Walking by Faith

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Update and a Birthday Wish



Today is my 41st birthday.  I've spent the day with the boys, mostly doing ordinary life.  Yesterday my main man and mini-men took me to P.F. Chang's for lunch.  






My thoughts have been thick with remembrances of past birthdays and the anticipation of what the Lord has in store for this upcoming year.  I'm hoping we will get THE referral soon and Eden Lin will be home before year 42 rolls around.

We're still waiting to be matched.  It's been almost a year since we were logged in with China.  Our dossier has been translated and approved.  That means when we are matched we should expect to  travel to China within 3-4 months to bring Eden Lin home.  

All this time our home is sprouting Chinese details here and there.  Some things are gifts from dear friends, some items I've found in holiday clearance sales and yard sales, and a few things I've bought full price because I simply couldn't resist.  Luke has bought her a dog dress and a purse that doubles as a stuffed puppy {both expressing his love for her and pooches}.  Sam has drawn pictures and donated personal items to her stash; seeing as how he's usually broke because if he gets a green back in his lil' hand he purchases a pack of bubble gum faster than you can say "Hubba Bubba". 




Speaking of money, the Lord has provided funds for our adoption costs through many donations to the Byrd Feathers Fundraiser.  I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed how He so quickly filled our adoption account with sufficient funds to move to the next phase in the process.   

But, the waiting wearies me.  And sometimes I wonder if this dream of a lil' Chinese face in the Byrd's nest will come to be true.  

And then I remember His promises.





And so, for my birthday, I wish for prayer. 

Will you pray for us as we wait?  

Will you pray for my heart to rest in His perfect timing and His perfect will?

And if it is His will, 
will you pray for our lil' China Byrd to fly home with us soon....
may I even dare to say this year?





Saturday, September 7, 2013

Waiting. Again.


We've spent the past 6 months...



completing forms
gathering documents
applying for our passports
undergoing medical exams
getting bloodwork done
updating boys' vaccine records
writing autobiographies
writing letters
writing checks
taking pictures of our family & home (inside&out)
undergoing multiple interviews
educating ourselves through online training
attending workshops
reading adoption articles and blogs
hunting ladybugs
watching numerous youtube adoption videos
writing more checks
getting fingerprinted (twice)
preparing our home to meet "code"
starting to decorate her room
attempting to learn a little Mandarin
developing relationships
developing a relationship with our local Fedex office
praying for wisdom, guidance, and provision
celebrating birthdays (all 4 of us were born in the summer)
visiting with loved ones
homeschooling
and spending plenty of time at our neighborhood pool





Sam fell on his noggin 
and got a nice goose egg 
the night before our social worker came to do our home visit
AND 
Luke's ear drum ruptured
the night before our social worker
came to do our home visit
.

Getting criminal record clearances and fingerprints
Luke and Sam getting shots



Having fun at the Asian Festival




              

         

 

                    





Ladybugs are considered the mascot of the Chinese adoption process.
Needless to say, the sight of a ladybug makes me smile!





Our dossier (i.e. humungous stack of papers that tell all about Willie and Stacey Byrd) will soon arrive in her homeland.  China officials will be logging us into their system and our family picture will hang on a special wall in our agency's office.  

We are now in the "Waiting Phase".
. . .  waiting for a referral, a match . . .
     waiting for our daughter-to-come 



All of this work we've done moves us closer to bringing Eden Lin home.

Yes, we've given her a name even though we haven't laid eyes on her sweet face.  It helps us prepare our hearts for this girl if we have a name to call her.  Her name isn't "set in stone", but we sure like it.
Why, you ask, "Eden Lin"?






"Eden" ~ Delight.  Paradise. The Garden of Eden.  

I can remember one day, a couple of weeks before Lydia went Home, I was giving her a bath.  She usually LOVED to take baths, especially if someone would sit and talk with her.  On this day though the bath simply wore her out.  I had pulled her from the warm water and sat her in a chair to dry her off.  She looked up at me, on the verge of tears, being frustrated with the process of her physical health deteriorating.  I asked her what was wrong.  She uttered, "I wish this world was perfect".  She fully understood that the reason she was sick was because sin sickness had entered this world a long time ago.  I think she knew her time on earth was ending and she wouldn't be with us much longer.  She longed for Eden.  It thrills me to know that she is now in the perfect place and could be walking through the Garden of Eden at this very moment.  Lydia frequently dreamed of having a sister.  And so, Lydia and Eden's lives are weaved together even though they won't meet on this side of heaven. Adoption is birthed in grief as a child has suffered the loss of family.  Perhaps the grief I've experienced will be a tool to help Eden Lin through her grief journey.  Perhaps having "Home" and "family" will bring a slice of heaven to our lil' China Byrd.  She will be a delight to us.


"Lin" ~ Forrest, trees; fine jade, gem.  ( She will certainly be a gem in our family tree!)

It has an Asian flair and actually its origins are traced back to China.  Plus, my middle name was Lynn before I became Mrs. Byrd.  So, she will have a bit of heritage from her momma and a hint of her homeland from the spelling.



{So, in case you were wondering how we decided on her name, there ya go! ;) }






All of our work is nothing compared to the work He's done in our hearts.  
He has grown us and shown us time and time again that 
all things work together for good.







He continues to heal us and prepare us for another homecoming.










I can remember

the phase of

waiting

for Lydia 

to depart

 for Home. 



                                   

(For a glimpse of this time in our lives, click on this link...http://byrdhousebyrdsnest.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/waiting-room.html)




Trying to savor moment and trust Him through it all, 
knowing that soon she would leave us.   













Remembering that His timing is perfect 
produces patience 
through life's intermissions.









