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

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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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our Christmas Morning

Christmas morning was a sweet time at our place.  I had been a little nervous because my plan was to go back to giving each child 3 gifts to mirror the 3 gifts given to Jesus (plus a few small family things thrown in that I couldn't resist) and try to keep it a little simpler (as best I could).  I shopped for our foster child the same way, but then our agency and his court advocate came in with bags of presents for him from local donors.  It was really super to see how all of these strangers had sacrificed to make his day special.  However it still left my other 3 kids with their 3 gifts and I wondered how they would perceive our foster child's 20+ gifts.  

Well it ended up working out fine.  Our sweet little guy came down with the stomach virus on Christmas eve and was pretty bed ridden Christmas morning.

So we let our other 3 come down and open their presents then we explained why the little one upstairs had so many.

Everyone carried a bag of presents and we took his to his room to open so we could all celebrate with him as he discovered all of the blessings people had sent his way.  About 1/2 way through he tuckered out and Ruthie was more than happy to assist him from there.

We finished up with the Christmas story and the true meaning of that day.  It was a great and relaxing day.   I guess once again, we got exactly what we needed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

They Aren't Little For Long

Last week was a week of Christmas feasts, parties, and polar express day.   I am officially off for Christmas now and looking forward to a week of snuggles with my babies.  Oh and I am turning the adoption brain off.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

But Apparently You Get What You Need. :)

IT IS A REAL SONG!! :)  If you don't have any idea what I am talking about, go read the post before this one.  

My friends were kind enough not to correct me with great spiritual wisdom but instead with a different kind of wisdom, The Rolling Stones. :)   I have the greatest friends on the planet! Love you girls.

So now to focus on what I needed. The week did have some redeeming qualities to it.

*Provision-  We have been abundantly blessed through the t-shirt sales, friends, and family such that there really is light at the end of this adoption expense tunnel.   I am really encouraged and continue to see God's faithfulness in providing for what He has called us to.  I think He has big plans for my dimply little princess.

*Blessing- Our foster child was "adopted" for Christmas by a local corporation and they sent 2 garbage bags full of wrapped presents to my house for him yesterday.  He is going to be over the top excited Christmas morning.  He still says that he has never had a Christmas present before.  He will definitely never say that again.

*Creativity- My completely awesome friend Bernie heard my cry for a personal and creative gift idea for the 20 nannies who have taken care of Maggie over the past year and a half and she helped me make these. They are words that represent what the ladies have given to my sweet girl while she has been in their care.  I can't wait to give them to the nannies.  I hope they are blessed.  There are 20 total.  Thanks Bernie. You rock!

*Friendship- When the t-shirt disaster happened, I called a few neighbors to come and give me their opinions.  My friend, Amy White, escorted me back to the print shop to get everything worked out.  She then stayed for dinner and our kids played together for hours.  My oldest, Jack, doesn't have many play dates because of his condition.  I haven't seen him that happy in a long time.  This also wouldn't have been possible if my youngest hadn't had his asthma attack which canceled my date night.

*Progress- When I received word that our LOA had not arrived, they were able to confirm that our dossier had been translated and was in the LOA room.

So no you don't always get what you want, but you do always get what you need. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

You Don't Always Get What You Want

When my kids were 2 and would throw temper tantrums, my husband used to sing, "you don't always get what you want. no. no."   I am not sure if it was an original song or one passed down through generations, but this week I heard it in my head several times.  It was as if God was taunting me like I used to watch my husband taunt my children.   Okay I know God doesn't taunt us so don't go sending me messages about his loving kindness.   I know.  It's a song in my head, that's all, and here's why.

* Our Foster Kiddo-  I was counting on some big things working out this week for him and his permanent placement.  It was all lined up to work out by Christmas, but it hasn't.  People whose opinions matter strongly have not been as motivated as we have to advocate for this little guy. So I didn't get what I wanted.  Not yet anyway.

*Maggie- Another case where people whose jobs matter aren't as motivated to move as quickly as I would like for them too.  No LOA means I REALLY DIDN'T GET WHAT I WANTED!!!  My husband still has faith for things to work out by Chinese New Year.  I, however, am still throwing my temper tantrum.

*Romantic Date with my Husband- Had a great weekend date planned with the hubby.  The kind of let's get away, refocus, look each other in the eyes again, and prepare for this next journey God has called us to date that was, yes, canceled due to a child with acute asthma.  

