Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New pictures of our boy!

We sent a care package to Samuel, complete with pictures of his family and money for a cake to share with his friends.  Boy, did they buy a giant cake! 

I noticed a white face in the crowd.  Another adoptive family was visiting the orphanage.  Hoping and praying I can find them, cause they were taking video!  I also noticed it was this adoptive father who was showing Samuel the pictures of his forever family.  Thank you!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book a vacation and help bring Samuel home

We have been given a great opportunity.  An awesome family member of ours, Sherry Magness, is a travel agent for Disney.  She has graciously offered to split her commission with our adoption fund for any travel booked through her from our referral.  This service is costs you absolutely nothing.  Please share this with anyone you even think might be looking at a Disney vacation.  Make sure they reference the Meadors' adoption fund.  Sherry will take great care of you!

We don't just sell Disney vacation packages out of a brochure. We customize each Disney vacation for each family.   We have built Mickey's Travel based on honesty and integrity and we always will provide you with a choice and the information to help you choose what is best for you and your family.
When you book your vacation with
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Personal vacation planning including a detailed, customized itinerary made exclusively for you with information on theme park hours, fireworks and parade schedules and special events available during your vacation to Walt Disney World!
Disney Resort Bio lists all things you need to know about your resort hotel.  Restaurants, Shopping, recreation, transportation special activities and so much more
Maps including all the parks,  plus recreational areas like Downtown Disney, Boardwalk and your Disney Resort
Advanced Dining Reservations made at selected Walt Disney World restaurants for you!
All recreation reservations including Child Activity Centers, Golf Tee Times, Spa reservations, Tours, programs and special activities
Show reservations for Hoop Dee Doo Revue, Cirque du Soleil and any special events.
Mickey's Travel Pixie Dust Service
When you book your Disney Vacation with Mickey's Travel and a better rate comes available we automatically adjust your rate to the new discounted rate just like magic. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We have received notice from our adoption agency that our dossier was officially logged in 11/13/12.  We waited a month for that news because of a paperwork issue that thankfully has been taken care of.  Now we begin waiting again, for that LOA.  This part of the wait will very tentatively be 30-90 days.  I'm telling Santa that's what I want for Christmas!

One step closer to Samuel!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Affording" adoption and important acronyms

I said in closing on my last post that I would discuss the lady who commented about how nice it is that we can afford adoption.  Well, I was ready for a tirade at the moment, but I just smiled nicely at the lady.  Matt chuckled and said quite honestly, "I'll just never get to retire."  I have cooled and no longer feel like the tirade, so I won't.  I will only say that this lady is sadly misinformed.  I have met a LOT of adoptive families, both domestic and international, in the past 10 years.  I can count on one hand the number of families who could really "afford" it.  Honestly, the majority that I know are just trying to follow God's will for their family and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring home their sons and daughters.  I was just trying to add up how much $ we need to complete this.  I'm still waiting for a final tally from the agency, but including travel, it looks like about $20,000.  Will you pray for God's provision?

Now, the FUN part!  We are DTC!!!!  Many of you will say, wonderful, what does that mean?  Here's a run down of some important acronyms in the international adoption world.

LOI - Letter of intent - we put some paperwork together and adoption officials in China that we wanted to adopt Samuel. (July 2012)

PA -  PreApproval ( I think) - China says, yeah, you look acceptable to have this precious boy. (July 2012)

DTC - Dossier to China - All of our required paperwork is completed and sent to China. (October 16, 2012)

LID - Log in Date - the date the dossier is logged into the Chinese adoption system. (Estimated 2   weeks from DTC)

LOA - Letter of Acceptance - everything is good.  You are completely and officially approved. (Estimated 30 - 90 days from LID)

TA - Travel approval - here's the date you can come get him! (Estimated 90 days from LOA)

These estimated lines are subject to fluctuate greatly.  We have no control and can only hold on for the ride.

Thanks to you all who ask us about what's going on and help us in so many ways.  We are grateful for you. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So here's a little more info

I promised a little more info on why Samuel is in China's special needs program.  Many adoptive families don't tell details in order to protect their child's privacy.  In this case, Samuel's needs will become quickly evident, so I'm going to share now and ask you all to start praying specifically for his needs. 

Samuel was born with a heart problem that needs a surgical repair.  His condition, known as tetralogy of fallot, has to do with improper blood flow in the heart.  In the US, the condition would have been repaired when he was an infant.  I had the good fortune of having contact information for a pediatric cardiac surgeon (thanks, friends, you know who you are).  I sent her Samuel's medical file back in March and she said that she would not hesitate to bring this little boy home at all.  His condition can be repaired. 

