Here we are friends, just a few hours away from boarding the plane that will take us to fulfill the dream we've cherished for so many years. After arriving to China, it will be just a few more days to get to know our sweet little girl Michaela Tsai-Ann. We are so, so very excited!! Once in China we will have very little access to the Internet. :/ We will do our very best to send updates if we are able,so you can share in our joy. However we would love to stay connected with you via prayer while we are away, regardless! We are so glad that internet connection is not needed to be "online" with our Heavenly Father! =)This is the way you can pray for us until we come back home in about 18 days. Especially on April 12th, (April 13th in China) which is the day we’ll be meeting Michaela for first time. We can’t be anymore grateful to all the many, many, many ways you all have supported us during this long and life changing journey! Click here if you are new to this blog and want to read previous posts about our journey: (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).Michaela’s Prayer Countdown:Day 7: Please pray that God would prepare Michaela's heart to meet us. That He guides us through the bonding process with her. That He gives us favor before her so that she learns quickly to trust us, obey us and know we are Mommy & Daddy.Day 6: Pray that her feeling of loss and brokenness would be minimal as she leaves the only people, culture & language she's known so far. That we have a very positive experience with the Orphanage nannies, kids, staff, volunteers & all the people involved with our farewell to ther place of birth. That God would use David & I to help her experience complete healing.Day 5: Pray that God protects Michaela from any virus or diseases while we are with her in China. That she aces her medical examinations so that she can be granted a visa to leave the country without any delay. That God would granted her miraculous healing. That her health & brain development catches up quickly after we start caring and loving on her. And for God's favor and direction in case any therapies or medical treatments are needed.Day 4: Pray that God would give us favor as we go though all the official steps & requirements to finalize our adoption in China and come back home together as a family: An expedite adoption registration, medical appointments, passport and visa application.Day 3: Pray that God would keep our boys and family safe & healthy in the States as they state home with Grandma and my sister. That God would prepare their hearts to meet their sister and they bond quickly & joyfully after we come back home.Day 2: Pray for safe travels for Dave & I. That we are able to soak in and enjoy the culture of ourDaughter's country of birth. That this trip would be a joyful & memorable experience for both us and her. That God would protect us from sickness and would strengthen our bodies for all the walkingahead and the carrying luggage while traveling through 5 cities to complete official appointments.That God would providentially heal my upper back problems so that they don't become an issueduring our trip.Day 1: Pray that God uses us powerfully to communicate the love & grace of Jesus to all the people we come in contact with during our stay in China. especially to our daughter. That we can modelJesus to her, that He touches her heart, that she would come to know Him and be saved at an earlyyoung age!Looking forward to see you soon as a family of 5! =)Zàijiàn!! =)Dave, Paola, Garrick, David-Elliot & Michaela Bush
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
|Our Bush girl! =)|
|Mommy I think can hear your kisses all the way here! =)|
|This is when I was 18 months old..awhh!|
|I love riding my little red ox! =)|
|Mommy, I can't wait until you are the one holding me!..I'm grateful for my loving nannies though..|
|Yes, I'm ready to let my brothers take a ride too! =)|
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
We are so glad to be able to finally sit down to give you an update. We can’t be more grateful for all those prayers and questions we are constantly getting about our adoption. Your interest and support is so encouraging! Here are the links to our previous updates for those of you who are new to our journey: Part 1, 2, 3, 4.
|As always we will entertain you along with our pictures! Join us as we dream of how our little daughter would look like monkeying around with our family!!|
There will be more a few more technical words on this update than the usual. We hope this helps you understand where we are at in our process. We also hope this is helpful to those of you asking as you are starting to ponder about adoption as a choice to expand your own family in the future. This is the best compliment and encouragement that we can get: Inspiring some of you to embark on this wonderful journey yourselves. However we also love to see how everybody can be involved to help these children in so many different ways. We are so grateful for all of you!
