Saturday, December 31, 2011

We Made It and Happy New Year!

After 24 hours of flying yesterday we finally made it to Guangzhou at 8:45p (China time). We were really looking forward to celebrating the New Year China style only to find out that they do NOTHING for New Year's Eve. Nothing...nada...zip!!! They only celebrate Chinese New Year which will be in a few weeks for them. So we were a little disappointed. We had hoped to see one spectacular fireworks show. But in the end it was ok because after we skyped the children at home it was 10:30pm and I was going to bed.

We actually slept very well last night. I made it to 5 am and Donny some how made it to 7 am. We have just been hanging around the room this morning. We are looking forward to celebrating New Year's with our kids in a little while. We are going to skype so we can all be together for the countdown. That's better than any fireworks display!

Our schedule is all out of whack since they changed the holiday days around, so we don't know what we will be doing on what day. We do know that we meet Makinley on January 4th, but the rest is still being determined. I think our guide said tomorrow we would be going to Shaiman Island to shop, but we still have not heard what time yet. When we know, I will post it. (My daughter likes to follow along and know what we are doing and when).
Hope you all have a wonderful New Year's!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Number of the Day is......


Tomorrow we will be on a plane to China!!

This will be my last post until I return after the 14th of January.

If you would like to follow our trip please click on the link below:


Thanks so much for your support and prayers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Update: Change of Plans

We just received word as to why our Gotcha Day was pushed back a day.  It seems that the Civil Affairs office decided not to reopen from the holiday until January 4th. 

Change of Plans

I just received our final itinerary at it seems that the day we meet Makinley has been moved to January 4th.

Feeling very sad right now.

I hate leaving my children and knowing that I will be sitting in China for three days before I can even meet her (when I could be home with my children) is kinda yanking at my heart.

I know that God has a plan.  And I will enjoy the time alone with my husband.  It is just a long time to be away when you have littles and bigs at home.

Good news is, we do leave in two days.  I know I will feel better when I get there.  I am just already missing my children and I haven't even left.

The Number of the Day is......



And the plan for the day is packing.
Well, at least to finish packing.
I will be shopping for food for those we are leaving here and then I will be washing clothes and finally finishing up the packing process.

I have to say that as excited as I am to get Makinley, I am also so very sad to leave my children here for such a long period of time...AGAIN!!

I know I will feel better once we actually get there.
The 25 hour flight is not helping in the excitement area.
You all know how much I LOVE planes.

I still can not believe that we only have two more days!

Don't forget to follow us here:

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Number of the Day is......

Can you believe it??

Only four more days and we will be on a plane!!

I am so ready to meet my baby girl.

China, here we come!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Number of the Day is......


Praying you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve with your family and friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

One More Week!



One more week!

I can not believe that there is only a week left!

More importantly, I can not believe that our Makinley will be home in three weeks!!!

So if you want to follow our journey while we are in China, we will be using this site:


Just click on the link above and it will take you to our page.
Or you can go to Journey to Me and click on adoption journals.  Then you just click on Journey to Makinley and it will take you to our page.
We will be posting every day so try to keep up with us...
We do appreciate your prayers and support.  PLEASE email and comment on our posts.  It gets pretty lonely there, even when you are busy all day long.  We loved all of the emails and responses last time and we look forward to seeing who is following along with us.  We read EVERY ONE OF THEM!!!

Also, please pray for us as we will be meeting Makinley on January 3rd at 2:30pm China time.  That would be 1:30am at home (eastern time zone).

Love you all and have a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Number of the Day is......


I had a very hard time sleeping last night.

I kept waking up and lists would start running through my head.

Things to do for my business.

Things to remember to pack.

But mostly, I kept dreaming/thinking about the day I will meet my sweet baby girl.

Praying that God wraps her in peace and security that day.

Praying for an easy transition for our family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Number of the Day is......


And with only five days until Christmas it has been a bit busy around here!

I am missing my sweet cheeks.  I so can not wait to meet her!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Number of the Day is......



I have a friend who just visited the orphanage today, but she was not able to see Makinley.  I am a bit sad, but I do understand.  We will be there soon and they wanted to focus on seeing children that still have to wait for their families a bit longer.  Praising the fact that there were 11 children on the list for her to go visit.  That means 11 children will have a family!!

