Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Christmas Wish

OK, since we're talking about Christmas this week, here's MY personal Christmas wish. I actually found this video last year and posted it on my wall on Facebook - I watched it over and over back then and just cried and cried. We weren't even DTC at the time, could not even imagine having seen Abby's sweet face yet. As a matter of fact, at the time I fully thought that we had about a five year wait before we would have her home for Christmas. Almost a year later, things are SO different! If this tugged at my heart strings back then, I can hardly watch it now!! My prayer is that we can end our year the way this video ends. So, get your box of tissue ready. If you haven't seen this before, you'll be needing it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Less than Two Months........

Yes, less than two months until Christmas!! And since we're pretty much stuck in the house this week with a sick little one, I've decided it's about time I started Christmas shopping. And I'm having a blast!! I completely fell in love with THESE ADORABLE FRIENDS and ordered one for every kid in the family (extended family too). I was about to order them from Target and then found out they were considerably cheaper on Amazon. And, about a minute after I hit that "order" button I went back to check something about the little cow friend, and the price had already gone up $8. So, if you want some for some of your loved ones, I'd say order PRONTO!!

Something else I ordered this week for my boys that I'm super excited about is THIS

They are totally into movie making and have actually gotten pretty good with their very limited equipment. James was even saying the other day that he could see himself pursuing a career somehow related to editing or movie making. So when I saw the above kit in the current Timberdoodle catalog, I knew I had to order. Usually, I ponder this type of decision forever and then end up placing a last minute order and paying twice the shipping, if I can even get it at by that point, so I'm pretty proud of myself for actually ordering now. Plus, it really looks like half of my usual shopping season will be spent in China this year, so I want to be prepared.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Meet

The big kids all competed in their very first swim meet (EVER) today. I was very proud of all of them for giving it their all - they swam their little hearts out!! No wonderful times or finishes (although Jacob did finish first on one of his heats, but that only placed him like 12th overall). The most challenging part was dealing with a 21 month old who had been up since 6 am and had no nap - but even he did excellent!!! I was going to put him to bed early tonight, but he's been in such a good mood, he's still hanging around here somewhere. I don't know if that should make me happy or terrify me! Anyhow, here's some pictures of our new family hobby:








Oh - and did I mention that I forgot my camera, so the boys took pictures for us using James' Nintendo DSi?? Pretty useful little video game, if you ask me. You can also play music with it, so James is using it as an Mp3 and I get his "old" one!!!!!






Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Boys

OK, as promised, here's the short version of what I love about my boys:

Before I became a mom, I could've never dreamed about what an amazing, special love there is between a mother and a son. I share a connection with each one of my boys which is truly indescribable and was truly a complete suprise to me. There is just something so incredibly sweet about the way a boy will stick up for his mom, as though someone secretly gave him the charge of knight in shining armor and he's going to protect mom from the world if it's the last thing he does!!!! My boys all want to keep me safe from what they see as dangers to me, which the majority of the time includes Daddy's schemes to tickle me or play some type of joke on me. They will NOT go for that!! So sweet : ) And, they are really very sensitive with my feelings - they are always concerned about not hurting me, and if they think they have for whatever reason, they are oh so sad. Either they really, really love me or they just think I'm on edge and about to explode and they fear for their lives!!

I love that they seek out opportunities to dote on me - they love getting to make me a sandwich, bring me a blanket, or otherwise show their love.

I love that my big boys (at 13 and almost 11) still like to cuddle with me and read a good book.

I love that these are the same boys that have been linebackers and quarterbacks and can get rough and tough and bang heads with other boys without a second thought.

I love that they come to me when they want to be comforted.

I love that they like to find ways to spend time with me by sharing in some of my interests - like cooking.

I love that they have put up with my craziness for these many years and still like me!!

I love that they all have beds filled with stuffed animals. (OK- NOT on the bed for the little guy yet, more like all over his floor).

I love that I get to see the world through their eyes - and it gives me such a different perspective!

I love that they fill my house with trains, trucks, action figures, and Pokemon cards.

And they fill my front yard with BMX bikes, and dirtbikes (although I guess Lanie is guilty of that too), and little red wagons.

I love that they love the Lord with all their hearts. When I wake up in the morning to find them already on the couch with their Bibles on their laps, I can peek into the future and see them as the Godly men, husbands, and fathers I pray they'll grow up to be. And I thank God that He blessed me with these three boys, that He didn't let me miss out on this part of motherhood, and that He gave me the incredible privilege of playing even the smallest role in bringing up those boys to become men who would honor and serve Him.


OK, and just because this was cute:





This is what typically happens when I pull out the camera. I love that I caught him running away.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I LOVE THIS GIRL:


I love that through her God gave me the joy of experiencing what it was like to be the mom of a girl, a girly-girl at that. (Don't get all worked up. I'm working on a separate post about the boys).


I love that she gave me a reason to buy Barbies again (at least Barbies that would get played with and not just sit on a shelf).


I love that she loves to go shopping with me.


