Sunday, December 30, 2007

A season of wonder...

Hanging out in the NEW double stroller!!!! (See my new boo-boo?)

My first wonder (see title) is...I wonder if anyone is still checking our blog?

Ok, ok, on to the good stuff. Warning though, this could be long!

It has been quite some time since I (Rett) posted much on our blog. Tony has been the king of all things techie since we left for China and I have gleefully let him! I have, however, been missing my outlet for emotion, and thought I'd give the blog a whirl once again. We LOVED the comments you left on our other site though! And we'll be doing a couple of additional updates so check back there in about a month.

So, we've been a family of four for just over a month now. Wow. A month. Amazing. I honestly mean it when I say that it feels like the girls have always been with us.

I am a mom. Yep, a mom. Unreal. People have asked all sorts of questions since we've become parents and one of those is, "Does it feel any different now that you're a mom?" And you know, I'm not sure. I mean, nothing, and I DO mean nothing melts my heart more than to hear one of the girls yell, "Mama!" and actually INTEND to get my attention. I absolutely love that. I love it just as much to hear them wander through the house singing "Mama, maaaamaa" or "Baba...babbababba". It makes my heart smile. (Right mom?) And I know, someone out there is chomping at the bit to leave a comment saying how we'll be annoyed one day soon when it's a constant stream of Mama's or Baba's, but for now, there's no sweeter sound!

I guess it does feel different now that I'm recalling some events of the past month. The first time I heard the girls giggle with delight while running down the hall cause "Mama's gonna get you" was just great. The first time I had to use my mommy voice and say, "SIT DOWN in the tub or you'll fall!" I felt like a mom. When little LaLa (Abby) was all excited and playing outside and had her first big fall over the wagon handle, I felt like a mom. My stomach was in my throat as I picked her up to see the goose egg that was appearing over her beautiful right eye. My protective gene kicked in and I wanted to rescue her. (She's fine, by the way...singing mere minutes later). So yeah, I felt like a mom then.

I feel pride like mommy's worldwide do, when they learn something new. When I see them reenact something I just did, or say something they heard us say, my heart swells. When they can point at a shape and say, "Circle" yep, I'm proud. And when they show tenderness to one another by giving a random kiss to sister. Or when they're changing clothes and reach over to tickle their sister's tummy, just to get giggles. Mommy emotion fills up.

When the girls launch into their favorite part of Itsy Bitsy Spider (Out comes the sun) on their own, or combo that with their ABC', I'm in love all over again. They just make us laugh so much!

Church has been great too. Our church family has been so supportive. They ohh and ahh over the girls as much as we do! And I'll tell you, there's nothing more wonderful than holding your child while worshipping God. I looked into LaLa's eyes this past Saturday night as we were singing, and her eyes conveyed such And MeiMei was relaxed in Tony's arms, taking in the music and all that God is. God is so good.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not all ladybugs and sunshine. I have experienced all the other mommy emotions too. When it's 4:00 A.M. and Tony and/or I have been up three times already because MeiMei (Laney) is crying out again, I feel lots of emotions. I'm tired, grumpy, irritable, sad for her, and groggy. When we've told one or the other to share, not take their sister's toys, or be nice for the 600th time, yep, I feel like a mom. When I have to put someone in time out for pulling hair or NOT being nice, I feel exasperated and worrisome that they'll never learn.

So, yeah, I guess I do feel like a mommy now. I'll be honest, at first, I didn't. I felt like I was playing mommy, you know? Kind of like you do when you're first married. Going through the motions of being a, cleaning, etc. It isn't until your first big decision or the first time you sign your married name that you feel like a wife. I didn't feel mommy-ish for a while. I loved the girls even then, but we hadn't 100% bonded yet. But we're there now.

Speaking of has gone well. We appreciate everyone being so conscientious about it. It's so hard on our end. We know everyone has waited just as long as we have for these wonderful girls, and they just draw you to them. But, we've had a couple of times where the girls would be with someone and when we're trying to get them back, they shake their heads no. I know to many of you, that sounds very normal..and it is..somewhat. But we've read, counseled, and experienced attachment and bonding and we know when it's time to pull back. That's why we appreciate it that many of you have purposefully not reached for them. If anything it just reassures us (we're the ones stressing, not them!). But soon, we'll all settle in. Like my mom reminded me...we've only been home a month. It's ok to still have new parent worries and jitters. We're still solidifying as a family. Thanks mom!

Christmas helped us feel like parents too. Although the girls didn't quite understand everything, it was fun for us to start some of our traditions. We toured a local park that is filled with lights and Christmas decorations. We shopped. We saw Santa (from a distance---no chance they'd sit on his lap). They had their first candy canes (thanks Congressman Pence). And we totally felt like parents when we put them in their new Christmas Eve pj's, put them to bed, and then spent the next two hours assembling many, many toys. Their kitchen set was a HIT! Thanks aunt Robin! Tony and I giggled and laughed while A Christmas Story played in the background. It was such fun. And I think I actually woke up before the girls because we wanted to have the lights on, and cameras ready for their very first Christmas morning with us. It was such a good day. Those are the days we dreamed about. But we never dreamed it would be as good as it was though.

As the days have passed, we've enjoyed some lazy days as a family too. The busyness of the holiday season has been fun, but the days where we trap ourselves in the basement have been equally as fun. I have a great life.

Reality is coming soon, though. I start back to work Jan. 17, and I'm in full-on denial. Spending all day with the girls can wear me out, but it's the best "exhaustion" I've ever felt. I cannot stand for one second thinking about someone else teaching them the things we should be. So I am not thinking about it. At least not for another week or two. Yep, denial. So if anyone has a home-based business idea that would allow me to work for two hours a day (during nap time) and make the same pay I do now (ok, I could take a slight pay cut) then send your ideas my way.

We celebrate the girls' 2nd birthday this Wednesday. We missed their first birthday, but trust me, they were loved even then. We didn't even know there were two little ones in our future last January, but God took our prayers for little Abby and multiplied them times two. He knew we were praying for them both. Thank goodness He knows the ending of all of our stories! We can rest in that knowledge!

So Tony and I picked out their first (2nd) birthday cake today. Since they haven't attached to any character or theme yet, we went with Monster Trucks. It's the ONE thing they watch on TV and they'll be able to totally identify it. Yes, Tony was thrilled! Mickey Mouse and Pooh, would ring NO bells with them. Besides, from here on out, they'll have their own opinions and need two cakes to satisfy their wishes. We'll post pics of their intimate birthday party later this week. We're going to do a mid-summer party w/ all of our friends and family and their kiddos once things have calmed down some. So, for now, it'll be a small get-together filled with lots of love!

I couldn't end this post without a few pictures, so Tony's going to attach some. Thanks for being such a great support. God is good...all the time...and all the time...God is good.

Aren't they adorable!!! (even without their hair done yet)

Christmas PJ's.

Had to have the new boots on immediately Christmas morning!

Christmas outfit...fashionistas!

Yes, Life IS Good!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Well, this is it, my friends...

It all comes down to this. Our parents will be here in one hour and 40 minutes. That will bring us to Indiana time: 4:00 a.m. Yep, you read that right. 1. we're leaving at 4:00 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. flight, and 2. We're up at 2:21 a.m. typing this. Right now, Tony is on a last minute run to Walmart! UUGH. It turns out that you should NEVER wait until midnight, the night before you're leaving on the trip of a lifetime, to check the new memory card you bought for your camera. It turned out one of our luggage locks didn't work either! QUALITY!

So we're as packed as we're going to be, (thanks Jennifer!) and organized as much as a teacher and department head think is necessary. (Which is pretty organized in my opinion) We have our moolah separated into snack sized baggies and labeled (compliments of Tony) and tucked safely in the proper money belts (thanks Brian and Nancy). We have our carry-ons sufficiently stuffed to the point that we WILL be prepared to carry two 22 pound girls by the time we get to China as long as they straddle our backs and cling around our necks at all times. All that's left to do is put the computer in one carry-on, wait on Tony to get back, take showers, force contacts back in swollen puffy eyes (nope, I wasn't crying at all tonight, yeah right!), lug luggage back UP the stairs, change sweeper bag (we don't Beth to GAG at the overstuffed old one), and um, chill. Right. Relax. Sure. What do you think...think we can get that done in the next hour and thirty minutes? SURE!

