Saturday, June 28, 2008

God Has Spoken Again ... Pre-Approval (PA)!

Dear Lia Faith,

We have been praying that God would show us your face for so many months now. And it has seemed like an eternity since we acted on His plan to try to find you. We’ve completed a lot of paperwork and we’ve prayed a lot and we’ve waited a lot. Suddenly, God has decided that the time is now. And we couldn’t be more excited! The past month seems to have happened completely in a single day that lasted for year. Sleep has been a commodity in short supply. Uncertainty has been present in record quantities. God is at work in an awesome way here at the Greens and we’re doing our best to keep up and keep obedient. His plans are unfolding before our very eyes and our choice is to participate or question His desires. We choose to participate, be obedient, and wait for His blessings, ever hopeful that we’ve made prayerful decisions and that God is pleased. We have seen pictures of you and don’t know how we ever made it this long without you in our lives. Lily Grace already loves you and keeps asking about you and when she will get to play with you. We need to tell you this story so that one day, you will know how God planned for you to come home with us and be our daughter forever.

Somehow, we’ve known since Lily Grace came home that she’d one day have a sister to play with and to keep her company and to share life with as time passed. We just kept it inside us, wondering if it was just us, or if it was truly God’s plan. Friends kidded us when we brought Lily Grace home that we should just go ahead and adopt again immediately. If only they knew, there are no more quarters under the seat cushions. No loose change lying around to accumulate into a small fortune. We laughed outwardly, but inside we knew that could be God’s plan. And so we waited. After having Lily Grace home for a year, we went back to Lifeline to complete her one year post adoption assessment. While we were there, we asked about adopting again. Your friends at Lifeline were very excited, but didn’t want to seem too forward. They wanted to make sure that it was our idea, not theirs. I’m sure that they would like to see every one of their families enjoy multiple adoptions, but they wait on God to make the call.

To be honest, at the time I didn’t know how we’d possibly do this again. The financial and emotional aspects seemed overwhelming. And the process had changed and was continuing to change. If there was one constant, it was change! But, we just kept praying and waiting on God. We asked Him if we should adopt again and He said Yes and that we should name you Faith, to be a constant reminder, not only in our lives, but yours also, that He is Lord and everything and everyone is His. Including you.

Austin really liked the name Faith and thought it went well with Lily’s middle name Grace. Connie picked out your first name Lia. I got to choose Green as your last name – original, don’t you think? Then, He started opening doors and making provisions for you. When I began asking “How, God, can we do this,” God said “Don’t worry about how, I’ve got it covered.” And He has. He has provided everything we have needed financially and He has loosened emotions within us to help us see why He wants this done. Suddenly, the company I work for started an adoption assistance program and provided the financial tools and instruments to make this happen. It is becoming apparent that when we finally get to bring you home, it will be God’s doing and not ours. He has provided everything and we have been blessed.

So, back to that year-long day that lasted a month. It all started when we attended the Memorial Service for Maria Sue Chapman, Steven Curtis and “Mary Beth” Chapman’s youngest daughter who was called home at such a young age. Maria Sue was a little girl born in China and destined to become an American girl, just like you. We don’t know why things happen as they do, especially when they happen to someone so precious as Maria Sue. Only God knows that to its fullest extent and I’m so thankful that He doesn’t burden His children with such heavy loads. The day before the service, Connie told me we had to go and I was reluctant. She said that since Steven Curtis Chapman had such an impact on us during our adoption of Lily Grace, that we should go. But Maria Sue’s service was a family and invited friends service, I told Connie. A private, family affair. And besides, I didn’t think I’d be able to sit through what I thought would be such a difficult thing. Connie's persistence eventually won out and we attended the service, Austin and Lily Grace in tow. By the way, the last time your mommy was so adamant about us attending something was the night we met another “Mary Beth,” the first little Chinese born American girl to run away with our hearts. Mary Beth was a little 3-year old girl whose father was speaking at Isom’s Chapel one night about his service in Iraq. Connie didn’t know about Mary Beth or her father, but knew that we were supposed to be there. This little Mary Beth was used by God to help us see His plan that would eventually bring Lily Grace into our family.

