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Friday, February 24, 2012


We got updated pictures and stats for Qian Geng Hui--our Levi.  He's growing and walking and wants to run the report says.  He's ready for life in the Melton household I say.

We are waiting, waiting, waiting for our travel approval.  Anticipating that we will receive word next week (Lord help me, it could be the week after that); and typically families travel 2 weeks after approval.

There is so much to do.

I want to go right now.

Here's my prayer...Lord, help me to do what needs to be done while being present with the children who are here right now.  And if you could somehow give me divine intervention to be able to homeschool, meal plan, pack, baby prep, finish paperwork, cook, sleep, eat well, exercise, etc...that would be amazing.  I am trusting You, my God, to sift through the massive to do's and give me discernment to do the same.  I am trusting You, my God, to care for our little guy until we can get there.  I am trusting You, my God.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Walking Wounded

We visited the Johns Hopkins Cleft Palate Clinic today to seek out medical advice for Levi’s cleft lip and palate.  It’s on the same floor as the Childhood Oncology Ward.  Perspective. 

We looked at before and after pictures of the many children that this doctor and his team have helped.  We talked about what Levi’s palate probably looks like (alveolar cleft).  Our teenager wanted to know what happens to his boogers.  And that’s when the doctor won us over.  He used the word “booger” in as many contexts as possible, boogers here, boogers there, boogers, boogers everywhere.  You must know that our whole family enjoys a good booger laugh…oh wait, here I go with the booger talk. 

What really happened was that we all laughed in the midst of a stressful conversation (think Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears, my favorite emotion.”).  Levi’s cleft palate is no minor thing, but it’s not that major either.  It’s going to be a tough month when he has surgery early this summer, but he GETS TO HAVE SURGERY THIS SUMMER.  This condition would very likely be left untreated in an orphanage in rural China.  Our boy has hope.  He has no idea what is heading into his life!

I wonder if one of the ways God is working in us through Levi’s story is in the wearing of the wound.  His is on the outside.  He doesn’t have a choice about that.  I wear my wounds on the inside.  Sometimes I imagine that I build a guard around these scars, covering over them with jokes or sarcasm or irritability.  We all need surgery to be whole.  We all need the Great Physician to come in and clean out the bad stuff and build up the good stuff and make it all into something beautiful.  He’s really good at that.

It strikes me that the beginning of Lent is a sweet moment to contemplate this wounded-ness that we all bear.  Just as Jesus set his face toward the cross, we can set our gaze toward the suffering that is a part of this life.  We can see the countenance of Christ in our boy’s lip and palate.  We can invite Him into our own pain, and into the healing that will come.  We can focus our sight firmly on Christ, “who is able to do infinitely more than we ever dared to ask or imagine.”  And we can wear our wounds, knowing that He makes beautiful things, beautiful things out of the dust of our lives.   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paper Chasing

Paper-pregnant works for me.  I think I just might be in paper-labor right now!

The family room floor is my office, littered/organized with stacks of paper that must be wrangled with to bring home our son. 

I am notarized (thank goodness beloved’s administrative assistant is one); certified—no wise cracks here (by the county clerk to prove notary is who she says she is); and authenticated X 2 (Secretary of State and Department of State).  But wait, there’s more!  My beloved is walking the document into the Chinese Embassy for the greatest and final step…a piece of paper that is approved by the government that is caring for our precious boy. 

We dropped our regular home-school rhythm yesterday and embraced an impromptu field trip to Annapolis.  We stood in the very spot where George Washington addressed the 2nd Continental Congress!  American History came alive!

I woke up with my beloved husband this morning to send him off to D.C. with the precious documents, packed him coffee and energy bars and kissed him out the door. 

I remembered that we are blessed to live in a part of the country where it is feasible to do all this certifying and authenticating and DC driving ourselves, unlike most other adoptive families.

So today, in the midst of paper-chasing hell (it’s my labor!), I am choosing to focus on the prize, the little life that exists in Zhoukou Welfare Institute today.  I will fold the mountain of laundry that I swear had babies of its own overnight.  I will savor the morning of learning at home with two lovely young ladies.  We will pray for Daniel Levi Melton.  And I’ll probably get started on that I-864 federal form that will be needed for the trip to China; I think our tax records for 2010 and 2011 are just over there in that pile…

This is how we roll in the land of paper-pregancies.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Breaking down to break through

Pre-adoption breakdowns have become the norm in our once stable household.  We have teenager hormones running rampant (despite our denial), ten-ager tantrums, and mommy "we are bringing home a baby in 4 weeks" meltdowns to deal with.  Poor, poor Dan.

Bring on the tears, the not eating/eating too much, the waking at dawn, the lists, the packing, the teeth-grinding, the TMJ...I develop serious stress symptoms in the midst of adoptions.

Bring on the baby...most of all, bring on the baby.

Let him be loved tonight, let him be fed, maybe a quick cuddle?  Lord, let him know that we are coming.  Let him know that he is loved.  Watch over our precious boy, just as you watched over our precious girls.

And now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than we ever dared to ask or to Him be the glory.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oh boy!

It's happening!  We're adopting our little guy and we are...

nursery planning
googling weather in China during late March
not sleeping
remembering that we need to rest because our world is going to be rocked
praying some more
packing a care package
remembering that God is the author of this story, and that He makes beautiful things out of the dust of our lives

Thank you, Lord, for the story you are writing.  Thank you for a family of five.  Thank you for adoption.