Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leavin' on a jet plane!

This has been such an amazing journey. The last year and a half I've witnessed God work and move in ways I never thought or imagined...His provision, His leading and direction, His peace...all of these were crucial in bringing us to this day, and to our girl! It's just unbelievable that we will be leaving tomorrow, Thanksgiving day, of all days. I don't think this is by accident...we have so much to be thankful for! He did this. He has brought us here.
"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!" Psalm 126:3

We are overwhelmed by everyone's support and excitement about our trip to adopt Lydia Kate. We would love to invite all of you to follow our journey via Facebook and this blog. Most importantly we would love for you to join us in praying for each aspect of this trip. We cannot make it thru this trip, or really any of our days, on our own strength. We are trusting God to equip us for this journey and give us the emotional endurance to go around the world to bring our daughter home. Although adoption is exciting and wonderful for us. It was be scary and uncertain and grief filled for our girl. Would y'all pray for her heart, especially? That we would be Spirit-led in bonding and attachment, and love as her new Mama and Daddy. Pray for grace and patience and rest as we all get to know one another. Can't wait to meet her...can't wait to introduce you to her! Stay tuned...mei mei here we come!

Here is our basic itinerary for our trip. I will try to give ideas of things to pray for each day as we go along. Of course, we appreciate prayers for our boys and their grandparents each day we are gone. I will try to update this blog and Facebook as much as we are able.

11/27 Fly to China @ 7:30 a.m.
11/28 Arrive Beijing @4:30 p.m. local time.
11/29 Tour Beijing: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall
11/30 Fly to Hefei, Anhui (Lydia Kate's province)
12/1 GOTCHA DAY! (We expect to get Lydia Kate between 9-11 pm EST on Sunday night 11/30 and will update/post pictures as soon as we are able)
12/2 Go to Civil Affairs Office to finalize adoption.
12/3 Go to the Zoo!
12/4 Go tour BaoGongCi or possibly visit Lydia Kate's orphanage and finding spot.
12/5 Get Lydia Kate's passport and fly to Guangzhou @ 7:30 p.m.
12/6 Take Lydia Kate’s Visa photo, and do medical examination and TB test.
12/7 Sightseeing day! Tour Chen Clan Academy.
12/8 Check TB result, possibly Pearl River cruise in the evening
12/9 Consulate Appointment @ 10:00 a.m. We will have the oath-taking ceremony.
12/10 Get Lydia Kate’s visa and ride bullet train to spend the night in Hong Kong!
12/11 Leave Hong Kong heading for San Fransisco @ 12:30 p.m.
12/11 Arrive in San Francisco @ 8:30 a.m. PST. Due to an extremely long layover, we decided to stay the night in San Fransisco and enjoy a bonus adventure to somewhere we've always wanted to go together!
12/12 Head to Atlanta! We will arrive on UA1544 at 5:00 p.m. in Atlanta! We would love for you to meet us at the airport so you can see our sweet orphan no more!

Much love and many thanks to all of you for your thoughts, encouragement and prayers! See you in China!
Jason & Elizabeth

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Riverside surrender...

It's been a while since my last post...mainly, because I've been waiting to write about and introduce our daughter to you in detail. We can't do that until we receive our LOA document from China. Waiting...we are still waiting...100 days later- still waiting. So, you will all have to wait a bit longer to see her sweet face.

But, in the meantime, I'm learning, whether I like it or not, I'm learning. I change my mind moment by moment whether I want to learn...and oftentimes, to be honest, I fight it. But, He has something for me in this. He teaches us through these times when we battle with what we think is best and surrender. And you know, as teacher myself, I am a terrible student. Constantly trying to take back this process and make it work the way I think it should. Needing to remind myself hourly, that God loves our girl in a way that is far more vast than I ever could. He is working and moving behind the scenes.

