Counting it all as JOY

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 ESV


The days continue to march on with words left unsaid here. Ultimately this was my little space to share and document our crazy, little life. I guess the problem in that is that a crazy little life rarely slows down long enough to be documented.  I adore looking back on our journey though and each time I visit I find myself sad that I haven’t take the time to truly show who we are here. For myself really…but for these 3 little ones also.

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We are entering a new “time” in our journey. One that could make us scared to step out on the water for fear of the unknown.

But our hope is found in a God who doesn’t fail us.

 A savior who promises to work all things for good for those who love Him.

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  And so we step….

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” And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Romans 5:5

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It is through that hope in HIM that we find strength and endurance for the road He has set before us.

It really is a beautiful road.

Full of everyday joys.

Of watching our littles grow.

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Celebrating each birthday and new accomplishment.

Reminding each other that time passes quickly.

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Spurring. Cheering. Teaching. Discipling.

In all honesty, we have no idea what we are doing.

But we know enough to seek knowledge from our Savior who promises to guide us.

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But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,

who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5

And we CHOOSE JOY through everything

{ the tears, the laughter, the pain }

Joy doesn’t come naturally during the difficult but no matter what the world tells you it IS a choice.

We choose to count it all as JOY!



You turned my wailing into dancing;    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,  that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.    LORD my God, I will praise you forever.” ~ Psalm 30: 11-12

Deep exhale. I’ve been waiting a really long time to type those words on this blog. 1 year, 1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days since I saw my precious son’s face through a computer screen his Emigration Permit (Exit Permit;EP) has been submitted to the Korean Ministry  of Health and Welfare TODAY…on Good Friday. Praise God!

How it went down:

We had heard that our agencies submission was going to happen on Friday. Yesterday being Thursday I had no reason to believe that we would hear any news so I was just going about my day. At around 2:30 Reagan walked in the door from school and was begging me to let her play “Plants vs. Zombies”…which really means she gets frustrated and makes me play.. So, YES…I was playing a zombie game when I got the news (this is real life people….) Anyway, my phone rang and it was my neighbor, Lynn. She was matched through the Korea program last year also and her son is just a week younger than Maddox. She said (in a shaky voice) something along the lines of “Did you get an email about EP??”
…..Well, no.. you see I’m playing plants vs zombies..and….


All the while she was saying, “Mine must be a mistake? THis can’t be right? IT’s not time for us yet? I need to call them”

and during that time I had jumped up and ran to my phone that was charging in my room and low and behold…there sat the email I had been waiting on all this time. We did a few squeals…and then I cried..and screamed. I was blown away. Talk about taken by surprise. Never in a million years did we think we might end up in Seoul together? I told her to call the agency bc I knew she was dying to confirm and we hung up.

And the story from there involves lots of calls,tears, and text messages…and a little floating.

What happens now-

This permit is the one that Maddox needs in order to leave the country. He needs it in order to be issued his visa.

So, what will happen is the ministry will spend the next 4 weeks working to approve his paperwork. On the 4th week, we should be notified that his EP is approved (another big day).

Once this happens he will be cleared by the government of Korea to be adopted internationally and then the agency will schedule an “Embassy Appearance” (EA) and he will then get his Visa issued (VI).  This part of the process varies and it could take anywhere from 1-4 weeks.

Maddox will also need to go in for a Visa physical (VP). Thankfully, this can be scheduled while he is waiting for his EP to be approved.

SO, based off of the we could leave for Korea in the next 5-8 weeks? EEK.

I’m still walking around on a cloud. Praise God! When I think about the timing of this…it’s right. Everything is perfect. If you told me last March we wouldn’t travel until late Spring I would never have believed you…and I wouldn’t have believed that I could do it. But we made it. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done but I’m so thankful that the Lord has walked this road with me. I could have literally not done this without Him. There is so much more I could write about this…and I will but today on this precious, Holy, Good Friday I just want to Praise Him for all He has done for my family! Thank you, Jesus!

