We attended the Indy Auto Show yesterday. Below are some highlights. Our Genius friend "Niner" (Tony Olivero) gets credit for helping us post the slideshow...
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Well, it is now Wednesday, December 27th. Christmas has come and gone. And gone from our home as of December 26th at 2:00 pm are all traces of decorations. Rett cannot wait to put decorations up, and it seems she cannot wait to take them down either :). I thought we were quick to take down our decor but our neighbor across the street had all her external decorations down by 10:30 am on December 26. (no, we do not keep close tabs on our neighbors, but this did catch our attention...)
I purchased three more highly decorative (green and red) plastic tubs from Meijer yesterday morning. I and ran across a sweet deal on small LIVE Christmas tree. Only $12.50. What a bargain. Now I need to decide where to plant it.
The green and red tubs continue to take over my great little shed in the back yard. If we keep it up at this pace, I will need a seperate shed for Christmas decoration tubs. Oh well.
So now what...I am off the rest of the week and do not return to work until January 2nd. Rett does not return to work until January 3rd I believe. I had four vacation days left. I try to save a few for this time of year since Rett is off work.
Today I think we are venturing to the big mecca of Indianapolis. There is always plenty to do over there. (Besides, I hate to stick around here because crusing around town reminds me of work...and I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT WORK.) I think I have Rett convinced to attend the annual Indy Auto Show. We (or I) will drool for awhile over the new Jeeps and Jags then to the malls. We were extremely blessed and received many great gifts and gift cards (which is one of the reasons we are going to hit the malls).
Speaking of blessed, I read the book titled "A Waiting Child" about a three year old girl adopted from China and her desire to have a friend of hers find a home as well (I will not tell you how it ends so that you can read it and find out for yourself). The book was a real eye opener for me. The conditions of orphanages are described well. What got to me is how the older children have to learn survival of the fittest, have to compete for clothing, toys and etc... They have nothing...not even the clothes on their back are theirs. They literally have to be the early bird to get the best clothing.
We have so much JUNK. We do not need even a percentage of the crap that we work so hard to obtain. I know there are children in America (and other places) that have needs too. I was in line at Meijer this week (yes, we live just about 60 seconds from Meijer and do spend a lot of time and $$ there...) and overheard the check out lady telling a guy "....China, we have kids over here that need help." Thankfully Rett was not with me because I am sure she would not have bit her tounge like I did.
So with all of that said, I think my spending habits will change a bit regarding things that we really do not need. We are so lucky to have everything that we have and we forget that there are kids that would love to just have a family and could care less about all the gifts and possessions we focus our lives on to obtain.
Wow...that sounds kind of deep. Did that come from me? (There is some eye-opening literature out there besides the Auto Trader and Hot Rod Magazine I guess). Anyway, have a great week. I am sure the next post will come from Rett because my rambing postings are few and far between. I'll try to post a photo of the little Christmas tree that I purchased (I know you cannot wait...).
Friday, December 22, 2006
Third Day has a band member that is adopting from China as well. The following is the lyrics to one of their songs entitled, "Merry Christmas". Please take a moment to read it and then please pray for Abby and her birth mother.
There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas
As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow
But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas
Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
and we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
and prepare a place for us
so we could have a home with him above
It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep,
I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart,
I wish you Merry Christmas
Friday, December 15, 2006
- Today is Tony's 32nd birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's NOT excited about it and will KILL me when he sees that I actually put his age in here! Anyway, here's a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him! I love you Tony!
- Today is also our 6 month waiting anniversary on Abby! Only like 1, 245, 679 more months to go! WHOO HOO!
- Allyson also graduates from Ball State this weekend! CONGRATS to her for her hard work!
See, all good reasons to CELEBRATE!
Monday, December 04, 2006
We had one great southern weekend! Tony and I headed to Nashville, TN with my mom, dad, Renee, Ronnie, Robin, Duane, Randy, Kathy, and Jarrett. We had SO much fun! It was nice just being together and away from Richmond. We got to see family that are from those parts (hehe, that SOUNDS southern) and that made it even more special. We got to see cousins and their children that I hadn't seen in years! It was a fun time catching up.
We went to a great restaurant on Friday night called, "Cock on the Walk" and had fantastic food! I had the catfish YUM! The picture was taken in the lobby of the restaurant. They had tons of rocking chairs...even those that rocked left to right (TALK about sea sick!) Isn't the giant one a hoot?
We also had what friends of ours would call a hug from God this weekend. On the way down to Tennessee, I was thinking about how things will change (packing and traveling wise) when Abby comes home. I was just chatting with God about how it's SO hard to wait. How I wanted her with us NOW to be able to share with our extended family. I just asked Him to give me/us a sense of peace this weekend, and just enjoy the here and now.
Well, Saturday morning, we strolled down to the breakfast buffet that the hotel offered and what do you know? There was a family sitting near us that had two women that appeared to be sisters, one woman that appeared to be the grandma, a boy of about 16, and a beautiful little girl who looked to be from China. Well, after a 10 minute discussion w/ Tony about how I wanted to go and say something, and he thought I was nuts...I got brave, walked over, and said, "Is this beautiful girl your daughter? Or yours?" Her mom smiled and said, "Mine." I went on to explain we were a waiting family. They were SO nice! We learned that the little girl was named Calista and came home three years ago at 11 months old. She was SWEET...and LOVED Tony. Me, not so much.
So blah, blah, blah, we found out they were from Illinois and CHRISTIANS! That was very special. We spent about 20 minutes or more chatting and promised to pray for one another. When we left, I was bummed because I wanted to tell them Abby's name so they could pray for her by name. Then, fast forward to Sunday morning. We were running late, ran to the buffet again, and there they were!!! Calista immediately wanted to come over and say hello, so we chatted with them about their events from the night before. Then, I was able to tell them Abby's name and asked them to pray for her specifically. I promised to pray for Calista as well and I felt such joy and peace!!! God is SOOOO cool! It was just the hug we needed to top off our weekend.
Ok, I've rambled enough! Enjoy your week! Only 11 1/2 more days till Christmas break!! Is your shopping done yet????
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Ok all you lurkey turkeys....although I cannot believe you didn't post to tell us what you're thankful for, I'll let it slide. I just wanted to take a minute and share an email I received from a new friend and all around great person named April. We will ONE DAY travel together to pick up our daughters. I'm glad to have her on our support team!
I was feeling pretty down about a week and a half ago. I was in, what I'd call, a BAD baby funk. Our five month waiting anniversary was nearing, and instead of being excited, I just thought doom and gloom! Satan was saying, "Who cares about five months? Don't you get it? You'll be waiting for at LEAST two times that amount more!" and "Hahah, you this THIS will be your last childless holiday? Think again!" Man, that doubt got me going. I posted on our Yahoo group about my blahs and there they were to the rescue...April included. Here's what she wrote.
I felt so bad when you were bummed last week. I couldn't think of anything to say that didn't sound trite. So, I wanted you to know that God sees your pain. And, he does in fact answer prayer! Seek him Rett! Go to bat for all us waiting moms!!
I think waiting for ANYTHING is one of the hardest things ever. I had been dealing with an issue lately and I have read a ton of books to help me understand and to glean from their wisdom things that God has taught them. One thing, among a million, that stood out to me was , "God is more interested in changing me than he is in changing my circumstances." -Joyce Meyer. That is so hard. Ultimately, God cares about getting us ready for eternity, whatever that means:-) He wants to make us more like his son. But, as I have been reading and reading and reading books and my Bible. I am more convinced than ever about God's love for us- people. Over and over again in the Old Testament people did the most vile things and God would be ready to destroy them. Then, they would repent and he would reduce/change his punishment. He does the same thing for us. Rett, he loves you so much. He has plans for you, plans to prosper you and plans to give you a great future Jer 29:11. He is so proud of you that you want to love one of his children- an orphan. A little girl that you are going to introduce to the love of Jesus. You want to know why you are discouraged, because Satan is attacking you. Do you think he wants to see you joyful? No Way!! Do you want to know why? Because the joy of the Lord is our (your) strength. Nehemiah 8:10 When you are full of joy, you have the strength of the Lord. The other conclusion I come to is if you are depressed and miserable, you are weak. That is how Satan would like to keep you! Kick his butt, Rett!! You are so funny!
