"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." Author unknown

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Would you be a piece of the puzzle?

As you now know the big news, many are asking who this precious boy is.  We would love to introduce a picture of him but will begin by introducing his name - Xavier Paul.  To see a picture of him….well, you will have to read on to learn how you can play a part in seeing him and being a part of this amazing puzzle, called adoption! 

As you are probably aware, bridging the gap between a waiting child and their forever family is a costly journey. We are stepping out in faith while trusting God to build a bridge for the funding gap. We would be forever grateful for your prayers and your support in helping our children come home to the love of a family.

Would you be a piece of this puzzle?  Every person who donates to our adoption becomes a part of our story; a piece of our lives, these precious children’s lives!!!

Here's how it works:

We have selected a 252 piece puzzle that includes a picture of our entire family, including our new additions!!!  Each piece will symbolize someone who helps to bring these children home to us.

The Puzzle!

Each piece is a minimum donation of $20

You may choose to be one piece of the puzzle or several pieces of the puzzle – for each $20 increment we will add a piece to the puzzle with YOUR name will be written on the back, representing your part in this journey!

THE CHALLENGE – Xavier’s picture (9 puzzle pieces) will be the last pieces of the puzzle to be added.  Sneaky, I know!

After the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our family room. This will be a wonderful keepsake to see all the people who helped bring Esther and Xavier home!  YOU will be a part of completing the missing pieces to our family’s puzzle!

One day we will sit with these children and read off all the names that helped bring them home!  Telling them, "These people loved you before they even knew each of you!"

So when we sell ALL 252 pieces, you have helped to raising over $5,000! This will help to cover a nice chunk of the adoption paperwork expenses!

We would be so honored if you were a part of bringing our children home!

You can donate to our tax-deductible site through our AdoptTogether page  - or mail us a check [email us at tnjdowney @ msn.com (remove the spaces) to get our address]. Please indicate on the site how many pieces you would like and what name(s) to put on the back of each puzzle piece(s). Please share this information with your friends too!  We would love to have the puzzle completed before Christmas because our dossier should be in China by then!

I will be updating the blog with a picture of the puzzle as progress is made so you can see the process and eventually Xavier!

Challenging God to prove His calling for us….

James 1:5-6 - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

This verse has been so true as I share the next amazing phase of our journey…

As we have diligently gathered the many documents needed to compile our dossier for China, I continued to pray another pray.  God’s hand had been evident in adding Esther (Lan) to our family; therefore, I further sought His will, asking “is there another, Lord?”  Mind you, I hadn’t mentioned the possibility of bringing home two to my husband as he had previously mentioned that he likely wouldn’t pursue two at once again, if that time ever came.  Recalling this had my stomach in knots but I knew if God could soften my husband’s heart for Esther, then I knew He would do it again.

With faith, I challenged God to show me signs if there is another child out there who He is asking us to parent.  Additionally, knowing I would be in the midst of my internship when we travel, I told God (lol, I know, sound funny to think I could put parameters on this)that  if we were to bring home two, there was no way I could spend three weeks in China, like last time.  This would mean that the second child would have to be in the same province, but not necessarily the same city, as Esther.
Would you believe that within days of deliberately seeking God’s will, I received the file for a child who I have watched age before my eyes.  A child I have advocated for but never knew the province he resided in.  After a quick search to determine the city he resides in, BINGO, I found he happens to be the same province as Esther!!!  My heart skipped a beat and I chuckled because I knew God was right there with me with, along with a huge grin on his face.  Okay God, I get it, you have a second child you want us to parent.  Now how are we going to fund two adoptions, God?  This journey wasn’t on our radar.   Again, I had yet to break the subject of adopting two with my husband; I needed God to prove that this was His will.

While I knew he likely had this all worked out, I needed proof.  God showed up once again.  About mid-October I learned that the field instructor for my internship that was supposed to begin October 27th was resigning.  No problem, I contacted my plan B location but they too were unable to accommodate me, at this time.  That means the start date for my internship gets pushed off till January 11th, which now allows me to substitute teach for the next 8 weeks  =  extra income!!!  While this won’t cover all the adoption fees, it will be helpful, especially with the holiday season upon us!  

The time had come to approach my husband.  The timing finally felt right.  What I anticipated would be a “state and persuade my case” discussion, turned out to be another answered prayer.  God had prepared his heart for this!!!  I nearly cried as a sense of peace washed over me knowing that God was in control, not me.   So surprise, or maybe not…..but we’re going to China for two again...this time for a daughter and a son!!! 

Who is this child?  Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Continuation of God's Masterpiece of our family....

As mentioned at the end of the prior post, God seems to pick the craziest times in our lives to ask us to take a leap of faith, but we find that when we rely on Him, He will show us that He is in control!  This and the following post are about answered prayers, not just one, but many!

Over the past year, or maybe longer, I have kept my heart open to adopting again, though I definitely wasn't thinking I was ready to do it anytime soon.  We already have an active house with our own six kids, plus two exchange students, and me finishing up my master's degree.  Despite that, I have continually prayed that if or when God was going to call us to adopt again, it would have to be my husband who initiated the journey... now watch how that journey unfolds and ripples.....

You see, while I stood in that airport watching Lan walk through the gates, along with my heart,  next to me stood a woman (we'll call her Jane) who came to meet Lan before she returned to China.  Why?  Because she was interested in adopting Lan.  When my husband said "maybe we should lock her file" my heart was so confused.  When deciding to host Lan, I went into the journey with the full intent of finding her a family.  I put up a "barrier" around my heart so I would be able to "let her go", as long as she had a family.  

As I stood there, reading his text my heart sank , thinking that Jane might be her family.  I couldn't just tell Jane "sorry you spent money on a plane ticket to meet this precious girl but we've changed our minds" - I wasn't sure what to feel.  Therefore, we didn't really talking about it, I wanted to allow time for things to "work out".  

In the mean time, our oldest daughter, who is 12 years old, was devastated after leaving the airport.  She sobbed most of the way home, and off and on for the next few days; she pleaded with us, asking why we couldn't be Lan's family.  The idea weighed heavy on my heart, therefore, I sent an email to Jane, asking for an update.  She mentioned she had received files from her agency for a few other girls and was looking over them.  I responded that that our daughter was struggling with Lan being gone, without a committed family; as well as sharing what my prayer had been for the past year and the text I received from my husband while standing at the airport, that I was contemplating what it all meant.  With much relief, I received an email back stating that she didn't think pursing Lan was going to work out for her family, that she and her family would give us their blessing to adopt Lan!!!  Sweet relief!

And so our third adoption journey began at the end of July.  We submitted our letter asking for China's permission to adopt Lan on August 2nd and received the letter of pre-approval on August 19th!  She will be our youngest daughter, but not youngest child, Corban and Tegan are about 16 months younger. And answered prayers don't stop there....   


Pictures of our Journey to bring Tegan and Corban home!