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.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spotlight: Lydia Hope

I would like to encourage you to check out the blog of a dear friend of mine.  Naomi is a fellow adoptive parent who was matched with Lydia Hope a week after we were matched with Ruthie.  
Naomi and her husband Jeff are ministers in England and they have an incredible testimony of how God has brought them to this week.  They are in China RIGHT NOW getting their little girl.  The thought of that just blows my mind.  Naomi and I have shed many tears for each other's journeys and she feels like someone I have known for years.   You can follow her week and catch up on what God has been doing in and through her at:
 
www.lydiahope.blogspot.com

Go get that beautiful girl of yours Naomi.  We are praying for you and rejoicing with you.  



Friday, May 29, 2009

Speak God Speak

There are so many times in my life when I wish God would speak to me so I have to be thankful now that He is speaking. One of my prayers through this process has been that I wouldn't walk away the same person who walked into it. I think He is making sure of that.

I have been reading Beth Moore's book Believing God where she has been using the OT story of the Isrealites entering the Promised Land to talk about having faith to see God's promises in your life come to pass. Today she referenced Num 15:37-41 which says,

37The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying,
38"Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.
39"It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot,
40 so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.
41"I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD your God."

Throughout this process I have had "the perfect plan" several times regarding when and how to go get Ruthie. My friend Kristine has reminded me on several occassions that we have to keep the Master before the mission. This is so much easier said than done. Right after reading this part of the book, I placed a blue beaded bracelet on my wrist to remind me to take active steps that would lead me towards Him and not just my will.

Right after that, I checked my email and my friend Amy had sent me this link
http://www.mycharmingkids.net/2009/05/life-lessons-learned-from-navigation.html
where someone has written an incredible illustration reminding us that God sees the bigger picture and His ways are perfect.

So today I am walking in the truth that God still speaks and and we can trust that His ways are perfect even when we can't see the plan yet.

Ginny

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He Knows and Still Speaks

So the last few days that I have thought my RA might really arrive, God has in some way early in the day made it clear to me that it wasn't coming.  Let me explain.

Last Wednesday I went to the Christian book store to see if Beth Moore had a book version of her new study on  Esther yet.  I thought I might read it at family camp.  Well she doesn't have it out yet but my eyes caught her book Believing God.  I started to cry right there in Lifeway because I felt this overwhelming impression that God wanted me to read that book, but I didn't want that message because I knew it probably meant that I was going to need that message which wouldn't be the case if my RA came.  I bought the book and am on Chapter 3.  Of course it is great and is talking about having Faith in God's promises.  Everything I need to hear but I wish he had given it to me in February so I could be passed this lesson. :)

On Thursday when all the RA's were starting to come in on Adopt Talk I was driving myself crazy checking my phone and the internet.  I prayed that God would just tell me what I needed to hear that day and  then I turned on the radio.  The lyrics "In good times and in bad, You are on Your throne. You are God alone." came across the airways.  Again I started crying because I knew in that moment that He was reminding me that He is still in charge when my RA does not arrive and this meant it probably wouldn't be arriving.

Well, today I was driving and listening to my Kari Jobe album when I heard a song that I have never paid much attention to before.  I played it 5 times on my way home.  I thought of a few friends who are waiting on RA's and TA's too.  Shannon and Kristine, I hope this encourages you too.   

Since it is not released yet, I couldn't access it for my play list, so I made a video with it of pics from our past years at Pine Cove Family Camp.  We leave to go to family camp in 3 days.  This is my ultimate place of rest.  Yes I know it is oxymoronic that I got busy making a video for a song about being still.  
Enjoy and be encouraged by these lyrics.



video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What I am STILL Looking Forward to

5:30 and no call.  I actually talked to my agency at 2:30 and they said they had not received a package today.  It looks like 1 or 2 American agencies received RA's today that also received them last Thursday so I guess there is still a chance that it could come later this week.