April help me put things in perspective. And I think some of her encouragement can trickle right down to you! The Joyce Meyer quote was the best. "God is more interested in changing me, than he is in changing my circumstances." Could this be true for you as well? Are you feeling kind of down about your situation? God hears your cries, sees your heart, and loves you totally. Just understand...He's all about changing YOU........NOT the situation you're in!
Have a great week everyone!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Ok kids, Turkey Day is coming up! It's time to start thinking about our blessings!
So we've got an assignment for you, if you so choose to accept it. Just show us yours and we'll show you ours. Get your mind out of the gutter! We're talking about blessings!
It's simple. Just put what you're thankful for in the comments section. We'll add ours as you add yours. Get creative and be honest! It will do your heart some good and what's better than giving God praise?
Go ahead...be thankful...and tell us about it!
Happy early Gobble Day!!
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Simply put, I have a great family. Here's an email I received from Kristy, my niece, earlier this week.
I just thought I'd tell you that today in class, I was in my usual seat by the window when I look outside to see three ladybugs flying around the window right by me. Then, I looked by the ledge, and there was another one! Normally, I wouldn't really think about ladybugs all over, I mean, it's harvest and all, they're stirred up. But for some reason I believe they were put there to remind me of Abby and it was on my heart to pray for that beautiful girl we all are anticipating so much. So I did. And I just wanted you to know. I am thinking about your girl and I prayed SO much for her today. I can't wait to meet her.
Hope you're having a wonderful day! Ladybug hugs and kisses,
Kristy (aka Auntie Kiki, cuz you said I could be!)
Kristy was surprised to know that it is legend that when ladybugs are spotted, referrals follow soon after. The legend proved to be true! Referrals came out on Thursday. They got through 16 days of Log In Dates (LID'S) this month. (Last month they got through 18 days). That means we are still looking at a total of 14-15 months of waiting time. We have waited almost 5 months already, so IF THE CHINESE OFFICIALS keep up at this pace, we SHOULD receive our referral next September/October and travel 4-6 weeks after that. However, if we all band together and pound Heaven with some prayers, maybe we'll get to meet Abby sooner than that!!
Thanks for your prayers and love Kristy!!!
God is good...all the time, and all the time...God is good.
Monday, October 23, 2006
We got a whim....ok, I got a whim...and decided it was time to start revamping Abby's closet. Now, mind you, we won't even be matched with our daughter for AT LEAST 10 more months, but, who cares? This makes us feel one step closer to her.
Tony was SO selfless and not only gave up his closet, he also assembled the system after the inside was repainted. WOW is all I have to say. As we began hanging her little dresses, skirts, jeans, and sweaters, it seemed even more real that one day a little girl would be living here. As you could have guessed, I got all choked up. But honestly, even Tony seemed a little reflective. It is just such a surreal feeling. Afterwards, he stood back and said, "That's a lot of clothes." I grinned, and he added, "But half of it is still empty." The way I see it, he gave me (and you) the green light to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!
For those of you that live nearby, fully expect a tour of her closet on your next visit. For those who live afar, enjoy the pics. (I actually added a few more items after I had already snapped the pics. Man, this is FUN!--And I don't want ONE comment about the laundry we'll have to do with her!)
Also, we had a GREAT time getting to meet Morgan on Saturday, and getting to hear about Brian and Nancy's adventures in China. TALK ABOUT BEAUTIFUL! She is so cute!!! She is lucky to have such a wonderful family, and they're lucky to have such an adorable and spicy girl! (See previous posts about Morgan and the Williamson family)
Thursday, October 19, 2006
A ladybug has been spotted! One of my students brought me the cutest and tiniest ladybug this morning. He found it in our classroom! I told him, "You know this is a sign of good luck, right?" He casually replied, "Yeah." It really made me smile. In the adoption community ladybug sightings are synonymous with incoming referrals. Lucky lucky mommies and daddies will be seeing their baby's face for the first time next week! (Typically, referrals come in toward the end of the month--around the 25th)
So here's to a little ladybug that brightened a teacher's day, a student's day, and foretold of great things to come!
(Thanks for the ladybug scissors Rachel! Abby will love them when she's old enough to use them!)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
WHOO HOO...today we celebrated our Four Month Log-In-Date Anniversary. That means four months ago on June 15 we were officially "logged in" to China's database of waiting families. We are just waiting for our turn to be matched with a child. However, we as Christians, know that God matched us with Abby long long ago. We're just waiting on the rest of her life events to be orchestrated so that she can come home to her forever family.
We celebrated by attending church, eating at my favorite restaurant-Chili's, and then venturing to the orchard. It was a fun day and reminded us that Abby will have many adventures when she comes home. We can't wait!!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Yesterday I (Tony) opened the mail box to find a large brown envelope. To my suprise, it was from "The Foreign Service of the United States of America - U.S. Consulate General, Guangzhou, Consular Section, Amcongen Guangzhou, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C." (Say that 3 times real fast). Rett told me when I brought this in the house that I had in my possession the "famous brown envelope". In this brown envelope, among other things, was our GUZ number. Our GUZ number is our case number when dealing with the American Consulate General. Basically the letter states that "the BCIS (INS) recently notified the American Consulate in Guangzhou that you have been approved to adopt an orphan oversees. This means we are authorized to process your child's case as soon as his or her adoption is finalized...We look forward to seeing you hear soon for your child's immigrant visa interview."
So with that said, this makes us feel good. It is nice to get some encouraging news during this looong wait. This has nothing to do with the wait, but it is information we must have. In addition to the GUZ number we received the following documents that we must take with us to China:
- I600A - Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
- Consulate General of the United States of America Medical Examination Instructions for Orphans Adopted by American Citizens
- U.S. Department of State Affidavit Concerning Exemption from Immigrant Vaccination Requirements for a Foreign Adopted Child
- U.S. Department of State Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
- Form written in Chinese - oh wait - it is the Requirements for Immigrant Visa Application Photos
- A letter stating "Welcome to the Adoptions Unit in Guangzho!"
- U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service Request for and Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation
- U.S. Consular Section Location and Surrounding Area Map (in China)
- U.S. Department of State Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Application
Wow - that is a lot of paperwork that we will eventually need to complete, but that is a good thing.
As of this coming weekend we will have waited four months. Time flies. We are still hearing the wait for referral is about 14 months. Per the FTIA's latest post on 9-25-06, "Families who are currently receiving referrals from the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) waited approximately 14 months after the dossier was officially logged in to the CCAA." Just keep praying it stays at 14 months or less.
So we have been keeping busy to keep our minds off of the wait. In fact, this weekend we stayed EXTREMELY busy. We declined some offers (to do manual labor) and decided to get out of town and we did a good job of it... We did the following:
- ROAD TRIP #1 - Saturday we went to Metamora for their big fall festival and fought the crowds. Nice day for a drive and looking at stuff...
- ROAD TRIP #2 - Saturday afternoon/evening we piled in a van with some friends that live up the street from us and went to Cincinnati. We ate and then went to some haunted houses. This first was not a haunted house. It was a haunted bus ride through the woods. It was sweet. We rode in school buses with the roofs cut off. People jumped out of the woods, hopped onto the bus with chainsaws and etc...but the best part was being rammed by a fire breathing (literally, we felt the heat) bulldozer and fire breathing semi (shooting flames about 8-10 feet out of the exhaust pipes - AWESOME). Both vehicles rammed the bus and pushed the bus honking their airhorns and etc..., again sweet! Now we know why they told us to keep all hands inside the vehicle. The second place was your classic haunted school with a tight maze leading you through the freaky place.
