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!!