So I will continue the list from earlier...

I am looking forward to:
9. Dressing her in all of these cute clothes people have given me and my niece has handed down

10. Hearing her say mama for the first time.  The one year old across the street is doing this right now and it is S0000 Cute.  

11. Holding her while she falls asleep

12. Seeing Nana cry the first time they meet.  She has done this with each of my kids.   

13. Seeing my Aunt Mary love her.  Oh Ruthie, you better watch out for Aunt Mary because she loves to spoil those grand babies and she is excited about you

14. Seeing her play with Annie Brandt.

15. Seeing what God does through her in our church family and what He teaches all of us about Himself  through her little life.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

What I am Looking Forward to

So there were RA's received today in Belgium and Canada. I know it is scary that I know this stuff but the internet is an amazing thing and so is ChinaAdoptTalk. Anyway, I don't know if they were late in receiving theirs from last week or if this is an indicator that some more may arrive in the States tomorrow.

The anticipation is driving me crazy so I decided to make a list of what I am looking forward to.

What I am looking forward to when Ruthie arrives:

1. Kissing those sweet little hands that I have spent so much time studying

2. Watching her sleep in our hotel room in China

3. Drinking coffee at Starbucks in China with Shannon while our daughters play

4. Seeing her smile for the first time. She isn't smiling in any of our pictures of her

5. Stepping off the plane in Houston and finally being home with her. Anyone who wants to meet us at the airport is invited.

6. Looking into my backseat and seeing her sitting between Jack and Sam

7. Hearing all my children giggle together for the first time

8. Showing Ruthie her room

Oh I could go on and on and on...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Love the Adoption Community

Yesterday was Trent's and my 11th wedding anniversary.  We went to a childless dinner last night to celebrate.  It is only in those settings that we are able to have uninterrupted conversation about the adoption.  

So, I was catching him up on all of the other adoptive families whose blogs I follow or who I exchange emails with.  I was recounting all the ways they/you have encouraged me this week when our RA did not arrive and I was giving him updates on your different journeys.  Telling him those stories made it very clear to me how much God has used these friendships to teach me about His faithfulness and sovereignty.    

This really is a rare community of women believers who are walking through the exact same experiences and are learning the same lessons in the process.   I am so thankful for the relationships that God has led me to through this wait.  

On a side note, it is funny to hear Trent get everyone confused with their names and circumstances.  

I thought I would make a list of the ways I am thankful for the adoption community.  Feel free to add to this through the comment section.  

1. I am thankful for Pam who looked up the Yahoo groups for me and sent the links in an email.  God used you my friend.
2. I am thankful for Naomi for her incredible perspective and insight and for her willingness consistently seek God on my behalf
3. I am thankful for Jenn for her openness regarding her early concerns with her adoption and the rewards of stepping out in faith
4. I am thankful for Kristine for the constant reminder that we put the Master before the Mission and the countless other ways she has encouraged me through this.
5. I am thankful for Cheri for her continued encouragement through the comment section and for letting me follow her story.
6. I am thankful to Shannon for all the good laughs and her ability to focus on what is to come.  I can't wait for that cup of coffee in China while our kids play.  Thank you for that picture.
7. I am thankful for the numerous parents with kids with similar disabilities as Ruthie who have been so willing to share their stories and treatment options. 
8. I am thankful for all the families in ChinaAdoptTalk who walk the same road together everyday
9. I am thankful for all those families, who don't even know that I link to their blogs, for sharing your stories and pictures.  They give me hope.
10. No doubt I am forgetting some right this second. So let me say THANK YOU

I am also incredibly thankful for all of our friends and family who have walked this process with us.  I am regularly amazed and encouraged when I read in the comment section the name of someone I had no idea was reading this.  Thank you for caring. 

Now, A few pics from our eventful weekend:


That is me with a broken foot, on the skating rink floor, teaching Jack  the Chicken Dance. Oh the things we will do for our children.

