Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Blogger!

Updated... I forgot to give an example of the type of daughter Emily is~ she was invited with 2 different friends to go to their beach houses over spring break. Each family was leaving on Good Friday. Emily declined both invitations and told me after the fact. When I asked why, she said, "I knew how important is was to you have us all together on Easter, with Will coming in and all. I asked when they were leaving and when they said on Friday, I told them no. If they had gone on Monday, though, I would have gone!" Emily, I just LOVE how you think of others, and not just yourself. Thank you. You are such a gift.

This is Mom, hacking in to wish my beloved girl a very HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Emily you are a gift from God, a blessing to our family, and a delight to your mom. (and dad) I LOVE your heart, your smile, your very easy going disposition and the joy you bring to your little sisters. You are the best daughter and sissy anyone could ever ask for!!!!! God is going to do great things through you~ I just know it! Happy Birthday Emily!

Love, Mom

PS~ One thing I KNOW about Emily, is that she's a girl who LOVES when you comment on her blog. SO, maybe, just maybe, could you all take the time to leave her a birthday wish????

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Park Playdate!

Today, we met some old friends and some new friends at the park. We were quite the sight with 9 little Asian girls... and we had such a fun time! And yes- even I got to go for a little bit, as my school is right by the park, and it just so happened to be my lunch time! We were so excited to hear all about the little boy in the middle of the first picture, Austin's new little sister, too, who they just got the referral for! Hopefully we'll be able to do it again soon :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on our LOA post. I am still in shock over the whole thing. It dawned on me the other night that throughout this whole process, I have always prayed that God would have his hand on these adoptions in ways so that people could look at our story and said, "Only God!" If you read all of the commentson my last post, every single person commented in some way that it has been "ONLY GOD." Oh, He is so good :)

Here are some pictures of my precious girlies. I know it's been a while since I've posted pictures of them... we have been enjoying our warm weather:) and AnnaClaire has loved showing off her jump rope skills! I have to admit... I think I have two of the cutest little sisteres ever! They are so sweet with eachother, too. They have their moments, but they do love holding hands all around the house, dressing up together, and running around being the crazy girls they are!

We are all excited to see Will this weekend and be together as a "whole fam-a-ly" as AnnaClaire says. (Minus 2, of course!) Oh and we have enjoyed cheering on Bay*lor during Mar*ch Madness. We were sad to see them loose tonight, but happy they made it as far as they did!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My God is still in the miracle business!

Before I say anything, I want to ask you to please not share this. Our agency specifically asked us not to post about our situation on any yahoo group or public forum. Since this is my personal blog, I do want to share. But I ask you to please not post about our situation anywhere.

Secondly, I want to reiterate that our agency has a firm rule about bringing home only one child at a time. I ask you to PLEASE not think that because of our situation that this is something that our agency allows. It is not, and our situation is completely miraculous-- nothing they ever even requested.

Now. Where do I begin? I am going to try to make an incredibly long story short... And yes, it has been almost impossible to keep this a secret for the past few days.

I guess I should start by saying that we knew before we even found Grace that our agency had a rule about adopting two children at once. They had made this decision and not taken it lightly. While we always knew that it would be nice if we could go in one trip for both Charlie and Grace, we never questioned our agency's rule. We had people mentioning from the moment we saw Grace that they were praying for us to "somehow be able to travel for both in one trip." And while at the beginning, I prayed along, I soon began to just explain that it's against our agency's rule and we would be going in two trips. We worked on our dossier, fully expecting to meet Charlie in April/May and Grace in the fall.

On Wednesday, March 17, our dossier for Grace went to China. We were DTC and one huge step closer to our girl. What we didn't know at that time, is that our Letter of Acceptance was being issued THAT DAY. (It was the 18th in China.)

Fast forward to Friday. Mom gets a call from our agency and they inform her that we have a big decision to make. Mom was expecting the worst, but instead, got some pretty amazing news.

