Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Blog!

We've moved to one blog:
www.arnoldfamily7.blogspot.com
see you there!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Our Christmas Eve was filled with smiles and laughter here at the Arnold house. I cannot begin to tell you the JOY and DELIGHT that oozes out of this little Haddie Hope. She is a true gift of JOY! Every time you look at her she smiles. We went out for Mexican last night, an Arnold favorite...seems that it may need to "grow" on Haddie. She wasn't too crazy about it, but every time we looked at her, she just grinned. Our waiter was quite "taken" with her. He kept checking in with her to make sure she was doing okay. He would use some Spanish with her which cracked me up. Why not? Let's just throw another language her way to utterly confuse her.

I got helped her into her "I Love Santa" jammies and she was thrilled with them, offering some hearty "Ho! Ho! Ho's!" As I carried my little monkey down the stairs on my back her squeals of joy in my ear where loud and delightful.

Our hearts are filled with JOY! We are overwhelmed by this little gift of JOY that has been delivered to us just in time to celebrate our DELIVERER...our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!! He is mighty to save! We pray that as you celebrate His gift of salvation in your home that you realize the fullness of His JOY!

From the fullness of His LOVE we have all received one BLESSING after another...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GREAT THANKS TO OUR FATHER!!! WE ARE HOME!

Wow! What a difference 24 hours makes...actually more like 48 hours.
Pictures to Follow

How thankful we are to God that he has been so good and merciful. He hears our cries and answers! We have seen so much evidence of His hand upon us. I am reminded of Psalm 126:

Psalm 126

1 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2 We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Thank you to each of you who warmly welcomed home our little girl at the airports, in Chicago and Bloomington. You have blessed us beyond words. Each of your hugs and faces overwhelmed us with comfort and joy. There were quite a few elves that came to our house while we were gone. THANK YOU!!! You have bountifully blessed us with goodies and our cupboards are FULL. We did not have one need from the second we hit US soil. The gratitude we hold for each one of you who prayed for us as we were in China and prayed us home, is beyond what words can express. Thank you!

As I am sure you aware from the earlier posts, I battled with a kidney stone on the way home. The Lord provided for my physical need when we landed in Shanghai after our flight from Beijing. We were quite the sight! This big crew and this lady who could not stand up and writhing in pain!! You can just imagine all of us out on the tarmac of the Shanghai airport with doctors around us and the ambulance waiting to take me to the hospital, which of course I refused. There was a moment when one of the flight attendants thought I was having a baby...I think that would have been easier. Oh, how thankful that we can laugh about it now. God provided some medication which took the edge off the pain so that I could bear the 18 hours that lay ahead of us until we were home. All glory to God that the stone passed about an hour before we landed. We opted out of our last flight home and had drivers ready for us at the airport in Chicago...THANK YOU Dad A, Mom and Dad K, and Barton!!!! This morning we found out that the flight we were to arrive on in Bloomington did not land until midnight. Once again, thank you Lord!

Our last couple of days in Beijing were wonderful. We were able to take Haddie to the Forbidden City and The Great Wall. She had not even heard of either of them, but seemed to enjoy her time at each. Actually, she enjoys herself just about anywhere she goes. At the Great Wall we took a chair lift up and took a toboggan ride down. We did this last time when we were in China and had a blast. Haddie and I tobogganed together on the way down. We laughed our heads off! She just kept chattering away in Chinese. About every 10 words I would hear a mama, but outside of that I have NO IDEA what she was saying, but I am confident she was having a good time.

We had the privilege to go back to New Day, Libi's foster home. It was so sweet to go back and see those who prayed over her and cared for her much of her life. (Talk about being overwhelmed with gratitude!) We were able to meet Elizabeth, a sweet little girl with a heart condition that we sponsor. She is almost ten, and not yet matched with family. It broke my heart to look into her sweet face and at the faces of those children who still wait. You can't walk into a room of children like that at New Day and not leave changed. It doesn't matter if you have adopted or not. You just can't imagine these sweet little ones who go to bed at night without a mommy and daddy to tuck them in. Last night I was struck by how deeply my daughter has needed a HOME and the love of a FAMILY. You know Haddie and I have been a little slow in the bonding department, but since we have been home there have been HUGE strides. After she saw her room last night she ran to me and gave me a huge hug and kiss. She went to each room, soaking it all in and giving me hugs and kisses...she was a whole new girl! I believe she felt very happy and secure. I think she understood that she really was HOME, and she has needed to be HOME her whole life! No child goes without that need. We were created to have a mom and dad and without it there is a void.

Tucking my girls in last night was precious! We sang and laughed...it was truly "perfect". Haddie was so peaceful and content...she was with her FAMILY and she was HOME!

Thank you Jesus! How GREAT YOU ARE!!!

Side note...because Haddie is older it is necessary for her bonding process that we be intentional in limiting her physical interaction outside of Brad and myself. She will not be allowed to hang on or extend affection outside of mama and baba. Please understand if we have to pull her off of you or run interference to keep her off of you. :) Thanks for your understanding.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arrival Time

by Sherry

Brad called and they were loading up at Ohare at 7:00.

Amy thinks she passed her kidney stone on the plane, so she is feeling better. PTL!!

I294 is backed up, so I wouldn't think they would be in to the BN Airport before 9:15or 9:30 at the earliest. I'll post again if we get anymore updates.

See you all in awhile! :)

Prayers Needed

posted by Sherry

Amy's mom called to say that Brad called as they were boarding their long leg home. Amy is passing a kidney stone. PRAYERS ARE NEEDED!!!

Amy's folks will meet them in Chicago, to get meds to her as soon as they come in. They will then drive home from Chicago.

They are still planning to meet everyone at the BN airport. We'll update on here with arrival times.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

See you tomorrow

Well, here we come. We are all packed and ready for bed. We will wake up and begin the trek back to the states. We fly from Beijing to Shanghai in the morning and then leave Shanghai for Chicago about 6:00pm. We arrive in Chicago at 5:00 pm on flight AA0288 (American). We will have about a 3 hours layover and then take flight number AA3949 from Chicago to Bloomington. The planned arrival in BMI is 9:00 pm. We will start a call chain if there are delays.

I would ask for prayer for Amy. She has really struggled with anxiety on the flights. The obvious other requests would be for Libi to be seizure free and that the girls would get some sleep. We love you all and look forward to seeing you in Bloomington.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Haddie's first trip to a zoo!



Well, we did the Guangzhou Safari today, and Haddie loved it. As we were getting on the bus this am, we had our guide Grace ask Haddie if she had ever been to a zoo before and she said NO. Amy and I cannot imagine a girl almost 7 and she has never been to see animals at the zoo. She stood almost the entire 1 hour bus ride because she was so excited. When we arrived we first took a train ride through the exhibits, where we saw herds of tigers, white bengaled tigers, lions, deer, elephant, wildebeest, giraffe and many more animals. It was the coolest zoo I had ever been to! Check out the pictures... Haddie was able to feed giraffe, elephants and a baby tiger.

