Asia loves making new friends.

A Year Later

It has been a year since my last post. Boy am I a slacker. It’s amazing how busy life gets with a little one in the house. So it is time for another post. More than a post, I know that most of you would enjoy seeing some pictures of our family.

It has been a good year, uneventful by our standards and very refreshing. Asia is now 20 months old, I am one class away from starting the writing portion of my doctoral degree, and we are planning another visit to Nepal in May.

Please keep praying for our family and let us know how you’re doing in the comments below. Blessings!

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Europe, Africa and Baby Asia

MIA is an abbreviation for “missing in action.”

Just call me Mr. MIA. I really enjoy keeping you all updated on the life and adventures of the Sloan family. However, when Asia came into our lives, we set aside quite a bit to just enjoy our new family. It’s been a sweet 8+ months. We have enjoyed every single minute, well- all except for the 3am “screamfests”. Those suck but everything else has been a gift.

Baby Asia

Our beautiful daughter is amazing. I am little bias but she really is a wonderful little girl. She has a joyful demeanor, loves everyone she meets, sleeps fairly well, loves to explorer of all thing forbidden (including the dog’s food!) and is as healthy as can be. We dare not take these things for granted. We know what it’s like to sit up with her in the hospital. We praise God for her health and for that cute little grin. We hope you enjoy her as well…

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Trip to the Middle East

This fall I was able to go on international trips to Lebanon, Ethiopia and France. They were all great trips but one sticks out.

In September, I traveled with 3 other good friends to Beirut to visit a non-profit serving Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have lost their homes, jobs and family members through the civil war in Syria and through the carnage of ISIS. If you’ve turn on the TV or watched the news online, you have seen the wicked deeds of both Bashar Hafez al-Assad, president of Syria, and the terrorist group ISIS who are spread across Syria and Iraq. Both have sought to crush the weak and helpless around them.

On this trip to Lebanon, we were able to travel north, just five miles from the Syrian border, and provide food and essential supplies to displaced Syrian families. We sat in their tents and heard stories of their homes being flattened and of husbands and sons who were unjustly imprisoned.

We also traveled to southern Lebanon to provide aid and to visit families. We sat in the home of one family whose father who had been killed by a sniper and talked to a former solider who fled and is now hunted. He was tired of fighting for a wicked army. He risked his life to save his family and now hides in a small apartment in this area of the country

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We were hit with story after story of murdered family members and whole towns destroyed. We heard stories of greed and uncontrolled wickedness. It was a privilege to suffer with these refugees, if only for a few days.  Pray for my new found friends. May they find relief from their sufferings and trust in the God who created them and offers them forgiveness and eternal live. May they find that Jesus truly can empathize with their sufferings.

We do not know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why is it so random, but now at least we know what the reason is not. It cannot be that he does not love us. It cannot be that he does not care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he is willing to plunge into the greatest depths of sufferings himself. He understanding us, he has been there, and he assures us that he has a plan to eventually wipe away every tear. [Rev. 21]

Tim Keller, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering (p.121)

Adoption official

Irrevocable

On Tuesday, we sat in a Louisville family court room next to our lawyer, with the support of a dozen friends and family. Our court was under the rule of a very kind judge who spoke one powerful word- irrevocable. This one word spoke volumes to us. The judge used it to communicate that what had just happened was unchangeable, something no one could ever take away from us. He had just made the adoption of Asia into our family official. She was ours and we were hers. No one or no thing could change this ruling. It was irrevocable.

So there it is. It’s official. Our little Asia is a Sloan.

In less than 9 months we went from deciding to adopt, to being placed with a birth mom, to raising over $18,000 to now having this precious little girl as a part of our family. It would not have been possible in any way without the ongoing support, fervent prayers and sacrificial giving of those who love us deeply. Thank you for making our family possible.

As a way of saying thank you, and because we are proud parents; here is an endless supply of baby pictures that we can finally show. Enjoy!

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The Mourners

My good friend Chad Lewis is planning a new music recording project down in Nashville to document his stories of mourning and hope. As I suffered through cancer last year, Chad, who is one of the pastors at my local church, came to the hospital many times to cared for my soul. He is a man known to care deeply for others. Just several months back, Chad lost his big brother in a very tragic way. He has been rocked by this dark time and lives with a deep sadness. Through it all he has been able to find hope and comfort in Christ. This new music project is an effort to share his songs of hope with other sufferers.

