Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Empty Chairs...

We had a very special Christmas gift! On Christmas evening, I checked the tracking number for our dossier and it arrived in China on Christmas Day!! We should be logged in the next 1-3 weeks. After that we wait for our Letter of Acceptance, which could take 60-90 days. We are looking at traveling in the next 4-5 months and bringing Lexa home!
I went to see the movie Les Miserables this week. I have seen the musical before, but there was one song and one phrase that had new meaning to me this year. It was the song "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". In the story, Marius sings the song, after losing his friends during the French Revolution. Although we had a special time with my family this year, it felt as though we had "Empty Chairs." On the one hand, we had an empty chair by not having Lexa with us this Christmas. Even though she is not "officially" ours, she is ours in our heart and it felt like an empty chair to not have her with us. The week before Christmas I was talking to Noah about Lexa and he said, "When can we get Lexa?" I told him it would be after Christmas and not for a while. He replied, "But Mom, Lexa can't miss Christmas!" It was so sweet that even our 3 year old wanted Lexa home for Christmas. :) Even though missing Lexa left an empty chair, it leaves us with excitement and anticipation. We are excited about what this year holds and bringing her home to us.
On the other hand, we had an empty chair that will never be filled again while we are on this Earth. And that empty chair made Christmas so very difficult. My brother Justin and his wife Rawan were in town with their family so we all spent the night with my parents, along with Janelle (Joel's wife) and their boys. We had some special times together, but we all felt the absence of missing Joel. These past few weeks have been very emotional. Then, we celebrated Andy's birthday with Justin, Rawan, and Janelle by going out to eat without the kids (something we don't get to do very often!) It was a blast spending time with them, but again, there was a very evident "empty chair." As Andy and I talked about it that night, we cried together, remembering all of the good times we had shared with Joel in the past, and the sinking reality that there will be no more memories with him in our Earthly future. I have been reading the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Thinking about heaven, eternity, and the reunion we will have someday has been an amazing comfort. But as I heard the song "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" I couldn't help but see the comparison to the loss of Joel. The lyrics are below...
"There's a grief that can't be spoken There's a pain goes on and on Empty chairs at empty tables Now my friends are dead and gone Here they talked of revolution Here it was they lit the flame Here they sang about tomorrow And tomorrow never came. From the table in the corner They could see a world reborn And they rose with voices ringing And I can hear them now! The very words that they had sung Became their last communion On the lonely barricade... At dawn. That I live and you are gone There's a grief that can't be spoken There's a pain goes on and on Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me What your sacrifice was for Empty chairs at empty tables Where my friends will sing no more..."

Thursday, December 6, 2012


On Monday, we received Pre-Approval from China for our precious daughter!! 

Introducing...Lexa Joeley Lloyd!

We received her file to look at on November 9, after inquiring about her from our Adoption Agency.  When we saw those chubby cheeks, and that precious face, we knew she was a Lloyd.  There was just something about the look on her face...and we just knew.  As we read her file, and conferred with doctors it was hard.  They really couldn't give us a lot of information about her condition without seeing her.  Despite that, we just felt in our hearts that she was ours.  She is 2 1/2 years old and we are still unsure to the extent of her special need.  As with any adoption, it is a step of faith.  We know that she had low-birth weight and possible mild cp, but we really won't know much until she is home and seen by specialists.  We are so excited and the waiting is so very hard.  It is so difficult to feel in your heart that you have a child that is half the world away.

We chose the name Lexa, meaning defender of mankind.  We thought we had a middle name picked out, but after talking with a friend who has 3 adopted girls, she recommended using a special family name for the middle name.  She said it means so much to her girls that they have that special family name. After losing my brother this year, his name was the obvious one to us.  (see previous post)  We took part of his first name and part of his middle name to get Joeley (Joel Wesley).  And it actually sounds awesome together!! Lexa Joeley. 

I pray for her all the time.  Praying that someone is showing her love.  Praying for the very difficult transition that lies ahead of her.  Praying for her to continue progressing physically and academically.  Praying that the spirit of abandonment and rejection would be broken from her life forever. 

While we are getting closer to the adoption, the truth is, we have some mountains to jump.  While we have been able to pay each step of the way so far, we still need about $15,000 to $18,000 to bring her home.  This includes all kinds of government fees and travel.  If you feel lead to help with the adoption costs, and would like to send a tax deductible donation, please sent your donation to:

Dove Christian Fellowship Elizabethtown
5 East Park St., Elizabethtown, PA 17022
(please write "adoption fund" on the memo line and do not write our names)

You can also donate by clicking on the chip-in box to the right of this post.  The next step of this process costs about $6,000 (authentication/dossier fees).  We would like to get this done asap, but need about $1500 more to do it.  The chip-in box goes directly to help with this.

We appreciate all of the prayers and encouragement that many of you have given along the way.  We will continue to keep you updated!!  Thank you!