Dec 18, 2011

The Goal is Gathering This Week

Well we have sent off our I800A, we've received our fingerprint date for 1/3/2012, and now it's time to start gathering all our documents for our Dossier. Things are moving at God's speed, He is in charge and all we can do is follow His guidelines.

The Chinese government keeps adding little bits and pieces just since we started in July. We are so blessed with friends, our pastor, our teachers & principals, etc. that have gone above and beyond with reference letters. They have had to do and sometimes redo their letter. Mail and remail their letters and all the while saying, "of course we will". We are so humbled by their love and generosity.

Christmas is right around the corner. The tree is up, gifts purchased and yet it seems so different this year, like something or SOMEONE, is missing. We have no face yet to our child, yet they are etched on our heart. Today's sermon was given and talked about how Caesar was considered by some as the savior of the world with all his wealth and power. Yet a tiny, helpless child, born in a manger, protected only by strips of cloth, whose mother & adopted father were turned away, who had no wealth or power, is the true Savior of the world.

We have a new family portrait and if you go look, you'll see why a friend wrote, "Looks like there's a little room in the front row still!!!"

Have a wonderful week and God Bless.


Dec 10, 2011

Day of Blessings

Today was a day when I could feel God at every event of the day. First Tim & I slept in until 10:30, something I don't believe we have done in YEARS! We spent an awesome evening with friends from our Sunday School class having a terrific dinner and then a great Christmas "white elephant" gift exchange.

Today Carmen & I spent the day Christmas shopping. We were very hungry, but didn't want to spend a lot or go fast food so we agreed to split a soup bread bowl and green tea at Panera. While sitting there enjoying, a woman came and said they had made a mistake on her order and asked if I'd like her Greek salad, they had told her to throw it away and she didn't want to waste it. I graciously accepted, she didn't know our decision to share our lunch, but we believe God lead her to our table. Later we thanked her and gave credit to God she came to our table. Carmen went to get a refill on our green tea, and then the worker told her she wasn't supposed to, but gave her a refill anyway.

Next we went into the Christian bookstore and purchased Richie one of his baptism gifts. The book, "Heaven is for Real", the child's version. Carmen asked if she could read it really quick and in the back there were questions in the back of the book and one was, "do you get wings in heaven" to which the little boy replied, "you can choose if you want to walk or fly" and it brought Carmen to tears of wonder.

Tonight we spent the evening together putting up our tree, although not such a "fun" thing, and not without a lot of belly-aching, it is up and beautiful. We opted for our small, pre-lit tree because of the little ones and our cats.

Finally, I got our mail today and in it was our fingerprinting documents for the adoption. Our fingerprint date in St. Louis is January 3, 2012! That was a huge blessing today.

God Bless!

Dec 6, 2011

Routine Upset AKA Choir/Band Concert

Our evenings our usually pretty routine, scheduled the week before and followed. We have carpools coming & going, kids homework, dinner, etc. just like any other family, but it's when you throw off that routine with a Choir/Band concert that seems to knock the whole world off kilter!

What time do we have to be there, what do I wear, do I have time for a shower, what time can we eat dinner, why does everyone have to go (all from dd #3). Why do I have to go, I don't want to hear anyone sing, can't I stay home by myself (all from dgs #1). Haven't I already heard enough singing (after driving a total of 5 hours to hear our dd sing a few weeks ago), I don't have any kids in band, why do I have to hear them (all from dh) plus more I'll leave out for now.

Oh the joys of getting everyone to a school function where we all go as a "family". Ohana means "family" and as dysfunctional as we sometimes are, we love one another and will be there with our smiles.

The choir/band concert was beautiful (and short :). Three of the kids played Pokemon cards, bounced to the Christmas music and then we went home, settled down and all is quiet now that everyone's asleep.

Hmmmm - Notice of Action

Well, today we received an official looking document from The Department of Homeland Security verifying that they received our I800A & all the $$ for our application fee and fingerprints. Now we wait for another letter telling us when and where to go for our fingerprints.

Whoever said everything comes to those who wait is probably still waiting : )

Nov 29, 2011

The "F" Word - Fundraising, To Do or Not To Do?

Like so many families adopting either domestically or internationally, the fees add up to almost putting a child through community college - and then some.

Some people say "if you have to fundraise, don't adopt". These are usually well-meaning people, but they have not been there to see the faces of the orphaned children, held them in their arms, cared for them in the little time you are able to spend with them, and then leaving heartbroken, not knowing if they will ever have someone to call mommy or daddy, especially if they don't look healthy or "normal" because of special needs or even older healthy children, just because they're older.

Our family has been there, held them, cared for them, loved them and was heartbroken to leave. God has given us the opportunity to adopt a special needs child from China. We don't know who yet, boy or girl, maybe twins, we just know it is what we are called to do by our Lord.

We will officially be starting our fundraising after the holidays by offering services for people. In the mean time we will be applying for grants, which we have heard are in very short supply and also by entering a giveaway called the "2nd Annual 24 Days of Giving at

Please pray for whoever may receive this gift, it is a true blessing.

Family Pictures - Can Anyone Say Chaos!

Everyone knows I am a photo junkie. I absolutely LOVE taking pictures & LOTS of them. I guess that's why in the last 27 years we've only had 4 family portraits. Trying to get 8 people ready in a matter of 2 hours ranging from 9 months to 45+ years took some juggling, smoothing ruffled feathers, spiking and bribery. They ended up going pretty smoothly and our photographer was so layed back, he rolled with all the rumblings. We receive our proofs tomorrow and I can hardly wait. We had to have pictures for our dossier and I was the proud recipient of a local contest winning 100 free photo holiday cards, so what better excuse to get the pictures taken!

Nov 16, 2011

Hurdles of Hope

November 16, 2011

Yesterday at 12 noon I received the call from our social worker that Illinois DCFS had approved our home study. Needless to say I was stunned and immediately broke down in tears. I felt the way I did when finding out I was expecting our last biological child, filled with joy and awe.

Our social worker let us know it was the longest she's ever done in her 21 years. The state came back several times asking us to explain more in detail certain things that they had never come across, then would come back again, wanting us to explain the same questions, just differently. We thought it would never end. But God is the Greatest and He knew the timeline.

We pray that what our social worker, ICPC and others learned through our paperwork will help others in the same predictament. We hope it helps them know exactly how to word items and give them what they need.

We have no idea the next step, I will be calling tomorrow, but I wanted to share this fabulous news with you.

We are truly blessed by God.

Nov 11, 2011

Be Still.....

November 11, 2011

Age 4
"Be Still" meant my Grandmother, Virginia, scolding me to quit fidgeting.

Age 14
"Be Still" meant my teacher reprimanding me for either talking to my friend or getting ready to jump out of my seat at the sound of the bell.

Age 40+
"Be Still" now means God loves me enough to say, "Have faith in My timing, be still and trust in Me to know the plans I have for you."

If you know me, being still is not one of my strong suits. If fact, it is THE hardest things in my life for me to do.

Being still isn't just about being patient. It is also being open to listening. God sometimes will shout and His way will be crystal clear. But usually for me, God's voice is a whisper that I must "Be Still" to hear.

Oct 27, 2011

Welcome to Our Journey

November 27, 2011

Please get are in for a long adventure as we begin our God-sent journey for our new son or daughter (or twins if that is His will), from China.

We begin our story at the end of another. Our family was called to go on mission this past summer to China (please see our previous blog: We worked in 3 orphanages alongside the nannies that love and care for the day-to-day needs of children ranging from newborn to age 14.

Before we ever dreamed of adopting from China, God had been bringing adoption into our lives through different means over the last 20+ years.