Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Pictures and Matching Grant!

Our agency has been wonderful about sending us updates on Zachary! Here's the latest!!

Love that smile!! LOVE the chubby little legs!!! We love this little boy!!!!

We also are so excited to announce that we have received a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans!! Here is a letter explaining how to donate if you would like to:

To our dear family and friends,

Hello from the Vandewaters! Many of you already know that we are on the journey of adoption! I (Jaymi) have had orphans and adoption heavy on my heart for a few years now. I have often found myself in tears when praying for the little ones who have no mommy or daddy to hold them. There are an estimated 145,000,000 orphans in the world today and because of this unimaginable need, I have believed that we would adopt one day, I just didn't know when. On March 7 I was looking at a waiting child listing through an organization called Bringing Hope to Children and one little boy took my breath away. Through that little boy God led us to our son, whom we have named Zachary because it means “the Lord remembers”. Zachary is two and he lives in Taiwan and our whole family has already fallen in love with him! We trust that God has brought us to this place and that He will guide all our steps in this process. If everything goes “normally”, we will have Zachary home with us in the next six months.

We believe that we have all been adopted by Christ and that we are called to care for those who can't care for themselves. Our family has a lot of love to give and our kids are thrilled to be welcoming another brother into our home. We truly feel called to this and we humbly ask you for your help. I have never doubted that God would provide for our adoption because He is the defender of the orphans. I have been on the team of Katelyn's Fund Orphan Ministry for almost two years now and I am in awe every month when we meet at how story after story is told of God's faithfulness and provision. This whole process will cost around $25,000. We would be so grateful if you feel led to be a part of this adoption by giving a financial gift to be used specifically for this purpose. We are so excited to tell you that we have been approved by a wonderful organization called Lifesong for Orphans (www.lifesongfororphans.org) for a MATCHING GRANT up to $2000! We have a goal date of January 9, 2012 to reach the $2000 mark so if you would like to give to our adoption, make your check payable to Lifesong for Orphans and in the memo line write “Vandewater #2390 adoption”. It can be mailed to:

Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40/202 N Ford St
Gridley, IL 61744

100% of all the funds received by Lifesong for Orphans will go directly to cover adoption costs. (*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the names non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor's suggested use.)

We are thankful to call you family and friends and we would be so blessed to have you come alongside us as we follow God's lead to a new member of our family! Thank you for your prayers as we wait. Please pray for Zachary, his caregivers, and his adjustment into our family (for all 7 of us!). Thanks for loving us!!

Love, Justin, Jaymi, Grace, Lainey, Joah, and Asher

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I hesitate to write today because sometimes it seems like the only time I really "journal" is when I'm struggling. I think that someday my kids will read my journal and be surprised at the "glass half emply" mom they didn't know because that glass is usually overflowing! This morning Justin and I were talking about some struggles our oldest daughter is having and he brought something up I hadn't thought about. Does she think that she can't be not okay? Cuz I think I do. I think that if I am struggling it must be because I'm not pressing into the Lord like I should, distancing myself from Him. If I really was who I long to be I will be ready at any moment to help someone else, to pray for them, to love them through their struggle. But what if I'm having one? I feel oppressed today, discouraged. I'm actually not sure why. But because of the conversation Justin and I had this morning I can't stop thinking that I need to share it with you. Because what good would I be if I did it all right all the time? My daughter needs to see me cry. She needs to know she can be real with me and that I will love her no matter what. She needs to see me on my knees. I like things to be good - relationships especially - but you can't always be fair and nice, nor should you (right Seth? =) So I guess I'm just thinking about Grace today. I don't want her to turn her face and hide when she's hurting so I probably shouldn't do it either. It's a big job to be a parent - there's no coasting or assuming someone else will nurture and equip your child for life. Today is a day I don't feel like who I know I am in Christ. Good thing it's not up to me and that "feelings are vagabonds" (quote from Brian White). I want to be better at embracing the hard days and turning to the only one who can help instead of shutting down for the day or putting on a happy face for my kids because that's what moms should do (it's not by the way). I'm pretty sure I'm the one who just wrote that it's in the brokeness that we see our need for God...yep that was me =) Guess I better click "publish post" then. Thanks for listening...

Monday, November 14, 2011


Yesterday was a special day. One reason is because we got to be a part of an orphan awareness service at the church I grew up in. I was moved to tears more than once just by looking around the sanctuary and seeing so many beautiful families. I am so inspired by these people. I thought about Zac a lot and wished he was there with us. I also thought a lot about my dad yesterday. I wished he was with us too. November 13, 2001 was the day he died. 10 years ago yesterday. He was driving in his car and his heart stopped and I have never been the same since that day. I was shaken in a mighty way. I have struggled in the past with intense fear and worry. My biggest fear was losing someone I loved with all my heart and that day it happened. Good things will come from shaking. Real things. I know many of you reading this already know that firsthand or have at least heard it before. I have said before that nowhere in the Bible does it say we are promised an easy life but that it's in the hard things that we grow and see our need for God. I desperately need Him. There is no life without Him. I miss my dad so much. I could write pages and pages about growing up with a dad who adored me and what an enormous impact that makes on a girl...about how God brought me face to face with fear and showed me that there is nothing to fear when we are living for His Kingdom first and see that he wasn't joking when he said this life is the blink of an eye. A kingdom perspective changes everything. The picture above is my family with my mom and brother. I think about what it would be like if my dad was in that picture too. I think about how short life is and wonder why he couldn't stay with us longer. The hardest part is my kids not knowing him as they grow up.

As I remember my dad 10 years later I want to give glory to God more than anything. He is a Good Father. He is the Giver of Peace. He is eternity. He gives us freedom from gripping fear and reminds us what life is really about. I have a thankful heart today.