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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

HOME AT LAST ...




I have to start this post by saying thank you to all who have prayed for my family during this time ... You have no idea how much it was needed and I am about to explain why ...

The reason I have not posted this yet was I needed to get home before I could share it all and even process how Big and Strong God has been for me and my family during the trip to China ..

I will start with Gotcha Day ... As I have mentioned Maggie was much worse than we expected ... The reason I didn't go into detail was because I was fearful that it could get back to Bethany and they may say we are not approved for her because her case is more serious ... The burn on her head I believe was infected and ate away at the bone ... Her medical file said that part of her skull had a defect that made her skull slightly thinner when in reality she is completely missing a 2x3 part of her skull ... You can see her pulse through the skin. I spent most of Gotcha Day crying because of her condition ... I am so thankful that God has us safely home and friends have contacted specialists for us and I know God has a mighty plan for her because of her strength and survivor spirit.

Next day I get the email from my friend that she has gotten the call to go and get her child in Utah (domestic adoption). Now I get a little emotional about that because she was caring for my children while I in China plus I wanted badly to be there for her during this time ... So another emotional day ...

Next day we go back for the trip to the Civil Affairs to finalize paperwork and as you know from my previous post Maggie was in a terrible tizzy due to orphanage workers popping their heads in everywhere ... Well during all the commotion and the fact that fees have changed from clean US money to Chinese Yuan for some fees (which I was completely unaware of) I am scrabbling to pay fees while consoling Maggie ... I get back to the hotel and I have lost $1000 ... Yes, I said $1000 ... We all know it is not easy to come by money, so I was upset with myself about that, but I just said I would have paid an extra $1000 to get my daughter anyway ...

Next day my husband calls me at 2 AM US time and he can't sleep due to the fact he is worried about Maggie. This should have been a red flag for me, but I was so exhausted that I didn't catch it ...

Next day Scott calls me and tells me he has something to share with me ... My heart skips a beat ... He tells me he has resigned as the basketball coach at his school ... He said God spoke to him and that he needed to be at home to help with Maggie and whatever needs she may have ... Needless to say I am shocked, scared, and panicked ... My husband has coached for 15 years ... That is why he was hired at his school ... He is 100% certain this is the right thing to do for our family ... I respect him so much for always putting our family 1st ... He is fabulous husband and father...

My emotions are all over the place ... Satan was having a field day with all of this ... But the bottom line is MY KING IS ON THE THRONE !!! He didn't lead us to China to abandon us ... Please pray as we enter a new season and journey of our life ... Pray for Scott's future as the provider for our home ...

We are going to enjoy the next few months as a family and love on our kids and help Maggie adjust to her new life .... We go to the doctor tomorrow to form a game plan ...

Can't tell you how much you all have meant to me during this time ... Keep the prayers coming ..

47 kind words.:

nikki said...

Oh my gosh!
Let me start by saying that seeing Maggie with her siblings and her daddy just made me cry (joyful tears, of course)! How amazingly sweet are they together?

Now, I can't believe how much I did NOT know about what has been going on with you!
Of course I will continue to pray! I love you.
(and now I'm off to email you again)

Ruth said...

Gwen, I love you and I am stopping right now to pray for Maggie's health and for Scott's job situation. You are so right our God is big and is able to do more then we can imagine. Hold on to that He has a plan and he loves you and your family more then you will ever know. See you Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Hey Coach G, it's Rose (from TTU), Leah found your blog a little while ago so we have been keeping up with you, all your kids are so sweet I just want to come squeeze them! I can't believe how huge Jeremiah is, last time I saw him he was only a few months old...I can't believe how fast time flies, so happy for you that you got your sweet baby home!!

ADELE said...

Gwen, I have had you on my heart tonight for some reason. I was so tired and about to go to bed but I came in here to read your blog. First of all, it is wonderful to see Maggie at home with her family. I want you to know I am still praying for you and your family. Your faith is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I know God has great plans and that He has something great in store for your family. I will be praying for Scott as well. When God asks us to do something, He will always take care of our needs. Use this time to just love on your family and enjoy being together. Sending love and prayers your way, my friend.

holly m. said...

