Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Open Thank You Letter to You!

Dear Friends and Family,

On January 14, we received the message we had been waiting 13 months to receive:  our travel invitation telling us when we will travel to bring our son home!!!  In less than a month, we will finally be holding our precious Josiah in our arms.  Last Sunday, Ricky preached a sermon from Ephesians 4:7-16 entitled 'The Extravagant Gift Giver.'  This passage speaks about the different gifts and talents God gives His children 'for the good of the body and for the glory of God' (as Ricky stated it).  Ephesians 4:16-17 reads, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."  The reason I mention this, is to thank you.  This passage states that the body builds itself up in love when it is working properly.  Over 50 people have given us funds to help bring our little boy home.  Countless others have prayed and encouraged us.  We simply would not be on the cusp of adopting this beautiful life into our family without you and we are so grateful.  I can think of no other example of the body of Christ building itself up in love than giving a child without a family, a loving family.  The gospel is God adopting us into His family through faith in Christ and this journey has truly exemplified God's heart for adoption:  taking orphans and placing them in families, as He has placed us in His family.

To every person who has sacrificed time, talents, and treasures to bring Josiah home, please know that you will be with us as we hold Josiah for the first time.  You will be with us as he officially becomes our son, as he plays with his big brother and sister for the first time, as he gets his visa and takes a long plane ride to his new home, as he enters his blue racecar room that he will share with his big brother, and as he grows up in our family.  Thank you does not seem like enough for this extravagant gift, but it is what we give to you.

In His grace,
Ricky, Michelle, Isaac, Emma Grace, and Josiah Simpson:)

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you" (Colossians 1:3).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life is Beautiful

We are getting closer and closer to bringing our beautiful son home.  There is a piece of paper sitting in China saying he is our son.  We now await our travel invitation from China to discover what day that piece of paper will be handed to us at the US Consulate in China and Josiah will no longer be just in our hearts but officially part of our family as well.  In the midst of excitement, it is also easy for me to start getting bogged down in the details:  yes, we are taking our two young children literally half-way across the world to bring their brother home.  Yes, it is a 12 hour time difference and a 16 hour flight.  Yes, we will then have an almost 2 year old, an almost 3 year old, and a 4 year old; one of which has endured much loss and who won't understand one word we are saying (except for the word 'mama'.  It's the same in both languages!  What a sweet gift!).

Then a friend posted an article about a documentary called 'The Drop Box' that has greatly impacted me on our adoption journey on her Facebook page (thanks for the reminder, Julie!).  This documentary is the story of a pastor in Korea who has set up a 'baby box' outside his home to give parents the choice to leave their baby with a safe person rather than doing something much more horrific.  The article even talks about how the man making the documentary became a Christian while filming it.  (If you are interested in the documentary or article, you can find it here:  http://bound4life.com/blog/2013/05/28/the-story-of-the-drop-box/).  Remembering this man's story and hearing how God moved in the filmmaker to turn his life to Christ reminded me of just what He is allowing us to be a part of. 

God is using a girl who lived much of her life focused on her own recognition and self and comfort.  A girl who was the youngest in her family and mostly cared little about little children.  A girl who used to throw balls at her young nephew to get him to fetch them because she really had no idea what to do with a little child.  And He has redeemed and worked and grown and is entrusting her and her family with a precious life that some call a woman's choice.  Of course that girl is me and the precious life is our son Josiah.  And he is a life, not a choice.  Friends, his life is beautiful.  Life is beautiful.  Because his birthmother did not abort him (a practice very common in China), soon he will officially become our son.  He has been a life since the moment of his conception.  'For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth' (Psalm 139:13-15). 

Sanctity of Life Sunday is coming up on January 19.  Let us set aside debates and remember life as that day approaches and beyond.  I hope and pray that Josiah's birthmother (and birthfather if applicable to his story) will know in her heart the overflowing gratitude we have for the gift she has allowed to be bestowed upon our family.  God's works are indeed wonderful.

Life is beautiful.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxlLAdXypCY