Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas Emily Margaret!

Good morning all!
This post was written a week ago today.
I had some technical difficulties posting pics
so I'm just now sharing it with you. :)

It's Christmas Eve,
when all the magic and wonder begins.
In final preparations yesterday,
I mailed Emily Margaret's first care package.

Now in case you've never sent
a care package before, let me just tell you
it's much more complex than appears.
You get the clothes... will they fit?
You wash everything... after purchasing special detergent.
You tell the boys to pose with Emily Margaret's package...
they see you're emotional so they willing participate.

You pack the box... and it takes you two hours?!

You enclose a card... her first card must be special.

You write a letter... what does one say to the
caregivers of your precious child??
You venture to the post office... address and package in hand.
You tell her story... because this adoption is all about sharing God's love.
And while no one is looking,
you smooth down all the tape on the box.
You look at the package on the scales,
and imagine your heart being shipped off.
While the clothes and toys are nice,
the package you sent was really to share the love of a family.

Emily Margaret,
I'm really having a hard time this year.
Seeing your sweet face has caused my arms to ache.
The emotions have been overwhelming.
But I won't allow the sadness to linger this Christmas.
We have a Baby JESUS to celebrate! 
So let's recount all that God has done.
1. Our family has been matched with you by China.
2. You will spend your last Christmas in an orphanage.
3. We'll enjoy sharing the tiny moments like care packages 
and pictures until we finally meet.
4. Last, but certainly not least,
God has sent His Son Jesus Christ to wash away our sins.

Join me today in celebrating all that God has done.
Happy Birthday JESUS!!!
God's blessings & love,
Sarah :D

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Wasn't Prepared

Good morning all!
Yesterday was our first family get together of the CHRISTmas season.
We had a wonderful time at Nana & PaBill's.
It was the perfect combination of family and fun.
I spent most of my time with Claire.
She's almost two and doesn't talk much.
I usually try to coax her into talking.
Yesterday I decided to use reverse psychology on her...
I taught her sign language in hopes that she'd speak.
I don't know that we got anywhere,
but we sure had a good time playing SaSa's game.

During lunch, mom & I ate at the kiddie table.
Because really, that's where the party is.
Addison (4) said, "Aunt SaSa,
my mama showed me some babies that
{insert the most pathetic sad face imaginable}
don't have a h-o-m-e."
As my heart broke I said, "She did?!"
Then Addison perked up and said
"But it's OK SaSa,
my mommy said they're coming to live with YOU!"
Now it's one thing to have a heart for God's work,
but it's totally different to hear a orphan's story explained by a child.

We stayed for hours.
Enjoyed a relaxed celebration together.
And really had a great time.
SO, here's where I'm stumped.
Why did I tear up over the butter as I helped clean up??
I know I might not be the cleanest person around,
but I certainly don't cry over it!
Is it because I'm overwhelmed with joy for the
precious child that God has blessed us with?
And just maybe that joy turns to sorrow
as I remember that this year our family
consist of the Hinsons - 1??
Whatever the reason, I feel sad and then silly.
How can you miss someone you've never met?
How can a gathering seem incomplete when
Emily Margaret's never attended with us before?
But I guess most importantly
and the emotion that always wins out is,
how can you forget a face once it's captured your heart??

Emily Margaret,
I can't even put into words how much you're loved.
I loved you from the first moment you fell backwards
coming down that mean old slide.
There were times when I tried not to.
Even now there are times when I still
find myself trying to protect my heart.
But it's not for selfish reasons.
From the moment I looked into your eyes,
you had my heart.
I prayed, and still do, that God will bless you with the very best family possible.
Even if that family isn't mine.
So you see Emily Margaret,
this year you will spend one last Christmas in your orphanage.
The difference is that God has revealed to us the
home and family He picked out for you.
And this family He's designed, loves you very much.
Your part of the Hinsons now,
God bless your sweet soul.
And we will carry you in our heart
until the time arrives when we hold you in our arms.
Emily Margaret, not only does God love you,
your mama loves you too!!!

I'm sorry I wasn't prepared for these emotions.
But then I guess you can never fully understand
the emotions you'll experience while parenting a child,
until you've looked into their eyes.