|And would love to make her very own pancake at the table! I wonder what flavor would be her favorite?|
|I bet she would get a kick of petting this pony along with big brother!|
|And she for sure would dress up to visit the local "Medieval Festival". =)|
|Oh sister, I'm ready to sing along with you in the mornings while mum cooks us breakfast!!|
|And have fun making paramount messes!!|
There are dozens of different conditions listed ranging from minor/major heart diseases, limb differences, vision/hearing impairments, digestive conditions, to nervous/developmental, skin, blood or facial conditions like cleft lip and palate among others. I know at first sight this may scare the bejeebers out of some of you! But to keep it real, once you become familiar with all these conditions you become much more at peace with the idea of adopting a special need child. All the medical treatments available now days are making prognosis more and more optimistic and all type of diagnoses much more manageable. Actually learning about this has made us more aware of all the friends we have around who have different type of physical limitations, and can just live perfectly normal and fulfilling lives. Many of these conditions are correctable with surgery and special therapy, so what many of this children need is just that opportunity to become all they were created to be. We so want to be givers of that opportunity! There are SO MANY stories of children that were adopted with what may have seem scary at first sight, but who are thriving and living healthy and fulfilling lives after proper treatment has been provided. And again, we are so excited to be part of one of those stories!
|I bet she'd enjoy helping daddy to practice for his "Bull run"|
|And throwing tomatoes at him just for fun at the "Tomato Festival"!!|
|And beating big brother on a homemade bowling match!|
|Oh, won't she look cute being part of our geeky family? I bet she will be super cute cheering up daddy's robotics team! We want you home Bush girl! The team needs you!|
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This is a post for those of you that are starting your journey on studying the bible and are looking for resources online. I think we are such a blessed generation by having so much resources readily available to the tip of our fingertips. We should not forget though that there is nor replacement to our personal and individual Holy Spirit led bible study. A continuous and solid diet of reading and studying the scripture is vital to grow, mature and to face the complexities of life and be successful according to God's standards. It's like seating by our perfect mentor and teacher, God, to learn, to be comforted, filled and encouraged.
With that in mind, one of the resources that I love to tap on when doing research on doctrine is the website: DesiringGod.org. I know probably many of you are aware of this treasure chest of free books, articles and free podcast among other things. They have over 10,000 free resources to look at! More than what you can read on a lifetime! I have found it very helpful on my quest to grow my faith, my understanding and my passion for God's word. And I’m glad that it's a website so readily accessible to so many. They’re reaching out to millions of people worldwide through their engaging, creative and biblically sound content.
I like this podcasts so much that I will be transcribing some quotes from some of my favorite ones. This will help me get a bird’s eye view on ideas I don’t want to forget, and I hope it blesses you by giving you instant view to some neat concepts. Also, I love how generously this website makes material available and encourage others to share it as long as the authorship is recognized. It says a lot of their commitment to make God known to as many people and ways as possible. I heard this before, but I can’t imagine what the Apostol Paul would have done if Internet would have been available on his time. We are so blessed by having this medium to help us spread the gospel! Let all these resources empower us under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to make His glory known right on and from the place He has planted you!
What about you, what type of resources online have you found useful for your personal bible study?
Monday, February 24, 2014
|But I had new recruits!|
|They actually really earned their keep! =)|
|Boys will be boys!|
|"Noise with dirt on it! =p|
|Do you like my "bull dog" face? =P|
So it seems to me that disobedience at an early age is not that bad after all. I’m not claiming to be mastering the use of this “mirror” yet, I am at the very beginning of the process, but I’m very intentionally trying to memorize some passages that I can translate down into their level to use when needed. Some of the passages that I’d like to start using are: (Romans 7:19, Romans 3:23, John 3:16, & Psalm 119:11). Here it is a very good resource I found with short, handy bible passages to memorize with our children to help us on this training process. The name of the website is "Parenting with Scripture". It is really good.