Samuel also has an issue with one of his hands.  There are two fingers that are joined together.  That may or may not be repairable, but that's not a biggie.

So, there you have it.  Samuel, with his family, will be facing a pretty big surgery when he gets home.  I'm sure combined with all the other crazy changes in his life, the medical stuff will be especially hard on him. 

Here's some specific prayers we would request.

1) That Samuel's heart will be strong enough and that his health will not take any turns for the worse.
2) That the stress of meeting us (yikes) and the traveling home will not not affect his heart negatively.
3) That Samuel will just know we love him and will take care of him from the first moment we meet.  That would be a true miracle folks.  I know that.  But I believe in a God of miracles!

We also appreciate prayers for the financial hurdles that are still in front of us.  God has provided thus far, but we have a long way to go.  I'm truly not sure how, but God will see this through to completion.

In my NEXT POST, I will be addressing a pet peeve.  Someone who said, "How nice for you that you are financially able to keep adopting these children.  That's nice."  I made a decision to smile, nod, and keep my mouth shut, but...

~ Martha

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's On!

The Meadors family proudly presents our new son, Xiu Ming!  He will soon become known as Samuel (middle name to be determined) Meadors.  We are so excited that putting it into words is impossible.  After committing to adopt him back in May, we began filling out and collecting paperwork.  About 1 ½ weeks ago, that paperwork was sent to China.  Today, we received our pre-approval from the Chinese adoption authorities.

Samuel is currently 4 years old and living in an orphanage in China. He does have special needs, but we’ll get into that later with very specific prayer requests.  Right now, we are just overjoyed that he is ours!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Letter of Intent

In the international adoption community, there are abbreviations for everything.  You can say LOI and they all jump up and down.  That stands for Letter of Intent.  It tells the Chinese adoption officials that we want to adopt a little one and ask, "Can we?"  We have all of our paperwork done to send our LOI to China.  We thought it went last week, only to get a Friday call from our agency saying the doctor failed to fill in a couple of blanks on our medicals.  Argh!  I've got a call in to the doctor's office, as does our social worker, so I am praying that this will be fixed today and that LOI will be on it's way to China. 

Just for fun and to give a little perspective, the notebook at the top of the picture is paperwork from Cassidy's adoption.  The one at the bottom is our current adoption notebook.  We have a "few" papers to go, but it's coming together!

Interestingly enough, God provided a Sunday sermon yesterday on developing patience.  Sigh.  I'm kind of wishing in just this one area, God will give up trying to teach me and just give me things on my time table.  Alas, I know He loves me too much to leave me with glaring faults.

Here's a few scriptures from the sermon that I need to memorize.

"You have heard of Job's perseverance, and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."  James 5:11

"I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for He has promised."  Psalm 130:5

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me."  Micah 7:7

"The Lord says...No one who waits for My help will be disappointed."  Isaiah 49:23

And lastly, for my friend Connie, who is feeling a pressure that people think she's krazy for adopting again..."Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:11-12

So we wait expectantly for paperwork to be sent.  Then we will wait expectantly for the pre-approval to come back from China.  I cannot bring myself to say we will wait patiently.  God does know that I'm trying. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

If This Were Easy... We Wouldn't Need Sedatives

I will never write an autobiography.  Ever.  Even if I were to become a world famous author rolling in dough with multiple movies made from my books, it 'aint gonna happen.

Why?  Well, besides the fact that I'm not that intriguing, it's just too difficult.

For those who know me, they know the significance of those last four words.  I've never been one to back down, but I admit it, that challenge can whip me any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

As an aspiring novelist, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know my characters.  Learning what makes them tick, their aspirations, their hidden scars and how they need redemption is probably my favorite thing about writing.  Peeking in on myself, however, not so much.  It's more akin to rolling across a bed of nails.  Thus it’s been for me as I attempt to answer the seemingly endless list of questions required to complete my “autobiography” for our home study.  And if that’s not bad enough, as of this writing I’m still not done.

Looking back on life at the same time as I deal with other non-adoption related issues has spawned the perfect storm, opening up a lot of old scabs, some of which I didn’t even know were there.  Painful memories and feelings have surfaced like giant air bubbles.  No, I’m not sitting around bawling, or lying in the fetal position sucking my thumb, but I’m dealing with some serious stuff I didn’t anticipate.  Yet, I know it’s a necessary evil, as all of the governments and agencies involved in our adoption need to be assured they’re not placing some poor child with a freak.  So with that in mind I bite down on the proverbial leather strap and drudge forward.

