I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tubie newbie

I haven't forgotten to blog!  What I did almost forget is how intense it is to transition a new family member home even when everything is going great.  And it is going great!  We got home on Friday after the LONGEST flight ever.  But that day is behind us now and all is well.  The main hiccup is that Baby Girl and I each caught a little cold.  We are both doing fine, but it wasn't exactly what we wanted for our first few days home.  Fortunately I already had a doctor appointment scheduled for her and the doc said her lungs sound fine.  Poor sweetie was just congested in her head.  She really was only super-miserable for one afternoon (coinciding with the doctor appointment).  She is doing great now.  Just a little left-over cough and slightly runny nose.  The past two nights she slept twelve hours each night!!!  Unfortunately that also meant that no naps were taken.  I think it will take us another week or two to figure out a workable schedule.  Just last night was my first decent night of sleep in weeks (excitement, adrenaline, millions of details, plus jet lag are not a very sleep-inducing combination).  I think we are all on the right track now, though.

The other tricky thing is that I am on the tube-feeding learning curve.  Baby Girl is currently fed via g-tube so I am having to learn all the ins and outs of that.  It is really not difficult, but is taking a fair amount of my mental energy.  Pretty soon I'll be an old pro at it, and hopefully not too long after that Baby Girl will be eating by mouth.  She actually is much further along towards that goal than I thought she was.  There really is no medical reason currently for her to be on a g-tube, but when you are an orphan with feeding problems who lives in a hospital in a first-world country with good medical care, you get a feeding tube (orphans in third world countries in the same situation often die or become extremely malnourished).  I am SO THANKFUL for her tube, but ready to get rid of it at the same time.  Super T had a g-tube until he was about 3 or so I have high hopes.  Super-T is now a champion eater.

So that is the bad and the ugly, but mostly it is all GOOD.  Seriously this girl is AMAZING!!!  I really think that word is over-used by so many people, but in this case it really applies!  We all are crazy about her.  In fact one of the no-nap days was because the big kids had been out seeing The Hobbit with Grandma (for the second time--both saw it on opening day:  Little Pud overseas with our relatives and The Philosopher with his friends and his Pa--yes, I am the only family member who will not be seeing this in the theater, but Baby Girl is oh-so-worth it...there is always DVD) and just had to go visit her when they got back.  She was not quite asleep and that was the end of that nap.

Well, I am starting to ramble.  I'd better go feed Baby Girl (one benefit of tube feeding: you can feed the kiddo while they are sound asleep) and then get to bed.  Morning comes early around here.

{Sorry no pictures today.  I won't be allowed to post any pictures of Baby Girl's smiling face until after her adoption is finalized (likely a year because of our slow court system in my county...ugh!).  I will take pictures that don't show her face, though, and post them, but not until life has settled down a bit.}

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I won the lottery.

Seriously.  This child is amazing!!!

12/12/12 was Gotcha Day.  We started the morning at the place that has been Baby Girl's home for over a year and ended the day with two sisters going to bed in matching jammies.

The workers, volunteers, and children sang Baby Girl's favorite songs and then had a goodbye prayer and candle ceremony in which Baby Girl and I took a candle (electric!) around to let each of the children hold to pass her luck in getting a family on to each of them.  Talk about heart-rending...

Baby Girl's caregiver then took her around to have her say "goodbye" to all the rooms and equipment at the child care home.  Here she is saying goodbye to her high chair.  Lots more tears from the caregivers and me and Baby Girl was very somber and sad.

Just a few minutes after we left her child care home, Baby Girl perked up and was happy again, but the emotional morning made her tired.  She slept through our ride on the ferry.

Little Pud loved the ferry

and the double-decker bus!

Little Pud surprised herself by actually liking almost all of the food!  Yummy dim sum and noodles!!!

After the ferry and lunch, we went to a science museum and later out to eat wonderful vegetarian Shanghaiese food with our relatives (all the pictures from both of those places show Baby Girl's face so I can't  post them here).  Then it was to the hotel:

The end of the day!
I am overwhelmed with the wonder that is this little girl.  She is truly amazing.  Funny, smart, easy-going.  I am so blessed!

We are nearly ready to travel home.  It has been an incredible trip on all fronts, and I am so excited to begin our lives as a family of five!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday Baby Girl was animated and funny!  She obviously is enjoying being with Little Pud and I and is even starting to prefer us (I am amazed by that.)