Our agency was just as stunned as we were upon hearing it. They had no idea. They have never mentioned a thing or ever asked the C2A2 for us to go to China in one trip. Yet, our agency received an email asking if we would like to bring home Charlie and Grace at the same time. Although this is typically against their rule, since the C2A2 had already approved us to adopt both at once, our agency decided to let us make the decision. Mom quickly said YES. After she calmed down a bit, we decided to ask some questions on timing, as we didn't want Charlie to wait too much longer, and if we had Charlie's TA before Grace's LOA, then we would go ahead with 2 different trips (our agency had said that our LOA would be expediated. We just didn't know how long "expediated" was.)

Our question was answered on Monday when Mom got the call that our LOA was here. The craziest thing about it all is that our dossier arrived in China on Monday, 3/22. Our LOA arrived at our agency on Monday, 3/22. This is UNHEARD of. It's just not something that happens.

We were blown away. I don't think there's any other way to describe the feelings. We were in complete and utter shock and amazement, blown away by God's perfection. Even now that our LOA has arrived here, we have held it, seen it, signed it, and sent it back... it is still hard for me to comprehend the fact that Grace's LOA is here.

I don't know why I ever doubted Him and His perfect timing. Isn't this so like God? These are the kinds of things he does... He blows us completely out of the water and does things that are honestly unbelievable. Just because He can. I have no doubt that God has amazing things planned for this little girl's life. I just can simply not believe that we have our LOA for her. Did I mention that things like this just. don't. happen?

To GOD be the glory, great things he has done.

We are expecting to travel to China at the beginning of June. We will be there for around 3 weeks... a week in each province and a week in Guangzhou. Oh and by the way......... we now have a dossier which, in our agency's words, is "just waiting for the next adoption." :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(P.S. Happy Birthday, Will! We love you!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Track Meet Fun

I had a track meet yesterday morning, and Dad brought AnnaClaire and Kate along to watch. A few minutes after they got there, we noticed Samantha and her brother, Adam (who is newly home from China!) were at the track meet to watch their older brother run! AnnaClaire was very excited to see them again and enjoyed having friends to play with as she cheered! Kate was content on Daddy's lap, which is why she isn't in the pictures. It was a very fun morning!

By the way... do you notice something? Short sleeves, maybe?!?!?! I could not be any happier to say goodbye to winter and pull out shorts, t shirts, and flip flops!!! Hopefully spring is here for good now!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wish I had more to update you on...

like that our article 5 was ready... but next week it should be! Our agency is then saying 2 weeks from that until TA, so we are still praying for April 16...

*It's looking like we will go to China for Grace in August or September!!!! Our official DTC date is 3/17! (It was supposed to be 3/16, but the DHL guy picked up the package, scanned it in, then left it at our agency... so it went to China yesterday!) Very glad about that, as the Trade Fair starts in Oct. and then the Asia Games in GZ in Nov. and the Paralympic Asia Games in Dec. It will be great to be in and out before all of that starts! So praying that our timing for her goes quickly. Supposedly LOAs for camp kids come faster... so who knows!

*School is crazy busy and I really wish that some teachers knew that we have lives outside of school. Unfortunately, many do not understand this little fact!

*We know that Charlie's care package was delivered over the weekend... still waiting to see if we'll get updated pictures, measurements, and answers to some questions!

*The girlies are good... they are definitely enjoying the nice weather we've been having! They love playing outside in it together! They are also anxious for their brother and sister... they talk about and pray for "Cha-wie and Gwace" all the time! They are both even talking about our seating arrangements on the flight! :)

*So that's about it... nothing much going on around here. We are so very anxious to go to China! Let me tell you... the wait is agonizing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our dossier is finished!

