Sunday, June 26, 2016


Like many people, I often find interruptions quite annoying.  From the mid-sentence interruption to the timid driver interfering with my speedy progress to work in the morning, I don't take too kindly to what my nephew calls "Good opportunities to practice patience." 

As many have the opportunity to do, I've had much time to reflect on our adoption journey. Pondering the timing of it all, the enormity of God's plan and orchestration, the mystery of complete strangers becoming family members forever, Jesus' love and goodness...among other things.  And as I've done so, a theme of interruption emerges.

After we were married, Ryan and I had our neat and tidy plan to have a strapping pack of biological children and then to adopt from China once we had the "parenting thing down" (I'm sure all seasoned parents are laughing at our absurdity). It was a nice idea. 

But God interrupted our plan with His. *HONK! HONK! Insert massive Mack truck of God's plans intercepting my Fiat-sized plans* Two years and many tears into our plan not working, He showed us the time was right to start the adoption process. (You can read about that here) He knew from the beginning that for Ivan to join our family, we would need to start the paperwork at the right time. 

As my reflections continued, I thought about how this so closely parallels how Jesus brings us into His family. He was willing for his perfect existence with the Father to be interrupted...astonishingly so. To leave Heaven, come to earth, and to be with us and make us part of His family. To die on the cross to pay the penalty of the wrong things we do. Why? "For the joy set before Him..." (Heb. 12:2).  While we are OVERJOYED with the anticipation of meeting Ivan, He counted it a JOY to endure torture (and more) so that our sin might not keep us from being part of His family.  While Ryan and I have endured many ups and downs and financial costs, would we be willing to endure torture, ridicule, and worse to bring Ivan home? This is a sobering thought. 

So what does this type of love require? How do we respond to the God of the Universe who has said, "I want to make you my son or daughter?" (CLUE: He's looking for something more than pen pals.) He's looking for us to accept Jesus' sacrifice as the full payment for all the wrong that has kept us from Him (and would lead us to hell); To joyfully accept His invitation to be His child; For us to follow His Son's example of loving God and loving others; To honor our Father's name in all we do. 

Friends, if you haven't accepted His offer, please consider getting on your knees tonight to do so.  Because He isn't looking to make pen pals, He's looking to make sons and daughters. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
~1 John 3:1

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. ~John 1:12




Adorable little Asian fella coming your way...

Beep! Beep!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The time has finally come...

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...[God] has made everything beautiful in its time." 
~Ecclesiastes 3

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
~Psalm 126

Friends, it has seemed like a considerable time that we have been waiting...
Waiting for the fulfillment of many prayers for children...
Waiting to learn the identity of the child in China God put in our hearts over a year ago...

But finally the time has come to celebrate!  Friends, we have been matched and finally know the precious little soul waiting for us half-way around the world.  

Without further ado, we are over-the-moon excited to introduce you to our son, 

Ivan Daniel Wood

Ivan is 25 months old and is said to be happy and cheerful!  Ivan is my paternal grandfather's name. It also is a Russian form of the name "John", which means "God is gracious" or "Gracious gift of God." We feel the meaning is fitting! Daniel is Ryan's middle name.  It is our hope to travel to China sometime around early August to bring him home!  

Until then, please be praying for his heart, for his upcoming transition, for our transition to parenthood (we hear it isn't just a walk in the park!), for his birth parents (who I'm sure think of him daily), and his current caregiver to whom he is close.