My heart tenderly navigates this space in-between 
Lydia's departure and Eden Lin's arrival.
∾♡∾
Both of these girls hold special places in my momma-heart.





And now we wait again.





We wait for the arrival,
instead of the departure.





~ Savoring the present ~

~ Trusting in His perfect timing ~

~ Knowing He is always in control ~







But more than that, 
we're thankful for the One He sent.

The One who died that we may live and be with Him.


                          ~ Forever ~






But when the fullness of time had come, 
God sent forth his Son, 
born of woman, born under the law, 
to redeem those who were under the law, 
so that we might receive adoption as sons.  
And because you are sons, 
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 
crying, “Abba! Father!”  
So you are no longer a slave, 
but a son, 
and if a son, 
then an heir through God.

 Galations 4:4-7 


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seasoned

Today I heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Spring Is Coming" for the first time...how it blessed me!
He and his wife lost a 5 year old little girl in a tragic accident.  During some hard grieving he penned this song.

Listen for yourself.
(Scroll all the way to the very bottom of blog to turn off playlist.)







Lydia would pluck a bunch of weeds and carry them around like a wedding bouquet.
The girl loved flowers.






Her little heart bloomed with words and art that expressed her desire....









 And this winter her brother did this to express his love for Lydia...




The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8





Her short life bursted forth with love for God and others.
Burying her sweet frame deep in the cold earth has been the hardest thing I've done thus far.
The winter season exemplifies the bitter cold grief of a broken momma-heart.






For everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1




The summer Lydia's health started deteriorating the fire of the trial burned hard on our nest.

Our little flower died in the fall.  It felt as though our world was falling apart.  All we knew to do was fall on our knees before Him.

 Then winter came, the season of intense grieving...
feeling buried under the heavy blanket of sadness and resting in Him alone.



All this time Jesus has been (and still is) working in the unseen chambers of my heart.

Perhaps the fracturing of my heart gives access to the depths of His love?  
Could it be that by the tear river I've cried He has watered the desert of my soul?  
Perhaps these fractures in my heart allow the Sonlight to penetrate unreached places?  



Oh, how I want the seed of His Word to fall on the soil of my heart and bloom a sweet flower that yields the unique fragrance of Him!




Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?
I will make a way 
in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19




Photo taken by Julie Faith Johnson



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Quietness Broken ~ Ponderings Revealed

Yes,

It's been quite a while since I took the time to sit and jot my thoughts into the blog-o-sphere.


Here's a glimpse of what's been happening with the byrds in this nest...

Thanksgiving
Trick or Treating

Christmas

New Year's
Luke attempted to stay awake to welcome in 2013.


Celebrating their sister's birthday








Valentine's Day
       






.......Thanksgiving......Christmas....... Lydia's birthday........Valentine's Day.......
have all passed and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet joy the Lord gifted during these times.  I find my thoughts of her days bring a smile quicker than a tear.  My memory is flooded with the many ways the Lord used her life.


Her days were not wasted, nor were any stolen from her.  




Trusting in His Sovereign will for her life (and her momma's), 

means nothing happened that wasn't suppose to happen.  

Being rooted in this truth bears the sweet fruit of peace.  

I do not wish her to be back here with me; 

that would be contrary to His will.



She is HOME.




I'm still a pilgrim trodding this earthly soil.
And while I'm here, I want Him to continue to apply His truth to the pages of my days.





So teach us to number our days, 
That we may present to You 
a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12





Looking back at what has happened in the past, what He has done,
 fortifies my trust in Him.


Looking forward to what He promises in Eternity through Jesus
 gives me hope.


Living in this moment, in light of the past and the future, 
gives me courage and strength.






There are reasons my heart has been silent on this blog.  

Many ponderings I wasn't quite ready to share.   




But, here goes....




A Brief Sharing of Our Hearts...

Since the beginning of our courtship and marriage Willie and I  have often conversed and dreamed of one day adopting.  We view children as God's blessings and consider it a privilege to love and teach them the most important life lesson ~ God's love for them and His provision for eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Lydia's life and death is a catalyst that has put our dream of adopting into action.  
Recognizing life is short, our days are numbered 
and we should embrace our calling to love "the least of these" 
and "live out true religion ~ 
taking care of the widows and the orphans".



Our hearts yearn to see our family grow through the adoption process.

God adopted us into His family through the sacrifice of His Son.
He poured His love into our hearts and we desire to pour out His love into the lives of children.

We have experienced the joy and honor of being the parents to biological children;
we yearn to experience the unique path of adding to our family through adoption.

We've never done this before.  

It's unchartered territory for us.  

It's scary.

We actually started filling out paper work February of last year, but I got cold feet and wasn't ready to step onto this path.  My tender, grieving heart wasn't ready for the rough road of adoption.  Wondering, if as grieving parents would we be rejected and looked at as "broken" and unsuitable?

It's been a year and God continues to bring adoption to our minds and hearts.  My heart is healing, though there will always be a scar.  Perhaps my understanding and experience of grief will be a blessing for an orphaned child who has experienced the loss of family.  I pray so.  Willie and I are so eager to provide Home and Family and Love to a little one.


It's time.


Willie and I will soon be submitting our application and hopefully be starting the home study process that begins this adoption journey.







I am so thankful that Lydia is Home, in her forever home with her Heavenly Father.

I am thankful the Lord allowed us to be her "home" during her earthly days.



There are children on earth who do not have a home, who do not have a family, who do not have love.

My heart breaks for them.





We covet your prayers for guidance and direction from our Heavenly Father
as we take the first step (which feels like a giant leap!),
onto this new and unknown path of adoption.