The Family

The Family

Monday, November 29, 2010


Things are continuing to move along, and for that we are truly grateful!  We go back and forth between focusing on paperwork, then fundraising, paperwork, then fundraising.  Trying to juggle both those balls in the air successfully and never let one slip is a challenge.  Luckily women are good at multi-tasking, or so they tell me.  I am trying to hone my skills.

By far the biggest piece of news thus far is that our paperwork is at USCIS!!  Praise God that they are willing to review the digital copies of the paperwork that we sent, with the help of the Joint Council, until they get the actual paperwork (which has been known to sit in their lockbox for a week or more).  Time, as usual, is of the essence so this is a big deal.  After they (hopefully) approve it all, we will be on the lookout for our fingerprint appointments in the mail.  We need to pray that the fingerprinting office will allow us to get these done before that scheduled appointment and not give us a hassle.  I have heard of many people doing this before, usually without complication, so I hope that will be the case in our situation.

The next exciting piece of news has to do with our fundraising.  In the past week alone we have had one family-- friends from our church-- donate $300 to our chip-in, and then another woman whom we do not even know donate $1000 to our Sacred Selections fund!!  Thank you God for the generosity of these people adding to our fund and bringing us that much closer to getting our son home!!  I have said it before and I will continue to say it-- people's generosity towards us and this child has amazed me and continues to amaze me every day.  It has been such a blessing to watch everything gradually falling into place as it has and I know it is the hand of God at work.

I would be lying however if I didn't also acknowledge my nervousness in all this as the time draws nearer.  Although we have been making good progress, we are still far short of the money needed to get this child home.  Most of the money we have collected so far is going to pay for our homestudy and  the agency fees for this adoption.  Very little, if any, has been able to be set aside for travel.  Our agency tells us that we will need between $5000 and $7000 to pay for our tickets, facilitator, visas, etc and all that needs to be raised in about a month!

So to all those who have donated to us, we offer a huge THANK YOU!!  And to those who have been considering it but have not yet done it, we ask a big PLEASE??  Every little bit adds up in a big way, as we have seen.  Someone on the Yahoo group I belong to for people adopting from China offered up a $5 challenge to the group a month or so ago. She asked each person in that group to simply donate five dollars to our account, and that was what got our chip-in rolling.  And look where it is at now!!  And just think....just $5 from each person who has visited my blog so far could have pretty much funded our entire adoption! 

I know that with the holidays quickly approaching it is difficult to find any extra funds for your own family, let alone ours.  But if you can donate to our effort to bring Zou Lie home, even by just sparing $5, we would be so grateful. Also don't forget to check out my "31" fundraiser on the sidebar.  All proceeds go towards our adoption and they have some wonderful products which would make great gifts!  All orders are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas, and you can get your gifts monogrammed just for that special person.

So, at this point we just keep on moving forward, keep juggling those many "to-do" things in the air, and keep praying that it will all turn out well in the end.  We are making good progress and hope to continue to do so in the next month.  We just need to keep a positive attitude and remember that if it is God's will, all this paperchasing, fundraising and nail biting will be over in a little more than a month and a half.  Until then, I will keep reminding myself of these words which I have posted before and which are a good summary of our experiences so far.....
Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face.  If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In Thanksgiving...

Although it is officially the day after Thanksgiving, here at our house we are still reflecting on all the blessings we have been given and all we have to be grateful for.  There is much, and we are humbled by the way God has taken care of our family yet another year.

~ We are thankful for a home... many have lost theirs this year due to the economic crisis, storms, fires, war, etc.  We are grateful we have a warm, comforting place to return to each day.

~ An income... many people have lost this as well this past year, my husband included for awhile, and it makes you grateful each day that you have a way to make a living and provide for your family.

~ A wonderful church... they are like our second family-- always there for us, supportive and loving, and it means so much.

~ Our faith... I hesitate to think where we would be without it.  I don't know how others make decisions without God in their lives.  I know I would personally be a mess without the knowledge that He is there guiding my path and easing my burdens.