With the pain, however, some good has surfaced as well.  I can look back and plainly see the Lord’s hand in my life at every turn.  Since I accepted him as an eight year old boy in Phoenix Avenue Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma He has never failed me – even when I failed Him.  He’s been present in every success and failure.  He gave me three heroes – my wife, my mother and my grandmother whom I adore and have learned so much from.  He’s even seen fit to use me for His glory in ways I never dreamed of, including adoption.  He’s given Martha and I a love for the ages, and blessed us with two beautiful daughters.

So I guess the point is this: the prize is worth the pain of the race.  The adoption process isn’t a sprint, but a long, arduous marathon.  Maybe even a biathalon.  We swim through a sea of paper and run intrusive gauntlet and hurdle miles of red tape.  But we run with a prize in mind - the peace in knowing we’re answering the Lord’s call and the incredible, anticipated joy of wrapping our son up in our arms.  It’s a process I wouldn’t wish on my enemies with a prize that I wish everyone could experience – especially all of those precious children who need a home.  So it’s back to the pain, with a grateful heart to the Lord for His unfailing love, knowing that the best is yet to come.

Hey Lord, can you hold the prize a little higher?

~ Matthew

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Home study completion is in sight!

We have completed two home study visits, with two on the calendar.  I have just a few more pieces of paper to get to the social worker and we're done with the home study paperwork.  Two of those pieces of paper are medical forms for Matt & I.  We have appointments next week with the doctor.  You know what's cool and it's not the weather?  (not funny, I know)  The doctor's office had scheduled appts later in July, saying there were no appts sooner.  I called the nurse, who likes me (go figure) and is an adoptive mom herself.  I explained that I really needed sooner appts so we could get this thing moving.  She fit us in next week!  Whoever's praying on our behalf, thank you!  Keep the prayers coming these next couple of weeks that everything (especially medicals) will go smoothly, no surprises, no obstacles. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ramblings about our vacation and what's ahead

I would like to give you a well written, concise, beautiful picture of our trip to Orlando.  I'm afraid if you're going to get that, it'll have to come from my husband.  I'm going to give you random, not in any particular order, thoughts, funnies, advice, etc.
  • GPS units are so cool!  We had so much less stress than long road trips of the past.
  • Nintendo DS's and in vehicle DVD players are wonderful entertainment for the kids.
  • Florida is SO STINKIN' hot in the summer.  I think the humidity is like 125%.  And yes, it did rain every afternoon.
  • My kids are great travelers.  We spent a total of approximately 40 hours in the car in the last week and we had minimal whining and groaning (most of what we did have was from me).
  • If you enjoy people watching, DisneyWorld will totally entertain you. 
  • The Magic Kingdom is not the happiest place on earth as advertised.  Courtney told me one day she thought we were the only family in the park not trying to tear each other's eyes out. 
  • Having a good time is usually the result of making a choice to have a good time!
  • We saw some people who totally confirmed some stereotypes.  We stood in line with a family (grandparents, parents, kids) that had to be from New Jersey.  We actually saw them several times one day.  They were yelling at each others quite colorfully every time we saw them.  On the other hand, the most polite people we experienced were British. One British gentleman actually insisted that I get in front of him in line. 
  • I love the It's a Small World ride.  I don't care how corny anyone else thinks it is.
  • I am OLD and my favorite rides at DisneyWorld are still Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan's Flight, and the Haunted Mansion.
  • My husband is so awesome.  Why, you ask?  He went to a conference every day and wasn't even jealous of the fun we were having.  He truly was happy because we were having fun.
  • My husband is so awesome.  Why, you ask?   We teased him relentlessly this week about him going to a geek conference with all the other computer geeks.  He took it quite well.
  • New Smyrna Beach has white sand and great surf.
  • No amount of sun screen will keep Courtney from getting burned on a white sand beach.
  • No amount of water and rough surf will scare Cassidy.
  • When a manatee swims between me and my children in the ocean, it scares me badly!  Especially when I read that this particular beach has reported LOTS of shark attacks.
  • Sand sticks to everything.
  • Florida is so stinkin' hot!
  • When your cousin Sherry at gives you advice about how to maneuver DisneyWorld, you should do what she says.
  • There are lines to get in line at DisneyWorld.
  • Courtney can sing "O Canada" using nothing but meow's. 
  • Everything in Orlando costs significantly more than it does in Oklahoma.
  • The Renaissance hotel is really fancy and nice and enjoyable.  Thank you to my hubby's employer!
  • Corky's BBQ in Memphis, TN is really yummy.
  • Despite heat and crowds, the girls and I really like DisneyWorld, Magic Kingdom being our favorite.
  • Everybody looks fun when wearing mouse ears.
  • To make it easier to have a good time at Disney, stay at a Disney resort and go in January (did I mention it was hot).  We spent a lot of time in transit, but the hotel didn't cost us anything, so I'm not complaining.
  • Cassidy does not trust me enough to choose rides because she was sure she wouldn't survive riding Splash Mountain. (She made it). 
  • When Courtney was bothering Cassidy, Cassidy looked at me and said, "Do you see what I have to live with?" 
Okay, I warned you it was random.  We just got home a few hours ago and I'm tired ;) 

