Sorry for leaving y'all wondering about us for the past couple of months! I figured y'all deserve a little update on the happenings of our family, so here you go! Sorry it's SO long in coming!!
First up-- ELLIE! All our stuff has been super delayed because our entire dossier was lost, and so we are having to do the re-use process, but we are working on getting her home as soon as possible! Still waiting for LOA, unfortunately. The whole process has been extremely frustrating considering we sent LOI back in May and were already through review, but trusting God in HIS perfect timing! Our agency did tell us yesterday that we should have it in at least 2-4 weeks. Not soon enough, but at least a light at the end of the tunnel! But here are some updated pictures of our girl... isn't she ADORABLE?!?! The last 2 are from back in August and the first 4 we were sent yesterday from our agency! Our baby girl is now 17 months old and has 16 teeth and weighs 22 pounds! Can't wait for her to be a part of our FAM! Never thought we'd still be waiting... As for the family, everyone is doing well!!! I was home at the end of Sept. for homecoming and it was SO good seeing everyone! AnnaClaire is doing soccer, Kate is loving dance, Grace is swimming, and Charlie just got his leg braces off so that is good news! They are all doing great with homeschool stuff and I'm sure keeping Mom very busy! I miss seeing their precious little faces daily, so it was good getting some time, although it went by much too fast! They're coming down this weekend and I'm so excited to show the littles off to all my friends and show them all around AU! AnnaClaire turns SIX tomorrow, which is just crazy! My babies are growing up without me!! They are all doing so great though!
Dad sent me all of these yesterday... they are from trips to the apple farm and pumpkin patch! I know they are all enjoying and embracing fall back at home! I may be biased, but I have the cutest siblings in the world :) Yesterday was Kate's THIRD gotcha day!!! I can't even believe it's been 3 years since this precious little girl joined our family and changed my life! I remember it like it was yesterday... the screams, the tears, the heartbreak, the resistance, and the somber little 19 month old that slowly broke down her walls and let us in... and that same little princess is now 4 and a half and so full of JOY and LIFE no matter how small she may be! I love her more than words could ever describe and am so thankful that I have the absolute blessing of being called her big sister! I so wish I could've been there to celebrate her special day but am thankful to at least have some pictures to remind me of how thankful I am for HER and that God chose HER to be a part of our family!
My PRECIOUS roommate!
As for me, I am LOVING Auburn! I cannot imagine being anywhere else in the world! God has blessed me ABUNDANTLY here and I am so thankful! I have an incredible roommate who has become one of my very best friends and precious girls that I have met in my dorm and become very good friends with! I am in a sorority and loving that! It's so much fun though and a great group of girls! I'm definitely staying busy between balancing all of the social stuff and schoolwork, but getting used to the balance! I'm going to a Church that I love and hope to become more and more involved in. And of course football is great. Even though we aren't having the best season, it's still been so fun to watch and I've gotten to visit some of my friends at other schools for our away games, which is SO fun! I've seriously had such an amazing adjustment here and just love college life! Obviously not every moment is easy and there are definite lonely times and times when I wish I could just be home for a little (my own space, home cooked meals, my family, my friends from home, being familiar with everything and everyone would be nice... you know, those typical things that everyone misses!) However, I am extremely blessed and ADORE Auburn! My friends and I are always going on walks and we just stop in amazement that THIS is our school!
So that's about all I can think of for now. Sorry I just left you all hanging for so long and come back with such a long post!!! I've missed blogging and having a record of everything going on in our lives! I'm going to try and teach Mom how to blog so she can pick it up and keep y'all updated, especially as we get closer to completing our family!!
We're 2 months into the LOA wait, while also working on renewing our i800a! We were fingerprinted last week, so we are getting there! We are ready to bring home our sweet girl! Every night at dinner, AnnaClaire and Kate alternate praying. And every night, the prayer goes something like this,
"Dear God, thank you for this food and our family. Please watch over Ellie as she waits in China. Please don't let her cry when Mommy and Daddy fly on the big airplane to China and she goes into their arms. Please keep her safe. In Jesus name I pray, amen."
Needless to say, they are very excited.
All three girls really are. They talk about her all the time. They tell people about her. They have her pictures in their rooms.
I don't know if Charlie quite gets it. :)
Just look at this sweet girl...
What's not to love?!
Sorry I've been MIA for so long. I just got back from a missions trip to Costa Rica (which was AMAZING!!!!) and have been so very busy with getting ready for college and trying to enjoy every last moment of my summer before I go! I leave on SATURDAY... a week from today. Which is just crazy!!! But we're having a great summer! Lots of time has been spent at the pool and swimming beach, and Mom has been loving doing Ellie shopping, too! Hopefully it won't be too much longer...
On Saturday, the the day was spent back at the mountains! The mountains are always a hit with our crew and thankfully, they are not too far away! When they were leaving, they saw a flier for fireworks so stopped by and had a nice firework show before coming home! Good thing, because we had a huge storm on the 4th (power went out and everything...) so there were no fireworks until late! On the 4th, the whole afternoon was spent at the pool. Charlie is becoming quite the swimmer, which exciting! He used to be incredibly fearful of the water and would just latch himself on to people in it, but not he is putting his face under and swimming for rings! I'm so proud of my boy! Gracie has been in swim lessons the past 2 weeks and is really getting her strokes down! A ton of time is spent at the pool, so it's good that they are starting to swim so much! They really are quite the fish and all 4 absolutely love going to the pool! The kids and Dad worked on making ice cream (that ended up more like milkshakes!) and after dinner, we all had that. It was delicious! So the 4th was a very fun day for all :)
Just posted a bunch of pics below, too, so make sure to scroll :)