Saturday, October 31, 2009

Football and FedEx

Our dossier is finally on its way to China.
I love that we can track it online via Fed Ex tracking system.
So, this morning of course, I tracked it again.
It is interesting to see where all it goes before the final destination.
It has gone from Virginia and is now in Alaska.
Can't wait til I get that Log in Date to know it is really moving along!
We prayed all along that our trip to China would come after Brandon's final season of football, but little did we know that it wouldn't come until some time next year.
We know that God has the perfect date in mind and we will TRY to be patient until that time.

Last night we had a great football game and experienced our next win of the season for our final away game of the regular season. There was lots of excitement and cheers as the final seconds of the clock ticked down. Brandon made an awesome catch near the end zone and allowed the ball to be carried for a touchdown shortly before we won 31-24.(This picture is not from last night, but one of my favorite action shots of my remarkable #21)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Breathing a sigh of relief!

After many months of enduring the long and often frustrating paper trail, I was finally able to mail our dossier to the AWAA office today! I sent it next day mail so it should arrive in the Virginia office before noon tomorrow. Please pray with me that I remembered everything and all of this can be sent to China on Friday. I just hope I dotted all of my i's and crossed all of my t's! As I've been asked many times, "Now what?" Well, once our dossier arrives in China we will get our LID(log in date) and then we will continue to wait for our RA(referral acceptance). This generally takes many months unfortunately. However, we pray it will come quickly. I only wish it would come as fast as the lady at the post office said today when she said, "maybe you will have your little girl by Christmas." Wow, that would be nice, but in reality we are expecting sometime in the Spring. God certainly has a way of helping us learn a lesson in patience doesn't He?

And now, a few pictures of the incredible 10th birthday cake made especially with love by our dear friend, Rebecca.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our God directed adoption story...

Happy Birthday, Princess!
(Roasting marshmallows by the campfire tonight.)

In honor of Tia's birthday today, I want to share with you how God blessed our family 10 years ago. This story really starts about 18 years ago, and I am blown away just realizing it was that long ago. I hope you will relax and enjoy the story of how God has been working to change all of our lives in the past ten years. It is an amazing story that could have only been orchestrated by the Lord.

When I was just about to deliver my youngest son, Brandon, August 7, 1991, I became extremely ill. Through a series of tests and visits to the hospital it was determined that I was dealing with a serious blood disease called HELLP syndrome. My doctor quickly informed me that I would most likely not live to birth other children and it was in my best interest to make certain I never became pregnant again. Consequently, we made sure this could not happen. After a few days of extreme pain(worse than any labor I ever experienced), and no relief, I was quickly rushed into the ER to have an emergency C-section. My blood was not clotting and the doctors did not know whether I would live through the night. Praise God I did and I delivered a beautiful baby boy. After heavy sedation, I finally got to see him a few days later. At this time, we realized that his being delivered early had not given his lungs an adequate time to develop and he was dealing with sleep apnea. He stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks and on a breathing monitor for 8 months before we were comfortable with taking him off.

In the eight years that followed, we were in love with our three boys and they kept us very busy! That's a whole other story! However, God left a hole in our hearts for a little girl. Due to the fact that we could not have more children, I prayed that God would take this longing away or else He would somehow give us our little girl. We had discussed adoption, but always said it was too expensive so we didn't pursue it. Finally, in 1998 we went to an informational meeting for foster/adoptive parents. We had planned to go to the second meeting in early 1999 when David fell and broke his back(also another story). Consequently, we did not go and did not think anymore about it for awhile. That is until the summer, when he was still off of work and we had a little extra time. We decided we might want to adopt, but we really weren't sure, so we would get licensed to foster/adopt and let God decide.

Then in September of 1999 we became licensed as foster parents in our area. We requested a little girl ages 0-5. I remember the phone call like yesterday, when the worker called to ask if we would take our little girl to foster. I quickly called David and he said to bring her on. Now we had no idea what we were getting into due to issues she experienced prior to birth, but we would love her for a little while until she could go back to her birth mom or whatever the workers decided.

After a year of the entire family and many friends caring for and loving "our" daughter, it was determined that we could finally adopt her. This only happened after a long year and much prayer! Praise God, because I think they would have had to admit me for psychological help if not! Now, ten years later we are still loving her every minute as she has brought abundant joy into our lives. We joyfully adopted her on National Adoption Day, November 18, 2000 during a wonderful celebration at the courthouse with all of our family. (Someday, when I get a scanner, I will share those precious pictures, but that was prior to my digital camera.)

