cushion on top made to match your bedding.  Sharon Rice made the cushion for you.  Mommy isn't that good.

This was given to me today by a member of our church, Rhonda Chambers.  She made this just for you.  Our friends at church cannot wait to meet you.  You are already loved by so many people.

I love you Ruthie, 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You might be an adoptive parent if... Expanding Version

So I have seen on several adoption blogs a list of "You know you are an adoptive parent if...". It is pretty cute and so I thought I would post a few of theirs that have applied to us and then give you a few of my own.

You know you are an adoptive parent if... (This is their's and it is great)
1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight makes you loose sleep.
2. The fact that if 7% of Christians adopted, there would be no more orphans in the world is convicting to you
3. You have ever been "pregnant" with you adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years).
4. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.
5. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
6. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
7. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!
8. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
9. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Here is mine as a continuation...
10. If you now have more friends through Yahoo adoption groups and China Adopt Talk than anyone you know has on Facebook
11. If all of your favorite initials now end in A
12. If you have ever prayed to God in initials
13. If when you pass toddlers in the community, you try and picture them as Asian and wonder when it will be your turn
14. If your biological child has ever asked you what Chinese orphanage they came from
15. If you have ever recorded Ni Hau Kai Lan on Nickelodeon for language lessons
16. If you have ever gone for an AIDS test and hoped they believed you when you said it was for an adoption
17. If the idea of spending your life savings to save someone you have never met excites you
18. If you are nesting but not pregnant
19. If you cried when you saw Stephen Curtis Chapman's video for When Love Takes You In- and then put yourself through that again by watching it over and over

Fellow adoptive and future adoptive parents feel free to add to this through the comment section.  If nothing else, it give us something to smile about in the wait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Enjoying Today

Today I am operating in the reality that while my RA is not here yet, my time with my family, as I know it now, is still limited.   I am trying not to focus on the temporal worries that the adoption  timeline brings, but instead to focus on what is eternal and that is my influence on my family as it is right now.  

As I read the blogs of other adoptive families, I cannot help but realize that the next year could be really difficult with Ruthie.  We are most likely going to have challenges with attachment, adjustments with the boys, and potentially several surgeries ahead of us.  When I look at it like that, I am ok today to just enjoy what God has for me right now.   

A sweet friend of mine said today, "God will not give you more than you can handle".  I appreciate her encouragement, but I think she is wrong.  I think God consistently gives us more than we can handle so we will find our sufficiency in Him and then He can be glorified in our lives.  I fully expect this to be a reality over the next year with Ruthie.  The weird thing is that I am actually looking forward to that because my relationship with Christ is always stronger on the other side of that process.

Another friend pointed me to Psalm 103 today and specifically to the verse that says, 
"who satisfies your desires with good things "
Boy do I want this to be true through this process.  I will lay down all my desires for a speedy RA if the outcome could just be "good".  Reality is that the outcome is only going to be "good" if it is God's design.  This is what I really want.  It is just so hard to stay focused on that when I look at her pictures and into her pretty little eyes and just feel so deeply the desire to pick her up and hug her for hours.  

I am posting Psalm 103 below. I hope it encourages you today too.


Psalm 103  

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.  (AMEN!)

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Because He Lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living, just because He lives

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today is Hard for Some Reason

 Today and yesterday have been harder for some reason.  I am flooded with fears from 2 sides:

1. What if I have gotten myself into way more than I can handle?  What if this doesn't go well and she has severe problems that I didn't see coming?  What if she hates us?  What if the boys don't like her?  I keep reminding myself that over and over God has confirmed His calling for us to adopt, but then I think that doesn't guarantee that it is going to go well.  

2. The total opposite fear then is what if this takes a lot longer than I have expected?  I have already missed 2 years of her life and have been grieving that she is older than I had hoped- not because I don't like older babies, but because I have already missed so much.  We travel to Pine Cove Family Camp June 14th and I so want her to be able to go with us.  We do this every year and it is by far the most meaningful thing we do as a family.   It is already paid for and my kids would never forgive me if we didn't go, but what if our travel dates fall during that week?  I can't let Ruthie be the reason that Jack and Sam miss family camp.  This would not be a good way to introduce her to them.   

This all weighs so heavy on my heart today.  I know God is teaching me something, but truthfully I am tired of learning.  I would say that I can't do this much longer, but what are my options?  I have none but to wait.   

Please pray for our RA to come this week and for sanity.  Maybe we should all pray for Trent too since he has to live with me like this. :)

I took away the song btw. It was getting on my nerves so I figured it was probably getting on everyone else's too.  


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fellowship in Adoption

One of the added blessings of adopting Ruthie is that I have had the opportunity to follow the adoption experiences of several other families.  The internet really is an amazing thing as it has connected me with people all over the world who are going through exactly what we are right now with Ruthie.   One of those families are the Cuozzo's and they are missionaries to England with a church plant of Calvary Chapel.  I have been corresponding with Naomi and reading her blog regularly.  I would encourage you to check it out at www.lydiahope.blogspot.com if you have enjoyed following this blog.   The Cuozzo's received their RA last week and hope to travel in May. They have an incredible story and need our prayers as well.

I am praying harder than ever that we receive our RA this week.  I know that God's timing is perfect.  I just hope that His perfect timing is sooner rather than later.  


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Love This song

So I have resisted the urge to add music to my blog because it is hard to read and listen to a song at the same time- atleast for me anyway.  However, I heard this on the radio yesterday and couldn't help but think of Ruthie and it is Brad Paisley to boot so that is an added bonus.  Enjoy and please keep praying for my girl.  


The Verse from my adoption coordinator this week. She seems to know just what I need to hear.

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was
strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the
power to do what He had promised.”

Romans 4:20-21

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