If you've been following along, we will NOT be posting to this blog from China. You can click the following link and hop over to our new site for our journey. It is:

Check out the other stories on the website too...they're emotional, uplifting, and addicting! Thanks to Joe and Jen who host this website. It makes it easy for families to share their joy across thousands of miles! Be sure to sign the guestbook on our'll be the ONE connection we'll have to home!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, and supported this blog along the way! We'll return to this blog once we've been home a while. We also will post updates on the other website too.

Thanks also for being WONDERFUL friends and family. We have been blessed a thousand times over. You guys are the best...great, here come the tears. Ok, so I'll end with this:

Price of one piece of luggage we purchased, but ditched at the last minute: $40.00
Price of one purchased, returned, and newly purchased SD memory card for camera: $25.00
Price of trendy, but comfy, travel outfit: $30.00

Meeting our twin daughters and becoming parents: Priceless

We love you!

God is GOOD, all the time, and all the time, God is GOOD!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fortune cookies are GOOD!

We had a wonderful baby shower a few weeks ago (actually 4 wonderful showers) and at our family/church family one, we had fortune cookies. I shouldn't admit this, but I ate THREE cookies and I just had to share what the fortunes said. I nearly died.

Cookie #1--"You are going to have a new love affair" I thought, ok, weird.

Cookie #2--"You are going to have a new love affair" This time I grinned. Because, yes, I am...with TWO little girls...funny that I got TWO of these messages.

Cookie #3--"A thrilling time is in your immediate future" At this point I just laughed out loud and thought, yep, I need to post this.

Wild huh?


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Date night

Goodness...we only have 3 full days left until we head out to China...holy cow..and the next few days are going to be nuts! Here's the run down...

Sunday (we meet the girls one week from today!)---Rett gets nails done (Thanks Renee), Tony has church meeting, and Jennifer (Queen packer) helps us get things organized and packed neatly!

Monday (one week from this day is "Adoption Day" in China's eyes)---Rett has her last day of work and meets with the substitute teacher that will be filling in for her while she's gone. Tony is off due to Veteran's Day, but is going to go in and finish up some tasks. He has a haircut scheduled for 12. That evening, we finish packing everything else and finish filling our carry-ons.

Tuesday--At 10:00 we have to get our second round of Hep. B shots. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute) We also have to to go to our credit union to get the remaining money for the trip. (Thanks Jason!) Then we snuggle and enjoy our last night at home as a couple!

Wednesday morning, we have to be at the airport at 7:00 am. We'll leave our home as a couple, and return as a family. WOW. God is amazing!

As for this post...tonight we had an official "date night". We had a nice dinner, did some light shopping, and ended the evening with Starbucks! It was fun though, just cruising together and chatting up a storm. After all the stress, cleaning, and paperwork we've experienced lately, it was a nice way to spend our last child-free weekend.

Stay tuned for our switch over to the new travel website.

We're coming baby girls!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pregnancy Cravings

So as the time draws near for us to leave, we have been noticing the signs of labor. As we talked about in earlier posts, I have been an emotional wreck! I am giddy one minute, and bawling the next!

Well, another clue that we're in the final stages of the "pregnancy" occurred last night...except they weren't MY labor pains, they were TONY'S! He was experiencing pregnancy cravings! At about 7:00 last night, he said he would continue to clean the bathrooms and such if I would go to the grocery and pick up the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. He wanted them from scratch. It was too cute for me to resist. I ran and picked the items up and came back and baked away. About 9:30 as the last batch came out of the oven, we sat down and enjoyed a couple of warm cookies and cold milk. It was fun.

So the end (or beginning) is definitely drawing near. The contractions are getting stronger as the years melt into months, into weeks, into days away from meeting the girls...our daughters.

We just have one question tonight. Where's that epidural everyone raves about?

On a side note, we were connected with someone who is from Taiwan and who was willing to sit down and chat with us. He gave us some cultural tips and some pronunciation help with the girls' names and locations. He also helped give us a few key phrases we might need to use, like "It's bedtime" and "Please don't cry" and "Are you hungry?". It was really nice for him to take the time to sit down with us and he seemed just as excited to talk with us. He even said once we got home he'd be happy to help in whatever way he could. Maybe if the girls are getting frustrated with us because we cannot understand something they're trying to convey, he can translate for us! Either way, we really appreciate his time. He helped settle our nerves and got us excited all over again!

OK, so quick count down...
5 full days until we leave
2 more days of work for us
10 days until we meet the girls

God is good...all the time...


Thursday, November 01, 2007

!!!!! I171H !!!!!

YES, we received our I171H. If you have been following along, we have been stressing over a CIS fingerpring appointment and the document (I171H) that follows. This is needed to complete the adoption in China.

Thankfully, with the help of FTIA (Thanks Maury) and our Congressman's Office (Vote for Mike Pence!!) we had our fingerprint appointment expedited. We were fingerprinted last Friday and we recieved the I171H today!!!

For those of you following our blog in the adoption realm, you probably realize how significant this is... This is the last piece of the puzzle needed to travel!

In addition, today we received the Travel Approval documents with the earliest photos of our girls on these documents. Aren't they cute. Can you tell who is who?

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

16 days and counting

Yeah, wow, 16 days. That's it. Only 16 days until we leave on the trip of a lifetime. Not just an ordinary trip, but one that will change our lives forever. Sightseeing will be involved. Souvenirs will be purchased. And we will become parents.

For those of you keeping score, it's Us=1, Immigration Services=1. They were late late late in issuing our fingerprint renewal appointment. It wasn't scheduled until Nov. 9. However, once we received our Consulate Appointment (in China) we were able to go in early. Congressman Pence's office has been SO helpful and Tony has been working like a dog to get us in early. We were both off this last Friday (fall break/vacation day) so we went in and finally got re-fingerprinted. It was pretty uneventful. Now, though, let's see what happens with the score because we need that clearance SOON! Thankfully, the Congressman's office said they're prepared to step in again! YAY! Vote for Mike Pence! (when he's up for reelection, hehe)

While waiting to get fingerprinted, we were sitting in this very bland office with just a few individuals. We noticed this well-dressed man sitting in front of us with what looked like his child and a nanny. Since most people there are either adoptive parents or people seeking citizenship, this family stood out. Just a few minutes later two women came out of one of the bland doors and the gentleman in front of us stood up. One of the women looked to be in her late 40's early 50's and spoke with a thick accent. The elderly woman on her arm was crying. She appeared to be in her late 60's early 70's. She fit the stereotype of an immigrant. She was frail with dark eyes and a scarf over her head. She was wearing a longer winter coat, and spoke broken English.

Please note, we weren't staring or eavesdropping. This was simply happening two feet away from our faces.

Once the women entered the room, the gentleman started saying, "Congratulations! Congratulations!" All the while, the younger woman (presumably the daughter) said, "Thank you!!!" He then spoke to the older woman and said, "Let me know as soon as you get the appointment to take your oath. Then I can get the paperwork started for your Social Security Card!" (So, he was her lawyer I'm guessing). Anyway, the entire time this exchange is happening, the older woman is crying tears of joy. After some hugging and such, they moved out into the hallway and down the elevators. This is when I started crying.

Now, mind you, I cry about 5 times a day these days. A fellow adoptive mother and friend of ours Nancy said that she experienced these same "pregnancy hormones". I wouldn't have believed her if I didn't experience it myself.

So, I'm there,, bawling. And Tony says, "Rett, you're going to have to get it together before we go to China. I can't handle both girls AND you!" Well, that didn't help. I continued to cry and after a few minutes I was able to explain my emotion. I just thought it was simply beautiful that this elderly woman was so joyful to become a US Citizen. How often do we take our citizenship for granted? We are merely the lucky ones to be born into citizenship.