Oh,Gwen!!
I don't know you personally but I feel that I do. I have to tell you that I never stopped praying for you, Maggie and your family and I knew there was so much more to Maggie's story. I even spoke with a friend that's a SW with an agency where I live (not giving personal info. just basics) and she was so concerned. Dear Lord, please protect Maggie's head and brain.
I haven't stopped tearing up everytime I see her precious face. Your family looks so happy. I'm so glad your home.

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

OMG!!!!
The pictures are WONDERFUL...
The children look so happy.. and Daddy looks on cloud 9..
Your family will be fine.. and so will Maggie..
She is in the best place she could have ever been placed...
You are a WONDERFUL Family..
I am so happy that you are Home Safe and Sound..
Hugs to you all
Happy Thanksgiving...
Kim

Steffie B. said...

Oh Gwen....I can hardly see my keyboard as the tears are just pouring from my eyes. The first picture.....oh my word PRICELESS!

You and Scott can do this.....everything will be fine and God will continue to bless you and watch over your family.

We will continue to pray for all of you abd especially precious Maggie. Can you even begin to imagine what would of happened to her had you not be so drawn to her.

I remember at your house....you said...."Her eyes are looking for her Mommna and I am it"!

I'll call you next week...after the holiday weekend....if it's not a good time.....we'll find the time.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.....tell Scott he is a wonderful Father....he won't be sorry with his decicison.

Hugs to all your little chicklets.....

Love you all,
S*

mommy24treasures said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Amy~ said...

Oh my word. Those pictures are priceless. Isn't it funny how God works sometimes?! I live by the philosophy that "everything happens for a reason." Maggie was placed with you and your family for the simple reason of your love. God seeked you for her and she found you. You are in my prayers every night. I wish all good things for you and your family this holiday season. :)

Laura said...

Gwen - you sure have been on an emotional roller coaster the past two weeks. I have been checking your blog to see you guys at home, and was beginning to wonder what was up. I had no idea! Please know that you, Scott, Jeremiah, Elijah, Emily, and Maggie are all in our prayers. I love the picture of Maggie with Jeremiah. It is precious! She has a big brother who's going to look out for her and protect her - you can tell!

shelley said...

God placed that child with your family because HE KNEW without a doubt that you were the ones to take care of precious Maggie. I feel how strong your faith is all the way to Texas....I know God will make everything alright. I will continue to pray for your family by name when approaching God's throne. She looks so at home with her precious family. How I wish this journey would have been easier for you. But we only get more patience by trials.

I am so glad everyone is home safely and the perfect medical care is on its way to Maggie.

Anna said...

I have to say that I never in a million years thought that Maggie would adjust to all the kids as well as she has...the fact that the minute ya'll walk through the door at home from the airport and Maggie started running around and playing was absolutely amazing to see...I am so glad that you and Maggie are home!
Love ya lots!

Leah said...

OK friend, GOD CAN DO THIS THROUGH YOU!! God knew Maggie's condition before you ever saw her sweet face. He knew what she would need, and he knew you and Scott were the parents who could give it to her. I know this is not what you expected, but God was never surprized. Take a deep breath. I will be praying and lead my youth group to pray too. Remember that He is the one driving, you are just obediently riding along. I love you and will be praying.

Tammy said...

I am so glad you are home! I have prayed for you and checked in on your blog daily...worried by the lack of posts. Glad to hear you are home at last and we will continue to pray for Maggie, and your family. May God grant the doctors wisdom and give you and your family peace and clarity in making the plan for her care.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Oh, Gwen, thank you so much for posting and letting us know. I have to admit you have been heavy on my heart. I had to keep telling myself everything was alright. I thank Jesus for answered prayers. You and Maggie are home safely and your whole family is together at last.
My heart hurts for what your precious daughter has endured but it rejoices in knowing that Yes, Jesus is on the throne! He expidited you bringing Maggie home so that she could get the help she needs to be safe and well. It is going to be ok.
How I admire your husband. What a leap of faith. I know it has to be frightening at times but how awesome to be married to a man of God that is obedient and discerning enough to do God's Will not what his mind must have reasoned was right. Everything is going to be ok. I will be praying for you... for your family's health, for healing, for God's provisions... He caused manna to fall from the sky and water to spring forth from a rock in the desert. You are in His faithful hands! And oh, how your family is a reflection of Him. We love you and thank you for glorifying the King of Kings.
God's Peace

Oh, and Welcome Home.... Your family is BEAUTIFUL....

