Feb 29, 2012

LID!!! Logged In Date!!!!

A funny a friend shared with me.
God has blessed us once again. After our DTC (Documents sent To China) the wait to be logged into the system in China (LID) usually takes 3-4 weeks. We received confirmation today that our LID was on 2/27, exactly 12 days after we were DTC!!!

There is no "magic" calculator out there that can tell us the exact date we can travel to get our little man, but there are guessimates as early as the end of July, but more than likely the end of August or beginning of September.

The next step is called LOA (Letter of Acceptance). This is the "official" approval from China that Zander is our son and this is one of the extremely long waits. We've heard of some waiting for 100 days or more! God has his timeline and whatever date He has planned, we know is the perfect date. Fortunately we have so much going on in our lives right now that it helps take the edge off the waiting.

We won't list exact needs, but please keep these family friends and loved ones in your prayers. Each family is going through different very difficult walks right now, our prayer is that God leads them straight to His arms and gives them peace during their trials. The Marion Family, The Jacob Family, The West Family, The Schafer Family, The Arnold Family, and The Verbeke Family. Thank you all so much.


Feb 28, 2012

Lay It Down At the Feet of Jesus

Today's post isn't about our adoption per se', but about life, everyone's lives. We cheer on the victors, celebrate the winners, but what about the ones who are not leading, the ones that aren't being lead, the ones facing things we cannot even imagine?

I have found myself being "very human" lately and wrapped up in the happenings in my own little bubble. Some may not consider what I have to say a blessing, but it is to me. You see there have been MANY friends and family being burdened lately, one is at the start of battling breast cancer, another just lost her mother unexpectedly, one is losing her grandmother to incurable cancer, another is going through surgery which is very scary, one friend is battling cancer on the other side of the US and I haven't been able to even speak with her and the closest is placing her child up for adoption.

While driving at dusk this evening, I looked up and saw the magnificence of the sky and just prayed for everyone, not knowing what to ask for each, but just laying them at the feet of Jesus because He knows what is best.

I came across a blog this evening and want to share what really, really touched and made sense to me, I hope it does to you.

A Blog Authored By Marianne Lordi

If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, we will face trials of every kind.  We are a tested people and each trial has been designed for the purposes for which God allows.  We are all being made ready to wear the regal robes of eternal royalty.   Christ is in each storm we face and it is his power that is causing all things to work for our good.
It is especially trying in these dark days as believers  endure  trials of every kind marking the countdown to Christ’ return.  The faith of all is being put to the fire.  None of us are exempt.  Are you willing to stand and believe in spite of all that is happening in your life?
The above photo is one of the remarkable works done by a man named Rob Bohning. If you click on the picture, you will see the true majesty of his work.  He has captured God’s creation as no one I have ever seen.  Rob is a godly, loving husband and father.  He is an amazing photographer.  He has two gorgeous young children.  And, he has a rare incurable cancer called Medullary Thyroid cancer. But Rob is not about to give up!   What makes this man stand out is that he has unwavering faith that God cares about his affliction and is more than able to bring him through it.  Rob is in the fiery furnace of testing but he knows full well that his Savior, Jesus Christ, is with him!
Rob and his wife, Lori,  had emailed me after visiting my blog. I can say from my heart that I am blessed to have them now as friends.  When writing to me of his cancer, Rob said, ” All I know is God is good and wastes nothing!  That includes this cancer.”  It was shortly after his forty-second birthday that Rob received this cancer diagnosis.  Sadly, that was not all. The following day, Rob’s dad died from another kind of cancer.  How does Rob keep his faith so strong while facing surgeries and treatments that he must endure?
My dear friends, the reason that Rob can have peace despite his affliction is because his faith has been tested and proven to be real.  He understands that God’s will is good no matter what form it takes.  He is a man who knows the God  who created him and is willing to serve him in any way that he is called to.  In his weakness, he has found God’s strength!
True sons and daughters will suffer for Christ.  It has been written that blessed is the person whom the storm drives to God. It is only there that you will find true happiness.  The worth of a soldier is never known in times of peace.  It is only in the battle that the true strength and courage of a believer is revealed.  Faith is not faith until it has been tested!  Those who draw near to God in times of trials will find that they cannot leave his Presence without receiving his strength.
God has put a lot of wonderful people in my life through this blog.  Rob Bohning and Lori have touched my life in such a way that I will never be the same.  When I recently wrote about how I was going through some painful struggles of my own, Rob wrote again asking me how he can pray for me!  I am humbled by this man’s faith and dedication to God.  He has taught me that trusting that God is with us in our problems is the greatest honor we can give to him.
Rob will be having his first chest surgery on February 22nd to remove some nodes.  I am humbly asking all of those who come to this site to please pray for Rob’s surgery.  Please also keep him, Lori and their children in prayer.  We are all in the battle as long as we are on this earth. But God never leaves us to fight alone.  I am asking for the army of God’s people to rally for Rob.  I am sure that he prays for all of us here on this site too.  We are members of Christ’ own body.  We cannot be defeated.  There are no casualties in God’s army.  We are performing the purpose for which he has created us.  This body of death will not always be with us.  Our victory has been declared.  Christ has set us free!
What should you do in times of trouble?  Rejoice!  Great trials bring out God’s greatness in you.
I pray for all who visit my site.  You matter to me and I thank God for bringing you here to see the messages he gives me for you.   I hope you will find peace from the truth.  I am blessed to have met so many prayer warriors who also teach the good news and hope through Jesus Christ.  One of them, Charles Woodruff has a powerful blog that I visit everyday.  I never leave his site without gleaning strength and hope from his biblical teachings.  I urge you to visit his site, CyberWord of Truth, and be blessed.  He never fails to pray for me and for all those who visit him.

