When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
November is a month to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, it is adoption month and today is Orphan Sunday. This post has come at such an appropriate time.
Thank You Jesus that our Morris is one less orphan. We are so proud of him, he is truly amazing.
We have been home with our sweet Morris for almost six months and I am able to reflect on all I have to be thankful for.
Writing this post has not been without tears, for God has been exceedingly good. He has poured out in a way I never knew possible, He has shown me glimpses of the way thankfulness opens a heart to more and more of Him and the beauty of His pure heart.
Jesus thank You for stripping me of all I've perceived myself to be and showing me who I really am, a sinner who needs a savior every moment of everyday. A wretch that need's to cling to the cross and freely receive forgiveness and freely forgive.
A blind man that needs to see more of You.
A human that needs Your love, to be able to give it out.
One that can not perceive the things of God, this alone is humbling. A life with a heart that is hard without Christ. A person that will never be perfect and yet that is ok because in God alone I am asked to find my strength and identity. In Jesus I am able to find all that I need, In Him alone I am able to be made new, made pure, able to conquer, He is able to make up for all the ways I lack, cover all I mess up and be glorified in a weak life, thank You Jesus. Thank You for forgiveness and the freedom it brings. The way it washes away and brings healing. The way it restores.
Though our journey to Morris seems not long ago, it is as though He has been with us always. His precious life has been in the hands of Jesus and I see the way God has tenderly watched over him and cared for him. I am thankful….
Thankful He has preserved our precious boys life and brought him to our family. Though his life has not been without loss and heartache Morris has shown to be so very brave, strong, and able to love and receive love. He loves to love. Our Morris has a tender heart with such an innocence that in ways reflects Jesus..... I am so very thankful for child like faith and the way children are able to love.
Morris has left all he has ever known, though it was not ideal it was familiar, it was his normal. This is something I will never truly understand. In my lack of understanding thank You Jesus for the compassion You give, the glimpses You give us into his sweet little heart. Without You Lord my love would be based off of just feelings,emotions, conditional, a shallow love that can not help or heal. Not really love at all.
Thank You for Your pure love that heals and brings life. Thank You Lord that You alone are love....I am learning love is a choice, love is sacrifice, selfless, and restores all that is lost. Your love is unconditional and beautiful.Your perfect love casts out all fear and oh how I've seen this throughout our journey.
Thank You Jesus for our little boy that You brought from the other side of the world...he has enriched our lives and taken us deeper in our relationship with You.
Jesus You have shown us the only way to go deeper in our relationship with You is for us to be put in situations where we have to cling to You fully with all that we are and though it can be hard yes, oh yes I am so thankful. Thankful for each night my boy is home with us, tucked in his bed and I don't have to wonder what he is doing because I know.
Each morning he crawls from his bed to mine and lavishes his snuggles and kisses on me.
Each time he says "I Lu (love) you mommy". Each time I hear him playing and laughing with his "dede" (brother) and "sissy". How he amazes me in that not long ago he did not even know what a family was and now he works hard everyday to contribute to his family. He works hard to follow rules and to please his parents with a sense of belonging, though I have to remind him that even if he does something wrong I will always love him. I am blessed by his spirit of contentment and humility, as well as his smile that is contagious and joy that spreads. Thankful for how quick he is to forgive and the compassion he has on others and the way he freely gives love.
How he is conquering his fear a day at a time with his security in our love and his sense of belonging.
He now has a family that supports him and stands behind him and rejoices in his accomplishments.He now has a brother and sister that fight over sitting next to him at the dinner table, hug and kiss him everyday and are shaped into better little people by learning to share and die to themselves. Oh how thankful I am to see first hand how Gods love takes a feeble little child with deep fear and gives confidence and peace.
I am thankful to see Morris with his daddy, the way he looks up to him and finds confidence in his love.
I praise and thank You Jesus for
when Morris sings "I love my daddy and mommy. I love my sissy and dede" with such joy in his heart. The way he prays to Jesus with his child like faith always saying Jesus thank you for...
Jesus thank You for all that I get to see Morris accomplish and each day spent with my husband and each of my children.