Kelly said...

Wow, Gwen. I would love to have your strength. God knew exactly what he was doing placing Maggie w/your family. I know that God will be faithful, and all will be well w/Scott's job situation. Praying for you.

emily said...

Love seeing Maggie at home with her daddy and sibs! Praying for all these things Gwen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

redmaryjanes said...

Dearest Gwen, Those photos, especially the first one have just reached right into my heart. I thought the issues with Maggie's health were due to abuse, now I see it is more. I will continue to pray for you and your littlest one. Bless your husband. He is following God and you will not be let down. Much love.

gretchen said...

God provides!

Nancy said...

Maggie is blessed to have been placed in the loving arms of your family, and you are equally blessed to have her.
You all will be in my prayers.

Your husband is a very brave and loving father.

Beverly said...

Those are great pics and you are right, God is on His throne and He was not surprised about anything that has happened not even the $1000.

Praying for you guys.

Beverly

Becca said...

That is perhaps the sweetest picture of Jeremiah and Maggie. Those big brothers take their job seriously! You guys are in our prayers!

jennifer said...

That picture of her with her big brother is just wonderful! I know you are so happy to have the whole family together. I will be praying for your family.

mommy24treasures said...

oh Gwen... What a two weeks you have had... Isn't it wonderful to feel God's presence and to know He is carrying you right through crazy times? As wild as it all was you allowed Him to be your strength and that is so amazing. I think you are such an awesome awesome mother. Scot is listening to God and your family is going to be blessed beyond what you can ask or think. Many blessings to you this Thanksgiving. I will surely keep your absolutely beautiful, made by God family in my prayers.
Love

Jodee Leader said...

Adorable pictures! It appears Maggie was a perfect fit for your family. Enjoy your first Thanksgiving together!

Beckyb said...

You are an awesome lady!! You just keep trusting even not knowing what the future holds - we are praying for you all - I am thrilled with Scott's decision - surprised AND thrilled - God's leading is good!!! Know that we are bathing you all in prayers - we DO have so much to be thankful for, don't we!?!?!

Three Fold Cord said...

All I can say is ...I will pray!!

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING....

Anonymous said...

Gwen & Scott,

I will be praying for your family.
We know the Lord has a huge plans for you both, and I for one can't wait to see how this plays out.

Loretta has kept me up to date on the trails you've faced during this journey and I am just so touched by your faithfulness and your obedience.

Scott when I think of the life stories you shared at Loretta's house, about your missionfield
I still get goosebumps and tears in my eyes. My heart literally fills with uncontained emotion.

I can't wait to see how our Father fills the desire He has placed with in your heart. I am praising my God for your family as you have helped to direct my family on a new path. We will share it in detail soon.

Happy Thanksgiving! and I look forward to Sunday
Beth Griffith

Lily's Pad said...

I have been following your journey and am amazed at your stregnth as well as that of your daughter. The pictures of Maggie home with her family are precious. We are praying for your family and especially for Maggie, and know that through love all things are possible. Blessings to you on this Thanksgiving Day.

Michelle & John said...

You Oatsvall's have become dear to my heart over the past few months. Prayed for you all many mornings and often when I thought of you all during the workday. I sobbed when I saw the gottcha day pictures. Maggie looked so afraid and I could see the shock on your face. Our God is awesome! He has given you the gift of Maggie and trusts you to do what she needs you to do! I know that within a few months your lives will be blessed in ways that you cannot imagine right now. Continuing prayers for you and will follow along your journey.
Blessings from Illinois,
Michelle

Heather said...

