bliss…it doesn’t take much

I made them a fort on my bed.

The boys were not happy with the fabric choices, but they got over it. My room. Boys are allowed. No Star Wars sheets allowed.
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I watched August Rush recently, hadn’t seen it since it came out in 2007. The scene where the mom is at the court house and they ask her the name of her son…she says “I don’t know.” And then yelled at them “I don’t care about your process!” She knew her son was out there and she would fight to find him. I want to yell that a lot these days. We are still waiting on approval of one stinking form (our I800A) in order to be able to mail all of our stuff (our dossier) to our agency, who will get a bunch of legal seals and such and then send it to China. One crazy form. All I wanted for Christmas was to be “DTC” (Dossier to China). That is not looking possible. I’m holding out hope that we will at least get to mail our dossier to our agency before the end of the year.

I know it sounds crazy to some to be consumed with love for a child that I don’t have a name or face for, but that is the case. This wait. This unknown. This wondering where my little one is…alone? fed? safe? seen?……nothing could have prepared me for this.

So, I’m waiting. Still waiting. In the wait, I will sow the tears of separation. I’ll find ways to celebrate the bliss of today and beg God that soon I’ll be singing a new song of joy.

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  • Andy - fun fort, hope you get the form for Chritmas, love that movie

  • LeeH - I wish you peace while you wait (and DTC by 1/1)
    It could happen. I used to work at DI, and the amazing way the ‘right’ babies came to the ‘right’ families demonstrates how very much it is out of our hands. It’s quite possible your little one hasn’t even been born yet, so while you wait.. don’t think of her as getting older by the minute waiting for you. The timing will be perfect, I just know it.
    Merry Christmas

  • Jeannette - In agreement with you…it will be soon!!!!

  • Brigett - Hey! I just came upon your blog a few weeks ago and I really enjoy reading your posts about life! I also really LOVE the new design! Just wanted to make a comment about your wait during the adoption process. This past Sunday I my husband and I heard a message from Louie Giglio about waiting. He kinda turned the focus off of what we are waiting on and asked maybe if there was someone waiting on us? This was something I had not thought often of and it brought thoughts of adoption to my mind. We do not have kids yet and I am praying about adopting one day. After hearing this message I was brought to tears thinking of a little one waiting on me to come along and be the answer to his/her prayers. Often, I am worried about how God will answer my prayers and don’t realize that someone might be waiting on me to be the answer to his/her prayers. I just want to encourage you in the waiting and commend you for being the answer to a child in need. I will be praying for you!!(By the way you might can find the message on the Passion City Church Atlanta website).

  • lindsey - praying God will break through any barriers to your little one!! Christmas miracle on it’s way!

  • Jenn C. - I’ve been following your blog for almost a year now and have enjoyed the glimpses into your life you give readers. Not sure why I never thought to share this link before, but some friends of ours have been going through the steps to adopt a child from China as well, and recently got their referral. Yesterday they were finally able to share pictures of their new son. Thought you might like to see their blog and the chronicle of their story. Merry Christmas!

    http://www.unrelentingloveforher.blogspot.com

  • amanda torres - God’s timing is perfect. The enemy has no power during this time. While you are waiting, God watches over and protects her in ways we never could.

  • Danielle - (((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))) to you… I can only imagine how heavy your heart is with this wait.

  • Sara W - Hoping you find peace amongst your tears and that a Christmas miracle comes your way.

  • heather - The paper chase is so tough…just so consuming to get everything in and right and notarized and whatever…it just feels long and like you are helpless. Hang in there…it is hard to believe at this point, but I promise you that soon the dossier hectic-ness will even be hard to remember and you’ll be on to the next part of your process! (and then before you know it, your baby will be 4 1/2 and you’ll barely remember waiting for her to come home…or maybe that’s just me). :-)

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Oh Ashley. Not crazy at all.

    First of all, August Rush, is one of my husband and mines all time favorite. It was one of the movies I saw during the time that God was really working on my heart about adoption, while I was dealing with my struggle with infertility. POWERFUL movie. And now that we are amazingly blessed with one amazingly awesome 2.5 year old, I still believe that we have more out there waiting on us. I am so content with what God has blessed us with, but still feel in my heart like our family isn’t complete yet. I GET IT!