My little Kindergarten Graduate!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Possible Movement Today

We received a call from our agency today and they were able to confirm that our dossier has been reviewed and we are in line to recieve our RA soon. Our family coordinator's best guess of our RA would be the 1st or 2nd week of June based on how they have been coming in. They are also going to make a call for us Tuesday just to double check everything. This is a great relief to have some information.

There is also a possible explanation for why our RA has taken so long. The entire group of healthy referrals that arrived yesterday was from the same province as Ruthie so it is reasonable to assume that if the CCAA asked them several months ago to put together a batch of healthy referrals that they were working on those instead of processing Ruthie. If Ruthie's RA arrives soon, we could travel with those families but their is obviously zero certainty there as this process has been less than predictable.

Thank you for your prayers. Now we are off to Kindergarten graduation. Where did this year go???

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Don't Have What it Takes

I am figuring out today that I don't have what it takes to endure this. I also don't have what it takes to walk away. So I just sit here and cry like a fool not knowing how to stand up and take the next step- whatever that may be.

After a month of silence from China, a lot of prayer, and some misplaced confidence, our agency received a batch of RA's today and ours was not in there. It has become nearly unbearable to read the rejoicing of families receiving their RA's who were matched months after us. Somewhere deep within me I am truly happy for them, but I am so overcome by my own disappointment that I can barely read their celebration announcements.
I sit here tonight feeling more disappointment than I think I can bear. I do not know what tomorrow holds. It not fair to my other children and my husband for my life to be so dictated by the emotions that surround this wait. Jack graduates from Kindergarten tomorrow and I want desperately to focus entirely on him. I just don't know how to move passed the disappointment I am feeling right now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keeping it Fun

With the end of the school year, comes end of the year programming. Sam always finds a way to add to the show. Other than yelling out, "mommy look I got a new shirt with hand prints" in the middle of the show, he also gave us some good pics to remember the day by.

Just as cute as he can be!

Looking for something special


Snack!



Chew!






Ready to sing again!


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Sincere Joy of Suffering

God has been speaking to me the last few days about the joy of facing trials.  While it is sooo hard, I know that He is changing me and refining me to His image.  I do not want to walk out of this process the same person who walked into it.  

Another waiting parent sent me this in an email today from her readings in My Utmost for His Highest:

God is the Master Designer, and He allows adversities into your life to see if you can jump over them properly - "By my God I can leap over a wall" (Psalm 18:29).  God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter.  1 Peter 4:12 says, "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you..."  Rise to the occasion - do what the trial demands of you.  It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body.  May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality - a readiness to face anything He brings our way. 

I was surprised how much her reading lined up with my husband's sermon yesterday.
Trent recently started a series on 1 Peter.  This week just happened to be on suffering. 
I really believe that all of these delays are the work of the enemy trying to thwart the will of God and so I found Trent's sermon to be good encouragement as we try and walk in a fallen world.  You can link to it at 

It may not be up until Monday afternoon.  
Ginny

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thanks for Praying

Thanks to everyone for praying with us yesterday.  I emailed the announcement to pray to my yahoo groups for Ruthie's orphanage and children with limb difference and got responses from all over the world of parents who felt led to fast and pray yesterday.  I look forward some day to knowing how many people were seeking God yesterday on behalf of these children.  

I found out yesterday that there is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in Florida who performs a procedure to move the bone in Ruthie's forearm over and move muscles for the flexor side to the extensor side to bring her wrist into neutral and allow her to flex and extend.  I don't believe she will ever be able to pronate and supinate (turning her arm over and back) as this requires muscles that attach to the bone she doesn't have.  I hear these kids adapt incredibly well though.  I was encouraged by this surgeon's video that explained the procedure.  I am hoping to find someone in Houston who can do the same procedure because it requires a limb lengthening devices that has to be adjusted daily for 6 weeks.  

