Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple Picking

THIS is AnnaClaire apple picking in September of '07. She wasn't even two yet... and she's oh so little...

That was two years ago at the same apple orchard that Mom and Mrs. Tracey took the girls to yesterday!

That was on a cold, rainy mountain day... during the year that we had an early freeze which froze all the apple blossoms... so there were no apples to pick at the orchard!

That was when there was no Kate in our family yet... in fact, we were in the midst of the paperchase for HER on that day.

That was when we didn't know Mia... or Mrs. Tracey... in fact, I think they might've been in China on that day.

That seems so long ago...

But back to yesterday... I wasn't there (school), so the pictures are probably a better judge than I am. Mom and the girlies did come home bearing 3 big bags of apples, a pack of apple cider donuts, a gallon of apple cider, big smiles, and lots of stories.

So... I think it's safe to say that apple picking was a hit :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

11 Months Ago...

Our tiniest little princess became... OURS! What an eleven months it has been. We watched her gotcha video the other night and I felt the same way that I mentioned last night about watching AC's video. Eleven months ago, we were handed a screaming toddler, a toddler whose world was falling apart right then and there. Everything she knew was gone. Everyone she knew was gone. She was all of a sudden surrounded by 4 grown Americans, who looked nothing like her and spoke in words she didn't understand, as well as a little Chinese girl who SO wanted to love on her, but also didn't speak her language. Her world shattered and her hurt was so very obvious. She was shut down. She wouldn't say a word. She just stared at us with this glazed over look. She wouldn't eat. She would shaker her head if anyone offered to hold her. I look back at the past 11 months and I stand amazed at what God has done in her little life. He has repaired her broken heart. He has allowed her to trust us as her FAMILY. He has allowed her to accept our love and love in return. He has worked a miracle in her sweet little life. I watched her today, running around in her Snow*White outfit, dancing with her sister, who she initially had such trouble learning to love, laughing, smiling, jumping... Praise God for the MIRACLE of adoption! Praise God for our sweet Kate and the 11 months that she has been a part of our family!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Like Hannah

the above pictures were all taken on December 11, 2006... AnnaClaire's forever family day!

After school today, I was talking to AnnaClaire and I said to her, "What would I do if I didn't have my Anna-booie?" She looked right at me and in her adorable, almost-four-year-old voice, said, "You would cry and then you would pray to God... just like Hannah did!" I looked at her and I couldn't even find the words to say back to her.

I thought back to those years ago when we stepped out in FAITH, praying for a baby girl... And how the following verse became so near to my heart: "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him." (1 Samuel 1:27) Nearly 4 years after that initial calling, here my precious little sister is, telling me, in her own words, about this verse that defined her adoption.

First of all, I want to say... she never stops amazing me. The things she understands at her young age... The other day, she was telling me about how Jesus is going to come back and bring everyone to Heaven to live with Him and to see grandpa! Then today's Hannah and Samuel recap... she is truly a special child.

And I look at her young understanding of Jesus and all I can think is... she might've never known Him and His love of her. She could've been at an orphanage in China, still, about to celebrate her 4th birthday, alone. She might've never known the absolute adoration that her Heavenly Father has of her.

But that's not all... We could've missed this. We could've missed out on the most amazing, miraculous experience that I have experienced... the MIRACLE of adoption. I might've missed seeing the face of Jesus through these girls, who were once orphans, and are now completely and full of LIFE and LOVE and JESUS.

As she said these few words to me, I couldn't help but think back to that day, almost 3 years ago, when she was placed in our arms. We were watching her gotcha video the other day, and I just gazed in amazement of what God has done in her life since the day that we recived her. How He has worked and healed her young little heart. How he has given her JOY, HOPE, and a new life! How He has continuously shown that HE is in charge and that HE loves and that HE repairs the broken hearted!

There is no doubt in my mind that God perfectly planned her life long before she was born. There was no mistake in her birth and her adoption. She was born to be a part of our family and to witness to people all around us how MIRACULOUS our God is.
We could've missed this.

Yet, God heard our cries... and He answered our prayers. And it's all because of HIM that I have my sweet Anna-booie. And my beautiful Katie Cakers, too.

And so I ask you... what are YOU missing out on? I think that most people who read my blog have adopted/are adopting. But maybe you have had adoption on your mind for years... or months... or days... and something is holding you back. I am here to tell you, that if HE is calling you, GO. It's a long, draining process. It's not for everyone. But as a sister to two (almost three!) little ones adopted from China, I am here to say that if you just trust Him, He will show that He is faithful. He will take care of all your worries and roadblocks. And I promise... He will change your life through the miracle of adoption.

We could've missed this.

Praise JESUS that we did not.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We FINALLY have a paperchase update! After what seems like an endless homestudy process (after we paid an expediation fee, too!) our completed homestudy FINALLY came today and we were FINALLY able to file for our i800! Please pray with us for that to come soon... after we get it, we just need to authenticate everything... and then we'll be DTC!!!

So, pray, pray, pray! We have a precious little boy needing his family!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This Is Sisterly Love

Today, AnnaClaire excitedly helped prepare Kate's bottle. She brought it up, begging if she could give it to Kate... of course we said yes!

I watched with tears in my eyes as AnnaClaire held the bottle, gazing down at her baby sister, whispering, "I love you so much, Katie Cakes!"

If that doesn't melt your heart... I don't know what will.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guess where we went today?!

Mom and Dad are up at Bay*lor for parent's weekend, so Aunt D and Aunt L came here to help me out with the little girlies! :) I didn't have school today, so we headed to Chucke*Cheese's for the girls' first time EVER. They see the commercials on P*B*S* and have been begging to go for months. When Mom and Dad booked their flights to Wa*co, and we asked the aunts to come in, the first thing AC did was ask them if they'd take her and Kate to Chucke*Cheese's. Kate was a little unsure at first, but after eating (an entire piece of pizza, might I add... unheard of for her!) she loved it! AnnaClaire was in heaven from the minute we stepped in the building. We spent a good two hours there, won enough tickets to get a blow up microphone for each girl, had a very good lunch (Chucke*Cheese has good pizza!), rode lots of fun rides, etc. AnnaClaire is begging to go back tomorrow... It was a hit :)
But that wasn't it for today... tonight, sweet Sara Beth finally came home from China! AC and Kate made signs for her and we were all so, so excited to be able to welcome her home... what a beautiful little girl and what an INCREDIBLE moment... one that had everyone there in tears. I can't wait to share some pictures from her homecoming, but I'll let her mama do that first, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/01... never forget

I think the picture says the rest...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Doesn't Qualify as Wordless... But...

Chickfila on Labor day was dress up in any sports team gear and get a free chicken sandwich day! Anyone else do it?!

We decided to represent Bay*lor for Will... sic em bears! (The girls are showing you how to "sic 'em" in the last few pictures :))

Butttt. That doesn't mean we're any less of Tex*as fans!