Jesus thank You for our precious Morris' birth mother who chose life.
I have moments of complete grief as I reflect on the years I missed in Morris' life until sweet Jesus softly and tenderly reminds me that this is His plan and His purpose. I have shed many tears thinking of how Morris' birth parents will never see his gentle spirit so full of life and love, yet in my tears I am reminded of this beautiful verse
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
And I am encouraged in God's promises.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Thank You Jesus for Your word and the truth it brings, the way it transforms our minds and hearts and guides us in this journey of life.
Thank You for life, and how You treasure each one.
Thank You that this life is not my own, it is Yours.
My heart is full, filled to overflowing with thankfulness for a great God who is always good!
Elias and Morris meeting Mickey. Morris was screaming at the top of his lungs he was so excited!
The kiddos in their bunks on the tour bus. They love to travel with the family
Sweet little sleeper
At Harvest Church in Riverside, California after daddy's concert
Swimming at the NATATORIUM
He loves chuckee
Morris caught his first fish
Can't wait till Morris is playing for esterlyn
Peddling to the park
Birds of prey in Idaho
I am humbled at the gift of life. The way God looks at each of us with eyes of deep unconditional love, compassion, and as His treasured gifts. Each life to God is precious, beautiful, worth dying for. Each orphan is just as much treasured by the Lord as we are. He has called us to be His hands and feet and to see each life through His eyes.
Life is a miracle, each life is so precious, each child deserves to know the love and support of a family, to have a place to call their own, to be encouraged and uplifted in Gods plan for them, and to know that God has gifted each of us in different and unique ways and desires to use those gifts for His kingdom.
Our visit to Morris' Orphange was a gift, we feel very privileged for the opportunity to see where he has spent the first five and a half years of his life. I have been looking forward to this part of our trip for a longtime.
Maoming is a four and a half hour drive from where we are staying in Guangzhou so we anticipated a very long, emotional day.
Not knowing what to expect we decided through prayer this would be a good thing for Morris to say goodbye to his nannies, teacher, and friends.
The visit turned out to be a bigger blessing than we realized.
As we arrived at Morris' Orphanage his friends from preschool were waving down at him from an upstairs open classroom. His built up emotion poured out on arrival, tears streaming down his face. He has about the most heart melting cry I've heard. We let the orphanage director carry him up to his classroom. As he entered his classroom his cry turned into laughing. He loves his friends! We felt very welcomed and they began showing us all that they have been teaching him. Morris was so sweet as he passed out a small treat to each of his friends. His smile lit up the room and you could see the love each one had for him. Morris' teacher sat with him at the piano and they sang a song.
Each room they took us to was where Morris spent his days. We learned so much about him in that short time we were there. Each care giver loved our Morris and was so thankful he now has a family and an opportunity to spread his sunshine. They called him "sunshine boy!"
We were blessed with a few treasures they had saved for him. A small teddy bear, his little tin cup he drank from, and an amazing memory book with sweet baby pictures. Morris was so proud to show us his crib that he slept in and his chair with his name on it that he sat in during his preschool time.
Our guide Rebecca was amazing, she was able to translate questions we had for Morris and we found out he loves lanterns and when he grows up he wants to make a lantern. These little pieces into his thoughts are each treasured. He is very smart, he greets every one with good morning auntie or uncle, and he knows each of the kids names at his orphanage.
He said goodbye without tears although on the way home he shed a few as he was thinking about his friends.
I pray that each of us as Christians will take time to pray about how we can help the orphans and widows however that may look.
God has shown me the lack of love and wickedness of my own heart during our time in China. The disabled here in China are very much outcasts. Many people have no compassion to people with special needs, as we walk down the streets we do not see people with special needs.
We have been shown disrespect with starring, pointing, laughing because of our sons disability. I have been very heartbroken at these responses and have let my heartbreak turn into anger and bitterness. The Lord gently reminded me that He loves the very people that have shown this disrespect and that these people need Jesus. China is a country based on false God's or no God at all. I am called to show Christ's love to each person I come in contact with, I can choose to shine for Him. Please pray with me for this country, God desires that each person come to know Him. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. My prayer is that through each family that adopts, that shows Christ's love for the least of these, for the children and people with special needs that ultimately people's hearts here in China will be opened and changed. That they will desire to be different, that they will have a longing for a true religion in their own lives. My prayer is that I can love like Christ loves because only then will people see a difference.