Today is Gotcha Day!!!

I am so excited!  I wish I had time to write more, but alas, I don't.  Hopefully I'll write about today later tonight.

They were teaching the kids about skiing.  Everyone was laughing so hard and the kids had a blast.  (The umbrellas are the ski poles.  Baby Girl didn't wear the cardboard "skis" because they were too slippery for the smaller kiddos.

Fun on the playground at Baby Girl's childcare home.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Meeting Baby Girl for the first time!

Little Pud and Baby Girl heading toward the playground.

We are tired, but oh-so-happy!  I miss her already, but it won't be for long this time.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My camera battery is charging...

because tomorrow is the big day!

Meeting your child for the very first time is exciting and unnerving at the same time.  I am trying not to think too much about it because I am concerned I won't be able to sleep if I focus on Baby Girl.  Fortunately I have been busy and having a great time so it likely won't really hit me until tomorrow morning.

We had another great day today, but first I should rewind to what we did last night.  Little Pud and I are so privileged to be here during Chanukah.  Last night was the first night, and we so enjoyed the lighting of the candles, the gifts, and the time with our family.  It was also great to have my uncle tell me a more complete version of the story behind the holiday.  I am now looking forward to each evening here.  I wish we could stay for the whole eight days.

After the lighting of the candles and the gifts and after Little Pud and KOTM spent some time building their respective Lego sets, we got to talk to our stateside family via Skype.  It was so good to talk to my boys!  I miss them so much, but they are in the very good hands of Grandma and Pa.  By the way, KOTM is short for King of the Minifigs, our cousin who has a lot in common with The Philosopher (formerly known on this blog as LOTL or Lord of the Legos), incidentally Little Pud also enjoys Legos.  It is not recommended to walk barefoot in our house...

Of course, KOTM had to show The Philosopher all of his new Legos and vice versa.

We then went to bed.  My new and improved jet lag plan seems to be working because, although I woke up super early (4:30), I was able to doze until a reasonable time and then spend all of today on the go, feeling very little jet lag.

This morning it was time for Mitzvah Day!  My aunt had organized a HUGE undertaking with many MANY volunteers to work in several teams around the community.  It was such a privilege to be a part of this great day.  When my uncle was giving his brief spiel during the Mitzvah Day breakfast before we were sent out, he quoted a Jewish friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said of his civil rights march with Dr. King, "When I marched on Selma, my legs were praying."  I loved this word picture of the act of worship it can be when we work with our own hands and feet to help others.  Service is so important.  Today many people were sent out to work in the community.  Our personal assignment was to help sort clothes for refugees, but it didn't start until after lunch, so we had a few hours to kill.

Cousin "Elsa" had something to return to a store, so so she and I took the kids and set out for a little adventure.  We took hundreds of stairs (found out just how unused my "going down stairs muscles" are) down the mountain and then into the busy shopping district.  We found the store in question and while Elsa returned her item, Little Pud and KOTM entertained themselves by making faces in a mirror.

Aren't they cute?

We then added taking a public transportation bus to Little Pud's list of firsts.  It was a beautiful day for both the walk and the ride and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of Baby Girl's wonderful city.

Soon after returning to the flat, it was our turn to go out for Mitzvah Day.  About fifteen or so of us loaded onto a bus and were on our way.  It was especially fun because the kids and I occasionally volunteer at a local clothes ministry, so we at least partially understood what a huge project this was.  I have never seen so many clothes!  It was amazing!  And I was equally amazed by how much we got done.

Giant pile o' shoes
 After a few hours of clothes sorting, folding, and hauling, we headed back home tired but happy and fulfilled, and then to the kosher barbeque for a LOT of fabulously delicious food.  At the risk of sounding like a pig (small joke for those of you who are paying attention), I believe I sampled at least seven kinds of meat and fish, several veggies/salads, and three desserts.  Don't worry though, I had already worked it all off with the walking down the millions of stairs and marathon clothes sorting session. 


Tomorrow is THE day!!!  I am so excited, but I am truly trying not to think about it.  I want to get a good night's sleep.  I would appreciate prayers for both the sleep and the first meeting.  Don't expect another long blog...I am highly doubtful that I'll have time from here on out (but you never know...)