We ended Guangzhou on a great note. Praise the Lord and thanks for all of your prayer. We are all feeling great. Libi is about 80%, but doing much much better.

We have our bags packed and will leave for the airport at 7:30 am tomorrow. We are looking forward to the last leg of our trip in Beijing, and cannot believe that we are one week from Christmas. It was a little surreal today, walking around a zoo in China in 55 degree weather, listening to Christian Christmas carols. By the way Rob, you would be very jealous of the panda exibit... only 2 sleeping out of 10. And nobody with the "guts" to wake them up with a stick. Miss you guys!

We are going to go to the Forbidden City tomorrow, and the Great Wall on Sunday. We are excited to go see New Day on Monday, so that Libi can see her nanny and we can visit with all of New Day kids. Boy oh boy do we long for the day that we can celebrate with you all the homecoming of our beautiful Haddie. She is becoming more and more at ease with us. The fake laughs and insecure grins are dwindling and being replaced with sincere affection.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Morning from Guangzhou



Well today is a new day. Amy is feeling better, Brad, Haddie, and Joel are good today, chronic cough excepting (Smoke and Smog byproducts). Libi actually has looked Chinese the last couple of days because her eyes are so swollen. She seems to be a little better today though. Jack just came in a got some tylenol, but I think he is doing a little better as well. Jake and G-ma are MIA at the moment so we will count them on the good side due to optomism. That makes 8 on an upward trend, you can't argue the power of prayer. Thanks, we can surely feel your coverage.

Joel, Haddie and I had a good day yesterday of playing at the park and milling around the island. Grandma went with us for lunch into the city and we played on escaltors and stairs for a while after McDonalds for lunch. I think that Haddie's favorite thing to eat so far is a burger and fries. Of course... she is Libi's sister. I was up early looking for coffee and wireless this am, and found neither, but did get encouraged by a quick phone call.

Many have been asking about Haddie's TB test... she failed the skin test, but passed the X-Ray. She was very brave, and got a sucker for her courage. Today is the swearing ceremony at the Consulate. We look forward to that. There are so many families of mulitiple adoptive children here with us at the White Swan. It is amazing what a wide range of people go through this process. The most common theme is the a burden for the orphan, put on families by the one true God.

We appreciate your continued prayer, we are overwhelmed by the love and support you all have been to us. We are ready to be home with you all, so that we can get Haddie in her new environment. She is a beautiful young lady, who had lots of energy. You are all gonna love her.

Sick... Please pray!

We have had about 3 miserable days here due to illness. Amy, Jacob, Jack and Libi have been down all day. Joel finally got back on his feet yesterday. Who would have thought that Grandma could outlast all of us. There are a miriad of sinus related issues for all of us. We appreciate you prayers.

Thanks Brad

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You're Gonna Love Me



So you know the song "you're gonna love me"???? Trying to post it to the blog we'll see. It has been going through my head all day! : What a change in my relationship with little Miss Haddie. FIRST ALL GLORY TO GOD THE FATHER!!!!! He has given wisdom and understanding and we are blessed. A day and a half ago I threw up my hands and told the Lord that HE would be the ONE to bind us together. I said to Brad, "Not by my might, not by my power, but by HIS Spirit" would Little Miss bond with her mama.

Thank you, my sweet friend Irene, for your words were used of God. It is crazy how your emotions can get the best of you. I feel like everything I have read, heard and known about bonding and attachment has been wiped out of my brain. Brad and I got some determination yesterday. We decided that she needed me, whether she knew it or not. It is important for her to bond with mama first.

Yesterday I took her out. I had seen these little mama dolls with Asian babes on their backs and I knew she would love it! She picked one out. The service clerk knew this was a moment he could take advantage of and stepped over to Haddie with a pretty dress. I was NOT happy. I walked out of there with 3 things only intending to get the doll but what is a desperate mama to do???!! Our next stop was ice cream. We sat at a bench and shared it. I Iong to ask her how she's feeling and understand. I know the day will come, so for now I was happy to run my fingers through her hair and pat her leg communicating what I could through my touch and my eyes. Daddy hung in the shadows all night and even left a couple of times and she did not protest.

Today she has not even questioned that she will walk with mama and holds my hand. Brad and grandma have shifted their full focus to Libi. I have done everything with and for her. We had a lot of fun this morning with beads and princesses. She talks to me and I cannot understand, but pretend that I do. We have a radio in the bathroom that has become "our thing". We go in there and dance. She thinks it is very funny when I try to sing the Chinese songs! I really hope they are appropriate! Basically, she thinks I am crazy, but I think she likes it.

Forgive me if I repeat anything that has already been posted. Brad and I have been tag teaming with the posts. On Thursday Haddie did break down and grieve. She cried from the depths of her little heart. As I held herthat's right....I was holding her for that oneshe just melted into my arms. Brad and I were overwhelmed for her broken heart. We knew she was so full of fear. When we moved out of that awful couple of hours you could see a difference in her countenance. Her spirit was lighter, for sure. We are so thankful that the Lord moved in her to release that emotion. We know that is SO good for her.
New Haddie observations:
She likes to sit with her legs crossed. So ADORABLE!
She still napsso WONDERFUL! We think she sleeps a lot. That may be due to 2 thingsgrief and poor nutrition. She sleeps 9-10 hours at night and napping at least 2 hours in the day.

She is desperately trying to figure out if the boys love and accept her especially the "big guy"

She likes to eat her chips first. It takes her a long time to eat. She washes a lot of food down with her drink. It is quite a process.

She still loves that backpack!

She is beautiful!

She enjoys posing for pictures; maybe because she knows she is beautiful! :
The boys have felt a bit under the weather. Joel ran a fever this morning, but we started antibiotics and he seems to be feeling better this afternoon. Libi and Haddie have little colds, but Libi is still on the antibiotics and I feel like she is doing well. I am thankful that the Lord has blessed us with good health and strength. SO THANKFUL!

Tomorrow we will get Haddie's TB test read. It looks like it is positive to me; although I am not convinced that it was administered correctly. We know that she had one at the orphanage before we came and it was a negative result. Keep this as a matter of prayer.

Guangzhou is sunny and about 75 degrees! It is lovely, besides the construction dust EVERYWHERE! It is nice to be able to get out. I think that helps the boys a lot!! It is so FULL of adoptive families!!! Almost all of the children special needs and MANY families who have more than one adopted child from China. We are so full of rejoicing over each of these children who no longer orphaned!!!! Eating breakfast in this huge room in the White Swan hotel is quite a site to take in. You would cry if you could see it.

Blessings and love to all of you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Guangzhou... Under Construction!



This is both literal and metaphorical. Almost every building is surrounded by the bamboo scaffold and green netting. All streets are half blocked and torn apart. They are preparing for the Asia Games next year in Guangzhou, and they are resurfacing almost all of the buildings on Shaumin Island. What a mess...

