Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Want My TA! (travel approval)

Dear China Travel Approval Person in Charge,

I know it must surely seem that you give, I take, you give I take. You give, I ask for more, and on and on it seems to go. Well let me assure you, you are not alone as my husband says this is what his entire life with me has been like! So that must make you feel better. right? ;-)

But here is the thing. for many days after I held that LOA, I swore I would be fine. I had approval, I was thankful for that. VERY thankful and had a huge peace over me. My husband said he figured that would last about a week. And I proved him wrong. It lasted for at LEAST 2 weeks. Honestly. But then.......

This sweet face began to remind me that approval is not enough. It is a wonderful thing to have, but this girl is the reason we are in the process at all. And I miss her. I am ready to hold her and get a smile on her face.
And here is what I am worried about. Because I promise you I have stared at the calendar over and over and over these last few months. I know the time frame I need to be there. I know that the trade fairs are coming up in Guangzhou. Meaning that the hotels are very expensive, and from what I understand hard to book. If that is the case, this could mean we miss Mavery's 3rd birthday. And I have already missed 2 birthdays, please don't make me miss anymore with her. I know SHE won't know(as my husband has pointed out I think trying to make me feel better, but so far it is not) but I know and I just want to celebrate with her. I saw her just days after her 2nd birthday. Who would have thought I would not have her for her 3rd. Sigh..
Which also could mean that we would be in China for the Presidential Election, and no offense, but that is no fun! My family enjoys a party, and they claim our house as the party house, and they like to sit in front of our TV and yell at it as the results come in. We would just be so happy to be home for that. Of course we promise to not let them scare Mavery or anything like that with their yelling. It is pretty exciting though, did you hear that our party is FOR adoption? Yep, he himself has adopted children. AND his VP has FIVE kids! But lets not get into politics.

And then there is this picture. This is the room she sleeps in. The wood floors are beautiful, the pink walls very cute. But before she gets to used to sleeping on the wood in these cribs, we want her to sleep on her mattress here, at home, that is waiting for her, next to my bed. Taunting me every day by reminding me that she is not in the bed. Which then makes me sad and if I am sad then that just throws off the whole house, ya know? And just in case you had not heard, there are alot of us in this house. Alot of us who are together ALOT. I mean we love being together so much that my husband works from home, the kids do school here, we barely leave! And the kids are tired of me saying Mavery will be here soon. When is soon they want to know, wasn't she maybe going to be home in July? (Not that we blame that on you, that would be thank you to the state of ILLINOIS, but don't get me started on that.) So back to the kids wanting to know when soon is. And us being together alot. And me being crabby, I mean sad that she is not home. Which then makes the kids crabby. And all that togetherness with a crabby mama and crabby kids, oh it can get out of hand. Top it off with one of those kids being a hormonal pre-teen, throw in a spicy girl and wow. We all NEED Mavery home!
I have also been going through all the pictures we have been blessed with of Mavery and it hit me, while we are so thankful to have what we do, we have nothing of her as a baby. We have missed so much and we just want her home so that we can start taking lots of pictures of her and be done with waiting and just move on with life. OH OH OH, and one reason we surely need to get to China NOW is that shopping for me is therapy, and so to make myself feel better I go out and shop for things for our trip with money Mark says we do not have and so that means you just have to get us over there now before I spend ALL the money we don't have so that I can spend it in China! If you just could send that TA NOW, and get me there SOON then I promise I will do my best to buy at LEAST a suitcase full of your things to bring home. I have my list made, I will have 5 kids to shop for! But I am telling you, if it takes much longer, Mark is going to limit me to a duffel bag instead of a suitcase for my souvenirs and I know neither you nor I want that!

So, simply put, I just would like my TA. I would like to come to China one month from now. I would like to be home for Mavery's birthday. I would like to stop bugging you, really I would. So if you could just send it on over, maybe today? I would be forever thankful. And I promise to tell Mavery how wonderful the TA person was!