My emotions are a bit here and there the past couple of days. It is my favorite time of the year and right after Christmas we get to go and get our baby girl.  I am not feeling overwhelmed, just like I can not focus on one thing.  I want so badly to enjoy Christmas with the kids.  I also want to be as excited as I was when we were leaving to get Ashlyn.  It is kind of weird how I feel. 

I will be happy when in 12 days I am getting on one of many planes to FINALLY head to China.  I am also looking forward to celebrating the New Year alone with my husband in China.  Who gets to say that they were in China on New Year's Eve!!  After all, they did invent the firecracker!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

TWO WEEKS!!!



I need to finish packing.

I guess that with the holidays I have just not been totally focused on the fact that in two weeks I am getting on a plane and traveling half way around the world.

It just seems very surreal to me.

So blessed to be on this journey again.

It is absolutely life changing!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How Many More Days???


That's right, just 15 more days!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let the Countdown Begin!!!



Because we only have 16 more days until we get on a plane to China!!!

And because I am ready to start the count down!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

How Many Days????



That's right, just twenty-one more days and we will be on a plane to get our precious baby girl!!

Here is our itinerary for the trip:

December 30th:  Fly to Guangzhou, China
December 31st: Land in Guangzhou at 9:00 pm (8:00 am home time) and celebrate New Year's Eve!!
January 1st:  Free Day
January 2nd:  Free Day
January 3rd:  Meet Makinley at 2:30 pm (1:30 am home time)
January 4th:  Civil Affairs for adoption paper work
January 5th:  Visit Makinley's orphanage
January 6th:  Medical exam for Makinley and visa picture
January 7th:  Yuntai park
January 8th:  Yuexiu park
January 9th:  Chen Family Temple
January 10th:  Get Makinley's passport
January 11th:  Free Day
January 12th:  American Consulate appointment
January 13th:  Get Makinley's visa and fly home
January 14th:  Return home to our family!!

We are so excited and can not wait to meet our baby girl!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Month From Today....

In exactly one month from today we will be meeting our sweet baby girl!! 

I am so excited, I can not even stand it!!!

Twenty-seven days until we leave for China.

I am so ready to go!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Have a Date!!

I just finished booking our tickets for our flights to China and then home!!

I am honestly so relieved that this part is over.  It feels so good to know exactly when you are leaving and when you will be coming home. 

I do hate that we did not receive the consulate appointment that we wanted, but God knows best.  What it means is that we will be spending two extra days in China and will be gone a total of 15 days from my sweet kids.  Last time it was 17 days, so this is definitely better.  But I was REALLY hoping for 13 days.

So we leave on December 30th and return on January 14th.  Nine days after we return Makinley will celebrate her third birthday with her family at home.  Right where she belongs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Cute Can Cheeks Be?


I actually dream about those cheeks!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feeling Better

Ok, so our TA did not come on Friday and needless to say it was a very bad day for this waiting Momma.

But I am definitely feeling better today.

I have Thanksgiving to prepare for....

Orphan Sunday to prepare for......

Oh, and my agency told me that my TA came today!!!!!!!!

Yes, I am drastically relieved (and that is an understatement)!!!

So we put in to leave on December 31st and we are waiting to make sure that we can get our Consulate Appointment.  Then I can book my flights and it will finally be 'for real"! 
(Those of you waiting or who have waited know exactly what I mean by that.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prayer of an Adopting Momma

Please, oh please, let our travel approval come tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting For Travel Approval

Last week was a great week because everyone ahead of us waiting for Travel Approval actually got theirs.  So we are NEXT!!  I am really hoping that we will be getting the call this week letting us know that our TA has arrived.

When we get the call we will be letting our agency know that we want to leave on December 31st.  Your trip is based on your Consulate Appointment and all of the Consulate Appointments that we would have taken to go before Christmas have been filled up.  That is why we are asking for a later trip.  We do not want to be gone so close to Christmas and leave our other children at home.  We will be leaving the first available day that we can after Christmas, and that just happens to fall on December 31st.

It will be very hard to not have Makinley home for Christmas.  Especially with us travelling so soon after for her.  I just want to touch this little girl so bad that it hurts.  I want to hear her voice and see her smile.  I want to know her cry and be there to comfort her.  I want to rock her to sleep and tell her how much I love her.  I want to see her interact with her Daddy and siblings when we get home.  I just want to know who she is.

