Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Beautiful Spring

We have had some gorgeous days lately and we are loving every minute of it! Just thought I would update with some recent pictures of the girlies... I love this one :) Kate loves for AnnaClaire to push her on the trike... it's even better than pedaling!
Of course, she does love to pedal, too. She adores riding her trike "like a big girl!"
AnnaClaire picked her car thing to ride on our walk... she zoomed down the hill on it!
AC before Church on Sunday... I love this dress :)
And Cakers, too. This was one of my all time favorite dresses on AC and now it fits Kate! So cute:)
Dad helped the girls make bird feeders the other day...
And on Sunday, we hung them for the birdies... the girls are standing under their feeders!
And finally, Dad and I went to the Qua*il Hol*low Champ*ionship today (one of the perks of Dad's job... free tickets every year! This year the tickets were good for the "exe*cutive tent... free food all day long on the most beautiful hole of the course!) Anyway, AnnaClaire really wanted us to bring home a golf ball for her... she was SO excited! As soon as we got home and gave her and Kate the golf balls, she went and found her little golf clubs and wanted to play golf with Daddy!

Hope you all are having a beautiful spring, too!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Four and a half

I know a half birthday may not seem like anything to the average person. But when you are turning four and a half, it's a different story. A new age to tell all who ask... yes, it's a day that AnnaClaire has been looking forward to and now it is here! From now on, she is 4 1/2!
Oh, my beautiful AnnaClaire. My first baby sister. The little girl that has taught me so much in the 3.5 years that she has been a part of our family. She is simply beautiful on the inside and out. She is so spunky and loving. If it were up to her, she would snuggle in your lap all day long. She adores people and is oh so extroverted. She has literally never met a stranger. She has been since the day we met her. She wears us out with her constant talking, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
She has the sweetest heart and always looks out for those around her. She is an amazing big sister to Kate and Charlie, too, who she constantly prays for and talks about (and Grace, too!) She adores her bunny who, believe it or not, really did used to be pink. She loves with every ounce of her heart... she loves her "whole family" more than anything in the world... well, except for her "God and Jesus."
She is full of spirit and joy... she's always jumping and smiling. I think she has permenant marks in her cheeks from smiling so much. She is literally the most joyful little girl that I have ever met. She simply has the most beautiful personality... such a zest for LIFE!
She makes my heart happy and I can not even imagine life before this sweet little girl entered my world. I am forever greatful for the woman that chose life 4.5 years ago today... because through ashes, God has restored sweet AnnaClaire's life into something beautiful... and as much as some people hate the term "meant to be," I have no doubt that before the world even began, God planned this amazing little girl to be a part of my life... to be a part of my family... to grow up knowing His perfect love and that His mercies are new every morning.
Happy 4.5 birthday, my precious girl... because we can never run out of reasons to celebrate YOU! I love you to the moon and back... and so much more!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another step!

Our NVC letter came today! It wasn't in time to make the cut of being delivered to the Consulate today, but everything will be delivered on Thursday and our article 5 will be ready on May 13!!!! Moving along!!!! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A simple request for a family

Yesterday, I watched a video of a 12 year old girl asking for a family. It was taken earlier this month when our agency's assistant director visited some of the kids from their first camp ox last year. In the video, she is assuring this young girl that she is still doing all that she can to find her a family.

How do you watch that and not want to bring her home?

My heart aches. For the little girl and thousands of others who wait. For these kids who long for a family. She stated that she is so excited that many of her friends have been adopted, but she really wants a family, too.

Why are there so many families who come up with excuse after excuse of why they CAN'T adopt? How come there are thousands of families waiting... families who have been waiting YEARS to adopt... when children just like "Kristy" who have sat on a list for a year and still just have a simple request for a family. There are hundreds waiting on lists RIGHT NOW? Kids just like "Kristy" who long for a family.

I just look at these kids who are waiting and my heart burns... and I wish there was more I could do. But at 17, there's just not much. So I will be the voice of the orphans and I will not stop advocating for those who deserve so much more in life than being in an orphanage.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Moving right along! We are cabled as of today! Exact same point that we were cabled with Charlie... the day before the month mark since LOA. Not as fast as I would like... but at least things are moving. Now we are just praying that our NVC letter could make it here very quickly so that maybe, just maybe, our stuff could all get to GZ on Monday...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The pink dress...

Here's AnnaClaire on her first Easter. She was 17 months old and we saved the dress to hand down to "mei mei," as it was (and still is!!) a favorite of ours.

Little did we know that "mei mei" would wear the dress almost exatly 3 years later... at 37 months old! Yes, here's Kate last Sunday... wearing the dress that AnnaClaire fit into when she was 20 months younger!

She's our teeny tiny princess... but so full of love, spunk, and sweetness!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A step closer...

Well, slowly but surely we are moving along... Grace's I800 was approved today! Woohoo! It took exactly 3 weeks from being sent to being approved... too long in my opinion. However, we are celebrating being a step closer.. even if it is a very small step :)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All because of 4 little girls...

