Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nit Free!!!

Okay...I just wanted to post a couple head lice tips.

First, the Olive Oil treatment is excellent! Most importantly, it is non-toxic. I saturated the hair with olive oil, wrapped head in saran wrap for 4 hours. Then, I rinsed and washed with dishsoap to remove the oil. I then mixed a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water to rinse the hair and pick out nits.

Second, today I sectioned off Libi's hair in green bands and went through each section checking for nits. As I finished a section I banded it in pink to indicate the completed sections. This worked so well! Libi is so squirmy this method was key. (Thanks Lynn!!)

and I am pleased to report....
we are nit free!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Update

Christmas Light Cruising
Christmas Claus
This Santa smells like beef and cheese....
Libi had a great Christmas party at school. Unfortunately, Santa couldn't make it and sent an elf...let's just say Libi was onto him. Libi also brought an extra special GIFT home from school for Christmas, but you will have to wait until the end to see what it was.
Christmas Birthdays
Christmas Joke
Christmas Massacre
Christmas Love
Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cousins
Christmas Cuddle
Christmas Cuties
Lazy Christmas
Cornerstone Christian Christmas Coat
Rockin' Christmas
Head Lice Christmas!!!

Yes, for the first time ever head lice is making it's debut in the Arnold house. Libi is the only one infected so far, and we are praying it stays this way. She is pictured above having a home remedy treatment of olive oil. Treating Libi for lice is like wrestling a greased pig, with the olive oil, it is seriously almost literally like it! My dad suggested buying her a pet monkey to do the nit picking.
Is that where the expression "nit picky" comes from???
Are you sympathy itching???

Hope your Christmas was as blessed as ours...
minus the lice!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A gift from the Giver

"How precious to me are your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them!"
Psalm 139:17
I was blessed beyond measure this morning. I awoke with my precious Maggie on my mind, which is not necessarily unusual. What was unusual was the specific conversation I had with my God. I asked Him if He was thinking of her as I was.

Our paperwork has been beyond SLOW! If you know anything about the process, we just submitted our homestudy this week. It has taken us about 3 months longer to complete the homestudy than normal time frame, but in the adoption process what is normal!

Years ago the Lord taught me that He is a God who remembers, and when He remembers, he acts. This morning He showed me those thoughts He thinks toward us...When I lifted my eyes from my prayer the sky was completely pink! So beautiful...only a sky that a true girl could appreciate. As the glow of the pink sky flooded into the house I praised Him for showing me once again that He is remembering and acting, even when I feel like nothing is moving. As I walked to my desk to grab my camera and capture the moment, I saw an email that said, "HUGE SURPRISE (pictures of Guan Qing)"
I have nothing else to say...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2 years ago...



It was two years ago this very day that our sweet Haddie Hope was birthed into our arms. This is one of those days that causes me to look back and reflect. Haddie was so thrilled to have a family, but not too thrilled with her new mama. Within the first minutes she smacked me in the face. That makes me laugh now, but when it happened it broke my heart in a way that is hard to describe.

Knowing Haddie as I do now, I have never seen her be aggressive in any other situation, and it is clear to me she was acting out of all that she was feeling. One thing she has expressed over and over is that when she came home she knew she was safe. To me, that indicates in China she struggled to feel safe. I have seen her grow through fear and insecurity in amazing ways, but the One thing that has brought the greatest healing to my little girl is the love of the One who can heal her far beyond the love and security of a family, Jesus. Haddie knows Jesus. She had never heard of Him, or God the Father before she knew us. We were part of that bridge for her. In a conversation three weeks ago she said to me, "Jesus healed my China hurts, Mommy." Enough said.

Last night I held Haddie on the couch and was forever ruined by what took place. We were watching one of those cheesy Lifetime Christmas movies, which is one of my favorite things about Christmas, but that is beside the point. This particular movie, "The Three Gifts", was the story of three older boys who lived in an orphanage. These boys were around the age of ten, and they express their desire for a family. The boys also expressed that being 10 years old is like 100 in orphan years. Of course, being a Lifetime Christmas movie, by the end these boys are adopted by a family. As we watched these boys have the deepest longing of their hearts fulfilled, my daughter wiped tears from her eyes. Do you know why? Because she lived that. She knew the desire, she knew the joy and completeness that adoption brings to a child who has longed, wondered, waited, hoped and prayed...

Older children wait....
they wait year, after year, after year...
Could you adopt an older child?
Could you be their bridge to Jesus?
I leave you with one more before and after picture to ponder...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

4 years ago China

The post below came from Libi's blog 4 years ago. When my sweet friend Alyssa reminded me of this today the Lord spoke to the deep places of my mama heart. This adoption process with Maggie has been the longest process we have journeyed, and we have so far to go. I pleaded with the Lord this morning to help me not be anxious, and trust that His time is best. As I read this post and remembered all I was thinking and feeling 4 years ago, I had forgotten, because time had washed it away. Libi came home at just the right time, and when my arms could not hold her, other arms did, yet the best of those were Jesus' arms.