|Baby brother couldn't resist, I guess what better lesson on "Sourness" than just to try it yourself huh!..But they're awesome for marmalades and baking goods! =)|
|We actually did a good job, didn't we?..well, this is a good start! Thanks for cheering us up! =)|
The timing is not completely on our hands. We must remember after all, that the harvest doesn’t depend uniquely on our labor, or on our children’s choices, but primarily on God who is the one who calls each one by name and produces the growth. He does it on His perfect time and way, and wants us to trust Him for the results and of course to enjoy those little ones to the rims of our hearts! They are a gift to treasure, to teach and to grow old with!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
This is the second part of my series on this quest. If you didn’t get to read the first part, here it is. This is a letter to my children; however I thought that making it public will benefit some that may want to embark on the same quest:
My dear children,
This debate is not new to me. I actually have been hearing about it in messages, books and articles through the years. It’s quite popular. However, it wasn’t until I read this passage the other day that the thought of finally organizing my thoughts about it through the exercise of writing things down came to mind. It was interesting to me that it wasn't Romans 8:29-30, which is classically the passage that most people addressing this debate quotes. I hope to be able to get to many other places in the bible that shed light on this issue. So this won't be a short process.
So today I want to address some insights on the few parables that I am using as springboards to launch me into this study.
-For first time in my Christian life understanding the parable of the Sower, the parable of the Weeds, and the parable of the Net has been a challenge to me. (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, 24-30,36-42, 47-52)*
-Jesus explained the first 2 parables, however at first sight when I looked at them from the lenses of the age time debate of Predestination vs Free-will (Calvinism vs Arminianism), it seems to me these parables may or not present potential facts regarding the validation of one or the other.
-Some of the questions that came to mind when I read this passage today were: How are God's sovereignty and freedom of will represented in the types of soil Jesus is referring to? And also, how can we explain the concept of freedom of will, if both the "Weed seed", and the "Bad fish" where bad from the beginning?
-I believe that regardless of whether this text is indeed related to this debate, a Holy Spirit led inquiring into it is very important to the mature Christian for the sake of allowing one’s heart to take stances regarding our confidence to preach the gospel, and also to contribute to our view of God and our trust in Him. Do we really view Him as a God that is all powerful and who is really in control of all things? Do we trust God's sovereignty when facing evil or trials?
-If God is the one who does the choosing, then when praying for unsaved dear ones, we should primarily focus on praying that God would choose to open their spiritual eyes, and make the transformational work in their heart which is prerequisite for a person to even start being responsive to the Gospel, instead of praying that that person would just willfully decide to start listening to it. I hope that getting a better understanding on this subject would give me more peace when facing the way others respond to the gospel, knowing that God is ultimately sovereign over who gets saved, and why.
-I believe that taking either position should not affect the believer’s assurance of salvation, or his willingness to readily preach the gospel and make disciples, as only God, and not us merely humans, knows who are the citizens of heaven regardless of who did the choosing. I believe we are still called to preach the gospel and spread the “seed” as frequently and widely as we can, and allow God to take care of the outcome.
-With this in mind I am going to try to embark on a personal quest to try to sort out my understanding on whether we are predestined to be God’s children or not. I pray that some of my findings embolden my witness for Christ and my passion to delight in and live for Him. And to trust Him completely.
-On trying to avoid any presumption, I have to understand that this may very well be a quest to last a lifetime. However I pray that God rewards my desire to understand His will, and lead me to fruitful study. I also pray that some of my answers help my children embark in their own quest with God to grow in him and savor His eternal pleasures, after all we were created to get to know Him: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” -John 17:3
To be Continued..
Friday, January 10, 2014
As promised, here's a super overdue update regarding where we are on our adoption process. Thank you so much to all of you who haven't stopped praying, asking us questions or showing interest in our adoption journey! We have been specially blessed to know that some of you have even been encouraged to become a forever family yourselves. Yes! For those of you that have recently joined our supporting group and haven't read our previous updates, here they are: Update # 1, #2, and #3. Also, to those that want to know how can you specifically pray for us at this point, there is an updated prayer request list at the bottom of this post. We covet your prayers!
|As always we'll spice up your reading with some of our latest family pictures|
|And invite you to join our wishful thinking as we imagine our daughter being part of them!|
At this point we believe to be at the tail end of the 2nd step of our "Paperwork pregnancy". Just as a reminder, and at a very high level, the five major steps of an Chinese adoption are: Applying and Obtaining the Agency Approval, Compiling the Dossier (Documentation to get approved by China and the U.S), Being matched with our child, Traveling to China to bring our child home and last Bonding and Post-placement.