God's blessings on your day friends,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Word From Big Daddy

Good morning all!
I was just deleting some emails 
when I came across this one.
It's the email Andy sent out Friday night
after learning that China had granted us Pre-Approval 
to adopt our Emily Margaret.
It was too beautiful not to share. :)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Just got home about half an hour ago.  It has been a long day.  It is God's blessing that I have received the kind words and encouragement from each of you.  It is the blessing of moving forward with the knowledge that each of you is steadfastly praying His blessings upon me and my family.

I want to be the first to tell you of the most AWESOME blessing we have received on our Little Man James' birthday.  God has seen through to impress upon the Chinese government that they should endorse and approve our request to bring our "Baby Girl," Emily Margaret home.

The next time you see me or Sarah, ask to see her picture, as we go nowhere without her.  She was born with, Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart condition that has been surgically repaired without complication. She also has a hearing deficit which may be severe or total deafness, we will not know until we get her home and evaluated.  God has rained down his blessings through many tears of joy, as we are beside ourselves in anticipation of bringing our sweet baby home.  Our request was for a child with special needs as we feel that God has put us where we are so that we may bless and be blessed by Ms. Emily Margaret.

Continually lift us up in prayer.

God's Blessings!


Emily Margaret,
Today the boys are out of school due to weather.
We sure do wish you were here.
But until you join us,
I'm praying God will send His angel's to care for you!

Stay warm friends!
God's blessings, Sarah :D

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thank You

It's been 2 weeks since the
first time we saw our Emily Margaret.
I find it hard to believe that much time has flown by,
and then again it seems like I've
been looking at her sweet picture forever.

While doing the morning drop-off
I reminded Joseph of today's anniversary.
We discussed his reaction to her video...
"Can we have her?!"
"Yes?? Well then what are we waiting for?!!!!"
So to express to him just how much
I appreciated his honest, loving heart I said,
Thank You.

You see the Hinsons have gone full forward in
preparing to be the best family possible for Emily Margaret.
We haven't tackled painting her room yet.
We'll go there after Christmas. 
But what we have done is to begin learning sign language.
It's been such a fun way to "do" something to help her.
And in case you didn't know, 
we're quite competitive.
Andy and I love to see who can learn the most signs.

Thank you as well to everyone for their prayers and support.
It's taking a community to bring this baby girl home!
God's blessings friends,
Sarah :D

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Introducing Emily Margaret Hinson

Good morning all!
Sorry I left you hanging last night,
without a picture.
I needed time to soak up
God's awesome action plan first. :)
Isn't HE absolutely amazing!?!!!

Now world, I present to you the baby girl
that China Pre-Approved the Hinsons to adopt.
She still needs lots of prayers so keep them coming.

Just look at that gorgeous, kissable face.
Her beautiful pouty mouth reminds me of James'.
And she has a dimple in her chin,
just like big brother Joseph.
Oh mercy little girl, you are L-O-V-E-D!!!

Here are a few quick stats:
Her birthday is February 9th, 2008.
The last update she weighed about 18lbs.

I'm a little unclear on some of her other measurements.
The report said her foot was 12cm. IDK??
Last night as I tried to figure out what size shoe
she'd need, my sweet brother-in-law chimed in
"Can't you just buy her shoes when she gets here?!"
The Mama Bird in me said "NO,
I want to take her some shoes."
But thinking it over this morning I realize
that John was actually the voice of reason.
Because really, with a face like that who cares
whether she needs barbie shoes or snow skis!?? 

Gotta run.
We've got 2 birthday parties to attend today.
Oh Emily Margaret, you're gonna meet the world today!

God's blessings loved ones, Sarah :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Glory to GOD for a Pre-Approval!

Oh my,
what a day.
Today is James' 8th birthday.
We celebrated with a family/friend party at home.
As we were finishing dinner
(Dominos Pizza & Mama's Sante Fe Soup no less)
I checked my phone.
As I clicked on an email from Amy at our agency,
I couldn't believe my eyes.
So I did what any mature mama would do...
I began reading in a very loud voice.
Because seriously, some news just requires an audience.

Here's what it said.

"We received your Pre-Approval Congrats!!!!!  
This means that China has matched you with your daughter."