Our dossier stuff came back from being state certified on Friday. Mom was out of town for a conference but when she came back late Saturday night, we decided to head down to D.C. to finish up Grace's dossier. Dad got a free hotel night at a really nice hotel on Penn*sylvania Ave. and on Sunday morning, we headed out.
On our way, Dad dialed Aunt D. and AnnaClaire got on the phone and said "Guess what! We are coming to see you... right now!" The girlies were both SO excited to see their beloved aunt again! She was excited about our little surprise trip, too! :)
We were very excited to hear that our cousin, Michael, was home from the Nav*al Acad*emy on spring break. Kate had never met him (or her uncle!!!) and the rest of us haven't seen him for a few years, so it was very good to see him. He even shared his "Kin*der Eggs" that his dad had brought back from a trip to Europe! When he gave the chocolates to the girls, Kate looked up at him and said, "I really like you!" This girl is SUCH a sweet tooth:)
Kate was excited to meet Sadie, too. This picture was a huge step for her, as she has been terrified of dogs since she first came home... not Sadie though! She loved petting and kissing her!
AnnaClaire and Michael had a great time looking at all of his pictures! AnnaClaire just loved seeing her cousin again, as the last time she saw him was when she was 20 months old! He was so sweet with the girls, too.
And of course Katie Cakes loved snuggling her aunt! Uncle B. wasn't feeling too great :( but Kate loved meeting her uncle, too, of course!
After giving goodbye hugs, we drove down to the city (only about 30 miles away) and checked into our hotel, grabbed some dinner, and settled into our hotel for the night! This was the view from our window... (the one good thing about having a dad who travels... free hotel nights at pretty nice hotels!)
On Monday morning, Dad walked down to the Sta*te Dept. for authentications. He then came back for breakfast and to wake me up, and we headed to the Chinese emb*assy, while Mommy let the girls sleep a little longer. After we dropped our visa applications and 13 documents off, we headed to the hotel to get Mom and the girlies. We then headed for a walk around the city.
The girls were excited to see where "Ba-wok O*bama" the "pwesident" lives. We even saw his dog being walked in the yard! AnnaClaire was bummed that we didn't get to see him, but we told her he is a busy man, and that explanation was good enough for her. We of course had to get a few pictures in front of the infamous Wh*ite Ho*use!
The girls both brought their cameras on our trip and had fun taking pictures of all the sights! They looked pretty cute doing it, too, if I may say so myself!
We forgot to get tickets to go up to the Washing*ton Monument, so we just got to see it from afar. AnnaClaire talks about the monument all the time and was so excited to see it again... and to show it to Mommy and Kate!
And here's sweet Cakers! She enjoyed our little trip and I think was pretty excited to join along this time! She did have a few moments of grumpiness, but was overall had a fun time and enjoyed seeing the city and all of the fun things there!
But I'm sure she'd tell you the best part was getting to ride on Daddy's shoulders as we walked around the city!
AnnaClaire had fun, once again, as well. She is our road trip girl and loves driving through the night, staying in hotels (and getting to sleep in a bed with sissy!), and visiting people!
Kate and Daddy again- she has been such a Daddy's girl lately! After this, we headed to a wonderful Chinese restuarant and went back to the emb*assy. Our documents were ready right at 2:30, but we waited until 4 for our visas! The girlies were such troopers and made friends with many of the Chinese people there!
After we had everything, we started the 2 hour drive to our agency to drop our completed dossier off and bring somemore forms for Charlie. It was so nice to meet Aleda, our agency's director, and talk with Diana again. The girlies had so much fun playing with Diana's daughter, too! We just LOVE our agency. They have such hearts for orphans and just want to see all of these sweet kids have families! Aleda is the one who actually talked to Grace when they did the camp, and she was able to tell us a bit more about Grace. Best of all is that she said more than anything, she could tell that Grace really wanted a family! After staying for an hour and a half, they told us a good place to go have dinner and then we started the trip home and finally got here at 6 this morning!

And with that, we are now one step closer to our sweet girl...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Feeling like we'll never get there...

After thinking that we had less than a week until our Article 5 would be ready and that we could have TA at the end of March/early April, we just found out that our paperwork actually didn't end up getting to the Consulate until yesterday, and our Article 5 won't be ready until March 25. Our agency feels terrible, as it was a misunderstanding with their contact who drops everything off. It's not their fault, as they had even told us it was all there and our Article 5 would be ready on 3/18. It was just as much a surprise to them as to us. However, disappointed would be an understatement... trying to trust what in the world God is doing with all of this and why we have had so many setbacks. I have to be honest and say that I don't understand what good is coming out of it, but I just have to trust that God knows what He's doing. March 25 will be 2 months from LOA, 1 month from being cabled. I have three AP exams that are a requirement to pass the classes, starting at the beginning of May, so pray that SOMEHOW God will make a way for us to leave on the April 16th!

