Thursday, January 27, 2011

Matilda Jane Fundraiser

It is finally time to start our fundraising efforts to being Keliah Faith home. The pictures we got the other day have really gotten me excite to bring her home. Not that I wasn't excited before, but now that things are started to move forward, I just cannot wait. This whole process this time around has created a few roadblocks, and is all in all, completely different from our last experiences. But, one thing remains the same, and that is that with God, all things are possible therefore, we will continue to have faith that we are on His path, and He will show us the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today I am launching our very first fundraiser. I am SO excited about it, and cannot wait to see who the lucky winners are. So, what exactly could you be winning? Well, I have been noticing lately that alot of the blogs I follow like to dress their little girls in Matilda Jane Clothing. MJC is a clothing company that makes and sells beautiful boutique style clothing. They do not sell in stores or malls, in fact there are only a couple of ways you can buy the clothes. One is to have a Trunkshow which is the same concept as other home parties. Your trunk keeper will come to your house, set up, and your guests will get to look through the clothes first hand. The second way is to buy from Platinum Label. The Platinum Label is all made right here in the US (actually right here in our little ol'town), and is incredibly unique. The Platinum is an sporadic upload and you never know when it is going to be or what is going to be up for sale.

Mylee has a few Matilda Jane outfits, and I can tell you first hand, they are absolutely adorable. These outfits are definitely head turners. Oh, and they also make outfits for moms so they can look just as cute as their daughters. MJ also has a boys line called Mighty Acorns so the little guys in your life are just as cute too.


So, if have never bought any Matilda Jane, now is your chance. And, if you have already started your collection, now is your chance to build on it. Or, if you are a Grandma, or an Aunt, or even a really good friend, here is your chance to show that special little person in your life how special they are. Matilda Jane is releasing their spring line, House of Clouds, February 1. This is HUGE. With every new line, you can expect something new and different than before. The collection will not be up on their website until Feb. 1 as well, but if you go to their blog, they have posted a few sneak peeks. All I can say is WOW! This is the most beautiful line yet.

So, we are giving away two $200.00 gift cards to two very lucky people. Just think, not only will you get some beautiful clothes, but you will also have your hand in helping to bring a beautiful little girl home to her family.

Here's what you need to do for a chance to win...

1. For every $10.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $25.00.
2. Post about the fundraiser on your blog then come back and post telling me you posted about it.
3. Post about the fundraiser on facebook.
4. Become a follower

Please use the Chip In button on our sidebar.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black and White Wednesday ~ A Surprise Update

So, I know I haven't updated lately, but I will continue to use the same excuse as before, we are so, so busy. Part of that business has been working on getting together a new and exciting fundraiser to bring Keliah Faith home, but more on that later. I had planned on posting something entirely different for Black and White Wednesday until I saw these in my e-mail.

Speaking of Keliah, I am so happy to share with you the updated pictures we got just tonight. We had asked for an update about a week ago, and quite honestly, I had forgotten about it today. I made a mental note to e-mail our agency just to see if they had heard anything about getting an update so when I was checking my e-mail this evening, I was completely surprised to find these, new pictures of our gorgeous girl. She is absolutely beautiful.

January update

Along with the two pictures, we got updated measurements as well. I was pretty excited about these two and had Emma run to get me the tape measure so I could compare Keliah's measurements to Emma's. Emma is 50 inches tall and Keliah is 48.8 inches. Keliah is 60 lbs and Emma (last we checked) was around 60 as well. We got measurements of her head, chest, and feet as well, and all but the feet are withing a 10th of an inch of Emma. Keliah's feet measured 5.9 inches and Emma's measure around 8 inches.

january update 2

This process has been quite different than the other three. With Mylee's adoption we were able to get updated pictures from other traveling families about once a month. You all already know how Blessed we were with Drew being at New Day. I think I have more pictures of him than any other child. Jaxon was a "surprise" so we don't have a whole lot on him either, but for only knowing about him 6 weeks before we traveled, I can't complain.

We think the orphanage Keliah is from is new to adoption and this may be their first round of adoptions. They will let us send a package but will not let her know she has a family until we get out LOA. So if we do send a package, they will just tell her it is from a kind family in the US. We have decided to just hold off for now and send her lots of goodies along with lots and lots of pictures of her new family as soon as we get LOA (which at this point seems so far off).

january update 2 black and white

I just cannot get over the fact that we are adding a 7th child to our family, but I am also just as excited about getting on that plane and bringing her home. As soon as Emma saw her pictures she asked if I could print them out so she could take them to school and hang them in her locker for everyone to see. She is probably the most excited.

As for where we are in the process, we were supposed to have our Dossier in China by February 4th which is completely doable. In fact, our goal was to have it there by January and were estimating a travel date of mid summer. Well, at this rate, we will be lucky to be DTC by April which would put us at an estimated travel of October. Why the delay you ask? Well, we have been waiting almost 3 months for Matt's updated physical and labs to be released from his doctor. He has no medical issues, and is perfectly healthy, but he uses VA and before they can release any information you basically have to do a "dance." pull teeth, and promise your first born.

The good news is that as of today, our home study agency has everything they need from us to finish up our home study so we can file for our I800A. We are just waiting on them to approve it, sign it, and get it back to us. I am hoping and praying we can mail it to Homeland Security sometime next week. From what we are hearing it is taking just under 2 months to get the approval back. Again, we are hoping and praying we are on the shorter end of that. We are also praying that there is a massive speed up and we will still travel mid summer. A summer travel date would be ideal because that is the best time for us to get help with the kids while I am gone and Matt is working. We know at the end of the day, all of this is out of our hands, but it still doesn't hurt to be hopeful.