I know that God has a plan for this little girl.  I have this picture in my head of a starting point representing God's call to adoption and an ending point of the day they place her in our arms.  In between those 2 points there is a line that is this wait and that is where Satan is having a field day trying to thwart the plans of God.  My prayer is that God would combat the enemy on behalf of his call and bring those  2 points together.  

Ginny

Friday, May 15, 2009

Praying Saturday May 16th

Several families from my agency have decided to spend time Saturday fasting and praying for the adoption situation in China. I don't know if you have followed along the last few weeks, but referrals, travel approvals, and consulate appointments are being held/denied most likely due to swine flu. I even saw today where one agency is reporting no travel until at least September. If you feel led, I would like to ask you to consider praying with us that God's will would be done there in China and that by His power He would move to bring these children home in His perfect timing. We do not expect Him to execute our desires, but instead to align our hearts with His as He moves to bring these families together.

Receiving our update this week was so incredible, but it makes my heart long even more to go and get Ruthie. Thank you for your prayers for her and all the families waiting much longer than they expected to pick up their little ones.

If you plan to join us, I encourage you to link to the LydiaHope blog in the sidebar.  My friend Naomi was told last week that she could travel and then was told this week that she can't travel because of swine flu.  Her perspective on prayer is worth reading. 
Ginny

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What a night- AND WE HAVE AN UPDATE!

So forget the fact that I came home from AWANA tonight to a neighborhood full of police cars and ambulances. My favorite was the police hummer that said "This vehicle was paid for by your local drug dealer". There was a serious altercation down the street that did not end well for those involved and SWAT had to come out. It was crazy. All the adrenaline made my hungry so I heated up my 10:00 pizza snack and opened the computer to find MY UPDATE FROM LADY BUGS N LOVE!!!!

Here is what it said:

Hi Ginny,
I just got the updates today!!! Below is the translation:
> 1. Is she standing alone or walking yet?
Yes, she is talking alone.
> 2. Is her speech development consistent with other 2 year olds in the orphanage?
Yes, her speech developments is consistent with other 2 year olds in our orphanage.
> 3. Does she show signs of mental retardation?
No.
> 4. Are her elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, or feet involved in her condition?
All growing (developing) well.
> 5. Does she drink from a cup or bottle?
Bottle.
> 6. Did she receive the pillow we sent her with our pictures on it?
Yes.
> 7. Are there any other new diagnosis or complications?
No.
> 8. What does she eat and drink? formula?
She takes a bottle of formula each morning and evening. She can eat rice, steamed egg, noodles, fruit, crackers.
> 9. Is she on any medications that I should bring with me?
She gets cold sometimes. Maybe some cold medicine, just in case.
> 10. Does she interact with the other children like a 2 year old should?
Yes.
> 11. Does she have a radius - this is the forearm bone on the side of her thumb and would indicate a possible cause of her wrist drop
She doesn’t have a radius.
12. Her updated measurements:
Height: 78.5cm; Weight: 9.7kg; Head: 45.5cm; Chest: 47cm; Teeth: 16; Foot: 12cm.
13. three pictures are attached.

Knowing that she does not have a radius narrows down a lot of the syndromes. I will be doing a lot of research over the next few days, but I think this is actually good news from the perspective of other complications. Will be a little tougher to treat however.

I so wish I could post the pictures, but I have to wait until we get our RA. Just one more reason to pray that it arrives VERY SOON. In the pictures she is holding the pillow we sent her. It melted my heart.

Thanks for your prayers.
Ginny

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Same Flu Second Overreaction

Wow this process has been a lot more eventful than I anticipated when we started 2 years ago.

There is a group from our agency that received their TA's last week and were told yesterday that they would most likely travel on May 21st. Well today, as I understand it, China has stopped issuing appointments to families to adopt due to fear from the 1 swine flu case in China. This means that the travel group with my agency will not travel until at least May 30th and it could be later.

