Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! I just know 2010 is going to be a great year. For one, we are surely going to get our LOA soon (today is day 95 of waiting), which means we will soon be adding a new son to our already blessed family. I know many of you have been praying that we hear something soon and all I ask is that you continue to keep praying because I am really starting to get worried.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love Has No Color

For those of you who are keeping track, we are on day 92 of waiting for our LOA. I honestly did not think we would have to wait this long. Yes, I am sulking, I want more than anything to be with Drew when he turns 4 and the only way that is going to be possible is for us to get our LOA soon, very, very soon.

I have been away from bloggy world for what seems like an eternity. In fact, this is the first I have actually sat down at the computer since before Christmas and it actually felt kind of good. The only downfall, I had over 200 e-mails to reply to, trash, or completely ignore. But other than that, I have really enjoyed the break.

I fully intended on doing a post all about our Christmas, complete with pictures and all, but as I was checking in on some other bloggers this morning, I came across this video and it completely overwhelmed me. First off, I had no idea this was even on or I would have made sure I watched it. And second it was a reminder of how many children are out there that did not have a family to spend Christmas with this year.

We always go to the Children's Mass at our Church on Christmas Eve and because it is such a popular Mass, we have to get there quite early to get a seat. Mass didn't start until 4:00 p.m. but Emma and I were there at 2:45 to save our seats. Matt came later with the rest of the crew. What does this have to do with the video below? Well, as I sat there listening to the music being played and watching families trickle in I began to tear up because I started thinking about all the children around the world who are homeless, parent less, loveless, etc. The children who instead of anticipating the arrival of Santa, they are wondering where their next meal is going to come from, how they are going to stay warm, or whether they are going to have a family next year for Christmas. It truly breaks my heart to know that there are so many children without the love, comfort, and safety of a family.

In all honesty, I was pretty much content after Emma was born. I was completely satisfied with my boy and so excited that I had a daughter. But Matt always said he wanted a large family (5 or 6), I on the other hand did not. A couple of years after Emma was born I agreed to have just one more baby. Gabe's pregnancy was a little different than Blake and Emma's and at one point I had to be hooked up to a heart monitor and was told I could not travel anywhere alone because of episodes of passing out. Anyway, as soon as Gabe was born I knew without a doubt I was done and our family was complete. Obviously God had a different plan and along came Mylee and now Drew. Five kids. We are soon going to be the parents of FIVE kids! I honestly can say that never in a million years did I think I would have five kids. But I will, and I cannot wait.

I have had several friends and family members ask "Are you crazy? How in the world are you going to stay sane with five kids, working, and going to school?" My response? "I don't know. But I do know that this is what I am supposed to do. As for school and work? I am lucky enough to be able to work and go to school from home for now." Another question we get ALL the time is "Isn't adopting expensive, how much is it, or how can you afford it?" My response? "Yes, it is expensive, the cost doesn't matter, and as far as being able to afford it, we have an enormous amount of faith." I have even in some cases responded with "it isn't any more expensive than that nice new car you are driving."

But I think the question that bothers me the most is "Why? Why do you want to adopt when you can obviously have children of your own? Why do you want to adopt from China? Why do you want to adopt outside your race?"

It wasn't until we were smack dab in the middle of Mylee's adoption that I really knew and understood what having faith meant. And it is that faith that got us through Mylee's adoption and is now getting us through Drew's. So, for those who ask why, my answer is simple. Why not? It's not like I just woke up one day and thought to myself "maybe I will adopt today." I wish it were that easy, but it's not. In fact, I tried to talk myself out of Drew's adoption so many times. Mylee and Drew were not born from me, I know that, our other kids know that, and Mylee knows that I went to China to get her. She also knows (and Drew will too) that she has been growing inside my heart for a very long time. I knew along time ago that I wanted to adopt a little girl from China. All it took for me to do it was a little bit of faith and patience and an amazing husband who allowed me to turn my dream into a reality. The love I have for Mylee and Drew is no different from the love I have for Blake, Emma, or Gabe. They are ALL my children. They may have not have all been born to me, but they certainly came from the same place, and were hand picked for me to call them my children.

One other question we get alot is "Why special needs?" This one is a little more difficult to answer. I remember being pregnant with Blake, Emma, and Gabe and the only thing that I really cared about was whether or not they were healthy. I even remember with Blake the doctor saying "it's a boy, complete with ten toes and ten fingers." Now I think back and sort of chuckle because we are actively searching for children with special needs. Whether it is a child that at has a minor or major medical issue, at the end of the day, it is still a child who needs a home, a family and someone to take them in their arms hug them and say "I love you." Whatever the medical issue is, it should not and does not define that child.

