Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Been Too Long

It has been 13 months since I last posted. I sincerely apologize. When I started blogging about our adoption journey I never intended to leave everyone hanging at the very best part. Before I begin with the details of my trip I would first like to thank everyone that supported us as we waited for our boys, for praying and donating the funds that helped to make it possible for us to bring them home. Words cannot express how grateful we are for y'all.
 Now, for those of you who were following along you may remember that when I last posted we had just received travel approval and I was excitedly waiting to travel to China with my sister, Amanda, to bring our sweet boys home. Which of course I did. And it was an amazing, memorable and bittersweet journey that not only gave me the blessing of two more children but also blessed me with a deeper understanding and appreciation for life and family. The trip itself was logistically challenging and filled with hilarious stories of missed flights, culture shock, luggage drama and the challenges of trying to communicate in a foreign language. We also met some wonderful people along the way and were deeply touched by their individual stories/testimonies regarding adoption and how the Lord had led them to China for their children. And of course, the unforgettable experiences of seeing Archer and Abel for the first time! The memory of those two days are gifts that I will always cherish. Sadly, the memory of those days also include sorrow and pain.  Our precious Archer had lived with his foster family from the time he was 3 months old. When he bravely took my hand that first day in our hotel lobby in Jinan, he walked away from the only family he had ever known. His first night with me was one filled with a river of tears that threatened to never stop, causing me to ask myself if we were making a huge mistake in taking this grieving boy from everything he had ever known. I held him and comforted him the best I could for over and hour as he cried out for his foster mother and gasped for breath as he tried to handle feelings that were too big for his little heart to contain. I offered to run him a bath, hoping he would be able to relax a little and calm down enough to sleep since we had to catch an early flight to Liuyang to meet Abel the next day. I gave him some little army men that I had brought for him to play with and he stayed in the bath for 3 hours. I would go in every 20 minutes or so to check on him, running more warm water, and letting him share his feelings. We finally climbed into bed very late into the night, his little forehead pressed against mine.
Archer woke up the next morning sleepy eyed but excited about his first airplane flight. I was relieved that he was doing better and hopeful that somehow we would make it after all. My sister and I were hurrying to put some last minute items in our bags when there was a knock on the door. At the exact moment that I opened the door for the bell boy to begin taking our luggage down the phone rang and what happened next changed the dynamic of that day, the rest of our trip and every day that I have woken up to since. It was our youngest sister calling with the tragic news that our father had suffered a massive heart attack and died earlier that day.  The despair I felt at hearing this terrible news brought me to my knees as I began to pray that God would somehow change the circumstance. Our beloved daddy was gone and we were half a world away from our loved ones and all that was familiar and a comfort. We needed our families, our children and beloved spouses, but little Abel was waiting for us to come and get him that very day.  Even now, a year later, typing these words brings fresh grief. For the past 12 months, I have put off coming here and sharing the events of this day, knowing how difficult it would be. Doing the very difficult work of attaching and grafting our 2 new sons into our family while simultaneously grieving the loss of my dad has been the most exhausting process I have ever been through. I just have not had the energy to spare for blogging. I know you all understand....I will be back soon to share about the rest of our trip.

In His Grip,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Travel Approval!

I am a little late in posting this but we have been crazy busy around here. On November 18 we received our official invitation from China to enter their country and come and get our boys! Woo hoo!! I will likely be traveling alone unless we are able to expedite a passport and visa for more sister Amanda. My trip will be from December 8 through the 23 and in that time I will travel to Beijing, Jinan, Qingdao, Changsha, Guangzhou and back to Beijing!! Whew!! So, while I am gallivanting all over China, sleeping in beautiful hotels and eating yummy Chinese food, my sweet Love will be home holding down the fort and trying to keep the natives tame. So, if you think of it while I'm gone, say a prayer for my husband. Please. Cover that man in prayer. He is gonna need it!
As soon as I get my itinerary I will let y'all know!

In His Grip,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Xbox KINECT Winner!

And the winner is:

Sarah Mitchell !!

I will be emailing you to arrange the delivery of your new Kbox KINECT! Thank you to everyone that donated. We are really are so grateful for your love and generosity extended to us. We hope to be hearing about Travel Approval soon! Please continue to pray for us as we work to get our sweet boys home. Blessings!

In His Grip,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's a LIFE not a choice

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
~Psalm 139:13-16

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Asa James
For those of you who have found our blog through No Greater Joy Mom, thank you for taking the time to come and visit our blog! We are Tim and Nikole Hilton, the proud parents of 7 children- 3 boys, 2 girls and 2 more boys waiting for us in China! In November of 2009, our youngest son Asa was born with Down syndrome and the Lord used the circumstances of his birth to open our eyes to the blessing of having a child with special needs. While still pregnant with Asa, a friend of ours who also had a son with Down syndrome, directed us to a ministry called Reece's Rainbow which helps to advocate for and match adoptive families with children that were born with special needs including Down syndrome. Our hearts were deeply touched and we began to discuss the possibility that one day, Lord willing, we would add one of those very precious children to our family.