Saturday, December 8, 2012

The happiest place on earth

We're here!!! 

Little Pud and I spent a LONG day traveling, but we made it in the end.

Little Pud has had lots of firsts!  First plane ride (that she remembers-she did actually fly at 4 months old), first trip to another country, first taxi ride, first rollercoaster, and first trip to Disney!  

One of the best parts about Baby Girl's birth country is that we have family living there!  So not only do we get to add a new member to our family, we get to see family that we already know and love.  We went to Disney with our aunt and cousins and had a GREAT time!  Little Pud was heard to say, "This is the best day of my life."  Here are a few pictures to document our fun time.

Little Pud with the cousins: King of the Minigfigs (KOTM) and Elsa.

Fun on the teacups with my aunt and cousin!

The park was decorated for Christmas.

Little Pud drove the cars.

Fun to see Main Street U.S.A. when in another country!
Real live Toy Soldiers!


 And we are excited about yet another event that will happen this week.
  No, it doesn't compare to adding a member to the family, but it is pretty cool:

P.S. I have a new jet lag remedy:  don't get much sleep the night before your long trip; sleep on the plane as much as possible; get to your destination and chat with family until the wee hours then crash once more.  Wake up at your normal time then spend the entire day at Disneyland so you can sleep another full night.  Bye bye jet lag!

P.P.S.  We meet Baby Girl on Monday!!!  We are so excited!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All packed and ready to go...

Suitcases are in the living room waiting to be hauled out first thing in the morning.  I just have a few little miscellaneous small things to pack (like this computer) and the kitchen to clean up, then to bed.

This week has been a whirlwind!  Last Tuesday I received my HCO, but with it news that Baby Girl was in the hospital.  No news (and lots of crying by yours truly) on Wednesday.  I knew travel could be soon, but with no news on Baby Girl's condition I was just a blubbering mess with no motivation to get things done.  Then that happy phone call last Thursday and the flurry of activity began!  With exactly one week notice to travel and LOTS to do, including complicated logistics for the double-booked Philosopher (solved by backing out of an event) and getting people (wonderful people, I might add!) to fill in for my monthly widows' meeting (REALLY hate to miss it especially since we have fun plans and Christmas can be a tough time for widows), I was a bit of a stress basket, but a happy one!

Thanks to a LOT of help from my lovely friends and family we made it!  I am so thankful for the people who helped me out, from the friends who came over to help organize my chronically disorganized house, to the babysitter who was incredibly helpful and had fun with the kids at the same time; from my mom who did many loads of laundry and rescued Super-T from being stranded at school when the bus forgot to bring him home (long story and it turns out it wasn't my fault!), to the friend who made Baby Girl a gorgeous quilt with her name on it; from friends who called with encouraging words, to friends who dropped by with financial gifts and hugs.  It has been an incredible week, full of surprises and provision in every area!  I seriously could not list everything that has happened and still make it to bed at a decent time.  So many things happened with perfect timing...tax refund deposited (WOW!), info on a less expensive therapy chair/high chair, vitally informative books came in the mail (just in time for airplane reading), a dear friend who makes jewelry made me an absolutely beautiful bookmark (you really have no idea how happy that made me...it's the little things!).  Really just so many many things.  It could only be God.

I am so thankful.  And excited.  I am definitely excited, with butterflies in my stomach.  Baby Girl is coming home!


Friday, November 30, 2012

My little girl

Not Baby Girl...my other little girl.  Little Pud is growing up and becoming so beautiful, both inside and out.  She wants to be a missionary.  Below is a picture she drew this May.  

The adult in the middle is Little Pud.  The babies and kids are so happy to see her.  I love the girl that is jumping into her arms.  She told me that this is her as a missionary.  I am amazed and honored that I get to travel to foreign lands with this wonderful daughter that God has given me to bring home the other daughter that God is giving me.  I am truly blessed!

My bloggy friend Linny's daughter is actually taking the step to become a missionary.  Today on her blog she told about it.  I can see myself in this position in ten years.  So hard, but good...really good.  (Click on both links...the first one is Emma's blog and the second one is Linny's).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's really happening!

This morning I received another phone call!  This was was to tell me to book my tickets!!!

Sweet Baby Girl has recovered and is out of the hospital.  Thank you all for your kind words and prayers!

