Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waiting for ...

Emma Joy

Ellie Mei

Our Article 5... It should have arrived on Monday but now it is Thursday and there is no sign of it. I am hoping it has already been sent but they just missed the notification. Please pray that we will receive notification of it soon!

After that we wait for our TA AND THEN WE GO ASAP!

We are thinking that we will not be able to travel in the end of May and just hoping and praying that the beginning of June will work out!

These two little girls need to get home soon! We can hardly wait to welcome them into our family!

Thank you Jesus for these precious little girls!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Who Travels to China Saga!

Sorry, I'm milking this subject for all it's worth but it has been a challenging one at our house. We have put a lot of thought and prayer into it and...... drumroll please...

We have decide that that Sarah and Anna will go with Hubby and I.

There are so many reasons why they should go and why they should not go- they all make sense. We are thinking that Sarah will have challenges either way - whether she goes or stays home. If she goes she will be with us, she will be part of the experience and she will conquer some of her fears. She will see that she is our daughter forever. She will go to China and she will come home to HER home. By the time we get home she will have known her new sisters for 2 weeks! When it is all said and done she will be fine.

Our pictures will have her in them. That way the memories will be fun for her, too.

It will be challenging but it feels good and we will have fun!

We will be doing lots of praying and we will be asking for lots of prayers from you if that's okay!

So today the four of us hopped in the car to go and get our visas! I love getting things done - check this one off the list! UNTIL, we got there and found out they are open from 12-6pm ... except not on Wednesdays... they're closed on Wednesdays. How can you be closed on Wednesdays? Who on earth is closed on Wednesdays? Sundays yes, Saturdays maybe, even maybe on Mondays but Wednesdays?

Being the problem solvers we are - we went straight to get our pictures taken so tomorrow hubby can take them with him and order our visas. (the kids and I are not available to go tomorrow). So as of tomorrow we can check that off the list- yippee!!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You did it?

The other morning Miss Anna was hanging out in my closet while I was getting ready for the day. When all of the sudden I hear this sweet little voice saying "You did it!"

Of course I was completely stunned and had no idea what she could be talking about but found it necessary to defend myself with a quick witted response of "No, you did it!"

She also found it necessary to stick up for herself with an infatic "Noooo, you did it!"

Being the mature Mother I am I immediately responded "No, you did it!"

Just so ya know I ain't fessing up to anythang...

When I kiss the girls goodnight I do the same little routine. It's best if they know what's going on when this ginormous face comes into their space (especially with older child adoption- it saves you from having to go to the dentist and get two new front teeth). I kiss their forehead, then we do nosey (eskimo) kisses, I give their nose a kiss and then a quick kiss on the lips from their Momma.

Before I did the ritual with Anna she was trying to say something to me but ya know it was late and I wanted to move along with the routine! As I finished up with Anna my lips felt a little gooey and I heard her say "Mom will you wipe my nose?" ;-0

I should have listened to her and not rushed the process!

The Joys of Parenting!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Blessed Evening!

The day finally came for Sarah's first communion! The beautiful dress she has been longing to wear can now be worn! Today she will have the Body and Blood of our Blessed Saviour! It is a very special day!

She had a good day (PTL) but was so excited and a little nervous for 5:00 church and for her first communion.

Sarah is our 6th child that has had first communion. They did it differently this year and it was wonderful. Much more of a family and spiritual event that a large group event. They planned it over 2 weekends and we could pick the service our family wanted to attend. We love Saturday night church and we knew it would be easier for the big kids, so it was perfect!

I am sorry I did not get a picture of the rest of the family that attended the special occasion. Matt, Katie, Billy, Johnny and Auntie Barbie attended.

God Bless You sweet daughter!

Our good friend Karen came to see Sarah! She is such a blessing to us!!

Sarah and Father Tim

Or two oldest daughters ;-)

I am one thankful Momma!

Yes... we have issues with these chocolate cakes. We love them! We find reasons to buy them! By the way, when is your birthday? Maybe we will have to have a chocolate cake in honor of you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Go or Stay, Go or Stay?

Thank you , thank you or all of you that have been praying for Luke. For all updates on him check this blog! We are so very thankful to those of you that have prayed and fasted! I love seeing the Lord work and we most certainly have seen that through this little boy!