Our daughters, will become citizens upon landing on US soil. I know that I will cry then too. What a gift. Citizenship. Something we rarely think about unless we're discussing how many illegal immigrants there are. Which, after using the CIS website and maneuvering their offices and paperwork, it's amazing anyone can follow the proceedings. Regardless, this woman had waded through the murky waters of citizenship and was rejoicing with her family in that bleak waiting room on a Friday in Indy. Amazing. God is SO good.

Ok, sorry for the deep thoughts. Poor Tony. He doesn't know which Rett he's going to talk to from minute to minute. The fun and chatty Rett. The organization-minded Rett. The freaking-out-that-we're-going-to-be-parents Rett. The reflective Rett. The sobbing Rett. The packing-list Rett. Goodness, I wonder if it will get any better?

So for the week ahead...we're waiting on fingerprint clearance and our in-China travel itinerary. Once we get it, I will post it on here or on the other website. For now, we know we're leaving out on Nov. 14 at 7:00 a.m. We know we're coming home Nov. 28 at like 6:40. We do know a few other details, but we'll share all of that when we get the full itinerary. We also can't wait to find out what day we'll actually meet the girls!!!! Either way, knowing you have seat assignments on a flight going to Beijing makes this all the more real. We're going to China!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned, it's about to get good!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off - Quote from inside a fortune cookie.

We will be blasting off soon, to a galaxy far far away, well, a country far far away...and we are two very lucky people.

We have excellent co-workers, friends and family. Combined, we have had four baby showers for the girls. We have almost everything we need. We still have to pick up another car seat and few other items for home and travel. But no complaints!!!!! Without all of the wonderful and thoughtful gifts, our home would not be prepared for two little girls (which if you are keeping track, we travel to get them in 24 days if all goes well...)

A week ago both of our places of employment held showers for us that were overwhelming. This weekend we had two more overwhelming showers, one put on by Mindy, Sarah and Allyson and another one put on by Mom, Rett's Mom, Renee & Robin.
Since this is a "Tony post", here are the pictures....
Pumpkins carved with the images of our daughter's (arranged by Mindy)

Photos of the food at Sunday's shower.

Hanging out....

The gifts... Hanging out...

The wagon loaded up ready for the trip home....

I had more photos but Blogger is not cooperating right now.

We cannot say thank you enough to everyone. This has truly been a great couple of weeks and we appreciate it very much. Thanks again to everyone.


Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well, we received Travel Approval today. We leave November 14th. We will be there two weeks. GREAT NEWS!!!!!

Please continue to pray that our I171h process moves quickly. I won't go into details, but the US CIS is the last hurdle we must jump before leaving.

Now the stress REALLY SETS IN!!!!!! Work arrangements, final house preparation, packing, final gifts for China, I171h, last minute things we still need (another car set for example) and more!!!!! I am not sure how we are going to be able to focus the next four weeks.

We have a professionally prepared website for everyone to review when we travel. It will be updated daily when we are in China. We will post the link here prior to our departure....stay tuned.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I wonder...

Ok, so I know there are more pressing topics to discuss (nope, no fingerprint appointments or travel approval) but a curious thought struck me the other day...

I wonder if our girls have innies or outies?????

Hehe, ponder that one. :)

I can't wait to meet them!!!!

Keep praying!!!!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Changes, Membership, Lists, and Showers

It's me again...Tony's working on other twinny-type stuff. I thought I'd pop in and tell you what our world has been like recently. Be forewarned...I'm brutally honest in this post!

Our world is changing more and more by the day. I knew that life was going to do a 180 but I have been really feeling it the past few days. I feel such pressure to enjoy every single minute with Tony. I'm feeling it so much that it's almost a sadness now. NOT that I want to change one thing, NOT that I want to back out...just a sadness that the relationship I have with my best friend is about to change. It will grow and be great in an entirely different way, and it will be wonderful...but it will change. And ask Tony, ask my mom, Rett does NOT do well with change. Even if it is a change that I asked I truly want. It's just the selfish part of me that wants to keep Tony to myself. Pathetic huh? I warned you that I was going to be honest in this post!

Although I do not have all rights and privileges of this exclusive club called motherhood, I now know the secret handshake. Hehe. Ok, what I really mean is that last night I attended my first ever MOPS meeting. This is the Mothers Of Preschoolers meeting that is held at our church once a month. There really wasn't a handshake or secret phrase or anything, but I sure felt like I was initiated into the motherhood clique. Actually, we had a lot of fun. We ate, we had arts and crafts time, (YEP, for adults! It was great!) watched a short video, had a discussion group, and prayed. It felt surreal. I was sitting around a table of mothers. Everyone at our table had a child or children. One was expecting her second child. One has two beautiful little girls and is adopting my future son-in-law. Then, there was me. I was welcomed into this group of women with open arms and many oohs and ahhhs over our twins. I got the "Oh your life is going to change..." comments and lots of compliments on how cute our girls were. Throughout the night I received advice, comments, and questions. Did I have fun? YES! Will I go back? YES!!! Do I feel like a mommy yet??? NOPE. I haven't been thrown up on yet, so I don't deserve my mommy membership card quite yet. Soon though. It was interesting being on the outside looking in. At least I felt like I was. I wonder what it will feel like once we're home. Again, soon, I will.

Our life now consists of lists. Everywhere I turn I have a list. At school, I have lists of things to explain to the sub, lists of conferences I need to schedule, and lists of thank yous I need to do. At home, we have lists coming out the wazoo. A sneak peek of our lists would show you the following: things to purchase, things to organize, things to paint, things to store up out of toddler grasp, things to pack, things to ask our coordinator, things to email, things to copy to take with us, things to scrapbook...blah blah blah, the lists go on. But that leads to another list...

Fortunately, most of you have been MORE than forgiving if I have forgotten your birthdays (SORRY Beth and Emilie) or just been overall unfocused and selfish. There are some doozy life events happening in our lives and in the lives of our friends and families, and please know that even if I'm not asking daily about you and your situations, you are certainly on my heart and on my PRAYER LIST! We love you so much and thank you so very very much for making this such a fun and special time in our lives. You will never know how much you mean to us. And if you're reading this, then, yes, it's you I'm speaking about. Even if you've just emailed with encouraging words or packing ideas and we've never met. You're the best. I promise to return the favor to future adoptive families.

We have our FIRST of FOUR toddler showers tomorrow! Two of my bestest friends ever at work are throwing us a shower. They are SO sweet and we are thrilled for the FUN to finally begin! I'll update you with all the goodies we get! The second shower is on Friday hosted by Tony's workmates! Everyone is so giving!!!

Ok, well, I've covered four main areas that are consuming our lives right now. You all have been so great, but please continue to pray. We may travel as soon as Nov. 3, but that is ONLY if the Indy Citizenship and Immigration Services issues us a fingerprint appointment and clears us soon enough. At this point, we have nothing, and I'm relying on God to continue to orchestrate it all.

Also, please pray for my family...and all the current changes, and the changes yet to be. I love them so intensely.

Finally, please pray for friends of ours and their recent loss. Pray that they feel God's peace, even without true understanding.

Thanks for tuning in. Tony's next post will be more lighthearted and of course, include pictures!



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

While we wait (some more), Update

Hello. Thanks for stopping by to see what is happening. Above you will find the latest photo of our girls that our agency was able to send us. Aren't they the cutest!!!??? Although they look sad, we still love this photo of them. We plan to make them happy soon!

We hope to bring them home soon!!! We could potentially travel as early as the first of November. Please pray that we can get our I171h form (and the fingerprint appointment and actually fingerprints that precede the form) SOON! This is a document we need from the US giving us permission to adopt two children (vs. one we were previously approved for). It seems when we get good news, there is always another issue out there to stress us out. This week's stress is caused by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. I know, they have a lot on their plate and we need to be patient (BUT WE ARE SO CLOSE). We have been on a roll recently with good news and rapid approvals. We wish this one would be similar.

We know it will all come together, it just gets stressful sometimes (this week).

We have many great friends, family members and co-workers. They have planned baby showers on our behalf and we are grateful to everyone in advance. We will keep you posted on the goodies we receive for the girls.

