Friday, September 30, 2011

Our Family Is Not Complete.....Yet!

Bill & I have been married for 20 years. I remember after we got married we talked about adopting.  Never in a million years did I think we would have 4 children, let alone 3 from China.  In fact, when we first got married, Bill said he only wanted 2 kids. And he never wanted a son. Only daughters.  I said "Well I want 4 kids and I want the oldest to be a boy".

Well.....that was 20 years ago.  And our plans are not God's plans.  Obviously.  Because we have 4 kids and the oldest is not a boy and we don't have all girls.

3 years ago when Bill went to China for camp, he came home with the desire to adopt again. This time for an older girl. Well I had the desire to adopt his "buddy". Bill was not too sure about that.  But we decided to try.  4 months into our paperchase we knew that adopting his "buddy" was not the best idea for our family.  Lots of reasons that I don't want to get into right now.  So we changed our application to adopt a boy age 1-4.  Then we were given Ethan.

Bill still had the desire to adopt the older girl.  We had talked and said if we ever adopt another girl we should name her Hope.  Because it was Bring Me Hope that put this desire into Bills heart. He went to camp again this summer and it was still there.  He wanted to bring home an 11 year old girl but that did not work out. I suggested we try for the 3 year old girl. He was not thrilled about the idea, but said okay anyways.  Well that did not work out.  We were getting frustrated.  We were looking on a couple of adoption agencies Waiting Child lists and it just did not feel natural.  So we decided to stop.

I honestly do not know what happened this week. But adoption came up.   I was finally on board with adopting an older girl.  We were thinking of between the ages of 9-11.  We looked again at the lists and nothing. Nobody popped out.  Well on Wed, a friend of ours updated her blog and they are adopting 2 girls.  Another friend is adopting 2 boys. Another friend adopted 2 boys earlier this year. So I 1/2 jokingly said to Bill "How hard would it be to adopt 2 girls at the same time".  Bill looked at me like I had 2 heads.

We came home and I looked at Great Wall's list.  They just updated their list with 2 girls who are at the same orphanage.  That got our attention.  We looked at their description.  Iris is 11 years old. She has a SN that we're not familiar with.  Hallie is 12 and has a repaired cleft lip and possibly a repaired cleft palate.  That we are familiar with.  Well, Wed afternoon Bill asked if we could see both files.  Great Wall sent them to us.  We sent them off to a friend who is a doctor and found out that Iris' SN is not bad.  She had surgery 7 years ago and she should be okay.  Hallie's lip was repaired but we're not sure about her palate.

Bill emailed the agency asking for more info on the palate.  When they replied, this is what they said...
The girls are involved with a program at the orphanage with Love Without Boundaries.  Their English names are Maggie and Hope".  Bill freaked out.  I freaked out.  Really??? Hope???

You see, Bill & I were still not sure if 2 would be a good thing.  We were thinking more of adopting Iris (aka Maggie).  But felt guilty for not adopting Hallie (aka Hope).  Then when we were told her English name is Hope, the name we thought about naming our next daughter, we just knew that this was God telling us "she is also your daughter.  Don't forget about her".

So today, we told Great Wall "YES". We want to adopt both girls.  What do we need to do to get started?

That is where we are at now.  Waiting to tackle the mound of paperwork.  We are hoping to travel within a year.

Please pray for us.  Bill & I are still in shock with how this all happened.  We told the girls the other night what we were thinking about doing.  Tiffani immediately said "I'll move downstairs. The girls can have my room".  Abby & Jadyn said "We can share a room and the girls can have our other room".  A month ago, all 3 girls were against us adopting.  Now they are willing to change rooms.  Well today, I told Abby & Jadyn that they have new sisters.  They screamed with delight.  Then they asked about the bedrooms.  I said "Well, Tiff said she would move downstairs" and before I could finish, Jadyn said "Can Abby & I have Tiffs old room? Then the girls can have their own room".  I wanted to cry.  A month ago Jadyn did not want to share her room, and she did not want to move out of her room.  Now she is willing to give up her space & share with her sister.

Then Tiff called after school.  I said "Hey Tiff, we said YES today".  She said with a shock "what?" I said "We said YES. We're going to adopt both girls".  She SCREAMED.  She said "I'm going to cry". And then broke down in tears.  Of course I started crying. This was not the reaction I expected.  But I am so thankful it's the reaction we received.

Thank you for your love & support.  I can't post pictures right now.  Once I'm given permission from our agency then I will put them up on the blog.

OH, our "red thread"?  The girls were both in the hospital receiving their surgeries the same 2 weeks that we were in China adopting Abby.  Maggie was admitted to the hospital on Abby's Gotcha Day.  That just gives me chills.  

Until next time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Please pray for my friend!

A new friend just adopted their newest son from China.  And they need prayer.  Sonia and Joshua are currently in the hospital in Gainsville.  He is getting a heart cath tomorrow.  It's a miracle that he's here.  God has moved many mountains to bring him to his forever family, where he will have LOVE forever and also get the medical attention that he needs.  Please follow their journey and keep them in your prayers.  Thank you!

His Hands, His Feet

Monday, September 12, 2011

Quick Trip to California!