And, Drum Roll Please...

*T-SHIRTS-   Oh the t-shirt drama around here.  The ones that were supposed to be ready Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday that came home all printed in boxes to turn out WRONG! They were missing the verse on the back along with a few other things that did not turn out as I had planned.   Okay that was the biggest temper tantrum of all.  I think maybe it was the culmination of my trying to play it cool all week, have perspective, and all that stuff good people do but I was no longer capable of. 

Guess what friends- YOU DON'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT and that will go down as the theme of the week of December 15th, 2013.  

If you ordered a t-shirt, round 2 is supposed to be ready on December 30th.  Let's hope I get what I want this time because I am really excited about getting these out to people who have been so kind as to support us.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

We Have Another Mountain And It's a Biggie. Please Pray


Well we are up against our next mountain and God's next chance to do some moving.

Because of Maggie's severe heart condition and need for surgery, we are in the expedited process.   We are currently waiting on a very important document from China called our LOA (Letter of Acceptance).  We have to have that document for immigration to process her paperwork here to be a citizen which is required before we can travel.

China will shut down for 2 weeks at the end of January for Chinese New Year and since we spend 2 weeks in China for travel, we have to be out by the time that begins.

I know this is all very confusing but here is the breakdown for you:

We need our LOA to arrive this week in order for the other processes to be expedited and completed in time for us to travel by mid-January.  

On Sunday night, it will be Monday morning in China.  I need someone to come in, grab our paperwork in whatever stage it is in and complete it on Monday.  That way it will arrive to the States by the end of the week and we can get it to immigration to be processed before Christmas.

I told you it was a big mountain.

I just keep thinking that if God does call us to write a book about seeing Him move, this could be the climax.

**I need to make a very important clarification.  I am not talking God into anything here.  I know that he determined His course for this child before any of us even came into the world but He has allowed us to be a part of her story and I believe He wants to reveal Himself through his hand in her life.  Lord please let this be your next miracle for this child and move this mountain.

WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE join me in praying today?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7: 7-8  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

This is the 2nd day in a row that God has pointed me to this passage and then He went onto prove it, not once, but twice. 

First Time-  We have meetings set up with 2 different Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeons.  One of them comes highly recommended by his hospital but I didn't know anyone who had personally used him.  I have some pretty specific desires for our surgeon and was praying for someone who could tell me about their personal experience with him.  Then last night, a friend sent me an email of a friend whose child had heart surgery.  Guess who their doctor was?  Yep- it was him.  Ask, Seek, Knock.

Second Time-  We stepped out on a limb and pre-ordered 100 shirts instead of our original plan of 50 because they were cheaper per shirt that way.  I told the Lord that it sure would be nice if we could make our investment back quickly so I didn't have to worry about losing money on this.  In 24 hours, we sold enough shirts to cover our investment.  Ask, Seek, Knock.

So why do I still have fears in this process?  I guess it is time to go back and meditate on Matthew 7 again and probably ask for a little forgiveness in the process.  


Thursday, December 12, 2013

So What's Next... If...

Now back to my post.

So What's Next...

Oh isn't that the magical question.  I feel like my world revolves around the word "IF".

I have the "Well IFs"
*Well if China is able to expedite then you could bring her home in 1-2 months from being matched.

The "But IFs"
*But if they don't expedite, then the average wait is 4-6 months from being matched.

The "And IFs"
*And if we don't get your TA by Chinese New Year, then you will experience a slow down due to China shutting down for 2 weeks.

And the "What IFs"
* What if we don't get her in time and she gets pneumonia and doesn't make it?
*What if something happens to her while we are there?
*What if it is like Ruthie and stuff just doesn't arrive and no one knows why and then it takes forever?

At uncertain times like this, it is so good to know the God of "IFs"! Oh how much better is this IF...

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, IF you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You can order now!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!  We have sold out of shirts.  



You can buy a t-shirt by filling out the form below.  If you want to buy more than one, you can hit  the "continue shopping" button in the PayPal screen and you'll be directed right back here to add more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why Transformed?

I am so glad you asked!

At our church we frequently say, "It's okay to not be okay.  It's just not okay to stay that way."  We believe that the Christian journey is one of being transformed into the image of Christ.