- We ended up returning home from our Saturday evening adventure around 3:00 am Sunday, 11 hours after we left. Thank goodness we all lived within three houses of each other. No additional traveling home was required. But it was a blast go get away and do something different with some new friends, pretending we were "back in the day" with no worries.
- ROAD TRIP #3 - We woke up Sunday morning (about 5 hours after returning home) and traveled to Indy. We went to the COLTS GAME!!!! We have not been football fans for long, but had a blast. It was a good game, great seats, and LOUD! We want to go to every game now. It was a good time.
We returned home and tried to unwind from a BUSY but fun weekend. Now we are back to the weekly grind. We have a busy week again and tonight is the only night with us both home. Oh well, the weekend is around the corner. I think we will take it easy and get some rest this weekend.
Well, I (Tony) do not post often. I think my last post had to do with our crazy cat and dog chasing squirrels up trees in our back yard. So I hope you enjoyed the update. Let me know if you prefer the squirrel updates better.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The Chinese Moon Festival is coming up THIS FRIDAY! Our agency posted some very interesting facts about this mid-autumn festival on our weekly update.
Celebrations, though still relatively new to the U.S., have been held throughout Asia for well over 1,000 years. This holiday is a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal moon Goddess; Chang E, who lives in the moon.
The Moon Festival is often compared to a sort of "Chinese Thanksgiving" because of its spirit of gratitude and its inclusion of abundant food — including the popular moon cakes. Moon cakes are flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries often filled with bean or lotus-seed paste and topped with a duck egg,echoing the shape of the full moon. Many millions of moon cakes are gifted around the time of the Moon Festival.
Here is a link to Chinasprout.com as they have a link to order these:
Here is a link for more information about the festival:
So Friday night, take a peek at the moon. When you do, send Abrielle a little hug and whisper her a wish. Hopefully, this time next year, we'll be holding her in our arms, staring at that same moon, and whispering a prayer of thankfulness to her China mommy.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Not everything in my life is emotional or a drama....wait, yeah, it is.. so I have another emotional moment to share with the world (and Abby too).
This weekend Tony and I were blessed to hang out with some neighbors of ours. Ben (7th grade) and Jordan (aka=Bologna) (4th grade) spent the night with us Friday night while their parents went out of town. WOW, we were nervous. (Ok, I was nervous, Tony was a rock) Regardless, we had a REALLY good time with them. They are fantastic boys with good heads on their shoulders. Did I mention how funny they are???? We laughed, we played, and we got whooped at Monopoly.
It gave us just a hint of what parenting will be like. I said a HINT. One example that I'm NOT so excited about is the fact that Tony (the dad) was able to sleep through the night peacefully. I'm sure this will continue once Abby is home. He's SUCH A MAN! I, however, worried about hearing the boys if they needed us, and slept VERY lightly. I fretted beyond belief. Is this a sign of what's to come?
Also, I did have a "my heart skipped a beat" moment. I was walking through the kitchen and saw the little guys shoes there. (ok, so they were not THAT little) Anyway, it was weird. I could see their shoes, and hear them laughing downstairs and it made my heart full. It was a little taste of what it will be like to be a family of three. Shoes will be everywhere and laughter will be in the air. It was quite the moment.
Anyway, it was a fun-filled weekend. We also got to spend time with one of my most favorite people in the world...my nephew Chris. He was in town from North Carolina and brought his girlfriend Elise. They make a sweet couple. He's SO grown up!!!
So, no Abby news to report. I'm still planning on posting pictures of the stroller. Remember, be happy with today and thankful to God for blessing you with it!!!
Monday, September 25, 2006
At this point, I'll take what I can get. The LAST batch of referrals (August referrals) only included NINE days worth of Log In Dates (LID'S). ONLY NINE! That is NOT good. Well.......
THIS month (September referrals) included 18 days of LID's! WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!
That means there are approximately 41 weeks worth of LID's before us. That sounds like a lot, but if they get 2-3 weeks done each month, our time will start ticking down at a noticeable pace!!!
We're still praying that it speeds up even more, but all I really care about is that it doesn't SLOW down any more! If it stays at this pace, we're POSSIBLY looking at a next summer referral. (July/Augustish)
This is so unreal because JUST last night and this morning, I have been constantly repeating in my head, "Be happy with today." (Thanks for the encouraging email Rachel...I've taken it to heart). So I have just been happy with today! I haven't wished it was tomorrow, I haven't wished it was Christmas, I haven't wished it was Abby day. I have just been content. And then, WOW, God throws me a curve ball! It doesn't matter though, because now I'm even MORE happy with today!!
Make it a great day for you too! Hug someone, tell them you love them, and thank God that they're in your life!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
We were having a "bad Abby day". We were missing a little girl we've never met, wondering where she is, and praying that she'd come home soon. Thankfully, two things happened to help us.
- Tonight in our church home group, a very good friend Charlie, put things in perspective. He read James 1:2-8
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not
lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when
he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of
the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will
receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he
2. The CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) reported the following on their site:
The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents
registered with our office before December 31, 2005.
This means that: 1. We need to persevere, have joy in these trials, and have faith. 2. There is only six months of dossiers separating us from getting into the Review room in China. (NO THIS DOES NOT MEAN REFERRAL). That means one small step for us, one GIANT leap toward Abby! At this point, we'll take what we can get!!
GOD IS GOOD!
Monday, September 18, 2006
Daddy and big sister, Natalie.
Heading to the hotel to bond.
Today was "Gotcha Day" for Morgan, Nancy, Brian, and Natalie! They were forever united as a family. GOD IS GOOD! I'll post pictures tonight!
TONY AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR OUR TURN!!!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
We met a really great couple through our local adoption group named Brian and Nancy. They're with the same agency-FTIA, and have the same coordinator-Charlene. What's exciting is that they left THIS MORNING on their journey to bring their daughter Morgan home! They are a fun couple with one daughter Natalie (5th grader) and all three left for Beijing in the wee hours of the morning. They will actually meet Morgan for the first time on Monday.
- Pray that they make all of their connecting flights and have a great travel experience.
- Pray that they all stay healthy while they're gone.
- Pray for little Morgan and her adjustment to her new parents and surroundings.
- Pray for parenting wisdom for Brian and Nancy.
- Pray for Morgan's China mommy and daddy and that they have some sense of peace in knowing Morgan is joingng a wonderful family.
Just think...one day, we'll be posting that it's our turn to fly out!!! Our Abby girl doesn't know what a fantastic family she's coming home to!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Goodness, we have LOTS to post...but want to spread it out so that you out there in Bloggerville don't get bored. With that being said, here's the list of things we'll post about over the next few weeks. (Maybe it'll peak your interest so you'll keep checking back!)
Oh, and if you're a lurker...feel free to post a comment. I mean it. Seriously. Do you know the depression I was sent into when I realizd that MaryMia had like 500 comments (yes, 500) on her recent referral post on her "Do They Have Salsa in China" blog? I know, I know, it was hard NOT to post a comment for the ADORABLE twinnyliciousness, but, come on...if I did a spreadsheet of number of comments she receives (much like the referral spreadsheets she does) it would show an average of about 1.6 billion comments per post. Ok, more like 40, but that's about 38 more than ever show up on ours. (LOVE HER BLOG...go there...but don't you DARE post a comment there until you do on ours!) You lurkers demand and demand new posts because you're bored with our last one, but send NO encouraging comments to entice us to post more! (You know who you are!) *sigh* ok, I'm over it. hehehe here's the previews for the coming attractions to Abby's blog.