The White Swan is everything that we had heard it would be. A very nice hotel with great amenities and horribly small rooms for a family of 8. We have 2 rooms with 2 rollaways, 1 crib and 8 large suitcases - TIGHT. We rolled in here about 11:00 pm last night, and it was about 12:30 by the time we were settled in for bed. We woke up this morning, had a great breakfast and then off to the Clinic. What a zoo. There are over one hundred families here this week bringing home babies. So the clinic was packed, although they were incredibly efficient with the check-up portion of the process compared with when we went through it with Libi. However, evidently the new Hague regulations require all immunizations be caught up before the visa can be issued. So poor Haddie had to get 4 shots and a TB test after the check-up. She was terrified, but did not even flinch. She was very brave.

It is interesting how she interacts with the folks that speak Chinese to her. It is almost like she can't stand to hear it. She won't look at them and almost never responds when she is asked a question. She also refuses to use Chop sticks, unless there is nothing else she can use, like when eating fried noodles or something. We think that she is just ready to embrace her new culture. We just found out that she can write at least the first 12 letters of the alphabet (that is all she put on the etch-a sketch before getting bored).

All of you ladies are probably wondering about the bonding between Amy and Haddie. It is getting much better. You know my wife and the incredible amount of love that is bottled up inside of her ready to poor out on this sweet little girl, but just like they way Haddie sucks slowly from a straw because of her cleft, she simply cannot injest very much love in one sitting. She is taking affection on her terms and can only haddle small doses When we are out of the hotel room she is insecure and immediately reaches for my hand. We are slowly weening her off of baba to moma while we are outside. In fact this afternoon, thanks to Irene's strong recommendation (thank you mam), Amy took Haddie out shopping for a doll. She left the room without even looking back at me. She had a great time and through colussion with the shop owner, she managed to increase her wardrobe nicely. (I think that Irene should reimburse us for that one) So, overall I would assess bonding at about a 7 with Amy, but you know my wife is not satisfed with that. It is incredibly hard for her to take rejection.

Papa Johns is coming to the lobby, so that is all for now. Please know we sincerely appreciate your prayers and encouragement. Thanks...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

About Haddie

Thank you ONCE AGAIN for prayers and encouragement! It is so hard to put into words what it is like to sit down in the morning and hear from you. I just wept this morning over how wonderful it was to hear your words! It truly is water to our soul!! You have spoken truth, you have spoken His Word, and we are so encouraged.
Let me just share a few things about this little girl:

*She has a smile that makes you want to smile back.

*She likes to sing. We have not heard it a lot, but she has quietly sung while on the bus to and from places. Yesterday, when we were at Walmart she darted for the children's DVD/CD section and grabbed this little DVD. It is much like a Chinese Teletubbies. It teaches English like Dora teaches Spanish. Anyway, she LOVES it and we feel that it is comforting to her.

*She is strong! You can see that so much courage has been required of her little life. I can see in her eyes this desire to be cared for, but feeling that she can only depend on herself. I am amazed that she allows me to help her as much as she does. She seems to really like it when I get her dressed and put lotion on her.

*She likes to pick up and make sure everything is in its place. She can fold clothing and blankets very well. She straightens Libi's crib for her. She puts things away when she is done with them. I hope that I do not allow her to get lazy in this area. She can teach the boys a thing or two!

*She desires to please. This morning she found some candy in her backpack. She began to eat it and we had to explain to her that she needed to wait. It really hurt her. I think she thought we were upset with her. She pulled into herself for awhile. We made sure that candy came back out at the appropriate time. She does like her candy!

*She is scared to receive love. When she initiates it is okay. When initiated by others she seems to get "silly". She will act babyish and give a fake giggle. There is just this guard up and you can tell she is not being herself.

*She has a stubborn side to her. :) This morning Brad had a moment while we were out that he could not hold her hand and she WOULD NOT take mine. She was pulling and smacking my hand away and she began to cry. It is hard to know what to do in the moment. I simply wanted her to know that if Baba cannot hold her hand she needs to be willing to hold mine and I will keep her safe. We needed our guide to step in and do some translating. She would not make eye contact, but the lip was out and she had her heels dug in! She understood and I just backed away and gave her space with her Baba this morning.

*She is very good with her little sister, very nurturing. Last night Libi was playing on the floor and getting into her things. She simply moved to the bed with her things and went back to Libi and gave her something to play with.

*She likes to be silly with Joel and Jack. They are very helpful in tiring her out! They are learning how to let her know when they have had enough, because I think she would go ALL day if they let her. She is still trying to win Jacob over. She will walk past him and touch his feet or handit's pretty cute. (I am SO proud of my boys! They are doing so well. This is a huge adjustment for Brad and I being grown ups, and they are doing great! Also there is NO WAY we could do this without grandma!!! )

Last night Haddie slept soundly as usual. About 5AM she reached out and called "Mama". I grabbed her and she just melted into me. She laid with me for an hour and half. At times it seemed that she could not get close enough. At one point while she was asleep she was softly crying. I cannot tell you how broken I am for her hurt, yet so excited to see the Lord do His healing work in her.

I was very excepted in the room this AM. I was beckoned many times. I saw her letting that guard down, but again, this is mostly just in the room that we see this. It is not that she doesn't like to go out. She gets very excited, gets her coat and heads for the door. It just seems to overwhelm her when we go out.
The area where her palette has been repaired seems really red and irritated. I have put hydrocortisone on it, but it is not helping. Any suggestions?

It seems that she has had very poor nutrition as well. When you touch her you cannot feel muscle. She is very thin! She is eating well for us. She still will only use silverware, even when we use chopsticks. She has very good table manners. She struggles with the "bendy" straws, but again we see how she has figured out how to cope.

I don't think I have commented on how tall she is. I brought size 6 for her, but think she will do well in 7's. She enjoys picking out her new clothes each day. She likes "bling" and anything "girly".

What about us???? Well, I think you can all gather that it is not going how we thought it would, but does it ever? I don't think you can fully prepare. Brad and I are just taking it moment by moment, and praying that God will bind us ALL together. I think we just ache for what she must be feeling right now. We don't want to "force" anything on her, but we want her to grow in security with us as her family.

Again, I thank you for praying.

We are filled with HOPE for we know He is the God of all HOPE!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not the mamma!

Thank you everyone for the comments, scriptures and prayers! You have no idea what it means when you are a world away and just had an almost 7 year old girl birthed into your arms. Brad and I felt overwhelmed many times today. We know that He has raised you up back at home to support us in word and intersession. This sweet daughter that has been given to us is a broken girl. She is clearly very resilient but afraid of intimacy. This morning was rough between her and me. She did not want me to help her with anything. I finally lost it for a while. I needed to grieve over the rejection and let the Lord comfort my heart. After a good cry and conversation with my Savior my wonderful mother in law and I went shopping! It is amazing what a new coat and Dove chocolate can do! : Seriously though, God swept in and took over with His mighty hand.

