missionaries serving with Campus Crusade for Christ and FamilyLife

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We are home!

Hello friends- We are home.... ahhhh... soft beds. We feel so thankful for such kind, brave, amazing friends who greeted us at the airport in the middle of the night. Thank you for the sweet welcome home for us & our kiddos.

We are all wide awake in the middle of the night...maybe we should have done more research on how to transition the kiddos with the jetlag/time change. You can be sure we will be in for some major adjustment this week. We are all exhausted, but happy to be home & sharing our life with BJ & J. We are praying & looking to God as He knits all of our hearts together.

We brought Lucas home tonight. This was a big step with J. He had mentioned to our guides that he was scared of the dog. What great fun to see J snuggle up in our laps & watch us pet Lucas. J then stretched his little arm out & gave Lucas a scratch. He was so excited & celebrated with Mama and Baba. What joy to walk this road. We are thanking God for every opportunity to build connections with our kiddos.

Much love from all of us...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This process has been such an incredible blessing and we know we are just starting the road of parenting/discipling these kiddos. God has used it to teach us so much about our own adoption... how HE came to us, paid a price for us on the cross, how HE loves us & pursues a personal relationship with each of us.... every time we look at Jacob .... we long for him to feel safe in our arms, loved completely...protected & cherished... we know he doesnt understand it yet or feel any of that yet, but what an amazing journey it will be as we lavish love on both of them... teach them... guide them & help them to know the love & security of a family...what a privilege.... there are so many stories to share with you & not enough space... we see the gospel of Jesus Christ every time we look in these precious faces.... how HE places the lonely in families...HE doesnt leave us as orphans but calls us HIS own. Thank you for praying... much love from all of us .... we fly tomorrow to Guangzhou for our final week in China...

Hello Friends- Thank you for all of your prayers. It means so much to us. We are doing well. Zach is feeling better. We are praising God that his cold did not develop into any asthma event. BJ is taking bottles & we are celebrating wet diapers....seems so silly but such a huge relief to us. Jacob is doing well. Both are continuing to adjust. Jacob will eat ANYTHING. He seems like such an easy going guy. We notice he can be pretty serious at bedtime and wake up time in the morning. We are mindful those might have been special times with his grandma & we continue to pray for his heart (hers too). BJ's sleep is really off. We have been up with her a lot. Going down is very hard for her. Naps are hard for her. We knew to expect all of this so we are praying & clinging to God to meet our needs as we juggle the 4 kids. Allie & Zach have been such a great help. They are such a blessing. We continue to enjoy the food & culture although we must admit we found out that there was a Papa John's pizza nearby and we could have the help of a Chinese/English speaker to order...we jumped at the chance for pizza. Wow... it tasted great. Jacob loved it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today was a very STRESSFUL day for us. Woke up and BJ seemed weak. She refused her morning bottle again. She was up several times in the night so sleep was off for all of us & it was GOTCHA DAY for Jacob. It was pouring rain & Zach has a cough starting up. We tried to give him a nubulizer treatment just to make sure it doesnt get any worse. The nebulizer started smoking even with an adaptor. Ugghh.... nebulizer gone. Next, Art literally ran in pouring rain to the superstore about 1 mile away to buy every bottle type we could find so we can figure out what is going to work for BJ. She screamed for an hour while he was gone. He got back. We were able to find the one that worked best with the right heat for her. 5 minutes later we got the call that Jacob was here in the lobby & ready for GOTCHA DAY. Whoa. You can see Art in the pictures is still pretty wet. What a stressful time. We were really stressed that BJ may be dehydrated. We are so thankful to those of you who are praying for her eating. She did take a bottle tonight again. Please continue to pray. SHe is very little & weak. It is a little scary at times. Thank you so much. Jacob is doing well. His foster Grandma must be a very special lady. SHe sent some new clothes, his favorite snacks, and pictures for him. That means so much to us & surely will mean so much to him someday. For now...he was looking at the pics and kissing them tonight. Please pray for his heart and for hers. We are mindful this is a loss for both of them. We are so blessed to be his parents & we are thanking God for the privilege tonight. Enjoy the pics. We ordered dinner downstairs tonight, but it wasnt going to be ready for a while so they offered to bring it upstairs to our room. It worked out great. We let Jacob look at the menu & point to what he wanted. He ordered seafood & noodles- mussels on the shell, crab, big chunks of fish with veggies & noodles. Amazing to see this little boy eat this dinner. I have some major cooking lessons ahead. We dont normally eat those types of dishes at our house! :) Wow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hello Friends.... thank you for praying.... BJ had some bottle this am.... she didnt sleep very well last night but we knew to expect that... hopefully that will get better day by day.... we will go to the airport this afternoon & head to Fuzhou. We met some great families in this city also. We have had some adventures in this process & our guide is very experienced. What a blessing to us. We are praising God for meeting us in our needs & comforting our hearts. Thank you again for praying. Off to attempt naptime for BJ :)