Maria Sue’s service was absolutely was about Him and His little girl, Maria Sue, with whom He was now celebrating, and we were allowed to be there in the background observing and being taught. He insisted that we see this powerful Faith through the Chapman family and take notice and learn from it. It didn’t even occur to us that there was a reason for us being allowed to be there. Duh? God must be so disappointed sometimes that He puts something right before us and we simply miss it. So, now another “Mary Beth” was a part of God’s plan to shape our family again. In this case, a mother who had just experienced the loss of her youngest child, taken Home at such an early age. And this time, God was showing us an indescribable Faith. “See My children’s Faith,” God seemed to be imploring us. “Even in the days of still mourning their loss, they have Faith to praise and worship Me, for I know the plans I have for you” He seemed to say.

Mary Beth and Steven Curtis’ Faith in God was absolutely overpowering and could in no way be dismissed or misunderstood. When God teaches, He teaches! God was beginning to work on building up our Faith for what He had planned next and He needed to have us there as part of His plan. Of course, we were unaware, and unsuspecting at the time, that He had planned something so miraculous, but needed to teach us a few things first. And to prepare us for something He would ask us to do in just a few short weeks. When we came home from that service, God continued to work on us. Even to the point of having me “preaching” to the church about a need to increase our Faith. We had long since decided to name you “Lia Faith,” not even thinking about how close the name was to “Leap of Faith.” God knew different.

So now, God had things in place and moving really fast. We got all of our paperwork completed in May and sent it to China to be reviewed to see if we would be allowed to adopt again. This step is called DTC, or Dossier to China. With all the changes in the adoption program for China, we had every reason to think that we’d probably wait another year before we would be blessed to meet you and see your face. But God had put us on the fast track and was beginning to line things up. I'm certain that He was thinking of you all along. Our paperwork was accepted by China and we were granted a Log in Date, or LID, pretty quickly. And while we were waiting on that, God decided to go ahead and show us His power and glory. And he decided to lead us to His fountain through a child – sound familiar? One night, Connie asked Lily Grace what she wanted for her birthday and she said “A picture!” Connie asked her “A picture of what?” And then Lily Grace spoke words that could come from only God, given what would happen next. Lily’s response was “A picture of Lia!” Of course, we didn’t understand or even think about what that meant. “Oh woe is me, oh Lord, for you have spoken yet again and I have failed to hear.” Oh, that was cute, we thought. The very next day, barely 12 hours later, Lifeline called us to say “Please, would you review this file we have. It is a file for a little girl in China who needs a home. There are pictures for you to look at. But we need your answer tomorrow.”

And just like that, God had shown us our daughter, Austin and Lily Grace’s sister, choosing to reveal her to us through Lily Grace. And now, we begin the process to bring you home. Today, that process was shortened yet again by a God who knows we can’t wait to see you. On Friday, June 27, 2008, we were granted a pre-approval, or PA, another important step in the journey. Only a few short months now until we hold you in our arms and thank Him for allowing it. In the meantime, we are praying for you every day. We have done a little research and have learned that your name means "To Praise, Glory and High Honor!" Wow, we are stunned and in complete awe of an awesome God, who even chose to have you named in His honor, both in your native Chinese and in English. See you soon, sweet tater!

Love,
Jerry, Connie, Austin, and Lily Grace
Green, Party of Four – and You’ll Make Five!


A special note to all of our friends. In deference to CCAA and due to certain other concerns, we have decided that we will not be able to post pictures of Lia Faith to this site unless the site becomes restricted. Since we have essentially used this site as our family happenings journal since we came home with Lily Grace, we do not wish to make this site restricted. Therefore, we are creating another site, Green, Party of Five, for updates on Lia Faith. We will restrict access to that site. You are all welcome to request access by sending an email or commenting to this post. While we certainly want everyone to share with us in the joy of bringing Lia home, we have been advised to be cautious about what we share and we don't want to do anything that might jeopardize our adoption. We will show pictures of Lia Faith on the new restricted site and hopefully this will allow all of our friends to see pictures of Lia, without them being disseminated to all users of the internet. We hope to have the site working in a few days. And then we will show pictures.

54 comments:

Russ & Lisa W. said...

You better know that Auntie Lisa want's access! lol

Oh we Can't wait to See Lia Faith come home!

Love, Lisa

Lori & Family said...

I would love to be able to view the blog of your journey. I am a single foster/adoptive mom to two kids who lives in Michigan. Thanks
hatiehazel@hotmail.com

Sherri said...

