Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Burning Question

       Everyone has been asking the big question, "When will we be able to go to China and bring Mary Alan home?" Well, our agency says we have about 2-3 months before we should receive our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China. After this point, they say it will be an 11-15 week wait to receive our Travel Approval. We will hopefully travel within a month from that point. So......we are probably looking at December to January as the time we will be going on our big trip to China. This is all depending on the Chinese Government and how quickly they move our paperwork through all of the different channels. I sure wish I could speed this along. This seems like it is taking the same amount of time as it did to have all four of my others, added together! I am learning some serious patience through all of this. I know, when it is all said and done, God's timing is still perfect. He is in control and knows so much better than I do when we need to bring her home. Please be praying for our family. He is still teaching all of us so much through this. Love in Him,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Precious Children

This is a video of New Day Foster Home and it is an INCREDIBLE place! Watch it if you have time. Mary Alan is in it twice. These are such precious children and all little miracles from God. The link on the side of my blog entitled "Baby Milk Money" goes to help the babies at this home and other orphanages in China. Please feel free to donate to them if possible. You may also go to the link to New Day Foster Home to see how to help in other ways

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All Bundled Up

 I love this picture! This shows just how cold 
the winters are in Beijing 
and how they are taking such great care of her!
We have prayed for God to put people in her life
 to protect her and love her from the very beginning. 
He has given us what we requested. Thank you Lord!!

"He will cover you with His feathers,
  He will shelter you with His wings.
  faithful promises are your 
   armor and protection."
  Psalm 91:4 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Couldn't Resist

             I am going to share more pictures as I find them. Mary Alan is growing really fast and the hard part is that I haven't gotten to see her as a baby. I haven't gotten to kiss those little cheeks or rub that silky black hair. All I can do is look at the pictures of her and long for the day I get to hold her and kiss her and tell her how much she is loved. Here are a few pictures I have found of her......Goodness knows her hair is growing fast. These are just the baby pictures. More recent ones to come.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Introducing.....Mary Alan Colbert!!!

 On June 22, 2011, I was in the car with Annabeth and Ivy. We were about to place an order in the McDonald's drive-through line. We were excited because we had finally gotten a McDonald's with a double drive-through. Whoopie!! In the big town of Dothan, you get very excited about these things. Well, right as we pulled up and the lady said, "May I interest you in the.....", my phone rang and it was a call from CCAI (our agency). I knew it was THE CALL. Poor lady at McDonald's. I said, "Ma'am, I'll be right back"....as she was going "Excuse me? Ma'am?, Ma'am?" I pulled over and took the call, as I put it on speaker phone. The lady on the other line said, "I have a little princess you may be interested in." OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I about fell out!!! I got a huge knot in my throat and could barely say the words, "Yes, I would love to hear about her." She began to tell us all about her. She was a year old as of June 6, 2010. This was a guess since they had found her in a bed of flowers under a bridge when she was possibly a month old (I love the bed of flowers part). She has a minor heart condition, but the doctors do not think she will need surgery. She is in New Day Foster Home in Beijing. She said she would send pictures and all of the information to my email and we could let her know if we wanted to adopt her within a week. As you can guess, I flew home, called Kelly on the way, and forwarded the email to him all while driving. NOT a good example to my daughters, but I felt like this would be an exception.  We videoed and talked to Kelly while we all pulled up the email together. I KNEW this was going to be my baby!! As we pulled her information up, we gasped!! She was the most beautiful baby! AB SO lutely adorable!!
          We studied over her information and had our pediatrician look over all of her information. We prayed that if this little one was the baby God had picked for us, that our doctor would have a peace about it too. When she called me back the next day, she said, "I really have a good feeling about this one." As soon as I hung up, I called Kelly and we decided right then to call our agency and make it official. WOW!! It was kind of weird though..... I felt like I was on one of those house hunting shows where they say, "Well, I guess you just bought a house." I think I was in shock. Within minutes, I had gone from a mom of 4 and really feeling like I was pretending to be adopting, to becoming a mom of 5. This was another crazy WOW moment. I had "officially" been catapulted into my tunnel-vision time of thinking non-stop of my baby in far away China. I couldn't think of anything better though. Thank you Lord for your unbelievable answers to my prayers. 
          One of the neatest parts of the whole thing is how I have been praying for our baby since we began our process over a year and a half ago. We have prayed with our children that she would be in a safe place where they were loving on her and taking great care of her. In the back of my mind, I had doubts that she was in a place where they were doing this. I felt she was probably in an orphanage where she was one of about 6 babies being taken care of by a nanny. I felt she was probably spending most of her days in her crib or in a walker, in one room of the orphanage with a cold tile floor. To my absolute amazement, this child has been in the most wonderful place God could have put her. The orphanage she is in is incredible and is paving the way for other orphanages in China. She is actually living with a foster mother and father and she is their only baby. They also have an older daughter who lives with them. It sounds like she is getting lots of love and attention. I think she goes to the orphanage every few days when they go on special outings. She has been very socialized and been in many different environments. She has also seen animals which is a big plus for us. They even have a dog! 
           I don't know why I am so amazed. God amazes me all the time. He just went over and beyond this time. "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Her Name

      Mary Alan is named after our dearest and most precious friend Alan Wright. Alan was all of our children's Godfather and my husband's absolute best friend. In December of 2010, he went to be with the Lord after a very long and hard fought battle with a malignant brain tumor. He was such a great man and loved the Lord with all his heart. He was very devoted to his family and to being the best father and husband he could be. We will greatly miss him, but know he is having much more fun in Heaven.

