Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!



From our family to yours...have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Eat lots of turkey, pumpkin pie and have fun counting your blessings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zoey and Kate Plus 8 Siblings


Here comes the FedEx truck with our referrals!!!


The FedEx guy who 'delivered' our twins...


Signing the paperwork on the spot so that the FedEx guy could take them with him.

There are so many parts to this story that will have to wait to be told until after we are home with the girls. However, I can answer some of your questions now.

--Yes, we are going to be able to bring both girls home on the same trip! We hope to leave for China right after Christmas or early January.
--Yes, they are both from Henan, but from different orphanages.
--Kate has a single ventricle and some other heart defects, with an unknown future prognosis. Zoey has a 'little foot' and a leg that is much shorter than the other one. Her ankle bone is missing and she faces a possible amputation.
--Kate will be 3 in January, and Zoey will be 3 in April. Jake will be 3 in July, so we will have virtual triplets. Since Jake is a boy, we will probably just do a 'twin' thing with the girls. :)
--The girls do not know each other yet. We will all meet on the same day.
--Yes, we have to pay double for most of the adoption fees.
--Yes, this is a very unusual situation. Kate needs open heart surgery very soon and that is why we have been allowed to adopt her at the same time as Zoey. CCAA has been awesome about wanting her to get the medical care she needs.

And no one asked this, but yes, we are scared! :) Like any other parents-to-be of twins, we are excited and scared at the same time!

I CAN tell you about one of the miracles we experienced along the way. When I called our social worker to ask for an amended homestudy, she was happy to do it. However, she stressed to me that our USCIS (immigration) office would NEVER amend our approval from one child to two. She was adament that USCIS would make us start a brand new process for Kate (which would take a minimum of 6 months, lots of paperwork and money). I told her that we at least wanted to TRY to get the necessary approval from USCIS and if God wanted to work it out, He would. We emailed our USCIS office to ask how to proceed. We never received a reply. Our agency tried, and they too, got no response. They finally were able to talk to a different USCIS office, who gave us the information we needed. Ten days after I sent the change request to our USCIS office, I opened the mailbox to see a letter from USCIS. My heart dropped, thinking they were sending me a rejection letter, but no!!! Inside was our new approval for TWO children!

We have had many different experiences with our adoptions and this one has been no exception. This time, we have felt like the Isrealites standing on the shores of the Red Sea, watching in awe as it parted in front of them. At times I felt like a bug on the wall, just watching all that was happening around me rather than being in the middle of the fight (like I usually am!). "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14 It has kept us at peace during the process to know that God was totally in control...that this was His project...and that if He wanted to bring Kate home to us, He would have to do some miracles. He proved that He is completely capable of doing what needs to be done to accomplish His purposes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Double Happiness!



Now that we have gotten final approval, I am able to let you all in on a little secret. We are adopting TWO little girls from China!! Both little ones are from the same province and are almost the same age. Zoey Faith will be three in April and her 'twin' sister, Katelyn Joy, will turn three in January. Kate has a very serious heart defect. She has had one corrective surgery but needs another one soon. It is very unusual to be allowed to adopt two children at once from China, but both of our daughters had more severe defects, which made them harder to place.

Kate is currently living at Hope Healing Home, where SaraGrace lived for awhile. We once again are indebted to Love Without Boundaries and Hope Healing Home for providing care and heart surgery for one of our daughters. I actually saw Kate when we were in China adopting Jordan, and stopped to visit at Hope. I didn't hold Kate, but she had just arrived at Hope and I took a picture of her. She was so sick and frail. I have followed her story through the LWB blog over the years - never dreaming that someday I would be her mama.


This photo was on the LWB blog a long time ago, and it is the one that is imprinted on my mind when I think about Kate.

I will eventually post the miraculous story of how God has written Zoey and Kate's story.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Zoey News....

What a difference 48 hours can make! We got a wonderful phone call this morning from our agency. Our Letter of Acceptance has arrived for Zoey! That means we are almost done! We will sign it, send it back and in about 2-3 weeks, we should receive travel approval. We anticipate going to China in about 7-8 weeks, just after Christmas.