We continue to meet new people (Rett spoke to a very nice lady from Australia that met our girls this summer), get advice from friends that have traveled to China recently for their adoptions and we are enjoying every minute. In fact tonight we received a recommendation from Jeff Foster's (Indiana Pacer) nanny on a good double stroller (the one she uses to take care of his twins). Pretty cool stuff.

Thanks again for stopping in to check up on us. Please post if you have any words of wisdom or just to say hello. We like to know who is checking us out.

Have a good day.


Monday, September 24, 2007


Ask and ye shall receive! Ok, we asked for prayer that we get our LOA this week, and BAM, we get it TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's amazing!!!! You guys are GREAT at praying!!!! THANK YOU! We've managed to set a new record at our agency! Only 10 days from PA to LOA. We are so humbled. We did NOTHING to deserve His grace!

Ok, scroll down and look at yesterday's list of things...ok, back yet? Now look at the following list.

1. LID (Log-in-date for China)---6/15/06
2. THE CALL----We are OVER the moon with our girls!---8/24/07
3. Submit LOI and Medical forms (Letter of Intent)---8/30/07
4. Receive PA (pre-approval)---9/14/07
5. Waiting for LOA (Letter of Acceptance)---9/24/07
6. Receive TA (Travel Approval)----2-4 weeks after LOA
7. TRAVEL TO GET OUR GIRLS---2-4 weeks after TA

****Items in RED are done! Items in BLUE we're waiting on!

So, what does this mean? Well, we could technically be traveling the first or second week in November? At this point, I'm tickled that we should be home by Christmas! Now, maybe even Thanksgiving!!!

How's Tony holding up, you ask? Well, he's the one that got the call again today and even our coordinator knew she needed to make sure he was sitting down! He's feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. He's even taken up drinking tonight. Hehe, he usually just drinks water, but tonight, he's hitting the hard stuff...TWO Mountain Dews AND a bottle of chocolate milk!!! He said he wasn't planning on sleeping much tonight anyway. :) I think the reality is sinking in...we are going to be parents...sooner rather than later :) He'll soon be outnumbered. We'll soon be packing for real, and heading on a jet plane.

OK, so the next prayer? Pray that we get our fingerprint appointment in the next week or so and we get clearance directly after that so that our I600A can be processed. Without that, we won't get a consulate appointment which would delay travel. This has happened so quickly, and now we're running out of time! Although this had to be updated regardless, it wouldn't have helped us any if we would have done it sooner. We would have had to redo it for twins!

Ok kids, THANK GOD for his faithfulness..and PRAY PRAY PRAY!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life After Pre-Approval

Ahhhh, so how is life after Pre-Approval? Hmmm, although I'm an English teacher, there aren't words to describe it. (But you know me, I'll try)

I'm sitting here on a Sunday afternoon watching the Colts play, typing lazily, and listening to the soft sounds of Tony napping. Life, as we know it, will soon be over. It will soon be overrun by dolls, and noisy toys, and dress up clothes, cartoons, and mac and will be a whole new world. Am I sad that our existence as mere couple will cease to exist? NO WAY! Am I scared? UM, YES!

It has been totally unreal since this all has unfolded. It's funny how nearly two years ago when this all started, we knew it would end up with us becoming parents. We knew a child would eventually be introduced into our lives and molded there forever. We knew that we would need to prepare a space for our daughter, baby proof the house, and do all of those things that parents-to-be should be doing! However, we didn't want to get everything done early because looking at a finished nursery was frankly, just depressing. So we spaced events and preparations out so that we always felt that we WERE making progress toward our end goal, but that there was enough left to do that we would always feel like expectant parents.

Well, fast forward to the past month. Ring, ring...we get the call...TWINS...WHOOHOO! Then, mounds of paperwork to submit (LOI/Medical plans etc). We get a small breather where we think we'll be waiting for pre-approval for a while. Then BAM...we got pre-approval...WHOOHOO! Then we settle in for what we think will be the longest wait and start thinking about planning our life with twins. We are told by our agency that it may take 2-4 months before we get LOA (Letter of Acceptance...aka, next hoop we jump through). Although we're told this, we're hopeful that it will happen in a month or two b/c other people in our agency have had it happen. So this makes us seriously rethink the nursery and all the gear needed, house work to be done, website we want to launch, lesson plans for our real life jobs, and packing.

Well,, WE don't get the call with LOA, but a good friend of ours does! On Friday one of the WONDERFUL ladies we're waiting alongside got her call that she received her LOA in a RECORD 14 days!!!! This is where it gets interesting. She is one week ahead of us (meaning she submitted LOI and got her PA one week ahead of ours) and she is also already through the Review Room in China, just like we are! Sooooo what I'm getting at is that we potentially COULD receive our LOA this Friday!!! What we're thinking will take 2-4 months (plenty of time to prepare mentally and physically) could happen in just a matter of WEEKS!

Blah, blah, blah, what does that mean? Ok, let me lay it out for you in list form:

1. LID (Log-in-date for China)---6/15/06
2. THE CALL----We are OVER the moon with our girls!---8/24/07
3. Submit LOI and Medical forms (Letter of Intent)---8/30/07
4. Receive PA (pre-approval)---9/14/07
5. Waiting for LOA (Letter of Acceptance)
6. Receive TA (Travel Approval)----2-4 weeks after LOA
5. TRAVEL TO GET OUR GIRLS---2-4 weeks after TA

****Items in RED are done! Items in BLUE we're waiting on!

Ok, so that was a REALLY long post to get to the point that WE BETTER GET BUSY because we COULD (emphasis on COULD) get LOA this week and travel in a MONTH!!! It has all come down to this!

We are SO SO SO excited to finally meet our girls! Leaving behind the passive life of couplehood will be bittersweet. We have many many memories we have created as a couple, but we have many memories yet to make as a family. We're looking forward to growing as a couple and learning new things about each other as we try our new roles as parents. Yes, we'll lack sleep, and yes, we'll miss certain things about the freedoms we had as a couple. But the responsibility and challenge that God has given us is so great that we are ready to start this next chapter in our lives. Ok, maybe not ready, but excited to start it!

Ok, that was a super long post, so I'll end it now. I was anticipating a very emotional post, but that will definitely be the next one when I share about how God has placed people in our lives that have been affected by our little angels. It will explain one more way God has blessed us!

You've been faithful so keep praying! This time that our girls are safe and feeling loved from across the ocean, and that we get LOA THIS WEEK!!!! Also, thanks for all of the comments, you have NO idea how special that is for us!

(end of Rett's post)

Ok, here is a continuation of the post for today. Rett found this photo of the girls on a Yahoo Groups site for their orphanage. They are about 1 year old in this photo. How cute. (yes, I love to post photos)

Rett mentioned that we will be doing a seperate website for travel...what do you think about daily sponsors for each day we are in China? How crazy of an idea is that? Let me know what you think...

Thanks for stopping by and keep the thoughts and prayers coming!

Have a great day!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Meet the Twins!!!

Yes, you read that right. TWINS!!!!

Meet Abrielle LuLa (Zhaung Lu La) and Delaney LuMei (Zhaung Lu Mei).

Abby and Laney were born January 2nd, 2006 and currently reside in the Yifeng SWI in Jiangxi Province. Hopefully they will be home with us by the end of this year.

On Friday, August 24th, I was driving back from a workshop in Crawfordsville. I left early because I was not feeling well and was able to schedule a 2:20 Dr. appointment. While cruising along I-70 in downtown Indianapolis I received a call from our FTIA (Families Thru International Adoption) coordinator, Maury (she is great by the way). Maury said "Tony, we have a unique situation." I said ok, having no clue what she was going to say next.

She said "we have twins".

The rest is history.

This was truly a God thing. Maury immediately emailed the girls' files to us. Rett downloaded their files and I picked them up on the way back from Indy. Since I had a Dr. appointment, I then took the files to my Dr. and he reviewed their files. Everything looked good. (We would not have cared if there was an issue, they are our girls and will do whatever it takes to take care of them.)

This was perfect timing. Our next step was to send in "Letters of Intent" (LOI) and other documents which required our explanation of medical review of their files. The letters, which were tweaked a couple of times since twins are rare and FTIA wanted everything to be perfect, were submitted to the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) on August 30th, one day after my Mom's birthday. (We still owe Mom a birthday gift, we kind of lost all focus after getting that call.)