Be Still

      In the Fall of 2005, I saw the most precious little baby I had ever laid eyes on. She was unlike my own babies in that she had black hair and those beautiful Asian eyes. She was my friend Nicole Chenoweth's newly adopted daughter, Gracie, from China. I was absolutely mesmerized by her. I don't think I had ever seen an Asian baby up close and all I could do was stare into her little face and take her in. That day was a turning point in my life. God planted a seed in my heart that day that would begin to grow from a dream into an eventual reality. He had a huge plan in store for the Colbert family and we were just getting started.
      Over the next few months, all I could do was think about adoption. All I could focus on was every Asian child I saw on TV or in the mall. All I could talk about to Kelly was having another baby (or adopting one). I had serious "tunnel vision". I prayed like I have never prayed before. I knew God had planted this in my heart for a reason. All I knew was God wanted us to give another child a home, whether it be a teenager, a child from the United States, or a baby from another country (any country). I was open to whatever and however God wanted to use us. The only problem was that Kelly did not feel the same way. He told me he just wasn't "feelin' it." He was like many husbands and just fine with our four children we already had. He did not want to add to the family circus and was good with the chaos and fun we already endured.
       Finally, one morning in the shower (yes the shower), I was praying and asking God to please show me what He wanted me to do. I was crying out to Him like never before. "God, please tell me!! I can't take this anymore!!" In the quiet of that moment I saw in my mind the words "Be still and wait patiently on the Lord." I sat for a minute and couldn't believe it. He told me to be still? What in the world did that mean? I am never still. I can't BE STILL. I have to be doing and moving and doing some more. That's just how I am. So, I went on with my day, pondering over what He was trying to tell me. 
       A few days later it was our anniversary and I went to a christian book store to find Kelly an anniversary gift. I was searching for that perfect, thoughtful, touching, sappy gift to give him when I was drawn to a large black and white picture of an oak tree. I walked over to it and read it. To my amazement it said, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." I was getting the point. For some reason, God was wanting me to stop and be still. I did buy the picture for Kelly and he loved it, but he didn't know the whole meaning behind it. 
       The next Sunday morning we were in our worship service and our music minister began singing a solo. To my amazement again, he sang a song called "Be Still". Unbelievable!!! OK. Can I scream now!! I get it Lord!! I am going to be quiet now and stop talking about adopting and babies and worrying about what to do. No more!! I explained what I had learned from the Lord to Kelly and told him I was going to "be still" and not talk about it anymore and not worry about it anymore. From then on I was going to let God handle it and let Him do whatever He had in mind. It was time to totally surrender and "let go and let God." Pretty tough for me!!       
         Over the next few years I tried my best to obey God's direction with a few little exceptions. Every once in a while I would mention a word or two to Kelly about adoption or point him in the direction of an adorable little Asian child I saw.  He would just roll his eyes at me and laugh. He still wasn't feelin' it. I began to forget about the whole thing, began to give up and didn't mention it much anymore.....UNTIL.....an earthquake hit Haiti in January of 2010. Over the course of several days, we heard on the news of thousands of children who were being found parentless and were going to be in need of adopting. Ugh oh!! Here we go again. 
        I mentioned it to Kelly one night and told him of all of the orphans in Haiti. He said I should get online and look into it and that he would adopt one in a "heartbeat." Oh my Goodness!!! Had he lost his mind? I couldn't believe what he was saying. I was beside myself. I got online and checked the situation out immediately. To my dismay, the adoptions were closed......but guess what? They were still open to China. Just sayin'! 
        We began a life-changing event at our church called the "Daniel Fast", preparing for the Disciple Now weekend that our youth were going to be participating in. During this fast, we were to commit to eat the foods only Daniel ate and pray at the same time for our youth and everyone involved. During this time, Kelly and I decided to also pray about adoption. We wanted to totally bathe this idea in prayer and knew God would guide us as to what to do. Over the next month of the fast, we spent time every day studying God's word and praying. Many times God showed me scripture and revealed to me His will that we adopt. I just wasn't sure if He was revealing this to Kelly. One morning I was praying and begging God to please let me know if Kelly was feeling the same way. Within a few hours, he called me and said, " Hey Honey, I just wanted you to know that at my bible study this morning I asked all the guys to pray for our adopting a baby." I knew at that moment this was God's will for us. Kelly and I continued to pray about it together. Several days later, he called me and said he thought we should go ahead and send in our application. Yippee!!! On February 22, 2010, we sent it in.
          After so many years had passed, God was preparing and paving the way for us to adopt our little girl. God's plan is so much better than ours and my being still gave God time to create the exact little one He had for our family. Thank you Lord for your timing.