Lord my prayer for sweet Morris is that he will have a deep compassion for people and for his country. I pray that he will be bold and that he will find his confidence in You. I pray that he will shine bright for You, that his life will be a reflection of Your beauty, and that many will come to know You through his story.
May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in. ~Mother Teresa
It has taken a little time for this post because we have been truly cherishing each moment with our precious boy......
Monday May 20th 2013
The day couldn't have been more beautiful, each moment is treasured.
I want to start off by saying I am so thankful God is steadfast and never changing because in this life emotions change daily and sometimes by the minute.
As we prepared to meet our sweet boy I found myself in constant prayer and was able to reflect on all God has brought us through up to this point.
I was able to reflect on God's heart for me and for the orphan and the beautiful process adoption is. God is in the details even when we think some of them are silly.
The Lord keeps speaking to me saying, one step at a time, just put one foot in front of the other and I will take care of the outcome, in faith do My will for you and you will see more of my character. So here I am doing that very thing, entrusting the outcome into His hands. Through this I am able to trust Him more. I can not put into words every detail, but I can say God has truly reminded me that He is in control and He sees what is in store.
Every single prayer has been answered up to this point, I am so very thankful for all of the prayers that have gone out on our behalf and the power prayer has.
Before leaving to meet our Morris we spent time in prayer, as we headed out time seemed to stand still as we were driving. I felt God calming me, He gently said it will be ok.
We entered the civil affairs office and went upstairs to a small room crowded with other families and noises. We were searching for our boy, we had to patiently wait for them to bring him out. Through a crack in the back door of the room we saw a glimpse of our sweet little boy sitting in his wheelchair with a smile on his face, he looked over and saw us gazing and smiled so big, he had recognized us from the pictures we sent :) We continued to wait.....
As the nannies wheeled Morris out I literally felt like I was in a dream and everything, all the distractions in the background faded. He was all smiles, looking so proud.
Before I picked him up the nannies wanted him to show me a Mother's Day gift he had made for me. He was so proud showing me the picture frame with the family picture of us in it. He pointed to each person in the picture yelling mama, baba- it was so cute. I looked down and his arms were stretched to the sky with a smile from ear to ear! I picked him up, he came right to me, I held him close while giving him hugs and kisses. Like I said before it is very hard to put these moments into words, they are very very special. The moment we had been waiting for so long had come. All the pictures and videos we had seen finally were becoming real. We could see and touch our little boy. He is truly amazing, we are so proud of Morris for being so brave. I kept saying I cant't believe he is ours. Adoption is a miracle.
Morris was very excited about his bumble bee backpack filled with special toys and treats. He especially loved the little fan airplane, juice box, and bubbles. The simple things we take for granted he sure loves. As we blew bubbles and had Mickey Mouse pop them he was laughing at the top of his lungs. He felt very comfortable with us, not afraid. We had time to ask the nannies questions and collect his things that we had sent to him. All of a sudden Morris realized the nannies were gone and he began to weep, my heart broke as I watched his eyes searching all over the room for the only familiar people in his life. It was heart wrenching.
I just want to say how very thankful and blessed we are for the nannies that truly loved our boy over the past five and a half years he's been alive. We can tell they really love him, they took very good care of our sweet boy and wanted to make sure they each got individual pictures with him before they left. We are so impressed with the love and care his orphanage provided.
Thank you Jesus for our precious, precious treasure. Thank you for choosing him for our family.
Morris began to calm down on the car ride back to the hotel. He amazes us with each passing day. He is receiving our love, and his trust for us is building with each moment we spend nurturing him. Our little boy is tiny, yet strong, meek and mild yet passionate and full of life. His disability does not define him, it makes him who he is. He loves conquering new challenges and making us laugh. We are blessed beyond measure!!
The day we left for China Morris was exactly 51/2 years old.