What followed was an explanation of how
to send care packages and request updates.
Boompa is all over sending Emily Margaret 
her very own potato chips. :)

So let's recap.
Several weeks ago James asks for a picture 
of Emily Margaret for his birthday.
I kindly explain it wasn't gonna happen,
but allow him to pray about it any way.
I read a blog post.
It talks about the matching process.
Take home message:
adoption is not the same as special 
ordering your new car,
these are children.
The post leads me back to our agency list.
The very list I prayed over intently months ago.
(There were two children on the list 
that God confirmed were NOT Emily Margaret.
I was baffled but stayed faithful to HIS timing.)

I clicked on a file that I knew wasn't my child.
I watched her video...
and I fell in love.
What I saw in that 8 minute 30 second clip
was a baby girl who needed a family.
She wasn't a post-op pt or 
a hearing screen follow up,
she was a baby who needed love.
I must have felt my heart leave for China
because I immediately set sail for DE-NIAL.
Oh I had such great reasons why she wasn't my child
and God had even better reasons of why she was.
But He was so kind and so patient.
Every time I hesitated, 
He sent a burning bush.
When I felt more pain than I thought possible, 
I stood firm in His truth.
Most importantly, He held me tight. 

Last Thursday I completed our Letter Of Intent.
Last Friday our agency sent it to China.
On Monday we got the news that China needed 
letters from our physicians summarizing our 
surgical and medication history.
I stalked physicians, smiled sweetly 
and praised His name.
Within 3 hours the agency had what they needed. :)
Tuesday I was busy at the hospital.
By Wednesday my heart was heavy,
so I emailed Amy.
She hadn't heard anything else from China,
but said we'd either get a request for more info
or our Pre-Approval.
She followed up by saying the normal 
processing time was 2-3 weeks.
What followed next was nothing short of pathetic.
My heart was broken.
What if Baby Girl wasn't Emily Margaret?
Could I move on and find peace?
Yes I would.
I'd seek comfort in knowing 
that His will was being done.
I prayed for God's wisdom.
I wanted Him to provide Baby Girl 
with the perfect family for her...
whoever they were.
But selfishly I prayed that if Baby Girl was Emily Margaret,
He'd would send us Pre-Approval for James' birthday.
I claimed His victory everyday
because I knew with Him anything was possible.
And He did it.
He beat the timeline 
and rewarded the child that 
prayed for his sister.
He soothed my soul
and gave confidence to my steps.
Now I will give Him ALL the Glory,
and praise His name for ever and ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Emily Margaret,
Congratulations on becoming the 
newest member of the Hinson clan. 
We love you so much and 
can't wait to hold you in our arms.
Your gonna LOVE this crazy family!

God's blessings friends, 
Sarah one proud mama :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Only GOD

Hi prayer warriors,
I'm here to sing HIS praises.
I'm sure you remember is that earlier this week,
we'd been praying for God to rain down HIS blessings.
As a family we felt led to request the opportunity 
to bring home a certain little girl.
The only problem was the probability
that things were about to start moving really fast.
We had a little money set aside
and the promise of bonuses and such in the future.
Our concern was that we didn't currently have the money.
We double checked our motives.
And we knew God had called us to adopt.
Again, we prayed that God would equip the called.
I made bold requests for donations,
all the while feeling guilty for doing so.
As a family we made the decision to step forward in faith.

Thursday morning I got up and went to pack the boys' lunches.
As I made sandwiches at the counter,
something caught my attention.
My stove hood was dripping water,
at a pretty steady rate.
So I did what any mature adult would do...
I busted out laughing.
As loud, hysterical laughter filled our home
the boys came running.
"Mom, what's so funny?!" they asked.
"Well boys, we prayed for God to rain down His
blessings on our family and He took us quite literally!"

Long story short I located a roofing man.
He said the vent had gotten clogged up
and rain water was dripping through the pipe.
He emptied it out, replaced a part,
cleaned out a few gutters and 
left our home with $100. 
I found comfort in the statement:
"That was all."

As you know I spent Thursday filling out our
Letter Of Intent paperwork.
My "office" was my king size bed.
I needed a large place to spread out.
And since the roofer was coming,
I wanted to be out of the way.
I remember getting the mail that day
and placing it on my hope chest,
at the foot of the bed.
In the pile was several Christmas cards.

Fast forward several days.