Hold on baby boy, mama is almost there and we will be a family forever more. Just you wait. It’s going to be GOOD!

To all my waiting mamas-

You are not forgotten. My heart aches for you because I know the pain you are feeling today. I know how hard it is to watch your baby grow up in pictures. To memorize every inch of that photo and wish you had more. I know what it feels like to be left behind. To feel like it will never happen. To feel discouraged, and tired, and anxious.

But, sweet mamas….it WILL happen, it IS happening. Your babies ARE coming home. Hang on! When you feel like you can’t wait one day longer, like you can’t even get out of bed…press forward and look UP! God sees you. He is hurting for YOU.. He will answer you!

I had a very precious friend during this process who was able to meet our Maddox while she was in Seoul. Her words spoke light into my darkness. I want to share something that she shared with me

Tracey, if I were there with you, I would come over…in my PJ’s, so we could hang out together, and cry together, and I would take your face in my hands, I would look into your eyes, and make sure you were looking at me and I would say…. TRACEY MATTHEWS DANIEL…..God sees you, He loves you, He knows you and HE HEARS your hearts cries for your little boy….I don’t understand His plan right now, but I trust His heart for you and those you love.  And I KNOW that BY GOD’S POWER, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS, IT Won’t be EASY, it won’t be QUICK, (and it’s going to hurt), but God will use this mess for good.  It will become HIS message.  I know you won’t be foolish, or naive, for I see the strength of character God has already placed in your heart.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be strong all the time either, but PLEASE don’t despair.  For with GOD’s help YOU will, I KNOW you will get through this.  This Test is His TESTIMONY!

And sweet mamas, if you were here in front of me I would take you by the hands and say these exact words to you (although mine would be much less eloquent) because my friends this is TRUTH! It’s coming, it’s His plan, and it’s perfect!

I’m praying for each of you! AND if I can pray for you specifically please PLEASE let me know because it would be my absolute pleasure! You are not forgotten!

Let’s get Simon Home!


       Back in September our adoption agency, Holt International, blogged about a very special little guy named “Hayden”. I  knew this precious face because he was listed on the same photolisting as our Maddox. He has been waiting on his family to find him for 5 years. I have always thought he was a doll but it was that blog that put finding “Hayden” a family on the top of my radar. I made a commitment at the time that when we traveled to Korea that I would meet this sweet boy and find everything about him that I possibly could so that when I returned home I could advocate for him. I’m talking pictures, videos, interrogating his care givers ; ), anything I could get! So began lots of prayer and tears over this cutie. It was very clear to me that this is what the Lord was asking me to do. Find him, love on him, and help him find his forever family.

 Fast forward to a little over a month ago when I received a facebook friend request and a message. I opened the message and before I could get through two sentences I was in complete hysterics. This woman, not even knowing my tender heart for this little guy, had heard that I was going to visit his orphanage (which is really much more than that but lack of a better explanation I’ll use that term) and wanted to know if I would seek “Hayden” out and find out any information I could about him. She believed that the Lord has called her to be his mama. I was literally speechless. Crying. Squealing. Over the top crazy.

 God is so good! SO, long story short I told her that this was already my plan and that I would be honored to do this for her. There are many, many children living there and yet the Lord connected the two of us. What are the chances?

Fast forward another month and her family has been officially matched with “Hayden” who is now Simon. Oh, I love that name! When I look into his sweet face it just feels right. Simon has a family! Praise the Lord.

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” ~ Matthew 16:7

 Now here is where YOU can help! I’m asking if you would be willing to give up Starbucks or a lunch out for ONE day and donate what you would spend there to help this little boy come home! He has a mom and dad. He has lots of brothers and sisters! He has EVERYTHING he needs if we can just all rally together and help his parents raise the funding to bring their son home!

Will you consider helping?

” Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ~ James 1:27

 I don’t believe every family is called to adopt but I do believe one way that we can live out James 1:27 in our lives is to help families who are called. Let’s stand in the gap for sweet Simon!

