Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anybody recognize these people?

 You will never guess who my little Katie just met!! SHE MET LINN, DWIGHT AND LIBERTY!! YAhoooo!! 
They are in Iowa City for Isaiah's surgery. He was actually having his surgery when Katie caught up with them! She was a little nervous- she was meeting her mothers bloggy friend! 

She said, "Now Mom, Do you actually know them? I mean like, am I going to go up to them and say hello and are they going to say I don't know her and who are you?"

I told her  "I know them, don't worry! "

She called me right after and said "They are so nice, warm and friendly!!" I already knew that but it is so cool that she got to meet them! I guess Dwight is planning to start a 12 step program for us addicted bloggers! Can I bring my computer?

Thank you Linn, Dwight and Liberty for being so kind to my daughter!!
Prayers for Isaiah!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Warn your older kids!

Katie went to the Dr.- they feel she was definitely drugged. They have seen this before. Warn your your older kids!

Read previous post for more information... 

Dangerous Situation

If your not sitting down - your going to want to as you read this post. It is weird...

Last Saturday our older daughter called home from college. She is done with school, finishing up a few jobs and will move home in mid August. That is not soon enough for her parents, especially after what just happened. Katie is a very responsible young adult. She graduated with a double major in journalism and elementary ed. She has a 3.9 GPA and played division one soccer for the Hawkeyes for 3 years. She generally makes good choices but not all the time. 

She has 4 jobs this summer- she tutors, she is a nanny, she teaches summer science camp to kindergarteners and she is a bartender a a local restaurant/ bar. She worked on Friday night as a bartender from 9 pm -2 am. She ate dinner at her restaurant at 8:30 pm. After her shift was over she had a couple drinks with a few of the other workers and then walked home with 2 of them. At about 3:00 she left the last person at their house and walked the last 4 blocks to her place by herself. We think? Because from that moment on she remembers nothing. The next thing she remembers is walking down the street wondering "where am I and why is it light out?" 

She walked around for a little while and then saw a policeman. She tried to approach him and ask him questions but he was busy with something else and kind of blew her off. When she figured out where she was, she walked home. The scary thing is she remembered nothing, nothing at all. She lives with 6 other girls so one of them went to the hospital with her where she was checked for possible evidence of s*xual assault. We have not heard back but they did not think she was assaulted- praise the Lord. 

She spent Saturday racking her brain trying to figure out what had happened. She called us but did not explain the situation to her Dad- so we didn't know about it until Saturday night. I called her and she just started crying. It was very scary for her and it is so frustrating not remembering. Her purse and all personal possessions in it were missing. She had no recollection of ever having them but knows she would never leave work with out them. She did not feel under the influence of alcohol when she left work that night but of course alcohol can be deceiving. Her co- workers said she did not seem under the influence either. She did see the policeman again later that day and he was very nice, concerned and helpful.

She checked her phone records and her bank account. Her phone had not been used and her bank account showed no activity.

Her first thought and mine were that she was drugged at the end of her shift and it hit her system while she was walking home.

Our current thought is that she was not drugged but that she may have a sleep walking problem and that combined with alcohol made for a very dangerous situation. She has fallen asleep while talking to friends on the phone and has sleep walked at her place at school.

On Sunday she continued to search for any clues and for her things.

This morning (Monday) she got a call from a sorority house a block away. Her things were found by the house mother who had been away for the weekend. They were hidden with in the landscape - in fact this woman thought it was a crime scene and was afraid to touch them and wondering what had happened to their owner.

Katie is going to follow up with her Doctor and check into a possible sleep disorder, she is definitely shook up about it and thankful to God that she is okay. Me- I am more than thankful- I am forever grateful to our dear Lord for watching over her that night and protecting her from harm. Thank you, thank you Jesus!

For now we are baffled and thankful. 

I asked Katie if I could post about this- she gave me the okay. I know that she has learned from this situation and we hope that others may learn, too. There have been many stories in the media with college kids and alcohol. Most of the kids are not as lucky as our daughter was. It is a dangerous combination- alcohol, being over tired, working late, socializing with people you don't even know- I do worry about my college kids. Yet they need to have independence and learn to be an adult. We think our daughter is wonderful and we are so thankful the whole situation did not go in a different direction

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I did it!!

I talked to the neighbor- yes, I have been dreading doing this. Yes, I hoped I could avoid it all together but the dear Lord arranged it all and the opportunity was there, so I did it!

