psalm 68

ransom paid – Miracles for annabelle {5k+1}

Where do I start? How can I share the biggest moment in our adoption journey, the moment when God reached down & told us “GO GET YOUR DAUGHTER!”… that moment when He promised to personally supply the funds to pay her ransom???

It starts with a simple prayer. A little boy’s wish for a sister. A father’s heart searching for confirmation. A mother’s aching for her child, so far far away… We had already seen our AnnaBelle’s pictures, her file & her medical assessments. We’d checked with the Dr’s, therapists, parents & individuals who all had specialized experience with her specific needs. We knew she was the daughter God had promised us! She fit every desire of our hearts!

All we needed was $3,150 to start the process! Ha, that was definitely not a small amount to a family of 5 living on support in a mega city like Hong Kong! But it’s pennies when compared to the riches of our Father’s Kingdom! We prayed/fasted & asked God how He wanted us to go get our daughter & what should we do about all the fees involved… His answer was “I will pay her ransom. I will rescue my child. You will pick her up for me!” So by faith we signed the papers & continued to ask God to provide the funds for the total adoption, specifically that first payment due in one week’s time, on a Thursday.

During that week, God reminded us of all the financial bondage He has brought us out of. A past bankruptcy due to overuse of credit in college, bad credit of course & a recent (although slow) turn around of our mortgage in the US that’s still upside down… He told us that He did not call us to adopt only to put us into debt again. That instead, He had prepared all the funds in advance & would provide the total amount needed through His people whom He had already spoken to about our daughter! We began to stand on that word… knowing that He provided the funding for our HUGE move to HK & that His ways are most definitely higher than our own… We KNEW He would come through & we asked Him to do it in such a way that there would be NO DOUBT, to anyone that heard, of His having done it without any interference from us! Only THEN would we know that we know that we know – that He was triple confirming that adopting AnnaBelle was the right path AND that He would provide for her ransom without us going into ANY debt/loans, etc.

We sent out a request for prayer, some of you got that in your email. Emails & texts started to come in – “We are believing with you!”, “How can we help?”, “We can give $300 today!”, etc. We quickly set up an online giving option with our bank & praised God for the quick response from friends! Then, the next Tuesday (2 days before the deadline), a co-worker (who wishes to remain anonymous) asked Mark to come & speak with him in his office. We had not spoken to this man about the adoption. Only about 5 people in HK knew anything about it yet. But this man asked Mark about it, he had heard from a mutual friend that we were adopting “completely by faith”. He was moved by our faith. He wanted to help. So he asked how much was the immediate need & Mark told him. He asked for Mark to bring him some details about the whole process & he promised to help…

On Wednesday, I happened to have a pre-scheduled work related mtg with this same co-worker. When our meeting was over he asked me again for the amount needed by the deadline (the next day). I told him the total needed was $3,150USD. He asked if I wanted it to be sent to my account in Hong Kong Dollars or US & if he sent that amount by that night would it be in time?! I was completely FLOORED!!! I almost could not keep from crying, and then he began to tell me his story of WHY he felt so compelled to give to us, why he had to help rescue AnnaBelle!

It turns out that the very day we had prayed/fasted & signed the final papers (by faith) to begin the adoption, this co-worker was in a Community Leadership class teaching about how God speaks to us through dreams. That same night he had a dream where God was telling him to give & the whole dream was about him giving things away. He told me he ignored the dream at first. The next wk at that same Leadership class, the teacher asked who had had a dream from God. But he didn’t think his was from God. Again, that night after class he had the same dream. When he woke, he KNEW it was from God. He asked God what he was supposed to give & to who. He asked God to confirm it. That day when he arrived to work, in the staff mtg, the Senior Leader was teaching about ‘good stewardship’, specifically with our ‘excess’ that is just ‘laying around’… Later in the day he spoke to our mutual friend who explained our need. He said he KNEW then that he had to act right away in obedience to God! The same day, he told Mark to come talk to him!!! Talk about obeying the Lord’s prompting! This man told us both he was blown away by our faith, but we were not only blown away, but completely blessed beyond words by HIS obedience & faith to follow God so quickly! This man of faith is a hero to our family… a hero of the faith is always an encouragement! Isn’t it just like our Father to be just in time for the things that He plans to accomplish!?!

On Thursday, the first payment deadline, God had provided a total of $5,000US for AnnaBelle, in just one week’s time!! Almost $2,000 extra!! As of today, God has provided over half of AnnaBelle’s ransom! Including travel costs that were donated just one week later (about $10,000 for all of us to travel to/in China for 2wks)!! What a confirmation! Father answered our very specific prayers – He told a man in a DREAM to give to our family exactly what we needed, then He moved others to give as well! This was an absolutely amazing miracle of God’s provision – completely confirming for us that not only are we following HIS PATH TO ANNABELLE… but that HE PROMISES TO PAY HER RANSOM!!!

We give glory & honor to God for the things He has already done in our lives & in Annabelle’s life! We are sharing this story to give God a moment to shine His love into your lives, by sharing how He’s been blessing ours! We learn to trust Him day by day & He holds our hand when we fall… this journey is not a short one, but we will endure to the end because the joy of finally holding our AnnaBelle in our arms, getting her safe & healthy, teaching her about this Father that has loved her since before she was born — will be soooo worth it! Our God is faithful! He WILL provide, He WILL do what He said He would do!! One day, AnnaBelle will be a prisoner no more, because her ransom will be paid, there will be ONE LESS orphan on that day!