I cried openly when I read this post - I stopeed immedaitely and began pray for your sweet husband's God driven decision (Praise God - He would not lead him there unless he had a purpose and plan for this time in your lives)and for adorable, loveable, simply beautiful Maggie.


Thinking of you and praying for your family as you navigate this new and somewhat tumultuous time in your lives. We are thrilled you are home safe and sound.

Hugs and Peace,
Heather

Laura Nipper said...

Wow look at all those comments. You are loved. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Tina said...

He who BEGAN... (at it's origional conception; at your personal Genesis)

He who began a GOOD (wonderful, profoundly spiritual, holy, God-centered)

He who began a good work will be faithful (unrelenting, consistant, reliable, dependable, trustworthy)

He who began a good work will be faithful to complete (finish, see it to the end, having the final say)

He who began a GOOD work will be FAITHFUL to complete it!

Hallelujah.

Love you!

Nicole said...

Gwen,

I'm am SO happy to see Maggie settling in nicely. You are so blessed! I know God will lead you to where Maggie needs to be. Some surgeons may have "God complexes", but I chose to believe it's because they know that without him, they could not perform the miracles they do everyday. I KNOW you will find THE surgeon to fix Maggie and make her better. I just KNOW it!!! I will continue to keep you in my prayers!!

Janeen Jordan said...

Gwen,
I've never met you in person, but I feel as though I know your heart through your blog. When I see those precious photos of your beautiful little girl, my heart nearly leaps out of my chest. Your family is beautiful and God is blessing you so richly. These heartaches and trials will not tarry on forever, they will one day be a distant memory, but your beautiful character will be drawn from this season. Your family will grow oh so much closer through all of this and your words, your trials will become a testimony. You, your family and sweet Maggie is being lifted up to the thrown of Christ. Thank you for being willing to share your heart through such a public forum - I look forward to your posts so that I can continue to specifically pray for your needs.

KKamholz said...

welcome home and a very happy (two days late) thankgiving to you. maggie will be just fine; although i was a little worried when i read EVERYTHING that had happened. i love the first picture of mags and jeremiah; what a great big brother she's got. the other two are adorable as well. i've been praying for you all since i first read the post thursday night. there is sure a lot to be thankful for at the oatsvall house this year... praise god that you were able to go to china so soon and got her when you did

shuey6 said...

You have been in my prayers for months, and you will continue to be.

I have BTDT with two special-needs adoptions, and while we were in China last month one of our travel mates had a similar experience to yours. Her daughter will never walk. This was never communicated to her. Very exhausting trip, and she was traveling without her husband as well.

My heart goes out to you -- you have a winning team, with God as the coach.

Kudos to your husband for putting family first!!!

The Shocks said...

Maggie looks so natural in Jeremiah's arms. Big brother the protector. I know that she is going to be great. She is a strong little girl. You are always in my prayers.

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

Hope you had a GREAT Thanksgiving...
I know you did...
You have the whole family home together...
Hope things are getting better...
Can't wait to see new pictures.. and I know Maggie's Dr. appt. will go well..
Hugs to you my friend.
Kim

Emmie said...

aww Gwen this post just melts my heart. I love all the pictures of Maggie with the fam. I am so glad you both made it home safe and sound.
I just want to let you know how much i look up to you. You are such a loving, strong, christian women and mother. Maggie was definitly put in the right hands. Just remember God has a plan, everything will be alright.
I am continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Love and missss you soooo incredibly much!

Kristy said...

Why have never come across this blog before?
Gwen Oatsvall; you. are. PRECIOUS.
What an honor to pray for your Miss Maggie.
I cried reading through your life in words and pictures. Your family is beautiful.
You are just what I needed today........
Bless you.

Holly said...

She is so precious! I just love the first picture. So glad you are home safe and sound. Everything is going to be ok, God has a plan for you and your family. Keeping your famiy in my prayers.

kris said...

I got goosebumps reading this post, I found you through Steffie. I will pray for your family and be sure to go back and do some reading to catch up. All the best to each of you!

Kimber said...

HE will provide! I am praying for youall!

Kim

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

Oh, I am so happy for you. Yes, your little Maggie is a fighter.

Amy said...

Welcome home :)