Some agencies are reporting that China is also not making matches right now. I believe they are referring to the healthy child matches that occur about once a month and were due this week. I am not sure how that affects Ruthie's RA. My hope is that her RA is already in the mail and so it doesn't matter. If it is not in the mail, I don't know if they will keep processing it or wait. I also don't know if we get our RA if they will start processing our TA or wait on that.

I have been praying today that God by His power would command the adoption process in China and bring these babies home. When you are pregnant and overdue it is hard because you are ready to meet your child, but you aren't missing anything during the wait. In the case of adoption, every day is a day that you miss in the life of this child and that just gets harder and harder to bear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! One of my favorite things about being a mother is listening to all of the funny things my kids say. Sam is doing this a lot lately. This morning he colored me a card and gave it to me and said, "Here is your card for mommies day. It is about a hurricane."

Jack is learning lots of new phrases in Kindergarten (some we could do without) and this morning I heard him in the bathroom saying, "That was totaly Awesome". Only boys!
I can't wait to hear the funny things that Ruthie will come up with. I decided to ask my boys a few mother's day questions. Here are their answers:

1. What do you like best about having a mother?
Jack- "That she is fun"
Sam- "About having my dog?"
What do you think Ruthie will say- "Because she is soooo nice"

2. What is your favorite thing to do with mommy?
Jack- "play at the play ground"
Sam- "play on the roof " (we don't do that by the way)
What do you think Ruthie will say- "Learning letters and sounds"

3. If you could change anything about Mommy what would it be?
Jack- "I don't know"
Sam- "I don't know either. That is a hard question"
SMART BOYS!

4. What do you think mommy's favorite thing is?
Jack- "Going to church" (my politically correct child)
Sam- "Going to Target" (my truthful child)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Week

It has been a good week.

Lady Bugs Update
We are waiting on the 10 questions back from Lady Bugs N Love and feel pretty optimistic about what we will hear. The response that Ruthie is walking did a lot for alleviating my fears. So did all of your stories that you shared regarding your own fears and experiences. Satan is a deceiver and the source of my fears. Thank you for reminding me to hold on to what I know is true.

TA's for Friends
Several families from our agency got their travel approvals this week. I certainly rejoice with them as they prepare to leave in the next 2-3 weeks. We certainly could have been in that group as some of the family's timelines were similar to ours from the beginning, but it was not God's will so we will continue to wait and pray. Congrats to all of those families packing. I can't wait to follow your journey.

Family Camp
Several people have been praying for us regarding our desire to travel before family camp. This does not appear to be in God's master plan for our family. We will most likely move our week to the first week of June as a spot came open there last week. This would make sure that we atleast still get to take the boys in case our travel to China falls on our regular week. If you are wondering what the big deal is about family camp, I encourage you to visit http://www.pinecove.com/.
We go to family camp there every summer and it is by far the most incredible thing we do all year.

Can't Be Much Longer
I can't imagine that our RA will take much longer as we are starting to reach the end of the projected time frame for waiting.

Thanks to those of you following our journey. I can't wait to go to China and share the miracle of getting this little girl with you.

Ginny

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Please Pray (with update) but keep praying

Ruthie's diagnosis from her medical reports is repaired preauricular fistula and both hands endoduction abnormality (this is the chinese translation for bilateral wrist drop). All along I have looked at these diagnosis as 2 seperate things and have not worried much about the first one because it is repaired. Well, on Monday I had the idea to google the 2 together and just see what I got. What I found really scared me.

There are numerous serious syndromes where children present with these 2 diagnosis plus several others that are much more serious including mental retardation. For the last several days, I have prayed, sought information from those with experience adopting special needs, and looked into our options.

Trent and I have no leading to terminate this process based on the information that we have. In Ruthie's pictures, she does not look mentally handicap. I am encouraged that she appears to be interacting with her surroundings and maybe even talking to someone in one of them. I have contacted an organization called Lady Bugs N Love that will contact the orphanage for us and ask 10 questions for a fee. There is no guarantee of a response and they have asked that we give them atleast a week. I sent them my questions today and I feel like these will give me much more insight into how Ruthie is developing and interacting with her environment.