~Our health... After my husband broke his leg a couple months ago we all began to realize firsthand how important one's health and mobility really is.  It is difficult to be unable to do all the things you once could do with ease.  We take our good health for granted so many times, it is just one more thing to thank God for each day!  Thank you Lord for my health, my husband's recovery and the health of my children.

~Last but not least-- FAMILY.  There is no greater joy in this world for me than loving my husband and children and having them near.  I cherish being a wife and mother and know that this is my main purpose in life.  I love always knowing we are there for each other, one complete unit, through thick or thin and that we will lift each other up and support one another no matter what.

We are doubly thankful that we have added one new member to the family this year through the adoption of our daughter, and that we are taking the steps to add another son, hopefully at the beginning of next year.  "Children are a blessing from the Lord."

Our family is also extremely grateful for all those people out there with kind and giving hearts who have supported us both emotionally and financially throughout this latest adoption.  Your love shown towards our family is incredible and we are so THANKFUL!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Aaah the blessing of it and the dread of it all at the same time.  Paperwork.  There is so much of it and it all must be completed so quickly, that half the time I dread just thinking about it.  Yet at the same time, it is such a blessing because it makes all of this even more real.  We are really doing this!  We are really moving forward with our adoption!  I have to focus on how amazing this is and instead of considering it drudgery, I must look at all the nit-picky, time consuming stuff in a positive light.  All of that paperwork paves the road we must take to get to our new son.  And with its hills, valleys, rocks and all-- it is a road worth taking.

It reminds me of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken--
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." 

Those are his final lines to this poem and the basic summary of his thoughts.  I have been reminded of those words many times in this process so far and they are very meaningful to me.  Frost took a different path in his own life by choosing to pursue a career as a poet rather than a more conventional job, and as a result was considered a fool. He could have taken the easy way out, finishing college and continuing on to be a businessman as everyone expected he would.  But instead, he followed his heart which lead him towards writing poetry and of course as we know, this brought him overwhelming success and more importantly-- joy. 

In comparison, our family is going down the road we have chosen- the road towards an older waiting child.  We could have kept our happy little family as is, and continued on content with our lives instead of leaping by faith into the unknown. We have no idea what the future will bring with this new child, but are choosing to follow our hearts and go where God is leading us.  It is not a conventional path, it is not a path for everyone, and it is not a path we have traveled before.  We have relied much on other people's guidance and wisdom in this, as well as in their encouragement, and we just know that it is the way we are meant to be going at this time in our lives. 

In adoption there are no guarantees, and there certainly is no easy road that I know of to get there.  But there aren't many easy roads to travel towards what is really important in life anyway.  Anything in life worth having requires work and dedication.  Adoption is no different, and it is definitely one of those things in life worth doing.  After all, even the birthing and raising of biological children is a time-consuming, difficult and oftentimes a heartbreaking road to follow as well, though I think we would all agree that the joys and blessings we are rewarded with far outweigh the momentary bumps in the road that we must endure.  Adoption is no different.  We are beginning the process in a unique way, but in the end there is still a new child in your family who needs love, nurturing, support and guidance.  Another child to call your own.

So, to the paperwork I say "Bah humbug!" but it won't get me down.  This is a momentary, fleeting time of struggle, but it too will pass.  The paperwork, with all its annoyances, will only bring us closer to our son and so I will continue to look upon it as a blessing and pray that it all arrives to its destination safely and with great speed.

And when my husband and I finally look into the eyes of our newest son on Gotcha Day we will know- with certainty- that when we chose to follow the road less traveled, to this one child it will have indeed made all the difference.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


These past few days have been so humbling for us!  It has been an incredible faith booster for our family to hear from so many of you encouraging us along during this adoption, and to watch with awe and amazement as our chip-in has grown from $0 to over $2200 in just the past 4 days!  Wow is God ever at work!

