Family

Family

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Adventures

Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."


Many of you know that I have been praying some specific prayer requests regarding the adoption of our two boys. One prayer I was praying was that we would be in China on December 10th (Shan Chen's birthday). I knew that anything was possible with God, even though I was told by people that it wouldn't happen. Although I was praying for this crazy miracle, I also trusted that God's timing would be best. 


Back in October, when our dossier got logged into China's system, another family with our agency had their dossier logged in as well. Two weeks after we were both logged in, she emailed me and told me that she had already received her approval letter (which is unheard of unless you have a medical expedite). I was excited for her and hopeful that maybe ours would come as well. Two weeks turned to a month, which turned to 5 weeks, which is now at day 50...still no LOA for us (and many others). Tuesday morning of last week, I heard from the same lady that they will be most likely going to China 12-10!! I had to just laugh because she had received answers to both of my prayer requests (a quick turn around on our acceptance letter and travel to China by 12-10). Although I was super excited for her, I was trying not let disappointment cloud my view of what God had planned for us.


That same evening (Tuesday of last week), I was reading a Facebook post from a family who was supposed to host a 12 year old boy during the winter. They were sharing that they were no longer able to host him and they needed to find another family (all the expenses had been paid). As soon as I read it out loud to Wayne, the girls all said, "WE need to host him!!" They then went on to explain all the reasons why: "We have a bed, we have a room, we have clothes, we've been taking Chinese - this will be a great way to practice, we are just waiting for the boys, we loved hosting Shan Chen...". It was amazing to see their hearts just ready to embrace another child in our home. We sat down as a family that night and prayed about the possibility of hosting again. Wayne and I prayed together later that night. The next morning (Wednesday), after praying, we decided to contact our agency and tell them that we were willing to host. We figured it would be up to God to either open or close the door from there. Within five minutes of emailing, we received and email back saying that they were excited that we were willing to help out and it seemed like the perfect answer. We had to wait until Monday to talk to Shannon to find out for sure if this was possible. The girls were sitting on egg shells waiting to hear the answer. As of yesterday afternoon (Monday), it was official, we will be hosting another boy.


Our crazy Christmas adventure starts December 15th when we pick him up at O'Hare airport! He will stay with us until January 13th.  


The best part about this whole story is seeing God's hand in it all. He showed me that if He wanted me in China on 12-10, it would have been possible. Instead of answering the way I thought He should, He is allowing this other sweet couple to go pick up their very first child in China. And instead of us being in China in December, He is having us open our home to another boy. We can't wait to see what God has in store for this precious boy. God has orchestrated so many things in such a short time to get us to this point. 7 days ago we found about him, and in only 16 days we get to meet him! We will be posting a ton of pictures and information about him over the next few weeks, so make sure you come follow our next family adventure!!




"The Skater" - 12 years old: winner of a gold medal in skating (I see rollerblades and many trips to a roller rink while he is here).








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In light of this new development, I am taking fudge and cinnamon roll orders only until 12-13 (so that we can focus our energy and attention on him while he is here). All fudge and cinnamon rolls will need to be picked up (or arrange delivery) by 12-14. The cinnamon rolls freeze well, so you can always order your Christmas rolls, freeze them, and have them Christmas morning.







Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fabulous Fudge!!

Proverbs 16:24 "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

We are selling fabulous homemade chocolate fudge. This fudge is made from scratch and melts in your mouth! It is great to bring to holiday parties or as a holidays gift. The fudge is $15/lb and we can ship up to two pounds anywhere in the United States for $6.80. The fudge comes individually wrapped and decorated (see picture below). We can also include a personal note in your package if you are sending it as a gift. 

*** Just in time for Christmas stockings!! We are now offering the fudge in a 1/2 pound size...perfect as a stocking stuffer or for a place setting at Christmas! $8 per package. They come individually wrapped and decorated (like the picture below).

*** Note: The fudge is nut free! 

See the "Buy it Now" button below to place your order.


Chocolate Fudge
Personalized Note




All the proceeds from the fudge is going toward our adoption. We are adopting two boys from China (ages 10 & 11). You can read our first announcement about adopting and updates






Chocolate Fudge
Personalized Note



Sheets Fundraiser:



We are selling sheets until December. The sheets are a brushed microfiber material (super soft!!). The colors available are: Navy blue, sage, camel, grey, aqua, silver, lavender, eggplant, white, cream, burgundy, and chocolate. $35 for any size.

Sheets
Color Choice:



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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

National Adoption Awareness Month: Question 1

Galatians 4:5-7 "To redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Adoption is a beautiful picture of our adoption as God's children. Adoption has impacted our family in many ways. Two of my nephews are adopted from Korea. I have seen and learned so much watching my sister and her husband raise these two amazing boys. I have also watched friends raise their adopted kids. Some of these children were adopted internationally and some were adopted domestically (foster care and from birth). As people shared their stories, God used them to work on me and Wayne. Is adoption always easy? No. Can there be difficult days, weeks, or even years? Yes. But, I also see God use those difficult moments to transform lives (both the parents and the children). God never promised that life would be easy, in fact, He actually said the opposite. We shouldn't be trying to surround ourselves with comfort and ease, but find ways to surrender "our things" and even people to God. 

As we have been on this adoption journey for a few months, we have run across some interesting questions, and even some pointed opinions. It's amazing how people think they can have an opinion, and should state that opinion, about growing your family through adoption. Some concerns stem out of sincere concern, while others are rooted in fear, unbelief that we would want to have so many children, and I think sometimes our of misunderstanding of adoption. 

As mentioned, there have been some good questions that have arisen in conversations. As part of National Adoption Awareness Month, I'm going to address some of these questions during the month. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me (rebeccaharder35@gmail.com) and I will try to answer them for you. The first question is listed below. I found a great article on Holt's webpage (see the reference below)

Question #1: You are adopting boys? I thought China only had girls to adopt. 

Answer #1: The deep-rooted perception that only girls need adoptive families is, however, probably the most commonly cited reason for the gender gap. And for a period of time, this was true. In the early 1990s, when China first opened to international adoption, a disproportionate number of girls in China were abandoned as an unintended consequence of the country’s one-child policy. Recognizing the need, adoptive parents from around the world stepped up to welcome these girls into their families.
But today, for a number of reasons, this is no longer the case. The perception that girls are in greater need of families is in fact now a myth.
“China used to be all about girls,” says Kris Bales, Holt’s China adoption counselor and intake manager. “Ten to 20 years ago, we rarely saw boys being released for adoption. But now we are seeing more boys than girls, and we are placing equal numbers.”
Today, the greater need for families has shifted from girls to boys in China. Although just as many boys are abandoned every year, because most adoptive families request a girl, boys wait far longer to join a family.
There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to adopt a girl — girls still need adoptive families and the joy they can bring to families is priceless. But there is an imbalance, one that leaves boys waiting longer for adoptive families.
“We want families to know that they can still wait for a girl, if that’s what they truly want,” says Kris. “But we’re hoping they make a more conscious decision, based not only on what they want, but on what the need is.”
So few families request to adopt a boy that today, being a boy is considered a special need. (http://holtinternational.org/blog/2016/02/blessed-with-a-boy/)

I also found this article, which articulates this answer so well, I'm not going to even attempt to answer it on my own. It is worth 5 minutes of your time to read the article, I promise.

Another host family put this amazing video together about adoption and hosting. I thought that I would share it here.