- Brian and Nancy (new friends of ours) and their beautiful daughter Morgan. They're heading to China on Sept. 14. Start sending prayers their way!
- Our latest Abby purchases...an adorable stroller and practical thermos.
- A fantastic site called "The Lord's Table". (Thanks April) Oh, and I'll explain GBS.
- Local adoption group meeting next Saturday. We're having international foods!
- I'm sure I'm forgetting something, praying I'll remember later.
So there you have it. And, wow, I reread my last paragraph, and it sounds like I'm that sad little kid on the playground that is begging for friends. That's not true, we just LOVE to hear from you all. This blog will hopefully be important to Abby one day. We want her to know how much her family and friends love her.
Stay tuned kiddos!
Monday, August 28, 2006
Forever families were created this past week. Several families just received their referrals and I thought I'd share the good news and excitement!
www.salsainchina.blogspot.com --double the excitement!
These are just a few to get you going. Man...it's exciting, but it makes the wait seem forever away!
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Well, we added curtains to the nursery for the extra added girlie touch. A big thank you to Robin for them too. We both think they look very very pretty.
Stay tuned later this week for pictures of our new stroller we bought. There will also be another post with links to family websites that received their referrals last week!!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
- We have added three more miles to our "Miles of Love" to Abby! Only 492 more miles to go! *Only said with a slight tinge of sarcasm*
- The next batch of referrals should be coming in at the end of the month! I'm so excited to see more families united with their beautiful children!
- We are going to enjoy a great dinner on Friday night with a couple from our local adoption group that received their referral a few weeks ago. They will be traveling to bring home their daughter in just a couple of weeks!!! We'll keep you posted on all the great details we learn!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Oh my, it feels like Christmas Eve. Not the Christmas Eves as an adult, but the Eves of long ago. The kind where you are getting ready to go to bed, you've left out the milk and cookies, you've checked under the tree one more time, and you're off to try and pretend you'll be getting a good night's sleep. My stomach is all a flutter, my mind is racing, and I absolutely cannot WAIT for school to start tomorrow. I know, I know, I moan, and I groan, but it was all a front. It was just an act so everyone wouldn't think I went nuts!
The reason for all this emotional dribble? I feel like we're finally at the top of the roller coaster. You know, the part where you hear the last click........click.....click..............and you get the first glimpse of the ENORMOUS hill you're about to fly down. I KNOW we have months and months of waiting ahead of us. And I KNOW we have no idea what we're about to get ourselves into with raising a child. I KNOW we're totally not prepared to NOT sleep in any more, NOT just pick up and go, and to NOT be the carefree couple we are. BUT ALL THAT DOESN'T matter! This is it...no turning back now! The only way off the roller coaster is to finish the ride!
The start of the school year means that time will no longer stand still. Our months of waiting will not slowly creep by like the turtle at the top of the screen. They'll fly! August leads to Fall Break (and local town festivals), to Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to Valentine's Day, to Spring Break, to May, to ABBY!
Shoooo, ok, so I so will NOT be this excited a week from now, but come on, jump on the roller coaster with us! Abby-girl, we are coming to get you soon. Hang tight baby girl! Mommy's got a few kids to teach, Daddy's got some City problems to solve, and we'll be there as soon as we can!
Monday, August 07, 2006
We now have a beautiful crib ready for our Abby girl. (Thanks for the crib, Mom) It was quite an emotional event to finish putting it together. It makes that room seem so different. I can't help but do a double take every time I walk past it. That's the place where our little girl will sleep (hopefully). That's the place she'll feel safety and dream of things to be. It has definitely made our dream of being parents, seem a little closer to a reality.
We finished the crib off with bedding, a baby doll, stuffed animals, and prayer. (The extras will come out once she's home--for safety!) Now we just need a one more thing to make it complete. Please continue to pray for the whole adoption process, for our little girl and her birth mother.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
So I was super optimistic that come August 1 Tony and I would have this profound turnaround on our lives and our eating habits. BOY WAS I WRONG. We had an agreement that come August 1, we'd change our way of life. We'd eat better, we'd exercise, just get all around healthier over the next year so that we'd be prepared to take on chasing a toddler. It sounds great right?
We even started a walking program (that we invented) called Miles of Love. It was our goal that we would walk at least 500 miles before we brought Abby home. (One lap around our block is one mile). Anyway, if you've noticed the side bar I even put a place where we would update everyone on our progress. Yeah, well, it hasn't changed from the initial post. We haven't walked any more. Yeah, I'm weak, and lazy.
And on top of that, I think I need to go on Dr. Phil to talk about this food addiction I have. Forget cigarettes, forget crack, forget alcohol.....I just want something fried and/or sweet. I'm not picky, I'm not craving anything specific...just fried, and hot, and greasy...or sweet, I'll take that too.... Go ahead, laugh. I know it has only been 1 1/2 days but man......when you're watching everything you eat and trying NOT to think about food...food is ALL you can think about. It's pathetic.
People have their things...their hang-ups...mine, simply, is calories. Not sure how Tony's doing w/ all this. He doesn't eat really bad to begin with. *sigh* and I REFUSE to let him lose more weight than me....although I know that's bound to happen b/c he's a guy. I'm hoping it'll get better once I get back to school, and we'll find that out in just a short week or so.
Anyway, feeling kind of crappy, and cranky, and hungry, and pathetic. Maybe it's just the withdrawl (sp?)period and it'll get better, right????? OK, well, just pray for us. (yes, I'm even including Tony--see, I'm a good wife) Pray that our cravings diminish and that we start feeling better, even good enough to NOT want that bad stuff. Of course, please continue to pray for our Abby girl. She needs her mommy and daddy to be healthy so we need all the prayers we can get! Ok, I'm going to go NOT eat something now. :)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
WOW. We were fortunate enough to be a part of the FTIA (our adoption agency) Family Reunion Picnic last Saturday. This was an opportunity for families brought together through adoption to meet up with their travel groups and reconnect. There were also families there who were adding additional members to their families, and couples just like us waiting on their first child!
Just try and wrap your mind around 2,000 people from all walks of life and from all different countries. There were children from China, Vietnam, Russia, Azerbaijan, India, Guatemala, and others, I'm sure. The children were beautiful! We were just so excited to eat, watch the children play on the carousel, play games and putt-putt, shop at the vendors, and just be a part of something so big and so cool. We pray that we're home from China to take Abby there next year!
We also got a chance to hang out with some of the local adoption group people, and meet our June DTC group. These are the people we'll probably travel with! It was great to put a face with the names on the message boards.
I just want to thank God for providing these opportunities to see just how much adoption is a part of building families. GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
Friday, July 21, 2006
So just over a week ago, Tony and I got to go on a LOVELY vacation. We could have went anywhere in North America for our last kid-free vacation and we chose Gatlinburg, TN. Not only did we choose Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, we chose the EXACT same cabin we stayed in the year before. If we could do it all over again, we'd choose the exact same vacation spot.
We had a great time just hanging out together, shopping, mini-golfing, site seeing, and auto touring through the mountains. I just LOVE spending time alone with Tony and so this was a perfect getaway. Everyone keeps telling us to soak it up, soak up every minute we can before we bring Abby home. They (and you know who you are) say that everything changes once you have a child, so sleep in, spend time alone, and read. Well, we did all of that on vacation and it was perfect!
The pictures I posted are of the wild turkeys that were outside of our cabin (neat huh?) and the view outside our front door. This also happens to be the view we would see when we woke up and sat up in bed. The windows were perfectly placed!
Anyway, thanks for the advice and we'll continue to enjoy one another as husband and wife, before we switch roles and become mommy and daddy! (I know we'll enjoy one another that way too!)