It seems fairly typical that day number 3 can be pretty rough for these kids. Haddie just seemed to go from being open and happy to completely shut down within minutes. She did this for most of the day. Tonight after dinner I took her into a Christmas shop in the hotel and we oohed and ahhed at the pretties. She repeated a lot of English today and I got her to say Santa and "Ho Ho Ho". Pretty adorable! When we got back to the room she let me give her a bath and get her ready for bed. She was very warm and pleasant and I would even say, seemed to like me. LOL!

I was lying by her early this morning just praying over her and thinking about her little life. She was chosen for us and we were chosen for her. I have laughed the last two days about something our guide explained to us on the way to be untied with our children. She told us that some of us would be "the chosen one" and some of us would not. She explained that some of the children may only want mama and some may only want baba. She told us not to take it personal. She said we needed to take the responsibility and be a grown up. Do you remember the show, "Dinosaurs"? The baby dinosaur on that show used to whack the daddy dinosaur in the head and say, "Not the mama!" Boy, have I felt like I have been whacked in the head and told I am NOT THE MAMA! : But, I AM the chosen one! Our family has been chosen for Haddie. Let me tell you what breaks my heart.there are 143 million out there who tomorrow will wake up with the reality that they are not the chosen one. How many days did my daughter face that reality? NO MORE! Those days are over! It is her time! Just as her namesake, Hadassah, (Esther), she has been raised up for such a time as this!

Keep prayingwe thank God for you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 2 Down



We are through our first 24 hours God is all over this little girl! Bedtime last night was great! She has really taken a liking to Brad. We told her bath last night in Chinese and she went right into the bathroom with him and started to get undressed. She loved the pretty nightgown we had for her. She gave everyone kisses goodnight and hopped into bed! Easy as that! Really! I must say it was something brushing her teeth. I don't think they have seen a toothbrush often, if at all. She allowed me to sleep with her. She slept well and peaceful all night. When she woke up this morning it was early due to her restless little sis. Haddie was pleasant and I tickled and hugged her a bit.

Today was busy. We had a couple of appointments. After the appointments we needed to have lunch. She has made it quite clear that she is okay with mama in the room, but out in public she wants her baba(daddy). I thought I was prepared for the rejection, but let me tell you, it's emotional! It's like carrying this child in your belly for 9 months and out they come and you can't hold them or snuggle them, but you have to watch someone else do it. God keeps reminding me that it is not about me. I am SO thankful that she is having her needs met in her baba. I know my days to love on her fully will come. She does allow me to help her with going to the bathroom and getting dressed, but I seem to have a "role" if that makes sense. The boys have been really sensitive and keep reassuring me that they like me! :
As for Haddie and the boys, GOLDEN! She is crazy about them. She freely smiles, giggles and hugs with them. Grandma is okay with her too. It really just seems to be me she isn't crazy about. LOL! She is very good with Libi, and just tonight beginning to play and open up with her more.

She loves to play babies. She also loves her backpack of things. She makes sure she has it with her everywhere and enjoys taking things in and out of it constantly. (braniff's, how we miss you! Reminds us of Izzy Ting!) Momshe carries her water bottle and it always drinking!

Lunch today taught us somethingwe came back to the room and Haddie was ready for her nap. We were told that she still naps in the afternoon. She got right into bed and napped well. I woke her up and she was scratching at her hand and it was red. Then, she started digging at her neck. Well, I immediately pulled out the Benadryl and looked up the word medicine. She took it like a trooper. Our thought at this point is that she may have an allergy to shellfish. Her symptoms have subsided and hopefully we won't see anymore of that.

Tonight we went to a Chinese like Walmart. It was a lot for Haddie to take in. We misunderstood what we were doing, of course, count on us to do the wrong thing. Anyway, in hindsight, it would have been better not to take her. She was okay, just "shut down". Baba let her choose a toy and bought it. A few minutes later she was saying "Baba" and dragging him by the hand to the Barbies. Needless to say we had to end all purchases at that point. She was good about it. It is just hard to tell her no and not be able to really explain why. We are very thankful for the little bit of Chinese we have learned. It has helped us a lot. It does seem to bother her when I use it often though. I only use it when necessary. This morning at breakfast she picked up her chopsticks and then quickly set them aside when she saw that we had spoons and forks. Not that we wouldn't have used chopsticks, it's just what they bring the crazy American's unless you specifically ask for chopsticks. : It just seems to us that she desires to "fit in" with us however she can.

So... we feel that she has developed amazing coping skills in her little life. We cannot tell you how much we FEEL your prayers over us! Libi was acting a little out of it tonight and I was overcome with fear. I just cried out to Jesus and within a short time she was coming around and doing well. I am confident that in those moments God was raising up people to pray for us. THANK YOU! We love you and continue to covet your prayers.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gotcha





Here it is. All is going well. She is a doll! She has a lot of energy!! :) She is very resiliant. You can tell that she has had to be strong and survive. She was very excited to see us. She showed us the pictures in her book and showed us each one by one. She is very happy to have a BIG family. She did get a bit overwhelmed and hit me once. Our GOTCHA was a little crazy...13 families...13 children...one room. At one point she pointed to her bottomand said somthing I did not understand, but I quickly figured out she needed to go to the bathroom. Squatty potty...quite funny!! No toilet paper, just a couple shakes. As we left the bathroom I picked her up and she kissed my cheek. Heaven!

When we left to get on the bus she did very well. She grabed my hand right away. She was very good about minding us.



We took her to McDonald's. As we went to leave it was cold and I wanted her to put on her hat, but she did not want to. I did not want to force her. We were walking up the stairs and I looked at her and said, "McDonald's"....she looked at me and smiled the greatest smile I've ever seen in my life! She knew what she wanted right away! She pointed to fries first, then hamberger, then ice cream!!! When we left McDonald's she wanted her gloves and hat...and SCARF! I think she was cold on the way there. :)

She has attached to Brad a bit more and is sad that he is not in the room right now. She is packing up all her things and I expect she will make a break for the door that BaBa (daddy) went out.

I must get in on the balloon fight that is taking place...
Thank you for your prayers. We have seen and felt God all over this girl!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A few pictures as promised!

Counting Down the Hours!

OK...so we PROMISE pictures tomorrow! :) We have been really tired. The trip has taken a toll on Libi. She is good, but just very tired. She has a nice crib tonight and is already sleeping soundly.

We arrived in Haddie's home province today. It was a smooth trip here. It is so exciting to be SO close to our daughter! We are praying for our sweet Xiao Jie...hoping that she will have the peace of Jesus tomorrow. We will be united with her around 10 AM. We are in a large travel group. There will be 12 other families receiving their children tomorrow in the same place at the same time. It could be a bit crazy.

We are brushing up on our Chinese.

The time has come! We are praising and rejoicing! Our God Saves!

See you tomorrow....thank you for praying...so felt AND so needed!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Silk Market... almost!