Mavery's mama

**Disclaimer**No, I am not really sending this to China, I am pretty sure my mom reads these and worries about me! Also, please no comments about the election. My blog, my opinion. Please pray for us as we wait for this final paper. It really SHOULD be any day. Our prayer is that we are waiting longer than we expected for it so that we can travel with my friend I met online who has a daughter with Mavery. You can peek at their blog here.

The last picture, Mavery is holding up her panda bear that we sent back in March/April. The bear of China, right? ;-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lake Get Away

Sage listening to the movie like a big girl. And yes she still takes a pacifier. Sometimes you do what you have to do to have a little quiet!
Walking to the boat, anxious to go for a ride! Weekdays on the lake are calm, weekends, not so much.
The Boys, I am totally with Sawyer, we need more boys in this family!
The girls, can't wait for one more to match!
Fun at the Strip near Bagnell Dam
Sage was nervous in the maze, but covering Daddy's eyes does not help him find the way out!
Sage is getting quite bossy as she speaks more. Lately we have heard, "back off" w/ a flip of her hand at us and "don't talk to my mommy".

So cute!
Confused in the maze?
We battled the Brave maze!

We decided we would do one last get away as a family of 6. My parents own a condo on The Lake of the Ozarks, so we have been down for the week. One of the great things about homeschooling, we can school wherever we choose! So we have spent mornings doing school and afternoons in the pool or on the boat. Mark working from home means he can work anywhere. It has been a challenge keeping 4 kids quiet while he is working in the next room, but overall it has gone well. Malaine has now joined her older siblings in officially swimming all over the place with out floaties. Sage is ready to lose the floaties all together but we are not quite ready for that!

We were able to meet up with my friend Kathy one evening which we always enjoy.
We spent one evening on the "strip". The kids had a good time finding our way through a maze and then walking through the tilted house. Sage was really trying to figure out why the floors were slanted!
We are missing Mavery that is for sure and I am getting anxious about that Travel Approval. I had hoped it would come this week. Our LID fell while we were here for Memorial Day, so hearing we have TA would be a perfect ending to our time here, don't you think? Trying to remain calm, but you know I am watching the calendar and worrying about things. Trying to hold back from writing my Dear China letter! ;-) But, maybe I will. Desperate times call for desperate letters ya know?
**If anyone knows how to teach me to put my pictures into a collage for these posts where I have alot of pictures, I would so appreciate the help. I know in China we will have lots and I really want to learn how to do that!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lainey Day

We took Malaine out for the day recently since she did not go to Branson with us. She was ready to spend the many gift cards she received for her birthday and we had lots of fun! First stop was new crocs, this child picks things out faster than anyone in my house. Then it was off to Build a Bear where she had lots of fun making this to cute leopard! We went to Childrens Place where she insisted on trying on clothes before picking out what she wanted. After that we went to Incredible Pizza, which all my children adore. We ate to much and had fun playing. Last we stopped at Toys R Us so she could finish off her birthday money. Save is not in her vocabulary. Thanks again to all our friends for the great gift cards, we are having fun with them for sure!

Lainey is just so pleasant and happy and easy going. She is happy with whatever you want to do and just sweet! Mark's mom often comments that she acts like Mark did as a child. My mother on the other hand, does not dispute this by claiming she acts just like me as a child. Though my mother does enjoy saying how one or 2 other children in the house do act just like me as a child. (I won't mention that this is done when I am complaining about said children (2 certain females) and I am pretty sure there is a gleeful evil glint to her eyes saying oh I prayed so hard for paybacks someday!)

But back to Malaine... We had a fun day and it was nice spending one on one time with just her. Being that she is the true "middle child" I always worry she is going to grow up saying she was just stuck in the middle of a bunch of kids. So I hope that she remembers how much fun we had and I pray she always stays this smiley!

More posts coming, we are schooling at the Lake this week! FUN!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day 2 years!!

The first glimpse we had of Sage.
Finally in mommy's arms.
Sleeping Beauty, look at that hair!