    Hoping you get what you need for your little one in China soon!!!!!! I know it must be hard knowing you have a daughter across the ocean that is just awaiting the arrival of her mommy and daddy, but God is watching over her. His timing is alway perfect.

    Praying for you, your family, and your waiting baby girl!!!!

  • Jane Marie - It is really beautiful, the way you describe feeling already about your 5th child…I really smile deeply every time I read your posts about this. Thank you for sharing.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Awesome fort!
    I hear ya on unfulfilled Christmas wishes! We are a little over one year in our waiting. I really, really thought we’d have a placement by now. : (

  • Seriously Sassy Mama - My husband is an excellent fort maker. It makes me sad that the whole adoption process seems like one long string of delays. I hope everything works out soon!

  • heather - ashley, i’m praying God covers you and your little one with His peace during this time, the way only He can. xoxo

  • Kara D. - beautiful fort, beautiful photos! waiting for a little one gives a new meaning to the Advent season, doesn’t it? I was pregnant last Christmas, due on Christmas Eve, and boy, did it make the experience totally different. :) praying you get your Christmas wish! I also heard this song from a friend who is adopting from Africa… I’m sure someone has already shared it with you… but it seems to say so well what lots of families who are waiting for their little ones must feel like this Christmas! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xebv7muzxU

  • sarah scott - love these photos. just love them. isn’t it wonderful how some sheets (non-Star Wars, of course!) and a bouncy bed can just make a kid’s day–and yours? my favorite part of being a mama by far is this focus on and celebration of the little things. i pray that the paperwork goes through and your family is complete soon. sometimes, when waiting for something, i try to tell myself that there is a reason things aren’t happening on ‘my timeline’. it doesn’t mean i don’t ache or get irritated or wish that time would speed up–but it just helps me try (really try) to be patient and remember there are many factors and forces at work that i am unable to know about. and, sometimes, years later, i have found that the ‘delay’ that drove me nuts led me right to the place i was meant to be. i so hope this for you–and, as i said, that you can hold all of your little ones, seen and as yet unseen, in your arms very soon…xo

  • alison holcomb - praying for you guys and your little one. i am leaving for africa the day after christmas to go love on kids with an organization called visiting orphans. our purpose there is simply just to love on the kids and look them in the eye and let them know they have a Father who loves them beyond imagination. reading your words of how you are consumed with thinking about the unknown touches my heart so much. i know you guys are adopting from china, but it makes me happy that while i can’t take all of these precious kids back with me and i will want to SO much- at least i know that one day they might get to come into a loving home where their mama’s prayed for them and loved them so incredibly much without knowing what they even look like! how incredible is our God?! wow.
    it’s been on my heart to adopt from asia one day as well:) i’ve loved reading your story and i’m praying for peace for you guys right now.

  • julianna - prayers. I want to adopt too, and I think it must be harder than being pregnant and giving birth in so many ways. The waiting has to be the worst. BTW love the blog design update. You weren’t kidding when you said it was like spring time. That is it exactly.

  • Carol V - Hi Ashley,
    I love your heart for your new baby. What a wonderful future that child has in store. When I read your post today it made me think of the song “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. If you haven’t heard it, you should look it up. I love worhsip music and I often find myself listening to these words when I am waiting on the Lord.

    xoxo,

    Carol

  • alison holcomb - praying for you guys and your little one. i am leaving for africa the day after christmas to go love on kids with an organization called visiting orphans. our purpose there is simply just to love on the kids and look them in the eye and let them know they have a Father who loves them beyond imagination. reading your words of how you are consumed with thinking about the unknown touches my heart so much.i know you guys are adopting from china but it makes me happy that while i can’t take all of these precious kids back with me and i will want to SO much- at least i know that one day they might get to come into a loving home where their mama’s prayed for them and loved them so incredibly much without knowing what they even look like! how incredible is our God! wow.
    it’s been on my heart to adopt from asia one day as well. I’ve loved reading your story and i’m praying for peace for you guys right now.