Then the wait began, AGAIN!!!! We needed to wait for pre-approval from the CCAA to be assured that they would allow us to adopt the girls. FTIA said it could be 3 to 10 weeks for pre-approval. We recieved pre-approval today, only 16 days later!!!!!

We let the cat out of the bag and told a few people (family) what was going on....we were supposed to keep it quiet until our LOI was submitted and pre-approval was received.

So, now more waiting again. Next is Letter of Approval, then travel approval then we travel. Best case scenario, we meet our girls face to face in December. Worst case scenario, we meet our girls the 1st of 2008.

God continues to work. Rett found additional pictures of our girls on a Yahoo Groups site for their orphanage. We have been in contact with a very nice man that posted some of the photos and even has video footage of our girls. He saw them earlier this year when he visited their orphanage when picking up his daughter. Imagine that, we see our girls' faces for the first time, and two weeks later find someone (in the New England area) who has held our daughters.

With all of this said, we definitely appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming. We still have mounds of paperwork ahead of us, travel preparation, travel, meeting our girls, getting them to like us and starting our lives with them. We cannot wait.

Now, a few more pictures (aren't you glad that I like to post pictures?) of the world's cutest little girls...

If you want to see more photos, you will have to track us down. We will be happy to share them with you.

Thank for stopping by.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Ho Hum

Ever feel like you're just waiting for the next big thing to happen...that's kind of how I feel. Just waiting. I'm in this colossal waiting room, waiting, on something, anything. And I have that feeling in my tummy. You know the feeling, that anticipation, like the night before you leave for vacation. That butterfly feeling, that nervousness, that excitement. Except, I wake up every day with the reality that I must wait some more. It's coming, I can feel it, but it's just not time...yet.

With that said, Tony and I have been enjoying life, trying NOT to live for tomorrow, but enjoying today. We have been enjoying driving Bulah. She's my baby :) hehe...the weather has been great and we have been driving her all over. The cutest thing happened the other night with her too. Tony and I went to the grocery store and when we came out, there she was sitting and waiting on us. We pulled our cart up to the back to begin unloading groceries and Tony started to giggle. (Ok, men don't giggle, so he started to, chuckle, yeah, chuckle) I looked over and asked him what was so funny. He said, we're unloading groceries into the back of a station wagon. A light bulb clicked and I was like, "Ahh,,,the grocery go-getter." hehehe. It was fun.

Otherwise, we painted some miscellaneous things this weekend. Tony scraped and painted the window frames, and I painted a child sized table and chairs. Then on Sunday, we painted Mamaw's house. Ok, well, I pretended to paint. Tony was sick with hives and allergies, so he gave his best effort, but just couldn't muster much help. Anyway, it should look great now that we're NOT helping!

Ok, well, I'm back into the full swing of school. We're prepping for ISTEP and getting into a routine. That said, I should go figure out what I'm going to wear tomorrow.

PRAISE TO GOD for blessing Rob and Mari with a new church!!! We will miss them TONS!!!!

We hope everyone is doing well. Please pray for us and for the reason for the blog....the adoption. My gut is telling me to pray harder than we ever have!!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Latest Addition to the Family

By the title, you may be expecting something else. But to us, we strangely bond to other things and consider them part of the family. As you have seen by the previous posts, we (or at least I) have a problem with vehicles. We have several including:

  • Rett's Jeep Liberty,
  • the Jeep Grand Cherokee,
  • the yellow Jeep Wrangler,
  • the 1969 Nova (my first car),
  • the 1972 Nova (long time project car),
  • the S-10 (rusty, but 266,000 miles and running strong),
  • my Grandpa's 1941 Buick,
  • and as of yesterday a 1964 Nova Station Wagon.
Yes, we acquired another ride. Don't worry, the 1972 Nova is going up for sale, so it all balances out.

So here's the story....

When my parents purchased the gas station/garage in 1988, one of our faithful customers was a nice lady that drove a sweet, all original, Nova Station Wagon. The whole family (including Mom, Dad and Robby) loved this car. We always said we would love to have it, or one like it.

You see, Dad's first car was a 1964 Nova, Mom has aways wanted a Nova wagon, Robby just parted with his 1969 Impala Wagon, my first car (mentioned above and pictured in previous posts) was a Nova. We really liked this car.

There is more. This car also belonged to one of our best friend's grandmother. She was the original owner and the family took very good care of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the owner passed away. The car was put on the auction block yesterday. I felt totally guilty going to the auction. I hate auctions like this, where someone's loved one's possessions are being sold. I tried not to feel like one of the vultures in the crowd looking for a bargain. We had different motives, if the car was to be sold, I knew my family would love and care for it just as much as the original family.

Ok, long story short, we ended up with the car at the auction. I had mixed emotions. I was happy, yet also sad, because I know the family loved this car. I had to leave the auction to go somewhere so I paid for it and Rett and Allyson stayed around to the end to drive the car home. From what I hear it was an emotional time. But if any of the family is reading this, please rest assured, it will be loved.

So now the photos....

The back seat, mid-way through our clean up.

230 Straight 6 with a Powerglide.

Rett and Allyson drove the car to Rett's parents house as they awaited our arrival back in town. The auction was just about 30 seconds from her parent's house. About 30 minutes after they arrived they looked out the window and saw two men drooling all over the car (figuratively). The men spotted the car from about three blocks away. They wanted to know if it was for sale. Rett said no, she just acquired it. They said they got their times mixed up and were planning to attend the auction to purchase it. They pulled out their checkbook, Rett said no thanks. In addition to Mom, Dad and Robby loving this vehicle, Rett does too. She cannot wait to drive this to school. She and Allyson have already named it "Bulah" (not sure where that one came from). We have created a monster, she has been online surfing the web for parts and pieces to help restore it.

So, the plans are to tune it up, change the oil, service the tranny, fix the radiator leak and drive it "as is" for the rest of this year. We will acquire new front fenders, lower rear quarter panels (if available) and probably new carpet and armrests. We hope to have it repainted in about a year. We have a brand new set of tires at the shop to be installed as well. There are NO plans to butcher it up and install a big engine or etc... The family will just enjoy it as a nice cruiser.

Niner, if you are reading this, we will need to rent your garage again this winter. You asked for at least three weeks notice, here is a two month notice.

Also, if you know anyone looking for a project car, my 1972 Nova is for sale, send them my way.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy 14 month anniversary to us!

So today we "celebrate" our 14 month waiting anniversary! Should we be happy or disgusted about that? Right now the time frames are at 21 months, but they creep up a month at a time each month. So next month, they will be at 22 months. It's just NEVER ENDING!

On a positive note, Kristy said this past weekend she saw a bunch of ladybugs!!! For those of you who don't know, ladybugs are a sign of good luck in the Chinese adoption community. I thought it was pretty neat that A) she saw them and thought it was special enough to tell us! and B) she saw them this time of year!!! Maybe, just maybe that means something big is on the horizon!! Ok, so maybe if we all close our eyes, and wish really hard, God will hear us and BAM! Abby will be on her way!!!

A really neat thing that Tony and I got to experience was the meteor shower this past weekend. It was Sunday night about midnight and I asked Tony if he was still awake. He mumbled something incomprehensible and I told him I was going to go out and see if I could see any meteors. He turned over and said he'd go with me. So there we were, sitting on our back deck, from 12:15 a.m. until about 1:15-1:30 looking at the night sky. It was warm, and just so nice to be sitting there together reflecting on life. I know it, so don't say it...once we become parents we'll fall into bed so tired we'll NEVER get up to look at the stars like that! Well, it was a wonderful experience filled with beautiful skies, shooting stars, and the love of my life. It was a nice salve for some childless wounds we have been dealing with.

Other than that, I'm now back to school and feeling tired and a bit overwhelmed. It too, shall pass! And hopefully, those ladybugs mean I'll get to SKIP school for MATERNITY LEAVE!! Hahaha!