My mind has a very hard time wrapping around the fact that my baby will be three years old and I know nothing about her.  What she likes.  What she dislikes.  What makes her happy.  What makes her sad.  How she goes to sleep at night.  What foods she enjoys.  How she plays with other children...etc.  These things CONSTANTLY roll through my mind EVERY....SINGLE...DAY.  There is not an hour in the day that my thoughts do not turn to this sweet little girl.  I've said it before, I do not know how you can love some one so much and you have never even met them.  God is so amazing that way.  He opens your heart to a love that you could never fathom obtaining on your own.  A bond of the heart.  My heart is definitely locked to this child.  The same way it was when I had not yet met our Ashlyn.  I am always wanting to know what she is doing.  I almost automatically look at the time to figure out what time it is in China.  Being 12 hours different, she is almost always sleeping when I check the clock and I just pray over her as I envision her sleeping in her crib in an orphanage half way around the world.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Look at What I Got This Morning!!!



Oh, I can not WAIT to go and get this little munchkin!!! 
What a smile!! 
My heart is just gushing!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Adoption

My sweet friend is in desperate need of prayer today.  She will be travelling to Ch*na in a couple of weeks to pick up her little boy.  Problem is, China might say no.  You can read her story on my family blog here.

As for our ride, we are now waiting for our Article 5 to be issued.  The pickup date should be November 2nd.  Then we wait for our Travel Approval.  Last week Travel Approvals were issued anywhere from 10 days to 27 days.  The latter was because of the holiday.  So we could POTENTIALLY leave on November 19th, November 26th, or December 31st. Yes, welcome to the world of adoption.

Needless to say I am in high gear.  I have started collecting some things for our trip and the suitcases will probably make an appearance next week.  Packing for Ch*na is unlike any packing I have ever done.  It is utterly exhausting.  But it does get me excited! 

I am waiting for an update on Makinley....hopefully it will be tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sent with a Prayer

This is the part of the process where I finally feel like I can breathe.  All of the final paperwork was shipped to China last night by our agency.  Now we wait for our Article 5 to be approved.  Then China will issue Travel Approval.  Now my brain needs to switch to packing mode because we are leaving soon to go and get our baby girl!!!  If the process goes as it has been, we will be leaving on December 31st.  That is only 79 days from today!!!!  I have a month and a half to pack and buy everything for the trip because I refuse to be concerned with that over December.  The only things that I will need to pack after Christmas is our clothes.  Time to start making sure that I have enough clothes for Makinley.  I can not wait to see her chubby little face.  I am so very excited!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Almost There

We just received notice that our approval was cabled to Guangzhou on October 6th.  We are still right on track.  At this rate we should get our travel approval by mid November.  Then we can book our flights for Decemeber 31st!!!!  We're coming, baby girl!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

One More Step Checked Off

On Friday I received a phone call from our agency that our I800 was approved on Wednesday, September 28th.  Only three more steps and we can start making plans to go get our sweet little girl!  We anticipate leaving on December 31st and meeting Makinley on January 2nd.  Hopefully everything will continue to go smoothly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One of Those Days

You know, one of those days when you just seem to go from one thing to another and not really get anything done.  One of those mopey kinda days.  Not because anything is wrong, but just because.

Well, I am having one of those days.  It is now 3:00 and the day is almost over and I know that I have been doing things all day, but I just can't say that I was able to scratch anything off of my list or really recall actually DOING anything today.  Hmmmmm...gotta get up and do something significant...I know, like the laundry!  That way I can tell my hubby that I did do SOMETHING today.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LOA!!!!!!!!!!!

I got the call!  I got the call!!

We have our LOA...which means....that we will be able to get Makinley before Christams!!!!

Thank you, all, for praying for us.  We should get our Travel Approval in November and then we will be booking our flights to go get our baby girl!

Monday, August 29, 2011

.......Sigh............

That is just how I feel today.  It is also raining and gloomy looking outside....to match my mood.....sigh...

Today is day 41 of our wait for LOA (Letter of Acceptance) and do not get me wrong, I know that is not a long time, it just 'feels' really long today.  The wait right now for where I am is 49 days.  Not getting my hopes up though because there are still a lot of people ahead of me waiting for theirs.  It also probably would not bother me if I didn't know that there was a deadline for getting her home before Christmas.  We are coming dangerously close to that line. Feels like de ja vu from Ashlyn's adoption...and we missed the deadline and had to go a month later than we should have.  Same scenario here.

I also know that God's timing is best.  I just REALLY wish that He would let me know when that was.  If he tells me that it is going to be later I would be ok.  I could prepare.  I know it sounds silly.  Why don't I just plan for the latter and if it comes sooner..Yay!!  I would love to do that, but my Momma's heart can not let go of the hope.  So I just torment myself.