So last time we were in Chungua we had a nice pleasant stroll through the Silk Market with Jacob, looking at the silk worms producing their cocoon's and browsing through the store looking at the clothing. We though Joel and Jack would just love to see that too. So, after a morning in Tienanmen Square and early afternoon in the Hotel Pool, we deceided to take TWO cabs to the silk market. Armed with notes from the Hotel Service desk Jacob, Libi, Joel and I hopped into the first cab. We traveled about minutes and then were let out on the other side of the street from the Market. We waited for a bit and then assumed that Grandma, Amy and Jack must have been let out in front of the market. We made the trek under the street and arrived in the front of a completely chaotic 5 story store. No Arnolds in sight. I hand Libi to Jacob, then Joel and I go outside for a quick peak to see if they are outside. Nope!

Back into the store, Jacob hands Libi to me and says I think she may have pooped. What an understatement. I look at my arms and I am covered in poop. No diaper bag, that was in the car with mom. She is busting out all over. We walk out to the street jump back in the cab and head to the hotel. Half way home the cabbie discretely rolls his window down. (mind you it is 29 degrees outside.) What an afternoon! Brad Stoller - I hope you are reading this.

Now we are just laying down, praying that Libi will sleep some tonight. We leave for Zhengzhou at 10:00 tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We Arrived!

We made it, a little worse for the wear, but nonetheless we are here. We are stuggling with our blog, because it seems as though even the posting page that we could get at last time we were in China is not available. Maybe it is just the firewall in this hotel??? Anyway, thanks for posting this Kevin... We made it to the airport with our 7 people and 8 bags on time and were blessed immediately when the AA agent was able to get us 4 bulkhead seats on the flight to Shanghia from Chicago. What an answer to prayer that was, and oh by the way Libi was an absolute angel on the plane. To add some humor to that concern, God put us by two fairly loud other kids, that even if Libi was talking she would have been drawned out by those two.

The flight was incredibly long, as we flew over the top of Beijing on our way to Shanghai, Grandma, Jack and Joel were wanting parachutes so they could avoid the next nine hours it would take to get back to the same spot in the air. We did get into Shanghai on time and had our first Chinese meal. (Well partly Japanese as well). I tricked the boys a little by ordering fried rice which seemed like it just had fish in it, which they really liked until I was honest and told them that there was eel in it... next time I will keep the truth to myself.

We had a pretty rough night of sleep, it was 1:30 am by the time we laid down and Miss Libi slept for about two hours and has been partying ever since. Hopefully it won't take too much time for her to get back on China time. We have a pretty casual day ahead of us, so hopefully we can catch up on some needed rest. Thanks for praying us here, Praise God, He is taking care of every little detail.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Haddie Hope Here We Come!


The bags are packed and we are ready to go!
"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Gen 28:15
He is faithful to accomplish His purposes. Praise the Lord!
Below is a quick snapshot of the next couple of days, to let you know where we will be:
12/3 - 6:00am - Fly from Bloomington to Chicago
12/3 - 10:30am - Fly from Chicago to Shanghai
12/4 - 3:00pm - Arrive in Shanghai
12/4 - 8:00pm - Fly from Shanghai to Beijing
12/4 - 11:59ish Hit our pillow in Beijing (PTL)
12/5 - Is a rest day and we will meet most of our travel group
12/6 - Fly to Zhengzhou (Henan Capital City)
12/7 - Gotcha Day
12/8 - Adoption Day...
We will update the rest of the trip in a future post. Time to try and get some sleep now. Don't forget to pray that there are 8 first class seats left that have our names on them.

My Prince of Peace!

Nothing sends me flying more than God's Word! This was my devotional this AM:

I AM THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
As I said to My disciples, I say also to you: Peace be with you. Since I am your constant Companion, My Peace is steadfastly with you. When you keep your focus on Me, you experience both My Presence and My Peace. Worship Me as King of kings, Lord of lords, and Prince of Peace.

You need My Peace each moment to accomplish My purposes in your life. Sometimes you are tempted to take shortcuts, in order to reach your goal as quickly as possible. But if the shortcut requires turning your back on My peaceful Presence, you must choose the longer route. Walk with Me along paths of Peace; enjoy the journey in My Presence.


Isaiah 9:6

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

John 20:19-21

19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."


taken from:
Jesus Calling
by Sarah Young

Monday, November 30, 2009

We are going to get our girl!

2-3And then God answered: "Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It's on its way. It will come right on time.
4"Look at that man, bloated by self-importance—
full of himself but soul-empty.
But the person in right standing before God
through loyal and steady believing
is fully alive, really alive.
Habakkuk 2:2-4
the message

I cannot contain my excitement! We are one week away from our GOTCHA day. How overwhelmed I am that the Lord has allowed us to bring her home before Christmas.

I must admit to a little anxiety today. Last night Libi had a pretty significant seizure. It necessitated a 911 call and trip to the ER. Looking at a LONG trip to China spinning off of a night like last night...anxious. I go back to what the Word tells me: "Be anxious for NOTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, let your requests be known to God." Will you join me? Pray with us for Libi's health and that I will totally trust God's Sovereignty over her. I know this can be a huge distraction to the JOY that lies ahead, and we know the JOY STEALER that creeps about. We pray against him!

"May the God of HOPE fill you with JOY and peace as you TRUST in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13


Now...the great details!!! We will be leaving bright and early on the the 3rd...Thursday and will return on the 22nd! WOW! That is right, 19 days! We will be sure to post our itinerary. We will return to Bloomington on the 22nd so stay tuned for details. We would love to have you help us welcome home Haddie Hope Jie!

It was 4 years ago that the Lord and I had a serious conversation. I was quite weary after 6 months of wrestling over whether He was prompting us to adopt or not. On November 17th, 2005, I was getting ready for the day and talking with the Lord. I smacked my hairbrush on the sink and said, "Lord, if you want us to adopt then just tell us and we will do it, but tell us! In fact, tell us this weekend. I just want to know" Through those tears of frustration and fear I had no idea how my cries were rattling the heavenlies. For tell us He did! That Sunday, November 19th we visited a church that was holding "Adoption Sunday" We had no idea! As I shook and cried through the service I KNEW the Lord was speaking. He specifically addressed every fear and question I had raised to Him about this journey of adoption. I was Awestruck by the wonder of such a personal God.

Then, the journey began, and He led us to foster care. As we prepared to foster He brought us a lovely young unwed mother. She became our daughter as we loved her through the process of giving her son up to be adopted. While she lived with us God brought a beautiful little Hispanic girl to be our own as well. She was ours for 18 glorious months!

We have loved and let go, and it has been painful and wonderful. He has filled us with Joy and Blessing! He has never left us, and has provided for our every need. As we watched our sweet girl transition back to her mama, the Lord directed our path to Libi Faith. What a gift at the most perfect time! Before we even left for China to bring home our Libi Love we knew that we would soon go back. We felt certain that the Lord had another daughter there for us.