And for those of you who ask "How many more children are you going to adopt?" That is a question I simply cannot answer. I wish I could, but the only one who can answer that is God, and trust me he hasn't answered me yet either.

So please take a few minutes a watch this video. I also wanted to mention that the real family from the movie "The Blind Side" is going to be on 20/20 tonight at nine. This is what it is all about. Obviously not every adopted child is going to be a NFL player or famous country singer, but the one thing they will all have in common is a family to call their own.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Still No LOA :(

Still no news on our LOA although Leslie got hers and her LID was only a couple of days before our so maybe we will hear something soon. I am still hoping and praying we hear something before Christmas or at least before the end of the year. I know that God is in control and He will decide when the time is right, but I can still hope.

Anyway, to take away the sadness of not hearing anything yet I was so excited to see these pictures posted on New Days's web-site this morning. Seriously, can he get any cuter???

Singing for the visitors

Dancing with Adahlyn (what a cute couple they make)

Decorating the tree

Coloring a picture

This is going to be a busy week for me (again), but finals are over and I can at least relax and enjoy my kids for the next two weeks. I have some sewing projects I want to finish up, cleaning that needs to be done, and a couple of good books that need to be read. Hopefully my next post will be about our LOA arriving.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All I Want For Christmas...

Is My

Is that really too much to ask? As of today we are on day 80 of waiting. There rumors floating around on RQ that there is a good possibility that LOA's won't come in now until after Christmas and The New Year. My hopes of being with Drew for his 4th birthday are being crushed. I still continue to pray for a Miracle, after all, He has already showed us that He is with us on this journey.

Prayers for a call, THE call that is would be greatly appreciated. Once we have our LOA (which is China's final word saying yes we can adopt Drew) we then have to submit more paperwork to USCIS and the CCAA and then we should get our TA (travel approval). I think the timeline from receiving LOA to TA is about 8-10 weeks and TA to boarding a plane is around 1-2 weeks. So, if there is any chance at all that we can be with Drew for his birthday, we need to get that LOA soon, very soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Birthdays, Cookis, and a Haircut (again)

We started off our busy weekend by celebrating Emma's 8th birthday which was Friday. She and some of her friends went to see The Princess and the Frog (which is a really good movie). We were able to use the party room before the movie started which worked out perfectly for gifts and cupcakes.

My creation

Then on Saturday we celebrated again with Matt's parents and my sister and niece. We had cake and ice cream again and more presents.

My creation

Then on Sunday we got together at Matt's parent's house for our annual Keekle and cookie making day with his dad's side of the family. I know some of you are probably wondering what Keekles are and the only way I know how to explain it is they are like a doughnut only made with a potato dough and raisins. Once they dough rises, they are then deep fried. The women generally prepare the dough while the men do all the frying and "tasting" in the garage. It is tradition to eat Keekles on Christmas morning which are dipped in powdered sugar. Yesterday when we were all together we were trying to figure out exactly where Keekles come from. We know they come from Matt's Grandma's side of the family and her Great Grandma who was from Sweden made them. I have tried Googling Keekles but am unable to find anything out about them. To be honest I never heard of them until I married into the family. I personally do not like them, and have been told every Christmas that I am kicked out of the will. Oh well...

My creation

This is Matt's Paternal Grandparents. They are a very special couple who love their family more than anything. I love getting together with them because they are so much fun to be around. I have been a part of the family for almost 15 years now and I love these two just as much as if they were my own Grandparents. They have been married for over sixty years, have three children, have eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren with two more on the way. Their love for each other and their family is truly an inspiration.

The "testers" are in the middle
My creation

I know that some of you may be wondering why Emma is wearing a hat in all of her pictures. Well, on Friday before her party my friend that does hair was over and she was going to do a really pretty braid in Emma's hair since I can't braid at all. Anyway, I asked Emma to run up and get the comb and she said she didn't want her hair braided but went to get the comb anyway. She came back downstairs and as Krista began combing through her hair she said..

Krista: "You may want to come over here."

Me: "Oh no, does she have lice"

Krista: "No, you just need to come over here."

This is what I found when I went to look at Emma's hair...

When I asked her why she cut her hair she said "because I didn't want a braid." At that point I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As much as I wanted to cry, I did laugh because I figured since it was her birthday what other choice did I have? Anyway, because of the severity of the cut and where it is, our only choice to cover it up is with a comb over. Now, how many 8 year old little girls do you know that can say they got a comb over for their birthday???

And The WInner Is...

The winner of the beautiful Junk Posse Ladybug Necklace is...

