Monday, February 28, 2011

And the Winners Are...

God is good! Plain and Simple! Just about a month ago, Matt and I were seriously contemplating not moving forward with the adoption of Keliah. I really, really, did not want to have to turn to our blog to fundraise this time, but with the support and prayers of some other wonderful adoption mommas, I decided that it was at least a try. Matt and I had decided that if it was God's will, then He would show us we are on the right path.

A little over a month ago we couldn't even submit our I-800A application and still needed to get some fees to our agency. Within a week and a half of opening the fundraiser, I was mailing our application. Today, I am so excited to tell you that we have received our receipt letter and will be going to Indianapolis for walk in fingerprints on Wednesday (that is the day our office will allow walk ins so we don't have to wait any longer for our appointment).

Today, because of you, we were able to raise $1810.00 towards bringing Keliah home. In my opinion, it is because we gave up control and handed it over to the man in charge. He showed us once again, that it is His will for us to add another child to our family. He has showed us once again, that we are on the right path despite any roadblocks we may encounter. He has showed us, once again, that our trust, belief, and faith in Him will get us through this journey and untie us with our daughter.

I've said it before, adoption is not easy. It is not something you just wake up one day and say "hey, lets adopt a child." It is definitely emotionally, financially, and physically draining at times. Adoption is unpredictable, and full of unknowns. It tests your patience, and even your faith at times. But through all the ups, the downs, and the unknowns, there is one thing for certain. Adoption is nothing short of a miracle. The amount of love I have for ALL my kids is unconditional and overflowing. They each have brought so much joy and love to our family and filled voids in our hearts we didn't even know we had.

Now on to what you have all been waiting on...

The winner of the beautiful ABC inc head band is Jean (who is getting ready to travel herself and bring home two more treasures from China).

The winners of the Matilda Jane gift cards are:

C.S. (I have sent you an e-mail letting you know you won)

Mary Aiken ( I have already contacted you and your card is in the mail)

Congratulations to the winners and THANK YOU again and again for helping us to fulfill His plan.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

T Minus 92 minutes

Just a quick reminder that the Matilda Jane giftcard and ASC Inc headband giveaway will end tonight at 8:00 p.m. We still need to raise a little over $700 to meet our goal and cover the cost of the gift cards.

Giveaway Rules:

Matilda Jane gift card giveaway: We are giving away 2 $200 gift cards to Matilda Jane Clothing. The second release of MJ's new line will be released on March 1, so two lucky winners will get some beautiful clothes and at the same time, help give a child a home.

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

The headband donated by ABCDinc

1. For every $5.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $10.00.
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

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fundaraiser Update and Other Happenings

There is only a few more days to get in on the Matilda Jane Gift Card and beautiful headband. The second release of Matilda Jane's House of Clouds line will be released on March 1st, so I am going to do the drawing for the gift cards and headband on Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. So, there is still time to get in on your chance to win.

Mandie's Thirty One fundraiser was a success as well. She was able to get enough sales to donate $100 for out fundraiser and I was able to pick out a $30 item for free. I decided that since the fundraiser was for Keliah I would pick out something for her. I chose the Demi Purse in Onyx Medallion (pictured) and Mandie threw in free monogramming so I got the letter K in hot pink. I plan to take this to China with us and fill it with all kinds of girly things to give to Keliah. Of course Emma will help me with that task. I figured I will have a Emma and Mommy day when it gets closer to leaving and she can help me pick things out as well as an outfit or two to take with us.

So, this is where we stand right not with the totals for the fundraisers:

$1975.00 Matilda Jane Gift Card giveaway
+ 25.00 ABC INC headband giveaway
+100.00 Thirty One fundraiser
= $2100.00
- 400.00 To purchase the 2 MJ gift cards
= $1700.00 Total raise to date
- $2500.00 Fundraiser goal

-$800.00 What we need to meet our goal

I will be completely honest in saying that when things got tough Matt and I seriously sat down and discussed the possibility of stopping this adoption. We both just felt like there was so much going on and that maybe, just maybe, God was telling us that now just wasn't time for us to bring home another child. I literally felt ill just thinking about not bringing Keliah home. The thought of making the call the our agency was sickening. The thought of having to tell the kids that we just couldn't adopt Keliah because we couldn't afford it was unbearable. I knew that this would just crush Emma and Jaxon the most. Emma has asked for a sister closer to her age for so long, and Jaxon is so looking forward to going back to China. BUT, after a few days of really thinking, talking, and praying about it, we decided to move forward, knowing that just like the three times before, God would provide all we needed to get Keliah home. As much as I did not want to, I went ahead and started another fundraiser and within days, we had our immediate need of $890.00 to get our I-800A sent out. And now, just days before the fundraiser ends, we are only in need of $800.00 to meet our $2500.00 goal. Once again, Matt and I are truly amazed at the generosity of complete strangers and the power of prayer.