I have been studying the very beginning of the life of Moses, you know, the baby in the basket beginning. I've identified with Moses' mama in a way, honestly that I've never thought of before. We now know God's big picture plan for the life of was a big, and very important, and vital part of God's plan for His people. A plan that I seriously doubt his Mama could have ever dreamed or imagined while standing on the river bank that day. All she knew was what she needed to do out of obedience, and surrender. Trusting her God with the life of her precious son. Believing in the big picture she could not see. Believing that in her surrender, the Lord would meet her. Believing that God, the One who created her son, loved him far more than even she could as his mama.

I also have been encouraged to see how she planned and prepared for what she knew she must do in order to save her son's life. She hid him carefully for months, and I'm sure had watched carefully for the schedule and routine of the Pharoah's daughter- to be there at just the right time so her sweet baby would be seen floating in the basket she must have so carefully and meticulously constructed. She did all she could to prepare. To plan. But, at that moment of placing that basket in the river- there was a depth of faith and surrender that was required.

So, as Mamas today...we have a lot in common with Jochebed (feel free to add that to your baby name list!). We have not a clue what God's big picture plan is for our babies. But, we do know He has one. We know that He loves them, even more than we do, because He created them. So, it's in many moments where we must choose to let go or worry, or to control, that we must make this almost impossibly difficult decision...surrender. Am I believing that He sees all of the plan...that He goes before us? Am I believing He will meet me in my surrender? Am I believing that,as their Creator, He loves them with a depth I can never reach? Have I planned and carefully prepared out of obedience, following His lead, or my own?

In all honesty,the moments when I can answer yes to those questions are out numbered by the times my actions answer no. These past few weeks of waiting for the next steps in our adoption process have been brutal. I have wrestled hourly wavering back and forth between control and surrender. Trying to manipulate and plan and control things that simply are not mine to control. Then, giving myself my own private pep talk about just letting go...I'm tired of letting go. Letting go is hard. Sometimes it hurts...

In a few quiet moments this afternoon, the Lord reminded me of another mama, standing on a river bank...struggling to let go. Struggling to see the bigger picture. Struggling to hope that the decision she was making was the right one. I'm sure she'd planned and prepared. She'd wept and fretted and questioned. Coming to the ultimate conclusion, this was what she had to do. This mama was standing by the Fuyang River in rural China. She was holding her baby girl, knowing that even the love that had rooted itself deeply in the 16 days since the baby's birth was not enough to take care of the special needs she had been born with. So, she laid her baby down. By the river. Hoping for better things...hoping for an escape from the fate that would have undoubtedly come had she tried to care for her on her own....hoping for a bigger picture.

This mama was our sweet daughter's birth mother.

It is quite possible that this woman was not well acquainted with the Author of the big picture...but, as her heart broke...our amazing and loving and redeeming Father was breaking the heart of another mama, on the other side of the world to be a part of this sweet baby's big picture.

That mama was me.

So, today, I am choosing surrender, again.

Trusting the same God who made a mighty leader for His people out a of baby floating in a basket his mama made, has a big picture plan for my children as well...He's already shown to be faithful in that with my 2 brown eyed boys- both gifts from Him after seasons of great loss. And our daughter, our daughter only by way of brokeness and pain...but He is the Maker of beauty from ashes...This plan of His is already more special and beautiful and sacred than any one I could have dreamed up on my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How you can be a part...

So, if you're reading this, chances are you either know our family or know of our family and the journey we are on to adopt our daughter from China. One of the most interesting, and rewarding parts of this process for me has been the sharing and the telling of the testimony that the Lord is giving us as we wait for our sweet girl. It's been so neat to see how people I hardly know, or have known in other chapters of life are drawn to adoption. How curious they are. How many amazing questions they ask. I really believe this feeling of being drawn to the idea of adoption is because it is such a clear picture of His Gospel. I am so humbled, and thankful to be a steward of such a story! Through these conversations and questions many of you have asked about the cost, how much? why so much? where you gonna find so much? how much will all her medical expenses be? The only for sure answer I have been able to give to those 4 questions is a ball park amount of $35K for the adoption process. Honestly, I'm not sure why the governments charge so much to rescue orphans, and I've been even more unsure of how we were going to come up with $35,000! We won't know how much her medical expenses will be until we get her home. The only answer I know is obedience.