I am so excited for Tara who has three beautiful biological children and is also waiting to add a Chinese sister to the mix. I always look forward to Tara's comments because they are always so uplifting and inspirational.

Thank you to everyone for leaving comments and entering the giveaway. Friday was Emma's 8th birthday (sniff, sniff) and I will do my best to get pictures up from that but this is also finals week for me so I may be MIA for most of the week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Okay folks, I just wanted to let you all know the giveaway for the beautiful Junk Posse Necklace ends tomorrow. I will be drawing the lucky winner Saturday morning so make sure you get your entries in. Don't forget, you can have up to 3 entries per person. See the previous post for ALL the details.

1. Comment on this post = 1 entry

2. Blog about this post on your blog = 1 entry

3. Become a follower = 1 entry (if you are already a follower you automatically get one entry)

This would make a great gift for a special someone or would even be a great keeper. I love this necklace, but my all time favorite is the Wish Came True necklace.

I also just found out that Tracy is now making key chains for dads. How cool is that??? All you have to do is pick out which design you like best and she will attach it to a key ring. I love this idea!

Oh, and one more thing. If you order something from Tracy's Etsy shop and mention my name, she will send you a free pair of earrings with your order.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday and a Giveaway

God showed up yesterday, in a BIG way. Let me back up just a bit. Last month we received out I-800 paperwork, and other paperwork to get filled out and get back to our agency before our LOA arrives. Well, as of today we are on day 66 of waiting for our LOA. I am hoping and praying it gets here soon, but I have this feeling we will not be with Drew in time for his 4th birthday.

Anyway, God's timing is perfect and I just have to trust that He will unite us with Drew when He is ready. So, as most of you know things have been pretty tight around here since Matt was laid off back in August. Although he is back to work now, we are still playing catch up. So in an effort to get us caught up and continue to pay for Drew's adoption Matt has been working as much overtime as possible (not much is offered) and he is also doing electrical jobs on the side.

Along with the I-800 paperwork we received last month was a statement in the amount of $540.00 that was due on or before our LOA arrives. With the side job that Matt has been working on he assured me we would have the money. Matt and I were talking last night and he told me that the job ran into some problems and he is hoping to at least clear $400.00. Well, that is going to leave us about $140.00 short. So, I told him I would go through some of the Christmas gifts and see what I could take back. (We have cut way back this year and are only buying for our kids in an effort to save money)

So, as I was checking my e-mail this afternoon and telling myself that this is just one more mountain we need to climb, He shows up in a BIG way. I am sure you all remember Tracy, I have posted about her a couple of times on here and how she is donating a percentage of her China sales to us to help us bring Drew home. Whenever she has a donation for us she just sends it through Paypal. As I was reading through my e-mails today I noticed one from Tracy sent through Paypal. As soon as I opened it and saw the amount I about fell off my chair. I immediately began to tear up because the amount was $137.50! Can you believe that?

Once again I am in awe of those who are reaching out to help us get our son home. If it weren't for people like Tracy, and those that have helped us in the past, our dream of adding to our family may not have been possible. God opened our hearts to adoption, and He is making sure we know it is His will that we add to our family. God has once again shown me that by believing and trusting in Him, we WILL bring Drew home. He is walking this path with us, He is there to knock down those hurdles, He is there when we are at the bottom of a hill not knowing how we are going to get over it. He. Is. There.

As if donating a percentage of her sales to us isn't enough, Tracy has offered to give away her newest design. This necklace is absolutely beautiful and would make a great gift to someone, or even yourself. There is no money involved with this giveaway. All you have to do is..

1. Comment on this post = 1 entry

2. Blog about this post on your blog = 1 entry

3. Become a follower = 1 entry (if you are already a follower you automatically get one entry)

So, there you have it. It doesn't get any easier than this. You have the opportunity to get 3 entries. So, what are you waiting for, leave a comment, become a follower, and then go post about this on your blog.

You have until December 9th to enter and then I will randomly draw the winner.


Originally I intended on posting a picture for Wordless Wednesday however, that all changed as soon as I read a news letter from the agency we used with Mylee. There was a link to a you tube video that was written by a dad of 3 boys (2 adopted and 1 foster). The song is called "God Bless the Children" and is written and sung by Wayne Warner. This is an amazing song and I pray that you will take four minutes out of you busy schedules to sit and listen to it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Drew's Thanksgiving

Although Drew is in China, New Day not only celebrates Chinese Holidays but American ones as well. Once again I am completely amazed and in awe of all the wonderful people working with New Day to insure all the kids are taken care of. Below are pictures from the New Day sight of the kids getting ready for their Thanksgiving meal. You can see more pictures here.