She called on Friday morning and left a pleasant message concerned the girls. I called her back that evening and let her know that with Sarah only being home 6 months we needed to keep her close to us. I had misjudged the time it takes for an older adoptee to adjust to so many new situations and that this process would take us years. I shared the new rules with her and she seemed to completely understand. It felt good to be an advocate for our daughter. It felt good to know I was doing the right thing. I am thankful to God the he gave us exactly the right opportunity and the courage to do it. I could feel his presence and I knew even if it was not received well- that would be just "too bad" because we are not changing our minds. It is what is best for our daughter and for our family.

I also have to say that I said I was "advised by my support group"- that would be you dear bloggy friends! Thank you for your words of wisdom, support and prayers!

If you have joined us late- This post is in response to my June 20th post- "Any thoughts on this one??" 

Thank you Jesus!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Inn Kahoots!

We live in a suburb not too far from a couple cute little towns. When I take Sarah to swimming lessons we go on the back roads and I drive by this little biker bar named "Inn Kahoots". They have this sign up all year round. I can't help but chuckle everytime I pass by it!

Do you get it? Free Beer Tomorrow- tomorrow never comes- it's always free beer tomorrow! I think it is so funny!!

Now I need your advice, wisdom or thoughts on this issue - so please go over to the Princess Diaries and make a comment! I'd like to be "Inn Kahoots" with you on this issue!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Poof- it was gone...

I had just done a big long post- I was feeling pretty good about it. At the end I included my "thankful thursday" list and I was just about to make one correction and somehow must have pressed one wrong button and the whole darn thing disappeared- ugh.. With a our busy life- I had started it at about 5:00 and came back to it at 10:00 just to finish it up- just like that, poof it was gone. One more time- poof, it was gone... ugh

The other day I opened the freezer and there was the telephone. Interesting! There are a lot of people here I could blame it on but ahhh, ummmm, I'm thinking it was me that did it. I didn't tell anyone- I just took the very cold phone out of the freezer and hung it up. Thankfully know one called while it was... in the freezer!

One more time here we go-
I am thankful for my dear sweet hubby! He is the man of my dreams!
I am thankful that the timberwolves drafted Ricky Rubio. We now have a very happy 15 yr old boy in this house! (Now don't trade him!)
I am thankful for how well Sarah is doing with her schoolwork!
I am thankful to be a MOM!
I am thankful for an official Match!
I am thankful for our dear Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Big Brothers are Cool!

Today the girls and I visited Big brother Matt at work! We met everyone in the office- the girls were a hit- who can resist them! We took Matt out to lunch. He loved having his little sissies there and his Momma loved seeing where he is working. God is so good. I feel so blessed when I see the interactions between our older children and the younger children. They absolutely love each other!

After visiting our big bro we went to a bookstore called the "Wild Rumpus". It is in an adorable part of the city and has animals in the bookstore. We saw a tarantula, hens, cat, parrots, chinchillas and more! To top it off we bought a few good books, too! 

Johnny and Sarah had a fun time riding the bike together! Johnny's not big on pictures or my blog but I try to snap a few of him whenever I can!

This Momma and her girls had a fun day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Have a Match!!

Yipppeeeeee!!! We have been officially "Matched" with our girls!! We just finished the pre-application packet and have set the appointment to begin our home study! Yes, this will be a long drawn out process and yes, you will probably get very tired of hearing about our adoption process by November, December, January and so on... We do not have any time line yet- we can't even venture a guess but it will be awhile before we get back to China to get our daughters. Today, what is most important is we are officially matched. Tomorrow- I am ready to go go go!!! 

Today during our lunch time we had the TV on. Sweet Sarah looks at the TV and says "It's Tiger!" Obviously, we have a few golfers in the family! The person on the TV was actually our president- it gave us a learning opportunity!

Soon I will give a little info out about our girls BUT when is the appropriate time to post a pic?

Thank you Jesus for our children and for the special blessings of our daughters from China!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cuddling an older child!

Chris asked a great question- "How do you cuddle an older child?"

I can tell you what we are doing but please feel free to add any suggestions!

When we first met Sarah she did not want me to touch her. Well, she was fine for the initial "Hello and a little hug" but after that- it did not feel comfortable for her. She hardly even knew me, I couldn't expect her to even want me to touch her like a mother touches her child. I think that was something I had to earn from her. 

