Our adoption journey began February 2014! And what a journey it has been. We have completed mounds and mounds of paperwork, endured physical exams and background checks, raised funds towards the expenses, and made many, many small and large decisions. This process has been very difficult at times and easy peasy at other times. But it's worth it!
We took these photos almost 2 years ago announcing our adoption in hopes to "fill the empty chair". We are so excited to announce that we are finally "filling the empty chair"!!!! We initially received a phone call January 7, 2016 from the Director of the China Program with our adoption agency. I was driving the kids home from school, so I pulled over in a random parking lot once I realized what this call was about. As the Director began telling me about the referral she thought would fit in our family, the tears began rolling down my face. We didn't know a name or had seen a photo, but we were so happy! Brad and I kept the child to ourselves for quite awhile. We didn't share the news with anyone, so we could make our own decision and pray about it. At the end of January, we made the decision to pursue this child. After some paperwork, lots of prayers and discussions, we are happy to announce that the Chinese government approved us to adopt this child on March 25, 2016!!
We are not ready to show photos to everyone, but I will tell you a little about our new addition.
God has placed a 3 year old girl into our family! We plan to give her an American first name and keep part of her Chinese name as her middle name.....Lilly Xia Miles. (The middle name is pronounced Shy). We are very excited and a little nervous. Brad and I hope to travel to China this summer to meet our new daughter and to bring her home. God is so good and has carried us on this journey and I know he will continue to be with us once we get home. Please continue to pray for our family and our adoption journey as we still have a long way to go.
This month I have been reading through the Book of Job in my quiet time. It's one of the books of the Bible I have never been excited about digging into, because it is depressing (and thus far its holding strong to my theory). But this book has also brought some serious insight into my thinking and I wanted to share one of those "ah ha" moments with you.
Job 13:9 "Would it turn out well if he (GOD) examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?"
This verse got me thinking (crazy, I know). I believe many times we show a different persona to our friends, family and even strangers than we show at home when we are alone. We want to give the impression that we are put together and have it all, when in reality we may be crumbling. I confess that at times, I do this. I don't always (or ever) want others to know that I have fears or faults for that matter, so I try to hide them. But God knows my heart and what is truly going on in my life. We can't hide from him! But why then are we so afraid of being real and vulnerable to everyone else?
Our adoption journey is becoming REAL right now and I have mixed emotions. And I think that is okay, but I don't dare share all those fears and thoughts with others as I may look weak. And I'm afraid of being weak in someone else's eyes, afraid of humiliation, afraid of not being perfect and afraid of being judged. But God does know my fears (and there are a lot) and I put my trust in him. I have faith that God will always love me in spite of my faults and fears.
"But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength" 2 Timothy 4:17
We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. The kids came sprinting in our room before 7:00am ready to put on hats and gloves and start playing.
We don't get snow often here in Arkansas, but when we do it's amazing both for the kids and adults. We have had snowball fights, been sledding, eaten snow cream, and made snow angels. What an amazing day!
Avery got Hudson right in the face
Go Brad Go!!
Snow always reminds me of God's grace. We wake up and everything is white, clean and beautiful! Brad and I have had a stressful couple of weeks consisting of big, life changing decisions and discussions. We have been drained physically and mentally. But God knows what we need, when we need it. And today Brad and I needed a day (stress free of work) enjoying life with our family, laughing and smiling. So am I thankful for this snow day? Yes!
I. can. not. believe. it. My sweet, precious, fragile baby boy is four!?!? Hudson began his life a little early and weak and sickly, but you would never know it now! He is a rough and tough boy who is such a joy to our family. God knew what he was doing when he put this sweet boy in our lives.
This weekend we celebrated Hudson at the pumpkin patch. It was so much fun and the weather was finally crisp and cool!
Another adorable invite from MissEmPrints
He is so big (and adorable)!
The cow train was a hit
I wish I could take credit for this AMAZING cake, it turned out so cute and the birthday boy loved it!
I think these boys are having fun; look at those big smiles.
At the Miles house, we had a wonderful summer! Lazy mornings that lead to lazy days and lazier evenings. We traveled, we swam, we laughed, and we had a lot of fun. No one was quite ready for early mornings, packing lunches, ditching the swimsuits for uniforms, and of course homework. BUT Avery was ready to see her friends everyday and Hudson was ready to start big boy school and make new friends. (And we really didn't have a choice; we had to go back to school).
How is she a First Grader????
I love these silly kids!
I can't believe Hudson is in K3!
Walking into school together. The first of many mornings.
Hudson with his K3 teacher Mrs. Wingfield
Avery with her first grade teacher Mrs. Otis
We are all very excited about this school year. The kids are loving their teachers and they are already building new friendships. The theme for the kids school this year is GROW.......
"And Jesus grew and became strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him". Luke 2:40