Tickets are booked now and the flurry of activity has begun.  I am so thankful for friends and family who are coming alongside me to help out.  A wonderful friend was here this afternoon and I put her right to work.  Another dropped by and she helped fold a load of laundry.  Tomorrow our super babysitter is coming over all afternoon to help me transform my house from its fall motif to CHRISTMAS and then play with the kids while I work on other stuff.  I have a lot to do, and hopefully the focus to do it!

Speaking of focus...I have been distracted from this post about 20 times...better publish it now before I am distracted again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phone call!!!!

This morning I was speeding along getting Super-T ready for school and myself ready for a marathon dental appointment (one crown, two old fillings replaced, and one new filling.)  I had emailed my adoption worker telling her I would be in the dental chair all morning "just in case" I got good news.  Tomorrow would have been eight weeks waiting.  I was told the wait would be 8-10 weeks for the High Court Order (HCO).  At 7:35 my phone range.  When I heard my worker's voice I just started crying (yet another way adoption is a pregnancy: the hormones!) 

The good news:  I have my HCO!!!

The bad news:  Baby Girl is in the hospital.  

More good news:  Baby Girl is stable and expected to be released within a few days.

More baddish news: She has to be out of the hospital to get a Visa appointment and travel cannot be planned until that point.

Please pray with me that Baby Girl will fully recover from this respiratory illness and be released ASAP!  She needs to be home with her mommy!

I am so thankful for my thoughtful adoption worker who didn't want me to be in suspense the whole time I was at the dentist.  She sure gave me happy things to think about! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Forty-two and scattered

Yesterday was my birthday, however I am not going to blame the scattered nature of this post on my age (as far as I am concerned forty-two is still very young.)  I am going to blame it on the excited anticipation of happy news within the next week.  I have many lists going and much to do and the High Court Order isn't here yet, but it really looks like Baby Girl will be home for Christmas.  I am so excited!!!!  In light of that fact I though I'd do a catch-all post about several things because time will be even scarcer than normal soon (and I'm not exactly known for frequent posting under the best of circumstances.)

First, a reminder.  I am a widow and I lead a young widows' group at my church.  Being this close to so many losses really reminds me of how the holidays are not always happy times for everyone.  Please take a moment to remember and pray for those for whom Thanksgiving and Christmas are just two more huge reminders of loss and loneliness.  My friend Heather wrote beautifully and briefly about this first holiday season without her mom.  I highly recommend it to get a personal perspective on holidays and loss.  Maybe you have a friend who lost a parent, a spouse, a child, or significant other.  Make some time this holiday season to care about them and their pain.

Next up:  now is the time to support Reece's Rainbow's Angel Tree.  Yesterday the kids and I chose our Christmas angels and donated to them.  There is a button over on the right of my blog or use the link above to donate to your own angel.  This grant money will help their family bring them home.  Maybe one of these angels is supposed to be your son or daughter!  What they need most is a family!

Widows and orphans.  My themes.

If you would rather donate to deserving orphans AND have a chance at a fabulous giveaway go visit The Wannderers.  My friend Stori has a wonderful giveaway going on to support her Angel Tree baby and two older orphans, including my sweetie Suzanne, who I have mentioned a number of times on this blog.  Even if you are choosing another angel baby, go to Stori's blog to see the effects of institutionalization on these orphans with Down syndrome.  Heartbreaking.

Sweet Suzanne, where is your mommy?

Now on to happier thoughts, and why I advocate for orphans...last year at this time Super-T officially and legally became a member of our family.  Here was my birthday post from last year.

Super-T banged the judges gavel on the microphone.
Good thing the papers were already signed.  Ha! Ha!

One final super-happy thought!  Last year I was advocating for one specific little girl, "Jovie" on the Angel Tree.  I set up a separate blog called Joy Down in My Heart for that.  Early in the Angel Tree, Jovie was place on the "My Family Found Me" page.  
I am THRILLED to announce that sweet "Jovie" is now home with her new family!!!    
They just got home last week!  How do I know?  Because Jovie and Baby Girl were in the same orphanage.
The place is emptying out!!!

Baby Girl, mommy is coming SOON!!!