We started slow. She would hold Katie's (23 yr old sister) hand and I would hold Katie's other hand. I helped her in the shower in China, helped her get dressed, brush her teeth and combed her hair. I prepared her food and handled all the money. So if she OR Katie wanted anything it came through me. She slept with Katie when we were in her Province but then in Guangzhou we all slept together and she was in the middle of us. On the plane ride home I sat next to her at all times- we only had 2 seats together.

With our first adoption our SW mentioned that hubby should do more daily cares for our daughter for bonding purposes- we have always remembered that and it holds true for ANY age child!

As Sarah got more used to us we were able to hug her, carry her, give piggy back rides, have her sit on our laps and hold hands.  After we were home about 3 days Sarah said she wanted to sleep with us! That was a big breakthrough! Katie went back to college and we were still there for her. Sarah was ready for a kiss on the cheek after a couple weeks.  She slept with us for 3 months and then we suggested she sleep next to us in a separate bed. (We needed the sleep- she was becoming a kicker;-) Her next little milestone was when she was ready to sleep in her own room she would be able to get her ears pierced. We noticed she started playing in her bedroom more and more- 2 months later she was ready to make the change to sleeping in her own room!!

To answer more specifically how do you cuddle an older child-
You do it on their terms when they are ready.
You show that you are eager to give them love as soon as they are ready to accept it!
Have inadvertent touch- standing close to each other, resting a head on each others shoulders, sitting close to one another, high fives, etc.
We sometimes feed them a special treat, a spoonful of ice cream or a bite of candy
If you can you carry them- we carried Sarah when we were in the house . Jim carries her more as she is a bit heavy for me.
You do daily cares for them- comb hair, bath, brush teeth, help dress, etc.
We often squish in a chair that is too small, so we are nice and close and read a book.
We give lots of hugs!
We pinky swear!
We all give kisses- we are a kissy family.
We say "I love you", a lot!
Now that Sarah is not sleeping with us she comes in on Sat. and Sun. morning to cuddle before we all wake up.
Our extra special secret weapon is butterfly kisses and eskimo kisses - nobody can resist those!

The most important thing is this all needs to come from the Mom and Dad. As a parent you do all the things you do for your "little one" but on a different scale. They have spent so much time without this TLC- they need lots of it!
Sarah would have loved to have been home for those early years and often looks longingly at the cares Anna gets. We do our best to recreate it for her.

An older child is such a blessing and so much fun!

Today we took Mark shopping for a few new things. The store we went to had perfume. Sarah had no idea what it was but loved trying it out. It smelled so good she had to ask if she could lick her arm? Sorry honey- it only smells good- it would taste- yucky!

Thank you Jesus for these children!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Thank you so much for your awesome replies!! As Linny would say you guys rock!! I was feeling a bit beaten down and out of gas but after reading your replies plus some wonderful e-mails I got I am empowered to do what is right and say "no" when it needs to be said. 

We have already had our family meeting and set down our guidelines/ family rules. We prepped Johnny so he could understand what exactly we were trying to accomplish. If we sprung this meeting on him he may have thought we were crazy but instead he modeled- listening intently, positive responses and a feelings of security with the stated rules. We know all his friends and the families and we have had a 15 yr. hx with him so we are not concerned about him except it was a great opportunity to let him know that if in the future we do question anything regarding his peers or their families we will say no- for his protection. 

Sarah really handled it well and liked the fact that it included everybody. She was not singled out. She looked relieved and accepted our rules. She seems much happier today. Some of you have said how the displays of affection and the offering of gifts and food made your child uncomfortable- Sarah immediately and happily accepted all of the food , but she avoided the hugs and kisses. She seems to like that we love her so much and want to protect her and accepted that she need to stay close to us.

I did forget to mention that Sarah has already had two sleep over invitations (she is very endearing and every child likes her)- I immediately said NO (and thought are you crazy, lady). I should have right then and there clarified the situation to her. But I will be honest I do not like confrontations and I was thinking thats what it will turn into so for now we keep our distance and stick with our rules.

I also joined a yahoo group for older child adoption! I am thrilled to be apart of this- I think it will be very helpful as we continue to parent our daughters!

Thank you so so much for your responses. I should have posted about this sooner - you have all been such a big help!!

