"Be that as it may, my Father knows best, and I'm confident that He has placed me here; my task is to labor quietly until the pillar cloud removes and leads farther, working out God's purposes in God's time." -Jim Elliot


An Adoption Update & Opportunity to Give

We would like you all to meet our daughter, Selah Grace AnLi.  She is exquisite.  A bundle of curiosity and shyness.  A little girl who is beloved to many already.  And she has truly climbed her way right up into our hearts.  We are thrilled to share with you all that we received our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC or LOA) which was the confirmation from China agreeing for us to adopt this little girl.  We also just received our I-800 approval, giving us permission to bring her home to the United States.  We are quickly approaching our Travel Approval invitation from China in the next 6-8 weeks.  What an incredible year it has been going through the process of much prayer, paperwork, home studies, trainings, conferences, networking, blogging, and everything in-between to ready us for this moment of preparing to meet our daughter.  We are beyond thrilled and humbled to know that God called us to be this little girl's family, and that in a few short months, she will be home with us!  

When God called us to the ministry of adoption, He set our hearts upon these scriptures in light of the plight of over 150,000,000 orphans who are fatherless today in the world:

Eph. 1:5, "In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."

Psalm 68:5, "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation." 

In light of the adoptive love of our heavenly Father and the amazing truth that through the Gospel we have been adopted and grafted into His family forever, we received His calling to be adoptive parents to a fatherless child whom He cares for deeply.  He has called us to open our home and to be the forever family to this precious little girl from China named Selah Grace AnLi.  Her name's meaning is to "ponder grace in light of truth".  The story of adoption in all of our lives is a story of grace and truth in which we are blessed to ponder...and in doing so, we behold the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf to adopt us into His forever family.

We want to thank each and every one of you who have prayed, supported, and even given time/resources to help us in our efforts to bring her home.  We knew going into this process that we were being called to pay for as much of the adoption costs as possible with our savings, and yet we also knew that this was a step in faith in which God was calling us to trust Him to bring in the remainder of the money needed.  Going into this process, we knew that international adoptions are incredibly expensive.  There is no way to sugarcoat that.  Money is used for: agency fees, dossier preparation, immigration and visa fees, in-country orphanage and processing fees, as well as travel expenses to China, transportation costs in China, hotel bills, etc...

The adoption cost to bring our daughter home is approximately $32,000.  Through the Orphan Love Run, our yard sale, and generous donations of family and friends, the Lord has brought in $15,000 over this past year to provide for her to be adopted!!!  We are truly blown away and in awe of how He provides, and we trust Him with the small remainder of money that we still are in need of to travel to China.  Our goal to reach the amount needed to complete the orphanage donation to bring her home is $3,000.  This is a required donation by her orphanage to help care for the other orphans who are still waiting for families to adopt them.  As well, we will have the expense of post-placement home study fees that equal $2,000. 

So ... how can you help?  Below is a list of some things you can do:

- First and foremost, we ask that you lift us up in your thoughts and prayers. We pray that through this fundraising process, God will receive the glory for bringing this precious girl into our family.
- We humbly ask that you pray and consider whether you can give anything financially to support our remaining need.

We have no intention of pressuring people to give.  That decision is completely up to the giver. And we hope that none of you, our closest family and friends, are offended by us asking for your support.  If so, we extend our sincere apologies.  From our perspective, we feel that all of us can and should do more to take care of orphans.  Some of us are called to adopt.  Others can be included by giving or supporting those who are adopting.  Giving financially is a way that others can join us on this journey.  

We are using a fundraising website service called AdoptTogether.  Our personalized website is, www.adopttogether.com/sacredscribbles.  The neat thing about this website is that it allows people to give online, so it is very simple.  Also, all giving is tax deductible.  (The website currently reflects an $8,000 need, but we have a promised donation amount equaling $3,000 that is not yet reflected on our profile.  Therefore, our actual current need is $5,000.) 

We also have a blog with updates about our adoption and our family that we would love for you to follow!  Our blog address is www.sacredscribbles.blogspot.com  We plan on updating it much more frequently as travel approaches and while we are in China.  

Thank you so much for praying and considering being a part of helping to bring Selah home!  Please enjoy this video of pictures of Selah in China and our family awaiting her arrival!  Much love to you all!



The Greatest Mother's Day Gift

Tonight for Mother's Day, I got to order a care package for our daughter in China.  This care package included several little special things such as our pictures, a panda stuffed animal, and a blanket.  But the one part of this experience that is leaving the greatest impact on my heart tonight is a letter that we got to write to her.  These are our first words to our daughter.  We are overwhelmed with love, gratitude, and humility in that God saw fit to give her to us and us to her.  I wanted to share the words we wrote to her on here to give a glimpse into the windows of our hearts for this precious child.  This has been the most wonderful Mother's Day I have ever experienced.  I have been so blessed to be the mother of two incredible little boys as well as an amazing daughter I have yet to meet.  They are all beautiful, all adored, and all cherished gifts from God.  I continue to be amazed at the blessing of being called to adopt, and that the journey to Selah's heart has been nothing short of the word grace.

Dear An Li Xi,

We are so excited to meet you!  This past year, we have prepared to bring you home, and we will get to hug you and talk to you very soon!  You have a Mommy, Daddy, big brother named Bryson, and a little brother named Lincoln just waiting to meet you!  We are giving you the name “Selah Grace AnLi Swain” which means “to ponder grace in light of truth”.  We love your name.  You are loved and cared for so much.  We got to see your pictures, and we can tell that you are loved and cared for well in your social welfare institute.  You are the most beautiful little girl we have ever seen!  We think about you all the time, and we wonder what your favorite toy, color, food, and games are!  We read that you like the outdoors, and we can’t wait to take you on hikes, to the park, and to go swimming one day!  We are making you a room with pink owls and pretty white furniture.  We have a doll for you, and many books and toys that we know you will love.

We have two boys whom we love very much, and we know that we have much more love to give another child!  YOU!  As we began to search for you, we knew there was a little girl out there who needed parents to love her, and we are honored that we get to be your parents. We have searched for you and chosen you as our daughter.  You were loved before we knew who you were.  We will always love you.  There is nothing that you can do to change our love for you.

When we hold you in our arms for the first time, we know that it may be a difficult time for you to adjust to leaving all that you know.  But we want you to know that we will comfort you and stay by your side as you feel sad and upset.  We know that you will miss your foster family and friends who live in China, and we always want to honor them and remember them as such special people in your life.  They have cared for you and loved you during the first years of your life, and they will always hold a special place in your heart as well as ours’.   

May you hold this blanket and hug this panda bear to remember that we will be with you soon.  Through all the seasons of life you face, we will be by your side as your forever family, Selah.  You are beloved, you are dear, you are ours’.  We are coming for you!!!  We are so excited to meet you, to give you a big hug, and to show you how much we love you everyday.  You are cherished, adored, and we delight in you!  You are our daughter. 

With much love,
Mommy and Daddy

To An Li Xi’s caregivers: We would like to know the names of the people who have cared for her, any of her close friends, and any other information that could be special for her to know in the future as she grows older.  Also, we would like if you could take pictures with her foster family/caregivers/close friends for her life book with this camera.  We would appreciate this so much, for this will assist us with helping Selah as she grows older and has many questions about her past.  Thank you for loving our little girl so much!