It is so exciting to see God putting families together! 
Won't you say "yes" to whatever "yes" He has for you?  
It could be adopting.
It could be sponsoring.
It could be encouraging those who are adopting.
It could be bringing a meal to a family who just brought their little one home.
 Won't you say "yes" to whatever "yes" He has for you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful, hopeful, joyful

Today is the day.  My single favorite day of the year.  
Pies are baked.
 Rolls are rising.
Potatoes are boiling.
Thanksgiving music is playing.
Family is gathering.
My heart is full.

  I wanted to just take a moment to thank all of YOU!
Thank you for supporting and helping.
Thank you for loving and encouraging.
Thank you for caring and praying.

I am so thankful for God's faithfulness.  I am hopeful for the future.   
 I am joyfully anticipating what the next few weeks will bring. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More pretties...

My amazing friend Sarah is still at it (original post here).  She has designed two lovely pieces.  If you donate to my family sponsorship page, go tell her about it and then get one of these lovely hand-stamped necklaces.  Here are the links to each of the pieces:



Links to my FSP for "Rosa" aka Baby Girl are on each of those pages, but hurry, this fundraiser is only going through the end of October, which is nearly here!

BONUS!  Sarah participated in Adeye Salem's linky: http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/2012/10/online-fundraisers-happening-now.html (#29) so if you donate you can enter her giveaway for three $100 gift cards!  Please consider checking out the other fundraisers for the other families.  You can Christmas shop and help adoptive families at the same time!

Thanks so much, my friends!  We are getting closer by the day!  All money brought in now is going for travel expenses...Little Pud and I are ready to hop that plane to bring Baby Girl home!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Down syndrome awareness month

October is Down syndrome awareness month.  Obviously people with Down syndrome (two in particular) are near and dear to my heart.  Baby Girl and Super-T have that extra chromosome that makes them uniquely special.  Fortunately, their birth country has the resources and compassion to provide excellent medical and educational care for individuals with Down syndrome.  In many countries children with Down syndrome are placed in mental institutions, not provided with adequate medical care or nutrition, and sometimes outright abused. 

Over at Zero the Zeros there is a post that grabbed my attention.  It is called "Brokenhearted."  Go check it out for yourself.  This is unimaginable, but it is real.

Meanwhile today on Facebook this lovely article from 2008 has been circulating:  http://cnsnews.com/news/article/football-legend-would-pick-his-down-syndrome-son-over-normal-child

What is the difference between Gene Stallings' son Johnny and the children whose pictures are in Brokenhearted?  Think about it.  I think one major difference is the love of a parent.  Even Super-T, who had great care and people who loved him, blossomed once he was in his own family.  When I saw the changes in him I was astonished.  To think that a child who had good medical care and love and a good school and opportunities to go on outings and consistent care and travel and birthday parties and Christmas presents and love (almost all of which are completely unknown to most orphans with Down syndrome around the world), to think that Super-T blossomed and thrived after joining his very own forever family, imagine, just imagine, what it would do for these little malnourished unloved children.  Come to think of it, you don't have to imagine.  You can see for yourself.  Here is Katie's adoption story.  http://theblessingofverity.com/2012/10/the-story-of-katies-adoption/  Katie was 9 1/2 years old and weighed 10 pounds 9 ounces when her mother brought her home last November.  See what eleven months with a family who loves her has done for this precious little one.

If you are interested in helping orphans, Katie's mom has a post on what you can do to help.
Or you can support one of the many families or children on Reece's Rainbow, a wonderful ministry that advocates for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs.  Also Buddy Walks for Down syndrome awareness are happening all over the country this month.  Join one and see what fun we have!

My own precious waiting sweetheart with an extra chromosome is walking and loves books according to a family who visited her this week.  Although her country won't let me show her face, I can show you her plump little arms and adorable shoes.  I can hardly wait to see how she will blossom even more when she is finally home with a sister and brothers and mommy of her own.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Article 5!

I received an email this morning that the U.S. Consulate in Baby Girl's country issued the Article 5.  Now our file goes through their high court system to be issued a High Court Order and then we TRAVEL!

Mommy's coming Baby Girl!

The email said that they anticipate the HCO to be issued either the last week of November or early December (it typically takes 8-10 weeks).  They said that hopefully Baby Girl will be home by Christmas!  I am so excited!  I am especially jumping out of my skin because the director of the program and an adoptive family that I am friends with are going to be visiting with Baby Girl on MONDAY!!!  Yippee!!!