Being in this place of surrender- a stance that adoption requires- I have learned so much. But, most of all I have learned that when God calls you to something- He will make a way. I've heard lots of different and miraculous stories of God's provision in adoption- ways He has provided in many different capacities. However, for us, we knew that we had been entrusted with resources for such a time as this. So, we have worked carefully and diligently to save and nip and tuck in our own personal finances and up to this point have been able to make all of our payments in cash! Praise Him for His provision of a great job, and a hard working husband! We are coming now to the point where we will be spending about $25k in the next 6 months to bring our daughter home. Thankfully, we have received several grants, one of which I am about to share with you! And, for all of you that have asked how you could help, here's where you come in!

The grant was awarded to us by an organization called Hand In Hand. It is a matching grant, and they will match every donation, dollar for dollar up to $4,000. So, we have the potential to get $8,000 towards what is needed to bring our baby girl home! This would cover all of our final governmental/legal fees here in the U.S. as well as in China! If you would be interested in making a donation for our family we would be so humbly grateful! All of your donations are tax deductible. And, if by chance we exceed the $4,000 goal, Hand In Hand will give the amount in excess to our family as well, just not matched.

Please mail your donations, made payable to "Hand In Hand Christian Adoption". Please be sure the donation is post marked no later than September 10th!, and write "Jason and Elizabeth Davis" on the outside of the envelope only. (the ask that or name not be on the check itself for tax purposes).

Mail to:
Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc.
Jason & Elizabeth Davis
18318 Mimosa Court
Gardner, KS 66030

If you would like to learn more about Hand in Hand you can visit their website, you can call at (913)248-5015, or email at

Thank you so much for walking this journey with our family! We would love to hear from you! and please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions!

And just for kicks, giggles, and a BIG thank's a little sneak peak at our mei mei! Yup, she's amazing! We can't show all of her face quite yet...but what's behind that little pink heart is, well, pretty darn adorable!

Wanna know a little more about her and what special name we've chosen for her?...that's coming next!

Monday, August 25, 2014

So...what's next?

So, now we've been called to be the Mama and Daddy of this sweet, sweet do we get her home?...and get her home fast!?
We first had to go through the process of transferring agencies. Which, went relatively smoothly. Our dossier was already in China's computer system- so, we pretty much had to have a letter sent to them from our former and new agencies confirming and requesting for our family's dossier to be moved, and designated for this particular child. That process unfortunately took about a month, which was a little longer than we had hoped! But, as soon as the transfer was complete our new agency sent them our letter of intent- which lets the Chinese government know that our family desires to adopt this specific child. The government, in turn, responds with a document approving our family as suitable to care for and meet her needs. That is the document we are waiting on right now. That document is the one that will get the ball rolling for visas and consulate appointments and then, plane tickets!! This is where we really need for you to pray with us. This document is supposed to take 2-3 months to be returned to us- we are currently on day 75 (but, who's counting!?) Would you please pray with us that we get this paper work quickly? We are really praying with confidence and hope that our sweet girl will be home with us to celebrate her first Christmas! Please pray that there are no hang ups or mistakes that would hinder this process from going through smoothly!

In the meantime...we've been busy getting ready for her! Her big brothers are so, so excited! They go in her room and look around all the time, commenting on how "she is just going to love this shade of pink!", which they are espcially proud of, because they helped to paint it!

Jason painted a daybed, and restored my old crib for her to sleep in- until she's sleeping in it, her collection of baby dolls will! There are pink hangers in her closet starting to be filled with adorable outfits, and hair bows in the drawer of the beautiful dresser that her Meme bought just for her. My mom and I picked out some amazing fabric and have made her a special blanket for her bed, pillows and a lovie to match that we will send to her in China while she's waiting for us! Her sweet picture is now on the wall in our family picture collage...and just as important we have begun to pray and ask the Lord to especially prepare our hearts as her parents to be able to love her with a special compassion, and that the transition of her into our family would be one that is covered by His peace. We've prayed for our boys and how this will affect them, but also teach them. Hoping this experience will make them more aware of the world they live in, the needs that are in it, and who God has called His people to be the solution to those needs- how God has called our family to our mei mei. And we pray for our sweet girl- who we now can picture when we think, talk and pray about- praying the Spirit would be with her even now preparing her to leave her birthplace and all she knows as familiar. That she would some how know how much we love her, the moment we meet. That she would know she is safe. That she would be a peace. Would you also pray this things with us?