Bill, Ethan & I took a very quick trip to California last week.  We had fun, just the 3 of us.  We missed the girls a lot though.  Ethan did great on the flights. The 2 flights going to CA though he did not sleep at all.  Well, he started to doze off as we were landing in San Diego.  He had fun watching movies and playing on Bills iPad.  This kids is so smart. He was playing Angry Birds.  LOL  And knew what to do.

Ready to Fly!

Beautiful sunrise

We arrived in beautiful San Diego and drove to the hotel. Our plan was to meet up with friends for dinner. We left our hotel around 3:30 PM to drive to Oceanside Beach.  We're on the street and notice all the street lights were out.  Then we pull into the parking lot and we can't pay because there is no power.  We were clueless and just left a note on the car saying we can't pay due to there being no power. We then walk out to the pier where we were to meet our friend.  The beach was beautiful.  It was not too hot out.  Perfect weather for me.  We waited some more.  Walked up to a guy asking if he knew anything about there being no power and he did not but then talked us into being a Green Peace sponsor.  Then we get a text from David saying traffic is really bad and he's heading back home.  So we get in the car and head to get something to eat.  I did not want to eat at the beach.  It took over an hour to get back to the hotel which was about 15 min away.  Traffic was insane. We still did not know what was going on. Finally we turned on the radio and found out the San Diego area has been hit with a MAJOR blackout and over 4 million people are without power.  This explains A LOT! We finally made it back to our hotel. Hungry & thirsty.  And thankfully the hotel was having a free dinner for all guests.  So we were able to eat. By 6:30 we decided to go to bed. We were tired and the hotel had no power.  At 10:15 we heard cheering and the power came back on.  YAY! 

Ethan had us up by 4 AM. He thought it was 7 AM of course.  :-)  We tried to keep him quiet for as long as we could but he's a boy and well he's not too quiet.  We were debating on what we should do. Go to Disneyland? Go to Legoland? Go to the zoo?  Go to Knott's Berry Farm?  We were nervous about Legoland and the zoo because of the blackout. We did not know if everything would be up and running.  So it was now a choice between Disneyland & Knott's.  They are about 10 minutes apart from each other so we decided to drive that way.  We ended up at Knott's Berry Farm.  We did not want our first time at Disneyland to be without our girls. 

We had a great time at Knott's Berry Farm.  Ethan could only do about 7-8 rides and he did them over & over again.  He had a blast.  We stayed around 4 hours and then we were ready to head back. 

This ride was going to give me whip lash. But I still ride it 3 times with Ethan. He LOVED it.

Ethan rode this ride 3 times

Ethan rode this ride 2 times

Ethan rode this ride 4 times

Ethan rode this ride 2 times

Getting brave with his hands up.

Bounce house. He did this 2 times and giggled so hard.

Ethan did this 1 time. It's a manual ride. It's called the Huff & Puff. :-)

Passed out. Yes he sleeps with his eyes open.

Friday evening we were able to meet up with our friends. We had a great time talking about China & the future. 
Then Saturday came and it was time to fly home.  Ethan did great on the flights home. He slept for most of our 1st flight.  And the 2nd flight he did great. It was short so the movie kept him entertained.  We are so thankful for the quick trip away. Thankful for the friends who watched our girls. And thankful the girls did not get homesick.  :-) 

Ready to go home

Looking for our plane

Back in Tampa. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Abby's Referral Day

7 years ago today we were sitting at home. I believe there was a tropical storm brewing and so school was canceled.  Tiff was home with us and I was so happy that she was.  Because we got THE call we were waiting for.  At the time it seemed like forever to get the call.  But in reality it was just over 6 months. 

The call I'm referring to was Abby's referral call.  We were told that China sent us a referral for a baby girl who JUST turned 1 two days before.  Her name is Wu Yu and she is currently living in the Sichuan Province. 

We were THRILLED!  We were so happy.  We finally knew who our baby girl was. It was an amazing day. And I'm so thankful that Tiff was home with us to experience the news. 

Happy Referral Day to all our travel buddies.  Hard to believe it's been 7 years.  Our girls are blossoming into beauties. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Abby!

Happy Birthday Abby.  We are so proud of the young lady you are becoming. You have grown & changed so much since we first met you almost 7 years ago.  We are thankful that God brought us together. We are thankful that you are our daughter.  We love you and we look forward to all the years ahead that we have together.  Happy Birthday Princess. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Could he be your son?

Lei Xiao Feng is an 8-year-old boy. This child is missing his index and middle finger on one hand. Is he your son? 

My friend Kristen spent the week with this little boy.  Here is what she had to say about him.

"Ever since camp I've had one particular little boy on my heart to see adopted.  His name is Jacob, or Lei Xiao Feng - he's 8, missing a few fingers, and a Hep B carrier, but seriously the most kind, sweet-hearted, athletic guy around. 

I just found out today that he is actually paper-ready and listed with an adoption agency as available!!!! It's incredible, as so many of our campers don't even have papers.

They would seriously be blessed beyond words by Jacob..."

You can go here for more information and to request his file.  Thanks in advance for praying he finds a forever family.