Happy Fathers Day to your Hubbies! 
FYI - I did marry the most wonderful man in the world! I am guessing that you all feel the same way about your frog, I mean prince!! ;-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Any thoughts on this one??

I read every book I could get my hands on regarding adoption - I think they really did help prepare us but there is nothing can replace hands on experience. I am thinking it would be helpful to others who are or will be taking this journey to share some of our challenges. I got this idea from my friend Sally over at her blog. When I read her post I felt like I could completely relate- and even though it was a challenge they were facing it felt good to know that others are going through the same thing. There is a bond between us and between other adoptive families that is just naturally there.

No matter what challenges we face I think we would all agree that this journey is so worth it. These children are incredible, they are beautiful gifts from God that should be treasured. I believe that having faith in God and asking for his help is essential in this journey.

Sarah has been home 6.5 months and with the warmer weather and children playing outside we have faced a few new challenges. The girls now want to play outside they want to ride bikes and play with the neighbors. Whenever they are out I also need to be out - watching them like a hawk. One neighbor is working on the landscape- and there is a lot of heavy equipment. Anna is extremely small and could easily not be seen. She want to play in the sand they are using for their patio and driveway. We have to wait until the evening when all the workers have gone home, then we can play in the sand.

In  Ch*na Sarah never really learned about safety. It is very natural for her to do things that would make us gasp with concern. If a car is going down our skinny driveway she would see nothing wrong with trying to race along side of it- training wheels and all. She has no concerns that she might fall under the tires of a moving car. She will follow along behind someone with her bike not realizing that that person my stop and she would run into them and hurt them. She would open the car window and stick her head out. Well, you get the point. I feel like I have to often... okay constantly, remind her of safety rules. It is a little bit of a bummer when you just want to enjoy and have fun with your child but instead have to be so very vigilant.

Over the last 6.5 months we have spent a lot of time together, a lot of time together! I think our bonding has come along great, really great. But lately we have been challenged- I am not questioning our progress BUT I am surprised by "this situation".

We have a neighborhood family that has a girl Sarah's age. Sarah is just beginning to be able to go over and call for her. If she goes in the house she calls home to tell me- that took 4 weeks to get down! The family is different from ours and has different parenting styles and eating habits. Whenever she goes over there she has pop, candy, gum and chips- she loves this- I do not love it. Sometimes she brings her treasures home and then refuses to share with Anna. The mother has highs and lows and sometimes crosses the line of appropriateness with Sarah. She hugs her, kisses her and tells her she loves her. For an adoptee I think this is very confusing. Sarah is just learning what families are all about and how they differ from friends, neighbors, acquaintences, etc. FYI- they may seem like they (the adoptee) get it but it really takes a long time for them to fully understand these concepts.
One day she (the neighbor lady) will be calling across the yard "Hi Sarah, old buddy, old pal" and the next day she will be angry and Sarah is not sure why- neither am I?  

I feel the hugs and kisses should be for her own daughter not my daughter ( me, a little jealous- maybe, she is mine to protect). I think it is confusing to Sarah to have "a neighbor" act like that. On top of it when you throw in the candy, gum, pop and chips - well our little girl is about ready to jump ship and join the others. Those treat are so enticing to her that it makes her want to run over their and play. As far as she is concerned that Mom is really really nice and ya... she yells for no reason but who cares I get candy, gum, pop and chips!!  It almost renders her in capable of making a good decision. Which she is actually probably not even ready to make anyways. So now as her parents we have to set more guidelines ( I wish we didn't have too). 

1. We can call for our neighbor friend but since the weather is so nice we can only play outside. 
2. Mom/ Dad have to talk to the neighbor lady and set appropriate guidelines. No hugging, no kissing, and maintain an appropriate adult/ child relationship. I know I'm boring and I'm a bit strict but I can tell you that I feel that something is not right. Iam  usually correct in this situation so I have to go on my gut. The neighbor lady is not approachable- I am not sure when we will be able to have this conversation.
3. We play equally in their yard and our yard.
4. We keep busy and limit our playtime in the neighborhood.

