Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blessed Beyond Any Other Tribe

It's ok to say "yes." I heard those words softly in my heart after staring at a photo for about 5 minutes.  The moments, days and weeks leading up to that gentle nudge had been frozen with waiting.  Waiting on a doctor, waiting on a government up over the North Pole and on the other side of the world , waiting for more pictures, a video,... a smile.  Then, just like that, the desire of our hearts was packaged neatly in a jpg file waiting to be, I did and I saw pure joy...happiness.  WE knew, I knew and the Lord breathed peace in our hearts.  Yes, child, you are mine.  No matter what, I will never let you go once you are placed in my arms.  The Lord  placed the lonely in the arms of a family, all happening a world apart from each other and without one of them even knowing they are so loved beyond measure. 

Little one, we know every detail of you face, your smile, your walk.  We stare at you at least 20 times a day and more if when we can.  We know there is much to do, much to plan, much to pray about, but we have peace and we said YES and we would say it a thousand times over if need be. Loving you is easy already, just like it was and is with your older brother.  You see, little one, the Lord birthed that fierce, brave and sometimes, scary, love in our hearts just for's all yours and we will not hold it back.  We know what lies ahead, we know what you will go through and we know how to battle for you! Little one, we are coming for you in a couple months, but know our love has already met you.  Every night when you go to sleep, you are prayed for covered in His healing power and every morning you are blessed with His protection and goodness.  

Our sweet boy, your world is about to change, our world is about to change and it will be hard at times, but you'll see goodness heal your wounds. You'll see peace drown your fears.  You'll see love replace loneliness. Dear boy, we long for you and cross off each day you're closer to being a son and not an orphan. Where you can be rocked to sleep with sweet whispered prayers filling your room and comforted when you cry.  Our second son. Our second trip to China. Our second time filling a crib, but one will be left empty across the world and that's a good thing.

Little man, you are blessed. You are exuding joy and happiness. The Lord has blessed you above all other tribes.  In other words....  ASHER!!!!

Asher Qian Pilato 18 months old!!!

 The Lord is GOOD and we are BLESSED!!!!


I will not leave you as orphans; 

I will come to you
John 14:18

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Full Circle!

Today was a day of epic proportions!  Eli started his first day of preschool today and we could not have had any more joy in our hearts!  He was a bit apprehensive when walking in his classroom and cried for a minute but by the time we left, he was playing with the teacher on the other side of the room!

People, it took A LOT of hard work to get to this point and I won't take a moment, a prayer, a hug, a therapist or a teacher who helped along the way for granted!  We started a year ago this week working on Eli's ability to feel comfortable in a room full of kids and without me right next to him.  We accomplished that about 2 months ago.  It took a long time and a lot of patience on the part of those working with him and myself.  It taught me too let go of a lot things, especially being a therapist myself.  I also learned that not many people truly understand trauma in children especially in those who have been abandoned and adopted.  It took a lot of educating and holding firm in what I know and believe was/ is best for Eli!  We are, however, so thankful for the people that took the time to listen, learn and work as hard as they could to get Eli to place he is now, and what a beautiful place that is!!!!!!

So here we are, watching our little man pull on his backpack, hold his stuffed lunchbox tight and smile bright for the camera and walk into his very first official day preschool.  I am so excited to watch him grow, learn and make friends!  He is such a strong, courageous child and he is no doubt my hero!  So here's to your very first school year, Eli!  I pray the Lord leads you, blesses you and keeps you walking in Truth!  You are an amazing blessing from the Lord!

God is GOOD and we are BLESSED!!!

  “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Summer and waiting!

Summer is coming to end and most kiddos are back to school this coming week.  I will actually be joining the ranks of parents posting "1st day of ____" pics on FB this week as my little man will be starting preschool with me all by himself this coming week.  I CANNOT even tell you the amount of prayer, work, patience, love, tears and more prayer that it took to get this point, but I think there are some parents out there that can relate (this a whole other post in and of itself or maybe even a whole other blog!)!  Our little man is just that, a little man feisty and cuddly and Jesus loving as can be ...where on Earth did my baby go!!!???

 We were able to take take a breather once we found out our paperwork had been logged in to the CCCWA on August 13th and head down to the Outer Banks for a much needed vacation!  We spent the week simply enjoying our family and giving Eli time with all his grandparents!  He was not lacking in that department at all by the end of the week.  I think we needed to bring an extra Uhal for all the "surprises" Nana brought for him.  Eli did awesome and LOVED LOVED LOVED the water.  He had come so far through the mighty deliverance of Jesus Christ!  We just see all those layers of orphan peel off of him and we are now left with a gorgeous, bubbly spirited boy who loves life and his family and Lightning McQueen!

