Friday, December 25, 2009

Birthday party pics!

It has been a great Christmas Day! We have visited with family, ate well, took some great naps, played with our new toys and things really couldn't have been much better... until... I opened email and found birthday party pics of Mia and her friends! We continue to be amazed at what a beautiful little baby girl she is and I cannot wait to get my arms around that sweet thing. The pictures continue to encourage me as I see people around her that appear to care for her, who are laughing and smiling with her, and other babies that also look well cared for. I am very thankful for every person in these photos because I know they are loving her until she can come home with us. Her cake was beautiful and we are still trying to identify some of these lovely fruits that we don't have access to here in the U.S. (or at least not in Gadsden, Alabama...LOL...) God continues to lift my spirits and I am so thankful. What a mighty God He is. May you all feel the love of our Saviour this Christmas Day. Love to you all.

"Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father." James 1:17

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Had a Party!

Since Wednesday, December 23 is our little sister's birthday, we decided to have a family celebration of her BIG day. Mimi and Gig cooked a delicious dinner complete with birthday cake and Molly blew out the candle for her. Next year, we look forward to HER blowing out her two candles on the cake. That's a sweet thought.:) We really hope that we get update photos soon from China of Mia's real party at her orphanage. We ought to be getting them soon. Until then... Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Mia!

Today is Mia's very first birthday! She will have a party complete with cake and candy with her friends, thanks to Ann of RedThreads. I know that we can't go get her right now, but I would give anything if I could just peek in and look at her. I would love to be able to give her a hug and kiss. I am so sad that we are missing this day with her, but I know that there will be so many more wonderful birthdays with her from now on. Her birthday package of clothes and toys should arrive in a few days and hopefully we will be given some updated pictures. I pray that this paperchase process moves quickly. I am SO ready to go to China. We are planning a birthday party at Mimi and Gig's house to celebrate Mia's big day, minus Mia. We'll take pictures to show her that we celebrated on her day all the way across the world. I already love her and have never met her. Isn't that something?

Monday, December 21, 2009

One More Photo...

I couldn't fit another picture on the last post, so I'm posting again to include the group shot of all of the children who came to our party today. Their houses looked awesome!

A Gingerbread House Party!

We had such a fun day at my sister's house. We had a gingerbread house party... the kids decorated gingerbread houses, heard a story from a guest reader, Mrs. Janet Bavonese, and was even paid a visit by Santa Claus himself! The children had a good time being creative with their houses. The mothers enjoyed getting to visit with all the other mothers and grandmothers and watching our kids be kids. It was a great party and something I think all of the kids will remember in years to come. Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy Day

Today was such a busy day. I had to get the I-800A sent back to USCIS and then went to the post office to mail Mia's birthday care package, not to mention all of the end of the year work-related stuff I'm doing too. I'll be glad when the weekend comes so I can take some deep breaths! Anyway, Mia's package is on it's way to her!!! I so hope it makes it there in tact.

I'm posting some pictures of my sweet boys. We are all looking forward to "being lazy" as Garrett calls it during the Christmas break.

I'm just too tired to think right now, let alone blog... so that's all I've got for today!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We now have PA !!!

Last night I got the email from our agency that we were issued a PA from CCAA. I know this sounds like a lot of acronyms, but in simple terms it means that China is giving preliminary approval to us to adopt Li Ji Mi (Mia)pending a review of our dossier. This is exciting news because it means we are one step closer to getting her home. It also means we can now send care packages to her! Since her birthday is coming up next week, we had to get busy! I have been buying her clothes and a few little toys to send to her. I've also hired Ann of China Red Threads to take in a birthday cake and party favors to Mia's orphanage. As part of that service, we should receive some new update information as well as more pics!!! On a disappointing note, we received a rejection notice for our 1-800A application to Homeland Security because Griff's signature was missing in a couple of places... Ughhh... Frustration... I'm taking that to Lifeline this morning so that it can be resubmitted for approval. I wonder how people can get up enough guts to adopt again after all of this. I suppose it's similar to childbirth... you forget how uncomfortable you are for nine months. I guess this is like that. Keep praying for us, everybody. God is answering prayers every day. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Look what we got!

Hello everybody! It's been over a week since I blogged. I've been ultra busy with work. I spent the week in San Francisco working and just got home tonight. I opened up my email box and there was an email with new pics of our Mia. What a sweet surprise! She looks happy, clean, and well-fed. It is so nice to see more pictures of her. I've stared at the other ones so long that I've memorized them. I am encouraged by the communication and thankful for their willingness to share Mia with us. I landed at the Birminham airport today and I almost cried just thinking about how awesome it's going to be to step off that plane with our baby girl. The waiting is really hard, but we have so much to look forward to and it keeps me smiling; knowing that happy day will get here. Please continue to pray for expediency and favor from the US officials and the CCAA who will process and approve our paperwork. Karla at Lifeline said we are looking at at least 4-6 more months. So, even though that seems so long, there is a good bit to do to prepare for her arrival. We will wait because God's timing is perfect. There is comfort in that and I choose to look at it that way. This is completely out of my control.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Strawberry Kiss

Yesterday was such a hectic day, such an emotionally draining day, that I just couldn't tell you all everything that we knew about our little Mia. As I said yesterday, she will be celebrating her first birthday two days before Christmas. I hate that we won't spend it with her, but I like to think of all the many more that we will spend with her. I can already imagine what next year's party will be like. :) There is just so much to tell! She is living in an orphanage that is sponsored by Love without Boundaries, a group that provides resources like food, supplies, and educational items for orphans. Her orphanage is one of the best in that area and it is evident that she is being well taken care of because she is doing what most babies are doing at eleven months old. She is crawling, standing up and holding on to things, she loves to hear music, and she is attached to her caregiver.

Mia's special need is that she has a port-wine stain ( a strawberry birthmark) on her left temple which extends down into her eyelid. It is barely visible in all of the photos we received. Griff and I are shocked that such a minor thing would land her on the special needs list. Dr. Jennifer Chambers, from the International Adoption Clinic, reviewed her file with us tonight and could find nothing of any concern in her medical records. Amazing... I was preparing myself for a child who was older, sicker, and not nearly as beautiful. God's blessings far exceeded my expectations. I have no idea why we make Him so small. The strawberry birthmark God put on Mia is what brought her to us. I can't wait to kiss that little birthmark.

What now? Well, now we trudge through the final steps to submit official papers to U.S. Immigrations, and then on to China. Once China reviews and approves our dossier, we hope they will issue us travel authorization so we can bring her home. Pray that all who deal with our paperwork will find favor on us and process it expeditiously. Realistically, I expect to get to China by mid-summer. We will see...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Announcing... we have Mia!!!

Well, everybody, it thrills my soul to share our wonderful news. After several weeks of waiting and watching, we were matched with our little girl today. Her name is Li Jimi, and she was born on December 23, 2008. She is currently living in the custody of the Welfare Institute of Shantou City, in Guangdong Province of China (southern China). She appears to be healthy and happy and we are in love with her already. It has been a very long day and I am exhausted. I will put more information about Mia on the blog tomorrow. Until then, enjoy looking at her sweet pictures. I can't wait to tell you all about her. God is so good.