Please pray that we recieve information back from the organization and that the information provided to them by Ruthie's orphanage is accurate and truthful. I love this child already like she is my own, but I want to be able to move forward in confidence that what we are commiting our family to is within our capabilities and is fair to Jack and Sam.

Thanks in advance for your prayers.
Ginny

UPDATE:  It has only been a few hours and I have already heard my first report.  This is encouraging to me.  Here is the email.

Hi Ginny,

I have forwarded the questions to the orphanage. The lady who is in charge of adoption told me she just saw her yesterday. She is walking!

No guarantee if they will answer all the questions though, at least you know that she is walking now. So that is encouraging! J

I will get back to you as soon as I hear anything.

Sincerely,

Angela

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making Memories While We Wait

In order to help pass the waiting time and make it count, Trent and I are trying to come up with ways to create family memories for the boys.  This weekend we drove to Dallas and went to Six Flags. It was a great trip as everyone was avoiding public places due to swine flu and so we got to walk right up to all the rides.  Here are a few pics from our day.



This all of us after a water ride.  The boys were mad at us because they got more wet than they expected.  Don't you love what Trent did to Sam's hair?

This is the boys with our first "adopted" daughter.  We "adopted" Lauren (Ya Ya) as a college student and we love her like one of the family.  She lives in Dallas now :(

My dare devil.  


Sam was frustrated when he couldn't ride the roller coasters because he is not 42 inches yet.  He kept telling the workers, "but I am 4 years old now".  He turned 4 a few weeks ago and that was supposed to make him a big boy I guess. 




Sam said his favorite part of the whole trip was the popsicle. Can you see why we don't get those at home?

Friday, May 1, 2009

What I am learning

We decided to get away for a few days and make a new memory as just the 4 of us. So we drove to Waco Thursday, went to Six Flags in Dallas today, and then drove back to Waco tonight. It has been a quick but really fun trip and it has been great to see some friends that we don't get to see as much anymore.

All the time on the road has given me time to ponder what God is teaching me right now through all of this. I have been thinking a lot lately about prayer and its role in my life.

Basically I think my prayers fall into 3 different categories:
I have prayers for relationship- This is most of my worship or prayers like, Lord reveal yourself to me. Change my heart. Teach me more about you.
The second type is prayers for direction. These are prayers seeking God's direction or will in my life.
Finaly, there are prayers for outcome. These are for things such as healing, provision, or just what I think I want to happen.
I really feel like I am ok with the first 2 in that I feel good about my heart's inclination to know and worship Him and I feel like I can sense His direction and leadings. The third one, however, I am struggling with these days.

The Bible says in James 4:2 That we have not because we ask not
You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

It is important though to remember that it does not say, "You have because you ask".
So where does this all come together?
Well, I know that I serve a sovereign God with a perfect plan who wants me to pray and seek Him. I have struggled this week after praying for my RA for weeks and receiving nothing to ask God again for my RA. He knows already when it is going to come as part of His plan for Ruthie, so why should I drive myself crazy asking for specific dates?

A friend of mine was in a serious car accident this week and is in a coma. So as I have been strugglig with the purpose of specific prayer, I have also been praying for his healing. Does God not already know the number of his days? So then why does He want me to pray for Scooter? It feels incredibly selfish to think that is might be for my spiritual growth when my friend is lying in a coma. So not knowing, I pray anyway.

So I will continue to ponder this knowing that God is patient and He has had to exercise that patience on me before. The sad part is that I feel like I am losing that part of me that used to pray with confidence. Right now I pray in obedience and confusion with the knowledge that the first 2 forms of prayer, the relationship and the direction, are probably more important than my desire for outcome anyway.

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