So, for those of you who know the Libi of NOW, take a minute to rejoice in what He has done in her over the last four years...PRAISE HIM! AND...remember HE HOLDS ALL THINGS TOGETHER!

Colossians 1:17
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

"How beautiful on the mountains are the FEET of the messenger who brings GOOD NEWS, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the

God of Israel reigns!"
Isaiah 52 :7

Ican't believe it! It is impossible to put into words what it is like to see your dear friend holding your baby that you have never met. I feel like I could reach out and grab her! My heart is too overwhelmed for words at this point. God is too precious for words.

"HOW GREAT IS GOD - beyond our understanding." Job 36:26

The reports from Alyssa were good. She could not say enough about what wonderful care Libi was recieving. She did express how much she needs to come home and get lots of love and one on one attention. We covet your prayers for our precious daughter. We pray for complete wholeness in her physicaly and mentaly.

"I know that you can do ALL THINGS; no plan of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

Pictures below:

Libi with her nanny Julia.

Can you say hair products?

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Up to our eyeballs in laundry...

Okay, so just wanted to stop and encourage everyone to remember to have fun in the "everyday". Even a big 'ole pile of laundry can look daunting at times,

but throwing it around, making a big mountain to roll down,
playing hide and seek much more fun.
Yes, eventually it must get folded and find its way to the drawers and closets, but in the meantime I am choosing to look for the "fun" in the not so fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thoughts on my man-child...

Homecoming 2011
How blessed I am to be the mama of this handsome man child! He is a young man of conviction, whose maturity at times amazes me. He has faced a lot of change in his 17 years of life.
*bringing an unwed mother and foster sister into our home within weeks of each other, causing him to sleep on the floor in his brothers' room for 6 months
*watching that same foster sister, whom he loved with his whole heart, be lifted from our lives
*welcoming home a severely handicapped sister,
only to turn around 2years later and welcome a 7 yr old sister with special needs

With some of these changes I questioned the effects they would have on all my children; wanting to protect my children from loss and disappointment, desiring to give them my full love and devotion, many times I wanted to tell God "no, this is too much for them". Had we not stepped forward in faith, I never dreamed that I would actually be depriving my kids from navigating through some of the most character building times of their lives.

It seems that sometimes our desires for our children get tainted by the lies of the world, particularly the American culture we live in. This culture will tell us that we need to avoid inconvenience, heartache, things they may cost us along the way. This culture tells us to seek happiness and contentment here on earth. I am learning, with every passing day, we live in a wretched world, and the JOY in living is living for the Kingdom of endless HOPE that is offered through relationship in Jesus.

All that to say, I am thankful for how God has used the hard stuff of walking with Him to mold and shape my boys, and I encourage you to remember the next time something presents itself with a price tag that looks too great for your family, take a closer look because you may be walking away from the greatest gift of your life; a gift that in the end, may not feel like it cost you anything, but gave you everything!

I love you Jacob! Thank you for persevering and allowing God to use it all to mold you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time to catch up...

As the paperwork process for Maggie goes "painfully" slow, there are many memories being made.

Our Little Miss Haddie (Happy) was a featured artist at a benefit to raise funds for Easter Seals. Haddie has received services at Easter Seals for speech since she came home. This organization has been key in helping both of our girls reach their full potential. As the auction on her artwork began and the microphone was handed her way she told the audience to..."Show me the money!" This girl can truly light up the room!
(The painting is called "My Backyard" was done with her feet)
At one point the auctioneer pleading with the audience to push the bidding higher, said, "Come on folks, this she's been through a lot." If he and those who sat in that room only took a moment to really think about the truth in that statement. Only God fully knows all that Haddie Hope has been through. I think we would all be amazed at the happy girl that has been birthed out of such sadness, and the HOPE out of hopelessness!

The same weekend my precious grandma turned 90! This lady is quite an amazing gal. She has influenced my life in significant ways, and I was so blessed at the opportunity to celebrate her and my love for her!

(No...Libi did not lose the fight!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I awoke to this...

and I am reminded of this...

Proverbs 31
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

(Sweet little Paige spent her last days with the loving staff at New Day Foster Home.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wish you were here...

I wish she was here to celebrate her 8th birthday with us! The good news is, next year we will hold her in our arms for her special day! We pray Maggie is safe and happy in China, surrounded by those who love her there. We celebrate her today, and we celebrate Jacob. Jacob and Maggie share the same birthday and we think that is very cool!

Jacob, you have grown into a young man of integrity and solid conviction. I am so blessed to be your mom!
Libi drew the winner of our iPad raffle tonight....our dear friends Greg and Christine won!

It has been overwhelming to receive the blessing of so many generous hearts.

Honestly, every adoption journey has brought its unique "fear hurdles". With Libi, we were terrified to parent a severely handicapped child. Haddie, we were fearful about her age. When the Lord set Maggie in front of us we were in NO place financially to consider another adoption. In each situation He has called, we answered, and stepped with fear and trembling. Each time God has graciously grown our faith, and the fear is less paralyzing, but it is still there. In the last 2 months God has proven once again, that all we must do is step, and He will make sure we have footing!

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.