My heart has also been hurting for the people that have waited way too long for their LOA.  One is at 125 days!!  We waited 107 for Ashlyn's and that was way too long!  I know how they feel...totally defeated.  They want so much to go and bring their babies home.  I do want them to get theirs before I get mine.  I have waited before, I can wait again.

I just need to focus on the fact that in 5 months Makinley will be at home with us, where she belongs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Update on Makinley's Leg

As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country. ~ Proverbs 25:25

I just received news that Makinley's leg is fine.  The brace is being used to help her walk better.  Right now she walks with a gait.  It breaks my heart that it hurts her to walk in it, but what a blessing that she is in such an incredible orphanage that has the ability to help her with the treatments that she needs.  We are truly blessed!

Now come on LOA!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Update ~ Heart Ache

Actually, the update is that there is no update yet.....sigh.....

Maybe we will hear something on Makinley's leg tomorrow.

Please keep praying for our little girl.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Heart Ache

I received new pictures of Makinley yesterday from my sweet friend, Annie.  She is adopting her precious little girl and was visiting the orphanage.  In the pictures I noticed that Makinley has a brace/cast on her leg.  I am trying to get information about what happened to her.  I know that she is at an excellent orphanage, I just want to know what happened.  My heart just aches that she could have gotten hurt and I was not there.  This poor baby has gone through so much pain in her life that it just aches my heart.  I need to get to her and bring her home so that her Momma can take care of her.  I REALLY need to hug my baby girl.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I LOVE Email Lately!

Thanks to another family who was visiting the orphanage, I received this in my email this morning!

I am forever grateful to all of the families that have gone before me and take great efforts to get me a picture of my child who hates her picture taken by strangers.  She constantly shakes her head 'no'.  Out of 5 pictures, this one was my favorite. (Even though her mouth is full of congee).

I can not wait to go and visit Zhongshan so that I can pay it forward and give such amazing blessings to those who are waiting for their children.

On another note, I am still having dreams about Makinley every night......sigh.......I really pray that we will be able to get her before Christmas.  My heart is just not complete when a part of it is on the other side of the world.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Random Thoughts

No updates.  We are just in "wait mode" for the next couple of months.  If we can get our LOA (letter of acceptance) by my birthday (beginning of September), we still have a shot of making it this year to get our baby girl.  It would take a miracle because that would be less than two months of waiting for LOA and the trend is longer than that right now.  But I know God can do miracles....we will see if that is His will.

Feeling a bit somber the past few days.

Yesterday was Ashlyn's birthday and as the party was winding down my thoughts were shifting to her birth mother.  Was she thinking of Ashlyn?  Was she wondering what ever happened to the baby that she left on the hospital steps so that she could get medical attention?  She could not care for her.  She could not feed her.  Does God give her a peace that her baby is being cared for?  I hope so.  I pray that her birth mother has a peace that the baby she left four years ago did make it and is thriving.  I know that every abandonment story is completely different.  I am not trying to say that every birth mother gave up her child in love.  I know some do, but I also know that some do not.  We have purposed to only give our daughter information that we know to be true when she comes to us later in life with questions.  We do not want to presume anything.  It is not our story.  However, in Ashlyn's case there are specific things that we do know.  We will be able to share precious information (as little as it may be) with our daughter and then she can fill in her own blanks with what she feels is right.

Makinley has been in my thoughts constantly this week.  I have had vivid dreams with her in them multiple times this week.  I am not a dreamer and even when I do dream I tend to not be able to recall them.  Every dream is about me going to get Makinley, but they are all different.  There is a common thread though.  She totally accepts me in each of them.  Weird, because I watch her in videos and think that she will have a hard time adjusting to strangers.  She doesn't seem to like them very much (gives me a giggle at how she has responded to friends who have tried to get pictures for me).

Anyways, China seems to be tugging at my heart more than usual lately.  I pray for many things, but especially for us to be able to get our baby girl soon.  I can not wait to get back to China.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update on Makinley

I just received an update on Makinley.  Yes, we are doing the Snoopy dance here!!