This has been such a great testament of Christian brotherly love to both to us and our children.  Nothing has delighted me more over these past few days than when our 12 year old daughter came into the room last night while I was on the computer, and upon finding out that our chip-in was over $2000 she exclaimed "What?!  Well you see Mom, I knew that God wanted us to adopt this boy.  Now He is making a way for it to happen." 

It makes me cry just to know the lessons that my children are taking away from all this-- greater than any homeschool lesson we could ever learn!
1--  It is the knowledge that God is greater than any one person or thing or obstacle.
2--  It is also that His people, when coming together for the greater good, are a mighty force to be reckoned with.

Our children have now seen firsthand the supreme generosity shown towards strangers by the way you all have supported us in phone conversations, emails and donations.  It is my prayer that they will carry these lessons forward in their own lives and remember to put people first-- not things-- and sacrifice for others when they are in need.

No words can adequately express the joy, the humility, the blessings that we are feeling right now.  The fact that so many people would put their time, money and energy toward helping us bring this boy home continues to wow us.  We are truly humbled and thankful that you care enough about trying to help him through helping us in our adoption of him.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and look forward to seeing what else God has in store.  We are getting closer to our goal, but still have a ways to go.  Still have a lot of paperwork to get processed in a short time frame as well. 

Please continue to pray for us, that we might be successful in getting it all done! Ask God to lead my hands and feet in the right directions and not to allow me to tire in this process.

Also, I mentioned before that I would have a fundraiser up and running soon and that I would post it when I did.  Well here it is-- our newest fundraiser through Thirty-One Gifts posted now on the right sidebar of this page!  You can visit their catalog through the posted link-- all proceeds from this fundraiser will go straight to our adoption, and there are some great gift-giving ideas just in time for the holidays!

Thank you again to everyone for your support!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

We're Going Forward

Oh my goodness what a challenging last couple weeks it has been!  I am so drained but yet determined.  Our family is moving ahead with our original plans of trying to adopt a special needs older waiting child from China!!  The same boy we had committed to before-- Zhou Lie-- is still waiting for a family.  We have gotten approval from our agency to continue forward, despite our previous setbacks, and try to adopt him!

We have gotten a new homestudy done through the grace of God and a wonderful, kind social worker who has a heart for orphans.  We have compiled all the necessary paperwork for our dossier so that we can submit our information and hopefully be approved for this boy. We have gotten our medicals done, our passports, our items notarized.... the list goes on and on.  Anyone who has done this adoption thing before knows it is A LOT of work.  But oh, so worth it.  We long to have that precious boy home, safe and here with us.

I know the odds are against us, I have to be logical, but I also know that with FAITH all things are possible.  God can move mountains.  And right now, only He knows what the outcome of all this will be.

With that in mind, I beseech you all for your prayers.  Storm the gates of heaven, let the requests be made known to the only ONE through whom all things are made possible. Pray that we can do everything we need to do on our end in the short amount of time we have left.  Pray that our agency will continue to allow us to move forward without difficulties.  They are already skeptical that we will not be able to raise the funds needed to bring this child home, even if we do get all the paperwork sent in and approved.

I admit, I understand their concern.  We are concerned as well.  We lost valuable fundraising time after we discovered that we needed to switch homestudy providers and thought we would not be able to continue moving forward with this adoption.  We were stretched time-wise already at the beginning of this journey.

This is why we know we must ask for the generosity of others in order to make this happen.  I have already made up fundraising letters and given them to every member of our church family.  We have made our needs known before the congregation as well in hopes that they will step forward and offer some support.  I have also given these letters to other churches in our area hoping that their mission groups might support us as well in this endeavor. 

We have had one fundraiser in the past couple weeks which brought in $300-- my Premier Jewelry show-- and I now have jewelry from that show to offer here on my blog in a donation give-away as well.  That info and pictures of the beautiful items being offered will be up soon! 

We are also going to be having a "31" fundraiser which I will post more about on here as well.  Great ideas for the holidays coming up!  As well we are looking into having a pancake breakfast in our area through Applebees' program, and I am offering my baking services making cakes, pies and cupcakes for the holidays which are quickly approaching.  I am also going to organize a "Shopping Nite/ Nite Out" evening for people in our area who want to drop their children off at my home for a couple hours while they get their shopping done, or simply enjoy an evening out with their spouse.