Thank you to those of you that are praying for Chrissie. I was lead to her through my bloggy friend Jennifer. It was so jaw dropping I had to plead for more prayers for this darling child. I so believe in the power of prayer and the power of more than one praying at the same time. I knew you all would pray! You all are incredible and so love the Lord! I wish I lived near all of you!

Yesterday was a challenging day. Sometimes we just have those kinds of days! Before I even get started the rewards out weigh the punishments! Yes, it is so worth it!

Today my star student didn't not want to learn. No, not at all... It started early in the morning and we quickly aborted schooling. Miss S shut down, did not listen to her Momma one bit and for much of the day I seemed to be the enemy. She spent a lot of time thinking about it, while sitting a chair or on her bed in her room. About 4:00 in the afternoon her stubbornness was wearing out and she decided to apologize and talk about it with me.

She said she was very nervous for her first communion. She didn't want to make a mistake. We talked about what would happen if she did make a mistake- nothing would happen, it would be okay. We talked about better ways to handle our fears and sharing it with Mommy earlier. It is so good to see her develop her faith and care about what God thinks. I made sure she knows he forgives and he loves her. She seemed to recover quickly. And Me- it exhausted me. All day I tried to open a door to communication, only it wasn't going to happen until Miss S was ready. Let's just say a huge loving hug, kisses and you are the best Mommy in the world quickly made any feelings I may have had go away!

From this conversation came another conversation about going to China. That is stressor #2 in her life and after tonight it will move to #1. Sarah thought she would prefer to stay home- AT HER HOUSE and she would be happy to would welcome her sisters HOME AT THE AIRPORT!
An hour later she said she changed her mind and now wants to go to China.

Sarah is an incredibly wonderful little girl! When she shuts down, it is extremely challenging. It is manageable at home but I'm not sure if she were to do it in China how we would handle it and what would be Emma and Ellie's reaction?

I am not quite sure what it is regarding her traveling to China. We are trying to figure it out and problem solve. We are going to plan for all of us (Mom, Dad, Katie, Sarah and Anna) to go to China but we will see at that moment who actually gets on the plane.

I think the language issue will be very hard for her. She can understand some Chinese but can only say words here and there and maybe a few phrases.
It may be hard for her that her parents (that would be us) are not Chinese. In China we are the odd ones. She may be embarrassed of us.
She has jealous moments and at home is really dealing with it well- how will she do in China?
Even though she loves everything Chinese she is remembering more and more not so good things about China. It is not a warm and fuzzy place to her.
Deep inside she fears being left in China.

What ever we decide will help her to grow. If we bring her she will learn to overcome many fears and she will believe us when we tell her she is ours forever.
If she stays home she will be able to continue doing the things she loves and being in the environment that she finds comfort in, but she will have missed out on a trip of a lifetime.
Anyway we look at it there will be some backwards and forwards progress being made.

Stay Tuned!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Chuckle or Two!

Sarah will be celebrating her first communion this Saturday! She is very excited and a bit nervous! We told her no laughing up there and you can't say "yuck".
The other night she had a dream. Instead of the small little morsel of bread she was handed a large round loaf of bread. She had to eat the whole thing quick. When it came time for the wine she accidently downed the whole thing! Poor girl, what a nightmare!
I told her "Honey don't worry about it. It will go just fine. Mom and Dad will be right next to you."

The other day we were talking and Sarah mentioned something about her older sibs having babies (yes, that would be you Matt and Katie). I said "someday", when they get married they can start having children! That will be so exciting! I said, "Sarah you would love that, you love babies! And I can hardly wait to be a grandma!"

Her eyes lit up, "Oh, I've never had a Grandma!" she said. "I would love that!"

No, no honey! I'm your Momma, I'd be the Grandma to the new babies and you would be an auntie!

Ya know, it was so precious and so sincere!

Somethings just take longer than other "to get"! Anyways, I did have a good chuckle out of it!

Older child adoption = never a dull moment!! There is always something funny happening!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Their Gifts are in the Mail!

The girls are so excited to send a gift to their new sisters! Now that we are bringing them to China they are loving every minute of the process.