We started our adoption process about a year ago when we made the commitment to adopt a precious little boy, named Wu who was born with Down syndrome. We felt strongly that the Lord was asking us to also bring another child home during the same trip and we obeyed, adding an adorable 7 year old to our adoption named Ke Xin.  We are now nearing the end of our journey and hoping to travel in November or December of this year! So far, the Lord has faithfully helped us to fund raise over $25,000 but we still need $20,000 before travel time!! Would you please consider sowing into our adoption? We, along with our children, would be eternally grateful. You can do so by visiting the Reece's Rainbow website where you can make a tax deductible donation on our Family Support Page. You can also enter for a chance to win an Xbox 360 KINECT by clicking on the Chip In located in the top right corner of this blog. It is $10 an entry. If you donate and post about our efforts on your blog or Facebook we will give you 1 free entry!

In closing, we are having our fourth fundraising garage sale this weekend. Would y'all please pray that the weather would be beautiful and that the Lord blesses our efforts? Thank you and God bless.

In His Grip,

"I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
~Lamentations 3:24
Waiting on Our Boys

Abel (Wu)

Archer (Ke Xin)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another Giveaway!

We are linked up with none other than Adeye over at No Greater Joy Mom today! She and her husband are a wonderful couple with 7 children- 3 biological sons and 4 precious girls that they have adopted.  I should add that the youngest two have been blessed with Down syndrome like our sweethearts Asa and Abel! Adeye and her husband are continually a huge blessing to those in the adoption world.  They are known for their tireless work advocating for the orphan and for the awareness that they bring to those that have also answered the call and are diligently working to bring their children home. They have definitely been there and done that and they understand full well that fundraising is HARD.  Most families that adopt are taking an enormous leap of faith, especially in the area of finances. I sure don't know very many folks that just happen to have $20,000 to $30,000 lying around at their immediate disposal, do you?  Undoubtedly, there are many families that would willingly open their hearts and homes to a little one in need but are overwhelmed at the financial cost of doing so.

That particular mindset would have described Tim and I perfectly at one point. We felt called to adoption but we were afraid of making the commitment to do so and then not be able to follow through because of a lack of funding. Thankfully the Lord used some of our sweet friends that had previously adopted and an AWESOME book- Crazy Love by Francis Chan, to compel to us to take the plunge and TRUST that He would be faithful to see us through the journey. 

And what a fabulous and amazing journey it has been so far! We have been completely blown away by the LOVE and MIGHT of the God that we serve. Time and again He has placed people in our path whose hearts have been moved to sow into our adoption and help us bring our two boys home. What appeared to be impossible in mere human terms, is proving to be completely possible with the Lord. With His help we have raised over $25,000 to date! AMAZING! We trust that He will be faithful to help us raise the $20,000 that we still need.

Right now if you visit Adeye's blog you will have the opportunity to help some families that are currently fundraising to bring their precious children home, including ours! ;)  Click on over to Adeye's blog and enter for the chance to win a $500 gift card to Target! With a small donation of just $10, you can help to make the difference in the life of a child! Thanks!

In His Grip,

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Pics of Abel!

Last month we used Gifts to China With Love to send care packages to Archer and Abel. Included in both boys packages were disposable cameras which we were hopeful that their orphanage directors would use to send us current pictures of our boys. Well, Saturday morning when I checked email there was a message from Sheri, the owner of Gifts to China With Love, letting us know that she had an update on Abel and some new pictures!  This was my favorite of the bunch because we could see how much he has grown! First, just look at this precious little face. Oh Honey! I cannot wait to smooch those sweet chunky cheeks!

In addition to the pictures we were also forwarded a message from the director of Abel's orphanage:

He cannot walk by himself.He only can walk with help.
He cannot speak well.He knows something but not much. His intelligence is not the average of his age.

The director suggest the family think twice about the adoption of Min Wu.

Goodness gracious, our hearts were broken when we read that last line. I couldn't help but cry as the full weight of the reality that our precious boy is living in a place where he isn't loved and valued settled into my heart. We would have flown to China that very moment if possible to bring him home! No doubt, that the waiting now will be so very hard....We sent a message in return, letting the director know that we are fully aware of Abel's delays, that we love him very much already and can't wait to be his forever family. He sent back a message letting us know that they will take very good care of Abel. We will be leaning heavily on the Lord to faithfully ensure that this will be so.

Thank you Lord that we can trust you to watch over Abel and Archer. Please continue to help us to raise the money that is needed to pay their ransom. We trust that you will and thank you in advance for your faithfulness and provision. In Jesus precious name. Amen.

"I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those that sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:6&7