P.S. Don't forget about my friend Sarah's offer that I wrote about here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Amazing friends

I cannot explain what amazing friends I have.  Inspiring, thoughtful, encouraging, generous.

I have friends who planned and ran an enormous garage sale for Baby Girl's adoption.

I have a friend who had me speak at her church and then they presented me with two VERY generous checks, totally unexpectedly.

I have several friends (and family members who are also friends) from all over the country who wrote me checks out of the blue.

I have a friend who shared my situation with her friend who then sold hand-made jewelry to raise money for this adoption.

I have friends (and total strangers) who have donated to my Reece's Rainbow Family Sponsorship Page.

I have friends who have given a crib, baby carriers, clothes, and toys.

I have friends who pray for me, encourage me, inspire me, listen to me.

I have been humbled and awed with the love shown to me by these friends.

I haven't asked for money or help in this adoption journey.  I knew I did not have the money in my savings account (it was emptied with my first big agency fee) but I also didn't feel like I was to "raise" the money.  I just felt confident that it would come to me and it has.  I have been amazed, yet not amazed, because I knew this is what my Father God would do.  He set me on this journey of adoption and He is the one providing for it. 

Now, on this last leg of my adoption journey, this third trimester of my paper pregnancy, my friend Sarah is at it again.  She asked if she could help me out with with this last bit, the travel expenses.

Sarah makes beautiful hand-stamped jewelry (and takes great pictures, too.) 

She formerly sold her hand-stamped jewelry in an Etsy shop, but now almost the only way to get a piece is in one of her rare fundraisers for others, like this one.  Sarah is going to custom make a bracelet or pendant for anyone who donates to my Family Sponsorship Page. All of the details are on her blog: http://shepherdsgrace.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/daughters/

If you have been wanting to help out, this is a great opportunity.  If you need a unique Christmas gift, here is your chance.  But whether or not you give, I want to go on record telling the world that my loving Father God has provided for Baby Girl's adoption as only He can.  He provided!  I am so thankful to the friends, family, and strangers who have listened to His promptings and have given at exactly the right times.  And whether or not you are interested in giving I would encourage you to read Sarah's lovely post about daughters, or any of the posts on her blog...my friend has a way with words in addition to her jewelry-making, picture-taking talents.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She knows.

Baby Girl knows she has a mommy and a big sister and two big brothers. She has seen our video, looked at our pictures, and received our gifts. The social worker said she was very excited when watching the video, especially when Little Pud came on the screen. I wish I could show you all of the pictures (the one of how excited she was about the recorded book is absolutely priceless), but you will have to be content today with seeing her little hand reaching out to touch her big sister.

I am grateful. Not too long now, Little Sister, not too long now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I800 approval!

Today I called the Hague USCIS office to find out about the status of my I800 for Baby Girl. The kind officer told me that it had been granted provisional approval yesterday afternoon! Yippee!!! Next they forward all the paperwork to the National Visa Center who will look it over and then "cable" the approval to the consulate in Baby Girl's country who will issue the Article 5. After that begins the wait for the court order and finally travel. It still looks like we will likely be travelling between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The sooner the better...I am starting to pine away for this sweet girl.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A post about four kids, none of them mine...

My fellow Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree Warrior Stori is offering matching grants to two families who travel soon to get their children. I love Stori's heart, and she advocates for sweet Kai (who lives in the same country as Baby Girl) and my little love Suzanne 15H. Kai and Suzanne are two of my very favorite children on Reece's Rainbow...two of the ones I would be SO EXCITED if I saw that they had families coming for them.

The matching grants offered are for two families who are going to be travelling SOON to very expensive countries and need additional funds to be able to travel to get their children. One of the families just received the devastating news that the child they were planning on adopting passed away. This is very real, folks. Kids are literally dying. That family is now pursuing a blind referral. I'm sure they would appreciate your prayers as they grieve and process and move forward.

Go check out Stori's blog to get the details of the matching grants for the families who will be traveling THIS WEEK and prayerfully consider what you read there. Look at what Stori and her husband are personally offering and ask yourself if you could give something to one or both of the families.

And finally, here is a picture of my sweet Suzanne who has already been transferred to an institution. Are you her mommy or daddy? I will help you fundraise if you are!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm in love!