Oh argh- now while even writing this post we have already had another incident... We went out to dinner after church . When we came home, the neighbor girl was waiting for us. We decided that Anna would have a quick bath (major food in the hair) and Sarah could play for a little bit. 20 minutes later we call our daughter home. She... they walk in the door and Sarah lets me know with all sincerity that she does not need to come home... her friend that is now standing next to her "said so"... I looked at her, I looked at them and said honey is _____, your Mommy or Daddy? Since she is not your Mommy or Daddy she does not get to decide that and I said goodbye to the little girl... 
The problem is ... our own daughter doesn't get it. She has listened to other children in an  orphanage for 8.5 years. She will do what they say and not necessarily what her new parents say. AFTER all of this I am guessing no one will be questioning why I am homeschooling...

Any thoughts??  I need some ideas! Keep them kind please!! Thank you so much! BTW I wish I lived in the country!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

9 MORE!!

That's 9 more trees not children! When our neighbors moved out we figured it was a good time to plant a few trees. Everytime we ate breakfast we had the feeling that we should offer them some cereal - our kitchen window looks right at their front door and living room window. At night we were a fishbowl- especially in the winter. The couple never made a peep but who knows who will move in next! So we planted a wall of large spruce trees. They are wonderful and make such a huge difference! Now we both have a little privacy!

I forgot to take before and after pics but I took a few in the process!
We are so thankful for our new trees! They are beautiful!

I am also so thankful for bloggy friends that leave such nice comments. I am not a fan of nasty comments. They are so unnecessary. We are all in this adventure together, we need to support each other. If you don't like the post than don't leave a comment. I have only experienced one nasty comment. I changed the part of my post so it did not offend anyone else. I did not write anything that was openly controversial but I tried to make a joke and boy did it backfire. The worst part about it was that it had to do with my faith and that is my weak spot. You see faith to me was a gift since I was 12 yrs old. I did not grow up in an openly religious family (which is too bad). My actual knowledge is very limited but my faith is unlimited. I don't think the person meant it as strong as they wrote it- they must have been having a bad day or had their own insecurities. It was unnecessarily hurtful- that is why I go by- if I don't have something nice to say than don't say anything at all!

I have been doing a lot of praying lately and I am just so amazed at our God! 
How can anyone be there all the time for us- but he is!
How can anyone want to help us all the time- but he does!
How can anyone love us no matter what- but he does!
I guess he is not just anyone, is he?
This doesn't mean I always get the answers I want but I do feel his presence and I am happy he is in control- honestly I don't want control. I used to want control when I was younger but I am much wiser now (and older, darn) and he can have the control!! His way is much better than mine!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

True Story Tuesday

Every night hubby and I pray for our children- we pray for happiness, good health, safety and for them to have a living and loving relationship with our dear Lord. Today the Lord answered our prayers for our youngest daughter and to him I am so grateful.

Anna is taking a Chinese music class at our community center. She is really enjoying it- which really surprised me. She happily parts from me and runs in the room to join in on the fun. There are 2 other little girls in the class plus the teacher. There is something about chinese music that both of our girls adore- it seems to be comforting to them.

After class Anna and I were walking to the car. Since it is a community ceter they have parking for the senior citizens up close to the building and everyone else has to park in the back lot- further away. Anna was holding on tight to her little music sheet from class. She is always so proud of what she brings out of the class and considers it her homework. In the winter I would often carry her to the car- it was so cold and wet we just wanted to get in the car asap! With the nice weather and her turning 3 yr old we are trying to help her grow up a bit, be a little more independent by walking to the car and getting into the car seat.

She is still so little and petite- I always worry that people won't see her. As we walked to the car we held hands through the parking lot. Her right held her homework. The wind was gusty and blew the paper out of her hand just as we were crossing the road. She pulled her left hand out of my grasp and turned to run back for her paper. It happened so fast- I looked and there was a car heading straight for her-I screamed "Stop" in a blood curdling tone- hoping either Anna would stop in her tracks or the car would stop- but neither happened. The car kept coming and I heard the engine rev as the driver stepped on the gas. I ran in front of the car and scooped up Anna- at the same time my free hand waved to the car to stop. The car did stop and we made it to the side of the road. I made eye contact with the driver and mouthed "thank you". It took her a while to park her car. Then she came over to our car. She was visible shaken and teary. She said "I want you to know last week I had my breaks checked". I said "I think this is a God thing, thank you so much for stopping" and I gave her a hug.

Thank you Jesus...

I give you thanks oh Lord, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.

I bow before your holy temple as I worship. 
I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, 
because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
Psalm 138:1-2

Saturday, June 13, 2009

$100 at Walmart! Except for me it's Target!