Anyway...there are lots of things to thankful for. We are so blessed. There are many other struggling with things in your careers, families, relationships, etc. Just know, I am praying faithfully for all of you!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

ANOTHER Vacation while we wait....

Ok, no complaints, vacations are always good, actually GREAT! But last year we thought it was going to be our last "child-less" vacation. This year we decided to vacation again at our favorite cabin in the Smokies (photos below).

Like last year, we deliberated about where to go on a limited budget. We thought about Vegas, Maine, and everywhere in between. We probably should have saved the $$$ for the trip to China that will hopefully take place sooner, rather than later. But if we did not get out of town for a few days we would have gone nuts.

So I will provide an overview of our trip with some goes....

I waxed the ol' Jeep. Rett cleaned the interior the day before and did a great job. It was clean and ready for the trip.

We left early.
Here is a Ferrari parked at the gas station where we fueled up somewhere in Tennessee. Pretty cool huh?

Here is a photo of the cabin. The first time we stayed here, the cabin on the left was not there. Regardless, it is still VERY quiet and with the trees between the cabins it is still very private. It takes about 13 minutes to get there from the main drag...

That night we just stayed there. I grilled burgers on the grille, my first experience using charcoal (we have a gas grille). They were really good. I have since purchased a small charcoal grille.


Monday we went to downtown Gatlinburg and walked around. It was hot out but still fun. That evening we went to Nascar Speedparks and watched Jarrett race gocarts. Oh yeah, Robin, Duane and Jarrett were vacationing there for a few days on their way to North Carolina. We had dinner with them that evening as well.

We also had a visitor sometime during the night, they left prints....


Tuesday we went to the massive outlet malls. We were kind of disappointed. In the past we have cleaned up and found many good deals. This year we were not as lucky, but oh well, it was still fun. We did get Kyler (our dog) a new collar at the Coach Store.

We ended up ordering Pizza that evening after watching some Magnum P.I. re-runs. Since we were on vacation and had nowhere to be the next day we went cruzing. We ended up in Gatlinburg again and played Hillybilly Golf. Bill and Mindy have higly recommended this in the past. After playing the course no other course will compare. This is built into the side of a mountain. It is great.


We had no agenda for the day and just started driving. We went to a few shops in Pigeon Forge and made our way back to the interstate and went to Bass Pro Shop. We also visited the Smokey Mountain Knife Works (not a big knife person, but it is a must see) and found another "Life According to Jake" (Life is Good) Store. I purchased a t-shirt.


We packed our bags and started the trek home.... There are tons of details I have left out but you got the basic details. Below are some more photos (I love to post photos).
View from the back of the cabin (above)
View from the front of the cabin (above)Can you find the Jeep?

View of the living room from the loft/bedroom. The black chair and foot stool were a new addition this year. It is quite comfortable. The photo was taken Thursday, that is why there is so many bags and luggage lying around.

Here is Rett hanging out in the loft/bedroom.

Thanks for stopping in and reading my long and "photoful" post. Have a good day.


Friday, July 27, 2007


It's official!!! China has given us approval to adopt a baby!!!!! We have successfully made it through the Review Room! This is where the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) looks through our dossier (mound of paperwork) with a fine tooth comb to see if we're fit to be parents. It's scary that they think we are! Now, in the past, the CCAA can still ask questions up to about two weeks after you're out of review, but I am NOT foreseeing any trouble! I refuse to worry about it! God has been SOOO good! Thanks for calling me Sarah with the GREAT news this morning! I'm glad you check those message boards so faithfully!!!

Now, the question on everyone's mind...does this mean Abby will be coming home faster??? Unfortunately, this doesn't affect that time frame. The Review Room is an entirely different department. So, basically, we go back on a shelf and wait. We're thinking about another 10-12 months. However, this is the BIGGEST hoop to jump through! The rest (renewals of expired things, traveling, etc) is all cake!

So send up a quick thank you God for us making it through the Review Room without any questions.

And to Abby....hold on baby, we're one step closer to bringing you HOME!!!!


Monday, July 23, 2007

I will own one some day, oh yes...

As you may have figured out from the past couple of posts I enjoy cars. I have too many, and would like to have even more. One of my goals in life is to own a Jag. Actually it was my goal to have one by the age of 30. There have been many opportunities, but we have been reasonable and I continue to wait to fulfill that goal...

Well, Robby found a SWEET deal on a XK8 rag top. I was able to take it for a test drive. IT IS AWESOME AND A SUPER SWEET PRICE!!! (the one pictured above is not the actual car, but one identical...same color, wheels, etc...)

Rett said I could get it, the only problem (other than needing to sell a car or two to fund this) is fact that a baby seat will not fit in the back...they do make a Jaguar station wagon (pictured below).

What do you think, current jeeps, rag top or wagon?


Monday, July 16, 2007

My guest appearance on a nationally syndicated talk show!!!!!

Per previous posts, you know I am a talk radio nerd. Yes, we even traveled almost 2 hours to watch Glenn Beck (see the June 11, 2007 post). Well, Sunday Rett and I were on our way to Meijer and I, of course, had on talk radio. It was Motor Trend Weekly.

They were asking the question, "In 1999, what was voted the car of the millennium?" I knew it was one of two vehicles, the VW Bug or Model T. They gave an 1-800 number so Rett dialed fit or me. As I pulled into the Meijer parking lot, they answered, asked my first name and put me on hold. My ear to the phone and Rett's to the speaker in the Jeep, we listened.

The radio host said "And we have Tony, where are you from?"

I said "Richmond, Indiana."

He said, "Ah, the heartland." He then asked, "What was voted the car of the century in 1999?"

I said "The VW Beetle."

I was wrong. He said, "Oh sorry" and then there was an buzzer.

My brush with national stardom was over. I know this was a national show because the rest of the callers (I was the 2nd one by the way) were from all over the USA. The answer was the Model T by the way.

Speaking of Model T's, they only came in black. I have a black car, my 1969 Nova, pictured below (any excuse to post a picture, especially of a car).
Many of you may remember this Ride. It is my first car and I have had it since I was about 14.
Anyway, I hope everyone is having a good week. I am unwinding this evening after a long day which ended with a city council meeting, nothing too eventful. You can catch the re-run of my stellar performance at the meeting on WCTV Channel 11 if you are really bored. :)
Ok, I have bored you all to death and you will probably never read our blog again since I ramble about totally meaningless stuff....
Have a good week.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ticked-off angry bees...

Well, it has been some time since we posted. So, here is a post just to say we are still around. Nothing too exciting is happening. I did get stung by a ticked off bee and was chased by several dozen of its angry brothers and sisters while mowing the grass tonight. Apparently they have built a mini-city in the yield sign pole at the corner of our property.

On a more positive note, we did have a nice time on June 30th with some new friends, the June "log in date" group. Several families from as far away as South Bend to Centerville, Ohio converged at the Spencer's in Richmond. All of us have log in dates of June, which means there is a good chance that we may travel together someday when we get our referral. I will see if I can track down a photo to post.

Rett has been working at Safety Town this week and next. I think she is having a good time although she may not want to admit it (since it is work on her summer vacation). She helps teach Kindergarten and 1st grade kids saftey on a mini-city (literally, small streets, buildings, signs, powerwheels and etc...). I have been having less than a good time at work this week. People are just mean and stupid sometimes. Enough said.

We did start helping my parents begin reorganizing the barn. I have a 41 Buick tucked away in the barn that I hope to get out this summer. Again, I will try to find a picture to post. My dad has a 41 International Panel, a customized Luv truck in there. My brother has an Opel GT and a 66 Catalina in there. We have several other cars, but they are stored at the shop. Here is a picture of Robby's Catalina.

Well, it is getting late and I have ONE MORE DAY TO GO!!! Thank God it is almost Friday. The end of this week can not come soon enough. Have a good morning/afternoon/evening/night depending on when you are reading this. Thanks for stoppping by....


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Our 101st post :)---it's a doozy!

OK, so we've been laying low for awhile. We were super excited to hit the 12 month mark, but it wasn't as joyous as we thought. Not long after we hit that mark (exactly one week to the day) I read on our adoption agency's Yahoo group blog some pretty disappointing news. I was hesitant to write about it because of my four-in-the-morning-come-to-Jesus-post about how I shouldn't be selfish and always need everyone to encourage us. We shouldn't need everyone to always say, "It'll be alright." But, friends, family, right now we do.

