Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday little sister


Oh, how I would love to share the beautiful face behind this birthday cake!
Our precious little girl is behind this cake with a beautiful little smile celebrating her
fourth birthday.
Unfortunately, I am not allowed to share her picture until we get our RA(Referral Acceptance) from China stating that we have been accepted to adopt her and become her forever family.
I am praying that this important piece of paper comes in the next few weeks, although there is no way to no for sure.
No one ever said, though, that I couldn't share her cake. It is better than I expected, thanks to Ann at Red Threads.
Out of my four children, I haven't ever had one with a birthday so close to Christmas. Her birthday was two days after Christmas so we sent this care package. When I awoke this morning I had an email with 12 pictures of her birthday party at the orphanage. I was rather uncertain about spending the extra money for a care package right now at Christmastime and also as we are trying to save for our adoption, but chose to do this anyway. I am so glad I did! It makes this seem so much more real and allows me to continue to focus on what is really important throughout the headache of this adoption paperwork- A SWEET LITTLE GIRL THAT NEEDS A FAMILY. I never dreamed it could involve such a cumbersome paper trail and without the continual reminder of why we are doing this, it would be so easy to just give up.
When I see her sweet face and precious little fingers it makes all of this so worthwhile.
As I focused on each picture today(over and over again)I zoomed in to look at every little detail. She already is such a part of our family even though she lives on the other side of the world. She is beautiful and I look with anticipation toward the day in 2010 when she will celebrate every holiday with a family that has been planning for her for so long.
The following are just a few photos of the gifts she received for Christmas
(opened, courtesy of her big sister).
Every little girl needs a great big bow. These were made courtesy of Mimi.
I think these stickers will fit nicely in the bottom of a suitcase and provide lots of entertainment.
I wonder if it will be ok to celebrate Gotcha Day, which will hopefully be in the
early Spring, since her birthday is so close to Christmas.
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated on how to allow her to have a
special celebration without it becoming part of Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Memories

We have been making some magical memories the last couple of days!
The whole family dressed in our parkas at the Gaylord ICE display. An awesome sight.

This display is what Christmas is all about: A baby in a manger-
A miracle for each of us that will accept His love.

An extra treat for the family for a snowy day inside-definately not for those on a diet,
but it sure was good!

This is the view from my front porch today. A snowy day in Texas
doesn't come along often so we will enjoy it while it lasts.
An old rugged cross, such a simple message, that even a child can accept it! My prayer is that you will embrace HIS message this Christmas and allow
God's love....

to lead you wherever the road this next year may take you.So, from our family to yours:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The real picture

What a joy to get an email this morning from Ann at Red Threads with a photo of the care package we are sending our daughter. It just made it seem so real, that I actually have a little girl on the other side of the world waiting on us. Her birthday is just a few days after Christmas so we sent her a care package. The photo does not include the cake that will be delivered for her and the orphanage to share. I hope to be able to share that picture when it comes, but our adoption agency does not allow us to share photos until we have that next piece of paperwork - COME ON RA! Praying it comes soon!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holidays with the family

Early this morning I got a text from my hubby saying that our oldest son had finally gotten on a flight. Finally, that is, after spending 24 hours in the airport trying to fly home for Christmas. Oh, the life of stand by travel. Working for the airline certainly has its perks, and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it can also be a real headache. He was finally on the flight and even got to fly first class. Now I needed to hurry and get to the airport to pick him up.

In the process of hurrying to get ready, I completed ordering a care package to send to our little angel in China for her birthday. I can't wait to get new pictures of her and share them with all of you. I am still counting down to our RA(referral acceptance). Just in case you are wondering we are on Day 48 of this wait from our LID(log in date). Praying it comes soon, so we can start making travel plans.

This is the picture of the care package I sent from Red Threads China.

There is not much of anything better than a huge hug from one of your kiddos and when I got to the airport to get Justin he gave me the biggest hug ever. That does a momma's heart good!

Then it was on to do some final shopping during which I got a text from my youngest son. It said, "We have hope!" What was he talking about I wondered? Well, he was referring to the hope that he was given today that he might get his braces off before his senior pictures in March. Yeah! It really had me thinking though about the hope that we have and how sad it is for those that don't have the hope that we do. I am so glad that my hope comes from my heavenly Father and He renews my strength when I am weary.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Finally, this evening we had an incredible evening with all of our family at my grandmother's apartment. All 23 of our family members were able to be there. We had dinner together, shared gifts and laughed hysterically together. My cousin's husband actually told us that we were a comedy show of our own. Imagine that! You get a bunch of cousins together and that's just how things roll! I think we may have unsettled the nerves of a few of the elderly residents, especially when we needed ice during their bingo game. Oops! Sorry, but we were making memories!
All of the cousins finally in one picture. That doesn't happen often.
So glad we could all be together.

Then we were given a huge surprise for Christmas from my Nannie. I will keep you wondering what it was, but let's just say it took us all by surprise and was way above anything we ever expected. I can't wait to post a few pictures, but due to the fact that my camera is not working I will wait until I get pictures from my sisters. Ok, ladies, send those pictures soon!

Martha Stewart might cringe if she heard this but, my shopping isn't finished, there aren't any packages wrapped, I haven't baked a single thing and my house is a mess, but I have spent a wonderful day with my family and they are all home for the holidays.....It just doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Conversation of the Day!

I have had so many people kindly ask me lately when we are going to get our little girl. Oh, how I wish I had an answer. I just say, "When God says it's time." Well this morning was no different. After a wonderful Sunday School class, I was walking into church. A very kind, older gentleman stopped me and asked, "When are you going to get that girl?" I gave him the same answer as usual and said that we are anticipating sometime in the Spring. He then took me totally off guard when he proceeded to say, "Are you sure you really want to do that? You already have a beautiful family? I don't know why you would want to add another." I quickly told him, "Yes, sir! We are positive that is what God has called us to do." He seemed totally shocked that we would even think about adding another child to our family. I don't know if he meant this because of the number in our family or because of the fact that we are adding one more race to our family. I think I probably had to pick my teeth up off the floor as I quickly walked to my seat. When I told my husband what he said we both looked at each other in shock that someone would really say that. I know it isn't common for people to adopt from another race, but did God really call us to do the common thing? I don't think so. Was this my original plan? No! Is God's plan SO MUCH BETTER? You better believe it is! As I intently listened to the pastor's message, I heard God's words speaking to me. Here is what I heard, "God sent his son, Jesus, to Earth and He was humiliated for my sake that I might rejoice. If he cared enough to do that for me, then I ought to care for others." (Acts 8:26-40) Sounds like a message many of us needed to hear. Me especially, since such a conversation often causes us to ask ourselves, "Did God REALLY say that?" Thanks, Pastor, for confirming to me that Yes, He really did say, "Follow me."(Mark 1:17)

As I thought hard about this, I kept thinking about a blog post I read last week, from Amy, at Building the Blocks. She has such a wonderful way with words and I hope you will hop over to her blog and read what she says. She put my thoughts into such beautiful words. Thank you Amy!