Thursday, October 27, 2011

What I'm Workin On...

So I know I have been giving out some teasers but I am finally able to share with you my newest endeavor....

Cloud Nine etsy

Cloud Nine is my clothing company. These are custom, one of a kind dresses and outfits for your one of a kind daughters. I love dressing Mylee in outfits that are different from what everyone else is wearing so I decided to start making things for her. It started out as me just making outfits for Mylee, then for friends, now complete strangers are asking about her clothes. So, after some serious thought, I decided to offer my designs for anyone to buy.

I am absolutely loving it. Sewing is another one of the things on my "I will never do " list. My mother in law bought me my first sewing machine and at first I kind of dabbled in sewing, but in the last year I have really picked it up and really enjoy making clothes for Mylee (Emma won't wear anything I make).

So, below are some of the designs I have available for sale. Some are very limited because I cannot get more of the fabric. I can do custom orders as well. For example of there is a specific fabric you want, let me know and I can work with you to come up with something amazing. Any of the designs listed can me mixed and matched. In other words, if you like the fabrics on the knot dress, but like the peasant style better, I can switch it up.

You can also follow me on Face Book

Now for the goods...

The "Mirabella" This is a peasant style shirt with 3/4 length bell sleeves. This is VERY limited. I only have enough to make one more of these because the main fabric is out of circulation and cannot be found. This is $35.00

These corduroy ruffles are a must. These can be made in any color and will go perfectly with any peasant. $25.00

The "Olivia Peasant" This goes really well with the brown corduroy ruffles pictured above.
Shirt is $35
Dress is $45

The "Riley Peasant" This is a short sleeved peasant and super cute. The yellow is a great creamy yellow. The fabric for the ruffles is out, but it looks awesome with the brown corduroy (see, they are a must). This can be made with long, 3/4, or short sleeves.
Shirt $35.00
Dress $45.00

The "Farmers Market" Knot. I LOVE these fabrics! This is another one that is VERY limited. This is perfect for fall. This can be made as a shirt too and paired with coordinating ruffles.
Dress is $50.00

The "Land of Autumn" This is a peasant dress with 3/4 length sleeves. This can be made as a peasant shirt or know at well.
Dress $45.00
Shirt $35.00

The "Noel" This is the perfect dress for Christmas. I LOVE the fabrics on this dress. They are so classic for the Holidays.
Dress $45.00

Please feel free to e-mail me at

I will be posting new designs to FB so make sure you "like" my Cloud Nine page. I would LOVE it if you could spread the word as well.

All money made from these sales will go towards bringing Kalia home!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day to Remember

I am So far behind posting! I wanted to post on Friday, but things have been crazy busy here all weekend plus the kids were out of school Friday and Monday for fall break.

Friday I had parent teacher conferences ALL day and by all day, I mean ALL day. I started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 4:00 p.m. I did have about a two hour break so I could take Blake to the Endocrinologist for his Diabetes. Other than that, ever half an hour I had a conference scheduled between two schools.

All the kids are doing really well and all their teachers had wonderful things to say about them. This was one proud mom! Jaxon's teachers were very impressed with him especially knowing he has only been here a little over a year. He is doing extremely well in his classes. Blake's teachers all had great things to say about him, how much they like having him in class, and how he is quite the leader. Emma is in 4th grade this year and doing excellent as well. She is a great student and has many friends. Gabe is doing well. He is learning to read (although he could care less) and will begin working on math skills in a few weeks (that he cares about, he loves math). And Miss Mylee....she is quite popular with the students and teachers. Her teacher said everyone loves Mylee and she always has something to say. She loves to learn and is very bright. Andrew hasn't had his parent teacher conference yet.

Out of all the conferences I think there was one that I truly will NEVER forget. Blake and Jaxon are not in any classes together, but they do have the same math teacher. I was scheduled to meet with him at 9:15. He was running a bit behind which was no big deal. We had just gotten into the conference when my phone rang. Now, normally I would have turned it off, but when I looked at who was calling, I had to answer it.

My phone rang at 9:26 a.m, I apologized to the teacher, but explained to him that I had to take this call...

Me: hello??????

Our agency: Mandi, are you finally ready for some good news?????