Praise Him! I am crying.....your entries always seem to do that to me.

Please add me to the list of viewers to your site....I can't wait to see the rest of this story~!

Sherri

The Princess's Mommy said...

Ummm...Auntie Monica and the Carter gang needs access so I can come everyday and stare at that precious face!!!!

Love,
Monica

drew and lori said...

you know we want on the list!

Tina said...

Another beautiful post. Someday Lily and Lia will get so much joy from reading this.
We would love to follow your leap of faith!
Praise Him!
Tina & Tim

Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

Well, of course! I am waiting on my access to your new blog!

Wonderful post. Thank you for giving God all the glory.

Aaron and Erica said...

Praising the Lord with you!

You know I want access to the new blog :)

Love,

Erica

P.S.It was great meeting you the other night. And Lily is even more beautiful in person than in pictures :)

Kay's Blog said...

Hello!
I would love to have access to your blog...I'm friends w/The Hodge's (Sonya has me hooked on following families to China!) & I too was so moved by this post! God has really been teaching me to "increase my faith" lately & this post really spoke to me!
Please add me to your access!
So excited for ya'll!
Kay Austin
Decatur, AL

Debra said...

Of course, I want to be on the list.
Thanks,
Debra
p.s. so looking forward to seeing Lia.

Anonymous said...

Please count us in. We are fellow Lifeline adopters and would love to follow your journey. Thanks! Diane

Lisa said...

Wonderful News Green Family! I am so happy for you. We have come home from the beach and I am catching up! I would love to be on the list!

Tammy said...

I would love to follow your journey to Lia Faith. Please add me to your site!

Thanks from another LL mom,
Tammy
www.youbelong.net/thehills

Denna said...

WOW. That was a good post. God is so good. I can't wait to follow your journey.

Chad and Kristy said...

Connie we would love to be on the list. We are so happy for you.

Chad and Kristy Gray

The Thomas Crew said...

Congrats! I cannot wait to see her pics. Please add me to your list.

Leah & Julia

Paige Betterton said...

Definately add me to the list! We want to see the pictures of this angel! We love you guys!

Brandon, Paige, and Grace Betterton
wwwbettertonfamily.blogspot.com

paige_betterton@bellsouth.net

dorothy harris said...

please add me to the new site.
thanks & love,
dorothy

dorothy_harris@hotmail.com

DeEtte said...

Awesome story! I want to see your new site too. DeEtte530@juno.com

I'm praying for y'all! Hope you get that LOA and TA soon!
DeEtte

The Woodalls said...

Count us in for the new site!

Oh, and congrats again!!!

Emily

Donna said...

Bubba! (havent used that one in a while.. tee hee) you really have a way with words! Please add me to your list... dgmitchell@ardmore.net

mommy24treasures said...

what a beautiful letter to your daughter.
I would be honored to be allowed to view your new blog.

Billy and Rose Cooke said...

You know that Nai Nai wants to follow your blog to China to bring home our precious Lia Faith and see how Lily reacts to her mei mei and her native land!
We are so very proud of you, Jerry, Connie and Austin for reaching out to these little girls and making them part of the family.

kitty said...

Jerry and Connie,
I am a grandmother of a beautiful Asian princess from Vietnam. I have been following your blog for sometime now, and I always feel so blessed each time I read it. What a wonderful Christain family. My name is Kitty Cannon and I live in florida. Adoption is very close to my heart since we have an older adopted son. I would feel honored to follow your journey again. My email address is cannon.kitty@att.net. Thank you and God bless your family.

Kitty

Emily said...

Oh my goodness! I had followed your blog awhile back but lost all my links and long story short, just found it again after you commented on my blog. I am so excited to see that you guys are adopting again!! I would love to follow along on Lia Faith's blog. My email is emilyh331@gmail.com.

Congrats on PA!!!

Russ & Lisa W. said...

carrasell1@yahoo.com (Lisa)
r.wulfekuhl@mchsi.com (Russ)

The Smith's said...

Oh you know that we so want to be a part of this special blog.
rtmdlsis@yahoo.com (Becky)

Anonymous said...

I would love to follow your journey to Lia Faith! I will pray for things to continue to go well.
Love,
Beverly Witt

Beverly Witt"

blujeantx@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Please add me to the blog for Lia Faith. I loved,
loved, loved Jerry's post. I'd love to follow your adventure to Lia.