Yesterday I received a surprise package from my agency. In the package was an updated child study on Baby Girl, new photos, and an eighteen minute video of my sweetie!!! (Just filmed on Monday!)

This is the first time we have seen her in action. It is also the first time I have seen her smile (all of her previous pictures were serious, sad, or with an irritated expression. A lot of them were also blurry, and now I know why.

She is amazing and beautiful, smart and active, funny and strong! I am just stunned that I get to be this adorable little girl's mommy! I think I'd better go re-childproof my house, though. She is going to keep us on our toes! She is standing on her own and can even play the tambourine and/or dance while standing unsupported. Her child-study says she can take about four steps unassisted, but the video didn't show that. What it did show was her scooting on her tush, crawling, standing, dancing, playing, looking at a book, laughing, smiling, responding, and so much more. The whole family is absolutely in love with her. The waiting hadn't gotten painful at all before yesterday. Well, suddenly it has. The three to four more months I will have to wait stretch out in front of me. I feel I could go crazy, but I won't...I'll enjoy my current kiddos, spend as much time with them as I can, and rethink the storage in the lower cabinets in my kitchen.

Since I can't post a picture of Baby Girl, I will post a picture of the other three taken just after The Philosopher got back from his first Boy Scout high adventure trip. He spent nearly a week canoeing the Minnesota Boundary Waters! We sure missed him, but he had an incredible time. Maybe someday I'll actually post about the fun stuff we did this summer, but right now my brain is all in the future, and it seems that future isn't coming fast enough.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Surprise phone call!

The phone rang at 7:30 this morning. I rolled over (I have fallen off the early-rising wagon this summer). The "you've got a message" tone beeped. I ignored it. A few minutes later the phone rang again. This time I got up, but still missed it.

Hmmm...it was not a number I recognized (I truly had expected it to be my dad asking the kids and I if we wanted to come over for breakfast).

I listened to the message. It was my wonderful worker at my adoption agency. She asked me to call her (she was calling from her cell which was why I didn't recognize the number). I seriously still didn't think too much of it because just yesterday I was scheduling something with her that wasn't directly related to my adoption and I thought maybe there was a scheduling conflict.

I called her, and she said the magic words: "You have matching approval!"

AMAZING!!! I screamed! Little Pud then told me that she had just prayed for MA. The fastest I have ever heard of anyone receiving MA recently was three and a half months. We broke the record with three months and ten days! Yippee!!! I was hopeful for mid-August and wasn't even thinking (much) about it yet. The wait hadn't even gotten difficult.

What does this mean? It means that I am officially matched to my sweet Baby Girl. It means that I am in another paperwork flurry. It means that I can send Baby Girl a photo album and a video so that she can be introduced to her family. It means that her child care home will start transitioning her to the name I have chosen for her. It means that Baby Girl will be home before Christmas...maybe even by Thanksgiving. Soon I will get Baby Girl's birth certificate and send off for the next step of immigration approval and then it will go to the court in her country. The long wait is over. Smooth sailing from here!

THANK YOU to all who have prayed and given. I have lots of wonderful things I would love to share, but as my recent posting history has shown, this summer has not been a good blog summer for me. However it has been a lovely real-life summer and with the coming of the school year will come more frequent posts (hopefully).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Working around it!

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions.  Ken I think you hit the nail on the head and that it has something to do with the new blogger interface (even though I have been using it for months).  I was able to (temporarily) switch to the old and it works.  And thank you Stori for suggesting Windows Live Writer.  That is what I am using right now.  This is a test post to see if it really works.  I think I should add a random picture or two to see what it does.


Okay, I found some pictures, but they are not random.  They are from a trip to the art museum this spring.  I am going to play around with this a bit, so sorry about the formatting (or lack of it.)



Super-T is enamored with Little Pud’s pink umbrella.  


We made “pots” out of Crayola Model Magic and then went for a walk in the gardens.  The kids of course wanted to play in the fountains and I wanted a family picture.  You judge who got their wish.
















Oh well, we had a good time and I did get a decent picture of Little Pud and I after she stopped making faces.



I also took some fun pictures of the tulips after the rain.



Well, so far, so good.  If this publishes I think I may be a LiveWriter convert.  Thanks, Stori! 

Now I just need to figure out how to do my signature again…