Just yesterday a donor has stepped forward and is willing to MATCH every donation that is earned up to $5k! Join us as we rally to bring Simon home! I promise you are not going to want to miss out on what God is going to do here! Click below to donate..GO! : )


Follow Tracy as she journeys to Simon on her blog ( You can see her huge heart for the orphan and her passion for her son. She also has several other fundraisers listed that you might be interested in!

~ Happy 18 months Maddox~

Today our baby is 18 months old.

I miss him. Crazy, right? Since we’ve never met. But it’s true. A heart wrenching, pit in the stomach, longing that you just can’t shake. Not an hour, sometimes minute goes by that I don’t wonder what he’s doing.

In the midst of morning chaos with cereal bowls to fill, and little heads bobbing into their seats for breakfast I remember that we are short one bowl of cheerios.

When I load the car and glance into the rear view mirror, I see two sets of eyes reflecting back at me when there should be three. One sparkling blue, and two chestnut brown… and no matter what the morning rush is that day my heart sinks every time.

On days like today where one is at school and the other is home I listen in on the sounds coming from his room. Blocks, and robots, and dinosaur adventures and I think how that noise should be multiplied. How I should be calling to them to “play nicely” and peeping around the corner to exclaim how amazing their block tower is just as the littlest knocks it over. Instead there is just one little voice. One little voice who longs for his brother.

After dinner, and baths, and stories when they are all snuggled up in their beds they pray. Every night our son prays that his brother will come home soon and I often wonder if in his 3 year old mind he really even understands the concept. He has been praying it so long that I question whether it has become second nature to him…as mundane as brushing his teeth.

My daughter’s prayers are enough to make a grown man cry. I’ve seen it happen. She prays for each of us, right down the list. Then she adds “God, I want my brother to come home. Mama said I couldn’t feed him a bottle anymore because he will be too big. But last year she said I could. What is taking so long? Will he ever come to live with us? We miss him!” Sometimes when I let my mind wander off into the dark places I ask myself those same things. Then she prays for his foster family. That they love him a lot and that they take care of him. She longs for him just like we do.

The latest news from other Korean agencies is that the ministry has asked them to hold off on submitting EP’s “right now”. The “right now” is an undisclosed amount of time. I feel like I say this a lot but that has never happened before. Most years the 1st submission of the year happens on the first business day of the year. It’s January 12th…and nothing. No movement at all. Our agency has not informed us of this so we haven’t heard anything official but we wonder….

When we were first matched last year we were praying he would be home by his first birthday in July. Now, we are just praying he will be home by his 2nd.

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day ~Habukkuk 2:3

When I find myself so frustrated at people, and governments and this whole process I have to remind myself how fleshly that is. What makes me believe that I get to decide in this? What makes me believe that my timing is better than God’s timing? Flesh,and sin, and doubt. The minute I take my eyes off of Him the floodgates open and my mind is filled with all of it. God doesn’t want that! He doesn’t want me to try to figure out every detail. He doesn’t want me to try to use the past to figure out what the Korean gov’mt will do in the future. His word clearly says,
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

He doesn’t want me to try to figure this all out with “head knowledge”. He wants me to live by discernment – revelation knowledge. I can only imagine Him looking down at me and thinking, “Oh, sweet thing. You are so clueless. Just take a deep breath. You are never going to figure this out. Just TRUST me!”

Trusting God means that even though I have no idea HOW He is going to accomplish it I know that He WILL . So, I have to say, “God, I can’t figure this out so I’m going to trust you to give me a revelation to get me through this and I’m going to step out of the driver seat.” So, today…that is what I’m doing. For far,far too long I’ve tried to analyze and control every variable of this situation and it’s caused me nothing but worry and anxiety. From now on out, I’m letting Him take over and listening closely to see what He has for me in this wait. I don’t want to miss what He is trying to teach me.

