Sunday, February 16, 2014

He's a fighter!

A couple of weeks ago we requested an update on Micah, and were able to ask some of our burning questions! Our case manager at WACAP called me on Monday with some news. Our update says Micah is growing well but only weighs 19 lbs. (I can’t tell you how bad that makes me want to get him home and feed him until his eyes pop out!) He has a good daily routine, and his favorite toys are balls and action figures. Boys will be boys. But the most exciting news is that Micah can stand! 

That’s right I said OUR BOY CAN STAND!!!!

Not only that, but he can stay standing for 5 minutes as long he is holding onto something stable! His medical record no longer lists “left leg paralysis,” but says his left leg is very weak while his right leg is strong!

As you can imagine Phil and I are super excited about this news! This has very positive implications for his mobility. Regardless of his mobility status when we bring him home, we will love the stuffing out of him, but I can’t tell you how proud I am of my boy for learning to stand! He is a little fighter and I know he is going to accomplish some great things!

In other news, our last home study visit is scheduled for Saturday. Now while this good news, it also means that payments for more fees are due very soon. I would be lying if I said that Phil and I aren’t stressed about this, because frankly those funds just aren’t there yet. While we know that God will provide a way I have mixed emotions.

Many times now I have had the thought, “From the outside, we must look like completely irresponsible, unprepared, idiots,” because we have started this process knowing we absolutely cannot pay all of these adoption fees on our own.

But, then I remind myself that God has set us on this path, at this particular time, for a specific reason, and that he is bigger than my reality. My God is so much bigger than the tiny box I so often put Him in. And in the moment when I was at the lowest point that I have been so far on this journey I was directed toward some amazing scripture and Godly encouragement:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

And if that wasn't enough:

“I call you today to stop defining and limiting your future in terms of your past and start defining it in terms of your God.” -John Piper

I have no doubt that this process will be more challenging to my faith than anything I have ever experienced. But I also know God is going to use this opportunity to bring me in close and lay my burdens on Him.

Now don’t think for a second that this means we think we can sit back while God does all the work. We know we have to bust our butts to help make this happen. There hasn’t been a day in the last 2 weeks that I have not touched my sewing machine, and Phil is continuously working on new fundraisers. But we also can’t do it on our own and need so much help to bring our boy home.

Current Fundraisers:

My Etsy Shop: PB&J Family Crafts

Our New T-shirt Fundraiser at

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Piece of His Story

“I promise that for every disability that you have, you are blessed with more than enough abilities to overcome your challenges.” -Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limits

When Phil and I made the decision to adopt we felt led to pursue a child with physical special needs. I, as physical therapist, want to use the skills and gifts I have been given to care for a child who might not otherwise be adopted. At the same time, God had also touched Phil’s heart, and he knew that orphans with special needs were just as deserving of parents as any child.

This led us to Reece’s Rainbow (RR), an organization that advocates and finds families for orphans with special needs from all over the world. The great people there helped Phil’s sister and brother-in-law adopt our amazing nephew Artem from Ukraine.

When we found Micah and decided to pursue him, Stacia at RR tracked down the adoption agency who had his file and facilitated our first contact with them. Soon RR will be setting up a sponsorship page for us, to allow us to accept donations toward Micah’s adoption fees (more on that later). We are so very grateful for what RR is doing for Micah, our family and for orphaned children around the world.

Considering how to approach publicly discussing Micah’s special needs has been so difficult. In all reality this has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with him. First and foremost I want him to know that he was created in the image of God! He has been beautifully and wonderfully made by his heavenly Father who loves him so very much. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our God has amazing things planned for him!

I also want Micah to know that I will love him, just the way he is, always, and no matter what! I want to tell everyone all about him, but at the same time I want to protect him. This is where I am hesitant, because it is his story after all, and he has the right to keep it his. So you can see how this kind of thing could be agonizing for his momma to be.

Still, our son’s differences will be very visible, they will be public, and affect the way he lives daily. But if we have anything to do with it, he will know that these differences do not have to be limitations. He will be able to achieve whatever purposes that God has planned for him.

According to the information we have received, Micah has spinal abnormalities and paralysis of his left leg. He is crawling, and getting around quite nicely in his unique way. We are unsure what his mobility will look like as he grows and develops, but we are prepared for the possibility that he may never walk. He may be able to take some steps and there may eventually be technologies that allow his left leg to move, but it is likely that he will need to use a wheelchair for mobility for some period of time.

Regardless of the challenges he may face, we love him the same, and are so very excited at the prospect of being his parents!

Fundraising: We are currently completing requirements to set up Micah’s RR sponsorship page, and waiting for the completion of our home study in order to apply for grants. In the mean time, I hope you will visit my Etsy shop and consider purchasing an item to help with Micah’s current adoption expenses. I will be adding more items as fast as I can make them! Also, stay tuned for other opportunities to help bring Micah home. We will be starting a new fundraiser later this week!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What's in a name?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

When considering names for our boy, Phil and I wanted to be sure to honor his beautiful heritage. We feel his name is the first way we can celebrate who he is and where his life began.

He was given his Chinese name when he entered the orphanage. We don’t know who chose his name, or what led this person to choose it. But we do know that it is his. It is one of the few things he has been able to call his own. It is the name he finds his identity in, recognizes, and answers to. We felt we should honor this by keeping at least a part of his Chinese name.

While we want to celebrate our boy’s Chinese heritage, he is also part of another legacy; one of redemption! It began when God allowed the adoption of man through Christ. It has continued with our grandparents, our parents, and then us. Our deepest desire is that this legacy will continue with our son. I pray daily for his salvation; that he will love God and love people, and walk with Him daily.

Our son’s name, Micah Ting He Brangers, reflects his origin, and the continuation of a legacy that began with Christ.

Adoption Update: Home study visits 1-3 are in the bag! Now on to more paperwork that requires A LOT of notarizing:)

Fundraising: My Etsy shop OPENS TODAY!!! So pop on over and take a look at my handmade accessories. I will be adding items as they are made, so keep checking back in.

Link: PBJ Family Crafts

Up Next: In a recent Offbrand Media blog post Phil mentioned that most children adopted from China have special needs. In my next post I will discuss that part of Micah’s story.