Feb 22, 2012

New Year's Resolutions - When do they REALLY start???

January 1st, February 1st, Hmmmm March 1st is looking SO much better, especially since I have to have minor foot surgery and have to fast on March 1st for surgery March 2nd.

February didn't bring the hoped for resolution. What is DID bring was a LOT of wonderful candy, and the sweetest gift my husband has ever given, a bouquet of SHIRTS, yes shirts, see the picture?


I Love my shirts, but love the husband who gave them to me more. We are doubly hit this month too because the following weekend is our anniversary, Yep it's today! 26 years ago today it was a beautiful, sunny, 40 degrees outside. 

It was a hectic evening tonight since Tim had school, Carmen had to be picked up from swim at 6 and brought to Youth, Savannah brought to Children's Choir at 6:30, then Richie to swim by 7. I came home my hubby already home with a sub sandwich, flowers and a card. He's amazing and I'm heading to bed, it's been a long day and time to sleep. I will keep updating our posts nightly if possible.  I have several new things to write about so whoever is reading, I hope you enjoy.

Feb 21, 2012

Happenings On the Home Front - Update 2

Whew, trying to keep up with the updates in our family is time consuming, but therapeutic too! We finally have some pictures from our granddaughter's 1st birthday party. It's so funny how all our girls look like their dad and our grandchildren look more like us. The same goes for our grandchildren, they look more like their dad than their mom. So when you see our little Kalya, note the red hair and eyes the color of dark caramels. She's feisty, loving and full of piss and vinegar as my grandmother used to say. She laughs with her whole little body and cracks us up with her antics. We can hardly wait to see what God has in store for our little red headed beauty.

Fragments of Family LIfe

We've been all immersed in little Zander, where he is, what he's doing, when he's coming home, telling the world about him, and most of all thanking God for His blessing us with another child.

January used to be a month I dreaded because of the dreariness, the cold, and it seemed an endless 31 days. Now, because we are blessed with so many beautiful girls born in January, it goes so quickly it's February before I know it. It's also why I don't start my New Year's Resolutions until February 1st : )

January 5th is our oldest daughter, Brandy's birthday (28)
January 6th was my grandmother's birthday (in heaven)
January 14th is my babysitting baby Milla's birthday (3)
January 18th is my granddaughter, Savannah's birthday (6)
January 29th is my granddaughter, Kalya's birthday (1)

February Highlights, ok now New Year's resolution is March 1st:

February 2nd is listed as Zander's birthday (1) but we will have that revised later to the closest to his actual date of birth.
February 14the is my babysitting baby Collin's birthday (1)
February 22nd is Tim & my anniversary
February 26 is my niece Patricia's birthday (24)

Keeping Minds & Bodies Healthy with Sports.

Some people love to root on their favorite football, baseball, hockey or other sport team. Our family loves whatever sport our kids/grandkids are interested. We've been fans of soccer, dance, Tai Kwan Do, softball, and swimming. But their main love is swimming. After 8 years of dance and 5 of soccer, Carmen has committed her time to swimming, but will be trying out for school track in the spring. Richie has played soccer 4 years and will probably play again in the fall, but has decided he wants to swim also. It doesn't matter to us WHAT sport they are in as long as they stay active. If they make a commitment to be in a sport, they must stay in for the season. This rule actually applies to all their world though.

Why we love swimming the most though? Summer league is "fun", it's small, it's like a family and the team is spectaclar. The kids root for the underdog, they cheer EVERYONE, high 5's aren't just for the victor, they are for the effort of trying your best and this builds such confidence. Year round league is also like a family, but the team is much larger and has to be split into age groups, ability groups, etc. but this league is where the kids learn the most, they learn discipline of technique, breathing, nutrition, character and goals. Swimming is such an individual goal setting sport that the competition is more with yourself and bettering yourself. But like summer, the kids and parents are fabulous. They root for each other and if a swimmer's not having the best meet, they will learn and keep going. It's a total body and mind sport with the LEAST amount of injury and we're so glad they love the water.