On the adoption front...we have a home study visit on Wednesday evening this week.  We are have a bunch of paperwork to complete between now and then.  I think I'll start tomorrow afternoon when I've had some sleep so it won't be random also. 

I am so grateful for a long road trip that was so completely uneventful.  I am VERY grateful for a wonderful time to enjoy my family and have fun with them without being interrupted by work or chores!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strange Mixture of Excitement and Guilt

We are finally head long into the adoption process!

We have had one home study visit and have the next two scheduled.  I have adoption paperwork all over my desk and all over my computer.  I have a giant 3 ring binder tabbed and ready to try to keep everything organized.  I have checklists for my checklists.  We are so excited to be making head way.

At the same time, we are right now in Orlando, Florida.  Matt started a new job in March and they told him pretty quickly they wanted him to attend the TechEd Conference in Orlando in June.  We talked about how hard it would be for him to go to Orlando and leave us home.  Then we started talking about what an opportunity it was to take the girls on a great vacation.  That’s where our conversations about the whole idea got complicated.  You see, we’ve been trying to save money to finance the adoption. I have been working a part time job to help with money for the adoption.  We have received gifts from others to help finance the adoption.  Knowing this, is it right to go on a vacation?

We talked about it, thought about it, prayed about it.  Here was our conclusion…we have two awesome daughters who have already made some sacrifices.  One - we have traveled very little since returning from China in 2005.  Two – money hasn’t flowed their way very freely lately.  There will be sacrifices in the future that will outweigh those.  We have requested a special needs child.  He will most likely need surgery, physical therapy, or some other kinds of special medical attention.  This means time and money of the parents flowing that direction.  A new child in the family is always an adjustment, but one who speaks another language and has no idea who you are or what’s going on exactly is huge.  Our conclusion – this trip is a great gift to give our girls.

So, in conclusion of the vacation rant, Matt’s company is financing a good chunk of this “vacation” for the girls.  Since he will be attending the conference, they are paying our driving mileage, our hotel, and Matt’s food.   We would not even have considered this otherwise.  I don’t think I’m justifying this.  I think it’s taking advantage of an opportunity to invest some time and money into our girls before things go a little crazy for a while.  I certainly hope that those of you who have invested in our upcoming adoption will understand.  I also pray that you know how much you are appreciated.  We don’t take anyone’s contribution lightly. 

For those of you who have prayed us to this point in the adoption process, thank you and please keep praying.  We are in the fast lane and need God’s protection and provision in so many ways.  I worked on adoption paperwork in the car on the way down and have more I can do on the way home!

Love and thanks, Martha

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pity parties are so unbecoming

This morning, alone in my warm house, while my sweet husband was working and my precious healthy children were attending school, I caught myself having a personal little pity party.  I specialize in these.  I'm good at them.  I won't be too transparent on this one.  It's complicated what brought it on, and no one would probably comprehend the inner workings of my brain anyway.  But to sum it up, I was doing doing a chore that I consider unpleasant and meanwhile thinking of the things I wanted to be doing but couldn't because our money tree is not blooming properly.  I was feeling sorry for poor, pitiful me.  After all, I'm sure I'm the only one in the world in this situation today (funny, huh?)! 