  • Elizabeth - What seems like many years ago now (in reality, it was 1998), I too was waiting for my baby (in China) during the Christmas season. I knew she had already been born. Who was tucking her in at night? Was she loved? Would she feel my already aching love for her as I thought about her every second? Christmas morning, I listened to “The Prayer” sung by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, and cried. Ever since then, I cannot listen to that song without thinking, *and feeling*, that Christmas morning.
    Much love to you.
    Elizabeth
    P.S. I met my daughter, in Changsha (Hunan province) that following March. She *had* been loved. She was worth the wait and the tears. And even though that Christmas was fairly long ago now, I’ll never forget those feelings I had as I waited for her. ;-)

  • Jessica - I love the fort, that is a common sight in our house too! I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers during this season of waiting. I can’t imagine the anticipation! I admire your courage, strength and patience – this child is going to be part of a pretty incredible family!

    BTW, I found this Star Wars Lego Clock while shopping for my nephew and thought of you :o) http://www.fredflare.com/gift-guide/LEGO-Star-Wars-Mini-Figure-Alarm-Clock/

  • Hannah B - It’s not crazy to be consumed with love for a child that you don’t have a name or face for. I’m in that same boat with you. Although it may seem like a platitude, I’m just constantly reminded that God’s timing is perfect. I’m praying and believing that everything will fall in its place soon for you and that you’ll be snuggling your little one in your arms sooner than later.

  • Kaye - Praying peace for you Ashley. This makes me think of the John Waller song “While I’m Waiting”

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am hopeful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it is painful
    But patiently, I will wait

    I will move ahead, bold and confident
    Takeing every step in obedience
    While I’m waiting
    I will serve You
    While I’m waiting
    I will worship
    While I’m waiting
    I will not faint
    I’ll be running the race
    Even while I wait

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am peaceful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it’s not easy
    But faithfully, I will wait
    Yes, I will wait
    I will serve You while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting
    I will serve You while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting
    I will serve you while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

    I have been following you for a long time now and never commented before :) But this song came to me so powerfully for you that I had to comment.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Jamie - You’re not crazy Ashley, you’re a mom. Wishing you luck!

  • emily anderson - “I’ll find ways to celebrate the bliss of today and beg God that soon I’ll be singing a new song of joy.”
    you will friend…soon you will :)

  • giozi - Lord know her name, and blessing her.

    About this pictures. You had excelent idea is really funny. Love love the amazing last picture. Your princess is more beautiful every day.

  • Lemonade Makin Mama - I totally understand this waiting thing!!! We’ve been trying to sell our home for two years, because we felt God calling us to downsize our lifestyle and live it differently for Him. Along the way, our home sold, and then that fell apart days before moving, then my man was transferred to a job in a different town, and now we are living in an up-in-the air state. I told God that I wanted to wait well. He is certainly giving me many chances to learn this.

    I pray that your waiting (and mine) will be filled with God’s blessing and life lessons that grow us as we nestle into Him.

    Merry Christmas,
    Sasha

  • lisa and tate - Totally understand the wait for the I-800. Such a significant piece of paper! As the feeling of being so freakishly in love with a child you do not know, wow!

    When I started the process for Tate (who is from Poyang Orphanage Jiangxi Provence), the wait for a NSN baby was 6-9mos. Four years later I finally recieved my referral for the most amazing blessing ever. My agency did not offer SN kids or I would have gone that route. Now as I look back 2.5 yrs later, the LONG wait is just a memory and I wonder where the time has gone since the amazing journey taken to add my girl to my life. Truly blessed.

  • Jacquie - Hi AshleyAnn,
    I have been searching for the string of lights that you used for the fort..where did you get them??
    Thanks so much ;)
    Jacquie

  • AshleyAnn - Jacquie – I got them at Target in September…in the gardening section.

  • Sarah - That fort is amazing! I love your bed, is it from World Market by chance??? There was one bed, much like yours (or maybe yours), they had a few years back that I was in LOVE with and wanted so badly, but I wasn’t even married yet so that didn’t happen. I still wish I had it though!
    On the adoption paperwork, I have my fingers and toes crossed that the paperwork gets sent to your agency by the end of the year. But even if it doesn’t…just remember that there is ALWAYS a reason. Hold onto hope.

