Sunday, September 30, 2012

Birthday Girl

Today we celebrated Anna's birthday with family and friends.  She is all about horses and American Girl Doll right now.  Since she has the Kit doll, that is, of course her favorite.  Here are some pictures from her day.

Love these girls and their dolls!

Some Power Rangers joined the party!

She got the sweetest horse comforter set and suitcase from my sister.
Sweet girls!

Kit Cake!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Wrap Up

As September comes to a close I am reflecting back at all we did this month that I have not yet documented with pictures.  They're all from my phone, so not very good...

Earlier in the month we went to a local mega church for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.  It was really good.  Started with the old manuscripts, through the history of the different versions of the Bible and its importance in value throughout the generations.
Book of Isaiah

We also went with our homeschool group to the local apple tree farm to get a "life on the farm" presentation.  The kids were able to hold baby chicks and bunnies, pick apples and see and feed the other farm animals.  It's a cute little farm that was perfect for our group!

Dan loves tractors!

Anna loves bunnies, but is allergic to them.  She knew it, but REALLY wanted to hold the bunny.  She broke out in a rash after this picture. : (

He was so gentle with that baby chick!
Earlier this week, I took Anna and Kate and their friend, Emma, to the American Girl Doll store.  Anna wanted to get her doll's ears pierced for her birthday.  We then had a nice lunch at The Cheesecake F*ctory.  It was a fun, girly day!
The girls with their dolls!

Anna and Kit (with newly pierced ears!)

Oreo Cheesecake!  It was gooood!
Today is my sweet Anna's birthday.  Tomorrow we will celebrate with family and friends.  I hope to take lots of pictures and post next week.

On the adoption front, we will hear no news this week since all government offices are closed in Ch*na for the National Holiday.  We should be officially waiting for Travel Approval (TA) the week of October 8th.  I've seen TA's coming pretty quickly lately.  If that continues for us, we should travel early November.  It's still all so surreal for me.  I'm buying clothes for Isabel, bought her a car seat and even got her a Christmas present.  But... it's just not real, yet.  Any adoptive parents know what I mean?  I have a daughter half-way around the world... that boggles the mind.  I have a daughter and she doesn't even know it and she's surely not going to be all that thrilled about it in the beginning.  I would appreciate prayers for our daughter's heart; that in some way she will know in her heart that we are her family; that this will not be too traumatic for her and that she will have some peace.  We love our little girl and cannot wait for her to finally be home!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Some Randomness

Last week and this week has just flown by!  I can't exactly say why.  So many random events, decisions, emotions and progress in our adoption:
  • After struggling with the decision as to how to make Classical Conversations work for our homeschool given the impending life change, we decided that we just couldn't do it at this time.  We went round and round and in the end we had to admit that it would be just too much for our family.  I am saddened because both Jim and I really like the program, but I am also at peace knowing it's the right decision.  Maybe next year...
  • I sent a 2nd care package to Isabel and forgot to take a picture of it! : (  I sent gifts for her foster mom and dad and candies for the family.  I sent Isabel a soft-sided photo book with pictures of each of us.  Hopefully, that will be something she'll look at often and maybe there will be some recognition when she sees us in a few weeks.
  • Our paperwork was dropped off at the US Consulate in Guangzhou on Wednesday.  Normally, it would be ready to be picked up 2 weeks later.  Unfortunately, that's the week of the Ch*nese National Holiday and all government offices are closed the week of October 1st.  So, then I was thinking it would be picked up Monday, October 8th, but the consulate is closed for Columbus Day!!  Are you kidding me?!?  Well, what can you do but wait... and wait... and wait...
  • I've started running again.  It's been a gradual progress since Nate turned 1 this past spring.  It's primarily on the treadmill since... well... I have 5 children and I homeschool!  Getting out of the house to go for a run just isn't happening right now.  So, the treadmill and I have been good friends lately and it's a good thing because...
  • I am a wound-up, tied-up-in-a-knot, stressed-out ball of emotions right now and if I don't go on the treadmill frequently and run it off, I'm gonna blow!
  • I'm loving buying little girl clothes again.  However, it's frustrating not knowing what will really fit her.  I have her measurements and weight but won't know for sure until I have that sweet little girl in my arms.  I've been trying a few things on Nate to get an idea, which has been quite humorous!  But he's got 10 pounds on her... and he's only 6 wks older than her.  Yes, he's a tank!  So, not a great comparison.
  • Jim and I have been setting more time lately to get away for lunch or dinner knowing that after November it's going to get very busy around here.  Also, we should not leave Isabel with babysitters for a while, so we're making a point of strengthening our marriage through time alone now.
  • November still seems so far away, but I know it'll be here soon.
Just some randomness on a Friday evening!  : )

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I800 Approval!!

Yay!!  Just found out that our I800 paperwork was approved on Monday!  Only a few more steps separating us from our little girl!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now

Other than updates on my Isabel, of course!!  : )

Jesus, you're the one who save us.  
Constantly creates us into something new.


When death dies all things live.

Loving the music and especially the lyrics.  Really relating to the lyrics right now as it is speaking to my soul.  This faith walk has been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  It's been a long walk, full of so many ups and downs.  When I think of holding Isabel in my arms I burst into tears... even when I'm running!  That girl and our God just has me so emotional these days!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Isabel Update ~ Memorial Box Monday

If you're not already familiar with Memorial Box Mondays, click here.  This is very recent, but one that needs to be documented in the story of Isabel's life, this adoption process and God's hand in the detail of answered prayer.

When we received our Pre-Approval in June to adopt Isabel we were given the opportunity to take over her foster care sponsorship.  Our wonderful agency runs many charitable programs in Ch*na (specifically in the province where our daughter is from).  One of those programs is foster family sponsorship.  So, in June we took over paying for Isabel's foster care.  An added bonus is that we get quarterly updates with pictures.  It runs on a calendar quarter so I knew that we would have an update either later this month or early next month.  Despite that, I was praying earnestly last week that God would provide us something to carry us over until the sponsorship update came.  Well, look what God did!!

With this picture we also received an updated growth report, information on her health and development, foster family and daily schedule.  The report was dated last week!  He loves us!  Oh, how He loves us!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When You Need It

As we are getting closer to bringing Isabel home I have so many thoughts swirling through my mind...  

I am anxious for that first meeting and how Isabel will react.  

I am saddened knowing that her whole world as she knows it will be taken from her and she will surely grieve over the subsequent days and weeks.  

I am elated to finally hold her in my arms to hug her and kiss her and love her as only a mommy can.  

And, finally, I am nervous about the funds that are still needed to bring her home.  During one of my recent quite times with the Lord, I shared with Him what He already knew I was struggling with.  What if we don't raise all the money?  What CAN we do?  Not bringing Isabel home is not an option, so... what do we do God?  And as those thoughts were runny through my mind, a very loud, dominating voice came into my head, "You will have it when you need it."  But, we're so close God.  Again, "You will have it when you need it."  Ok, God.  I trust you.  Now, my head still struggles with what my heart knows from God's reassuring voice.  I still find myself racking my brain at how we can get those final funds, but then I repeat the words I heard so clearly...


Because God owns this adoption.  He has weaved an amazing story already in the ways He has timed paperwork, brought specialized doctors and turned hearts towards this amazing little girl.  He will continue to move hearts to give joyfully knowing they have a hand in bringing a child into a loving family.

Yes, God, we will have it when we need it and I thank you in advance that you allow us the privilege to witness your great works.