AJ and I were able to reconnect and have some much needed time out on a date and we spent the evening eating incredible seafood and watching the sun set over the water.  It was just what we needed after a whirl wind of a year so far.  We feel so blessed that we could spend the week both my parents and AJ's parents and have it be just a time of rest, laughter and joy!  What a blessing it is to have such a beautiful family!

So now we are waiting, waiting and waiting for us to catch a glimpse of the child God destined for our family!  It could be any day and I am thankful for the detraction of being a Mom and keeping busy with everyday appointments, play and cuddles! Eli is such a blessing and we could not love that boy more and I am pretty sure his grandparents agree!

 God is Good and We are BLESSED!!!!

 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:2

Friday, August 7, 2015

On our way to China!

We are on our way to China (almost)!  Today marked a HUGE day in the realm of the adoption world!  We have finally gathered all our paperwork needed, had it state certified and then authenticated at the Chinese consulate in NYC!  Our agency gathered the documents and then Fed Exed them today to Beijing!  Once it reaches Beijing all the fun stuff starts happening!  We get Logged in with the government there and then we WAIT for the really big WAIT!!  We wait to be matched with the precious little that God knew all along was meant to be in our family.  That's a hard wait, but an exciting one at that!

Image result for dossier to china

 We had some hiccups getting to this point and our dossier is being sent much later than expected at God's appointed time! I know with each adoption journey there is always a delay at some point in the road and this was our delay.  The Lord knows timing better than any of us and although I wanted our paperwork in China already and possibly matched already, the Lord knows just how to beautifully orchestrate this dance of paperwork so we end up with the child He hand picked for us!  The Lord has done it once before and He's doing it again!  Adoption really does target areas of weakness in our hearts and let me tell you, well,  let's just say I am not good at waiting.  the Lord is gracious and give us more than enough when we feel like we might just pop waiting to get an answer or the desired result. I've learned that, even though for a moment I feel flustered, overwhelmed or on the brink of tears I need to take my eyes off of what is not happening and what has already happened by His righteous hand!  Hard to do so much of the time, but we are all working toward that prize.

So here we are, looking at our Fed Ex tracking number several times already, making sure our precious life compacted into many many notarized, certified and authenticated sheets of paper make it up over the North Pole and into the hands of someone who is 7,000 miles away.  It's hard to believe that we are just a packet of paper away from seeing a child who does not know we are on our way to them.  The way adoption works is awe-inspiring and simply a work of the Lord.

As I write this, I cannot believe we will be returning back to our son's birth country once again, bringing him to places he never knew belonged to a part of his heart.  We are so excited to show Eli "his Big China" as he so lovingly calls it.  It's a surreall experience to know Eli will witness the act of adoption before his very eyes and from a different perspective.  He will experience it in a way this time that will not cause him fear or loss.  Rather he can start to see it in a way that shows him that there is love and safety behind it all.  I pray that this experience in China helps him with some of his own healing and opens doors and paths for him to express more about his own feelings.

Dear friends, thank you so much for your love and support getting us to this place!  We cannot thank you enough for you faithfulness in prayer and love.  We would be humbled yet again if you could continue to pray over our journey and our dossier as it heads to China.  Pray that it will arrive safely and intact.  Pray that those who come in contact with our paperwork will experience the love of God like never before.  Pray we are logged in quickly and pray our match is on the Lord's perfect timing! The Lord's love for us is unfailing and cannot be matched. He has protected us and guided so beautifully this year in our 2nd adoption.  We cannot wait to be back on the Great Wall yet again!  China...HERE WE COME!


God is GOOD and we are BLESSED! 

And whoever 
 welcomes one such child 
in My Name 
welcomes Me
 Matthew 18:5

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Better Late Than Never!

Oh my goodness!!!!!  It has been several months since I updated anything on our lives, Eli or rapidly moving 2nd adoption!  So much has been going on and the adoption process the second time around is a lot different when you have a 3 year old running around.  Literally. Running. Around.  We have been focused on family time, adoption paperwork and more importantly helping Eli with some of the challenges he is experiencing due to the trauma he experienced as an orphan. I hate typing those words by the way, but it's a fact we need to acknowledge and embrace and know it's not a label but something to work through and overcome!  This post will nothing less than an update over the past couple months and then I will give a more detailed update on our adoption status soon!

