Saturday, September 16, 2006

What a Welcome! Xiexie Athens FCC!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." Ephesians 1:5

Hey Everyone,

First, we say "shyeh shyeh" to our wonderful group of friends in the Athens FCC. Lily Grace was officially welcomed home by the Athens FCC at the home of Max, Kathy, and Emma Norman this afternoon. But we know that everyone in the group had a special part in welcoming Lily Grace home. You also have a special place in our hearts. Wow, I have said it before and I'll say it again. God is up to something big with these little girls. I can't wait to see how His plan unfolds. It's always fun to share with others what's going on when there's a common thread. Moms have known this universal truth probably forever. It takes us Dads a little more time to learn and come to appreciate the special bonds that Mothers have always known. But God is teaching us. We'll get there, it'll just take us a little longer.

We had such a wonderful time watching Lily Grace meet her new friends and seeing our new friends again, some for the first time since we returned from China. Two little girls, whom I have mentioned before on this site (Julia and Amanda) met with us at the airport in Huntsville when we left for China and prayed with us and for us before we left. We got to see them tonight for the first time since we've been back and it was such a blessing.

The Athens FCC is a growing group of Christian families who have been blessed by God to receive some of the most beautiful children one could imagine. People use the terms "biological" and "adopted" to describe the little ones God has given us. But the fact of the matter is that all Christians are "adoped" children as noted in the scriptures (Ephesians 1:5). I don't really like the term "biological children" but since it is well known, I would say that God has blessed many of us with awesome "biological" children, children who know Him and who love the little children God adds to their families.

We were also blessed to meet some new friends who have begun the journey that the others of us have been on for some time now. To our new friends, Steve and Monica Carter from Athens and Tim and Tina Hammond from Florence, we say "gongxi gongxi" (congratulations) on your answer to God's calling for your lives. We are more than excited for you and can't wait till one day we get a call (and it better be a call, not an email!!) that you are headed to China to bring home the child(ren?) God has picked for you. We pray continuously for you, lifting you up to Jesus, that He might show you His everlasting riches through grace and miracles as He has done for us. Thank you for the gifts you brought for Lily, she especially likes the little duck that sings! Personally, I like the "Alabama 101" book - Lily already knows how to say Rooollllll Tide!

To Lisa and Russ and Emily and Billy, who are waiting patiently for their referrals, we pray also for you. We can't wait to celebrate again when Athens FCC welcomes you home with the children God has waiting for you. And when you get home, if you need any clothes, just come look in Lily Grace's closet, there's more than plenty there! Emily, if Vivian comes up missing, I'll check with Connie, chances are she brought her home with her (you did get her back from Connie didn't you?).

To everyone else who came, thank you for thinking of Lily Grace (Lily says thank you for the food) and for your prayers for our safe return. Please continue to pray for our family as we will continue to pray for yours. God's plans are bigger than anything we can imagine - we just have to be obedient to be privaleged to see them come to fruition.

Thank you Max, Kathy, and Emma for opening your home to all of us. We are very blessed to have such friends with whom we can celebrate. The signs at the entrance to your driveway were really cool and all the food was great! Lily Grace liked the play toys outside and even began to share a little (just a little) with Molly! Thanks for playing with the kids outside. Austin really had a good time, though he hasn't mentioned how his and Joseph's football game with the girls (Katie, Marcie, Tonya) came out.

We look forward to seeing all of you again at the "Moon festival" October 6th at Isom's Chapel United Methodist Church. Gracie May will be a special guest of honor as we celebrate her second birthday. There will be birthday cake, there better be birthday cake!! Thanks to Thersa Gray for organizing the gala!

Love Jerry, Connie, Austin, and Lily Grace
Green, Party of Four


R. W. & L. W. said...

We are so glad you all had a wonderful time. It's always Great when we can all get to gether and unite all our children. Russ and I will be there soon. Alison Rose already loves you all very much!! My she sure is gonna have a LOT of Aunties and Uncles!! lol

Love Lisa

Drew and Lori said...

connie- did you get lily's outfit at the purple peanut? my girls have the same one!!! we have their initials on theirs! TOO CUTE!

Tina H said...

You're very welcome for the books, Lily Grace probably already knows all about the Bama one.
Thank you all so much for welcoming us into your FCC family and for sharing your experiences.

Monica said...

We had a great time getting to know everyone. We appreciate the warm welcome. Lily Grace is just so beautiful! Connie, I can't wait to get our Lily's together for a shopping date!

Max&Kathy said...

Thanks guys! We are so thankful that Lily is home with you at last!
We had a great time at your party!

Max, Kathy & Emma

The Woodalls said...

The pictures of all the little ones warm my heart. It is amazing how much this group is growing! We're starting our own little family!

Billy, Emily, Henry, William, & Vivian & waiting for Sophie

Our Adoption Story said...

God is Good! What a blessing we have been given in our new family and friends. Welcome Home Forever Lily Grace!
The Morgans