Had my life not been transformed by Christ, I would not be an adoptive parent.  His call for me to step out in faith and adopt a special needs child is a reflection of His transformational power in my life.

But it doesn't stop there.  Maggie's life is going to be transformed by being removed from the orphanage and being placed in our home.  I pray that some day her life will be transformed spiritually as well.

I wanted the t-shirt to represent that transformation and that is why you not only see the word Transformed, but you also see the butterflies being transformed from the cherry blossom flowers.

So it is more than a t-shirt.  It is a picture of the transformation that Christ is doing in each of us who have put our faith in Him and of the transformation He is doing in the life of my Maggie Mei.

Tomorrow I will tell you how you can order one!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Want to Help Bring Maggie Home?

Okay I am so excited about this that I can't wait another day to share it!

Several months ago, I had a t-shirt idea as a fundraiser for this adoption and my friend Genny helped me put it to print! I love how it turned out.  I need a few more days to get my stuff together and set up paypal and all of that good stuff, but I wanted to go ahead and show you the design!

Please help spread the word!

Want to share it on your blog? You can grab my button here.  Please let me know if this doesn't work. I am a little new to this button stuff.  Like I said, I am still getting my stuff together. :)

Mountains for Maggie

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Disaster or A Blessing?

I guess it is all in how you view it.

Okay so "disaster" may be a strong word for a winter storm but it was the only one I could think of at the time.   So let me just go ahead and tell you about how sometimes our plans are turned upside down.

I started out the week with a quick trip to Dallas, a reunion with some friends,  and 6 photo shoots planned back home between Thursday and Sunday.  I took Ruthie to Dallas and it all changed.  

That little winter weather event arrived a few hours earlier than I expected and there was ice falling on my windshield before I could even get to my hotel from Ruthie's appointment. 
 Okay so "don't feel sorry for me #1"- I scored a free night at the Gaylord Texan with my hubs Marriott points.  The plan was to see some friends and go home in the morning, but the weather made that little reunion impossible. 

Then we woke up to THIS! Yes 3-4 inches of ice!  We were clearly not going home that day and my baby girl was more than excited to play it out!

For the record- snow angels don't work on ice.

But writing your name and then adding "mom" to be sweet does work and it buys you a few more minutes in the cold.

Going home on Friday was clearly out and then came Saturday.  I woke up to news about people sliding off of bridges and 100s of 18 wheelers abandoned on the highways around Dallas.  I heard reports of 10-18 hour waits on the roads and advice to pack food and a blanket if you have to get out.
Looks like it is one more night in paradise. :)

Oh and did I mention it will be night #3 free on points?   I guess this husband traveling to Chicago for school stuff is paying me back. :)

So the downside (other than not being around to help my husband and having to cancel 4 of my shoots) is that it aint cheap to eat around this place.  Ruthie and I have been sharing meals, watching a lot of TV, and trying to make this little adventure as cheap as possible.

But today I splurged.  I mean who can pass up a character brunch when you are trapped for another day?  I am so glad that I decided to go for it.

Okay I am not going to suggest that God froze north Texas for me to have some uninterrupted time with my baby girl who is about to be a big sister, but I think He might have worked it into the plan and given us a sweet little blessing in disguise.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Our Christmas Card Outing

 My super resourceful friend, Angie, found this great truck for her photo shoot and of course I had to return for one of my own.   I love those people!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

If I Lived In Bible Times

I think if I lived in Bible times, I would have been one of those people that Jesus shook his finger at.  You know like someone He would have said, "O, ye of little faith" or "Get away from me Satan" to.   I have seen God's hand move over and over and over and yet I still fret.  I doubt and I fear.  I have what ifs when it comes to getting Maggie that include words like "mistake" and "death" and "money."  I am just keeping it honest here, people.  I would have been one of those shake His finger at Bible people.

At times like this, I hear the song verse in my head, "Here I raise my Ebenezer.  Hither by Thy help I come."  It comes from this passage in the Bible,

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)

An Ebenezer is a reminder of God's help and presence.  It represents those times when we have seen God move.

The Hendersons are praying for some big things this week for our foster child and for Maggie.  Will you help me by sharing your Ebenezers either in the comment section of the blog or in the comment section of Facebook?  As I pray for God to move and I fight the battle to doubt, I would love to read about the times that God has shown Himself in your life.

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