Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween will always hold special meaning for us. Last year on this night, all our bags were FINALLY packed! And we were preparing to travel half way around the world to a daughter we had only seen in pictures. Wow, what a completely surreal feeling that was. Many of you know that Jay and I tried for years to have a second child, even under went fertility treaments and one cycle of IVF. Our yearning for another child, really turned into a dark time in our lives. We were on a path, but the wrong path. Once we realized God's plan for our family, our despair turned to hope. Don't get me wrong, it was not an easy path, many ups and downs, many times I doubted our decision, many times I didn't think we could do it. But, I have never felt closer to the Lord, then when we were waiting to see Charlotte's face. Everything was out of my hands, all I could do once the mounds of paperwork were in was wait. Wait on Him and how perfect His story has turned out to be. And the incredible thing, is He is not done yet. When I look at pictures of Charlotte then and now, she is so different. She has so much love in her eyes and in her heart. It is like she has always been with us and yet it seems like just yesterday we were preparing for a 17 day journey to China. So that last night before we left for China, we went Trick or Treating with our son, by himself, for the last time. And this year we had a little sweetie with us for all the fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

First here is a little something from my amazing 7 year old. He never ceases to amaze me. This is a writing assignment he had for school. They had to right the steps for a process.


Here is the transcription:
How to Adopt from China
1. First you need to do paperwork.
2. Next, you need to do some more.
3. Then, they call you so you can go.
4. Last, you go to China and go to adopt your child.


If only it was that easy, oh to have the wisdom of a child again. This has been a hard week for me adoption paperwork wise. For our last dossier I had the most trouble getting my Physical Forms and attached letters completed correctly. I was hopeful this time with a new Doctor it would be easier-HA! But I just kept smiling and apologizing for the inconvience, even though I was screaming on the inside. Hopefully when I go pick it up this afternoon it will all be correct. I know that they don't understand the severity of one little piece of paper, but this is China we are dealing with and perfection is very important:) I am going to try and keep Ethan's words of wisdom in the forefront of my mind!!! What a great kid!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Sweet Girl

My Sha Sha is such a little beauty, she actually posed for our little photo session tonight. I was thinking when I took these that there is possibility that next year at this time we may have two little beautys to pose, that would be so amazing. I have been thinking about our new little one lots, I guess because I am working on our Dossier and following some families in China, and for 4 of the families this is their second trip. One of the families I followed on their first trip as well so it is so neat to follow them again. Enjoy the pics of our sweet girl. Oh and by the way what do you think about the name Leah Grace??




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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FALL FUN!!

I watched my niece Alexis today, her babysitter is on vacation. We had lots of fun together. I had hoped to take the girls to a pumkin patch, but they were either only open on the weekends for individual families or not until after lunch, not really an option for 2 year olds. I guess the area pumpkin patches have plenty of work with school trips??? Anyway so we went to a local nursery so I could at least have my photo op and then we went to the park. So we still had lots of fun.







I also wanted to make a shout out for little Susannah!!! She is doing so well, and home with her family now. Check her out when you have a chance. Also Susannah's mommy gave a shout out to all her blogger buddies, of which I consider myself:) and made her very own award. Susannah's Sunflowers......




Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, we already had our Referral Acceptance letter from China and were waiting on our last piece of paper to make concrete travel plans. I knew there was a group leaving on November 1st and if it did not come quickly we would not be able to leave until after Thanksgiving. I posted this request on our website:

Hello Everyone,
We have a major prayer request today. We are still waiting on our Travel Approval. The last piece of paper we need before we can go get Charlotte. Our agency has a group leaving on November 1st. We really want to be part of that group!!!! Please be in prayer with us that God will move mountains and bring that TA to us from China very soon. We still have a chance to get in with the group if it comes in the next week and a half. Thank you for all your prayers thus far and please keep them coming! If we do not get in with the 11/1 group it may be closer to the end of Novemeber before we will be able to leave.
Love you,
Carla

Then later that day I posted this:

We serve an amazing God!!!! Our Travel Approval came today!!!!! Praise the Lord, we are so blessed! We still need prayers for our last little hurdle. Our agency will now request a Consulate Appointment for us in . This is where we get Charlotte’s Visa to return to the US. As long as they can secure the appt. for the 2nd week in November we should be able to leave on or around November 1st. We should know by Tuesday for sure! Keep those prayers coming-it is working!

We were able to leave on November 1st and what an awesome day it was!! And now one year later we have a special little girl that blesses us everyday with her spirit. And I am headed out to do my first solo Adoption seminar for America World. God is so amazing!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What to do today???