Let me start out by saying that Makinley is a year and a half younger than Ashlyn.  She is three inches shorter than Ashlyn.  She weighs 2 pounds less than Ashlyn.  And her foot is two shoe sizes bigger than Ashlyn's!!  I don't know if that last part is correct.  Back in February her foot was almost 5 inches and now it is supposedly 6 inches!  That means she went from a shoe size 6 (same as Ashlyn at that time) in February to now a shoe size of 9!!!  Is that even possible in 5 months???!!!

Anyways, along with all of this wonderful information we also received TWO NEW PICTURES!!!





Love, Love, LOVE these pictures!!!  She is actually smiling and not crying in them (hee hee).  But doesn't she look so big? 


This was her picture back in February.  Sniff...sniff....she looks like such a big girl now.

Ok...let's get this process moving!  I want my baby girl!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Did It!!

Tomorrow our Dossier will be on its way to China!!

Our (BIG) part is finally done.  Now we wait on China and the US to finish the process.  At this point we could still travel this year.  It is looking like end of November to beginning of December.  We would like to be able to leave by December 3rd so that we would be back the week before Christmas.  If that doesn't happen then we will probably be leaving December 31st (the week after Christmas).  We just can not miss Christmas with our kids at home.  But at least we are one step closer to meeting our precious baby girl.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Almost There

I just received word that my authentication papers are heading back to me today.  Woo Hoo!!!  That means that I will be sending my dossier to China this week.  It will leave my agency's office this Friday!!!!  One more step behind us.  One step closer to Makinley.  Hopefully we can still travel by end of this year.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Best Gift EVER!!!!

My friend, Heather, was at Makinley's orphanage last week and she was able to get some video of my Makinley!

Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to get this video for me. It is ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!!!






She didn't want her picture taken.  What a mess my baby girl is!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Timing is Everything

I was pondering our travel to China to get our precious baby girl.  I really want her home before the end of the year, not in January!  I know that there is a good chance that we might have to travel in January so I decided to find out when Chinese New Year was for 2012.  I really don't want travel to be around then because all offices shut down for weeks during the celebrations.  We ran into this problem when we were adopting Ashlyn.  We ran into Autumn Moon Festival instead of Chinese New Year with her adoption and we could not travel for a month after we were suppose to because of the celebrations.

Soooooo......Chinese New Year is on January 23rd.  Makinley's birthday.  Please, oh please, let me get to her before they shut down for the celebrations.  I will be devastated if I have to miss her third birthday.

Adoption is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Status Update

Tomorrow I will be sending off all of my documents for my dossier to be Authenticated.  It is the last step in the process of getting my paperwork together.  After these documents are returned to me, I will be sending a great, big package to my agency and they will then send it off to China!!

It was taking about four months from the point that the package was sent until we would be able to travel.  We were thinking that we would be travelling some time in November.  Now the process has slowed down and the Letter Seeking Confirmation has gone from one month to three months!!  This now means that we probably will not be travelling until January.  YUCK!!

Only God knows the exact day that I will meet my sweet Makinley.  I trust in Him and I know that His timing is perfect...even if it doesn't feel like it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Approval

I just received our approval for our I800A!!  It took 49 days for them to approve it.  On to the next step!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Half Way There

Today is day 31 of waiting for my I800a.  The wait is running about 45-55 days right now.  That means that we are more than half way through the wait for approval.  On day 39 we go on vacation and don't get back until day 52.  Sooooo, what I am praying for is that when I return that my approval letter will be in my huge pile of mail waiting for me.  That would just make my day!!

The next step is getting my final papers certified and authenticated.  Then I will send my dossier to my agency and I am calculating that my dossier should be to China by the end of June.  That would be soooooo great!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was very nice at our house this year.  It is one of my favorite days of the year and I always look forward to it.  My amazing husband knows how much it means to me so he always stretches it out for a whole weekend.  I love my man!

This year was a bit low key.  I like it that way.  Just having a weekend to relax and do nothing if that is what I feel like.  Unfortunately this year my kids were not feeling well, so that is the reason that things were so low key.  Sometimes God just allows our house to get sick so that we stop and just be still.  It was a blessing to have such a peaceful weekend.  And, yes, my kids are feeling better now.  It was our bout with the "summer" cold.

I had a lot of time to myself.  A lot of time to reflect.  A lot of time to really see the blessings that God has given to me in being a mother.  I also felt the sting that I felt two years ago.  The sting of knowing that you have a child that is half way around the world from you and not with you where she belongs.  It is very hard for moms to celebrate Mother's Day and to not have a child with you.  Especially a young child.  That does not even know that she has a Momma.  I felt very blessed and sad at the same time. 