The posting from our agency confirmed the rumors and our latest fears. They said that wait times would continue to increase. What it amounts to is backlog of dossiers + a shortage of paper-ready babies=only getting through a few days worth of dossiers per month. Just as a reminder to those who only pop in to read Tony's adorable posts and forget where we are in the adoption realm, we have a Log-in-Date of June 15, 2006. China is currently working on November 2005! What does all that amount to? We are looking at at least another 12-18 month wait. *sigh*

It's just SO stinking hard. I might have mentioned before that we feel like we're just "playing house" with buying clothes, organizing a play area, etc. And frankly, my darling, I'm over it. You just get to a point of thinking, "Do we want to have a daughter from China?" or "Are we just ready to be parents?" Honestly, I cannot speak for Tony, (well, I almost can) but if someone were to call us up about a private adoption right now (at 10:45 p.m.) we'd say, ok, let's talk to the birth mom! I don't want that to sound insensitive, it's simply a fact. If a little one needs a mommy and a daddy, we're ready to fill that role!

When we got in line for this roller coaster ride called adoption, we saw the signs about keeping hands inside the vehicle at all times, and that line jumping isn't a sport. But when we saw the signs that read, "Domestic adoption this way," we avoided them out of ignorance. Not only didn't it feel right at that time, we were TOTALLY afraid of domestic adoption. You know those worries, "If it's an open adoption, will I just be babysitting someone else's child?" "Can the birth family come and take away my child a month, a year, or 10 years down the line?" Now don't get me wrong, there are still lots of things we don't know about domestic adoption, but trust me on this one, education is key. The more we read and research, the less scary it is. It's a beautiful way to form families! It's still unknown territory, but we're definitely taking notice of those signs posted along the path now.

Does it mean we're jumping from the ship heading to China? NO WAY. It just means that adoption is bigger than China, and which way is God leading us? A year and a half ago the doors were opening left and right and things were going smoothly. The past few months have not gone as smoothly though. I know I can talk myself in and out of everything. "Rett, DO NOT let your faith waiver. How dare you doubt God's plan just because it's gotten a little painful!?" Imagine how history would have changed if Noah DIDN'T build that ark! So I waiver between that reasoning to, "Maybe God led us to this point to open OTHER doors. The orphan ministry is up and taking a foothold. Also, we're less fearful of domestic adoption. Maybe our child is right here in Indiana?" GRRRRRR. It's just so frustrating. Are we just being impatient? I'd almost say yes if we were on month seven of a 12 month wait, but we're talking years of doctor visits, surgeries, paperwork, and waiting...only to be another year or two?

What is all this ranting about? Somewhere in this world, God has prepared or is preparing a child specifically for us. It's just so hard to be patient. I get tired of walking around in a fertile world that was not meant for me.

Ok, enough poor Rett and Tony. We certainly do NOT have a disappointing life. We are blessed beyond words. God is good, ALL THE TIME...even right now as I'm whining!!

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Important Milestones

First, Happy Birthday to Rett. Her birthday was last week!!!!! I won't tell you how young she is...

Second, we had our ONE YEAR LID (Log In Date) anniversary on the 15th. When we started this process we were told the wait time was about 9 months. At the time, we thought we would be home and settled in by this time this year. But obviously we are still probably a year away from travel. Oh well, what can you do... We did eat Chinese food and purchased a doll for her to recognize our 12 months of "official" waiting.

Finally, Happy Father's Day to our dads!!!!!

Have a good week. Monday is just a few hours away. I can't wait.... :(


Monday, June 11, 2007


Ok, if you take offense by the title of this post you are obviously not Glenn Beck fans. For those of you who do not know who Glenn Beck is, he is a conservative radio talk show host (and also has a show on CNN Headline News at 7 & 9 every night). For more info, check out his website @
Now that you are up to speed, I will tell you why I am posting about Glenn Beck. Rett, Kristy, Richie and I traveled to Columbus, OH Friday night to see Glenn's stage show. The stage show is called the "Inconvenient Tour", poking fun at Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth". Needless to say it was GREAT!!!! Richie and Rett were not too thrilled about the whole thing, Kristy and I are the nerds that listen to talk radio. But once he came out, we all laughed for about 2 solid hours. It was great. No bad language, just real life situations told in a hilarious fashion.
We arrived in Columbus around 4:30 pm. We were able to park right next to the Ohio Theater. Once we parked we did the Rachel Ray thing and asked the locals where a good place was to eat. We found a cute little cafe a block away from the theater. After eating, we walked another couple of blocks to the Columbus Art Festival. It was pretty cool. There were hundreds of artists from all around the country displaying their creations. The picture is of us at the art festival along the river.

After we ate we walked back to the theater. We had perfect timing. We waited about 1 minute and they let us in for the show. We had decent seats (well, if you like really high places you could call them decent). Regardless, we had a great time.

AND THEN, when we were making our way out of the parking garage after the show we saw Glenn getting in a SUV and they pulled up RIGHT BEHIND US!!!! He pointed at Rett and Kristy (who were in backseat of the car waving at him). Cool stuff!! Richie thought the coolest thing was that we parked for free (not sure how that happened, but that was icing on the cake).

If Glenn ever comes to a city near you, you must go see him. In the mean time, catch his radio show on 930 am from 10-12:00 every day or his TV show on CNN Headline News.

Got Milk?

Here is a photo of Kristy sharing in the excitement.


Friday, June 08, 2007

WOW, am I selfish

So, I'm sitting here, awake, at 4:47 a.m. on Friday morning just contemplating life. Yeah, you heard me right...A.M.....I just couldn't sleep. I have been having trouble sleeping this week. Yes, it could be because I haven't gone to bed before 11 and sleep until after 9 (no comments from the peanut gallery, thank you). Anyway, so I got up to catch up on my Internet reading, and got to thinking.

I am one pretty selfish girl to constantly need reassuring that Abby WILL be home one day soon. I always need someone to pat my back, give me a sympathetic look, remind me of God's promises, etc when it comes to our pending parenthood. Where does Abby fit into this? Where does her birthmom fit into this? I mean, I earnestly pray that somewhere halfway around the world, someone is holding her birth mommy's hand as she gives she gives life to our daughter. I pray that someone is whispering in her ear that things will be ok. That the baby she just left on the steps to the orphanage, hospital, or grocery, will be loved much and told often about where she came from. I pray that her birth father got the chance to hold her, smell her, and feel her touch before he handed her back. Who am I to deserve all this support? What am I doing? I'm just sitting here waiting. I don't have a posh life, but I have one that is pretty remarkable. Why do I need to be told a thousand times that everything will work out?

And what about our Abby girl? Who is holding her close and telling her life will soon change, but that it will hold many adventures and love? Is she resting in her birthmother's arms feeling totally at peace? What about her maternal or paternal grandparents? Do they know about Abrielle? Is Abby's cooing reassuring to them that their daughter/son is making the right decision? Are they thinking into the future about her playing outside, or the occupation she will choose to help earn a living? Who is telling them that God has it all worked out?

It's amazing what clarity 5:00 in the morning brings. I realize, I'm one pretty selfish girl. One day, Tony and I will be parents. God willing, it will be to one remarkable little one from China. If not, it will be to another beautiful little one who needs a mommy and daddy. But until then, whenever you wonder how we're doing with the ever-lengthening wait, wonder about Abby's birthmom and dad. Wonder about her China grandparents and family. Wonder about her little heart and mind. Wonder, and then pray for peace for their souls. Pray that they have someone to pat their back, give them a sympathetic look, and tell them it's going to be ok.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Yeah, I'm just a big kid

So, for the record, there are some pretty exciting days coming up! And you, my wonderful friends and family, are a captive audience for me to remind you of them!

