Saturday, February 25, 2012

Please read this-

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I have so much on my heart today and I just need to get it all out.

First of all, I'm praying for a certain mountain to be moved out of our way so we can continue to move through this process and get our daughter home as quickly as possible.

I'm praying for Lillian to receive the care she needs and deserves while she waits and for her caregivers to prepare her so that her transition is gentle on her sweet little spirit. 

I'm also praying for a certain family member as she struggles with some big things.

My friend who is missing her daughter who passed away almost 2 years ago. I know the pain does not get easier as time moves on, so I am praying for peace for her and her family as they face significant dates.

I am praying that somehow, some way we will begin to see a change in the amount of children left in the care of orphanages. Living in even the best institution is no life for a child. Every child needs a family. Every single one of them. On Facebook, I am a fan of several advocacy organizations. The amount of prayer requests for sick newborns, or children wasting away in laying rooms in overcrowded orphanages is overwhelming. No, I will not "unllike" these pages to shield myself from this sorrow. My sadness is NOTHING compared to what they live daily. I will not hide them away.

I am praying for us to find a way to continue to fund our adoption expenses. We are good for now, but will need so much more as we move forward.

I am praying for my own personal struggle as I grieve the loss of some very expensive, very sentimental material things. My head says this is not important, but my heart is broken.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We miss her

I never knew it was possible to miss a person you've never met, but that is exactly how I feel this morning. I feel uneasy. If you are a parent who has ever left your kids overnight, you know this feeling. It's that slightly stressed, slightly worried, pit in the stomach feeling that sticks with you until you have all of your kids near you again. Something is missing and we can definitely feel it in our house.

Once again, I am asking for prayers. We have a few small obstacles that could delay the adoption and I'm asking you to please pray for these obstacles to be removed so that we can bring our girl home quickly.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Obviously I've been thinking lots about our little one in China. We've almost decided on a name for her. I've ordered her homeschool supplies. Although I haven't done this with any of my other kids, we'll be using the Montessori approach with her and with Benjamin during preschool and Kindergarten. When she gets here, she'll be just past her 4th birthday, but according to adoption experts we can expect a 1 month delay for every 3 months she is in "less than optimal care." This means we are prepared for her to be more like a 2 year old than a 4 year old when she comes home, although to be honest I don't think she'll be that delayed. I don't know why I think this but I do.

We got our referral papers today and are still waiting for all of the background checks and new reference letters to find their way back to the home study agency. After that the agency will copy everything and send it all to our social worker who will take care of the rest. To say I'm nervous about this is an understatement.

Meanwhile, while we wait for all of these things to fall into place, I find myself leaning on God more than ever before. I don't think I could get through this without the constant reminders that He is in control of this entire process and that He loves our children even more than we do.

If you are reading this, please pray for our little one in China and for our family here in the US. Pray that all hurdles will be removed, and that we can get there quickly. We want our family to be together under one roof as quickly as possible. Pray that Mike and I will do and say all the right things at the right times so that we find favor with all who have control over this situation. Pray that this process will bring every member of our family closer to God.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My boys have moves!

Last night, my kids participated participated in a fundraiser for their homeschool co op. The last performance of the evening was a performance by all of the 1st -4th graders and somehow my son and his best friend Samuel ended up in the front of the group. Not only did these boys wow us with their awesome moves, but Nicholas proved to us that he CAN do the hand motions without looking at his teachers who were coaching from the front row. The result was hilarious.

After uploading the above video to Youtube, I remembered this little gem that Benjamin gave us last year-

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jewelry Sale and Thirty-0ne Online Party!

Earlier today I updated the blog with a list of all of our expenses to bring our daughter home. Looking at what we have in our adoption fund compared to what we owe, I became very overwhelmed. I was scared. I know we can go into debt for this adoption and we will if we have to, but to be honest it would really be a burden on us to borrow that much money, so we are trying to find ways to pay for adoption expenses as they come up.

After I had a minor panic attack about money, a friend told me she wanted to do a fundraiser for us. She is a Thirty-One consultant and offered to give me part of her commission if we do an online party. She was nice enough to set up the event today, so please take a look. 

Thirty One Party

Also, my mom and I have been making jewelry to raise some of the funds we need to our sweet girl home. Here are a few of the items we have for sale. Necklaces are $20, bracelets are $15, and earrings are $10. Shipping is included. If you'd like something, please post in the comments here to let me know, and post your email address. Comments are moderated. For your privacy, I will not publish the comments, but I will see it and send you a paypal invoice. These pieces are already made and will ship the next day, so it is not too late to order for Valentine's Day. More items can be seen in this facebook photo album. It is public so you should be able to see it. If you are reading this and are not a friend on Facebook and cannot see the album, will you please let me know?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our newest Daughter!

We finally received word from our agency that China has pre-approved us to adopt our daughter! I'm not sure how much I can say, moving from the secretive world of EE to the very different adoption program in china has me second guessing everything I say or do, but I will you a little. She is 3 years old, only a few months younger than Ben. She will be 4 by the time we travel. We are so in love with her already and cannot wait to bring her home! She has been waiting a long time, and we are working as fast as we can to get all of our documents where they need to be, but it still could be as late as December. Please pray for short waits on each step of the process!

Here she is! I am so happy I am in tears! I am  on my way out the door but I had to make an announcement. None of this probably make sense because I'm typing so fast, but I'll come back and edit later. I just could not wait another minute.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I honestly thought by now that our home study would be over. I thought we'd be able to start working on our dossier this week to get ready to send to our child's country.

Boy, was I wrong!

So many things have changed for us since we first decided to adopt. The biggest change of all was that we have switched countries and this change has placed more requirements on our home study. Before, we only needed background checks in our current state of residence. Now, we need background checks for every state in which we have lived since age 18.  Also our reference letters are no longer valid. We need our references to write new letters with more specific information.

So, now that we are waiting on these reference letters and background checks to arrive, we are at a stand still. Had we not switched countries, we'd probably be in the very final stages of the home study process.

In addition to the added requirements for our home study, additional steps have been added to the adoption process. I'll spare the details but to make a long story short after the home study is finished, we can apply for immigration approval to adopt. This will take a month or two, maybe more. After that, we can mail our dossier to our child's country. I have heard that from the time our dossier is logged into their system, we can expect to travel in about 6-9 months.

In EE where we originally planned to adopt, once you send your dossier, you simply wait for the invitation to travel and then in most cases you travel within a few weeks.

These added steps have pushed back our expected travel date several months. 

Meanwhile, a certain little one waits for us. We've learned from our adoption education classes that for every 3 months she is in institutionalized care, she will be delayed 1 month. She's been in the orphanage for a very long time and we really just need to get her home. She does not deserve to spend one day without a family and so far it has been years.

I worry and pray for her every day. I miss her even though I've never met her. I am desperate for her to get home so we can begin to help her precious little heart heal and teach her what it really means to be loved by a family.

 This process is so fragile, so costly and so stressful. Please pray for us. Pray that things move quickly so that we can get her home as soon as possible. 
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