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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I have returned!

Well, I am sure you thought I had fallen off of the face of the earth, and well, maybe I kinda did for a bit!   My life has been crazy busy, so many changes, some happiness, some sorrow, but mostly just busy, busy, busy!

Here are some highlights:   We traveled to China in March, and met our new son Miles Xin Dai!  I have to say that about a month before we left to get him, I began to panic.  We were bringing home a 13 year old boy!!!  What if he was a jerk?  What if he didn't want to be adopted?  What if he was mean?  But God took care of all of that.  The minute we met him, we knew he was awesome!  But also very sick.  He passed out many times in China, and we could tell his health was very poor.  Since he has been home, he has had several surgeries, and many infections.  Hospitalized many times.  But a very happy, well-adjusted kid.  And very smart!   He is a keeper!   And now that he has been home, and has settled in, the sibling rivalry has I am spending a lot of time listening to tattles and arguments with Rory, Meng and Miles, who are all in the same class at school.  But it is all just means he is fitting in!  LOL

Our church.  Wow,  I am not even sure where to begin.  We hired a new pastor last year.  Well, this pastor decided that he needed to replace the current staff.  So, he fired our youth pastor, children's pastor, music minister, janitor, and bookkeeper.  He brought in all of his friends to fill these positions, even hired an administrative pastor (which we have never had before), and then hired this new pastor's wife!   Now, we are told that this is common in the Nazarene church, but this was devastating to us.  Even worse, is that he was not truthful about how things happened, and tried to make the church think that these friends were all "called" somewhere else, when the real truth is they were fired.  It rocked us, really hard.  If we as Christians cannot get along, and work together for the common goal of saving souls, then what the heck????   So, after lots of prayer, anger, tears, and sleepless nights, we left our church.  We left our friends, our ministries, and our dreams of our future there.  We followed the children's pastor, Justin, to his new church on the other side of town.  I cannot tell you how hard this was for all of us.  We love Justin and his family very much.  But we went from a church of 800 to a church of 45.  We went from an active, healthy youth group, to no youth group.  From amazing praise and worship to hymns.  It was/is so hard.  But God is using us there.  We have started a youth group.  An on-fire youth group!  There was already an amazing team of folks who lead a children's Bible quizzing team, which is awesome. D1Naz quit doing Bible quizzing several years ago, and we have missed it   Dale and Britt are helping with the music ministry, and it is slowly becoming more modern and upbeat.  The people are so warm and friendly.  Any group of folks who can accept my crazy family have to be good people!  And they did, with no hesitation. we are, helping God grow Trinity Church of the Nazarene.  It still feels weird, but each week it feels more like home.  But our heart still breaks for D1Naz....and we are grieving. I lost my adoption ministry.  I lost so many friends, who will not speak to me, and are angry at us for leaving.  And yet.....we are supposed to all be children of God???  My kids have really struggled with this.  Especially because one of my dear friends was so hurtful to me, and it has really made them wonder what is REALLY inside of someone's heart.  Only God knows.  But in certain circumstances....we can get a glimpse.  So we would appreciate your prayers.   We know we are where we are supposed to be, and God never promises us comfort!   But this has been really, really hard.

The kids are thriving in school this year!  I have 8 enrolled full-time at Decatur Christian School, and 2 in 3 day a week preschool.  My tuition is twice as much as my house payment!!!   But we KNOW this is where the kids are supposed to be.  The staff is amazing, they are such wonderful Godly people.  My kids are getting a good solid education, and I am having fun helping out a few times a week.

Dale changed jobs again.  After a miserable 18 months working family practice at DMH, he went back to surgery in Springfield, and he is now HAPPY!  He is working lots of hours, but the respect and appreciation he gets there is SO worth it, compared to the abuse at DMH.  It is nice to have a happy husband again, even it he does fall asleep by 8pm!  LOL

Last thing of the night is a prayer request.  My Teddy, the sweet little peanut I have been sponsoring in China for the past 7 years, is now available for adoption.  I LOVE this boy.  He breaks my heart!   I have such mixed feelings about him.  I WANT to bring him home.  But, I am so stretched, broke, and exhausted most of the time.  And my kids need so much of me....many times more than I can give them!  I just don't know if I could balance another.  But the agency that is advocating for him, says they think he has ZILCH chance of finding a family, because his needs are so great.  So, friends, what do I do???  Do I continue to pay for his care in China, pray for him, and visit him as often as I can?  OR do I take the plunge and bring him home, and let the world think I am crazy, and perhaps go a little crazy???   UGH     I asked the Lord to break my heart for what breaks His, but now I wanna take it back!  LOL   Teddy, no matter what.....please know that I LOVE YOU!  God bound our hearts together, and you are stuck with me!  I just don't know what that will look like exactly, but its the truth.

Speaking of adoption, since I kinda got the boot from Treasured Adoption Foundation, I gladly accepted a board position with In His Hands Orphan Outreach, and I am LOVING it!   So many amazing opportunities to serve the Lord through orphan care!  More details to come, but lets just say I am gonna be using that passport very often!

God bless you my friends!   Thanks for tolerating my absence and my ramblings!