...we are preparing a place and a family for her to come into and be loved, and cared for...<b>foreveri>.
And, we could not be more excited!

Many of you have asked how you could help or be a part of bringing our mei mei home!...stay tuned to find out how through an amazing matching grant opportunity we've been given!

Monday, July 7, 2014

fear's grip...

I was awoken very early the next morning, hardly able to breathe. Gripped in fear. What were we thinking? We can’t do this! It’s just too much! Surgery...therapy...I wrestled for a few minutes...settled our youngest son, who was sick with a tummy bug, and finally fell back asleep. As a disclaimer, some of you may think this next part is crazy...I probably would have if I was reading it myself, just bear with me. When I fell back asleep I had the most vivid and real dream. Jason and I were sitting on the couch in our living room with his Dad. (Many of you know we lost Jason’s dad in March of this year to cancer and Alzheimer’s). In my dream, he was more lucid that I honestly can ever remember Him being in conversation. He began to talk to us about fear. He began to share with us that when we are rooted and established in our faith the Enemy does all he can to plant doubts and fears in our hearts and minds when God has called us to something. He told us the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts, so that we can draw on its truth during times of doubt. He said, “When you leave this house he will whisper lies to you. Telling you that you don’t know who you are or where you should be going! Those are the times you have to rely on your knowledge of God’s Word. Speak it to him, and he will have to flee.” At this point...he was preaching to us! Those of you who knew Kit, know that of all of the things he loved, God’s Word was what he loved most. When he began to be more and more effected by his dementia, and then cancer, Jason questioned and struggled so much with understanding why someone who had devoted so much of his memory and mind to Scripture would be allowed to just loose it all! I can’t really explain it other than to just say that the way that Kit spoke to us in that dream, he was reassuring us that it was the Enemy that had taken his memory, his mind. This, for some reason, had never occurred to us before. It provided so much encouragement and closure for us in that way. I woke up, totally believing the dream had actually happened- it was that real. I realized what a two-fold gift the dream had been- and I believe it was straight up "Old Testament", from the Lord!
I had been reminded that my God is not the source of fears. That He is enough, and so I am enough. That fear is a lie from the Enemy attempting to keep me from my calling. But, also I felt that this was an answer to this question in Jason’s heart and mind. God was not the author of his Dad’s was the result of his incredible faith and the threat it was to the Enemy. His illness was spiritual warfare.
I laid in my bed and wept in total awe that the God I serve is that personal. When we need Him and the reassurance and peace only He can bring...He will meet us. He loves us so dearly.

It was that morning, with a tear stained face, and a scared, but excited and grateful heart that I found the answer to my two questions...
Yes, she’s our girl.
Yes, I’m ready to fight for her.

...the place that is the beginning of God's glory being multiplied...

May it be so, in our lives...
and in the life of this precious one He has chosen us to love.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

all the while He was working...