Hi Friends... going to post briefly tonight. Some of you are able to view pics & some of you say you cannot. So sorry! We dont know what to do differently. We have BJ. Gotcha Day went a lot better than we had anticipated. We are grateful for your prayers. We felt them. Our girl is doing pretty well. We are asking for prayers for her to be able to eat (she refused her bottle tonight) and sleep (so far still walking the halls with her- 2 hrs past bedtime). Art is taking a shift & I am posting quickly. We will try to post some pics tomorrow. The directors and nannies at the orphanage were very kind to us. They spent a lot of time and let us video a lot. They allowed us to interview the nannies and ask detailed questions about BJ's life, routines, etc. They were great. Also, they took our family to lunch while BJ napped today. That was very special. Lots more to share, but just no time for now. We are tired & our girl is tired. Praying for sleep for all. Allie & Zach are great. They have been incredible helpers & they are so excited. Paperwork in the AM. Plane leaves about 4 pm. This guide says we will probably get Jacob on Wed am. OK... more later. Again, thank you for your prayers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday AM.... time is flying .... going to post some pics from yesterday....spent almost all our time helping with children... what a privilege to be in China & to be serving here.... Jen & Allie working lots with babies... Art & Zach working lots with preschool ages... they really do long for families... 5 being adopted this week....so amazing to hear their little hearts, so proud of their family photo books, heard a story that one little guy (4 yrs) ...when his ayi (aunt or nanny) came in to wake him up yesterday... he was fuzzy & sleepy... he said, "is this the day ...are my mommy & daddy here now?" So amazed to see scripture alive... as we talked about how God really does place the lonely in families. What an amazing day it will be for him to be able to experience the love & security of a family. Check out the picture of Art & Zach with the little boy on the bike. It doesnt seem like a big deal but it is a huge deal. That little boy cannot walk. Bikes are so common here. I wish I could have captured the first glimpses of his face as Art & Zach helped him to ride the bike all over the playground. None of us could keep dry eyes. We LOVE China... the people, the food, everything. It will be hard to leave here on Sat. Only thing that makes it easier is that we are going to our kiddos.... in less than one week ...we will hold our Bethany Joy ... ready to show her love & security of our home.... Cannot wait!!! Thanks for praying for us. Still major sleep issues.... waking up at 1 to 2 am and really having trouble going back to sleep. More soon! Love you!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Prayer for some dear friends....

We are on our lay-over in O'Hare in Chicago. Zach had his deep dish pizza for dinner (part of his wish list on this trip). We are boarding flights to Beijing at 9:05 pm tonight. We will arrive in Beijing on Thurs night at 11:50 PM China time. We will go thru customs & then take about 1 hr drive to where we will serve for the week. We are praying that all of us will do ok adjusting with sleep. Thinking lots of holding our kiddos.

Would you take a moment to pray for a special family? We are thinking lots of some friends who live here in the Chicago area. The Dad is battling cancer and things are at a very serious point tonight. Please pray for our dear friends (the Petersons). He has faithfully served the Lord & his family. Pray with us that God would meet them in all of their needs right now. This family is so special to us & it's hard to believe we are here and they are nearby at the hospital going through so much. Thank you for lifting this precious family in prayer.

Grateful for you all,
Art, Jen, Allie & Zach

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Final Countdown!!

Hi All!

Thank you to so many who have called or sent emails to let us know you are praying. Your kindness & encouragement means so very much to us.

There are lots of thoughts racing through our minds....most of all.... what an incredible privilege we have to visit China & adopt these precious kids.

Here is the schedule below. We will blog as much as time & technology will allow.

China trip….

  • Oct 26-Nov 5 Beijing & surrounding area ... volunteer time as a family 

  • Nov 5-Nov 8 Changsha ...Bethany Joy "gotcha day" on Mon, Nov 7th

  • Nov 8-Nov 14 Fuzhou .... Jacob "gotcha day" on Tues, Nov 8th -- paperwork & med. cks.

  • Nov 14-Nov 20 Guangzhou  .... consulate appointment & final paperwork

We love you!
Art, Jen, Allie & Zach

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Overdue Update!

Thank you to everyone who is following along. We will post our schedule in the next couple of days.

We will leave for China this Wed, Oct 26th and return close to mid-night on Sun, Nov 20th.

This is such an exciting time for our family. Thank you for caring & for praying.  We are especially sensitive that Bethany Joy & Jacob will be leaving everything they have ever know in the way of security, comfort and safety. Please pray for their hearts & ours. We want to be able to comfort them and meet their needs as they try to understand all that is changing. We pray they will feel our love & joy.

You could also be praying about our volunteer time during the first week of our trip. The four of us will serve at an orphanage. Pray that we can be a blessing.

More soon......


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Updates & pictures!!