Katie


Katiewillis@mindspring.com

Anonymous said...

Hey Connie,

That is such awesome news. I know you all are so excited. I would love
to have access to your new website, if it is okay.

Lots of Love,
Gretta

[mailto:buchanan1491@bellsouth.net]

Sonya said...

PRAISE HIM
PRAISE HIM!

Sonya

PS you know me...gotta be on the list!!!

Eileen said...

Yes, I want the password! I'm so excited to hear that you've found your new daughter. What a wonderful story. Makes me want to start paperwork again!

Eileen Beck

Eileen said...

Oops, you probably need an e-mail.

beckbunch@embarqmail.com

Eileen

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for your family. I am also just in awe of the speed and wonder of God's timing. He is Good, so Good. We have just this week
decided to switch to special needs. I wondered if u might be able 2 give me some info on how this works and if i could b included as a viewer of
your new blog. u can email me any time @ missmary5@cox.net

blog @
sammonsfamily7@blogspot.com

Rebelee said...

Most definitely add me, I am so happy for you and praise God every day for the blessings bestowed on this family.
God is Good!
Love y'all
Reb

Tammy said...

Oops...I forgot to add my gmail:
emailus5@gmail.com

Thanks!
Tammy

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! You'll have to give me access to your new blog site sometime. I like to keep up!

Traci.A.Pritchett@nasa.gov

Anonymous said...

Connie this is absolutely awesome. I think we all need more faith. We ask for an answer from God and when he gives it to us we decide to go it alone knowing that it's not going to work out. I will pray that everything works out for all of you.

Love you,
Aunt Sue

sbroadway48@yahoo.com

Barley Adoption said...

Yes we would love to have access to Lia's blog...I can't wait to get our girls together.

Love,
The Barley's

dianesbarley@yahoo.com

Susand said...

Jerry, Connie, Lilly and Austin, I go to your website several times a week to read updates and enjoy them so very much. I would love to be invited and allowed to see your new daughter and blog, please send me an invite asap!
Greg and Susan Burchell
theburchells@charter.net

Anonymous said...

YES, PLEASE ADD ME TO YOUR LIST FOR LIA'S BLOG.

THANKS!!

lorimccy@yahoo.com

Kathy said...

Congratulations!!! Please add Max, Emma & myself to your blog for Lia Faith
Katcn1968@yahoo.com
Thanks! Kathy

The Ferrill's said...

What a beautiful letter!!!!!!! Oh Lia Faith, you are going to be in the most wonderful perfect family for you!
Smiling from ear to ear...and praying we'll go together? ;)
Please please please put me on the list for the new site!

To China for Molly said...

Hey, COngrats. Love to follow your new little one. Hope to see you all soon. LOve, Emily A.
email-emalex95@yahoo.com

Kay's Blog said...

Hey Connie! Its Sonya's friend, Kay & thank you for the Happy Birthday wishes! Hope you enjoyed my pics etc! Here's my email address...Dka456@aol.com! Thanks for adding me! & I will keep checking back to see how the journey is going & praying for God's speed to your next daughter!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have access to Lia's blog. I can't wait to see pictures. And Lily is growing so fast!! I miss all of you.
God Bless,
Amanda Mitchell

Anonymous said...

please add me to list tbbryant@knology.net

Denna said...

Jerry, here is my email.
sheltietwo2001@yahoo.com
Denna

Sherri said...

Thanks for remembering me!

I actually have 2 email addresses, but the one I use for blogspot is 5gr8kids@arilion.com

My other one is 6gr8kids@buskerdoo.com

I like to tease the kids that when one of them is in the doghouse, I use the 5gr8kids address.

Sherri

Samantha Faye said...

i wuold love to have access to this page!!! here is my email samanthafaye88@gmail.com
i will be praying for your little girl and family!!!

~samantha colella

Anonymous said...

Don't forget us!!!
Kelley.Lewter@lcsk12.org

Carla said...

Would love to have access! You had my email last year, but not sure if it is the one I use the most or not. :)

Would LOOOOVE to have access, and we're still waiting to see if we want to adopt again or not...well, we WANT to, just not sure if we can. :)

Lauren said...

I would like access. My sister adopted from China and the whole process of matching a child with their forever family is awesome! I would love to follow your journey.