  • Holly - At least think of it this way: if you get your form right after christmas but still before the new year it will just be a belated christmas present!

  • Lindsey - You are amazing. At everything it seems!! :) Where did you get that growth chart hanging outside the bedroom?

  • Christine - My husband and I were going to adopt from China until they made the program so difficult. Good luck to you, I hope you get your Christmas wish.

  • amber - Forts are amazing. My kids think they’re the best ever:). Yours is awfully pretty…mine usually has a giant quilt & a cars blanket included, but whatever. And, thank you for sharing your journey to adoption with us. We’re waiting to walk that path one day & reading your posts are feeding that passion more & more.

  • mosey - It doesn’t sound crazy AT ALL to me to be consumed with such love… I’m in the same boat, my baby girl is out there somewhere… My heart aches to hold her and to know she is safe, to smother her precious face with kisses just like her brothers and sister are getting right now.

  • Laura Chavous - I loved that movie August Rush. Of course I look at it through a totally different scope now. I also loved the movie Australia. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. But there is a part in the movie where the child tells his adoptive mother “I will sing you to me” And that makes me think of a special someone I used to know…
    I am so happy for you because your day is coming in God’s time and hopefully quickly. I am still waiting for Him to turn my sorrow into joy.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Praying to share your burden with you so that your yoke may be easier to bear. Hugs to you.

  • Becky at CinderellaDuty.blogspot.com - #1. Ah-mazing photos. Love them.
    #2. I would recognize the art on your site anywhere! Katie Daisy? The Wheatfield? Are you her or did she create these or am I totally missing the mark?! I drool over her art way too frequently. I’m hoping my man has ordered me something from her for Christmas. I swear she and my soul met up and that’s how she came up with her style.
    #3. This is my first time at your site and I love it. I’ll be back regularly.
    Oh, and #4. Stop by and see me sometime at http://cinderelladuty.blogspot.com!

  • racheldenbow - We did this a few days ago using the same yellow floral sheet and with lights hung across the top just like this! I think being able to build easy forts is probably my favorite part about having a four poster bed. ;)
    Also, I keep thinking about your family Christmas photo with the gap that will be filled someday. What a precious image. I have no idea how it feels to be longing for a child through the process of adoption but I am excited and anxious and hopeful for you and your family as you move to each new step along the path. Hopeful for you and with you.
    Also, it always thrills me to see that quilt show up in your photos! Big hugs to you all from Missouri.

  • Heather Moll - Ashley, praying for good news for your family soon and a smooth process and peace while you wait.
    I heard this song and immediately thought of you. Peace to you and your family this Christmas.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHLGdxmkf4w

  • Chelsea - I get this.

  • Paige Yelle - You’re in my prayers Ashley. Your daughter is being well taken care of by our Father who watches over her. You stay strong. You will make it through this time of waiting. His timing is perfect.
    Love the fort! Gonna do that when the girls wake from naps! Hugs!

  • Mary - I’ve been there, 5 years ago at Christmas we were waiting on travel approval and a consulate appointment. They came in their own good time and we just had to acknowledge AGAIN that we were not in control of this wild ride.
    As for if your little one is alone, fed, safe. Please know that there are moms like me who get up every morning and make it our life’s work to care for the orphans of China. We make sure they are fed, brought to the doctor or placed in loving foster homes. We do this for them, and for YOU, the mommy who waits.

  • Kristen - Where did you get the fabric for firecracker’s pillow top shirt? I LOVE it! It is gorgeous!

  • Katrina - Hi Ashley! My family is currently working through an adoption in China as well! I love reading your blog! I was wondering…I know I read a post somewhere where you talked about reading books about China (for yourself) and also some books about China you read with your kids. I would love to know some titles so we could do more reading as we prepare to welcome our Little One home! Thank you so much!

  • Giving Thanks | Kroeker Family - […] So, I’m waiting. Still waiting. In the wait, I will sow the tears of separation. I’ll find ways to celebrate the bliss of today and beg God that soon I’ll be singing a new song of joy. (from here) […]

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