A fellow adoptive mama who is in the very same place in this wait we are in shared this from a devotional she read today:

 “Trust me by relinquishing control into My hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God. This is My world: I made it and I control it. Your is a responsive part in the litany of Love…

When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My presence and My promises.” ~ Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

“You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,  because they trust in you.”~ Isaiah 26:3

   Happy 18 Months, Maddox Jeong-hwan! We love you and we trust God’s perfect plan to unite our family. We hope your day is filled with much happiness and that soon we can be there with you. All our love from across the ocean.



Waiting here for You


If faith can move can move a mountain then let the mountain move.

We come with expectation
Waiting here for you

You are everything you promised
Your faithfulness is true

We are desperate for your presence
All we need is You

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s You we adore

Singing alleluia

We will wait for you Lord
To walk in step with you Jesus

Waiting here for You.


“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31


Clinging to His promises as we wait.

Hope is Fading

Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

There are 150 million little girls and boys just like this little girl (maybe even more) and their hope IS fading. They need to know how much Christ loves them. They need to know that they matter. They need a mom to tuck the covers in tight around them at night and whisper how much she loves them in their ear. They need a dad to swing them high in the air until they laugh so hard they are breathless.

You may ask how a God who loves them so much would leave them without a family. He doesn’t. It’s a tough concept but as Christians WE are His and feet so it’s our job. He has raised up a family for each of these children and it’s left to us to answer the call and find them. What if the little girl in this video represents a son or daughter that God has planned for you? If you knew that for sure wouldn’t you act? He is calling people. 150 million people. I beg you to listen closely. Pray and specifically ask him, “God is this what you are asking of me?” Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about the cost. Don’t worry that it will through a kink in your comfortable, settled in family. Trust me I questioned, asked, worried about ALL of those things. He provided and prepared beyond my wildest dreams ans He continues to do so. Think of this little girl and how she just might represent someone who is waiting for YOU. Step out in faith. He will provide everything you need.

Hope and Halloween


Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

 Maybe not this Halloween, and maybe not this outfit but soon what we hope for will actually happen. Until then we hold firmly to our Faith. In these tough days we cling to His promises like we never have before and on the other side of this hope we will be stronger.


I’m almost scared to write this. My emotions are still very raw. Some would consider me emotionally unstable. Heck, I would consider myself emotionally unstable.

But, here it is.

We have been given the official word that Maddox will not be home this year. The very last batch of emigration permits were submitted on Thursday.

Around 11:30 when I heard of the first friend who was submitted I sat on my bed, shaking and praying. I clearly heard “Next Year” and I knew at that point we wouldn’t receive one. But, I continued to pray and friends continued to announce the good news that their babies would be home for Christmas. I refreshed my email no less than 100 times. Praying, begging God, “Please, Please let me get that email!” And then there was silence. For 3 long hours I heard nothing. I knew all the emails had gone out and now I was just waiting on the official announcement from the agency that the EP’s were gone for the year. And then it came and I felt like my whole little world crashed beneath me.

I think what hurts the most is how close we are. Friends with the same referral date as we do will be traveling and we just didn’t make the cut. It’s not fair…and you don’t have to tell me life’s not me I get it.

I stayed in bed. All day. My eyes were swollen slits. When I did get up I would just crumble to the ground in tears and yell out to God and ask, “Why?” I was a mess. I’m still a mess. Friday came and I stayed in bed until David made me get up. And although I was able to contain some amount of composure the sobs would just overtake me at any given second. I thank God for a changed schedule that allowed David to be home with me when we received this news because I couldn’t have done it without him.

I guess I should admit that I never thought we wouldn’t bring him home this year. I knew what the odds were but I had faith that God would grant us our little miracle. When people asked I would say it would most likely be next year….but I never truly believed that. His little closet is filled with outfits handed down from his big brother…holiday outfits. Outfits with cute little turkeys and embroidered Christmas trees. Outfits he will never wear. And I must grieve this..