Friday, July 14, 2006
Ok, so we're really not adopting a guy named Rupurt (sp?) but last Saturday, we went to a "Waiting Families" meeting with our adoption agency FTIA and the coolest thing happened. After the meeting (no new news by the way) we were driving through Indy with Robby and Allyson and came upon one of the coolest guys ever....Rupert. Do you remember him? He was the guy who won on Survivor. He wore the tie dyed t-shirt. Big bearded guy. He is also the guy who has given most of his time and money to children's charities. What a cool guy! Anyway, the picture I attached is one JUST BEFORE he turned and smiled and waved at me, well, us, but I prefer to think me. Anyway, thought it'd make a cool post. I'll post more on our vacation later :)
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
To pass the time, I thought I'd share a little excerpt from the journal that I write to Abby.....
"Good friends of ours, Sarah Latello and Shannon Smith, did something so special for us a few months ago. When I was feeling ultra frustrated with the efforts to become a parent, Sarah began praying and God gave her an image. Well, she shared that image with Shannon, who is an artist, and she drew it for us. It is a picture of God's hands holding a precious baby. Needless to say, I cried very hard when I received it. It was so special.
Well, Abby girl, that picture has changed meanings for me over the past few months. At first, when we hung it outside your nursery, we knew it signified how God had a plan for us and our baby. Now that God has been revealing His plan, the meaning has changed slightly for me. Now I see it as God holding you safely in his arms and hands until we can bring you home."
The Kiros at the top of the picture signifies God's timing. We normally work in Chronos...or things in order, in our timing. Kiros isn't quantity of time like Chronos. It's actually quality of time. It's a reminder that all things come in the quality of God's timing. I definitely need this reminder as our wait time to referral increases.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Well, the test came out positive! Our coordinator emailed us to say that our documents were actually delivered in China on June 13 and our LOG IN DATE is June 15. That means, we officially on the waiting list for our baby girl!!!! A Log in Date is the date that the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) officially logs us in to their system of waiting families. For those who don't understand all this adoption mumbo jumbo, this is THE BIG DAY (next to our referral day--but we'll discuss that later), So please celebrate with us. Thank God for the ease we have experienced since we started this process. It's amazing what happens when you just LISTEN to God and act FAITHFULLY.
Just to head off any questions, our wait time is still 11-12 months until we receive our referral (picture and medical information). We'll let you know if that changes.
Thanks to everyone who's helped us build our excitement and who has offered valuable advice. The next chapter in our lives entitled "Waiting" has just started. Please continue to follow along in our journey, because actually, it has just officially started. Also, we need your prayers now more than ever. We're praying for: God's perfect timing, protection of our Abrielle, complete review of our paperwork in China, safety and peace for Abby's birth mother, and quality couple time for Tony and I while we wait.
I just want to thank God for being God. Scripture says, "With God, ALL things are possible." I say, "WITHOUT God, possibilites simply don't exist."
Monday, June 19, 2006
Just got word via email that our parent adoption workbook completion record was reviewed and given the stamp of approval. They said we had done a good job researching adoption topics and it showed in our answers. We'll just see how much research we've done when we have Abby the toddler wanting to shove peas up her nose! We have SO much more reading to do! Or, can you ever truly prepare for that? HAHAHAH!
By the way, I just want to give a shout out to my cuz, TIFFANY HILL. She is just FAB-U-LOS! She cares so much about her family and will be Abby's favorite cousin T! Tiffany is the most compassionate person I know. And she'd give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. Well, that is, unless she was wearing her TOTALLY 80's Da-sheki (How the heck do you spell that?). She looks too cute in that one to give it up! Anyway, love your family and get some insurance from the best agent around, Tiffany Hill at Harrington Hoch in Richmond.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
|It's official...I'm old...and I couldn't be happier! We are just patiently awaiting our LID for Abby's paperwork. This is the day we are officially on the books and WAITING. (not like we haven't been waiting already!) Anyway, pray for a FAST LID!|
I just want to take a second and thank everyone for blessing me with a fantastic birthday. It was chock full of emotions and I loved it. I loved everything from the thoughtful ladybug gifts, to the gift cards, the the willow trees, bath products, to the e-cards, and the phone calls. The list was endless of those who called or got me a gift. I cannot tell you how special you made this day for me. God has blessed me with a loving family and supportive friends and for this, I am thankful, truly thankful. I laughed, I cried, and my heart swelled with love for you all. You'll just never know how much you all mean to me. I love you.
Ok, well, I've been emotional enough for one posting. I'll save some for another time when I write a letter to my Abrielle. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness. THANK YOU!
Friday, June 09, 2006
|Whoo Hoo! Charlene, our coordinator at FTIA said that our paperwork was in perfect order and that it would be mailed out TODAY! She said it would be delivered to the China officials ON June 12!! |
What a BIRTHDAY present for me and Dad! Now, let's hope we get a log in date (LID) by Mom's birthday!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL JUNE CELEBRATION!!!! Abby will be a Junebug!
Ok, ok, I need to calm down now. hehehe,
Can I get a whooooooooo hooooooooo?
Monday, June 05, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
We had a fantastic Friday and Saturday. Have I mentioned we have the best family EVER? We had a garage sale at Robin's on Saturday to raise moolah for Abby's adoption fund, and WOW. We raised $186.00!!!!! It was fantastic! A special thanks goes to Mom and Dad Sadler, Mom Foster, Robin, Renee, Ronnie, Duane, Missy (yummy sloppy joes!), and Allyson (yummy pie!) for all of your help setting up or donating your profits to Abby. And thanks Jarrett for the great play room additions! We SINCERELY appreciate it! As a thank you, Tony has generously offered to wash and wax your cars (except Robin's...it's huge! Just kidding. hehehe) I guess if he's going to wash and wax them, I can at least do the windows! Also, thanks to anyone who purchased items at the sale. You all were definitely contributing to bringing a little girl home to her mommy and daddy!
I also want to thank my mom for purchasing our first BIG item for Abby. It was so fun to go and buy the crib! We'll be getting it set up in her room in the next couple of weeks and that will make things seem so REAL! Although we have a year to wait, that crib will remind us that she'll be sleeping soundly in it one day soon! THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM! WE LOVE YOU!
Also, we thought everyone would like to know that we sent everything to FTIA on Friday and it will arrive on Monday. From there, they'll review it and send it to the Beijing staff. The exciting thing is that the Beijing staff will then DELIVER IT TO THE CHINA OFFICIALS (China Center of Adoption Affairs-CCAA) ON MY BIRTHDAY! What a GIFT! So, PLEASE pray that FTIA doesn't need any additional documents and/or changes to the current ones. And also pray that we get a super speedy Log In Date (LID). This is the date where China acknowledges our paperwork and logs us in to be officially waiting! The sooner the LID, the sooner we get ABBY HOME! Consider the LID the date of conception! ahahahahah
We attached some pictures of the collection of documents, the package we put them in, and the Fed Ex office we took our documents to. The Fed Ex guy was happy to have his picture taken. I called him the "Pre Stork". It was very emotional for us to take this package and send it off. It has been 4 + months in the making and now, it's becoming more and more official. GOD IS GOOD!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
LOTS happened this weekend! We got our documents back from the Chinese Consulate all authenticated and written in Chinese. They have a cool red stamp that says something important I'm sure! And.....drumroll please.......Tony finished his workbook! LIFE IS GOOD! That means we're done. Done. Wow. It feels weird to say that. Done. GOD IS GOOD!
I think we're just going to organize everything and mail it in instead of driving it to Evansville. That'll save us moolah on a hotel room, etc. FTIA won't be able to send it all to China until my birthday, but at least it will be in their hands early. Soooooooo look toward the end of June for us to announce our Log In Date (LID). This date is SUPER important because it's the official date China recognizes we're here waiting for Abby. Yes, waiting....and waiting....and waiting....