In April, we blinked and Eli turned 3. I just could not believe my little peanut of a man was no longer a baby, but a big boy. He went from being failure to thrive when we brought him home to being 97th percentile in hieght and 75th percentile for weight.  WOW!!  Praise Jesus , He restores and knits us back to normal!!!  AJ and I took him to his annual zoo visit on his actual birthday.  He had a blast!  We had a Llama Llama Red Pajama Party with just a few friends and family.  Last year we hada huge welcome home/first birthday home with us and had 70 people there!  NOT THIS YEAR, I was too exhausted, I wanted a simple party!  He had a blast with his friends!  Easter was also celebrated a few weeks before his 3rd birthday and we actually had winter coats on for the town Easter Egg hunt!

In May we held a fundraiser for adoption with all the hard work being done by my brother and his fiance!  They ran a superhero half mararthon and had people donate toward the race. They also ran this race 1 day after getting engaged!!!! We were so blessed by those who donated and by family who was willing to get dressed up and run in icky, hot, humid NJ weather!  We also celebrated AJ's, my brother's and my mother's birthday in may, as well as Mother's day!  It's such busy month. We started OT for Eli as well and will update more on that later.  We also visited Nana and Nono in Rochester over Memorial Day weekend and had a blast!

June brought SUMMER!!!!  I was never a huge fan of summer (more of a fall/winter gal) until I had a very active child!  We are now excited for summer! We re-adopted Eli to ensure that when he applies for college, his lisence and such all his documents will be USA issued.  It will make his life easier in the long run! We joined our pool, celebrated Father's day and signed Eli up at our church's preschool for September.  We have been visiting his class every week to get him used to seeing the place, feeling safe there and associating it with positive experiences.  My dear boy LOVES his mama and is working VERY VERY VERY hard on feeling safe and secure without her around everywhere he goes (NOT AN EASY FEAT but we are getting there!). He has become such a boisterous, joyful, more confident boy compared to last year!

July brought the 4th (one of my favorite holidays) and our first family vacations with our best friends from college.  They have a daughter 6 months older than Eli and a little guy who will most likely be the same age as our next little one!  God's planning is so perfect!  We ended up going to an amazing little beach in Long Island  for a long weekend and had a great time!!!!  Another awesome tradition was started!  Eli did amazing too, which brought me to tears on numerous occasions! Eli and I were treated by Mim for our annual Thomas the Tank train ride and he had a blast!

So here we are now toward the end of July already and heading into August.  I can't believe it, this year is flying by and I can't believe the blessings the Lord has bestowed on our family.  We see so much progress in Eli in his ability to overcome fear, interact with other children without feeling like he'll be replaced and separating from me when it has been impossible before! to God be Glory, He binds up our wounds and restores life to us!  
Our current adoption is going much faster than the last one and it just seems so much easier this time around in terms of paperwork.  I am a bit frustrated right now with government agencies (who's not!?) and how slow they are moving, but I have to just let the Lord lead.  If there's anything I learned from the last time, is that God has THE PERFECT timing for us and to not try to hurry up anything.  We waited almost a month on New Jersey to approve ONE PIECE OF PAPER, yes, 1 piece of paper before we could send all our paperwork to the Chinese Consulate in NYC.  So our paperwork went out to the Consulate last Wednesday and is supposed to be back to our agency today, but has not yet left the consulate.  We were hoping to be Dossier To China tomorrow, but now we won't be and will have to wait until next Friday.  I am a little sad, but I know there is a reason and we trust the Lord for His perfect will!  So by next week we will be sending our paperwork to China, have our paperwork logged in by their government and then  be matched (hopefully very quickly).  We are thinking that we just might be back in China around the same time we were there when we went to get Eli!  I just pray we will be back before Christmas Day, but if it's that way again I'll take it in a heartbeat!

So that's where we are at and what we have been up to in a very short and condensed version!  We are still fundraising and would appreciate ANY help!  Adoption costs are astronomical and it doesn't stop once they are home.  All these kiddos need specialized medical intervention, as well as, other developmental therapies.  So we ask, if you can, help, we would appreciate and are humbled by your willingness to do so!  You can click on the Paypal Donate Button on the upper right hand side of this blog or you can mail us your donation!  WE love you all so much and we appreciate your prayers the most!!! 

God is Good and We are BLESSED!!!!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1