One year later, August 21st, 2007
Sage and Mommy 8/21/07
Silly Girl 8/21/07

And today, how much longer can I squeeze her in these clothes!
Checking out her blog!
Beautiful Sage
Spicy Girl!
VERY Spicy Girl!

I think my hair has changed more than Sage's! ;-)

2 years ago we walked into a Civil Affairs Office in China with arms aching and waiting to be filled. We had no idea how God was going to fill those arms so perfectly. How the miracle of that moment, would bring us back to China again only 2 years later. All because we held Sage. We saw a glimpse of God that we could not even begin to imagine before that. That He would allow us the privilege to parent this child still takes my breath away. That He is allowing me to go back brings me to my knees in thanksgiving.
2 years ago our family was changed forever.
2 years ago we had no idea what was in store for us.
2 years ago we held our Sage.
Today we celebrated our family. For what it is, and what it is soon to become. We celebrated split pants(oh Sage found the gotcha outfit just fascinating this year!), spicy smiles, and answered prayers. Today was a good day.
And because I enjoy reliving the day, I have copied my journal from that day 2 years ago. The story is etched deep in my heart.

August 21st 2006- Gotcha Day!
Hebrews 6:15
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
How do you put into words what just happened? What did just happen? Wasn't it just yesterday I was crying my eyes out saying this day would never come? Wasn't it yesterday, God told us we were going to add to our family through adoption? Wasn't it just yesterday I said goodbye to my kids in St Louis? The Lord is faithful, He promised us that He would bring us this child, and she is here! Thank you Lord for this gift!I woke up at 430, better than 4! Had a little hair scare, and it is so not about Sage, but I am going to write about it anyways. We have been having issues w/ the outlets, converter not working, etc.. So I could not get my flat iron to work today. And you know I totally have high maintenance hair, I have to have an iron! There was no way I was meeting my baby w/ poofy not ironed out hair! So thankfully I find that our hotel has a salon, that would open at 9. I told Mark, no matter what the cost, I am buying a flat iron from them. He freaks out saying my hair is fine, blah blah... And starts messing w/ the outlets. He managed to figure out we were using the converter wrong, and so he got that working, the flat iron working and we were good! I knew if i threatened to spend $ he would figure it out!Ok, ok, on to why we are here... We ate breakfast at the buffet, and chatted w/ friends. How does one do normal things such as eating breakfast, using a flat iron, etc.. When your whole world is about to change? Mark and I were in our room getting ready to leave and we stopped before leaving so we could just pray together. Our heavenly Father has been so gracious to even allow us to get this far, and before we left, we knew we needed to be w/ him first. It was such a sweet moment, that I will never forget.Our travel group of 12 families met in the lobby and then headed over to the Civil Affairs Office. A 10 minute drive. Sabrina was telling us what to expect and how to not be surprised if the babies screamed, they are not used to foreigners w/ our big noses and different smells etc.. The big noses got a big laugh! They had hired a videographer to capture the entire thing which was great! We walked upstairs and as we were going in, a group of other families were coming out w/ their new babies. Smiles and tears on both sides of us! We walked into this large room and they announced that Chenzhou babies were not there yet, but the 3 families who were w/ us that were getting Waiting Children, theirs were there. So it was VERY tearful to watch them get their children. Liz was first, w/ her 2 1/2 year old son. He is darling, but obviously very scared and cried so hard, which made us all cry even more! We were able to watch Owen meet his new little sister Finley and then the Curtis Family met Audrey. It was the most amazing thing watching these people become parents right in front of us! I was crying and they told us not to cry to much, only happy tears or we would scare the babies! Then there were people in the hall and they began carrying in babies, our babies! We all watched intently as they marched through our room to the next room. I could not pick out Sage at all. They brought the babies out one by one and called up each family. They would check each family's passport, check the Travel Approval then hand over the baby. It all happened so fast, I really don't remember much. I know they called our name, Yi Qiao, and there she was! I am not sure I can even put it into words. They handed her to me, and it was just right. She was in my arms and my heart knew that this was Sage. This is what I knew she would feel like. When they called my name, I said something to her and it was almost as if she reached for me. Then as we met her and talked to her, she would just study us so intently. No tears, not even a whimper. She just looked as if to say, So, you are my mom and dad! Thanks for finally getting here! After all the families had their babies, we went back to the bus and back to the hotel. This all happened w/ in an hour. We came