One year ago He took us on a journey that twisted and turned, but led us to the wonderful, precious Hadassah Hope Jie! What a work in 4 years!! I laugh at what I told the Lord in the beginning...that I did not want a girl, that I wanted them from the first day they were born, and they better stay FOREVER! How He has changed, and continues to change my heart. In the beginning, it was so about "me", my desires and wants. What the Lord has opened my eyes to, that it is so about HIM! He is at work, and we are the privileged ones to join in that.

147 million minus ONE....and counting

thank you for joining us in bringing her home!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

TA!!!!!!!!!!

Oh it is with great JOY that I announce we have received our long awaited travel approval! We will be leaving for China on December 4th!!! We will return on the 20th...HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! We are so very thankful that God has moved and our time to meet Miss Haddie has come. Oh sweet Haddie...may the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY...we are coming baby...your family is coming!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Unto the Least"

Check out this video that expresses the truths of God's Word. The needs of the Orphan are REAL and GREAT. Our hearts should break for them and stir us to act. The song is by Ginger Millermon. Much of what you see in this video is from the day they were united with their daughter in India for the first time...BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO WILL GO...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYsh3C9v1r8

When does it become enough?
When does it become too much for us to look away?
To look away
What are we waiting for?
Why does there have to more who suffer while we wait?
Why do we hesitate?

Who will cry?
Who will go?
Who will touch?
and who will show?
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.

The orphan child, a broken heart, a desperate soul, that should tear us apart.
What will we do today? What will we do today?

Who will cry?
Who will go?
Who will touch?
and who will show?
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.

Blessed is the man. Blessed is the man.
Who will hold,
who will reach,
blessed is the man who will teach.

Will you cry?
Will you go?
Will you touch?
and will you show?
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.
The heart of Christ, the hands of Christ, the love of Christ unto the least.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

UPDATE!!!!!!!!!







Well, as we sit and HOPE for our TA (travel approval) we got the next best thing...an update!!! WOW! We are so in love with our little Haddie. What a pretty little girl she is! She looks so tiny to me. I am passing along the new information we have about her and the new pictures. Feel free to ohhh and ahhh with us over our daughter...we really don't mind.




Can she read?
yes.


Does she like books?

Yes.

Does she like to wear dresses or pants?

Dress.

Does she enjoy coloring?

Yes.

Does she like to play with dolls?

Yes.

Does she like to play or care for younger children?

Yes.

What is her favorite song?

Gan En De Xin (grateful heart), Wei Xiao (smile), etc. some children songs.

What is her favorite color?

Red.

What is her favorite thing in school?

She likes to play with play dough, slides, swivel chair, skate board, etc. she likes art and craft, physical training.

Is she excited about her family?

Yes. She is very excited.


follow this link to one of her favorite songs...Gan En De Xin (grateful heart),

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Package #3...and hopefully the last!

Sweet Xiao Jie,

I hope that you are doing well. I hope that we do not have to wait too much longer to come to China. I am so excited to meet you. I think about you every day. We have done our some of our last papers and we hope we will be there in November

We got some new pictures of you in a beautiful green dress. You looked just like a princess! We were told that you are called “flower”. I like that, because you are very pretty, just like a flower. It looks like you are growing tall. You’re brothers are very tall. You will love having them to hold you up high. You’re sister is very tiny. She loves to look at your picture. She always smiles when she looks at it. I think you will be very good at taking care of her. Do you like to play ball? Do you like to play with dolls? Your sister, Libi, likes those things very much.

We are sending you a pretty pink sweater to wear when it starts to get cool. When you wear it think that we will soon be in China and you will be with your family. We hope it will not be too cold before we get to come. We are also sending some balloons and chocolate for you to share with your friends there.

I want to share some more things with you about America that we may do different than China. In China, you use chopsticks to eat and we use a spoon, fork, and knife:
inserted a picture for her
I had a hard time learning to use chopsticks. I think you will learn how to use a spoon and fork easily.

We take baths and showers here in America to get clean. I am not sure what you do to wash, but a bathtub is a big tub that holds water that you sit in and wash. This is your little sister’s favorite way to get clean. She loves to splash in the water and play with toys. It may seem scary to you at first if you have not taken a bath in a tub before, but I think you will like it.

You will have all new things to wear when we come. It may feel scary to leave all of your clothes and shoes that you have now. We want you to know that you are safe with us. We are your new family and we love you very much. We want to take care of you. We will help you when you feel afraid.

When we come to China it will be busy. We will have a lot of places to go and papers to sign so we can bring you home to the United States. Remember that you will need to hold our hand to stay close to us. We will have time for playing too. We will stay in a hotel. It is a building that has many rooms in it with beds. This is where we will sleep and play. In the mornings we will eat breakfast at the hotel in a large room. I am excited to find out what you like to eat.

The last thing I want to share with you is your American name. We have chosen the name Hadassah Hope Jie. We will call you Haddie. We know this will take some getting used to. When you are ready to use your new American name you can let us know.

There will be many things that will be new and strange to you. We will help you to learn. We are very excited and thankful that we get to be your family!
I love you,
Mama


Something happened to my camera and I have no pictures of this last package.

We sent Haddie some goodies for her to share with her friends, chocolate kisses, balloons, and Hubba Bubba bubble gum. There was an array of Hello Kitty goodies, a purse, a pink sweater and sparkly butterfly shirt. My most favorite thing in the package was a necklace that had a heart charm and another charm that had the word love on it. I could just picture that being placed around her tiny little neck. I wonder if there is any hair to sweep away to fasten it in the back. What does her hair feel like? What does her skin feel like? Can I tell you how anxious I am to be the one to put a necklace on my sweet little girl?

The great news is that all of our final US approvals are complete and now we await our TA (Travel Approval from China). Our hope is that we would travel at the beginning of November!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

Isaiah 55:10
"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Thank you to all of you who lifted us up in prayer over the last 2 days. I cannot tell you how much it means. We have seen the Lord move in MIGHTY ways!
Let me back up a couple of weeks. We had quite a mess on our hands. There was a malfunction in our neighborhood sewage line that caused the sewer to back up into 6 houses in our neighborhood, ours being one of them. So imagine with me sewage water springing up through your drain for 3 hours and there is absolutely nothing that you can do, but pray for Jesus to make it stop!! We discovered that it is very possible that the majority of the expenses will fall into our laps. Faced with the very near travel to get our little Haddie, this added some financial stress.
Due to the MESS in our basement we had to haul everything up to our garage for the necessary clean up. I had been debating about having a garage sale to try to raise some more funds to cover our expenses. On Monday I found out that our neighborhood would be having a garage sale. SO...Thursday night, after finding out that we would soon be traveling to China I decided to go for it and have a small sale.
Crazy that the Lord enabled me to pull things together with the emotional stress of our approval error! Friday while having the sale I was trying desperately to get everything squared away with our approval that needed to be resubmitted. YES...I said resubmitted. We do have to resubmit and pay the fee. Praise the Lord the delay in our timeline will only be about 3 days...very minimal! Here is where it gets good!!!!!!
The additional fee would be $340.00. So, the Lord floods our basement, bringing up all of our "junk" to the garage at just the time there will be a neighborhood garage sale...I hope you are following me with this...so, our new application was sent overnight today and our sale finished, let me share some numbers with you:
Application fee: $340.00
FedEx cost: $25.64
Copies: $ 2.00
Total: $367.64
Garage Sale Profits: $367.65
Lord God,
How we praise You! How do I ever doubt the perfection of Your plan? You have once again blown us away by Your provision! We thank you and speak praises to Your Great Name, because You are the Deliverer and Provider of our precious Haddie Hope!
Join us in our rejoicing and praise...What an Awesome God we serve!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Call for PRAYER

I am asking anyone and everyone who will go before the Father to do so on behalf of the Arnold family for our sweet Haddie Hope Jie. It is becoming more clear to me that she is being batteled over. I KNOW that we do not battle against flesh and blood! We fight a very real enemy who does not want these little ones to be free from the chains the hold them as orphans.