Please head over to Kickstarter and consider supporting this much needed project.

First day at home

Our Greatest Adventure

It’s been quite an adventure.

On Friday, Asia was finally released from the hospital after a 3.5 week stay. She is doing incredibly well and to our surprise, she is already in a good sleeping routine. Though the sleeping routine may not continue, we will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Thanks to my very kind employer, I have two weeks of paternity leave to spend with my wonderful family.

People have been asking me why we named our daughter Anastasia and why we are calling her Asia. All along we have wanted to give our child a name with deep meaning that would tell a story. A story that would let her know just how good our God is. The name Anastasia is a very old word that means “resurrection”. Anastasia has been used as a name by Christians for well over a thousand years. Given our last 18 months of hardship and the fact that our little girl is being adopted into our family, we felt the name resurrection was a prefect fit- from death to life. Secondly, the name can also mean, “the one who will be born again.” The greatest hope we have for our daughter is that she would come to know and love Jesus. What better way to say that than by giving her a name that means as much. Finally, we decided to call her Asia because it was in Asia where Sarah and I first met and fell in love. Living in Asia was one of the most memorable events of our lives and our love and passion for that part of the world is deeply rooted in us.

As we have thought about all the great travels and adventures we’ve had as a married couple, all that was and all that is to come; we can’t help but know that little Asia is our greatest adventure.

Sarah holding Asia

Finally Together

Last week we were finally able to come to the hospital and see our daughter Anastasia “Asia” Elaine Sloan. It’s been quite a ride.

People have been asking me what it’s like to be a dad. What feelings do I have for my new adopted daughter. Keep in mind that I have nothing to compare it to but it feels just like I imagined having a child would. Emotions of awe and beauty come over me every time I lay my eyes on her. I feel a deep sense of pride in her little accomplishments like growing an ounce or moving her tiny head around. When I hold her, and she snuggles her face into my shoulder, my heart pounds out of my chest. So what’s it like having an adopted daughter? You should try it. It will change you.

We are still here in the NICU spending time with and caring for Asia. She has had some struggles in her first few weeks but is on her way to making a full recovery and should be able to go home very soon. We are as ready as new parents can be- so not ready at all! We are looking forward to introducing our Asia to our new home, our church family, our extended family and to this great big world. Since we first learned that we would be adopting this little girl, we have been praying a passage of Scripture for her from Colossians 1:9-14. We ask that you join us in praying this prayer over our daughter. May every word ring true for her.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

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Baby feet

Welcome to the World Little One

Anastasia “Asia” Elaine Sloan
Born May 22 at 8:30pm
6lbs 8 oz

Our little Asia was born on Thursday evening. We so wish we could have been there but the details of our adoption don’t allow us to meet her for another few days. We long to see her but rest knowing that she is being well taken care of. We are told by everyone that she is a beautiful little girl. We have no doubt that she is. She has been moved to the NICU so that they can provide her with better care. She has a few issues stemming from the pregnancy but we hope she won’t need to be in the hospital very long. Please pray she recovers quickly and can come home to us soon.

Our hope is to be able to go and be with her in the next few days. We will keep you updated.

UPDATE 5/24:
Got an update on Asia this afternoon. She is eating more but is still in the NICU. Please pray for her health, for the staff in the NICU and for Sarah and I as we are away from our little girl.

Its a Girl

It’s a Girl

We are going to have a girl! On Monday, Sarah had the chance to spend sometime with our birthmother and learned that we are having a baby girl. We were also give an envelope full of ultrasound pictures. I even think she looks a little like me.

If you have been doing the math, you know that we are very near the expected birth time. At first we were told the baby would come before now but several weeks ago we learned that she was due a few weeks later. We are getting close to game time. Any day now we expect to get a call from our adoption agency letting us know that Baby Sloan has arrived. Please continue to pray for our little baby girl, her birthmother and for our growing family.

In other news, we are excited to announce that we have raised all the money we need to complete our adoption- over $18,000. Sarah and I are astounded at the kindness we have been shown by many of you. Weekly we see monetary gifts come from unexpected places and from the people we least expect. Many of you gave extraordinary amounts and we are still in shock at your generosity.

It’s no secret that this has been a hard season for our family but it is evident that the tide is turning. Thank you for walking with us through our season of suffering and now thank you for your companionship in this new season of joy.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Baby Sloan is coming soon!