Sarah is also understanding that we did all of this for her before she came home. She likes seeing our efforts and knowing what it was like as we waited to go to China for her!

We had quite a conversation about how the directors open the packages and not the children. It seemed quite unfair to all of us UNTIL we realized they don't even know who the package is for until they open it! It is sent to the orphanage and inside is the list of question and information on who we are asking about and sending it too! Oops!

It feels so good to be one itty bitty step closer to our new daughters!

Often time the kids don't get everything we send them. I hope our girls get some of it! If they want to take away the candy that works for me! I did most of the shopping two months ago. So they are getting a sweatshirt, long sleeve shirt and short sleeve shirt. I am guessing it is getting pretty warm in Guilin where the girls are! Oh well!

Hoping and praying for article 5 and TA!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Plea for Prayer!

Please pray for Baby Luke from MSP! His surgery will be while we are sleeping on Tuesday night. Please remember him especially on Tuesday and Wednesday (pre-op, having surgery and post op). They are hopefully going to do a full heart reconstruction. It is a miracle he is alive right now with the condition his heart is in. Pray for him and for the surgeons, please!

Thank you so much!

My good friend Tanya from Acorns and Cherry Blossoms is having a fundraiser to help them bring home their darling little girl, Khloe! She has great prizes! Please donate and join in on the fun!

Thank you so much!! God Bless You!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Date...

With the kids! Yep, the 4 of us went out to dinner ;-)
ahuh, that's Anna... at the restaurant ;-)
Bet your glad you weren't at the table next to us ;-)

I always choose to sit next to Sarah when we go out to dinner ;-)

Yep, you guessed why! ;-)
Sorry honey! Dinner's should be interesting with Emma and Ellie in the mix! They will probably do fine- it's you know who I'm still a bit concerned about! But, ya know, she loves to sit next to her Daddy! I think they should sit together! What do you think?

Just gotta tell you- we went to church before dinner... and totally forgot Anna's shoes! Being that she is the 7th child and soon we will be able to call her the 9th child, we did not go back for the shoes!
Besides, I have never seen the sign at church that says-
No shoes
No shirts
No service

(Now that is a great pun!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Would You Join Us?

In a day of fasting and prayer for Luke from MSP and for your needs. We are planning it for Tuesday, April 20th!

Luke is scheduled to have heart surgery on Wednesday, April 21st in Israel. Israel is 8 hours ahead of us- our prayers will prepare the surgeons and this precious child for this surgery! It has taken a long time and many tests for them to finally figure out what to do to be able to help this little guy. Please join us for a day or fasting and prayer for him, for the surgeons and for your desired prayers!

I have always been a bit fearful of fasting. I am afraid to fail. What if I mess up and eat? What if I get so hungry and weak I have to eat? Do not be afraid- guess what if you make a mistake, God will forgive you . He knows your heart, he knows your efforts and he knows we are not perfect. Your efforts will speak volumes to him and maybe this experience will help you for the next time you fast. If you really want the Lord to hear your/our prayers then fast like Jesus did (no, not 40 days) just one meal, two meals, three meals or for the day. Just do what you can do and pray fervently! He will hear us dear friends and he will move mountains!!

Last time I did this I was blown away with God's answers to our groups prayers. I am excited to see him work in Luke's life and in yours.

Please e-mail me if you would like to participate at- Let me know what prayers you would like to include. I will send the list of prayers to all of you!!

Thank you!!

If you are unable to fast please set aside some time on this day to pray for Luke! God will hear our prayers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why is it...

That I live with a pile of books, magazines and papers next to my bed and only think of cleaning it up right before we need to go to Ch*na?

That I need to make an eye, dental and gyn (yucko) appt. right before I need to leave for Ch*na. I had plenty of time to get these done earlier.

That I live everyday with glasses with a big scratch on them and only think of getting new ones right before we need to leave for Ch*na.

Everyday I live with many drawers that can be classified as junk drawers and only now do I feel this burning desire to have them perfectly clean? And that goes for the garage, too!

That we may attempt sprucing up the landscaping before we go? Will Emma and Ellie even notice? LOL

The list goes on...

My husband loves it when I do this, it's just so easy for him! I'm going to tell you what to say to me!