So, I actually have a Tuesday off with nothing that I absolutely HAVE to do. So I am trying to decide what to do, here are some of the things I was tossing around after dropping Ethan off at school:

  • Making some new hair bows
  • Scrapbooking
  • Taking more pics of Sha Sha, in her Halloween costume and new Halloween dress
  • Try to figure out what the educators discount is on Photoshop CS4-I really want this program but it is kind of $$$$$$
  • Pay Bills-ah, probably not!
  • Clean the Car-as usual it is a wreck
  • Play at the park with Sha Sha-there is a small neighborhood park in our cul-de-sac
  • Play on the computer-this will probably win out-but I will let you know!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Purple Belt and Flag Football

We had a BUSY weekend. Or should I say, we were busy taking Ethan everywhere. First Friday, eye appointment.....New Glasses for Ethan! Then TKD, belting ceremony and demonstration practice. On Saturday, Flag Football at 11:00, pick up new glasses at 12:30, TKD demonstrations at 2:15 and 3:30, then head to Nana's to spend the night with cousin Austin! Wow, needless to say we took it easy on Sunday!




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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One of my favorite things!

One of my most favorite things is staying home with Charlotte on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I only teach on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which means the other days are mommy and Charlotte days. I cherish the times we have together just the two of us. We have lots of fun playing pretend, and cleaning the house (for real). She is a big helper, sometimes she helps a little too much-LOL! Sometimes we go to the store or the park, whatever we do it is lots of fun for the two of us. I loved these days with Ethan when he was little also. I feel so lucky to have the best of both worlds, working and staying home. Don't get me wrong sometimes I wish I was home all the time but I have the most incredible part time job! I love my school and I love teaching music, and Ethan can go to school with me. Anyway here are some pics of Charlotte from Sunday. She was not in the mood for modeling, but I had to get a couple shots in her new, adorable outfit. Have a wonderful Tuesday!!




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Monday, October 6, 2008

2 years ago today!

Two years ago today, we were officially DTC (Dossier to China.) I was so happy to have all of that paperwork behind us, little did I know that just a little over a year later we would have our Charlotte and that 2 years later I would be doing it all over again. Isn't God's plan for our lives just plain amazing. Here is the entry I made on our Adoption Website that day:

We are officially DTC (Dossier to China) today. I got an e-mail from
America World with our fedex tracking number so that we can make sure it arrives
in Bejing safely. What an answer to prayer that we were able to finish our
dossier in just 5 months. We were lucky and blessed so many times along
the way. It takes some families 10 months to get everything done. We
are so excited to begin our long but well-worth it wait. We will continue
to update, thanks for checking in on us.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

11 months

I opened my blog today to read a couple of comments that my wonderful friends left me, thanks Sharon and Leslie and Christie who e-mailed, and realized today is Oct. 5th. See the ticker at the top of my blog, it says that Sha Sha has been with her forever family for 11 months TODAY!! I can't belive that in one short month she will have been home for an entire year, it just doesn't feel possible. And wow, how she has changed. I will be doing a series of posts then and now, as special days come up this month. But for now here is a pic of our girl then and now.....



This picture was on the camera we sent to orphanage in Charlotte's Care Package.

Our Beautiful Girl

Thanks to all my friends for your encouragement, I am feeling much better about everything and really getting excited!! Oh and by the way, I added the Blog Followers application to my sidebar. If you follow me will you please add yourself, right now I have zero followers :(

Friday, October 3, 2008

Making Room for Mei Mei

So everytime I watch that video in the previous post, I just think about how grateful I am to be the mommy to 2 amazing children. And prayerfully one more in the near future. I am excited to be starting the chase again, but for some reason it seems harder this time to get going. Don't get me wrong, I know there is another little one out there for our family. I am just not looking forward to the paperwork. But I will get it done, just have to tread through it. We have been called to bring her home and we are committed to doing that, but it is so interesting the reactions this time. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Hey, you are not going to believe this but we are going back to
China!

Friend: You are, for what??

Me: To bring home another baby!

Friend: Really???

Me: Yes, we are, I know everyone thinks we are crazy.

Friend: Are you sure, 3 little ones?

Me: There are so many children out there that need a mommy and daddy
and love, and we have it give. So we have to go back.

Friend: Okay, well (big pause) congratulations.

Now any of my friends out there reading, please know this is a whole bunch of conversations put together, but I have had many of these and it is so okay. But, I guess the first time, so many family and friends knew that we had done everything to have another baby and going to China was the answer to that. This time though, why?? It is so much harder to convince people that we just feel called to bring home another little girl. Jay and I knew and even talked about the fact that we would be back in China in the future. I think that is why we were not sad about leaving. We already knew we would be back. I guess I am just looking for some encouragement, that we are doing the right thing. It makes me wonder if I seem completely stressed out or something with having 2 and one more would just be too much??

I am not writing this post to make anyone feel bad, just to help explain. Yes, we feel completely blessed with all we have, and financially we are leaning on God for the adoption expenses, but we can take on another little one. And since we can we should. Watching the amazing story of little Susannah has really just confirmed it for me all the more. There is another sweet little girl that needs her mommy, daddy, Big Brother and Big Sis and we are going to make room for our Mei Mei. It will be a while before we see her face or hold her but we know it will happen, we have so much Faith in that. And while we are moving through the process we hope you will pray for us and maybe even ask yourself, can I make room for a Mei Mei? You might be surprised by the answer God gives. After all it is pretty hard to look and the sweet little girl in the video below and not have it pull at your heart just a little.