Speaking of waiting, the latest incoming referrals took about 12 months. So, for now, our wait will be 12 months. That would put us at getting a referral (medical info and picture) next June. Then, hopefully, we'd travel late July/early August. Looks like I'll be missing the start of school in the Fall of 2007! And that is FINE BY ME! Now, this timeframe could change (it was 8-9 months when we started in January). So, instead of praying the process speed up, I'm just thanking God that His timing is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I have to trust in this. As Pastor Gloria said at IDX the other night, we just pray that for every step ahead we take, that God takes two. He's got it all figured out and will shine light on the next stepping stone when we need it!
Oh, and THANK YOU to Mom Sadler and Mom Foster. Abby got goodies this weekend. She got the most ADORABLE little Chinese baby doll. She also got the CUTEST Boyd's bear with a ladybug outfit, AND a Chinese pj set (in pink satin). Both the bear and the baby will probably travel to China with us when we bring her home.
I'll leave you with a neat thought. As you go to bed tonight, send a good morning thought to Abby (if she's conceived) and to Abby's birth mom. When you wake up in the morning, send sleep tight wishes to both of them. Trust me, it'll start your day fantastically, and end it peacefully.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Ok, our documents were submitted to the Consulate on May 22. Our courier emailed to say that she wouldn't email again until she sent them back to us via Fed Ex on May 26. Soooooo, our life will only hang in the balance for 2 more days. Pray that they find everything in order, stamp them, and send them back successfully! Good thing is, God is in control! How do people get through this process that don't believe in God?
Friday, May 19, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
We officially sent everything to Chicago via the courier today! Please pray that it makes it there, gets it's authentication completed, and arrives back home to us next week. Pray that neither the courier nor the embassy find anything wrong on the documents and all processing goes smoothly.
This is it kiddos. This is our last step before we organize it all and send it off to FTIA and then on to China. Can you feel the excitement?
Let's not talk about the wait time once we send everything in...let's just be happy we've come this far, God's provided a clear path, and our Abby girl is one step closer to home...to her forever family!
Monday, May 15, 2006
Yep, gotta do it...gotta brag. Tony got me the most beautiful silver ladybug necklace for Mother's Day. It brought me to tears. He gave me something to look at and hold on to until I can hold on to Abby. I love him for that.
As for Mother's Day in general.....the thing is, I have the best Mother in the world so I think the day was invented for HER! (nope, no brown nosing here! I mean, I'm not the one who put her name in the paper!)
Ok, ok, I hope everyone had a restful and fun Mother's Day.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
|WHOO HOO!!!! State seals are officially in place! Tony was able to take some time to run to Indy on Friday afternoon and get that done. They attach a form to the front of each document and then put a gold seal over the top edge to hold both papers together. They look SO OFFICIAL and SO pretty! Now the last big step is to get them authenticated in Chicago. We'll hopefully get them sent out early this week. Once they're back, we organize everything and send it on! WHOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! LESS THAN A MONTH TO GO! (check out the ladybug!)|
Thanks for the prayers everyone. My mom is doing better, and Mindy and Anna are chugging right along. Also, thanks for the prayers for me. My neck is mending as long as I keep those muscle relaxers coming!
I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all who have children, who want children, who are waiting for children, or those who just feel like a mother to the children they teach or know.
We love you all lots!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Ok, NEW and IMPROVED physical form in hand! They thought it was quite comical to have to take a PERFECT sugar score off the paper!
The plan Stan.....is to take everything to get state sealed on Friday.
We have a field trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, so I might not be able to blog...but be sure and check out the ladybug counter on that day! Exciting stuff!!!!
Quick prayer request(s):
--Please pray for my mom and her leg/foot/hip combo...... she needs lifted up. Pray for a pain free night. I think she needs some sleep!
--Pray for Mindy and Anna. Mindy is dealing with a possible kidney stone and Anna has been sick as well. She'll have another doctor's visit in three weeks.
--Pray that we are able to send everything out for authentication next week.
--Pray for Abrielle's birth mom....especially on Mother's Day....
Monday, May 08, 2006
Ok, just a minor setback for today. Our coordinator said my doctor put my sugar count on my medical form and it should only have the date. Now, mind you, the count was PERFECT, but the Chinese government won't understand it. They just need to know that I had a RECENT sugar test. Sheesh, who knew? Let's just hope third time is a charm.
If all goes well, then Tony is taking all of our documents to Indy on Friday to get them state sealed. That alone will be a huge sigh of relief. Then, from there, they will be sent to be authenticated in Chicago. Hopefully this will occur next week. SOOOO, inching our way there.
Please pray for the remainder of the process before sending it off to go smoothly. And in case I forget on Mother's Day, PLEASE pray for Abby's birth mom. Regardless of her circumstances, she needs peace of mind, and knowledge that she'll be doing the best thing for her daughter, and she'll be giving us the best gift ever...our Abby girl.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
It's in, it's in! Our I-171H form is IN! We have our last document!!! WHOOO HOOO! We have been approved by the Department of Homeland Security and Citizenship and Immigration Services, and in record time (according to our coordinator).
So here's the to do:
- fax some documents to Charlene our coordinator so that we can confirm they look okey dokey. (hehe, did I just type that? okey dokey? I'm in a fabulous mood!)
- Get her approval and assemble everything to get State sealed next Monday or Tuesday.
- Get everything even more assembled and send it to Chicago to the Chinese Embassy for authentication.
- Convince Tony he doesn't have to wait until June 11 to finish the parent workbooks. MINE IS DONE!
- Get everything even more assembled than before and hand deliver it with a big pink bow to FTIA in Evansville on June 12!
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! GOD has been SOOOO good to us. The money has been there when we needed it and prayers have been answered!
And all this with a 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day until DOSSIER DAY! I'm OVER THE MOON with excitement! (wow, I need to cut back on caffeine!)
MAKE IT THE BEST DAY EVER!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Does anyone else hear that Jeopardy music? Da da da da da da daaahhhh.....It's the sound of WAITING...waiting on our fingerprint reports to see if they were acceptable or rejected. Hopefully we'll hear something by the end of this week!
Ok, here's the latest list of to do:
- Finish workbooks. (Tony is halfway through his, and I'm on the LAST section!)
- Take one more picture of our downstairs (They need three interior pictures, I only have two)
- Get our 117H fingerprint form/approval
- Get them state sealed
- Get them authenticated
- SEND THEM TO CHINA :)
On the political home front....you better vote today! If you don't vote, I don't want to hear your mouth complaining about the government! How's that for SADLER?
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Fingerprinting...CHECK. It felt a little CSI, a little Mission Impossible...we walked in, got frisked by security (hehe, ok, frisked isn't the best verb), sat and watched other families (some were adopting child #2), were escorted into a small room, and asked a series of questions (ya know, top security stuff like, "Is your maiden name spelled correctly?") Then we had our fingers cleaned and then a technician pressed them on to a glass screen. Yup, no ink pad in sight. Our prints flashed up on the screen, the technician waited to see if they were a go, then went on to individual prints. My tech was a little stressed (long day of holding hands w/ strangers) and kept telling me NOT to roll my fingers. The Sadler in me said, "Um, I'm not. I'm letting YOU do the rolling." So, she got snippy with me twice (AND LOOKED YOUNGER THAN ME!) so I filled out the mandatory comment card with "Good" instead of "Excellent" for the technician. SO THERE! *sticks out tongue*
Blah blah blah...Tony said she'll probably mark my prints unreadable, and I'll have to redo them. Ha. Ha. It's never smart to tick of government employees. Right, Tony?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
...and we found out that if our fingerprint form expires (the one we're getting printed for today) in the next 18 months, then we have to pay $600.00 for a new one! That's $600.00 less to spend on our Abby! Sheesh!
