Monday, May 23, 2011


Introducing...Zachary Dale Vandewater! Can you believe it?? Part of me feels like I need to wait to tell you how EXCITED we are to share these pictures of our happy little boy. But our whole family is already talking about him and eager to ask you to pray for him with us! This is the little boy who will be two in October that I posted about before. I am filling out a massive amount of paperwork right now so we can get his adoption moving. Nothing is "official" yet (that's why I was a little hesitant) but our agency says we get to be his family! We chose the name "Zachary" because it means "the Lord remembers" and we thought that was very fitting. We decided to give him a family name for his middle name because we want him to feel that his name has a special tie to our family, just like his brothers and sisters. "Dale" was Justin's biological dad's middle name and it is also his grandpa Thomason's name.

So with great joy we want to share this precious baby's face with you so you can picture him when you lift him up to Jesus. We just received the top picture last week and we all commented on how happy he looks - we pray He is filled with the joy of the Lord! Thank you for sharing this with us. We are taking it one step at a time and we are abundantly thankful for God's plan to add another little boy to our family!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


We just finished watching the most recent Narnia movie and I can't stop thinking about the song, "How great the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure! That He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure." I loved it all, but I am in complete awe at the picture of our Father's love for us. After we watched the movie I said to my girls, "Don't you just want to give Aslan a big hug. Can you see how much he LOVES His children?" He is not just a big God out there somewhere. He is a loving Father. He loves us so much. I am so humbled by this. That the God who created everything, who is worthy of everything we could possibly give, who spoke the universe into being...He hears my prayers and He wants me, us, close to him.

I heard someone say that blogging is selfish. I can see his point. Blogging in general tends to be "all about me". But I hope and pray that I write when I feel the Lord leading me to and that I will learn from my own words (which I ask to be His words) on the days when I find myself in the lowest place and can look back on what He has taught me and how I know right now that He is worth it all and Jesus always wins the battle.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


We had an exciting weekend so I wanted to give a quick update. After we found out our first little guy had been adopted by another family we took another look at our agency's waiting child list. I decided to inquire about two little boys. Later Justin was looking at the list again and pointed to a little boy and said, "He's the one." And, yes, he is one I had inquired about! I thought that was pretty awesome - especially since that is not really like Justin to do that. Sooo we got more pictures and medical info on him. He was reported to be Hepatitis C positive so I researched Hep C like crazy. I might consider myself nearly an expert now =). The neat thing is that a few months ago I would not have even considered looking more closely at a child with an infectious disease. I was still stuck in the 80's mentality that turns away from letters like "HIV". A family that I don't even know led me to ask the question, would I be willing to adopt a child who was HIV positive? This family has adopted a little girl who is HIV positive and they want to raise awareness and let people know that it is something they live a wonderful life with. I educated myself on HIV and found that after I did that, I wasn't scared of it anymore. So I believe it is because I was led to do that research that I didn't immediately disregard this little boy who was Hep C positive. I know Hep C and HIV and separate diseases but both bring about fear in people - at least they did in me. I am very thankful for families like the one I read about that are passionate about teaching people the truth so more babies have a chance to have a family.

So back to this little boy! We decided that we could do all the research in the world but really wanted to talk to someone about the disease and ask questions to a person instead of a computer screen. I had even told our agency that were almost certain we would say yes to adopting this little boy but would let them know for sure after we had talked to a doctor and had our questions answered. I had a hard time finding a doctor who would help me but finally was led to a woman in Ohio who is a doctor and an adoptive mom too! She called me and we got to talk a couple of times. She is a wonderful lady and I couldn't thank her enough! We felt really good about giving our agency a "yes" even though we knew it wouldn't be an easy road. We learned that there are definitely precautions to take but that Hep C is a "wimpy" virus and very rarely transferred within the household. The most encouraging thing I learned is that 85% of the time babies under the age of 2 who test positive for Hep C don't actually end up having the virus, they just test positive because they have the antibodies in them from their mother that leave the body by age two. This little boy will be two in October!

So here's the best news of all...yesterday I got an e-mail from our agency saying that the little boy was tested again and not only does he not have liver damage, he is not testing postitive for Hep C anymore!! My jaw dropped open and I couldn't believe what I was reading! I even e-mailed the agency back and said, "Did you mean to say that or was it a mistake?" It wasn't a mistake - she has been told that he is no longer testing positive. Wow - talk about amazed. I could go on and on about how we had peaceful assurance about him even though we knew his "special need" as they say, was a serious one. We prayed for his healing and knew a love was growing in our hearts for him. So I am excited to tell you that we have officially said YES to a little 19-month-old miracle in Taiwan and we couldn't be more thankful. I will keep you posted on what happens next! It's been a great Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Ahhh...that's how I feel after a really big week. But I couldn't be more thankful for all the wonderful people who helped us with the garage sale! It brought in around $2500 for our adoption! Amazing!! I was overcome more than a few times (I am tearing up as I write this) at the community around us. Our church family blew me away. I am so blessed to be able to say that we go to a church that is not just a bunch of people we see on Sunday - they are our family. They donated, baked, worked, brought tables, folded. The Crossing knows how to love and serve and I love you guys so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish everyone could experience that kind of community and support because I'm pretty sure that's the way Jesus intended it to be. I couldn't say enough to thank you. Thank you for loving our family and supporting us in this.

A special thank you too to our moms. Nancy and Nancy. They helped tremendously with the kiddos and we couldn't have done it without them. We have the best moms in the world. They love us unconditionally and support us in any way they can. And they are completely adored by their grandchildren!!!

The best part of the week was all the conversations I got to have with people. Not only my friends who came to help (a garage sale is a great way to build community!) but with the countless people who saw our sign that said "Adoption Fundraiser" and were so excited about adoption. Most people had some sort of connection to adoption and it is so clear that God is moving mightily on behalf of the orphans. I talked to adoptive moms, grandparents, sisters, friends. I talked to two different birthmothers who told me they had a child they gave up for adoption and they were so excited about what we were doing. I didn't even know what to say. These women are amazing. I had a few "grandpa types" come up to me while their wives were looking around the sale and they gave me a donation for our adoption. Those were the ones that brought me to tears. These sweet men who looked me in the eye and said, "I felt like I was supposed to give you this." I am overwhelmed even as I write this. They reminded me of my dad. He would have done something like that too.

I just can't express how thankful I am. I just can't think of the right words. I see God's Hand in this. I believe He loves us through the good times and the hard times. Thank you Mom F., Mom V., Grandma Lorene, Anika, Cherish, Char, Aunt Marcia, Sarah, Majesta, Katarah, Jaime, Angela, Daniel, Regina, Natalie, Celeste, Liz, TJ, Traci, Joel, Desire, Cass, Marin, Sheri, Shannon, Noah, Ellen, Abigail, Michelle, Sheena, Heidi, Emily, Xanady, Roo, Sheri, Mindy, Jamie, Summer and so many others for showing us His love. We love you too.