I also wanted to share a couple of things that have happened with Jaxon over the lat couple of weeks. As much as I would LOVE to announce that he is calling me mom, I can't. He continues to refer to Matt and I as mom and dad with the other kids, but has yet to address us directly as mom and dad. At first, it really bothered me, but now I just keep telling myself that when he is ready, it will happen, and when that day comes, I will be jumping for joy.

He is really starting to come out of his shell as you can see from the above picture. The protective wall is starting to come down brick by brick. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely days when bricks are put back up, but overall, he is really showing us his personality. Jaxon is very smart and is doing really well in school. The only class he struggles with is Science and that is pretty much because of the comprehension. He has also signed up to run track this spring which is something that shocked Matt and I. You can tell he really wants to do things and fit in, but is scared and unsure of the perceptions of people around him. So, when Blake came home and told us that Jaxon had signed up for track, we were so excited that he was finally feeling comfortable enough to participate in something.

The other day we were at the store and he asked if he could get a necklace. I said I didn't care, and he came over with a trendy cross necklace. I asked him why he wanted that one and he said because he like it. I then went on to ask him if he knew what the cross meant and he said that you believe in God. Religion and spirituality is not something Matt and I have pushed with Jaxon because he is older. With the smaller kids, it is easy to just immerse them in our religion and they pretty much no nothing different. Jaxon being a bit older has been influenced by the Chinese culture so, we decided that we would wait to see if he approached us about Church and God. So, I took this opportunity to probe a bit more. I told him that crosses are what Christians wear in honor of Jesus dying for us on the cross. He said he knew and that he believed in God. I asked him if he wanted to be Christian and he first said, I don't know, then quickly changed his answer to yes. So, I kind of let it go at that and bought him the necklace. I do not want him to think we are pushing him to do anything, Matt and I decided we would let him come to us when he was ready.

We normally go to Church on Saturday evenings. Trying to get 6 kids out the door on a Sunday morning is nearly impossible and not good for my insanity, so we just go Saturday evening unless we have something going on. Anyway, we are Catholic and for Communion we go up to the alter to receive Communion. In the Catholic Church kids cannot take Communion until they are in second grade. If they are not able to accept Communion, they still go up with us, they just fold their arms against their chest and are blessed instead of receiving Communion. In all the trips we have made to Church with Jaxon since he has been home, he has just waited in the pew while we all go up until last week. Last week, I got up and positioned Mylee and Drew in front of me to walk to the alter, took Communion and started back to the pew, and was a little surprised when I didn't see Jaxon sitting there waiting on us. I turned around to see where Matt was and just in front of him was Jaxon who had decided on his own to go up with the rest of the family to be blessed. Once we were all back in the pew, Matt and I just looked at each other and smiled.

Every evening when we sit down to dinner, we always say a prayer. All the kids make the sign of the cross, and say the prayer as well. Andrew is so cute when he says it because he tries so hard to be just like everyone else. Well, usually Jaxon just sits there and waits for us to be done. The other day as we were saying our prayer, I noticed that Jaxon had folded his hands and was bowing his head as well. I tapped Matt from under the table so he could see too, and we both just smiled from ear to ear.

And if all of that wasn't enough, last night I heard the most wonderful sound coming from Blake and Jaxon's room. We were not expecting for there to be school today because we were supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow, which we did, and the kids are home for the 4th out of 5 days this week. The boys had both already went to bed because we weren't 100% sure they were not going to have school. It was about 11:15 when I headed up to bed and as I was walking up the stairs I heard something coming from their room and thought it was a radio that was left on. But, the closer I got to the top of the stairs, I realized that it was Blake and Jaxon talking. I admit I stood outside their door for a few minutes to see what they were talking about, then went inside. They were both in their beds, in the dark just chit chatting away about anything and everything. Jaxon was asking Blake why here in America people have so many good opportunities, and why our standard of living is so much better than in China. They were also talking about girls, school, sports, and other more light hearted topics. I sat in there for a few minutes and left them to chat. Let me just tell you, this was music to my ears. I have waited along time to hear these two talk like this. Don't get me wrong, they get along, but Jaxon has never really opened up to Blake so I was quite excited to know that they too were getting along so well. I fell asleep last night to their muffled sounds.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered ~ Finally

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of all of you, your donations, your encouraging words, and your prayers, we are one step closer to bringing our girl home. Our I-800A application and check for $890 was express mailed yesterday to the USCIS office in Texas. We are so excited and will be waiting on pins and needles to get our receipt letter so we can do a walk in fingerprint appointment. We have been told that our office will allow walk ins on Wednesdays, so as soon as we get our receipt letter, we will be at our office that very next Wednesday! We are hoping and praying that by doing this we will be able to make up for some lost time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


No, I am not partaking in 365, like I need one more project! $365! That's it, that's all we need to be all we need to be able to send in our I800A! You all are awesome! Because of you, we are once again embarking on a journey. A journey that will unite us with one more child God has hand picked for us. Like every other adoption journey we have been on, we have completely, wholeheartedly, 100% trusted in Him. We have given up complete control (which is not something I like to do), and have had faith with every step that if this is the path we are supposed to be on, He will show us the way.