We are so grateful that God has hand picked us out of all the people in this world to go on this journey of adoption to our little man. We feel very privileged to be little Morris' parents.
The first few days as we waited to meet our little Angel we had a wonderful time together, enjoying the rest and seeing some of the beautiful Chinese culture, (not to mention loving this nice hotel).
There have been so many different emotions through this adoption process, but God is always here to give me just what I need. He is definitely a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He never ceases to amaze me. So thankful I have Him to lean on, so thankful He desires to build our faith and trust, it gives this life purpose.
The most amazing part of the days leading up to meeting sweet Morris is the peace God has enveloped me with. Peace that passes all understanding. He has been here to calm each fear and doubt that try's to creep in.
My husband has truly been a blessing, he has so much love to give and such a big heart. I love how the team work draws us closer and closer together. My heart is so full, I am one blessed girl.
My heart is overwhelmed as I think about Gods love this morning. I woke up early to catch the 6:20 Ferry to Vancouver, BC - The last two days we have had the privledge to lead worship at some amazing churches here on the islands of British Columbia. My wife and I are meeting up at the Vancouver Airport to complete what was birthed through prayer many years ago. We are going to go get our little boy!
Thank you Jesus for Your love in my life. Thank You Lord for Your compassion. I could never say thank You enough. We want more of You in our lives. Our prayer is that our actions would declare who You are. Your beauty overwhelms me-
Please be with us today
I should not be blown away at God's goodness and faithfulness, that is His character, yet I am.
I am humbled that He chose me to be my husbands wife and chose us to be parents to three sweet children, blessed that He hand picked each of them for our family.
He has once again displayed His faithfulness in our Journey.........
He has once again guided and directed each of our steps...........
He has once again poured out His grace and mercy..........
His love abounds
China gave us our letter of acceptance. Meaning we will be traveling to bring home our precious little boy very soon.
We received our LOA in 35 days, a month earlier than we were expecting. It is all happening a lot faster than we thought,
we are so so thankful and sooooo blessed. God sees the path before us, He knows our every need and desire.
We take great comfort knowing that God is with our Morris as he waits for us. Please pray for Him as he is about to leave the only life he has ever known.
March went by very fast with all of the paperwork and all the anticipated steps we have taken in this adoption process, God's perfect timing! March is a very special month, God began to place a very real, very heavy burden on my heart for our precious Morris last year. My heart is full as I see how God compels us with His love. My life is forever changed as I look back and see God's mighty hand at work
in all the tiny details. He cares for us, He does not leave us as orphans, His spirit has come to change us, to live and dwell in us, to give us sight when this world is so dark, to give us an eternal perspective. Without God I am a selfish wretch that lives only to gratify the flesh, I need
more of Jesus, I need Him to continue to burn away the things in me that are not of Him.
Thank you for using the weak things of this world Lord..........
WE WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE PRAYED AND GIVEN TO OUR ADOPTION!!! WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!
God is using each of you to play your part in an orphans life (AN ORPHAN NO MORE). We are so so grateful for the love and support we have been shown throughout this process.
Please keep praying for us as we are now officially waiting for our Travel Approval (as of April 18th).This is around a 2 week wait, sometimes longer. When we receive our travel approval we leave two
weeks after that. (Middle to end of May)
Please pray for us, we need a lot of prayer. Our lives are about to be changed forever, we are thankful and at the same time we know it will be hard in ways.
Please pray for Elias and Brighten as they adjust to Morris, Please pray for Morris as he learns to be part of a family (he has never been apart of a family).
Please pray that God gives Luke and I the love and wisdom it takes to raise our precious children for Him. Prayer is the biggest way you can help!!!!!!!!
Two steps closer to our little "G" (Xin Kuan)!!!!
My heart is so full as I post this, God is so good to bring such a gift into our lives "Lord thank you for calling us."
We received an email January 18th letting us know that our doccuments were sent to China. On feb. 19th we received an email that we have a log in date with China (as of feb. 5th)That means our next step is letter of acceptance or approval not really sure what LOA means, and then we will travel 2 or 3 months after that. Blessed, Blessed, Blessed.