I know some of you don’t understand. That’s ok. I don’t ask you to. But the pain that I feel is grief. Pure, unwatered down grief. And in the next week or so I need to mourn “my plan” and after that I’ll dust myself off and march forward..forward towards God’s plan. Am I angry? Honestly, yes. But I don’t doubt that the story God is writing is way better than anything I could have come up with. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28. We love Him and we know this is His story but at this point we are still working through the pain.

We covet your prayers.

Now what?

We wait until January. Then the quota will reset and the Korean gov’mt will resume submitting permits. We believe because of our placement in line that we will be in the first batch of the year. We pray this means Maddox will be home by Valentine’s day…otherwise that sweet little Valentine’s outfit will need to be added to the consignment pile and you may need to rescue me from the insane assylum…seriously. If we’ve learned anything during this process it’s that NOTHING in the world of international adoption is predictable. But we’ve also learned what it means to not have anything to lean on but Christ and although I can’t see through the pain right now I know He is here and is clearing the path to Maddox for us and hopefully when he finally is in our arms we’ll be able to look back on this and know just how perfect His timing was.

~*~*To my dear sweet AP friends who received happy news this week (CLS ~ you in particular), I love you and from the bottom of my heart I am happy for you. Please don’t for one second allow my pity party to take away your joy. I can’t wait to see each of your babies in your arms forever. ~*~*
And to my sweet girlfriends here thank you for the calls, texts, emails, dropped off Snickers bars and Cokes! 😉 I promise I’m alive and will rejoin the land of the living soon! ~*~*



      I’m warning you upfront this will be a rambling post. I’m going to have trouble accurately conveying what I want to say…and some people are going to read this and think I’m a whack job. I’m ok with that.

 I’ve posted here before about a friend of mine having a dream about Maddox coming home. If you know me well, then you know I have a tendency to, well…read way too much into dreams and signs sometimes. Don’t get me wrong I fully believe the Lord uses things such as these to convey messages to us..sometimes. However, I’m so eager to hear from Him I often see things that are either not there or are there but didn’t come from God at all..because I’m looking too hard.  There was this one time that ,I kid you not, I was convinced the Lord was telling us to adopt from India because our waitress at Olive G*rden was from India. I mean…there was more to it than that but I still laugh at myself when I think about it! So, how do you tell the difference between the two?

 Well for me, I can always tell because when it’s from God he confirms it. Never fails. And when it’s not He shuts the door. Just to give an example I’ll go back to the Olive G*rden the waitress. The week following that meal we came across the face of the sweetest little Indian boy I’d ever seen. It was his birthday. David agreed we should request his file. So we did. 24 hours later we got an email back saying that they would note our interest in his file but because I was not 30 we could not be considered. Well, there you go. Door closed. I had peace about it and I still pray for him. Maybe that was what God wanted all the time, for someone to be praying for him until his forever family could find him. I’ll never know. I could go on and on about this but I’m no expert and I really only have my life experiance to go on but it’s a fun topic I’d love to talk about more at some point.

   Anyway, back to the dreams. Since the first time I was told about Maddox coming home in someone’s dream it has happened 4 more times with 3 different people. SO, in total 4 friends have shared with me pretty detailed dreams about his arrival. I’m always taken back because the stories come when I least expect them but they’ve ALWAYS come on hard days. One friend said she saw me with all 3 kids playing in the park. I was pushing Maddox in a swing. One said she was at the airport when we arrived home to welcome us.One said she dreamed it was fall and Maddox was coming home. One said she ran into us at Walmart : ) and she dreamed a second time (a few weeks later) that she was with us in Seoul! Now, I could (and did) read WAY too much into each of them and bless each of my sweet friends hearts because I interrogated them about what season it was, what type of clothing they were wearing (sweaters, shorts…) and anything else that could possibly give me insight into whether this meant my son would come home THIS year! : )

 Do I believe that God was sending me a sign through my friends that Maddox is coming home this year? No. But, I do believe He sent a tangible way for them to encourage me just when I needed it. And as if that wasn’t enough I believe He wanted to remind me that He has got this and I need to not waver in my faith. He wanted me to know that Maddox IS coming home. It may not be this year, or by Christmas, or on my schedule but he will at some perfectly ordained time join our family in the flesh…forever.

