Much of 2013 is yet "a sealed envelope," yet to be opened.
(our worship team sang January White on Sunday ~ totally awesome song, give it a listen and see if it doesn't brighten your spirits).
There will be many twists and turns, plenty of joy and, I'm sure, some sorrow. Much is left to be revealed. But by holding up the envelope to light, a few things already shine through.
This spring I will hit a milestone birthday. More on that to come.
What I am most excited about though is that this year I will return to a land that is both foreign and yet, in my heart at this point in life, familiar.
This year I'll be going back to China.
The first time of course to both meet and bring home our precious Natalie. While we're stalled out in the dossier process again as we wait for provisional immigration approval, we're thankful that our home study is finally complete. If the snags in paperwork are behind us, summer travel is still possible. (will you pray with us that we'll go before the kids go back to school at the end of August?)
The second time to visit a place near and dear to my heart. The place where my little one, as a baby, found healing for his heart.
|D near the time of his surgery|
He had a life transforming heart surgery while in their care. But the thing that sets this place apart from hospitals is that in addition to overseeing the correction of his physical heart, they poured much into his emotional one as well.
|look at the devotion in their eyes ~ no doubt my bout was cherished by his foster family|
And in humble gratitude, I'm going in order to give back to the place that restored life for my youngest son. I may not be able to conduct an open heart surgery. I also can't stay long enough to foster a child. But provide an extra set of arms to hold babies and let them know they are loved?
Oh yeah. For that I'm qualified.
(and whatever else is useful to the foster home ~ I'm willing and ready to assist anywhere, even if it means helping to give the foster home an early spring cleaning)
One other thing I'm qualified to do?
Act as a pack-mule.
That's right, I'm going to be filling my suitcase to the brim of much needed supplies to bless the home. My friend Angela ~ a former 'bloggy buddy' turned real-life friend and travel mate ~ and I are planning to pack our personal necessities into carry on bags, freeing our suitcases for things like Pediasmart Vanilla formula (remember when you helped purchase 34 cases of Pedismart in September of 2011?), powdered Pedialyte, Lysol wipes, and hand sanitizer ~ the things that are needed most in a house full of kids during this flu season in Beijing.
And that would be where you come in. Our plane tickets have long been purchased and our Visa applications are filled out. But in addition to those expenses, there is the cost of purchasing and carrying over four suitcases full of Pediasmart with all the other supplies stuffed in the cracks and crevices. We think it will take about $2000 to buy everything and pay for the extra suitcase each. $2 K sounds like a lot, but I know that you guys are generous, especially where children are concerned.
If you'd like to play a role in the healing for some of these precious ones who live in a place that strives to be "Bringing Hope to the Hopeless and the Fatherless Home,"here's your chance.
Will you be part of filling our Bags of Blessings? You could sponsor a case of formula, the cost of taking an extra suitcase, one can of formula, a jumbo roll of Lysol wipes or a bottle of sanitizer. No gift is too small, every donation will be appreciated. Just go here to donate.
Angela and I thank you. But more importantly, they (and their future families) thank you.
**We'll keep you posted of our progress toward our goal. And in those progress reports, I'll share more of the story of how I find myself going to China twice in the year that I turn 40...**