Last week, when we were doubting whether we were doing the right thing, He showed us that with prayer and faith, anything is possible. We started out with needing $890 and now only need $365! We went from doubting to believing.

Someone asked us the other day how our fundraiser was going. We told them that it was doing well, but that we still needed to raise a little more money. They then asked how much we needed total and Matt and I both kind of chuckled and said "oh, we don't even think about that, we have to take this one step at a time, or it will just get too overwhelming.

My hope was to be able to mail our I-800A today, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen so I am hoping and praying that everything will work out and we will be able to mail it by mid week, or by Friday at the latest. As much as I want to jump on a plane right now and bring Keliah home, I have to remind myself that it is not about my wants and needs at all and that when He is ready for us to be united with our daughter, He will move heaven and earth to get us there. His timing, as always will be perfect.

We have had several people e-mail us to say they can't donate right now but that we are in their prayers and that they are praying we raise the money needed. I just want to say that any and all prayers are just as important if not more. He will hear those prayers and He will answer them, He already is.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Wow! I wish I could say I'm surprised, but honestly, I'm not. I'm blown away, but not surprised. Matt and I have decided to let go and just let God be in control and as soon as we made that decision, He showed us once again, it is all about faith and trusting in Him.

Within minutes of posting our need, we had already raised over $200. I have to tell you, I was completely surprised to see that a significant amount of money was donated by another family fundraising to bring their daughter home. I immediately contacted her to let her know I didn't feel right accepting the donation knowing they too were struggling to raise money for their own adoption. Her response, "God told me to give you the money." With tears welling up in my eyes, I didn't know what else to say but thank you.

That wasn't all, other exciting things are happening as well. I was contacted by another adoptive momma, Mandie, yesterday who has just signed up to be a Thirty-One Consultant and is doing her launch party starting today. Here is what she had to say in her e-mail to me;

I just signed up to be a thirty-one consultant for the purpose of helping fundraising families fundraiser. I'm doing my launch party on the 18th and do not have a family that I am fundraising for for this party. Do you mind if I fund raise for your family?
All of my commission (25% of sales) will be given to your family and you also can have the hostess credits. This could give you items to put in a future fundraiser. I would like to post about your family and daughter on my blog and put a picture of your daughter up at the party. The party would start tomorrow and end on the 23rd.

I'll be honest, I had never heard of Thirty-One before, but I quickly went to their website and they have some really cute things. They have everything from stationary to storage containers to super cute purses and bags. Mandie has set up a blog about the fundraiser she is doing for Keliah. You can go here for more details. She also has a direct link to her Thirty-One party that has been set up specifically for Keliah. Please take a minute to check it out here, and remember she is donating her entire 25% commission to help bring Keliah home.

Oh, and there's more, to go along with the Matilda Jane gift card giveaway, ABCDinc had offered to donate one of her handmade headbands. This is a super cute headband is very stylish right now. This headband goes perfectly with Matilda Jane's newest line, House of Clouds.

I think I am going to have the headband be a separate event. The same rules apply for this one as for the Matilda Jane gift card giveaway.

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

1. For every $5.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $10.00.
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.

Okay, I know this is alot of information so I am going to do a quick re-cap.

Matilda Jane gift card giveaway: We are giving away 2 $200 gift cards to Matilda Jane Clothing.

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

The headband donated by ABCDinc

1. For every $5.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $10.00.
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

And last, but certainly not least the fundraiser Mandie has set up for us through her Thirty-One site.

All you have to do is hop on over there, pick out some total cuteness, and she is donating 25% (which is her commission) to help us bring Keliah home.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Needs vs Wants


First of all, THANK YOU to those who have already began helping out. Your donations and prayers are so appreciated. I have had a few people inquire about the cost for the I800A application. It has gone up a little from our last adoption and the current fee is $890.00.

Well, as you can see by the chip in button to the right, our fundraiser isn't going so well. As a matter of fact, we are in the hole by $65.00. The gift cards are NOT being donated, we are paying for those out of our pocket, so, we at least need to raise the $400 to cover those.

Yesterday we FINALLY, after almost 4 months received our updated home study. It is signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered, but is still sitting on our kitchen counter. Things have come up that have required us to use money we had set aside for Keliah's adoption and because of that, we do not have the funds to send off with our I800A application. I wish I could go into more detail, but right now, I am just asking for prayers and He will know what you are praying for.