   After the first time, I wanted to know why God wouldn’t allow me to dream it. I want to see him in action. I’ve only seen still pictures. Why other people? I prayed he would allow me to dream about him. It never happened. I believe I know why. If any of you have ever read the book “Choosing to See” by Mary Beth Chapman you may remember reading the forward by Beth Moore. There she tells the story of having a very vivid dream of Mary Beth’s daughter, Maria, who had passed away months prior. You can read that whole story here  but please grab a tissue beforehand. You’ve been warned. Now, I certainly don’t mean to say that my aches and longing for my son come anywhere near the pain of losing a child. I could not imagine that they do and don’t want to even compare the two situations other than to say that I think God knew. He knew I couldn’t handle a dream like that. He knew it would cause me too much pain to awaken and not have my youngest son still with me. He knew me well enough to send these blessing through my friends who would bring them to me with excitement so that instead of sadness I could soak up every detail through our fellowship. Instead of pain from awaking to empty arms He brought me joy through the dreams of others. Sigh. God is good ALL the time. Isn’t He?

 New things are happening in our adoption process. We aren’t sure at this point how a new policy will be implemented. It may be not so encouraging news for our time line. It may not. We hope to know soon. My heart sometimes feels like it can’t take this uncertainty one more second. But it does, and it will and end the end God is going to write an amazing story. I’m so excited to watch it unfold.

*If you are wondering what happened to our T-shirt fundraiser. It’s coming. I promise. WordPress hosted blogs don’t like for you to sell things so we are working out some kinks and in the process a new blog has been started…and now professionals will need to be called in because Tracey is OFFICIALLY in over her head! Hope to have things worked out soon.*

Faith as Big as a Mountain

 Matthew 17:20 says, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

  That’s one of those verses you read over and over and often gloss right over and then there are those little necklaces with the mustard seed charms… I mean, do people really believe all that? It’s 2011 how many times have you seen a mountain actually move? Or for that matter, have you ever read in a history book about a mountain moving? I haven’t. But, you know what? I believe it could. Crazier things have happened when ones complete faith aligns with the will of God.

There is ONE thing standing between me and my youngest son.

That one thing is an Emigration Permit.

  I have two choices. I can complain, pout, throw myself into a deep dark depression and miss out on “doing life” or I can pick myself up and trust God.

I choose to trust God.

I choose to have faith.

I choose to have really, really big faith!

And if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain then faith the size of a mountain can surely get Maddox an Emigration Permit this year.

The last news we heard in this regard was that the Ministry of Health and Welfare has stated they would resume processing Emigration Permits in August. 

As I type this it is 9:30 am on the morning of August 1st in Seoul, Korea. My little guy is most likely enjoying breakfast with his foster family, or perhaps headed out for a stroll in the park. It’s bittersweet to imagine exactly what he’s doing at this very moment.

 Over in another part of town the shuffle of papers, and strikes on keyboards can be heard. And it’s there in the offices of the Ministry of Health and Welfare that I pray is a paper sitting on someone’s desk with my son’s name on it. But, even if his name isn’t on a desk yet, even if it will be months down the road until it lands in that building there are many, many families waiting to hold their babies in their arms tonight. Many families  wait with hesitation to see what tomorrow will bring and pray it will bring them one step closer to their son or daughter. So, tonight I lift this request to the Lord that movement of EPs begin. I pray that  each of the families that are waiting to bring home a precious blessing from Korea can exhale a breath that we’ve all been holding for entirely too long. 

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you;  I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’  and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—  everyone who is called by my name,  whom I created for my glory,whom I formed and made.”   ~ Isaiah 43:5-7