During our wait God gave me this promise and He has been so faithful in keeping His promises since that time:

Isaiah 46:3-4

"Listen to me.....
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Could a little girl be surrounded by any more love and craziness?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes...

Teaching 85 sixth graders and having children of my own always give opportunity for a good laugh. Here are just a few statements I've heard lately that are certainly worthy of being remembered. No names are mentioned to protect the innocent and my job!

"My mom thought she was ready to have her baby because she started having 'convulsions.'"

"My mom will be having her baby next week. The doctor is going to euthanize her!" (I quickly reminded this darling student what this word meant and we both got a great laugh.)

When our morning started off crazy I heard, "This is chanos!"(I believe that should be chaos, but whatever, it was crazy!)

Busy, Blessed Weekend

Last weekend was so busy, but such a blessing to share with friends and family. Starting Thursday night we drove 1.5 hours to play football, and experienced our first win of the season. It was so exciting! We decided we really don't want our boys to graduate because we know as parents we will miss the great times we spend with one another cheering our guys on.

Friday, I was so blessed to spend time with a few friends, Rebecca, Jane, Wendy, and Judy that truly love the Lord with a passion. We ate a wonderful, high calorie dinner topped off with some luscious coconut cream pie and had the blessing of sharing our hearts and prayer concerns until 2 am at the beautiful Embassy Suites. If It is true that "Laughter does a heart good like a medicine, " (and God's word IS true!) then we certainly took a huge dose of medicine!

Saturday, after a wonderful cooked to order breakfast, we drove to an amazing display of the Lord's Supper in Fort Worth, Texas. (Thanks, Mom, for telling us about this!) If you get the opportunity to see this, please do. There was an audio description that told about each disciple and each one had such a real looking face. It was simply beautiful!Finally, Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to visit with friends from high school at my 25th reunion. So despite being exhausted I had a fantastic weekend visiting with friends and socializing - one of my favorite things to do!

Monday, October 12, 2009

He's in the small stuff

As the little book says, "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff." Sometimes that small stuff seems mighty big. Right now something that sure seems like small stuff caused another delay in our adoption journey. One thing I know for sure is that God knows exactly what day we will travel and He is working all of this out in His time. Last Friday, I got our envelope back from the Chinese Consulate and was so excited; that is, until I opened it and realized it had been returned to us for the second time due to a small little detail. There was a date that didn't match exactly and it had to be corrected. Frustrating again, but we corrected it and got it in the mail. I am hoping and praying it comes back to us for the FINAL time this week!

Ok, I need a few scripture reminders to cling to on this journey about how He sees every little detail. Send them to me sweet bloggy friends.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


just for the record....
I have officially lost my marbles!

Tia and I have been playing the game Kerplunk and I lost yet again!
It has been a nice relaxing, fall weekend and a fun time to watch a movie, play games and nap!

Yesterday, I really felt like I had lost all my marbles when this
precious 80 lb., muscular baby of mine,
slammed into me full force and
knocked me flat of the ground.

I wasn't a very good sport as I lay flat on the rocks crying! Lesson of the day for my husband- Never throw the ball for the dog when your wife is standing between you two!
Well, he apologized a million times and I only have a few bruises.

Update on our adoption:

After we got our fingerprint paperwork and I -797, back I sent it to the
Sec. of State and then to the Chinese Consulate two weeks ago.
Last Monday, I was so excited to get it back! That is until I realized they were sending it back to inform me that I hadn't included something.
Details, Details!
I had forgotten to enclose a photocopy and had only included $20 instead of $25. I got this back in the mail to them on Wednesday
and hope it will come back to me this week.
Our dossier has been complete for months except for this paperwork
and we are so ready to send it to China.

Hopefully that will happen soon!
Yes, we know God's timing is perfect, but it is hard knowing you have a
little girl waiting on the other side of the world while we wait on paperwork. I'm just glad she doesn't know she is waiting, since that would be so hard on a 3 year old!
Please pray with us that God will be in the details so we can bring her home soon!

(I hope you like the new style. My daughter had been trying to get me to change it for quite some time, because She didn't like the other one, so this was her choice. Please feel free to leave comments and let her know what you think.)