Our faith is what has gotten us through the last three adoptions, and we are certain it will be our faith that will get us through this one. Keliah's middle name is Faith for that very reason. God has show us time and time again that He is in control and that He will provide.

Our original goal was to have Keliah home by late summer, but with the delay in getting Matt's physical, we are now looking at fall before we may travel. I am really hoping and praying we don't have to wait any longer than that.

We have some videos of Keliah and she desperately wants a family, she want to come to the US, she wants to have many siblings (older and younger). But putting aside her wants, she NEEDS a family, every child needs and deserves a family. She NEEDS to know the love of a mother and father. She NEEDS to know the feeling of bedtime hug and kiss. She NEEDS and family.

Please help us by donating, spreading the word, or by praying that everything will come together and we get to bring this little girl home where she belongs. Please help us by not only providing her with her wants, but her needs as well.

I am working on another fundraiser that I hope you will ALL love. I am really excited to get it launched, but need just a little bit more time to get it together.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gung Hey Fat Chow! Happy Chinese New Year!

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

So, we are trying to come up with something to do this year for Chinese New Year. With Jaxon part of the family now, we feel like we need to do something a little extra. Our local Chinese group is having a dinner and celebration, but it is a bit expensive for all of us to go. We briefly talked about only a few of us going, but that just wouldn't be fair. We have also talked about going to one of the Chinese restaurants for dinner after Church on Saturday. I don't think we know what we are doing, and probably won't until later. Any ideas?

I am sure Jaxon is really missing China right now with it being Chinese New Year. He hasn't said anything, but I cannot imagine being in another country by myself over Christmas. He is doing pretty well. He is able to talk to his friends back in China since they are out of school for a month. Yep, a whole month! That is crazy. He also said they were given red envelopes with money in them (around $30 US dollars) so they could buy food or whatever. I guess the fireworks are non stop and it is hard to sleep because they are constantly going off. I feel bad because I don't really know what to do to celebrate here with him that will come close to being like what he is used to in China. Again, any ideas???

The kids are out of school again today for the 3rd day in a row. At least the past couple of days they have been able to go outside, the temps here to day are ridiculously cold so I cannot send them outside. For now everyone is content, but we all know that isn't going to last long.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day

Well, the kids are definitely enjoying all the snow. We were under a blizzard warning up until this morning. It was actually supposed to go until 7pm tonight, but it was downgraded to a winter storm warning. We are currently under a level 1 snow emergency which only essential vehicles are to be on the road. Everything is closed as far as I know. Along with the kids being home, Matt is as well. He's out with the kids. They are playing and he is trying to dig us out.

Honestly, it really isn't that bad. I have always wanted to see a blizzard. I must admit, I am a little disappointed. We didn't get near as much snow as they had anticipated. I wouldn't mind seeing another 5-10 inches. I know, I know, I am crazy, but hey at least I can admit it.

So, the kids are home again today and will probably at least have a delay tomorrow. This is a huge deal to Jaxon. He has never seen so much snow. He said it snowed in Wuxi, but I think it was more like a dusting. He is having alot of fun playing in it, and throwing snow at the little kids.

Matt just came in and said that the snow drifts in the back yard are so deep he was throwing the kids over the fence and they were swallowed up by the snow. Of course the LOVE it!

Gabe and Jaxon working on a snow fort

Mylee not being able to identify the street from the sidewalk because of all the snow

It just wouldn't seem right without one of the kids eating the snow!

Still digging that fort.

Not sure what he is doing here, but if he thinks this is our idea of sledding, he has no idea what is in store for him later.

Our little snow angel

The lower half of his body is buried in the drifts.

These are not the best pictures, but I LOVE this one. If you look closely, you can see a snowflake on Mylee's nose. So cute.

And of course, Emma has to have a little lick too. She would be mortified if she knew I took this picture.

I'm sure as the day goes on I will have more pictures to post, but for now, I am going to take advantage of them all being outside and get some much needed housework done.

Oh, and don't forget about our gift card fundraiser going on right now. We have decided to go ahead and let it run it's course. These card were NOT donated so it would be kind of silly to end the fundraiser in the hole. This is a great way to have a chance at some really cute clothes. Please go here to see the newest line that just came out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fundraiser Update

Well, as you can see from our Chin In button our Matilda Jane fundraiser is not going so well. So, I have two options. 1. I can extend it until we at least reach the $400 mark (to at least pay for the gift cards). They gift cards are NOT being donated so if we end it now, we will be out money which is kind of silly since we are trying to earn money to bring Keliah home. Or 2. I can end it now and refund the money that was donated back to everyone who donated.

THoughts? Comments? Any imput is welcome.