SO, enjoy the pics, I know I am. I have been looking at them over and over all night. I am hoping to be able to post about my fundraising project in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Enough Said...

"Take the first step in faith. you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. " - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Mylee was adamant today about me not walking her into school today. Because of her wheelchair I have been taking her right in to her class everyday. But today, she was very clear that she did not want me to carry her in or even walk her in. She wanted to be dropped off at the door just like all the other kids. She is still pretty sore, tender, and stiff from her surgery and her casts, but she is making progress every day. When she walks, she limps a little, and her left leg kind of drags behind her. But it doesn't stop her, ore even slow her down.

There are many words that come to mind when I think of Mylee. She is spunky, hilarious, ambitious, adorable, persistent, stubborn, smart, unforgettable, inquisitive, and assertive. She's a risk taker (she scares the you know what out of me). She is motivated. She loves everything pink and girly. She is tough, strong, and most definitely resilient. She is proud of who she is and that she is from China and will tell anyone who will listen about being Chinese. She is confident, energetic, and eager. She gets excited over the smallest things and is eager to try new things. She can be sassy, impatient and naughty at times.

But today as I watched her walk herself into school the one word that I immediately thought of was determination. I don't think I have ever seen a child more determined to succeed than her. As I watched her limp her way through the door, my eyes filled with tears thinking about all that she has gone through in her life. She has endured more medical treatments, casts, surgeries, painful procedures and therapy than most people can even imagine in their lifetimes. And yet, she has done it all with determination. She is determined to anything and everything, so don't tell her she "can't" do something, because she will do everything to prove she CAN.

Right now we don't know what her future is in regards to her legs and feet. At this point, she is done with surgeries. Dr. Loder wants to see how she grows and how she adapts as she grows. We have come to the realization that she will never walk "normal." She will never be able to bend her knees completely. She will stumble and fall. But, we do know, that when she stumbles and falls, she will get right back up. She will get back up with more determination than ever.

One of the other things I thought about as I watched her walk into school this morning with her hair swaying back and forth was the fact that kids can be cruel. There will come a day when someone will mock her, call her names, and make fun of her. There will come a day when she may be picked last because she isn't able to run fast enough, or kick the ball hard enough. I can also tell you that when this day comes, Mylee will not back down. I pity that person because Mylee will call them out in true Mylee fashion. Unlike most people, she won't walk away with her tail between her legs. She will defend herself, and she will most definitely leave an impression.

As a parent it isn't easy watching your child go through such painful and limiting treatments and procedures. It certainly isn't what any parent expects. But I can tell you that Mylee's optimism, determination, and overall attitude sure has made it easier. She is an awesome kid, and we are truly blessed to call her our daughter. I cannot imagine our family without her. She is definitely, one of a kind.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Time Has Come

After six weeks of tissue expansions, surgery, and 9 weeks of being in two different casts, Mylee is finally back to walking upright. We started this last set of treatments back in August (almost 5 months ago) and finally, she is out of her cast for good.

Mylee was so excited to get her cast off. She began counting down about a week ago. Everyday she would get up and tell me "I have 5 more days until I see Dr. Loder and he takes off my cast. I think Mylee was more excited about counting down to getting her cast off than she was about Christmas morning.

Finally getting that stinky cast off.

When we went in yesterday we were not 100% the cast was going to come off, so we did our best to prepare Mylee that there may be a chance she would get a new cast depending on how well her leg was healing. Once the cast was off and Dr. Loder looked it over, he said if it were completely up to him he would leave it off and begin physical therapy. But,we had to make sure it was okay with the plastic surgeon who thankfully gave the go ahead as well. Honestly, after seeing the incision area I was so afraid she was going to go back home with a cast.

This is what the inscision area looks like. Apparently the black stuff is not blood which is what I assumed, but dead skin and will fall off. It is pretty disgusting.

Making sure Drew gets a peek and telling him not to touch it.

She took a nice long soak in the tub this morning which I think I was more excited about than her. It has been about 9 weeks since she has had a "real" shower or bath. She was pretty sore at first and again this morning, but she is up and walking around on two legs. One of the things she was excited about was that she was going to get to wear two shoes again. Unfortunately, because of where the incision is, she hasn't been able to get a shoe on, but I don't think it will be long.

As for now, we are done with surgeries, casts, or anything other than physical therapy for a while. Dr. Loder will see her back in 2 months, but does not anticipate any further surgeries in the near future. Basically, they will wait to see how she grows and how well she is walking as she grows. She will never walk "normal," she will most likely always have balance issues, she will never be able to fully bend her knees or completely sit crossed legged, but she will most definitely do her darnedest to try and never gets discouraged when she "can't" do something. As a matter of fact, there is no "can't" in her vocabulary because even if she can't do something like the next person, she will do it her own way, in her own speed and with a smile on her face. Mylee is one amazing little girl. She is tough, and I mean really tough. I don't know many people who could go through all that she has in 5 short years (yes, she will be 5 next month) and still come out smiling and wanting to give everything she does 110%. She is such a joy to have and be around and we are more than blessed to call her our daughter.

Next on her to do list, snow. In her own words, "Now it just needs to snow so I can finally make a snowman and sled down the hill."