I love that one of her favorite things to do is looking at our albums or watching family videos (that's the scrapbooker in her, I just know it).

I love that she cries at the drop of a hat (it shows me she is sensitive).
I love that she has a great sense of humor, and is always surprising me with her jokes.

I love that she actually ENJOYS school.

I love the way she looks up to her Daddy (both earthly and Heavenly fathers).

I love that she loves to take care of her baby brother.

I love that she looks up to her older brothers, but won't be bossed around.
And a million other things, too numerous to list on this blog.

But then, there's the one thing:

SHE

WILL NOT

STOP

TALKING

The funny thing is, I have to admit I love even that. And wouldn't change a thing about her. But boy, I'm glad she's homeschooled, because I'd be getting notes from the teacher ALL the time about that last one!!

And I realize that last thing is what I will miss the very most when she is all grown up!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One Step Closer

OK - to those of you not in the international adoption world, this will mean pretty much nothing, except that we're one tiny step closer to bringing Abby home and things are moving along pretty fast. To my friends who have in the past or are now undergoing this journey, you'll understand a bit better. We got a letter from NVC confirming that our "cable" was sent to Guangzhou on October 9!!!!! That was after DH spent his lunh hour on the phone trying to find out that exact information and was getting nowhere.
Now it's time to figure out if my phone can make international calls with my current plan, so we can call Guangzhou and find out about our Article 5!
I'm still holding out hope for having her home for Christmas!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good thing she likes wearing dresses



Lanie doesn't want to miss out on the dirbike action. I love that she's such a girly-girl, yet she also loves to play rough!! The girl seriously has no fear!

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video

Giveaway

Click here for a great giveaway of one of these super cool retro dresses. Surely there's a little girl in your life that would look adorable in one of these. I want one for ME. I'm also all for giveaways, because I will soon have to keep TWO eight year olds looking adorable all the time, and that's surely going to break the bank!!
And by the way, for those of you wondering, that very cute little girl in the picture is not Abby (but I do intend to copy the full outfit, right down to the knee socks - so sweet). If you want to see pics of Abby, scroll down to the bottom of this page. You'll find several other cuties I am madly in love with down there too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thankful for Technology

I've been so grateful for the other adoptive parents I've gotten connected with on the internet. I just don't think anyone understands this whole crazy adoption process like another one of those crazy souls who took the same plunge as you're about to take!! I've been sharing the news about Abby with those around me a lot more these days - I was very quiet about it until recently because so much was still up in the air. But since we received our LOA, I have felt like it's time to share with EVERYONE. And frankly, I've been a little disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm I've received in response. Not that I'm doing any of this for any kind of response from ANYBODY, but it would be nice to think people are happy for you instead of just looking at you like you just lost your marbles. Mostly because you're filled with this overflowing joy and want to shout from the rooftops, and feel like there's no one there who really wants to hear it. Which is why I appreciate the great community of people online who have done this and UNDERSTAND my every feeling right now, who understand that yes, I am OVERJOYED to be called to travel across the world to bring home and parent a BEAUTIFUL eight year old girl who was born with a heart defect. It is so nice that someone out there GETS it and rejoices with me!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Guess what I went and did??

OK, I have a confession to make. I've been trying very hard to hold off and not buy any clothing for Abby, considering that 1) I don't have recent measurements so I don't really have a clue what size she's in and 2) I expect that she's a bit smaller than Lanie is, so she'll have a ton to wear.

That being said, Gymboree (yes, them again) just came out with a Holiday Panda line that's been driving me crazy. So today I took the plunge. I bought this:






Dress, tights, and hair clips. I did it only because I had a 20% off coupon. And I'm keeping the tags on just in case it doesn't fit. But I hadn't bought her a single piece of clothing and I just couldn't stand it!! I settled on a size 6, so I hope I guessed OK. I think this will keep me satisfied for now!





And then, just some random cuteness I just had to throw in:





Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DS230 and other mumbo jumbo

Today I took the very last step I can take to Abby for now, besides just waiting. I mailed our completed DS230 (which is her Visa application) out, along with our I800 approval and a bunch of other paperwork, off to our agency. They will in turn send it to the US Consulate in Guangzhou, who will then issue an approval and that gets sent by courier to the CCAA. They will at that time issue our Travel Invitation. Then our agency will schedule a Consulate Appointment, and we're off!! I'm still really hoping we can get there and back before the end of the year!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Post

We have been wanting to chronicle every step of our adoption process of a sweet eight year old girl from China, and thought blogging would be a great way to do that. However, we have so much going on in our lives that we knew the blog wouldn't be limited to the adoption. So, instead of thinking of this as an adoption blog, we are looking at it as our family blog, a way to document not just our journey to Abby, but all the ins and outs of our every day life as an Air Force family homeschooling four (soon to be five) amazing kids. So, here's a peek at our kids, with very recent pictures (as in TODAY, for the kids we have at home right now, anyways). Abby's pictures are probably almost a year old, but they're all I have available to post right now.