Praying for all of the Mommas that are waiting for their children.  Praying that the wait will end soon.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fingerprint Appointment Complete

Today we were able to walk in and get our fingerprints done.  Thanks so much to all of you who let me know about this.  I was bummed that our appointment wasn't until May 20th.  Now it is all taken care of.  Praying that our I800a is approved quickly.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fingerprint Appointment

I just received notice today that our fingerprint appointment is scheduled for May 20th.  This is the next step in obtaining our I800a.  I would love to get it done sooner (ya know, to speed up the process).  Can any one fill me in on information about walk-ins?  I had never realized that you could do this until I saw it on Rum*r Queen.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Over the Moon!!

So we thought that the picture that we received yesterday was fabulous and then this morning I received this......

video


So happy that others are going to Makinley's orphanage to adopt their children.  Love that while they are there they think of me and get me these amazing gifts....glimpses of my baby girl.

I think that we have watched the video 100 times already.  I think that every time I try and will it to be a little longer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sleeping Angel

We have a sleeping angel sent straight from Heaven!


And she sucks her thumb!!

I was given this picture by a friend of mine who just travelled to the orphanage to meet her son.
I love our Z group!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Here We Go...(Again!)

On Tuesday I resent both of my packages.  Funny how paranoid I was that I was missing or forgetting something!  I think I checked and rechecked the packages several times to make sure that everything was there and I had done everything right.

So now we just sit and wait.  The BIG part for me is done.  All I have to do now is get documents certified and authenticated.  After that I will send my dossier to my agency.  Hopefully this will be some time by the end of June.  I am really praying that our dossier gets to China by end of July. 

Now we just sit and wait...aaahhhhh....the fun part. (Tons of sarcasm in my voice).

Monday, April 4, 2011

My BIG Ooooooppppsssss!!

Saturday the mailman arrived with a package for me.  "Wow," I thought, "that was fast!"  I should have known better.  Anytime you get stuff back from the government fast it is probably NOT good news.  It wasn't.  The documents that I sent off to be certified were returned to me because they were missing my marriage certificate.  Uuuummmmm...no they weren't.  The certificate was the 4th page in the batch of documents.  Now this in no way holds us up, but it cost me a pretty penny to send them off and then I also paid for them to send them back!!  Now I am starting all over.  What a waste of money!!  That was entirely frustrating.

But wait, another package...this one from USCIS!!!  Wait, it is too thick to be a letter stating that they were processing my application.  UUuggghhhhhh.......everything was sent back!!!!!  I apparently, in my very organized speediness, forgot to SIGN the application...hubby too!!!!!!  Uuuuggghhhhh!!!!!!!!  Now this DOES hold us back.  This process is taking 60 days, and because of my mistake I cost us a week!!  THAT STINKS!!!!

So now that I have vented, I am going to start all over and send off my I800A application.  Please let it take less than 60 days!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Precious Baby Girl

Today, my baby girl is two years and two months old.  She is waiting for us in an orphanage half a world away (literally).  My heart so longs to hold her.  I pray that this journey to her does not take too long.  But any time away from your child is just too long.

Today I received six pictures of my baby's birthday party.  We sent her a cake so that she could celebrate her belated second birthday.  She turned two right before we actually found her.  Four days before to be exact.  I am so looking forward to celebrating her third birthday at home with her next year.  At home...right where she belongs.



Yes, she does have dots of icing on her cute little face.
(Her nanny put them there.)
Yes, she is wearing a Santa hat the reads,
 "Merry Christmas" in English.
Yes, these pictures were just taken
 this week...in March.
I absolutely adore everything about these wonderful pictures of my beautiful, chunky-cheeked baby girl!



Monday, March 21, 2011

Homestudy Approved!

I was just notified that our agency has approved our Homestudy! 

After I get a copy in-hand this week, I will be mailing it off to USCIS with our I800A application.  It is taking them anywhere from 45-60 days to approve this.  Praying for 45 days or less!

At this point it is looking like we will be travelling around November of this year!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How It All Began

Back in January, my husband and I were having a conversation about our family's future and where we thought we were going.  We knew that God was leading us to add to our family again, but we were not exactly sure how He wanted to do that.  We had conflicting directions and for months we had gone back and forth on them trying to follow God's lead.  We were actually finally putting our finger on the direction that we felt we were suppose to move in when Donny told me that even though we were moving in this direction God was telling him we were suppose to adopt. 