Yesterday we received our LOA, our letter of acceptance from the China. It has been brought to our attention that there is an error on our approval from the US government. This error could be corrected, and a new approval issued tomorrow, or we may have to fill out another application and pay a fee and be delayed in going to get Haddie.

As always, we trust the plan of our Father. We also know that He desires to hear our hearts. Our hearts are that our sweet girl would not have to wait another day and that this approval would be sent tomorrow. Please join us in praying over the next 24 hours that the officer, Mr. Michael James, who will make this decision would extend the approval to us with no further paperwork or fees.

Thank you so much! It is so amazing to call upon this ARMY to pray!!

Ephesians 6

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

LOA!!!!!!!!!!

Full of rejoicing and praises because the Lord has delivered that longed for piece of paper, our LOA, LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE from China. Today this paper arrives by the wonderful FedEx man and we will sign and overnight it back to China. There is another approval we need to receive, but things should run in a fairly timely manner. It looks like we will travel to China in November at this point. Please join us in praying toward that end. It has been a LONG wait for our Haddie Hope. I think of the first day that I laid eyes on her...March 16th, 2009! WOW, almost 6 months ago! We know that she will arrive home right on time, it is written! Praise the Lord it is written!!

1 Corinthians 2:9

"However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another Update!


We received another update on Haddie. It came just 6 days after our last update. We had hired Ladybugs n Love from Above
to work on getting us an update because it did not look like we would be getting one through our agency. So, the bummer was we got the same pictures, except for the one above. We did find out a couple of new things about our sweet Haddie Hope Jie:


Did she receive her care package telling her that she has a family?

Yes, she got the care package. She knows she has a family now. She’s seen your pictures.

Does she have a special friend or caregiver?

Her friends: Zhu Xiao Liang (朱晓亮), Zhu Xiao Chuan (朱晓川)。

She loves her special education teacher Ms. Han.

Does she speak well, clearly, or does she have challenges with her repaired cleft?

She can’t speak very clearly because of her cleft lip and palate. But her expression skill is great.

Is her cleft palette closed completely?

No.

Does she eat well?

She has good appetite. She likes to eat children food.

What does she like to do?

She likes to watch TV, make hand crafts and help nannies playing with little children.

Does she sleep well?

Yes. She likes to lay on her side. She usually goes to bed around 9:00pm.

Does she like to sleep with a special blanket or stuffed animal?

No.

Does she have a favorite food or treat?

She loves most children food (snack).



Her updated measurements:

Height: 117cm; Weight: 18.5kg; Foot: 18cm.
46.1 inches 40.7 pounds 7.1 inches

So we know that she is VERY skinny...if these measurements are accurate. We have learned that her palette is defiantly creating some challenges for her. We think she might have a hard time with a solid diet. We also understand that speech is a huge issue for her. We LOVE that she enjoys helping the nannies care for the little children. We see this as God preparing her for her little sister Libi Faith.

How Our Wonderful Father is preparing us for Haddie. We have seen such a change in her countenance already. We believe that God is already beginning to heal the broken places of her heart.

When I read that she has seen our pictures I wonder if she stares at us like I stare at her. How I can sit and study my big girl and daydream about who she is, what it will be like to hold her in my arms, what she smells like, what does her hair feel like in my hands and pressed up against my face, what does her life sound like. Weird? No, just how a mama thinks about their baby.

So thankful that God honored us with this double update...this double blessing...that is bringing something to mind that I will blog about later. DOUBLE PORTION...stay tuned.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

LID and an Update!!!!

That's right! Is it not enough that we were blessed to find out that all of our papers were logged in on July 1st in China, but we were blessed with an update on our precious little girl!!

I was overjoyed to know that we were finally over yet another paperwork hurdle this week. I felt prepared to not have any updates on Haddie until we go to China. Well, God blew me to my knees today with this unexpected gift. It seems like this week I have uttered that "I am hoping that we can get an update, but it is not likely." more than usual. God is always listening. This may be obvious, but do you ever see Him do something that has been heavy on your mind and heart, but you haven't necessarily agonized in prayer over it? He KNEW this mama needed to see her girl! He spoke to the depth of my heart with this.

Last weekend I had toiled over blogs and searching sites to get an idea of what the "trends" are right now in the wait times for our next steps. I was trying desperately to get an idea of when we might travel to China. I was so convicted after my hour and half effortless search.
The next day in church God was once again such a sweet Father to my aching heart. I was blessed to have a dear friends little girls with me that day. These sweet girls are also adopted from China. The angel that ended up on my lap and in my arms for the entire service is the same size as my Haddie. As I loved on her it was amazing how God satisfied my aching arms. We danced together and sang about how He is The Everlasting God, who does not faint and won't grow weary, the Defender of the weak, Comforter of those in need and He lifts us up on wings like eagles! How soon He reminded my heart that once again, He holds the day and time, I must wait with expectancy and trust Him alone.


Psalm 5:2-3 (New Living Translation)

2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.


Who doesn't LOVE those piggies????!!!!!

Is that chipped nail polish I see???


Oh how beautiful you are!!!







Zhu Xiao Jie

7/2/09 Update

Medical/Development:
Her current health is good.
She can care herself and also can help other children.
Her speech is normal.
She knows all of her color.

Personality:
They call her Hua Er (flower). LOVE IT!!
She is outgoing and active.

General:
Her sleeping and diet schedule:
Sleeping time: 9:00pm -6:00 am
She has a nap after lunch.
She has three meals and snacks per day。
She can eat all kinds of foods.
She received package from the family.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Package and letter #2





It has taken a LONG time to pull together another package in the business of life. I am starting to figure out why this wait time seems harder and longer than it did with Libi. We were so blessed with Libi to have direct contact with the foster home where she was. We were getting updates and new pictures constantly. With our little Haddie we don't even know if she has received our first package and letter yet. Does she even know that she has a family? So, we are sending this next package with FAITH that she will receive it. How we long to hear some sort of update about her.