Go to
Joy Unspeakable and read the question- "What would you do with an extra $100 dollars at Walmart?"

I would take my $100 and leave Walmart and head to Target. Target is much closer to home. Walmart is not as popular in the upper midwest. Probably because Target orginated here. I also like to shop close to home and where I know the store- more efficient! Okay on with the fun! First I get what we need. We refer to them at Target supplies- toilet paper, storage bags, toothpaste, light bulbs, laundry detergent and softener. I love to have what I need at home so things run smoothly and I actually like doing laundry (while listening to christian rock and roll) l! Yes I am having fun!! Now lets pretend we already have our T supplies-this $100 is extra and I get to buy what I want- yippee! I love office/school supplies! Storage containers are high on the list but just so you don't get the wrong idea they usually sit empty because I am a wanna be organized person- yes a fake. It just doesn't come natural and I so wish it would. I love seeing other peoples organized spaces!

Now I may venture over to crafty area- because I also wish I was crafty but I know the kids and I would have fun with what ever we get! The area that I love the most are the children's books. This is my downfall. They are all so good, so cute, so refreshing- simple with a good message- that's what I love! (We are now visiting the library regularly so I don't love it too much- know what I mean!)

Okay now I got to get out of there quick! I'm feeling like I have spent too much time in the store. I've got other things to do!

Thanks for the fun Lori!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grateful on Friday!

On your mark, get set, GO! Here we are beginning another adoption!

This was supposed to be posted on Thursday but this week has gone by fast- so on Thursday I was thinking it was Wednesday, on Wednesday I thought it was Tuesday and so on! 

I am just feeling so "down on my knees" thankful to God. So many of you have been so kind and prayed for us. You have sent such kind and supportive messages- thank you so so much. We talked with our agency on Thursday and we have the green light to get movin on all our paperwork. They were wonderful and we are just so grateful to God that we are all working together to bring the girls home.

 Now, I wish that paperwork that I was talking about was our dossier BUT it does not. As I said before we are way in the beginning and should be finishing up our pre-adoption packet this next week. I am guessing that each agency does it a little different but we should be having our homestudy appt in the next couple weeks and I actually don't know what comes after that? We will probably apply for USC*S approval this month or next?? When do you do the LOI? Are they still giving PA from China?

I know- I should have this all down by now but we did the old I-600 way the last two times. All the paperwork involved in adoption is a bit of an ugh but at the same time it is so worth it and I always forget how much of an ugh it is once we have turned it all in. 

I am so grateful for-
That we have the green light to work hard and bring these girls home!
That I can look at their pictures again and keep falling in love! 
That our little Sarah has a neighborhood friend to play with and for the fun she had at VBS!
That the Uganda mission team is home safe and sound!
For answered prayers!
For God's continuous comfort!
For my wonderful hubby!
On a lighter note-
For shoes without socks!
For humor on blogs! I love reading funny things on your blogs!
That Anna didn't get dirty at the playgroup!
That Anna is starting to talk about poo poo and pee pee!

Have a wonderful weekend! God Bless you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I'm not sure if you recognize this dog? This is Penny the malti-poo who belongs to our daughter Katie. Let's just say she was sold to Kate as a malti-poo but we don't see any maltese in her? She is either a malti poo poo poo or just a poo? If you read my post about a week ago- you may notice that she looks a little different than before. Penny was "featured" in my blog just a week ago. She had cute little dreadlocks at the time. It is hard to believe this is the same dog. Although she looked very cute, her fur was a mess and her mother (Katie) had no choice but to get her shaved.

When Penny came home she was completely embarrassed- I think she felt naked. She would run away and hide. Poor dear- I suppose it didn't help her self esteem when we all laughed at her.

There are some benefits to a little grooming- she is much cleaner now and slept with Katie at night and played with Anna in the house during the day! (our dogs usually live a dogs life- they are outside and in the mudroom). 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Europe and back! (in 20 minutes!)

I tried really hard to be a good Momma. Kate would post on her blog and I would always comment! Her pictures were beautiful! They were so enticing, I began to dream, then plan, then figure... I had it all down, it was going to work out! I was getting excited. Hubby and I went on a date together- two hours, out for dinner while Mark babysat. I shared it with my hubby. He was reluctant at first (it's a busy time at work) but when I shared how it could be paid for - his eyes lit up, he was listening and intrigued! We could only be gone one week where should we focus on- Italy, France, Switzerland ? As the time went on we changed the focus of the conversation. The girls, our children are always somewhere in the conversation mix. It was time to go home and our date was ending.