in and laid Sage on the bed and just studied her. She just stared. She wanted to reach out and touch. We changed her diaper, yes she was wearing split pants, but w/ a diaper. Fed her a bottle, and she was out. While she was eating she started sweating, ALOT! I was soaked.Isn't she beautiful! I am not sure the pictures show how dark she is. She has beautiful skin. She has a little bit of heat rash, but not bad. And that hair! She went from no hair to wild hair in 4 months! Everyone loves her hair. Even after her bath, it just sticks straight up! Great, she is going to have high maintenance hair too! Her hair is very black and her eyes really really dark. She also has long lashes. And yes, her cheeks are still as chunky as they were in her referral pictures! I love it! She is tiny, besides the cheeks. We weighed her in our room and it was rough of course, but it seemed to be about 13 pounds. Maybe 3 pounds of cheeks? Her bottom is so tiny, skinny legs, no bootie! Long skinny feet. My size 2 shoes are big. Size 2 diapers are a little big, but since you can tighten them are doing fine. Clothes, I am guessing my 3-6 I brought are going to be a good fit, and I think the 6-9 months will be ok since they are dresses, I guess we will see as we try more things on!She was wearing another boy outfit, w/ Snoopy on it! Yes, she has on panty hose type knee socks. What is that about? We got nothing w/ her, nothing! Just handed her over and that was that. We did not get to talk to anyone from the orphanage, it is not the nannies who brought them. I am not sure if maybe tomorrow we might get anything or not. Does not really matter, we got what is important.She is very curious and so far very happy. She does not sit up, but is close. When on her belly she scoots, and she can roll from her back to front. If I have her on the floor and I am not close, she pulled herself over to me. She is going to both of us fine. She reaches for me. I like that. And when she sees me, her face gets happy. Not quite a smile but almost.She has had 2 bottles and sucked both of them down fast. She fell asleep during her bottle and she is out. When she was awake, she was busy and wants to touch everything. She about fell out of my arms trying to turn around and see things going on behind her. She does not seem scared of anyone yet. I realize that tomorrow could be a whole different story, but today, it has been easy. She has not cried yet. No noise at all. Quiet and inquisitive.----------------------------------------------------I wrote all of the above before dinner, so just a few more notes after dinner. We ate dinner in the hotel w/ our group. There are lots of families w/ babies here. It is fun to see! We tried to feed Sage steamed eggs at dinner. Her updated information said she was eating food. But she did not seem to know what to do w/ a spoon at all. I brought along Gerber fruit puffs and the same thing, she just looked at me like I was nuts! She barely has 2 teeth in. At dinner she began to talk a little more. She is smiling and has a little tiny laugh that is very sweet. She really watches Mark and I, studies our faces. It is as if she is saying, you are mine.After dinner a group of us went upstairs to the hotel playroom. It is a great place w/ a wonderful view of the city. It is very interesting to watch the girls together. They do seem to like to be around each other. One of the girls, Vivian is the same age, yet she was on her knees crawling and is larger than the other 3 who were in the room. She sat and played at a toy piano, while the others are army crawling around. They are all just beautiful girls. We were only there a little while before Sage stunk up the place. That is a very good thing though! It is always a concern w/ the constipation, so we are thankful to get that out of the way.(thank you Dawn for vanilla scented trash bags!) We were worried since the girls were in split pants that maybe they were trying to put them on the potty. And they say if you don't try, it can mess them up. We were hoping to stick w/ diapers, so looks like we are good in that area.Sage is getting more smiley as the night goes on, and I can't wait to see her unfold even more as the week goes on. We did finally hear a short cry tonight. Her bedtime bottle is supposed to be made up of formula and cereal. She could not get it out of the nipple, so while I was trying to cut it bigger, she was not happy. But she got it all down. We laid her down still a little awake and she pulled the cover up over her head. It was so sweet but made me sad. Just wondering how she slept all these nights w/ out me. What was her bedtime routine like. And what is going on in her little head right now? When she wakes up, will she look at us and think, oh great, them again? Or will she look at us and know.Well, Mark says I better wrap it up, who is still reading to this point! Tomorrow we go and do the "official" adoption. It will be neat to see how all the babies sleep tonight! There have been tears from some, but overall I think the girls (and boy!) seem to be doing very well. Please pray that the rest of the night and week go as well! And thank you for all your prayers. I know that all of you were praying along w/ us that God would plant us on her heart, and I feel those prayers worked!Sage is here! And I am in love.