Minutes ago I was straightening up the living room.
I finally put our Christmas card holder in place
and grabbed the cards that came throughout the week.
I LOVE Christmas cards
but I'd just been too busy with baby girl 
to do anything other than stick them in a pile.
OK, here's where it gets crazy.

I ripped open the first card
and as I began to attach it the holder,
I realized it wasn't a typical Christmas card.
This card said "All things are possible with God."
As I turned to Andy, 
I opened the card only to find a $500 check falling out!
I was speechless and we both began to tear up.
I shared the news with the boys
and we were in AWE of God's provisions.
Our family said a prayer of thanksgiving 
and sat in amazement as I retold this story to them.

How absolutely unbelievable is it that 
the very day we were stepping out in faith,
God was raining down His blessings of provision?!

Only God could have crafted such an amazing story
and I will spend the rest of my days singing His praises!

Thank you sweet friends
for your prayers,
your kind words
and for following the nudging of your heart.

The Hinsons are bolding doing His work,
and others are gladly stepping along side us.
Praise GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God's blessings on your weekend! Sarah :D

Friday, December 3, 2010

LOI Completed

Whew, we did it!
Our LOI is completed.
I sent it in to the agency yesterday. :D

I think I struggled most with the care plan.
Hello nursing skills, don't fail me now!
Of course I had several examples to go by.
I assumed I would rewrite what I'd been given.
When I began writing about our marriage, parenting,
network of support and our available resources
well quite frankly, my heart took over.
I drafted what I am certain was the most beautiful,
heart felt letter ever sent to China.
It was the first time in this l-o-n-g process
that I wasn't just talking about a theoretical child,
I was describing OUR CHILD.
Now, let's just pray the translator doesn't charge by the word.
Mama's heart got a little wordy. 

Every step of this process prepares us a little more.
It's tedious work.
But after each stage I find my heart smiling,
feeling certain I am following HIS lead.
And HIS will is so much better than mine.
We can't wait to share our home with one
of God's most precious angels.

Next Step: Await PreApproval letter from China.
The normal time frame is about 2 weeks.
I'm praising God for HIS timing. 

Keep praying!
Mama's got an ornament on the tree
just waiting to add baby girl's picture.
God's blessings on your day friends, Sarah :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Today's Message

This week has been a dance.
GOD is leading, and I am very cautiously following.
I hesitate, HE guides.
So it would only make sense that this morning's
devotional would offer me more confirmation.

"Just tell Jesus you are willing. 
He's very capable of handling all the details. 
Our job is obedience. 
God's job is results."

Philippians 2:4, 
"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, 
but also to the interests of others." (NIV) 

God's blessings on your day friends.
I'm off to complete our LOI!
:) Sarah 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The One Who Stole Our Hearts...

Mary Beth from Amy Dummier on Vimeo.
Password: mb2010

Because HE's Cool Like That!

Do you ever just sit back in wonder of all the
amazing things God has done in your life?
As a family we are already so blessed.
But even if we're just looking at our adoption,
HE has taken so little, and done so much.
Today I've trusted God for more than I ever knew was possible.
I boldly approached HIS throne,
offered myself as HIS willing servant
prayed to be equipped
and then began moving forward claiming HIS victory.
And oh what a sweet victory it was.
I have literally watched hard hearts soften.
As if that wasn't enough,
HE sent prayer warriors to encourage me along the way.
Friends who have texted or emailed
just to say they had Emily Margaret on their mind today.
Yeah, I'm certain that SOMEONE has been showing out.
But HE can,
and I love it...
because HE's cool like that!
Yes my friends,
it will take a lifetime for me to sing of all HIS praises.
HE has exceeded my needs.

Now, what's next?
There's a special little one the
Hinson family will be sending in their
Letter of Intent to adopt.
Oh I can't wait to hear back from China!
My little angel is just too precious to continue
to be referred to as "the little girl in the video".
But, we're not quite to the point of calling her Emily Margaret.
Come on God, do your thang.

Thank you for all your prayers.
Please continue to pray that God will
equip those He's called to parent the orphans.
And should you feel led,
please contribute to our adoption fund
via our sidebar widget.

Praise be to God,
for His grace is sufficient
and His mercy is unending!

God's blessings friends, Sarah :)