Richie & Coach Karen
Richie in the black goggles
Carmen & Richie both love to swim and swim year round. Last weekend was round 1 of the short course Division II Championships. Richie swam on Sunday and did remarkable by taking off several seconds in both events he swam. He LOVES the water and really doesn't swim at the meets for competition, but mainly for the socialization and fun of the water. When he started swimming, one of the first things he asked me was, "Why don't they let me do it my way, I do it faster?" I just smiled and told him after he learned "their way" he would be even faster. He has the most tremendous, patient, nurturing, yet firm coach, Coach Karen. She has commented several times how he is the only swimmer she's EVER instructed that comes up smiling after every breath. She's incredible and knows every little thing they do and follows up every meet with a personal email to her kids congratulating them, saying what they will work on, their times and how thankful she is that she's their coach. Even though he didn't qualify for the next tier of Division I Championships, he's content.

Carmen coached by Coach Collin
Carmen swimming Butterfly
September 2011 started the second year of Carmen swimming year round. She has worked very hard and her competitiveness has been more to do with herself than others. It's mandatory for her age to swim 3 days/week, but 2 months ago she said she wasn't making progress and decided to move to 6 days/week! YIKES. We are very blessed to have friends to carpool with to make this possible. But with the last meet at Division II Championships, she saw her hard work pay off and has qualified to swim in 7 events for the Division I Championships this weekend. Short course means they swim in a 25 meter increments in the pool. After championships, they start training for the long course which is 50 meter increments. Isn't it funny how much you learn about the sports your children participate?

Whatever your family loves to do, as long as it's together is what counts. Yes, we are taxi and carpool parents, but during the rides we get to talk, we get to know our children's friends and it's very good quality time. At meets we get to know other parents from all over, our children get to meet and hang with others and socialize with people they normally would never meet.

I always go back to the Chinese proverb of the "red thread". Meeting others brought us to this place we are with our adoption and it is also opening TONS of doors to meeting people at swim meets and talking with them about God and His journey with us. This is what counts.

 "An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." 

Feb 19, 2012

Happenings On The Home Front - Update 1

Well I'm going to try this again. I was at the YMCA with the boys watching them swim, had my posting done and was just adding the photos when "ZAP" my internet disappeared! At our Y there is free WI-FI, but they give you a code & password to log in, not telling you that there's a time limit and then you have to get a new one! UGH, so here we go again!

I will be updating in spurts about what's been happening since my last post. I'm going to begin this one with a chuckle. My grandson & 2 of his friends were swimming and when they were done they had to change. All 3 came out with red faces and giggles. I wasn't aware that the men's locker room didn't have curtains over the showers and only the handicapped stall had a door. They said they walked in and there was a large elderly man showering and their exact words, "we're scarred for life"!.

It's been such a busy couple of weeks I feel I haven't posted in months instead of just days. So I guess I'll start with the oldest happenings first.

We have the pleasure of our granddaughter, Savannah, staying with us for a while because their apartment was flooded due to a broken pipe. We had her 6th birthday party (actually a birthday week). Then she got to celebrate Princess night at a local mall and got a fashion make-over, hair, make-up, free Chik-fil-e meal, etc. Here's some shots from her special week. It was also our youngest granddaughter, Kalya's, birthday last month but we are still awaiting downloads of her pictures. We'll post those later.

Silly Savannah
Cupcake Birthday Cake

Windy Blows Out Her Candles

Safety Day @ School
Pretty As A Princess

Savannah & BFF Maggie @ Chuckee Cheeses

Feb 2, 2012

Introducing Zander Joseph-Zijian Verbeke

We were going to wait to post until we received updated photos, but we couldn't wait. We got our approval from China yesterday! This means he is our son! China was extremely quick about getting back to us on our LOI, God has plans for this little man. Here's the details we're sure you'll want to know.

Chinese Name: Zhou Zi Jian (pronounced Joe Dz Gee In)
DOB: February 10, 2011
Where: Pingdingshan City in Henan Provice
Where he is now: Morning Star Foster Home (run by an American Family, he's in great care).

He's described as a happy little boy that brings joy to everyone he's around He is a favorite among his nannies and very loved. He is crawling, waving, clasps hands, says mama, baba & bye bye. They said the only time he gets upset is when he hasn't gotten his food quick enough!

We don't know when exactly we will get to get him, but we are expecting around late September (paperwork & bureaucracy UGH)!


 He was afraid of the musical flower. These flowers light up, start spinning, then open open to other candles. I would be afraid of it too if I were only one.