To back it up a bit, we have always felt that we would adopt again.  We knew when we were adopting Ashlyn that this would not be the last time we would walk this road.  We actually were praying for our "other" little girl while we were in the process of adopting Ashlyn.  There were many times that I would feel so burdened for this child that I would just cry.  I told my husband on several occasions that I felt like we were leaving our daughter in China.  (In actuality, we were.  Makinley was born the year that we adopted Ashlyn).  I also wrote in my journal that I would never forget her.  I would go back for her.  I would fight for her.

So after our conversation, I was having a casual conversation with a dear friend of mine and was asking her about the process to adopt in China.  I run an adoption and orphan care ministry and I like to stay informed so that I can answer people's questions when they come to me.  Somewhere in the midst of our casual conversation I was scrolling through the Waiting Child list.  All of the sudden I saw the most beautiful face and I stopped on her information.  Her information read:  VSD, brain injury at birth, and high muscle tension in the right side.  Ok...any other moment in my life I would have said, "OH...ummm...this is not going to work for our family dynamics at this time."  And then I would have just moved on....but I didn't.  It did not scare me off.  That in itself is a miracle.  I could hear God whispering to me, "It's not what it seems."  Over and over for the next two weeks I would hear this.  It was always washing over me.  Knowing that sometimes these sweet kiddos are tagged wrong I asked for a little more information.  Then I talked to my husband.

That evening I presented all of the tiny bit of information that I had.  We both agreed that this could be God leading us to adopt her, but we were definitely not sure.  We would ask to review her file and see what happens.  Now in being truly honest, we were both thinking that something in this file was going to tell us "no" that she was not our daughter.  But we both knew that if we did not adopt this little girl, God was still trying to tell us something.

We received the file on a Monday and I poured over every little detail about this sweet baby girl.  There was a lot of it too.  Out of all of those medical reports, pictures and even a video (I know, a video, unreal isn't it?), I could find absolutely NOTHING wrong with this child.  Except for her description...HIE...lack of oxygen to the brain at birth.  Ok, I'm not gonna lie, we were scared to death!  We looked up all the information on HIE, and folks, it's not pretty.  Ninety percent of children in the world born with HIE have severe handicaps and severe mental retardation.  The brain just can not go without oxygen.  If this child's issues were minor like they seemed, she would be in the ten percentile in the world for not having severe issues from the HIE.  MIRACLE!!! 

We needed more information (since her file was from 6 months ago).  With it being smack dab in the middle of Chinese New Year, we were going to have to wait.  WAIT....not my favorite word.  We did a lot of praying.  We did a lot of crying.  Well, I did a lot of crying.  Then more praying and more crying.  How was this going to affect our happy little home?  How was this going to affect our children?  We still have two little ones at home...3 and 4 years old.  God, really?!?  But there was that whisper, "It's not what it seems."  I could not ignore it.  So after MUCH talking, we decided that if she could walk, we could do this.  We felt very good about that.  We kept saying over those two weeks (which by the way felt more like two months) that at this point God was going to have to show us why we should NOT adopt her.

We went to church on Sunday, right before Chinese New Year was going to end.  We were hoping that we would be hearing more information on her that week.  That day God met us at church.  He spoke so loud and clear I felt like He was about to shake me.  When I left church that day I had my answer.  We went home and I told my amazing, obedient to the Lord husband what God had spoken to me and he just smiled.  He said, there is our word that we were waiting for.  Want to know what He said to me?  Well in our class the message was on fear.  Hmmmmm....I have never been so fearful in all my life.  But more fearful of making the wrong decision and letting God down.  Fear is not from God.  God has shown me time and time again in my life that His ways are always better than mine and that He is not going to harm me or my family.  Yes, it may be extremely hard to walk the road He calls us to, but it is always worth it.  And it is always the best way.  He wants to give us blessings.  I knew in my heart that if this was where He wanted us to go, He was going to bless us with it.  I have faith in my God.  He loves me greatly.  He told me that morning that I needed no other information on this child.  I was to trust Him and follow where He wanted our family to go.

So that Monday we told our agency that we had to decided to adopt Makinley with no other information than what we had.  That same morning more information on our baby girl had arrived from China.  She was WALKING!!  She was TALKING!!!  WOW!!!!!  That is all I can say, WOW WOW WOW!!!  God just wanted us to follow in obedience before He showed us that she is indeed a MIRACLE child. 

