Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Sleeping Angel

We would appreciate special prayers for Izaiah today.  He feels a little feverish and he is not eating.  Both of these are common to him adjusting to such big changes.  Our angel is finally sleeping peacefully this morning after a very restless night. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Izaiah Qing Eugene Olsen

"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows,
is God in His Holy habitation". -Psalm 68

Gotcha 4-Ever Izaiah!!!!

The last 24 hours have been utterly indescribable, with crazy and overwhelming emotions. Our flight from Beijing to Lanzhou was delayed 5 hours as thick fog enshrouded Beijing International Airport. We took it as a wonderful opportunity for all of the adopting families to become even better acquainted.  A short flight to Lanzhou, and an hour van ride through the arid, mining country of Gansu province brought us to a small office building in downtown Lanzhou. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were told by our guide that the babies were waiting for us there, so it all happened very fast. We walked into the tiny office, where 5 babies were waiting for 4 families. He was waiting with his nanny just a few feet inside the door, where our new baby boy was placed into the arms of his new, forever mommy.
We were immediately struck by his sweet, docile nature, and how really beautiful he is. He sat in our arms for the remainder of the evening, just staring up at us with his big, gorgeous brown eyes. We slept only a few hours last night, as he makes some noise as he sleeps, sucking his fingers and cooing while he periodically rocks himself in his crib. Today, we had our big appointment at the Civil Affairs Office, where reams of paperwork, complete with mommy and daddy fingerprints and baby footprints made him officially an Olsen! The other families were there for the same purpose, as well as all of the orphanage nannies and the director. What kind, wonderful people have been caring for our little boy! Loving, beautiful people, doing God's work in the Earth.
Our guide made a comment yesterday that one of the greatest bonds between the United States and China right now is adoption, and we whole-heartedly agree. Despite the long wait, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Peoples Republic of China, as they have given us a gift that can never be repaid. There are sure to be trying times ahead for us as a family, but the Lord has shown his faithfulness to us over and over and over again. Our days and our times are in His hands as we move forward, trusting Him every step of the way.
We will continue posting as often as we can. Gotcha #2, Lily-Grace... coming soon!!!
Love to all and our continued thankfulness for the prayers of the saints.
In Christ Alone,
Erich and Jac
"Fear not, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
   and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
   and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
   and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
   whom I created for my glory,
   whom I formed and made." - Isaiah 43:5-7



Qingyang Orphanage Director


Izaiah's Nanny


"Can someone get me out of this coat!?!?"


Mommy and Son


Group Photo w/ Orphanage Director


Saturday, October 29, 2011

First Update- Beijing!!!

Hello to All!  We arrived safely yesterday in Beijing, enjoyed a relaxing evening, and slept fairly well. Today we connected with all of the other families who are starting their adoptions this week with our agency and did an incredible, whirlwind tour of Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, a world-renowned Jade gallery, and then finished our day with an hour long trip north of town, where several of us ascended through five towers of the magnificent Great Wall. Far more difficult (and even somewhat dangerous) than we expected, it truly is one of the worlds great wonders. It's been a very long day, and we are exhausted, but filled with anticipation. Tomorrow, we fly to Lanzhou in Gansu Province, and will be forever-united with our beautiful baby boy, Izaiah. We earnestly covet and deeply appreciate your continued prayers; not only for us, but for all of the other 5 AWAA families who also are adopting this week. After only one day, we've already come to know and love every one them. God has perfectly united us under this common cause, and we've already been inspired and blessed by them all in ways that words could never describe. We'll post again as soon as possible... next time, God-willing, with pictures of Izaiah Qing Eugene Olsen!!!   Blessings to all!

The Great Wall of China


Our Group of Familes at The Wall


At the Forbidden City Gate w/ Our Guide, Lily


Thursday, October 27, 2011


"We're on our way kids!"


"Boeing" the Stork

"But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles." - Isaiah 40:30

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


We are leaving. For China. TOMORROW! This feels crazy and exciting and very surreal. Twenty-four hours from now we will be on our way to O'Hare Airport preparing for the 13-hour flight to Beijing. We want to thank everyone for sharing in our FULL JOY, (and at times, a bit of anxiety and frustration with the 6 years of waiting - heehee), and for your support and prayers. This would not have been the wonderful experience it has been thus far if it were not shared with our family and friends. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for celebrating ADOPTION - GOD'S PLAN A FOR US - with us. We love you and cannot wait to introduce you to Lily and Izaiah when we bring them HOME. We plan to post updates, short videos and pictures as often as we can to our blog. Here is a snapshot of our itinerary for the 3 weeks we are in China. Bye for now. We'll write to you from CHINA. Really? Yes, really!