Me: well, that depends, is our LOA here?

Agency: I just printed it off, it is in my hands now!!!!

Me: (crying) Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Can I call you right back, I am in the middle of a parent teacher conference.

Agency: call me when you are done.

So folks, after 142 of waiting, and waiting, and waiting, the wait is finally over. China said "YES!"

As for the conference, I think the boys' math teacher thinks I am some kind of loon. By the time I got off the phone, I was a wreck, I was crying and shaking. I explained to him (briefly) what was going on, but I don't think he quite understood.

By the time the conference was over, I was on cloud nine. I was so stinkin happy I could hardly contain myself. Our I-800 was overnighted yesterday. Now we just need to hope and pray that we receive our approval at a super fast pace.

Thank you ALL for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words during this excruciatingly long wait. You have all made it more bearable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keepin Busy

In an effort to keep busy and try not to think about our LOA (yeah right), we decided it was time to make a concrete decision about how we were going to get Emma, Kalia, and Mylee all in one room.

We have tossed around so many ideas, but nothing seemed "right.". Saturday morning while laying in bed I had a vision. So, we decided to head off to the home improvement store. We had a plan (at least I did).

We decided to Gabe and Andrew switch rooms with the girls and build a new bed that would work for all three girls. I had an image in my head of what I wanted and luckily Matt was able to put it on paper and begin building it.

So, we spent most of Saturday and Sunday moving everything from the two bedrooms into our bedroom until they are done.

We started in what was the boys room...

This is such a cool mural. I am really dreading painting over it, but the girls insist.

Daddy's little helper



Our little monkeys



and our little reader

This is not the finished product, but hopefully you get the idea. Mylee's bed centered on the floor and Emma and Kalia's beds are in the corners. There is a 4 x 4 platform in between their beds that will be like a nightstand. The spaces under their beds will be like little cubbies. They
will have curtains on them and will a place the girls can do to read, do homework, or just play. Matt even put can lights up so the girls will have plenty of light in there. They are SO excited.

We have been talking about how to decorate their "new' room. I am thinking of doing black and white polka dot bedding and painting the beds white. As for the walls, we are thinking of painting the wall behind the beds a really fun pink and the rest of the walls white.

While Matt was working on the beds, I was working on trying to decide how we were going to get three girls' clothes into one closet. So, I started brainstorming.

This is what I came up with...






Blake is having WAY too much fun with this.

We knocked out the wall between the boys' and the girls' closets making one big closet for all the girls to share. The boys will get a new closet that is in our room that we use for storage. It is supposed to be a "his" closet. We can easily put a door on it from the boys' room creating a "new" walk-in closet for them.

Everything is a work in progress right now, but our goal is to be able to have everything primed by the end of this weekend.

I will post more pictures as we go along.

As for our LOA, there is still NO LOA and we are on day 140 of our wait. Our agency is getting no where with finding out what is going on. They were supposed to have it last week, but it never showed up. I am still hoping it will arrive this week. I am holding onto my faith that we WILL be a family of 9 before the end of the year.


Friday, October 14, 2011

No Words...

I had received an e-mail from our agency earlier this week letting me know that they had a verbal commitment from CCCWA that they would receive our LOA this week (by fax).

I was certain I would be getting THE call today. I was certain we would be celebrating today.

My hopes were just shut down. I just got off the phone with our agency and there is not fax. In fact, there in China contact was supposed to be e-mailed as well and she received nothing.

I am so upset and disappointed. Our agency is so apologetic. It's not their fault. I know they are doing everything possible to get us to our daughter.

I feel like we have been through h*ll and back with this adoption. I keep telling myself over and over it will come, it will come in His time. But I have to be honest, it's not always easy. It is comforting knowing there are many of you praying right along with us.

Keep praying...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Racism and Adoption

I have struggled with whether or not to share this, but after much deliberation, I have decided to. I try not to get too personal on here, but today is going to be an exception.

My grandmother passed away early Sunday morning. She has been suffering from Alzheimer's for sometime now. She had a stroke and a heart attack sometime last week and is being laid to rest today.

