Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hope Is A Fixed Anchor

I’m not finding it easy to post these pictures, or my thoughts when I see them.  Yet, this is the LORD’s story, and OUR story.  We do not know what the ending is yet.  But HOPE is our anchor.  
First meeting with Clive.

First meeting with Noelani.

She was very upset and scared.  

Our translators tried to help us with her questions and her fears.  This is so NOT like receiving a baby.  I can’t hold them or comfort them.  Sorry, I really have no words.

She is showing me her photo book from the orphanage.  It was so noisy and stressful in this room with dozen’s of children crying in the background.   

My thoughts here were “O.K. little girl, we are BOTH going to have to be brave...I’m scared, your scared, but we have to walk this thing through.  


Trying to talk with Steve at the hotel.  Things really went from bad to worse for all of us.  Noelani wrapped up in the curtains, mumbled in Chinese and wouldn’t come out.  
I can SAY that we prepared for this adoption of older children; we knew and understood how hard it can be for older children.  But, I can also now say that there is no way I could have ever been prepared for the EMOTIONS - both ours and theirs.  The next weeks placed this experience as one of the top three worse things I have gone through in my adult life.  There have been times in my life that I felt I was following the LORD’s will, and yet when I was walking it out, I would have easily told God that had of I “known” how hard it was going to be, I wouldn’t have done it.  I’m glad that I had those experiences to look back on and draw hope from as we woke each day and my raw emotions were saying “LORD, I can’t do this. I DON’T WANT to do this.”
Kalyn and I, our family, and being adopted were rejected and hated and this was certainly communicated to us in no uncertain terms. 
Shell shock would be the best way to describe our time in China.  And I just couldn’t find those “warm-fussy” mothering feelings anymore.  Kalyn and I daily encouraged each other with prayer, scripture and songs, yet mostly we just did the next things that had to be done and prayed that our time in China would end soon.  I have to say up front, our agency, ASIA, was AMAZING in their support for our family.  They saw this for the crisis that it was and truly went out of their way to help this adoption succeed.  I am very grateful to them and to Jacqueline, who allowed me to cry and express my fears and feelings in safety, and also listened to and tried to help Noelani and Clive.  How grateful I was that she was in the same hotel with us, and I often had to call her for help.  
I have been up at 3 the last few nights, thinking things threw and praying.  I read a beautiful devotional from E. Elliot in the early hours of this morning.  I’ll share from it later, but for now, I wanted to begin our story, because it is with HOPE and in FAITH, that I believe the ending of the story will be amazing, because I know that we belong to and faithful and amazing God.


  1. Continued prayers friend!
    Much love!

  2. Dear Shonni,

    My heart goes out to you as you share your honest feelings and concerns in this post. I totally get them. I've been there...and some days I am still there. Please email me if you ever need to talk privately. I would like to offer encouragement to you just as I have had from other friends when our family was walking through the beginning of this very deep, dark valley...but we are starting to see the sunshine! :)

  3. Praying that God would give you supernatural strength...He is faithful!

  4. Shonni, I know that our God is going to use this adoption journey as a testimony to His unfailing love and grace on His children. I can't wait to watch it unfold. Until then, I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. May you feel His love and light shine upon you!!!

  5. I understand the pain and difficulties that can shake us when adopting older children. Our kids were 6, 9, 12 when we picked them up in Ghana. We were given custody of the children, and had NO ONE to walk us through the next 6 weeks before we could come home. Oh what we would have done to have an agency walking us through it. Glad you had that support ... but still totally understand the pain, the questions, the fear ...



  6. Beautiful way to begin your story! It's a process of sifting through what is God's and what belongs to the opposition.

    Your faith in our God and in his words - will carry you through. I look forward to following along.

    I hope and pray that the ending is a beautiful transformation of two children from China- as they discover faith, love and family.
    There are no guarantees...

    We loved seeing you in China- now we hope to see you in Colorado!

  7. Hi Shonni
    I'm praying for strength, patience & wisdom for you today. May these two precious children adjust quickly. How are they with coming home to more children? Do they feel more at home having others around?
    Love to you

  8. Shonni, it takes courage to share such truth! You are not alone, my friend! Two years ago I was ready to succumb to the enemy's lies and leave two children in China, believing that would be best for them. The Lord shook me out of my fears, and I can't say that life has been easy since then...but He IS in control, and He does bring us through. Love you, friend!

  9. Shonni, we were just in that room a few weeks before you were! Our new daughters looked at your pictures and recognized the red couch with the giant black and white polka dot pillows. And like you, I have a hard time looking at pictures from that room. We have been (and still are) where you have been emotionally. These are our first older adoptions, and they are sooooo much harder than baby adoptions. This is the hardest thing I've ever done, Shonni. I am in TOTAL sympathy with every word you wrote. And I do believe God is in the midst of these adoptions, that He is not taken by surprise by them, and that He will carry us (and our children!) through this time. Love you!

  10. Oh, Shonni, my heart just aches for you. I KNOW how difficult this is. Being upfront and honest about it is HUGE. And I'm so glad to see that Cari and Connie have commented...they have been a huge source of encouragement to me. Listen, the enemy IS NOT happy about these adoptions...and it's not going to be easy...but it DOES get better (at least for us it did). I am here for you ANY can email or call me to vent.

    I love you dearly, friend! I will be praying. Please continue to blog out your's very therapeutic.

    Give yourself grace as you walk through's OK not to have warm-fuzzy feelings. It's totally ok.

    I'm rambling but just want you to know that you aren't alone.

  11. Thank you for your is when we are vulnerable and honest that the Lord can use us and our testimony...looks like you have a tough trial ahead and I believe the Lord will bring you through brighter and closer to Him and His Glory through it. I will be praying for you...praying for your family, and that even when it is so TOUGH..that God just shows Himself and that is ALL you see.

    God Bless and what a beautiful example you are to all of us out here reading your story.

  12. Continuing to pray for you and your family. God bless your Mama's heart and the hearts of those precious ones.

  13. Shonni- please email if you need support! I understand everything you have shared here. You are NOT alone. God will see you through this and in the end you will have done His will - even with it being SOOOO hard! Big hugs and lots of love! Praying for you as I finally go to bed tonight! xoxo Jill

  14. Shonni,

    PRAYING! It is really, really hard. We know! BUT, God is good and sovereign AND hard does not equal bad, it is just hard.

    sure you know all of this, but I sure needed to hear it over and over and over during the past 4 years of our 9 older children coming home and learning to love and trust. so hard and so good.

    love and prayers (and ALWAYS available to talk - well, as always as a mother of 10 can be! LOL!)


  15. I remember with jake in China that I would literally cringe and tighten up as I was preparing for that bite he was sure to give me. He really didn't like me. I think it really took a lot of work and some time for him to grieve. We r still praying for you all. Hang in there!

  16. I've been following the story for some time and I haven't commented much but I have to say...we're adopting a child internationally who is almost 6. I really appreciate you telling the story and being so candid with all that you're going through. You and your family is being so noble and strong through all of this and I know the Lord is watching over you all. I will continue to pray for you and all of yours the newbies especially. All the best, Gretchen.

  17. So sorry this has been so hard on all. It is a tough, tough road where you are. It is a tough, tough road where our family still is. Prayers things settle down...prayers for endurance through this.

  18. Oh Shonni, I just love you to pieces! I love your heart...I love your willingness to openly share. God is using you mightily...God is using the adoptions of your new babes mightily and I'm confident He will continue to use this to bring glory to Him. None of this was a surprise to Him and He has and still is equipping you to raise these new bambinos! I am continuing to pray for you guys!!!! HUGS!!!


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