Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Less

November is National Adoption Awareness Month!  What a perfect time of year for us to bring home our new son.  

Yesterday I was thinking about all that happened on our trip to get Jack Nathan.  So many things went "wrong" and didn't happen the way I had envisioned.  

The purpose of our journey never changed though... 

There is one less orphan in the world.  Li Rui Chen is now our son forever!  And he has a new name.  He is a Hull boy.  

 God took me into His forever family 30 years ago!  Not because I deserved it, not because I was good or cute.  But because I was created in His image and I asked Him to come into my heart and to be my Lord and savior.  I became a new creation.  I received a new name!  I became part of a new family...

Some day we will have some difficult conversations with Jack Nathan about his past.  The why's and the how's of his life.  He will have questions we won't be able to answer.  But I can't wait to tell him about the Love of our God!  How He orchestrated for us to be a family.  And How much He loves my new boy!

So thankful this season... For so many, many reasons.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gotcha Day!

Now that we've had a few good nights' sleep, here are the FUN pictures from our trip!  Gotcha DAY!  This is the special moment we've waited for... 18 months to be precise.  The exciting day we finally got to hold Jack Nathan as our forever son!

Waiting for our time to meet Jack Nathan!

Paper work and gifts all ready

Going over more paperwork

Levi waiting patiently

Meeting Daddy!

Winning him over with Cheerios!

... and Banana Puffs

Sharing more snacks

Boys working with new Lego's while we wait

With 2 of our guides in Fuzhou... little did we know how much we would need them!

Signing the custody agreement 

It's official!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you

Now that we are home and getting settled we finally got to check Facebook and see ALL the precious posts asking for prayer for Josiah! Wow.  

While we were in the middle of his illness and hospital stay we felt so isolated from our family and friends.  Internet connection was spotty and most days we flat out didn't have any way to check email.  We knew updates were getting to our family through phone calls, but had no idea how many folks were lifting us up to the Father!  Oh, how we needed those prayers!

getting ready to go to the hospital

Day 1 in hospital

sleeping outside ICU

waiting to see Josiah

walking to MRI

morning rounds on peds floor

A wonderful doctor... now a friend

I don't have the emotional or physical energy to go into all the details of that week, but I wanted to say Thank You to all who prayed for us.  Our Heavenly Father had His hand on us during a very dark and scary time.  He carried us one moment at a time and provided for our needs in so many ways!

One scripture I came across was so uplifting:

  "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Psalm 62:5-8

A song kept coming to mind while we were waiting those hours for Josiah's spinal tap results...
                             "Strong Tower"

When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired and all alone
It seems like I've lost my way

I go running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me

Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

feeling better!

Family missing Abby

Thank you dear, sweet friends and family for praying!!  

Home at Last!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012


We made it to our next destination! Josiah is doing ok, not feeling great but tolerating the travel as much as possible.

Thank you all for the continued prayer! Jack is doing great... Very easy going and happy boy! Especially when Cheerios are in hand.

Love you all,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Josiah update

Dear friends and family,

It's Thursday evening in China and we are settling down for another night.  This past week has blurred into one very long day.  Thank you for all of your prayers, emails, texts etc!  Although we haven't been able to be "on-line" very often, your messages have been like a balm for us.

Our brave little boy is finally doing well!  Miracle upon miracle have brought us through a terrifying experience.  Josiah started getting sick Sunday night (Gotcha Day), continued to deteriorate over the next 2 days with high fever, vomiting and diarrhea.  By Wednesday afternoon he was hallucinating and started having seizures.  He was transferred to the ICU where we were separated from him.  He had a CT scan that revealed swelling on his brain and the docs were concerned about meningitis.  The spinal tap came back clear and the labs showed he tested positive for rotavirus.  They told us this is epidemic in China during the fall season, but Josiah's case was the most severe they had seen.  They were calling it "toxic encephalopathy."  They also felt like he had some bacterial involvement so they started him on strong antibiotics along with antivirals, and some other meds we weren't totally sure what they were; the ever present language barrier.

I'm leaving out a lot of detail so you can have the facts.  So much of these past few days we have been on our faces before the Lord, broken and waiting for a miracle.

The Lord delivered our precious boy out of harm and he is now in a regular room with Daddy tonight!  No more fever, no more diarrhea!  He's drinking and eating a little.  He stood up today and even tried to jump on the beds!  They did an MRI yesterday that showed improvement in the brain swelling, and we are seeing behavioral changes consistent with this.  Although he is much better today, his personality isn't totally back to baseline.

The doctors are concerned about his heart and are continuing to monitor him tonight.  They see cardiac involvement with this virus in many cases.  Tomorrow he will have another ECG and blood work.  The doctors have said they think he will be released in time to make our flight to Guangzhou tomorrow evening.

Jack Nathan is doing fabulous and is happy despite the crazy changes in care that he is enduring right now!  He is a precious little guy and we enjoy every moment we get to snuggle with him, feed him and get to know his cute little expressions.

The Lord knew we would need a special angel to help carry us through this journey, and my sister Christy has done just that!  A servant of servants, she has lovingly cared for our children, washed out nasty clothes in the tub, navigated the streets of Fuzhou alone with two little boys and provided constant encouragement.  We would be sunk without her!

Dad has been another huge part of this story! Babysitting, driving us back and forth, praying and helping with more things than I can mention in this note. Many others have been messengers of encouragement and support, thank you Jennifer Parette!

The Lord is so good and mighty to save! He is our Strong Tower, a shelter over us.
 We are exhausted and feel pretty beaten up, but we are not crushed.  The enemy has dealt his hand, but he lost this battle!

Thank you for all of your prayers!!  You are part of this story and some day we will fill in all the amazing details.

We love you all,
Patrick and Patty
Daddy and Jack
Mommy and Jack
Josiah Day 1 in hospital
Camping out on the floor outside ICU
waiting to see J before his MRI
Morning assessment
Morning rounds
Our precious doctor! She is so helpful and sweet