Tell me to chill and don't sweat the small stuff! Tell me to just go to China and get our girls! And have some fun while we're at it!! Don't worry about the mess here and there and everywhere!

Thanks ladies!! You're the best!!

Regarding Blogging in China I think I am going to send the posts to Katie and have her post them for me! 2nd choice is for me to e-mail them to my blog- I'm thinking I would probably mess this one up? Thank you for your great ideas!! Can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blogging while in Ch*na?

Since I am so bad with computers I need to have this all set up before we leave!

Now that Ch*na has blocked blogspot, how on earth do you post to your blog when you are there? I see many people do it successfully but I have no clue how they do it?

Another question- Can I see my blog from Ch*na? How do I know that I didn't make a mess out of the post and if the pics are really there? Can I see other peoples blogs when I am in Ch*na? This could be torture for me! I love to hop on the computer when the kids go to bed and wind down by checking out my friends blogs!

Should I have another sited for our trip? Maybe one that is not blocked? Which site do you recommend?

Please help!!

Thank you!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Party Day, Anna! (and the matching clothes issue)

It's getting late- 8:00 am. My students are still sleeping! If you've been living with Anna lately- you would want her to sleep. Yes, she has been a bit crabby. I keep thinking she must have an ear infection but there are no cold symptoms. I guess I just want an antibiotic to take away the crabbies and whines!

We celebrated her birthday last night. It's always fun to get together. She loved every minute of it - in her own way. She does not like to be the center of attention- and just isn't sure how to act when she is. Dinner was eaten from her Daddy's lap but she had no problem opening the gifts!

Well, Katie came over and looked at the clothes we are bringing to China for the girls. She is not a fan of dressing them alike... and definitely not a fan of doing it... well, everyday. The is a chance I may have gotten carried away with the whole thing- but oh well!

Okay - let's think positively about this-
I will know who my kids are in a crowd (and so will everyone else, whether we want them to or not ;-)
It made packing easier! Instead of trying to figure out what each girl should wear- I just had to pick out about 7 outfits x 4 and put them in the suitcase!
There is a small window where this is completely acceptable- twins, triplets, quadruplets (I know that's not us but I'm pretending). It's also okay for young children and new adoptees and their new sibs- from what I hear!

Katie will most likely not be joining us in China! No, it's not because of the clothes. It's because we hope to leave before she is done with teaching for this year.

We offered to get her the outfits for her in her size! After all she is one of the girls! (She declined)

Im starting to wonder if my students are fake sleeping?? I better go check on them!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Holy Buckets!

Are you sitting down? I just have to share my good news with you! TODAY we received our NVC letters!! Wooo hoooo!! That means (I think) that our I800 approval has been forwarded to the US consulate in GZ as of April 7th!! I was told that we may not get this letter for 2-4 weeks! We got it in one week! I know, I know, we will probably slow down in some other area but for now I'm doing the happy dance!

I have no idea what article 5 is but I think that is next! Is there anyone out there that can tell me? Then it's our TA!! Anyone want to venture a guess on how long it will take from NVC letter to TA?

Oh my, oh my am I excited!! Oh my, oh my do I have a lot to do!! I still have time! It's not like I'm leaving on Wednesday- right Mandi!!

Yesterday we did the necessary paperwork and pics for Sarah and Anna's passports. They should be here by the end of this month!!

Things are moving along sweet girls! You will be home soon! Their birthdays are in July! It looks like we will be celebrating it with them! We are thinking of bikes and scooters!

I wonder how this will be different from Sarah's adoption. She came from an orphanage, she was stubborn but couldn't resist the love of a forever family. Emma and Ellie are coming from a foster home. It will be different for them- it will be very sad for them to leave their dear foster Mom and Dad that took care of them for 3 years. I am sure they will be grieving heavily. Because of their experiences they should have a better understanding of what it means to be in a family. We will see! So excited to see the story unfold! Such a blessing to be bringing them home! Thank you Jesus!

Sweet girls, your Momma and Babba pray for you everyday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday- April 8th, 2010!

So very thankful that our I-800 approval arrived and our NSV letter has been sent to GZ! PTL!! So thankful that these two precious girls are coming home in June! I can hardly wait!!