God has given us just what we need every step of the way. It amazes me how He just gives peace freely. His timing has truly been perfect. I see it more and more as I look back over the last year and a half.
I will admit I can not wait to get my hands on our little china boy doll.
Fun ways we have been celebrating our China boy......
July- for the 4th of July Luke bought a Chinese lantern and we lit it just for "G"
On Xin Kuans birthday November 17th we had a party for him. I made fried rice (which we attempted to eat with chopsticks) and a panda bear cake. We celebrated with family as each of us prayed for our sweet boy. He got some cute gifts, we took the kids to build a bear and let them make him a bear with our voices recorded and some hearts.
Christmas- I tried encorporating some Chinese decorations in with the Christmas decor. We made a Chinese advent calendar with mini Chinese food boxes, Asian paper, and an Asian nativity. His stocking with his name on it was hung up and filled and family put gifts for him under the tree.
I'm learning some Chinese food recipes
Chinese new year- we where in SanFran which doesn't get better than that (China district) need I say more. Chinese latterns hanging everywhere and beautiful Asians everywhere. My man took me out on a date to the most amazing Asian restaurant. We had so much fun eating and shopping in the china district for Xin Kuan.
Our prayer is that God continues to give us more of His heart and that He will continue using our lives in ways we never thought possible. With God all things are possible, thanks for sharing Your heart with us Lord.
I desire to die to self more and more so that God can be lifted higher and higher.
God makes beautiful things out of the dust, He makes beautiful things out of us.
Open your heart to Gods calling on your life you will be amazed.
Me and my little girl Brighten in San Francisco
I made this little nativity as a Christmas gift for our family
Care package for little Morris
We are so excited to send our little Morris a care package! A blanket with his name on it, the bear our family made for him at build a bear for Christmas (when you squeeze it's hand it says, we love you Xin Kuan in our recorded voices), a picture book, pjs that match Elias', a shirt, some toys, a few treats, and of course a toothbrush and toothpaste. God has been so faithful in guiding and directing each step of this journey to our precious son. December 31st we received our I-797 (immigration approval), one step closer. After all of our paperwork is translated it will be ready to send to China! Yay!!!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, we are beyond blessed.
"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much."
Elias putting a heart in Morris' bear
Little Morris is officially ours! God has answered our prayers. We hope to have him in our arms soon. Thanks for all your prayers and support in this process.
Our amazing journey to our China Boy Doll!!!!
My name is Miranda Caldwell and I have been married to my amazing husband Luke for the past 10 years. We have two beautiful children, Elias who will be 4 in January and Brighten who just turned two. We desire to love Jesus and love others. We are blessed beyond measure to be loved by such a great Savior and King. Our desire is to draw closer to Him, to love Him more and more so that our light will shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven, Matthew 5:16.
This is our adoption story.....
After our daughter Brighten was born in December 2010 God really began stirring my heart for adoption. I began to pray.
In November 2011 God spoke very clearly to me through what I now know was a vision from the living God.
My husband is in a band called Esterlyn and we have the privilege of touring around the world sharing with people the good news of Jesus. Late one night after a show I was waiting for the guys to pack up. I had gotten both kids tucked in their car seats. Touched by my husbands passion for Jesus and Gods heart for the orphan, (that he has the privilege to share about each night) I began praying with a heavy heart. As I was praying an image came to my mind of a chinese child between the age of 4 and 6 sitting next to me, our child. From then on I was drawn to Chinese everything. I began noticing asian people everywhere I went and I now suddenly had an overwhelming love for China.
Later that tour we were in Astoria, Or at a gift store that was filled with Chinese gifts. We bought a ornament for our son since christmas was getting close. They wrapped the ornament in a Chinese print bag. I remember thinking I am going to keep this bag so I can remember when God put China on my heart.
I wasn't sure where to start or what the next steps were for this heavy heart, all I could do was pray and trust that God had a purpose and that he had placed it this in my heart for a reason. God's word began to speak to me on His heart for adoption and how He has adopted us into His family. Not knowing anything about specific adoption agencies I really believe God led us to Lifeline ( An International Christian Adoption Agency). After reading a blog of an adoption story through Lifeline Maoming I was led to the lifeline children's services Maoming page. Seeing all the waiting children I began to pray for each of them every day. I would simply pray that people's hearts would be stirred for these precious children.