So, you can see we are trying to brainstorm and act upon any idea we can that does not take a huge amount of time to coordinate, because obviously, we don't have a huge amount of time to work with.

 But I know that even with these fundraisers planned, we will still need more money in order to get this child home in two short months.  Zhou Lie ages out on his birthday just two months from yesterday.  Yesterday!  Please, help give this child a chance.  Help us give him a family. 

If you would like to donate you can do so via our chip-in at the top right corner of this blog.  Refresh your screen if you cannot see it.  If you would like, you can also donate to our tax deductible fund, you can go to or call them directly at 916-770-0336. If you choose to donate to them online, please still contact the coordinator- Dana- and let her know the amount of your donation, and that your donation was specifically for the Rowe family.

We thank you for your generosity and your loving kindness towards orphans.  We are humbled by the help we have received already-- some from friends, some from others we do not even know. We know there are so many people who have a true heart for orphans out there, and we are so grateful for your help and your prayers.

 We know that Zhou Lie would thank you too if he could.  He would thank you for giving him the opportunity for a home, a family, and a life full of opportunity-- things he will never get if he is left to age out in China.  Please help him have a future.  Please help him come home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November is Orphan Awareness Month

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.

But once you do, everything changes."

~ Anonymous ~

Here is a post from a great, great blog.  You can find the original at

This posting truly exemplifies how I feel about adoption.  I have said it before and I will say it again, if people always think someone else is going to adopt these children, but noooo, not them..... these children will never find homes!  We need to step out of our comfort zones.  TRUST GOD!  He will provide the way.  He will provide the love, the patience and most importantly He will multiply the blessings that these children will bring into our lives-- yours and mine-- if we only let Him.
Let's take special care to remember to pray for the orphans of the world this month.

November 8, 2010

reckless abandon

It’s Orphan Awareness Month. Again.

Another month set aside for the church to show orphan related videos, hear testimonies relevant to adoption and orphan care, and an opportunity to listen to sermons where orphans are [possibly] mentioned.

I must confess. Many times I ask myself, “What’s the point of it?” “Is having another time set aside to create an awareness of the orphan crisis even worth the effort?” Is it? Will it make a profound difference?

Perhaps I have become somewhat cynical, or weary of the battle that rages for the lives of millions of children, or frustrated that help seems so slow to come, or desperate to see more and more who are willing to go. I don’t know. I only know the sinking feeling that I feel each time I look into the faces of our four adopted children and remember the millions that are left behind. The ones who are literally without hope, without life.

We’re the Christians doggonit! We’re God’s beloved church. His beautiful bride. We’re the ones He has already called to take care of the orphans.

Yet sadly, we wait.

We wait for God to speak to us in an audible voice, telling us to “GO!”—sometimes He does that audible voice thing, you know.

We wait for the perfect job to come along—orphan care demands a whole lot of money.

We wait for the bills to be paid—can’t be taking on more than we can handle.

We wait for the larger house—because adding children requires a large house.

We wait for a few kids to leave the nest before we add more—can’t be having too many children in the home.

We wait for confirmation with the perfect scripture to drop into our spirits as a sign that we need to act now.

We wait...for someone else to go.

We wait, we wait, we wait.

And while we wait—they perish. The statistics are staggering. I can’t even look anymore.

This is the horrendous reality...

Why do we find every reason under heaven and earth why we should not go? The Bible is as clear as daylight—“care for the widows and the orphans.”

It’s a lot like missions. My heart aches when I see how many churches don’t have a fabulous missions program. God’s Word says to “Go into ALL the world and make disciples of all men.” It’s a command! It’s non- negotiable. Taking care of the orphans is a command too. We’re commanded in His word to care for them—however that may look.

But still we wait for “the call” to come. Kind of like, “I am SO glad Mrs. Jenkins is called to lead children’s church, because that is DEFINITELY NOT my calling.