Hang on, sweet girl...we are coming to bring you home!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Zoey news

I have some news and it's not great. We got a form letter email from our adoption agency today saying that they are closing their doors. Their phone is disconnected already and I haven't been able to get any information about how this will affect our adoption. We do know that another agency is going to pick up the files of all of the parents who are in process. What we don't know is if there will be a delay in our adoption, or additional fees to pay.

We are supposed to be contacted by our agency within the next few days but until then, we have no idea how this will affect getting Zoey home.

I am thankful that we know this was no surprise to God and that He has everything under control. If you would be willing to lift this situation up to Him, we would be grateful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hat Tricks

Little Jake likes to wear hats. He has a bit of trouble putting them on, however. He consistantly puts them on sideways, giving me a succession of photos that looks like this...






Lookin' good, Little Man!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sometimes You Just Shake Your Head

It will come as no surprise that SaraGrace found herself the object of discipline the other night. I gave her the usual talk about how I love her and I want to help her make good choices - therefore I must discipline her.

Later, as I tried to tuck her bouncing body into bed, she threw her arms around me and said, "Thank you, Mommy, for helping me make good choices. You are da best Mommy in da world. Thank you for getting me in trouble so I can be fun to be around. Oh, thank you, thank you, Mommy." I couldn't believe my ears! None of my kids have ever thanked me for disciplining them! And lest you think she was just buttering me up, no, that is her true feeling about it. She is so passionate about everything. I love that little imp!

And speaking of imps, here are Jake's latest pictures.

How Can My Baby Be Graduating?

Yesterday I wrote out a check for some of these:



And graduation pictures....We will probably add some more poses to his pictures in the spring when his hair grows out from the goofy buzz he got at the end of the summer. He wears a hat constantly, so his forehead is not nearly as tanned as the rest of his face. With no bangs, there is a definite glare off his forehead. ha.






Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Freedom is never free


On this Veteran's Day, I would like to thank all who have fought and have given their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms of life in America. We are so incredibly blessed in this country. I am deeply thankful to the men and women who have made many sacrifices and/or given their lives for us. And I thank their families for the sacrifies they also make as they are separated from their loved ones.

There is a deep yearning in the heart of every man, woman and child, to be free. Let us not forget the cost that has been paid to ensure that very freedom.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan

"Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit." Ronald Reagan

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Little Artist

Taylor babysat for me the other day while a ran some errands and when I returned, I was greeted by a grinning Jordan.

His shirt had some strange markings on it, and when I leaned over to check them out, he proudly lifted his shirt to show me this...


Before I could ask who had done this dirty deed, I turned him around to see his back...

...and noticed that the perpetrator had written her initals there! I cracked up!! Her name is too long for her to write at this point, so she writes SG for SaraGrace. She wrote it backwards, but it's there.

She hasn't realized that when you want to draw on your brother with a marker, it is wise not to sign your initals.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Unscientific Experiment


Over the years, we have heard about the possiblity that sugar causes hyperactivity in children. I have read the arguments on both sides but remained undecided about who to believe. I am no longer undecided.

On Friday, six of my children received a bucket full of candy. Despite the fact that I rationed it - so as to avoid having to deal with six barfing kiddos - they still consumed far more than normal.

Within a half hour, they were all racing around the house, yelling, and bouncing off the walls. We finally wrestled them into their beds, hoping that they were just excited about trick-or-treating, and that sanity would return the next morning.

That was not to be.

The following day was SaraGrace's birthday, so now we had cake, ice cream, candy, and the left-over cupcakes from the school Halloween party. Jeff and I did our best to hold the kids back, but a ridiculous amount of sugar was scarfed before noon. They soon began running in circles, hooting and hollaring, and being generally obnoxious. I told them to calm down at which point, Molly, who was talking only several decibels below deafening and kicking her legs in the air, said, "Why? We're not being wild!"

My scientific conclusion: Yes, sugar makes kids hyper and if you don't believe me, I hope you will offer to babysit them the day after Halloween next year.

Don't Forget to Vote!

And here is my shameless plug in case you don't know who to vote for...

Saturday, November 01, 2008