Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time to Update

Wow!! Just got to looking around my blog, and started to realize how OUTDATED everything is. From the pics on the sidebar, to my buttons, to, well pretty much ALL OF IT!!

Which really should come as no surprise considering what a whirlwing this last year has been.

And the fact that we've been trying to complete the slowest moving homestudy in the history of international adoption.

Luckily, with summer here, I should soon have time to give things around here a bit of a facelift.

That is, as soon as I'm done switching out the summer clothes for the winter ones. I thought it'd be a one day job, but it's more like a week.

Feel blessed that I'm sparing you pictures!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Summer

Summer is FINALLY here.

Well, it has been here for a couple of weeks, but those were busy weeks.

One week we spent in Tokyo, which was GREAT.

The following week we all participated in VBS (all minus Daddy). The big boys were helpers, and the smallest three attendees. James ended up being fully in charge of games, and I got a pile of compliments at the end of the week about what an awesome job he did.

Now, we're done, ready for the NOTHINGNESS of summer.

My big plans include:

1. Catching up on my blogging.

2. Lots of time at the swimming pool.

3. A bit of "mindless" reading.

4. A lot of downtime with the kids - getting to just BE and not having to teach (formally, at least).

Although I confess that I am requiring reading from Jake, Lanie, and Abby all summer. Don't have to worry about James keeping skills up over the summer anymore, and he's already an avid reader. This will probably be the last summer I require it from Jacob. Anyways, here's what they're each reading:




Lanie is working her way through this series and she's completely addicted. She is reading about one book a day or every two days.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Story

First off, let me say that the last thing we planned was adding to our family again.
Five, well, is truly a handful of kids.
And as much as I love parenting, we really felt, well, COMPLETE.

Then we found out that China had recently changed some of their rules regarding adoption.
They were going to allow anyone adoptive parents to re-use a dossier already filed in China, if they started the process of adoption within twelve months of their last adoption being finalized.

And our hearts started stirring.
The whole "paper chase" to put together our dossier had been so daunting, we really had no desire to go through all that again anytime soon. We wanted to focus on school, and life, and just moving forward.

However, once we heard the news of the dossier being re-used, we started wondering if maybe
God wasn't opening up a window for us to step up in faith one more time. The window was very small, as it was almost the one year anniversary of Abby's adoption. So we prayed hard, and figured it was truly in God's hands. If this was His plan, we would have to be matched with a child pretty quickly.

We were thinking it would be a boy this time, as our heart had really been softened for the boys who wait in China, who seem to wait and wait, many times with no or very minor special needs.

God, however, had something else up His sleeve. And a few weeks later we were matched with our new daughter, Genevieve Grace (Evie). She just turned two this past May. She's got plump lil' cheeks. And such expressive eyes!

I absolutely cannot wait to get her home, and neither can anyone else around here. The girls, in particular, are bursting with excitement and already packing bags filled with the things they are going to "hand down" to their baby sister. It's also been a while since we've had a baby girl in this home, and so I'm stocking up on irrestible baby girl clothes. I put my sister on notice to let the shopping begin.....

We've kept this under wraps for a while because, having walked this road before, we fully understand how fragile the whole adoption process is. Basically, until that child is home with you, anything can happen. We didn't want to bring others on that emotional roller coaster with us. And frankly, although we have pre-approval from China, I still worry about things going wrong. But we are stepping up in response to His call, so once again I remind myself that if it is His will, it will come to be. We couldn't hold the news in any longer!!

I think it's too early to post pictures, and will hold off until our Letter of Approval from China is here. I'll just have to send out a private email or two if anyone just can't wait to lay eyes on her!!

Another exciting part to this adoption will be that we're planning to take the entire family to China this time!! We hope to be able to add some days on the front side of the trip to take Abby (well, all the kids, but I think it's of particular importance for her) to do some sight seeing. And it doesn't seem remotely daunting to do it from here - we don't even have to worry about jet lag!!! Abby can't stop talking about getting to see the Great Wall.

And if that wasn't enough excitement around here.....
SIX more days of school left!!!!