We found 3 little girls. All with the same agency. All with different special needs. All incredibly adorable. All needing a Mama and Daddy. Next their agency. It was a Friday morning, so I left a message and waited...and waited...didn't hear from anyone all day! So...had to wait until Monday to finally get some more information on these sweet girls. All weekend we had talked about the what-ifs...possible outcomes...what their needs would entail. We discussed the possibility of getting two of them. It was a CRAZY weekend! If you have ever taken a pregnancy test- it felt just like that...but for 3 DAYS!!! Wondering if one of these could be our sweet girl! Monday afternoon, I finally got a phone call from a super awesome girl in the waiting child department. She knew ALL about these little girls! She shared with me pros, cons, concerns, and possible outcomes...information overload! It’s such a heartbreaking and surreal feeling to be looking at a collection of about 10 pictures (which is more than what most orphans have) and a bunch of medical notes describing a child. Those documents and pictures are the only thing they have to represent who they are. When I think of how I knew my boys by the time they were the ages of these darling girls were, I could have filled up 10,000 pages of notes about them. These girls only had 10. When Jason got home that night and we finally had the boys in bed, we sat down to begin to go through the information we had been sent. We were nervous and excited and scared...craziness. So, as we were finishing looking through the files the question was posed...”Could one of these girl’s be our daughter? Do you feel as though one of them could fit into your family?” And, without a moment’s hesitation we both said, “Yes!”...strangely enough the little girl we thought we could care for were two separate little girls! Jason knew immediately that we had found her...I felt extremely drawn to the same child as well (and you will soon see why!), but I was so scared and fearful of her disabilities, her prognosis, and whether or not I was enough to be able to care for her! She was older than we thought she would be. Her disability was not one we had considered. There were so many unknowns. Lots to process. So, we spent a very long and emotional night of discussing and praying and discussing some more. Jason, in his matter of fact way, said. “Liz, you need to answer two questions. #1 ‘Is she our girl?’ and #2 ‘Are you ready to fight for her?’...while you’re figuring out your answers, I’m going to bed...I already know mine.” Seriously! This was one of those moments when I was reminded of why, and so very grateful God gave him to me...he led me in my doubt by his faith.
As I went to bed that night, my mind was swirling 100 miles an hour! But as I laid down the Lord brought something to my mind. Dates. I had been given advice to write down dates and prayers and specific times through this process that seemed important, impactful. God reminded me that night as I lay in my bed that the time this sweet little girl was born, and left on a river bank at 15 days old was when I attended a conference with my closest friends. It was there that He wrecked my heart for the cause of the orphan, and put the calling on my life and the life of my family to be a part of the solution. He then brought to my mind 2 very difficult weeks in mid-July of 2013...knowing that God had put this calling on my heart and praying and asking for God to change my heart’s desire for adoption or to reveal to Jason that this was what He had called us to. It was a season of learning and leaning on the intercession of the Spirit on my behalf- knowing the groaning and aching of my heart. This was the time this beautiful little girl was taken from a wonderful American run foster group home, and returned to her orphanage in a very rural and poor area of China. All the while He was working....working on me...working on our family....preparing us for her.

I had a choice to make...would my faith in His calling be enough?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 step at a time...

So...there’s been quite a few weeks of silence on the adoption front from our family! ...time to break the silence! Throughout the beginning of the year we continued to work on and complete our dossier (group of documents compiled to represent who our family is to the Chinese government) and officially were logged in to China’s system on March 7th. That was a big and exciting day for us... the day the wait began!
As weeks went by, life continued on as usual. Busyness with school and work and the boys. In mid April I began to just feel a real restlessness in my heart. I couldn't really figure out it’s source. But, I felt the need to do something...anything...that made our sweet girl real. Something as a reminder and to busy myself during this season of be actively waiting! Sounds crazy...I get it! But, the real crazy part, is that I decided making a quilt for her was a great way to pass the time! I asked for help from a sweet friend that is a quilting guru, and she was so kind and willing to dive into my crazy! Then, I began to ask myself if this restlessness had a purpose. What was it’s source? Was it me being impatient? Or was it a holy restlessness? So, this began a dialog between Jason and I and God.
We soon found out that the wait time for a little girl that matched our special needs checklist (a list of medical conditions or needs our family was willing to consider) was getting increasingly over two years. In the end,with this information and a lot of prayer, we came to one conclusion. God had called us to give a home to a little girl. Period. We realized that we could be waiting in “line” with 300+ other families waiting for a little girl...or, we could go to where the children were waiting in a line...much longer than 300 deep! We decided to take one step at a time, and just see what we could find out. After the first step, we came to realize that in order to change agencies there was fee, and a short waiting period for paper work to go through. But, we also found that we were still within the time requirements to be refunded half of the last agency fee we had paid. So, they more than cancelled each other out. So, we took the next step...praying God would just lead us where He wanted us to go. Lead us to her...and that’s the prayer that changed everything!...mei mei here we come!