This is a pretty exciting time! We were able to send care packages to the kiddos in July. We have now received new pictures & updates for both of them! Enjoy the pics & pray for them. We are mindful that huge transitions are coming. We want desperately for both kids to know they are precious, safe & loved by us but even more importantly by Jesus!

We were able to send the gifts & cake. Our hearts wonder about the stories of the other kiddos in the pics. Do they have adoptions in the works? Do they long for the day they will have their cake party too? Praying for them to know the love of parents & a home, too!

Ms. Bethany Joy seems to be growing & getting stronger! Look at those beautiful feet & toes! Oh...that beautiful fuzzy hair. We cannot wait to hold her & tell her how much we love her already. We were told she weighs only 15 lbs. She is itty bitty. Zachary weighed about 30 lbs at her age. 

US CCCI becomes Cru ....

Friday, August 5, 2011

2nd LOA!!!!

Our I800 is on the way to Texas! We are getting closer every day. It was an incredible blessing to get Bethany Joy's LOA yesterday after waiting 93 days. We are so excited to be moving forward. It seems so difficult to estimate travel as we finish these last couple of steps, but our agency thinks September. Thank you for your continued prayers for God's glory in our lives & His perfect timing in every detail!   With love, Art & Jen

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the topic of Patience

This is an open letter of confession from both of us! Many of you can probably relate. We struggle with patience especially in the area of waiting to get to our babies in China. Struggle with patience is maybe not strong enough.... HATE TO WAIT is more appropriate! Oh.... we are learning so much through this adoption process. Below is a devotion from Streams in the Desert we thought might be a blessing to some of you who are a waiting season too. It really changed our perspective and openned our eyes to the amazing work of waiting with patience! We want so much to honor God with our lives. We want so much to trust Him in the biggest things and all the way down to the smallest of details. There is a lot of peace letting go and letting Him lead the way. Praying that our times of waiting will be peaceful giving way to praise & joy. Lord, help us to rest in that place!

We pray this encourages you too....especially the adoption forum friends we are coming to love & cheer alongside....

With joy,
Art & Jen

Wait With Patience
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him" (Ps. 37:7).

Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited, and still there is no manifestation?

Are you tired of seeing nothing move? Are you just at the point of giving it all up? Perhaps you have not waited in the right way? This would take you out of the right place the place where He can meet you.

"With patience wait" (Rom. 8:25). Patience takes away worry. He said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. Patience takes away your weeping. Why feel sad and despondent? He knows your need better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all. Patience takes away self-works. The work He desires is that you "believe" (John 6:29), and when you believe, you may then know that all is well. Patience takes away all want. Your desire for the thing you wish is perhaps stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.

Patience takes away all weakening. Instead of having the delaying time, a time of letting go, know that God is getting a larger supply ready and must get you ready too. Patience takes away all wobbling. "Make me stand upon my standing" (Daniel 8:18, margin). God's foundations are steady; and when His patience is within, we are steady while we wait. Patience gives worship. A praiseful patience sometimes "long-suffering with joyfulness" (Col. 1:11) is the best part of it all. "Let (all these phases of) patience have her perfect work" (James 1:4), while you wait, and you will find great enrichment.  --C. H. P.


Hold steady when the fires burn,
When inner lessons come to learn,
And from this path there seems no turn
"Let patience have her perfect work."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Our hearts ache for the orphan.....


Typing this through tears.... we want to hold every one of them! Join us in praying God would rise up churches, parents, teams, prayer warriors, caregivers, ministries..... to care for the orphan!

Art & Jen

Monday, July 11, 2011


We praise GOD for this answer to prayer!! We got our LOA (letter of acceptance) today for Jacob!! This is great news. We have been waiting for about 75 days now. What a great celebration! We are waiting for Bethany Joy's to come now too. Hopefully & prayerfully, it will be any day. There are times this road seemed so long. It is incredible to know we will be making travel plans soon.

Our next step involves sending paperwork to the US government (I800 approval). That approval will lead to documents over to China and US consulate in China. We will get travel dates to finally get to hold our little people.

The LOA marks another special step for us. We have permission to send a care package to our children. We can write a personal letter (will be translated for them) to our child and send photos of our family, house, doggie, & life here in Arkansas. We can send gifts and even items for their caregivers. We feel so grateful to China for allowing us to adopt these precious kids. We feel grateful to God for allowing us to walk this road of adoption. More & more it has ministered to our hearts...just how much God pursues each one of us, He paid a price for us, He draws us to Himself and calls us His own.


Thank you for your faithful prayers!

With great joy,
Art & Jen

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jumping in with both feet.....

We are new to this blog process so we really appreciate your grace.... it is exciting to think we can share our ministry journey and especially the adoption process with you. Our hearts are so full with the confirmation God has given us in the last few days alone. We have been matched with 2 children: a 3 year old boy and a 10 month old girl. We have 2 children waiting for us on the other side of the world. We cannot get there soon enough! Thank you for praying for us! We will post updates regularly.
Love, Art & Jen