Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adoption Update

It's been a while since I've posted any updates on China Girl (see this post for our last update).  Similar to in August 2010 our immigration paperwork and biometrics (fingerprints) "expired" in the past month.  Thus, we spent time this past Fall visiting doctors, updating paperwork, visiting the sheriff's department, meeting with our social work, and updating our home study ... again.  We then trekked down to Milwaukee for our biometrics appointment.  Approximately a month ago we received our updated immigration approval.  Thus, we are now current until early next year when we will start the process again.  Unless, of course, God's timing is the physical placement of China Girl with our family this year.  It is with much anticipation that we wonder if this will be "the year."

As I've mentioned in the past, the wait time for a China adoption is ever increasing, and we are years out from a "healthy" referral.  After we began the adoption process, we felt we were being lead to opening up our application to special needs.  This process entails a checklist of sorts where you and your spouse agree (hopefully) on which special needs you are open to.  When we originally completed this additional paperwork and application, we checked the box that we were open to cleft conditions (lip and / or palate).  Over the course of the past month or so, God has been opening our hearts to this special need more and more.  We have been able to connect with families from our adoption agency, and we have "stumbled" across some amazing blogs of families who have adopted little ones with cleft conditions. There have been a few other things that are molding our hearts as well that perhaps over time will be shared here.

In November, we also had an opportunity to share our adoption journey with our church family (for Orphan Sunday).  From a timing perspective, it was good to sit down and reflect on our journey to date and anticipate what is to come ...

From November 2011:
Our “official” adoption journey began in January 2009.  However, we began discussing adoption a few years prior to that.  At that point adoption was our “Plan B.” We would pursue adoption IF we didn’t get pregnant again.  After losing Owen, it became increasingly clear to us that adoption is not God’s Plan B, nor should it be ours.

God does not make mistakes. And He does not need a backup plan. Adoption was not God’s plan B. We had seen adoption to be a second choice after biological children. But, just as God designed some families to grow through biological children, He has also designed some families to grow through the miracle of adoption.

Our dossier is in China, and we have been on the “wait list” for approximately two and half years.  The wait time for a little girl from China is increasing every day.  There are many circumstances that could determine when our little girl will officially join our family, but we know that it is God’s will and His timing that will determine this.  While we wait God is working in ways only He can. This little girl already is part of our family and holds a piece of all of our hearts.  When the boys talk about our family, they list out themselves (Jack and Samuel), Owen, Lydia and China Girl (this is how the boys started affectionately referring to their one-day sister shortly after we began the adoption process).

As we are waiting on God’s perfect timing, please join us in praying for the orphans, in praying for the birth mothers who carry these babies, and the birth parents who make the unimaginable decision to give these children up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

2012 General Observations:  the kiddos are outgrowing the chair ... Samuel's hair is as crazy as ever ... the boys are wearing the same shirts as last year ... our love for these kiddos grows more and more every day ...



Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Heart

I got the water color heart banner and happy heart verse idea from Jess's blog here.  Although we've never met in "real life", love this girl, she is crazy creative and talented and has an amazing {happy} heart. 

Note:  Samuel helped with the banner too, but he was too "cool" for me to take his picture "crafting."  Love that boy and his very middle-child characteristics!  And Jack, he would have readily assisted, but he was at basketball.  Although he may not readily admit it, he has a happy heart for crafting with his mama.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


It is with wonder that I look at Jack, Samuel and Lydia and think how similar they are and yet how different as well.  We had an event at school this past week where, on the spot, Samuel volunteered to go on stage and tell a joke.  Jack would never do that.  In fact, Jack was embarrassed that even Samuel went up there.

I didn't get a photo of Samuel actually telling his joke as I was on the edge of the bleacher, waiting with baited breath to see what joke Samuel was going to even tell. 

In case you were wondering, here is the joke he told:

   What is a horse's favorite drink?

And, he did great!!!!  Way to go, Samuel!!!! 

And, even though Jack was initially embarrassed, he was looking rather proud when even Jack's friends were coming up and telling Samuel that they liked his joke!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


When my niece Ellison was a little over two, my SIL put her hair in rags overnight and voila - beautiful curls the next morning.  Five years ago, when admiring how Rita transformed Ellison's hair I remember thinking to myself that if God would ever bless me with a little girl I'd have to try that.  So, here it is, my first attempt ...

Saturday Night After Bath
Yes, she's in that stage where it's hard to get any photos with a natural smile!

Sunday Morning

And, Jason, sorry honey, but you owe me $20 (insert evil laughter - muhahahahaha)!