So thankful to be home for awhile! Next stop China!

This little one snuggled under my arm and then told me how good I smelled! Thankful for my deodorant!! She has such a good nose!!

Thankful that this big boy is finally feeling better! So much so that he no longer answers my phone calls! Let me just tell you I was getting a play by play- the ugly truth of the stomach flu just a mere 24 hours ago! Thank you for your prayers for him! He is doing so much better. It is so hard to be that far away when they are sick and in so much pain.

So thankful for this big boy! We went shopping for a suit for his birthday and his new job! He asked me "Now how do I wash this?" Isn't that the cutest thing you ever heard! Oh my honey, don't wash it!! Then we had the dry cleaning discussion! (We are going to have to teach him how to tie a tie! I don't think he will want to stop by home to have Dad do it every morning!!)

I am thankful for this little girl and her big smile! It is near impossible to get a smile out of her for a picture- she just happened to be having such a good time she couldn't help herself!

So thankful for to our Lord!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Got it!!

Yippee! We got off the plane and checked or e-mails. Our agency notified us that they had received our I-800! When we got home it was waiting for us!! So so thrilled to be moving along! I can hardly wait to get these darlings home!!

Now we need to get our NVC letter? We have always done the I-600 way so this is new to us! I'm sure once I get it all figured out they'll change it to the I-900 ;-)
Any idea how long that will take for our NVC letter?

I just have to worn you all that if you don't like kids dressing alike you may not want to follow us to China! YEP- I've done a little shopping and well all 4 girls may be dressing alike! Just thought I'd warn you! Don't worry, they won't be doing it forever- we are just gonna have a little fun in the beginning!

Please say a little prayer for our Mark- he has the flu along with the fractured knee cap and he is 1,000 miles away from us. He is miserable in every way.
Thank you!

Hoping and Praying for I800 approval!!

We had a glorious time in Florida! The girls loved the pelicans!

Such interesting birds!

All I have to say for this poor guy is - ouch!

I am hoping and praying that we have our I800 approval waiting for us at home so we can get everything sent off to China!

We have decided to take the girls to China and Jim will go too! Thank you for all your input! I am so excited to have them with us! We are really used to them being around and would miss them terribly. I am also excited to get the bonding process going right away in China!

The next time we go ;-) they will all probably not be able to go with us so this is perfect for everyone!

We have talked to Sarah a lot about it and reassured her that she will not leave our side the whole time. I think she is getting excited to go!

This little one just wants to be where her Momma and Daddy are- wherever that is!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ocean Life!

We have enjoyed the spring break in Florida! We have seen so much ocean life this time- more than we have ever seen! It has been quite the science lesson for everyone!

We have no idea what this is! Does anyone else know? 9 legs?

This is a Florida fighting conch shell! They are so pretty and we have never seen so many on the beach at one time. They were all occupied so we threw many of them back in the ocean! (a second chance at life!)

A Fan Shell with it's owner!

They wanted to get back in the water asap!

A jelly fish! This one is dead but we caught one alive and named it peanut butter! It was a little one and we released it right away after showing everyone!

There were tons of sea stars!

We also saw dolphins, string rays, and sharks!

After that... we only swam in the pool!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

We went to an Easter celebration on the island! Sarah is a natural at the hula hoop!
There were many people there... too many for my children. They just don't like big crowds! Unless it's our family that is!

Anna was wondering who on earth is this big furry guy. Sarah and Johnny went along with the fun!

After church we went out for brunch and played the thankful game. We have a sweet little 10 yr old girl who has to work on saying positive things instead of negative. We had fun playing it... and then she got mad that it was all over, how ironic! ;-)
We will need to keep working on this but I think today she is getting the idea!

Playing picnic before church! We were going to attend a sunrise service but it ended up being to early for this crew. We went to the local Catholic church instead. It was crowded, so much so we didn't even make it into the building but instead worship on the step outside and peaked in through the large open doors. I know this is not the best worshipping situation but you know it was so enjoyable feeling the cool breeze along with the warmth of the sun! God was everywhere and it was a pleasure! No complaints from us!

Happy kids after they got their Easter candy!

So grateful to our blessed Saviour!