We are trusting Him to complete that which HE ALONE has started! (Reminds me of the trusting lessons learned before leaving America almost 2 years ago…) Please pray with us that the rest of the fees can be paid ON SCHEDULE in the coming months! Please continue to pray with us & FOR ANNABELLE as she waits in her blessed Christian foster center! We are so very grateful for all of your prayers in this faith journey! We are so excited to see how God will bring HIS little girl home to our family!

We are in need of another $20,320USD before we can go to China to bring AnnaBelle home! We have TWO IMMEDIATE DEADLINES that we need prayer & provision for. 

June 15: $5,000 = Homestudy fee & travel for the social worker.

July 15: $4,550 = Agency fees & Dossier processing.

If you or someone you know has a desire to help us bring AnnaBelle home – please let us know TODAY! 

psalm 68

Babies at AnnaBelle’s SWI (orphanage) in China.

-JK

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a Daughter for mother’s day {5k+1} – [announcement!]

Exciting news to share with all of our friends out there!!! We finally found our daughter!!!

Sounds a bit funny to say that out loud, I mean, it’s not like she was ever lost… But  after 15 years of dreaming & praying, over the last 4-5 of those years Mark & I actually began to think it was possible to have a daughter. (Of course, by ‘have’ I mean ‘adopt’, don’t get confused here. *wink*) Now here we are, in the midst of the miracle we always hoped for – God has shown us His timing & His path to adopting our daughter, the one He led us to, who is living in a Foster home China right now. Just a short 8 hour drive up the coast from us… We know who she is, we fell in love with her smile & her laugh, & we know her name!

Now we are officially ‘Pre-Approved’ to adopt a specific 4-year-old girl, who is more precious than words!!! Mark & I first saw her face last December while scrolling through list after list of “waiting children”, all with at least one “special need”… We want to tell you all everything about our sweet girl so you can enjoy the rest of this new adventure along with us… However, due to the regulations that are in place to keep orphans & their information safe, we aren’t allowed to tell you very much until we are almost ready to go get her. ((Praying that will be by the end of THIS year!)) We can’t tell you exactly where she is or even her given name… & we especially cannot share her pictures online yet. As soon as we can though, you can be sure we will!

ajk signsSo, in honor of Mother’s Day & this wonderful news – we want to share something just as special as her picture… Her new name! A name is very important, especially to God. He puts a lot of emphasis on giving meaningful names in the Bible. Many times, when there is a new beginning or a new life for someone, God gives them a new name to emphasize the changes He is doing in their lives… We also have taken great care in naming all of our children. We especially want our little girl to start her new life with a new name that brings her hope & freedom & eventually, we hope it brings her closer to God.

We also hope when you read our daughter’s ‘new’ name that you will think about & pray for all the other orphans who still need families. Maybe one of them is meant to be in YOUR family. Maybe they are just meant to have your prayers until their family finds them… Consider this:

“Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces
It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms,
But once you do, everything changes.” 

– from Radical by David Platt

Now for the fun part – we have chosen a fitting name for our sweet little miracle girl:

ajk2bAnnaBelle Janae Kwong

Anna: a Prophetess in the Bible, a woman of worship, prayer & dedication to God, a woman who recognized Christ! (Luke 2:36–38) {also, Anna is MY middle name!}

Belle: French/Hungarian – Meaning ‘beautiful’. German/Spanish – Meaning ‘intelligent’. {just found out, Belle is the name of my ajkStep-Father’s late paternal grandmother!}

Janae: feminine form of the biblical male name Janai. – Meaning ‘God has answered’, ‘God is gracious’ or ‘gift’

It comes with a ton of fun nick names to choose from too! Anna, Belle, Elle, Ellie, AJ, Nay Nay, etc.

Please pray that God will continue to provide the finances for us to go get AnnaBelle! Before we committed to the adoption, we prayed for God to confirm that He wanted us to move forward. When we felt He had, we paid our application fee. When we were accepted, there was a very fast deadline for the first $3,000+ in agency fees. We prayed again, knowing if God provided for the need in the short time, it must really be His will & plan for this girl to join our family! Miraculously, God provided almost $5,000 in less than 2wks! Isn’t he great!!! Since then, He has continued to provide & over half of the fees/expenses have already been paid. Now we are praying for the remaining $20,000 that will need to be paid before we are finished with the adoption. Please pray with us!

Yes. That IS a lot of money. It is simply the cost of adopting internationally these days. The cost of a life… And we KNOW that God will provide it because He has told us He will. He has confirmed it by already providing through many of His children, isn’t the Body of Christ a wonderful thing?! — We can’t wait to pay every penny it will cost for our daughter’s life! SHE’S WORTH ALL THAT & MORE!!! Mark & I & the boys are so excited to go scoop up our little AnnaBelle & bring her home! If all the timing works out, we should have her just in time to bring her home to the States on our next trip – then she can meet so many of you that will have helped to pray her home to her Forever Family!!! Don’t you agree that every little one deserves a Forever Family to love them forever?!

We hope you will check back with us as we share more updates on our adoption journey! We have a long ways to go yet, we only have half of the paperwork phase finished. So there is much busyness around here, getting ready! The boys are very excited too, I’m sure I’ll write more about that another time…

ajk announce1 copy

If you or anyone you know would like to help us with our adoption costs, we do have a couple of ways you can do that. Please just shoot us an email & we will fill you in! (mark.kwong@na-link.com) We are overjoyed to know our daughter will soon be home!! Thank you for your love & encouragement! You all are some of the best people on the planet & we love each of you so much! We’re praying God’s grace & blessings over your families today!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

-JK