In March 2012 we took our kids to Disneyland and as I was waiting with my sleeping baby waiting for my husband to take our little boy on the zoo train ride. I happened to notice a little asian boy in a wheelchair. This little boys family clearly loved him so much. I couldn't stop watching him. He reminded me of one of the boys I had seen on the Lifeline Maoming site. My heart was stirred for this sweet boy. I remembered watching the little boys video on the Lifeline site who was also in a wheelchair. I couldn't help but think of my little boy Elias, they had a similarity. From that moment on I just kept praying for this precious little boy.
April came along and I realized that his file would probably be sent back soon since Lifeline had already had it since February 15th. My heart sank, all I could do was continue to pray. God gave me peace. I asked my husband if he could please pray for this little boy because my heart was so heavy for him. I was 29 and at this point not old enough to adopt from China so I couldn't really understand my burden for this child. We prayed together and Luke prayed Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
This was the same verse the Lord had already spoke to my heart on behalf of this little boy.
Once again I had a continued peace that God had a plan.
One day I decided to fast and pray because I really wanted to look at his file, but I wasn't sure if my husband would be open to looking at his file or not and I really didn't think Lifeline would let us since they didn't even know us and I wasn't old enough. After fasting and praying all day God gave me this scripture Psalm 27: 13-14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!". I then asked my husband if we could look at Danny's file, He said sure (just like that). I emailed a gal at Lifeline that night and prayed that it wouldn't be a problem. The next morning she sent it to me!
After looking at his file to be honest we were a little taken back and overwhelmed, they had no answers for his special needs. It was really exciting however because I personally had prayed that his birthday would be in November. Im not sure why but it was November 17th! This is what I held on too. All we could do from that point on was pray. Lord if he is ours, he is ours.
God was answering our prayers for this boy one by one. So overwhelmed with this stirring in my heart for a 4 year old boy that more than likely has Spina Bifida, I was moved to fast and pray for a week each day until 2:00. I prayed Lord if this little boy is our son please show us in a real way and make it possible because at this point I would not be 30 until December 24th 2012. With God all things are possible Matthew 19:26. Day 2 of this fast God reminded me of the Chinese bag I had saved. I wanted to write down the date that I had got it. As I looked back at my husbands tour calendar to see where we were on the day we got the bag it was November 17th!!!!! His Birthday!!! This literally took my breath away. Lord if this is our son I pray my husband would see your hand in what You have shown me. At the end of the week of prayer and fasting I told my husband who was on a tour at the time. He knew right away this was from the Lord for a very specific reason.
At the end of June (I was 29 1/2) we did our application for Lifeline, unsure if they would be able to match us with the little boy we had been praying for. We were both confident we were to move forward with the Lifeline China special needs program. The Journey began and we did as much as we could before my birthday with all the paperwork.
We gathered as much info on this little boy as possible and Lifeline said they would see if they could hold his file until my birthday. God gave us the grace and peace we needed each step of the way. We had a doctor look at his file and were becoming very aware of this little boys need. I just kept praying and told my husband I respected his decision. God's peace filled my heart as I felt overwhelmed. Lord, please show my husband in a real way what is best for our family. I was thinking this would take a few weeks. 20 minutes later my husband called me and said God gave me very real scripture as he was praying on behalf of this little boy today. The scripture that was brought to his mind by God was Psalms 27 9-14 "You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
Luke called me with tears in his eyes with a surety that God had spoken clearly to him through this scripture. It was October- God had been so faithful to speak clearly to our family and to stir our hearts to love those who He loves. That vision from God was becoming a reality!
We are just simple people who serve an extrordinary God. There is nothing special about us. Thanks to all of our friends and family who have been praying for us encouraging us along the way.
God is real and He really speaks. May we listen to Him for truly our lives our not our own. May He lead each of us to His heart for people. We have one short life to live.