{Lainie, Lilly, AnnaClaire, and Mia}
There are 4 mommies who have become friends...
and daddies, too
and a joyous crew of kids who seemed like they have known eachother forever...
and 7 beautiful Chinese kiddos (with 4 more on the way!)
and some other big sisters, too
All because of 4 little girls who are the same age, and who lived in the same orphanage in China at the same time (We are fairly certain that Lilly, Lainie, and AnnaClaire actually all lived in the same room!!!) and now live in the same general area in the United States.

Yes, all because of them.

We met at the park with these families today, FINALLY. It's sad that it has taken this long to finally get all of these Chenzhou sisters together, but we finally did... and boy was it precious. It is just incredible to see the girls that knew eachother before they even knew their families. And now we get to see them together again. I just love the miracle of adoption. You go into it only thinking you will be blessed with a child... which of course, you are. But you also create lifelong friendships and bonds with some amazing families that you otherwise never would've known. Truly amazing.
Here's Kate and Ellie and Lilly's big sister, Shelby! (by the way, we are pretty excited, because Shelby's family received LOA for their newest addition on the same day that Grace's LOA came... how fun it would to see their sweet family in Guangzhou!!)
Mia, Kate, and AnnaClaire riding the whale

All the little girls LOVED playing with Mia B and Lainie's big brother, Trey!
Mia L. and AC running together
Precious memories with sweet friends
And of course, all of these growing families just had to check out our bus! I think all of the girls were ready for one of their own ;) Who knew having a 15 passenger van was so cool?

You can also read more about our day here: I love the way she put it... "I just love the fingerprints of God in this story. Who else could have orchestrated such a story? I sometimes take for granted how incredible it is that in all of the world, these girls from so, so far away wound up still being so close together after being adopted."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Catching up-- updated

First, the mountains on Saturday: (as always, you can click the collages to enlarge)

We had a beautiful day, and the rain even held off for us! We had a wonderful time just as a family... picnicing, seeing the animals, crossing the "Mi*le High Swing*ing Bri*dge, hiking trials, climbing rocks, watching the girls play at the park, and eating ice cream on a bench overlooking the main street of Blow*ing Ro*ck! Yes, it was a wonderful day! UPDATE: A few people asked about my arm in the mountain pictures, so I guess I should explain. I'm not really sure exactly what happened... we thought tendonitis. I had severe pain and could not move my arm, so I had it in a sling, which helped to keep it still and bent- the most comfortable position. It lasted a couple of days last week but it's all good now and there is no pain whatsoever!

Easter Sunday:

I think I've told you everything you could possibly want to know about our Easter... but since they are so stinkin' adorable... here's one more picture :) By the way, someone asked where we got their dresses... they were purchased at a friend of Mom's clothing show for Cast*les and Cro*wns!


We spent the morning down*town w ith Dad and Will, attempting to get Will a new phone before he went back to school and to have a nice lunch. It didn't happen exactly as planned, but it was still a fun day. Kate burst into tears when we dropped Will off at the airport... she loves her big brother!!!! Will, if you are reading this, the girlies are already ready for you to come back home! Oh and we, of course, bought our van!


We played at the park with the girlies' sweet friend Mia. I joined along this time, determined to get a good picture of these three sweeties. I posted my favorite in the last post, but here's 2 others (and a few other pictures.) The girls always love to get together with Mia, and Mom, of course, loves having a friend who shares her same "coke in a styrofoam cup" addiction.


We enjoyed another very warm day and the girls even got to have a little picnic outside! They also helped Mom wrap gifts and headed off to a 4th birthday party for twin boys from our Church! They had such a fun time... went to a park and got to meet a police officer and see inside the car! AnnaClaire now has a new found obsession with handcuffs. How did this prissy little thing become so in love with boy toys?!

And finally, today. Well there are no pictures from today. But, I did find a prom dress, so that was exciting :)

And there you have it... a catch up on what has been going on here for the last week!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One of "those" families

Because when you have a family of this size (picture drawn by Miss AC) you sort of need a bus.
And now we won't ever have to take two cars on our family trips again! (we went to the mountains on Saturday... pictures to come!)
Plus, we will still be able to go on trips with the girls' best friend, Mia, even after Charlie, Grace, and Mia's big sis, Emily are home! (more pictures coming from our day at the park this morning!)

And of course, we now have an excuse to put one of these on the back of our car ;) Not to mention the fact that we now have a bunch of extra space... you know... because we do have a dossier just sitting at the C2A2!

So yes, we have a new car. Or maybe bus would be a better word, as it is a 15 passenger. However, really, it is an 11 passenger, because in order to have cargo space, the back bench has to be taken out. And while we vowed we'd never get a white van, we are now the proud owners of a... white van! Let's just say that the price was right.
The girlies are very excited about their new ride. AnnaClaire is mostly excited that her WHOLE family can now fit in one car! Of course, there were some tears when she realized that HER "sa-bore-ban" wasn't coming home with us. Afterall, we have only had that car for 3 years (the above picture is her in front of it the day we bought it. She was 16 months old!) We have had some beloved memories in it. Yet... the side mirror was completely off the car, two seatbelts were broken, and the brakes were down to the metal, as the car was reaching 150,000 miles and was many years old. We simply didn't feel the need to put all the money into fixing a car that our family couldn't even fit in. So we said goodbye and drove off with our new bus, which I am sure will hold many, many memories!