God hardly ever calls us to do things for Him when everything in our lives is just grand. He never calls us to walk on the water when our circumstances are sweet. When I look in the Bible, I see people doing things for the Lord in the midst of impossible circumstances. Tougher than what my circumstances have ever been in my entire life. Yet, they did it. In obedience. The Lord commanded them--and they went. They accepted the tough task that lay before them—come what may. They never asked the Lord for a re-commission.

So why in the world do we? What makes us so different to the people God gave us to learn from in the Bible?

Why are there so many uncared for orphans in the world when we’re commanded to care for them?

We would be wealthy if someone paid us every time we have been told that we were “called by God” to adopt our four children who have special needs. Or for the many people who have told us that “There is no way we could do what you do.”

I disagree.

You know what that does? It diminishes God’s sovereign power to do the impossible through each one of us, His people. Comments like that tell the Father, “Sorry God, but you don’t have enough power to give me the ability to parent a child who struggles in life.” “So sorry, God. Just go and call someone else.” “Oh God, and that mission field thing? There is no way I could ever do that!”

That’s perilous ground to walk on.

God’s power is absolutely made perfect in our weakness. When He commands us to do something, He equips us with everything we need to fulfill the calling with excellence. Even people like us--ordinary sinners saved by grace who are just average Joes. He does it for His glory! To make Himself famous in the earth. It has absolutely nothing to do with us. Everything God does is for His glory, not ours.

I believe with all my heart that God is raising up an army of crazy people to do the ridiculous. Many believe we are living in the end times. We agree! We sense that more than ever God is looking for those who are willing to do the impossible. Just WILLING! God is seeking out those who will serve Him with reckless abandonment, no matter where that takes them or what He tells them to do in this life.

Reckless abandon for the sake of His orphans. Our answer will always be "Yes!" Come what may.

Good News!

Oh again I say, so much to blog about and so little time!  Time truly is the enemy sometimes and it has really gotten away from me lately.  I might have to put a few new posts on here in the next couple of days just to catch up!

For right now though I wanted to share some great news.  You know the Premier Jewelry Show I recently posted about?  Well it was a great success!!  With the help of Amy-- our wonderful friend and Premier saleslady, and some great friends coming to the show and supporting our cause, we were able to raise $300 to go towards our adoption!!  AND I was able to get over $400 in free jewelry to raffle off here on my blog!!  So please stay tuned.  As soon as I figure out how to coordinate that I will be posting pictures of the beautiful jewelry and you can donate to our Paypal account to buy a ticket (or tickets... Hint Hint) to enter yourself into the drawing to win a necklace, or earrings, or watch..... the list goes on!

So a big THANK YOU goes out to Amy for her generous Christian spirit in donating all her profits from our show to our adoption fund!  If there were more people out there with such a giving heart, there would be many less orphans in the world.  And a huge thank you as well to all the ladies that attended my show.  We appreciate it greatly.  Through your purchases you have helped to make a difference in the life of a child and we are tremendously grateful for your support.

This money, in addition to three private contributions to our fund, brings us up to $600 set aside in just the past couple weeks.  We are getting there slowly but surely!  And once our raffle gets going I hope to be able to say that that number will continue to grow.

In the meantime, please continue to pray for sweet Zhou Lie, the 13 year old boy we first committed to and then were not able to continue on towards adopting.  He still needs a home and his time is running short.  He will age out at the ripe old age of 14 on his birthday in January.  He deserves a home, a family, someone to call Mom and Dad.  We still wish we were able to give that to him, but because of circumstances beyond our control, we need to wait a while longer to complete our homestudy and by then it will be too late for us to go and get him.

Please, if you are a homestudy ready family, would you consider Zhou Lie?  You can find out more about him from Lynne at the WACAP agency.  Her email is  He has a lot of grant money going towards his adoption and only has minor special needs.  Please prayerfully consider if he might be your son.  If we cannot be his family, we want to still do all that we can to ensure that he gets a family soon.  His time is running out.