We are so blessed to have so many people who care about us, and have offered to help in so many ways: from meals (once we are home) to clothes and furniture for her...really SO blessed! We are so thankful for each offer to help us out.
We have chosen to not have a baby shower for many reasons: 1) because this will be our 3rd child; 2) She is not a baby, so it would feel like registering for a birthday party vs. a baby shower; and 3) Because we do not know her sizes, personality, or interests I don't know what to ask for. In spite of all that, God has blessed us with little mini showers from so many of you showing up with clothes and gifts, and it's been such a sweet blessing and fun surprise.
The one thing we always tell people we need is prayer...and a lot of it. So I'm going to list out all the ways you can pray for us during the next few weeks as God brings us to mind (and I'm praying that will be a lot).
1) Pray for Hannah's transition from her foster family to the orphanage. We are not sure when this will happen; it could be any time during her last 2 weeks before we get her.
2) Pray for Hannah's health and the hole in her heart. The last info we had on her medical status was from last December. Pray with us that the hole has continued to close, and that she will not need the heart surgery. Her first doctor appointment is scheduled for November 8 at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
3) Pray for Hannah's transition to us from the orphanage. Hannah's "Gotcha Day" will be on Monday October 10th (that's Sunday night for all our American peeps). Our greatest day, and her saddest day. We are all very nervous about this time for her.
4) Pray for us as Hannah's new family to be able to provide and quickly understand her needs...y'all she's almost two and speaking another language. We are going to need all the help we can get.
5) Pray for Charles who was diagnosed over a year ago with a skin disease called Granuloma Annulare which we were told there is no known cure for. He was also diagnosed with several food allergies (egg, dairy, wheat, corn, beef, etc.). These allergies can also affect his skin (we really think this is what is causing the skin disease). When he is on a strict diet his skin clears up, and we need clear skin so we do not face another staph infection while in China (it was scary enough when that happened in America). His Doctor has given us permission to do what we can while in China, but to also eat what we have to eat as well (i.e. McDonald's and Pizza Hut). So please pray we are able to keep his skin under control, and find enough foods for him to eat while away.
6) All the last minute details of packing and getting our family ready to be gone for 2 1/2 weeks. Please pray we have everything we need (medicine, food, proper clothing, and all paperwork that will be needed).
7) Pray for planes to not have any delays, and for all of our luggage to get to China...and back.
8) Pray for our boys to enjoy (quietly) their 1st plane ride 1/2 way around the world...Oh, and their 1st plane ride ever. :o) If you are a parent of young children (or ever have been) then I will just let your knowledge of things to pray for on that take over. One of the three planes we will be taking that 1st day will be 13 1/2 hrs. :(
9) Pray for PATIENCE for Charlie and I with our children, and each other while we are dealing with so much, sleep deprived, jet lagged, on a new time zone, in a foreign country, and our whole family is living together in one small hotel room...Maybe that should have been #1 on the prayer list...LOL!
10) Pray for our 6 year old boys to be able to handle all the changes once Hannah comes into our family. We have talked a lot about her possibly crying a lot in those 1st few days and needing A LOT of attention from us as parents, but until you are in the moment you really don't know how one will handle that. Pray they will somehow see their new roll in this, and be a source of comfort to her.
11) Pray for all the in-country travel we will be doing. We will be in 3 different cities from top to bottom on the east coast while in China (this also means 3 different hotel rooms, and having to pack and unpack all of us up over and over. :-/
12) Pray for all paperwork, interview, and swearing in to go smoothly. After everything we've been through with paperwork, I'm starting to feel nervous about this.
13) Please pray for our travel back to the States. We leave China on October 20th (coming home with 3 children). Pray Hannah can sleep most of the trip back, and that she will quickly learn to trust us (whether she likes us yet or not) to be able to keep her calm during that long flight.
14) Pray for ALL the changes Hannah will be faced with once she is in her new home on Friday October 21st (different sights, smells, sounds, language, foods, home, bed, people, and time zone). This is when we will finally begin to feel a sense of normalcy, but for her it will be a VERY SCARY time. Please continue the prayers for her once we are home...she is going to need it for awhile.
15) Last and certainly not least...Please pray for our sweet friends Amanda and Kevin Dearing who have taken 2 1/2 weeks out of their own lives to travel to the other side of the earth to help us out in any way we may need. They both have already been SO UNBELIEVABLY patient and understanding with all the changes in just getting to this place in the adoption. We are so thankful God placed them in our lives when He did. This will not be an easy trip for them either. Pray that we always make them feel welcome and part of our crazy family. We are excited about all the fun they will bring in those crazy upside-down moments (these people are CrAzY y'all) but feel even more blessed to have such a Godly couple who love the Lord with all their hearts to walk this journey with us.
Ok, so I know I have given you a long list, but really there is one more I've been debating putting on my list because it's kinda personal...but here I go, cause it really is a fear that is going to need some prayer.
16) Pray for the potty situation in China...Yes, I said potty! In most public areas (even airports) we have heard they have just a whole in the ground...and sometimes NO TOILET PAPER. :( I'm sorry, but for a girl who CANNOT cop a squat, this is not going to be easy. I have been known to pass out at dirty hospitals, so a dirty (hole in the ground) bathroom freaks me out. I know with everything else, and the bigger issues in my life at that time this should seem really small, but it just wont shrink. :-/
So, there you have it. We really do appreciate any and all prayers. It truly is the best gift!!!!
Philippians 1:19 For I know that through your prayers and God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened (or will happen while in China) to me will turn out for my deliverance.