THEN.....that still small voice.  "You are blessed beyond measure!  Most people in the world don't have to perform the chores you do, that's correct, but that's because they don't live in such luxury."  Then reality finally starting kicking in.  How many people in this world would love to have enough clothing, water, electricity to do laundry like I do?  I shift through my closet daily spouting that I have nothing to wear, mostly because I'm "over nourished."  I'm reworking my budget because I have to pay a speeding ticket that I got while driving my dinged up, making weird noises, mini-van - but I didn't have to walk my kids to school.

Here's a few stats I found. 
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.
In 1998, $17 billion was spent on pet food in the US and Europe, while 1 million of the 2.2 billion children in the world are in poverty

So yes, I do scrub my own toilets.  My kids haven't been to Disney World.  I've never been on a cruise.  I don't shop at Neiman Marcus.  I'm sure I'd be thinner if I had a chef and a personal trainer.  Am I deprived?  I only think so when I'm being ridiculous.  Now, I know no one else reading this blog has ever had such horrible pity party pouts.  But I wanted to admit one of my biggest weaknesses mainly so the next time I give in to such stupidity, I will have this to come back and read.  In the words of Nicole Nordeman, "We are blessed beyond what we could ever dream, in abundance or in need."  Gratitude.  That's the cure.  Thank you God for salvation in you, my wonderful husband of 23 years, my precious healthy girls, my family and friends, my warm house, and on and on and on....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Transparent or not?

I haven't been blogging very consistently.  Sorry.  I have to admit that I've struggled with what to say.  Some of my friends have been so kind to ask, "How's the adoption going?"  I fear they won't ask anymore because of the weird look I get on my face right before I start stammering out an inadequate answer.  You see, I feel like from the moment we said yes to God, we've had one thing after another thrown our way to keep us from progressing toward the child we are sure God has for us. 

A dear friend and fellow adoptive mom shared something with me that I want to pass along.  I think it's a good perspective.  In fact, there is enough I want to put out there that I will share in two different blog entries.  This is the first installment.  In my wise friend's words...

"What if the Lord wants us to be totally transparent, especially in the struggles of adoption? You've started those steps with your blog, but maybe there is more. The health issues, the money issues.... I firmly believe that only those who have walked the adoption walk realize what a mind numbing, faith building, inadequate feeling that going through an adoption is.

First, there are all those very personal questions you have to answer for the home study. They require you to pick apart your feelings that you've kept to yourself all your life. They dig into relationship issues that would be much easier to hold close to your heart and share them with strangers who will document them and keep them ready to be pored over forever. And they go over your health records and make you feel like you've been a borderline failure because your blood pressure has to be controlled with meds, you are not the perfect size, or even that your hormones need a little tweaking for you to be your optimal self. And all these personal things are someone else's business. I can think of no other reason to open ourselves to that except for the sake of a child that has no one to call their own."

I find myself wondering how transparent I want to be.  I have to lay out the good, bad, and the ugly to the social workers.  No choice.  Do I want to lay it all out for friends, family, acquaintances, cyberspace to see?  You know, I don't think for me it's worth it honestly.  I'm a pretty private person.  But what if laying it all out there will help someone else to see what adoption is all about?  What if people will see what it's all about and commit to pray for us and others who have a heart for adoption?  What is one person decides God's calling them to adopt a precious child?  What if someone will read this and call asking to donate $30,000?  Okay, that probably won't happen, but what if it did?  What if someone has $1,000,000 they want to donate to a fund to help families with adoption expenses?  What if???  God's a great big God!

So in an attempt at transparency, here are the challenges we face right now in this adoption journey.

1 ~ money. We need about $4600 to start. We've had some very gracious people donate money toward this goal, and words are not enough to express our thanks. I want you all to know that that money is safetly tucked in an account dedicated solely to our adoption fund. I know where every cent has come from and where it is. We have also been attempting to put away money toward this goal ourselves. Seems like so many times we get ready to put money in there, life happens and gets in the way.

2 ~ I have some health issues that have shown up lately. Don't worry ~ I'm okay really, just every little thing threatens to throw a bump in the road to approvals in the world of international adoption. I am trying to get some things under control there before we do medical checks.

3 ~ Family issues. My mom has been in the hospital since the first weekend of December. She's had one crisis after another, which has kept me busy going back and forth to the hospital a lot. Matt's dad has health issues that require his time and attention frequently as well.

I don't think I'm complaining, just explaining.

So my conclusion?  I'll keep sharing, considering and praying carefully what to say here and what to keep private.  Please keep asking how it's going.  It's a great encouragement to know that this journey is on someone else's heart besides ours.  We haven't forgotten.  We're still praying.  We're still confident in God's call.