We received all of her hospital papers from her birth.  All of the papers from the NICU hospital she stayed at for a month were included also.  We know her China mom was 40 weeks pregnant when they had to give her an emergency C-section to get the baby out because the baby was in distress.  Who gets this information????  There were many more details that God allowed us to know about our daughter.  I am in awe.  With what we see in her information she now falls into the 2 - 3 percentile for HIE of children that have very little affects from the lack of oxygen to the brain.

What I am hoping is that our story will give someone hope.  I pray that someone reading this will take a leap of faith and adopt a child that seems to be to hard for them.  In the end, we chose this route because God told us that this little girl needed a family.  And that our family needed this little girl.  I pray that this helps someone to trust God and follow in obedience.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where is Makinley?


Makinley is in Zhongshan, Guangdong.
The province right to the left of hers
 is where Ashlyn was born.
Guangdong is where the American Consulate is located, so on this trip we will be spending two weeks in Guangzhou, Guangdong.
One week for province paperwork, and one week for American Consulate paperwork.

Please Pray

Today in Yunan, China a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit. 

This province is in the southwestern part of China on the border of Myanmar.

So far 22 people have died and many other are wounded.  Hundreds of buildings have collapsed.

Please pray for these people.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Paper Work...How Quickly We Forget!

So I just spent a bit of time...can't remember how long....putting together my paper work for my I800A.  Everything is done and waiting for my Home Study to be finished and approved. 

Driving full steam ahead to get to my baby girl.  I refuse to be delayed by anything on my part.  On the other end, well, I can not control how fast everyone else goes.  Praying for a super fast adoption journey!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pre-Approval!!!!!!


It is with unbelievable honor that I
 introduce my 6th child
Makinley Faith Chun Ying Sloan!!!!
(Her chinese name is Wan Chun Ying)

Born on January 23, 2009

She is in the
Children's Welfare Institute of Zhongshan City
Guangdong, China

Isn't she just gorgeous!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Care Package Number One



We are currently awaiting our Pre-Approval from China for Makinley.  We are anticipating that it will be arriving any day now.  In the mean time, I have gathered some items to send to her in her care package.  For Ashlyn's first care package I sent her a toy, an outfit, a photo album, a blanket and some candy for her foster family...along with some cameras, of course.  With Makinley being in an orphanage I did not know exactly what she would be able to keep for just herself, so I limited it to a teddy bear and photo album of her new family.  I am also sending candy for the kids and candy for the nannies.  As always, cameras are in there too.

As far as our paperwork goes, I am almost done with our home study.  We have a couple of items left and then it will be sent to our agency once it is all written up.  I am very happy to have this part almost done.  It is the most tedious part of the whole process.

Having now started an adoption two different ways, I must say that this way seems so much more unnatural (if there is such a thing as natural).  I guess when you do this part first without a referral, you have time for the anticipation to build.  By the time you receive your referral you have been waiting for a while.  This time around we were not waiting to be matched.  We were not even thinking about adopting right now.  God told us that this was His plan for our family and in obedience we stepped forward.  So having her pictures and just now starting the process seems very off.  It also seems like everything is going way to slow.  In actuality it is about the same pace as last time and is moving fairly well.  It just seems so SLOW!!!!!

I know, I need patience.  I don't feel impatient, but I guess I just want it to move along...as we all do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Letter of Intent

I just finished sending off all of the information for our Letter of Intent to adopt Makinley from China.  It's funny how you forget how much PAPERWORK you have to do.  I am just exhausted.  I think I'm going to bed now.

But before I go, I will give you a teeny bit of information on Makinley.  She is two years old and she is living in an orphanage in Guangdong, China.  That's it!  No more info tonight! 

You know I love you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guess What?! I'm Back!!

Today we officially began our second adoption.

We were not looking to adopt at this time, but it looks like love found us.

I came across the most precious baby girl on the shared list, again, don't know why I was looking.  Since Ashlyn's adoption I have never once looked at any list (mainly for this reason - I know myself VERY well).  She was a Special Focus child with multiple special needs.  She had a particular special need that normally would have made me say "nope, we can't do that need at this time.  Not with little ones at home."  God obviously had other plans because He kept whispering to me that it is not as bad as it sounds.

I will share our beautiful story soon, but because we have just started the process, we can not share any information on her.  So for now, I will keep you in suspense.  Trust me, it is quite an amazing story.  As soon as I can I will share.

So here we go...I am so excited!!!