My sister and I are the only family members unable to attend. Not because we can't, or won't, but because we are not allowed. We have been ostracized from the family for the "poor choices" we have made in our lives.

I'm sure you are wondering what kind of choices a person could make that would cause a family to completely disown them.

The fact that I have 3 children from China is considered a good enough reason. The fact that my sister has a daughter who is bi-racial (half black, half white) is good enough reason.

The obituary for my grandmother said that she is survived by her husband, three children, 6 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. That is all true except there are 11 great grandchildren. My sister's daughter and our Chinese children were left out.

We have not been welcome around them for quite awhile. As a matter of fact the last time my sister spoke to my grandmother was to tell her she had a daughter. At first she was excited, then my sister went on to tell her that her baby's father was black and my grandmother's response was "I will always love you, but I just can't handle that, please don't call again."

I won't go into any specific details, but I always knew growing up how they felt about other races. They were not shy by any means to share their opinions.

I have tried to not let it bother me over the years, but these past few of days have really made me see the reality of it all. I have told myself over and over it is their loss. They don't know what they are missing. I do believe that. But it saddens me knowing that they will not have any memories of their great grandparents. It saddens me to know that my grandparents have missed out on some pretty awesome kids.

When I was little I remember thinking how I wanted to be just like my grandmother when I grew up. She always looked perfect from head to toe. Her hair was done just so, her make-up was flawless. Her outfits were perfectly put together complete with matching shoes. And she always had jewelry on that was given to her by my grandfather. Perfection, or so I thought.

Although she is gone, she will not be forgotten. I will remember the good times I had with her. The times we went shopping together, or the times I would sit in awe at the amount of shoes she had in her closet. I won't forget the time she helped me pick out my first bra. It couldn't be just any bra, it had to have a flower or bow (her words). I won't forget the summers we spent swimming in their pool and hanging out with our cousins. I won't forget the time they came to see me in college for grandparents day which was also the first time she saw Matt for the first time. Or the the time she held my daughter, Emma for the first time. These are just a few of the memories I will remember.

What I won't do is base my life or my decisions on someone elses ignorance. I can't imagine our family without all of our children. The color of their skin does not define who they are.

Love should be unconditional. Love shouldn't come with strings attached. Love shouldn't be based on skin color or the shape of a persons eyes.

I pray that she is at peace and that is finally able to see people for who they are, and not by the color of skin they have. I pray that she is able to see our family, see the love we have for ALL of our kids, and see that what she has missed out on. I pray that she is finally able to see the beauty in ALL people and that someday we will all be able to walk hand in hand.

Monday, October 3, 2011

And the Winners Are...

Before I post the winners of the Vera Bradely Fundraiser I want to thank EVERYONE for your comments, thoughts, prayers, and donations. It will be because of all of you that we are able to bring our daughter home. We still have a long way to go, but because of you, we are closer.

I also wanted to give a quick update on our LOA. Today is day 124 of our LOA wait. I am convinces we are going to have the all time longest wait for LOA soon. We did find out that our LOA was not received by our agency on Friday which means it will be another couple of weeks before we get it. There is a small sliver of hope that it may still come this week, but not likely. Our agency said that because they asked for it to be rushed it would have been faxed to them last week and since they didn't get it, we probably won't get it until after the Chinese holiday. So, once again we are stuck at a red light waiting. Please continue to pray that we get our LOA soon and that we are able to bring Kalia home before the end of the year. Having Kalia will be at the top of my Christmas list year.

Now for the winners. We used Random.Org to pick the winners. I will contact the winners by e-mail.

1. Buttercup Pattern goes to Carmen S.
2. Purple Punch Pattern goes to Timothy T.
3. Puccine Pattern goes to Laurelle S.
4. Bali Gold Pattern goes to Carmen S.
5. Carnaby Pattern goes to Lyndal M.
6. Make Me Blush Pattern goes to Jason H.
7. Call Me Coral Pattern goes to Carmen S.
8. Medley Tote goes to Connie J.
9. Palm Beach Gardens goes to David P.
10. Day and Night Pattern goes to Brandi T.
11. Loves Me pattern goes to Rebecca D.

Again, THANK YOU to all who have helped us get our daughter home. We are blessed beyond measure.