I got your comment Cammie and Josh. The journal to Abby is a good idea. It is SO good that I started it about a year or more ago! eheheheh. I've been writing to our child for so long. Just letters and miscellaneous thoughts. It was neat in February of this year though because I got to actually address my letters and thoughts to our baby girl. Then, once we decided on Abby, I've been able to write to her by name. We also have this blog to show her later. It will show her how much we have loved and prayed for her over the months. It will also show her how much her family and friends love her!
I know God has a little one that will be a PERFECT fit for our family. I'm just SO excited to meet her!
God is faithful, and so I will be too.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I know, I know, God's timing is perfect and we'll have many months of waiting and delays. But word on the street is that the wait time is going up once again. I know, I know, we knew it was going to go up, but it just stinks! Ok, that does it. I need to buy something for Abby. Look out Tony!
There, I vented. Thanks for listening.
Friday, April 21, 2006
WHOO HOO, we're doing the passport dance! Bet you're wondering what that looks like!
We got the passports in yesterday, and we already feel like international travelers!
That's one small step for man, one giant leap toward Abby!
Thanks for all of your encouragement yesterday. It means a lot that we have such a supportive set of friends and family. Abby's forever family. I'm proud to say you're mine too.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Abby was weighing heavily on my mind yesterday. I was just thinking about her and wondering if she has been born yet. (I have a hunch that she has) Every day I grow more and more in love with a little girl that I have yet to see. I needed something, a touch from Abby or something. God was faithful. While walking through the house, I went into Abby's nursery. I walked to her side window and looked out. We're blessed with a beautiful Japanese Maple tree (I think) that is in full bloom and pink and glorious. Well, as I stood there and looked, I began to notice hundreds and hundreds of ladybugs moving about and flying in and around the tree. For those who don't know, ladybugs are a sign of good fortune for China adoptions. It was a beautiful sight, and no doubt one that I would have never noticed had God not led Tony and I down this path to parenthood. It made me happy, sad, and peaceful. Our Abby is going to come home soon.
Monday, April 17, 2006
WHOO HOO got some good news! We received our fingerprint appointment from Citizenship and Immigration Services through the Department of Homeland Security. Sounds impressive eh? This means our homestudy is final and we're moving on!
- The appointment is for April 26 and it will take a couple of weeks to get the results back.
- Our passports SHOULD be here any day!
- Once we have fingerprint approval, we get all our documents State sealed.
- We send it to Chicago for authentication.
- WE FINISH OUR PARENT WORKBOOKS.
- We send it to FTIA for translation
- WE SEND IT TO CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok ok, we're excited. Anyone who has done this before can understand our joy.
Thanks for tuning in for updates! We love you all! GOD IS GOOD!
We will be holding a public meeting to elect KRISTY RENEE ANDERSON as Mayor of Webster, Indiana.
Although Webster does not currently have the position of Mayor in its governmental books, KRISTY has vowed to rewrite those books! She's ready to move in, clean up, and take initials (she said she doesn't have time for full names).
Where does she stand on immigration? terrorism? ice cream sundaes? We'll get these and other probing questions answered at the upcoming debate. Her opponent? None other than, um, no one! (Everyione is too scared to run against her!)
Therefore, I implore you vote for change, vote for integrity, vote for KRISTY RENEE ANDERSON, for your next Mayor of Webster! Vote early, and vote often!
Paid for by those wishing to keep Kristy on their good side.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Ok, no pictures yet, but IT'S A GIRL!
6 pounds 7 ounces
19 3/4 inches long
Born at 2:38 p.m.
Proud grandparents: Ronnie and Renee
Prouder great-grandparents: Marilyn and Bill
BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL!
Doncha wish I had pictures? I will soon...stay tuned :)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Ok, so many of you requested an update...so here goes.
- Tony checked on the status of our passports and they should be in next week.
- Our final copy of our homestudy should be in Friday.
- We should have our fingerprinting appointment in Indy in the next two weeks.
- We need to get a picture of the outside of our house but we're waiting for pretty mulch and flowers.
- I need to beat Tony to get him to work on more of the parent workbook.
- Everything needs taken to Indianapolis for the State Seal.
- Once that is complete, we can take everything to get it authenticated in Chicago. (Well actually, we have a courrier do that for us)
- Send everything to FTIA to be translated.
- Send our DOSSIER TO CHINA!
Did you notice that we have new additions to our blog? We now have a countdown until Dossier Day (June 12) when we send, or rather take, everything to FTIA in Evansville. This is the ladybug located at the top of the blog. We have also added a clock that will keep everyone posted on China time. This will let you know what Abby or her birth mother might be doing when you pray for her/them. For example, "Dear Lord, please let our Abby be sleeping peacefully, warmly and safely. Allow her to be dreaming of happy things, happy families, and joy that is to come. Amen." Ohhhh, there are lots of prayers I want to type, such as sound sleeping for her birth mom, peace with her decision, healthy eating choices, etc. etc.
Anyway, chugging right along! I'm trying to figure out how to add a list of links on here. Some of you will like some of the websites I've been looking at! Just stay tuned!
Speaking of stay tuned...STAY TUNED for late breaking news regarding Nikki's little one. She could be pushing right this second....YIKES! I'll post more later and possibly pics too!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I found this scripture today while I was reading (now now, the kids were doing a benchmark writing). Anyway, I thought it was AWESOME!
Monday, April 03, 2006
Ok, so the good news first. We got a lot acomplished over the past week. We got our local criminal history checks back on official letterhead, we wrote our petition to adopt and got it approved, we worked on our parent workbook, we edited our homestudy and sent it back in, and our passports should be here any day now! I'm pretty impressed at our progress!
Now for the bad news. FTIA (our adoption agency) just posted on their website that the timeframe we're looking at from our Log in Date (LID) until referral has lengthened. Below is a copy of what they wrote.
"Families who are currently receiving referrals from the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) waited approximately 10-11 months after the dossier was officially logged in to the CCAA. This date is often referred to as the "Log In Date" or your "LID." FTIA is able to confirm the LID date with you about 4-6 weeks after your dossier is submitted to our office. Please Note: While we will always be happy to provide information regarding the most recent group of referrals as far as the time between their LID and referral, we cannot and will not attempt to predict when future referrals might arrive. Although it is tempting to try and guess, we do not want to provide information that is not based on fact to our families. We must also remind you that this time frame changes. The continuing trend presently is that we anticipate the wait to become longer and encourage our families to be prepared for such.
The biggest direct impact for the increase in wait time can be seen in the number of dossiers submitted to the CCAA in 2005 versus the number of children available and paperwork ready for matching. Because of a long-term stable program, quick time frames, etc. the number of dossier submitted in 2005 increased dramatically. The U.S. Department of State gave the statistic of approximately 7900 children adopted from China to the United States alone in the fiscal year of 2005. On the flip side, there has been a more subtle decrease of children who are available for international adoption. This could have been caused by better economic standards in China, increases in domestic adoption, changes in social policy, etc.--many less noticeable factors. Of the children available, the orphanages are working on getting children "paperwork ready" to be matched with families. There may also be indirect factors influencing time frames also, but this seems to be the most visible. Right now it is just taking longer to match children with families. We do want to recognize that while this is very difficult, it is not out of the ordinary to see time frames lengthen and shorten. A couple years ago the wait was up to 15-16 months and then dropped gradually back to 6 months; in turn it has been getting longer again. We anticipate the wait times to gradually increase over the next few months and will continue to update our literature, web site and information."
Just thought we'd update everyone on our journey to Abby. PLEASE PRAISE God for His faithfulness, and PRAY that God's timing be perfect (kairos) for when we meet and bring Abby home. Galatians 6:9--look it up!
Friday, March 31, 2006
Here are our crazy animals in our backyard on squirrel patrol.
Grissom (the cat in the tree) is the newest member to our family.