Sage's Memories

My emotions are all over today. I have been wanting to get this project done for 2 years now, and finally finished it. These are the clothes that Chen Yi Qiao was found in. Our Sage. As I opened up that package and held them in my arms I was filled with so many things. Thoughts of her birth mother, who held these same clothes in her hands. Thoughts of Sage and what she looked like as a tiny newborn baby. Thoughts of a God who is so big, that He brought this little girl into my life. Thankfulness that we were given these tiny pieces of her past. As I held them in my hands, Makenna walked in and was studying them. "do you think her birth mother made the hat for her mom?" We will never know. But just as there is a little heart on the shirt that says love, we will always love the choice this other mother made. A gift to us for sure. I found it fitting that I was compelled to pull out these clothes this week. A mother in China put her daughter in these clothes as she said goodbye. Two years ago I held that baby girl for the first time in China.... Tomorrow a Gotcha Day Post!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Package to Mavery

We have been able to send a few things to Mavery, but I had not sent a large package that was personalized. (meaning my hands had not touched everything) So I was waiting for that final approval and I went to work. Maybe going a little overboard! Mark says he is sure that the workers will be thrilled when they see the bag of junk they get to store till we get there. And it should be fun getting the things we have already sent home! But when the waiting is hard, what does a mama do to feel better? Shop of course. Or eat, but shopping is much better for the China pictures if you ask me!
My friend Leigh and I sent a package together. She has Emma, who is 5 and we are hopeful to be traveling to China for the girls together. We met online when we found out our girls were both at Jinhua. She donated a digital camera in the package, so we are hopeful for maybe a few more shots of the girls before we go.
I made the tote bag thinking maybe that might help them be able to keep track of her things. We have been blessed for sure with Mavery being at Jinhua. They seem so excited about us coming and visiting and we are thankful for the care she seems to be receiving.
The build a bear has my voice recorded in it. Mark had a good laugh saying Mavery is just going to be convinced a mama is either a stuffed bear or a black box from all the people who come in to take her picture for mama! The photo album is lots of fun with a mirror and we included photos of her bed, her doll that we will bring with us, and pictures of us. I am most excited about the red book and really hope that they will take the time to fill it in. It is a book of 80 questions in Chinese, w/ space on the opposite page for the questions to be translated. Questions about her being found, her name, basically her life before us. We think it will be such a treasure for her and so I am praying they do work on it. We did not have a chance to get this done for Sage, but we were lucky to get information on her through Half the Sky.
I also threw in hair bows in hopes they will leave her hair growing! We know that many times they do shave their heads for summer, but we hope they leave hers alone. Not that it will matter, you know I will get bows on that head.
I know the package landed in China, but can't track it past the border. We hope to find out if it actually made it.
Still no word on travel. We hope early October. We pray for early October. If not, they have lots of trade fairs that go on in late October, which could cause us to miss her birthday on November 1st. Early October would mean missing Makenna and Malaines birthdays, but they are ok with that. So pray for us if you will that we can leave even possibly late September. We are ready to go that is for sure.
And on a side note, school went MUCH better today than yesterday with a certain someone, so that is a big praise!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Back to School, at home of course

Makenna did not want to be in the picture, just read on and you will understand why, she rolled her eyes at me when I asked her to be in it!