October 27, 2011 – November 16, 2011

Depart for Beijing 10/27/2011 1:00 PM on UA 851

Arrive in Beijing 10/28/2011 3:15 PM on UA 851

Beijing Sightseeing - The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square

GOTCHA DAY! A.M. – Flight to Gansu Province / P.M. – Meet Izaiah Olsen! (This is when he will be ours forever.)

Civil Affairs Appointment (The Orphanage Director will "officially" sign Qing Fu Hao (Izaiah) over to us as his parents!)

Adoption Appointments / Sightseeing

AM – Flight to Jiangxi Province

Sightseeing & Shopping

GOTCHA DAY! - Meet Lily Olsen! (This is when she will be ours forever.)

Civil Affairs Appointment (The Orphanage Director will "officially" sign Gong Zhi E (Lily) over to us as her parents!)

Adoption Appointments & Sightseeing

Flight to Guangzhou for US visas appointment & medical exams

Children's Medical Exams and "Paperwork Party" (We knew there was good reason for all this paperwork we've been preparing. We're having a PARTY!) :)

Sightseeing & Shopping

Consulate Appointment at 11/14/2011 at 8:30 AM / Consulate Oath-Taking Ceremony

Pick up Children's US Visa's and then Depart from Guangzhou. Traveling to Hong Kong.

Depart from Hong Kong 11/16/2011 11:00 AM on UA 896
Arriving in Chicago at 11:00 AM - Lily and Izaiah will be United States citizens as soon as we land on American soil.
*Yes, we leave at 11 am and arrive home at 11 am due to the time difference. You can pray that all 4 of us sleep well on the way home and have no jet lag. :)

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -Phillipians 3:13-15


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Faith is awe in the presence of the divine incognito."
-Karl Barth


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

-Maps of Izaiah and Lily's provinces-

Lily is in Jiangxi Province. We will meet her in the provincial capital, Nanchang.

Izaiah is in the city of Qingyang in Gansu. We will meet him in the provincial capital of Lanzhou.

One of the most difficult aspects of reality that Scripture confronts us with is the doctrine of eternal punishment. As believers in the absolute truths of the Word of God, and as sinners ourselves, saved by Sovereign grace alone, we are to approach this heart-rending issue with much fear and trembling. In this powerful video segment, Francis Chan deals with this subject with great respect and humility, and in a spirit of deference to the supreme authority of the Bible. This is the best commentary we've yet heard on this matter of eternal relevance.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell". -C.S. Lewis

First Baby

Friday, October 7, 2011

China 2011 - We're Packing!!!

We've booked airfare and will be departing for Beijing on October 27th. Please pray for us for safe travel, expedient paperwork and deeply meaningful time spent bonding with our babies. We are of the understanding that most of the hotels we'll be staying in have wi-fi connectivity or e-business rooms for guests. We'll be posting all updates to the "China-2011" page on our blog (see left side of screen for the link). Please visit that page to see updates.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What does it sound like for all of creation to worship its Creator? We just need an iPad to hear it... really! To view this totally mind-blowing presentation, start the video below at 33:40:

Desiring God National Conference - Louie Giglio

DDGNC - John Piper, Michael Oh and David Platt
We're reading a new book about racism and race-relations. Called, Bloodlines: Race,
Cross and the Christian
,it answers the questions of how followers of Christ are called to think and respond to the pain of historical racism and how the Gospel of Christ is the hope of the world in bringing reconciliation, healing and unity to both our nation and a world divided and devestated by the sin that dwells in the human heart. In the short documentary below (and detailed in the book), author John Piper returns to his hometown of Greenville, North Carlolina to examine his roots, and takes us on a brief journey of where Providence has led his life: from the shameful racism of his youth, to finally being a fierce advocate for interacial marriage, and the adopted father of an African-American daughter. It is beautifully directed, and we pray it will affect others as it deeply did us. "Bloodlines" is available through Crossway books. We whole-heartedly commend it to every serious disciple of Jesus Christ.

Bloodlines Documentary with John Piper from Crossway on Vimeo.