We are finally DTC (Dossier to China). That simply means all of our paperwork is on it's way to China. Waiting for the Lord to say GO...the time is NOW.
"Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness."
Psalm 115:1
Pink headband to match the pink flower shirt, note pad with attached pen, Hello Kitty watch, Slinky, chocolate covered raisins, oreo sticks, rainbow twizzlers
Light up princess shirt, our letter, stickers



Our sweet neighbor girls modeling their matching shirts like the one we are sending to Haddie.




Dear Zhu Xiao Jie,

We hope that you are doing well. We are so excited to come to China to meet you and make you a part of our family forever. We have put your picture up in our house and look at it each day. You are a beautiful girl. We are so thankful that we get to be your family. I am so thankful that I get to be your mama.

I want to write you to tell you about things here in the United States that might be different than China.

Last month we celebrated your sister’s birthday. Libi Faith turned 3 years old. Grandparents and aunts and uncles came to our house and had cake and ice cream and we watched Libi open gifts. We cannot wait to celebrate your birthday. You have four grandparents, two aunts, two uncles, and five cousins who are very excited to meet you. There are also 3 little girls who live boy our house who were also adopted from China. They are excited to have you as a new friend to play with.

Your little sister Libi likes to look at your picture. You will share a room with her. I think you will be a good big sister to her. Libi will like to play with you. I bought you a nice warm fuzzy blanket yesterday for your bed. I think you will like it.

I am sure that our toys are different than what you have in China. We were told that you like to ride a scooter. We do have scooters here in the United States and we will have one waiting for you to ride.

Food in the United States will be different than the food you have in China. You will get to try lots of new things. When we come to China we will take you to a place called McDonald’s. I am not sure if you have ever heard of McDonald’s, but they have yummy hamburgers and fries. These are all things we think you will like very much.

In the United States we speak a different language than you do in China. We speak English. We are starting to learn how to speak some words in your language. We know that you might be sad that you cannot tell us things that you are thinking about or feeling. We will try very hard to understand. We can draw pictures and use our hands to help talk to each other. When we are in China with you we will have someone to help us talk. We know that you will learn English words very quickly because you are a very smart girl.

We know that sometimes it may feel like you are waiting for a long time for us to come to China. We will come and we hope it will be before it gets cold. I will write another letter to you very soon.

Your family loves you,
And I love you,
Mama

Monday, June 15, 2009

Waiting with HOPE

I have been resting in the TRUTHS of the Psalm below. It is not always easy to WAIT.

We have had a few "hitches" in our paperwork process.

We still do not have our paperwork in China yet.

Just when I think something is taking too long or it hasn't gone smoothly. I am reminded that it is all right on time. I believe and trust that my sweet little Haddie will not wait one moment past the time she is to be united with her family.

It is not hard for me to believe that God's time is always perfect down to the second. I have seen it and KNOW it to be true. It is just hard to wait on it. Does that make sense?

I recently learned in Beth Moore's study on Esther that if we didn't long for what we were waiting for, it would just be the passing of time. That longing piece of waiting is what makes it waiting. SO...our HOPE is in God and we trust that we will soon post with a LID (log in date). That will be the date that all of our papers are done and in China. Then...we wait! :) It will take about 3-5 months from there before we will leave for China to get our Haddie Hope and bring her home.


Psalm 146
1 Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
7 He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

10 The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.

Praise the Lord!



There are things that happen that make that longing in my heart grow stronger, like seeing a little Asian face that is about the age of Haddie, or putting something away in her room for her. There are also those gifts that God sends in such loving timing. I received one of these gifts last week. I caught a glimpse of our Haddie in a picture on a blog. You know what I love most about this picture? I love her shoes and tiara! Look at those. Those are girly shoes if I ever saw them! These are the same items she had on in the pictures we received in our referral packet. I love that she has something so girly that she can put on and feel like the princess that she is! What a gift!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Party of 7


On this Mother's Day it is bitter sweet. I have 2 daughters in other parts of the world today.

My sweet little Ariadna. Some of you know this our foster daughter that we were blessed with for a year and half. She will forever be a part of our hearts and family.

Then, there is our sweet little Haddie Hope Jie. How I long to kiss her precious face and tell her how blessed I am to be her mama. For now, I am her mama from afar.

I was given such a priceless gift last week. We were sent pictures of Haddie by a family who traveled to her orphanage to adopt their son in 2006. Haddie is 3 in these pictures and these may very well be the only "baby" pictures we will have of her. To have a glimpse into what she looked like at this precious young age means so much to me! Age 3 is one of my very favorite years. I am so thankful that the Lord blessed us with this gift. Feel free to tell me how adorable you think she is...I won't mind! :)

Celebrating you, my sweet little Haddie and the gift to be your mama and I hold on to the HOPE of you being home with us next Mother's Day!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Garage Sale for Haddie!



We had a garage sale this last weekend to raise funds for our adoption of Haddie. What an amazing weekend it was! We received so many donations. It took an entire week to mark items and put them out. We didn't even have room for everything and were still putting things out on Saturday. The moment I began to tape up the posters of my little Haddie Hope the emotion got me. This was like our first big celebration of this little girl, my daughter. It was so wonderful to share about her with others throughout the weekend. It was AMAZING to hear how adoption had touched the lives of so many other people. That is what became overwhelming. The hearts of people that were so passionate about adoption and passionate about one little girl, Haddie Hope. This generosity was stirred by the hand of our Father and poured out through people. The total amount raised, just over $2,500!
The blessing received...PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who came out and purchased, donated and gave. You have joined in the rescue mission of Haddie Hope Jie Arnold and her family is so very grateful for you!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

another glimpse of our beautiful girl!


Really the closest zoom without it getting too blurry.

My dear friend, has gotten me connected to so many amazing yahoo groups. (Thanks Christy!)One of those being a group for Haddie's orphanage, XinXiang. Last night Brad and I combed through posts and pics of others who have children in the same orphanage or have already brought their children home. We came across this ONE little snapshot of our little angel eating lunch. Brad picked her out right away! He has an eye for his girls!! This photo was taken on February 3rd.
I was struck by several things in this one little photo. It seems that she may be the only girl. It is hard to tell sometimes. The child on the end in the purple...maybe??? Then there are the humble surroundings. It is so sickening to think of all that I have, and yet, I think that I NEED more!
Brad and I spent some time just going to several different sights of "waiting children" in the Henan Province, which is where Haddie is. I truly do not think anyone could have sat with us and not been moved to tears looking at all the faces of these children. Some of them with mild disabilities and some severely challenged. Their eyes carried such a deep sadness that is truly haunting. It is really difficult to handle, but yet I find myself not able to stop looking at them. I pray over their little faces and plead with the Father to bring them HOPE! Why is it that these little ones must live in such broken, hopelessness?
I see You, Father, on the move in the hearts of Your people to care for the lost lives of the orphan. I place my HOPE for them in YOU today knowing that you will continue to MOVE, because you are RESCUER and RESTORER of all that is captive and broken.