At ground level is Kyler, our dog. She is the best dog ever.
The photo shows our squirrel chasers. The squirrel at the top of the photo, arrives daily around the noon hour. Kyler and Grissom spend most of their afternoon watching and chasing the squirrel from tree to tree. It is quite comical at times.
We do not have a name for our unoffical squirrel pet. In fact, help us name the friendly squirrel that torments our favorite dog and cat.
We will post photos of our turtles (we have three of them) at a later date...
Monday, March 27, 2006
Well, it's an army crawl, but we're slowly but surely getting there. I got back my physical form written clearly this time (because I rewrote it). It's all signed and notarized and everything. However, something even MORE exciting happened today. We got our rough draft of our homestudy (4 weeks and 3 days later---they were pretty speedy) via email today! WHOO HOO! Now Tony and I just need to sit down and make a few corrections on it. It says that Tony HAS a caucasian male, when actually, he IS a caucasian male. It also says that I was born and raised in Richmond, not Fountain City. Anyway, we'll edit it, fax it, and wait on the final copy. This is huge news because once the final copy has been sent to our agency and to the Department of Homeland Security, we can get our LAST set of fingerprints done! GOD IS GOOD!
Ok, so I'll do a quick to do list
- Edit and fax homestudy draft
- Get our letterhead copies of our local criminal history checks--should be tomorrow
- Fax my physical form to our coordinator to check for neatness
- Write our letter of intent
- DO the parent workbook--yikes, we're behind!
Ok, ok, I know I just told our IDX group that everyone needs to slow down and not "wish their lives away" but I still have to do the DTC count-down....after I explain a little about how the DTC works (we just got an email from our coordinator regarding this). Once we send our dossier to FTIA (our agency) on June 12, it will take about 3 days for them to translate it (no Jarrett, to Chinese, not Spanish!). Then, they send them all to China on Friday, which should be June 16. THEN, we'll anxiously await our LID or Log In Date. This is the date we officially go on the books in China and the TRUE wait begins. Right now FTIA is saying the wait is 9-10 months for a referral (the picture and medical info on Abby). SOOOOOOOOOO, what I'm saying is, please pray for God to move mountains (and the wait time too :) ) . No, really, pray for His timing to be perfect for our family and all the others waiting on their little ones to come home.
Ok, now, countdown till DTC (well, not China, but dossier to FTIA) is: 2 months and 16 days!
Thanks for all of your support, love, and prayers! Keep 'em coming!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Well, needless to say, we were very surprised to hear several of you say that you check our blog daily! Evidently, you were upset that we hadn't posted in a few days. We are SO glad you're reading this, but please POST A COMMENT so that we know someone's enjoying it. Comment and questions are welcome!
OK, on to the business at hand. We got our local criminal history checks back, and WHEW, no records! Unfortunately, they didn't put it on department letterhead so it will have to be redone. Hopefully, we'll have that back next week.
Something neat this week is that Tony I have been able to do is email back and forth with a person we met on the FTIA message boards. Rhonda has been a very valuable resource to us. She has a 4 year old daughter, Millie, that she brought home a couple of years ago. She is now pursuing her second daughter. She has been honest about the challenges we might face, and she has given us a window into the joys we'll experience.
Rhonda has told us about issues we may or may not encounter with Abby. Millie had a little trouble with hitting/head butting Rhonda when she first brought her home. I suppose this was some type of communication issue although Millie could not yet talk. Maybe she had trouble expressing her emotions. She also said a lot of the little girls will have night terrors when they get home. Most will taper off over the weeks and months, but to be aware that might occur. She's even giving us links to do some research. I told her about Jarrett and how he used to have those periodically. I suppose stress in a child's life can have that effect.
On the positive side, she affirmed that it's ok for us to keep shopping!!! She said to look for 12-18 month clothing that would span a couple of seasons. PJ's are also important to buy too, and they always get forgotten.
Speaking of shopping, in the back of "Adoptive Families" magazine we get, there was an ad for a website with Asian-related materials. I'm going to post it here for anyone who might want to look at it. We will probably eventually do a wish list on it so you'll have an idea of what we would like. The website is: www.asiaforkids.com
Thanks for keeping up with our journey. As we take further steps, we'll post more. We LOVE you!
Keep praying for our Abby-girl!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Um, yeah, that title would mean much more if we drank...because we went to Little Sheba's tonight for a young adult networking night and they were selling $1 drafts. Silly drunks, our soda was FREE!
Ok, on to other stuff. It was a pretty low key week. We're kind of in a holding pattern right now. We have our reference letters and financials notarized and are sleeping soundly in the mail on their way to the Adoption Support Center in Indy. We should be getting our local criminal history check any day now, and our official Homeland Security appointment soon. In the mean time, we're checking all adoption boards, chatting on FTIA.org, and trying to figure out what Rett's schedule will look like this summer with Safety Town and such. We're trying to figure out if we can swing a mini-vacation in July..to DISNEY...hahahahahahahah ok, not really, but a girl can dream can't she? More like the jacuzzi room at Lee's Inn in Richmond. HA!
Well, our financials are done! We've had them notarized and everything! (Thanks Robin!) We also have our last reference letter in and should be happily floating through the mail this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be getting our rough copy of our homestudy late next week or the following. THAT will definitely be a milestone! We'll look it over, make sure all the numbers match up, then send it back to be finalized!
We are also waiting for our letter to get fingerprinted. I was hoping it'd come this week and be scheduled for my spring break week so that I wouldn't have to take a day off to get it done. Ahh well, taking a day off (or half day) w/ Tony isn't so bad :) Even if we DO have to go wait in line at a government office! I'd do that ANY day!
Ho hum, otherwise nothing much is going on . I'm counting down the days until the end of school. And I have lots to keep me busy in the mean time. I am leading IDX next Tuesday night, and I'm in a drama at church at the end of the month. I see those faces. You KNOW I'm the perfect person to be in a drama!
OK, things I'm counting down... (I know, I know Mom, "Don't wish your life away")
---Days till Spring Break--5 school days, 7 if you count this weekend
---Weeks till Summer Break--8 weeks if you don't count the week off for spring break
---Months/weeks till DD--2 months and 25 days!
Sunday, March 12, 2006
We were invited to attend the International Adoptive Families group meeting and they met on Saturday night. It was a surreal experience. There were families and children there in all stages of the adoption process. There were families waiting on referrals, families who had recently returned, and families that had been home for quite some time. The children ranged in ages from an 11 month old, to a seven year old. One little girl, Fedon (I think) came from Azarbayjan (sp?) and another family was waiting on their daughter from India. Otherwise, the girls were mostly from China. The 11 month old just came home two weeks ago. She was SO cute. Two of the girls were wearing the infamous "squeaky shoes" from China. We evcn got to see the 11 month old do the Chinese splits when she went from a sitting position to a crawling position. The whole evening was a very valuable experience where we learned a lot about the wait, and what to expect once we get home with Abby. It was also just nice to get to see the joy and life that each of these girls brought to their families. It makes us even more excited to be a part of God's plan.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The bedding is in, and beautiful :) One day Abby will be able to enjoy it :)
Our financial forms are done, and we started the forms for our local criminal history checks.
--wait on letter of reference from one person
--get local criminal history check done
--have Dr. notarize my form again (he wrote too crazy on the first one)
--write our intent to adopt
--get Dept. of Homeland Security fingerprints
--get preapproval to adopt an orphan
--get homestudy back and edit
--get passports back and photocopy
--get everything authenticated
--send to china
--wait some more
--bring Abby home!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whew, I'm tired just from writing it.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Ok, I know this is cheesy, but I cannot figure out how to post pictures to the blog. Can anyone help? This photo was already loaded on the computer. When I download pictures and try to post them, I get an error message. Anyone, PLEASE HELP! Thanks, Tony.