|We would love her to try the best Sweet potato casserole of the world, Daddy's!|
|Or just join our joyful noise as we sang carols after dinner during Christmas!|
Every step mentioned above involves lots of action items. We don't want to bore you with details, but please free to ask us if you like to know. It is true, adopting a child requires lots of diligence in the way of legalities that need to be taken care of. And now being in the middle of the process we understand why. In the case of international adoption, making sure that you are dealing with a legitimate organization prevents fraud and abuse. Human trafficking is rampant worldwide, including the U.S, but is even more rampant and less restrained in underdeveloped countries. Therefore the need for inter-country treaties like "The Hague Convention" which establishes parameters for international adoptions. If you are interested in becoming a forever family, one of the first things you have to make sure when choosing your agency, is that it is a "Hague accredited agency". The Official Intercountry adoption website is a good place to educate yourself about many of the details of international adoption. You can read about the status and requirements to complete an adoption from virtually any place in the world.
|We dream with getting her 'Thing 3" family t-shirt|
|And watching her devour her Birthday cake! =)|
At this point we have completed most of our "Dossier", which is the compilation of all the documents required to be approved by the Chinese government. This is a list of roughly about 15 documents (Birth-marriage certificates, employment-income verification, financial statements, social workers interview, etc.) that need to be notarized, and certified by different local, state and federal officials, before they are sent for final approval by the Chinese government. That is how the expression "paperwork-pregnancy" was coined. Capiche?! No joke, dealing with so much red tape has felt a bit like morning sickness at some times. But do not be discouraged, it's is doable. Our agency has been of great help to keep ourselves organized and going at a good steady pace at this stage of the process.
|and to play and read silly stories with mommy and brother!|
|And to grab Daddy's other leg...wouldn't that be fun!|
At this point we are specifically waiting for the last piece of document to add to our pile which is the approval by the Department of U.S immigration. Once this is received, the whole stack will be translated into Chinese and shipped to the CCCWA or the China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption, which is the office that finally approves our family to bring our daughter home.
|We are eagerly waiting for you sister!|
|We have a lifetime of love & adventures to share with you!|
Ok friends I think this gives you an idea of where we are at now. The next time we will be sharing about our Adoption agency CCIA and why we chose to work with them. Again thank you very much for your continuing support and prayers. We are overly ecstatic for the success of our fundraiser "Bubbles for Hope". We have for sure been super busy making soap, but what a difference when you are exhausted for a purpose! =)
|We can't wait 'til the moment where we can hold your hand too! =)|
Here is the list of specific ways you can pray for us now:
- Pray for God's protection over our daughter's life. That the Lord surround her with angels and compassionate people that would protect her thru whatever circumstances are leading her family to abandon her or giving her away.
- Pray for her health. (I'm tearing up here, this is hard to type) Please pray that God would touch her body with the power of His healing. That He would be her doctor and her main care taker. That He would provide compassionate people, physical and financial means to care for whatever physical challenges she's facing, whether these may be congenital, or any diseases coming from the orphanage setting. Please pray that God would supernaturally strengthen her immune system.
- Please ask God that she will be given favor and be assigned a foster mother that provide the care and love that she needs at her early age. If this is not possible, that she be surrounded by loving caretakers in her orphanage that would be passionate about caring for these little children.
- Please pray for protection against any abuse or any harsh circumstances that may cause her to be psychologically, emotionally or physically wounded. And please pray for us as we try to learn about compassionate healing parenting. That the Lord give us the wisdom, stamina, patience and means that we need to love her to health, thriving and to Him.
- Please pray that God's favor be upon us as we work on the tail end of our paperwork. Please pray specifically that the Secretary of State and the Chinese embassy would expedite the certification of documents and that immigration would give us our approval soon.
- Please pray that God would orchestrate the timing of our matching with her. That He gives us peace knowing that the waiting is not arbitrary, and that He's the author of our story.