Moving on and clinging to His promises...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am missing our sweet little boy more than anything.

I am realizing that it was 8 months ago today that we sent in LOI to adopt him.

I am thinking that is WAY to long to wait.

I am feeling very sick of this Hague process, which is keeping kids waiting. And making them get too many shots (KEEP SIGNING!!! There are over 1200 signatures now. I noticed a lot of signatures of those who read my blog... keep spreading the word!!)

I am praying for his heart to be prepared for our family.

I am hoping that his care package gets to him and we get some updated pictures and measurements.

I am getting excited about the possibility that we could be in/about to leave for China in a month.

Today, I am simply wanting to hold this sweet child in my arms... to let him know that he is loved and cherished and I am praying with all my might that we could SOMEHOW, in SOME WAY be in China in one month. Because I know that I serve an incredible God. And He can do ANYTHING.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sign the Petition!!!!!!!

I have had the link to sign a petition on my sidebar for quite awhile... Just wanted to explain further, for those of you who might not follow all of the adoption stuff.

Adoptive families used to be able to have a wavier that basically promised to vaccinate children once they were home. That was under the old I600 form (we used this with both AnnaClaire and Kate.) Of course, now, there is the Hague process, using the I800 form. There are no more vaccination waviers. Children must get up to date on their shots at their medical exam in Guangzhou. This means that some children are getting up to EIGHT shots AT ONE TIME. In the words of my dad, "Is that even legal?!" Seriously! These are kids of American citizens, American citizens who can choose to vacinate or not. It is NOT HEALTHY to have 8 shots at a time... everyone knows that. This past week, there was a family in China whose daughter received 7 shots at once. She spiked a 105 degree fever, and they couldn't get it down, and could not get her to eat. With her special need, this was EXTREMELY dangerous. They ended up having to get an expediated visa to fly home early.

Something has got to change.

Here's where you can help. Go here: and sign the petition. There are now over 1000 signatures, but there needs to be more. Someone recently updated that the bill is moving more quickly and should be on the floor for review soon. This bill NEEDS to be passed. It is ridiculous that this is happening. The only way for it to be passed, though, is if enough people spread the word, sign the petition, and let their senators know that something has to change.

So I ask you to PLEASE sign the petition. You don't have to know a thing about adoption... just sign your name and spread the word. It's very simple, I promise!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy 3rd birthday, my littlest princess!

Today, our itty bitty princess turned THREE! I can hardly believe that my baby sister is three years old!

She has been so anxious for this day for MONTHS! I think it was everything she could've imagined... she had a smile on her face from the time she woke up until she went to bed.

The morning started with birthday donoughts, which was a huge hit for Miss Kate! Dad then took the girls to the park for a bit, while Mom and I baked her cake. Mom took Kate to Chi*ck*fila (Kate's FAVORITE!) for lunch, while Dad was at the pool with AC, and then the girlies had naps. Kate had decided on Chuck*echeeses for dinner, so we headed there after naps... I don't think we will ever go there on a Saturday night again. But, the main thing is that Kate had an absolute BLAST riding all the rides, eating pizza, and just having a day all about HER! (and of course, AC was THRILLED that her sister picked Chuck*echeeses!)

Drew came home to celebrate some more with presents and cake~ chocolate with purple icing and sprinkles. Kate was so happy to blow out her THREE birthday candles, and she had quite a few presents to open. AnnaClaire and I got her a kid (but real!) digital camera, and she got a cute little cupcake baking set, a puzzle, and a book from Mom and Dad, a doll from her friend, Mia, a quilt for her big girl bed from her grandmas, and toys, stickers, and games from her aunts and uncles. She was so excited about all of her presents and enjoyed trying them all out before bed.

I think it's safe to say that our girl had the best 3rd birthday ever! She was loving every minute of her day... I think her smile can give that away.

And of course, the day did not pass without me thinking of the woman who chose life three years ago today... For her decision, I will always be thankful. I can only pray that she has peace and knows that the little girl she gave birth to is cherished beyond belief and loved more than anything.

Happy birthday, my sweet Katie Cakes! I love you so so much and had so much fun celebrating with you! I can't believe you are THREE now!