Jeremy's b-day (nephew) June 10
Bill's b-day (dad) June 12
Rett's b-day (me) June 12
Mackenzie's b-day (great niece) June 13
Mari's b-day (friend) June 13
1 Year Anniversary of our LID-June 15
Father's Day June 17

Marilyn's b-day (mom) June 20
Brian's b-day (friend) June 20

I've probably left somone out...and if that's the case, let me know! I know, I know, I don't do this for everyone's birthday, but since mine is in June, and it's OUR blog...I thought I'd post this! heheheheh

Don't forget to get all the daddies in your lives something special for Father's Day! And don't forget the daddies-to-be! (TONY and SHAWN-my nephew!)

So the official countdown? Only 8 days to go!!!!!! WHOO HOOO! Hey, I'm justified in my excitement. Two years ago, I couldn't even enjoy birthday cake on my birthday b/c I was fasting for my SURGERY the next day. And last year, I got the best gift ever by gaining permission to apply to China for our daughter (I turned 30). However, it was not a very tangible gift and since she is STILL not home...I want to celebrate my birthday right!!!

Happy birthday to all the June birthdays!!!!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Update--If you want to call it that

So...the rumors are trickling in about the next batch of referrals. Currently, the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) has matched families with LIDs (log-in dates) through November 1, 2005. The latest rumors say they are going to get through November 7, 2005. Yep, that's it...6 days worth of dossiers.

Want to put things in perspective? Our LID is June 15, 2006! That means only 220 more days worth of LIDs until they get to June 15! Pathetic. Referrals only come out once a month, and if they only get through 6 days a month, it is going to take another two years until we get to bring Abby home!

I could get really upset (ok, I already did), but a chat with a fellow June LIDer on our Yahoo group helped me put things into perspective. (THANKS APRIL!) We agreed that we should be thanking God for what He has done and what he WILL do...which is find safe and wonderful homes for many many babies! We also agreed to refocus on the CREATOR not just the CREATION. :)

On a side note, I had the craziest dream last night! I dreamt that we got our referral (YAY!) and it was for a little BOY! Needless to say, we were both excited and shocked. He was the cutest little guy who had turned one on April 29. Yep, my dream was that clear...even knew his birthday! Remember, just because we requested a little girl, we could be given a little boy! it's rare, but happens!

So if you think about it, send up a "Thank you God, for what you're doing in orphan lives!" I'll try to do the same.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm baaacckkk!

Tony has done a fantastic job at posting here. He stepped in to blog when my heart simply wasn't in it. He brought you some pictures and topics that, regardless of how trivial, you all ate up...AND asked for more! Really? Is our reality that interesting? Well, ok, you asked for it.

As you well know, things on the adoption homefront have been slow moving and, frankly, depressing. We did get our documents completed and submitted for our homestudy update. That was progress. We also celebrated our 11 month waiting anniversary. Currently the time frame is running about 19 months. But don't get all excited, every month that number seems to creep up. So every month when we have another month under our belts, another is added to the end. Insert cliche here about "good things come to those who wait, or all in God's time" yep, we know them all by heart. So when we started this gig 11 months ago, it was an 8-9 month wait. It appears it is currently another 8-9 month wait, and 6 months from now, it will probably an 8-9 month wait. *sigh* Also, in June/July, we need to start updating our fingerprint clearance for the FBI. Yeah, because fingerprints expire. Did you know that? Grissom never said anything about that on CSI. Then again, he never adopted.

Speaking of TV and adoption. We got a kick of hearing about your opinions of the King of Queens finale. Although we didn't watch, we heard that Doug and Carrie adopted from China. We also heard how you all were irritated that they made it appear as though it happened in a matter of days, that they were able to adopt an infant, travel the same day they received "the call", and their comments about parenting two different kids with two different eye shapes, or it being a given that you get pregnant once you adopt. Thank goodness you're educated and know those things aren't true! Thanks for listening and learning!

Anyway, we have had two other exciting things recently. My niece Kristy graduated from Ivy Tech with her LPN license/degree! We are SO proud of her effort! She already has a job lined up in pediatrics at Henry County Hospital, and we know she'll do well! She's adorable in her nursing hat too! I'll post her picture once I get another copy of it. Nurse! Too cool!

The other excitement came by way of stork on Mother's Day nonetheless! My other niece Nikki gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Koleson Michael on Sunday evening. That is the handsome boy you see above. While she was in the hospital, Tony and I got to spend some much needed time with Addison, who is her first child and our fabulous strrawberry-blonde great-niece.

Thanks for being patient with our random posts, but we don't post because we don't get COMMENTS! Kidding aside, some months this rollercoaster ride is pretty smooth. There are only few emotional bumps and turns. And other months, it's flat out scary and jumbles our insides. We do just have one little request. Please do not make the statement, "Just enjoy the time you have together." or "Enjoy the sleep you'll never have again." Although we know these are true statements, some days they are just too hard to hear. As my sister Renee said, "You can sleep when you're dead! We want Abby home NOW!" I know, I know, you'll throw that back in our faces the FIRST time I complain about being tired. But don't. Just don't. I don't think my psyche can take it! hhahahaha.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Robby Chillin' with Mayor Bart

Well, not too much has been happening. We did send off our homestudy update materials. The pool is down. We now have the neighborhood's largest sandbox, a 24 foot circle of sand. We have been working to "square off" the deck. We cut off the half moon shape of the deck to make it look less obvious that there was a pool (thank you to Dad for helping us modify the deck). We still have work to do, but the hard part is finished, I think.

Other than that, just business as usual, work, pay bills, work, mow grass, etc...
The photo above is Robby haning out with Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson. What a perfect photo.
I will have Rett post next time so that there is some interesting is late, I had a long day topped off by a city council meeting. BUT TOMORROW IS THE CITY PRIMARY ELECTION AND I GET THE DAY OFF!!!!! There are a few benefits to goverment work.
Have a good one!!!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

10 Month Waiting Anniversary!

Hello everyone. I hope all is well. I always like to post a photo just to make things interesting. We really did not have anything exciting to show so I dug into the archives and pulled out this photo of our mower...I know I am a goober. But it does have some significance. I FINALLY got to mow the yard. It seemed that every time the weather was nice enough to mow I had a meeting or something. So the yard has been treated once already and mowed. I was speaking with my neighbor tonight asking when we should do the next treatment of "weed and feed" and he said to wait for the TV commercials to tell us. If any of you know a better method let me know.

Thanks for all the comments on our last posting. It is always nice to hear from everyone.
We have been working away to accomplish the tasks on our long list. The local background checks are complete thanks to the Richmond Police Chief. Our doctor letter are finished. We both had to visit our doctors for that...(about $140 for two letters, what a bargain...thank God for FLEX accounts with our insurance). To celebrate our 10 month waiting anniversary, we strolled to the ever so beautiful and exciting city of Connersville. The purpose of the trip was to get our FBI fingerprints taken. This was done at the State Police Post. This saves us a trip to downtown Indy. The rest of the items will not be too difficult. The home study agency will complete some of the required background checks for us thankfully.
In other news, we were guests on Tony (Niner) and Treva's podcast this week. Here is a link. They produce this weekly and it is very informative and educational. We had a good time.
Rachel and Jason purchased a new Jeep Patriot. They brought it by to show us since we are such Jeep freaks. It is a cool vehicle. It had 100 miles (or so) on it and they let me take it for a spin. Driving someone's new vehicle is like holding their newborn baby (and as all of our friends know I rarely hold a baby that is less than a day or two old).
Other than that, we did the Easter thing last weekend and just had a grand time working the past two weeks. Saturday was Robby's birthday...happy belated birthday!!! Cammie's was a little over a week ago...happy belated birthday as well!!!! Also happy belated birthday to Missy and happy birthday Nikki today. (am I missing any other b-days, anniversaries, etc...?)
We received many comments regarding the unidentified object over the hotel across from ours (per the previous post/photo). The odd object was not a UFO or anything exciting like that (would have been pretty cool if it was). It was a restaurant on the roof of the hotel, made for a good photo though.
Well, I am going to sign off for now. Another busy week starting with a city council meeting Monday night. Have a good week (and for those of you that harass us about not posting, you better leave a comment or my next post will be about you AND will post a picture of you...and if you are wondering if I am talking about you, one of you have the initials S.L.)