The girls were thrilled to see us- it is so uplifting to be gone for 2 hours and have 2 sweet, precious little girls so happy to see you! We put them to bed and sat down for a little more conversation. The trip was nice while it lasted but already both of us had decided it was not a priority. The money will be used for our next adoption, we do not want to leave the girls- they have already been through too much in the short lives- okay, honestly I would miss them so much. Jim should be around for work- it is a busy time. 

Well that was a great vacation! I didn't even need to pack and I felt like I had a little get away!
It is so nice when reality is so good! Thank you Jesus for your many blessings!

FYI- they don't have Starbucks in Italy, so that is out (but they do in China!)

Please visit The Princess Diaries to find out more about the cute but random pics!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Confessions of a Mother-

Here are some random cute pics- the one of Sarah is from the spring.

Have you ever-

Stopped at a stop sign and waited for the light to change...

Hid the leftover chocolate cake...

Eaten your dish of ice cream in another room where no one can see you...

When asked "Mom, what do you have in your mouth? answered "nothing"...

Gotten all the kids in the car ready to go and then taken your time in the house slowly preparing to leave (just to have a moment to yourself)...

When asked "Mom, are you awake?" answered "No, I'm still sleeping!"

Change the dinner menu because you don't have the energy to wipe up the floor one more time...

Pretended you where taking the kids out to eat because they have behaved so wonderfully when really you can't imagine making another meal...

Ran into an old friend and when it came time to do the introductions you could only remember her children's names so you immediately switch to this is  Mrs._______...

Give your child a "time in" simply to give yourself a moment to think about how you should really handle the situation...

Walk into a room and forget what you went in there for... 

Once you leave the room you remember...

Well... welcome to the world of motherhood! I am sure you can think of many more examples! Feel free to share! I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just to Update Y'all

 We are in the beginning stages of adopting (biological) sibling girls from China. I can't give out much information because we are so early in the process. In fact I wasn't going to share it for awhile but we ran into a snag early on and so needed your prayers for this to be cleared up. Thank you again and again for your prayers. Truly, anytime bureaucracy moves quickly you know God has his hands in the situation.  It was pretty cool because the city attorney was as excited and supportive as our attorney. They want us to bring the girls in to meet them after they come home! After we received the referral we requested additional information from Ch*na. It took 4-5 weeks for it to slowly trickle in but they were very generous- we got 20 pictures, 7 mini videos and answers to our questions. WOW- jackpot!!  Needless to say we are head over heels in love with these two and can hardly wait to get movin on bringing them home! Thank you Jesus!

Hopefully soon, I will be able to share more information and pictures!

Friday, June 5, 2009

10:50 am

The judge has signed it!! We are not quite sure where the documents are right now? Waiting to hear from the attorney's assistant as to their where-abouts- hopefully they are on their way to the agency! I can exhale now- whew!
Thank you for your prayers but don't stop yet!
Blessings to all!


This is what is supposed to happen today- Our attorney will bring the documentation to the judge. The judge will agree with it and sign it. The documents will be sent by messenger to our agency. Hopefully, we will receive word that it has arrived and it is in the right hands at our agency. Hopefully, everything is acceptable and we can breathe a sigh of relief and move on with our adoption process. Hubby is confident this will all happen. I believe it will but I can't help but be a little concerned. It will be nice to have this behind us and once again move positively forward. Please pray that all of this happens and their are no unforeseen incidents.

Today we meet with our play group for some more fun at the park! Big brother MArk is home now he is such a joy to have around and so very helpful. The girls adore him! Johnny is done with school - yippee! This morning has already felt more relaxed. It is so nice to have a summer break!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A New Day

Katie, you better come home soon and save Penny!

Thank you so much for your kind responses, prayers and support. We so appreciate it. Today has been a better day and we are so thankful. Our agency called us this morning and clarified the situation to us. They said there is no one waiting to see the girls referral and that they would give us the opportunity to get this straightened out. They were very kind and reassuring. Our lawyer has talked to our agency and reassured them that this was a mistake. He has the necessary documentation ready and will bring it before the judge on Friday. Thank you, Jesus!!

