Thursday, November 03, 2011


For many of you who have followed our journey, you know that we took our first steps in 2005 with the desire to adopt. Our paperwork has been in China since April 17, 2007 (LID) and we've been waiting. Over the years, our hearts have continued to open, not only to the life of one child, but the plight of more than 147 million orphans worldwide.

During the past year, China has created a special program allowing qualified families to adopt a child (healthy or waiting with medical needs) and a special focus child (with medical needs) at the same time.

So, we have made some adjustments in our adoption plan --- and we wanted to share the update. Instead of adopting a daughter from China, we are choosing to adopt a son AND a daughter from China.

We couldn't be more excited. Josh, Caleb, and Luke are thrilled to be big brothers. April and I are both "pregnant" with joy and anticipation that God is growing our family again. We believe the miracle of adoption is one of the clearest pictures of God's love for us and we are humbled by the blessing of being able to welcome more children into our family. We are trying to wrap our minds around the idea of Dean Party of 7: We'll have an 8 yr old, 6 yr old, 3 yr old, 2 yr old, and 1 yr old. (SMILE)

There is room in our hearts and room around our dinner table. There are two empty seats in our car. There are clothes waiting to be worn. Shoes waiting to be passed down. Toys sitting in baskets ready for more little hands. Two more hearts will hear of God's love and redemption offer through Jesus. 

There are no words to adequately describe what it feels like to hear the phone ring after more than 5 years of waiting. What seemed impossible and indefinitely delayed, is now here. Real. 

On September 29, around 11:45pm the phone rings! We have a referral. A beautiful little face from SW China lands in our inbox. Instant joy, love, longing and connection. She is 2.5 years old and was abandoned a week after birth. Due to policy, we are unable to provide more information at this time, other than our long awaited Anna Grace now has a face, a history, and more importantly, she has a family. 

On Monday October 31, around 12:15am the phone rings again! We have another referral. A handsome face from N China lands in our inbox. He is 15 months old and abandoned two days after birth.  Our hearts are open wide to welcome little Noah Watchman to our family. In faith, we are moving forward to pursue him. Again, due to policy, we are unable to release more information at this time. We are in the process of requesting / approval on this child's behalf. 

It is nothing short of amazing. 

So, we are doing everything we can in the days and weeks ahead to bring these two children into our family as soon as possible. Both children have special medical needs and will need surgery soon.

Around our house, there is an unprecedented sense of joy and anticipation. We are thrilled, overwhelmed, and ready to go. A lot has to happen between now and when we travel back to China. Anything can change, but we expect travel clearance in early January 2012! 

Many of you have been on this journey with us from the beginning and are still asking how you can help. That too, is a picture of the church -- being the Church -- and we are so thankful for each of you who have prayed for us. 

To the Grace Campus community, we love you. We were a part of something so special during those years in Auburn and in Hong Kong. I can still remember back to the night in 2006 at AUMC when we announced we were adopting little "Anna Grace" --- wow. Who knew all these years later, that God in his wisdom would have us wait, change our hearts, and in His sovereignty -- bless us with the gift of another son. 

More updates to follow.