One thing that I now realize, that is very important and it is easy for me to loose sight of when I fall in love with these precious children is (whew, that was a long sentence) - it's all about the children. It is not about who I/we think are our daughters. We (Jim and Jean) need to trust God in this process and pray for a wonderful home for all of the children. 

Nothing is a sure thing in the world of adoption- We will feel a lot better when they put "matched " by their picture! That will be a day to celebrate! I will let you know when the judge has signed it and we bring it to our agency.

Please keep praying for our precious daughters and that this mistake gets cleared up on Friday and that we can bring them home. My mind has already returned to planning for them in our family (I probably shouldn't think those thoughts). I have never seen my hubby so certain about anything- I think it was the fasting?

As my wonderful spiritual mentor said to me (that would be Lori from Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory)

 "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. " Philipians 4:6-7

 You are on the right track in just completely trusting the Lord...like Peter said in John 7:68-69, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."  We can stop trusting the Lord...walk away....but to whom will we go from there?  There is no one else who gives us what God can give us...peace, direction, discernment, wisdom.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PLEASE, PLEASE pray for us and when bad things happen to good people...

Things have been going along pretty well until today. Today at 4:39 I received an e-mail that said we will not be able to keep the referral we have. Truly my heart is just breaking as I type. Oh please bloggy friends, please pray for us. 

Here is the situation. Our Ad*m W*lsh came back saying my husband was on probation. That is not accurate, that is not true- we have a lawyer working on it to straighten it out but the words fast, courts and lawyers never go together. Everything in our judicial system is SLOW, oh so slow.

Last summer my husband was getting a parking ticket by a meter maid. When she found out he had other outstanding parking tickets she told him she was going to tow his car. Jim worked as a lawyer for 20 yrs until going with the company he is currently with- he knows she does not have the authority to tow his car OR to arrest him. He nicely said give me the ticket and I am going home I will pay them tomorrow, I promise. She got mad at him and had a police man around the corner arrested him. There was absolutely no alcohol involved, nothing else happened, he did not fight it, he just went to the police station. He did ask "why am I being arrested?" and they couldn't even give him an answer. Even the police officers in the squad car said "this is weird you haven't even been drinking what do write in the report?"

Because the police officers didn't think much of it and because the incident was so minor we never thought it would ever pose a problem. Hubby did hire an attorney to make sure it was not on his record because we knew we wanted to adopt again. We actually hired supposedly the best attorney in the state. When this came up on our AD*M W*LSH we were shocked- we were told by our lawyer that it was behind us and we were thankful for that BECAUSE we knew we had a child in China waiting for us. 

We are not the youngest parents- we have learned a lot throughout the years and one things we try to stick by is "keep a positive healthy outlook everyday". It is very easy to talk bad about someone or feel angry and want revenge but we have learned not to spread the negativity, it is never worth it.  My hubby sat in jail all night long with hardened criminals and he came home and found the positive in it. He said he was the only white guy in there (and wearing a suit I might add) and he conversed with all of the others and heard their stories and gained compassion and insight for their situations. (that is another blog post) It was a busier time in jail because it was right before the republican convention. We have tried to have a sense of humor about it and call the dear guy a jailbird but today I cannot find the humor. Our hearts are so saddened by what is happening. We have prayed and prayed over this referral and we know these are our daughters. When you wake up in the middle of the night thinking how you can work with them so they can feel comfortable and grow in their new family and in their new country- (one is shy and one is outgoing- yes, sisters) you know you are in deep and they are your daughters. On top of that they have completely stolen hubbies heart- which surprised me- but I am very happy they did!

Please, Please pray for us. Please pray that the hearts of our agency will soften and give us the time to get this rectified. Please pray that we will bring our girls home. Please pray that our lawyer and the judge will act quickly so that they do not give our referral for our daughters away. Please pray that our dear Lord will move mountains and the truth will prevail.

Because hubby has been a lawyer he knows we could sue-( I don't even know how to spell it) for unlawful arrest and unlawful incarceration and we would win BUT WE WOULD NEVER want to do that- we would not want to spend years of our this blessed life fighting in a court room.  We feel that it is best to say "Hey, they made a mistake now lets move on." 

I hope to someday laugh about this again but right now it is too painful. Please pray that we can bring our girls home.

Thank you so much for your kindness. My heart is so heavy tonight.

Please share this with others that will pray and you can link my post up to your blog. We meet with our agency on Thursday. Please pray that it is resolved in time for the meeting.