We had big plans, we were going to school year round. It just made sense. We could just do a few days a week, then just take off when we needed. In particular when we traveled to China. And that was ok, for about 2 days. Till everyone else was out of school. And we enrolled the kids in one, or two or more day camps, away camps, getting out of the house for any reason camps. So we finally gave up and decided we would start when most everyone else started. Today was the big day. I asked Makenna if she wanted a new outfit in honor of the first day, she just rolled her eyes at that one while telling me how she is saving her money to go back to Victory. She only has $2500.00 left to save up. We figure at the rate she is going she can go back in about 15 years. Of course by that time she will be to old to attend, so I suggested she might want to just spend the money on something else. I think that got me an eye roll also. That girl is a good student, but if rolling your eyes or exaggerated sighing was a class, I would say she is surely gifted. On to the first day...

Sawyer and Malaine were so excited, they could not wait to begin. They even pulled out their backpacks and wanted me to make them a lunch in their lunch box. Which I did, pulled out the lunchable and zipped it in their bag! ;-) Sawyer is now a 2nd grader, and Malaine is kindergarten! These 2 enjoy school and have made homeschooling so far pretty fun. (I have been doing school on and off with Malaine since April)

Then there is Makenna, our now 5th grader, almost 11 year old with so much attitude we wonder if boarding school would take her. She does not like any curriculum we pick out, she does not like anything I suggest and it seems if I speak it just makes her mad. Is this an oldest child thing, a pre-teen thing? Mark is sure excited to have FOUR teen girls in the house! Ugh.. I should add before you all think I am ruining her life, she does not want to attend public school, she wants to attend Victory. Which we can not afford. I told Mark we better start putting money away for the years of therapy I am convinced this child might need. ;-)

I have been meaning to list my curriculum just in case you are curious. What we chose last year, we did not care for. It was a tough year that is for sure. I had heard the first 2 years are hard. Add to the adjustment of coming home so last minute (remember we decided to homeschool in August), going on a big family vacation in October, then finding Mavery in November. Not to mention schooling with Ms Spicy girl in the house. There were many days we wanted to throw in the towel and admit defeat. I watched with longing as the big yellow bus rolled by my house twice each day. But I was reminded again and again, I was not homeschooling because I wanted to, I was doing it because God called us to. If God said differently, we are willing to listen. Believe me, I have some days BEGGED to hear differently. Big yellow bus, hours of freedom for me, no one rolling their eyes at me during the day, oh it sounds wonderful! Getting kids to sit and listen and do their work, along with getting life done, it is hard. But we go into this year more excited. We have a better idea of what we are doing, we are excited about the curriculum, we like the freedom of being home. Our summer was busy, our school year is much more relaxed in many ways. So, just in case you wonder, here is what we use.

Makenna is using

  • Switched on Schoolhouse. It is all done on the computer. We think this is going to be a good thing, she can't get mad at her teacher (me) about everything. It grades her tests, and is pretty cool. However, she is leery of it and so I will have to let you know how it works out. (I am pretty sure she enjoys me being her teacher so she can yell at me!)

  • How Great thou Art

Sawyer is using

  • Bob Jones math (mark teaches this)

  • Handwriting with out Tears. ( we all love this)

  • Time 4 Learning (online phonics program)

  • How Great Thou Art (art of course)

  • Sonlight--I was leery of this, it is a literature based program. It is very pricey and I was just not sure Sawyer would care for it, or that I would have time to get it all done. LOTS of reading. But my sweet friend offered to LOAN it to me, so I decided worth a try. We have only done a little bit, but we both really enjoy it. This covers all other subjects.

  • Time 4 Learning also has math, science and geography on it. If you have a child that needs a little practice outside of school, it is really great. Educational games, very cool.

Malaine is using

  • Bob Jones Math

  • Rocket Phonics

  • Handwriting with out tears

  • How Great thou Art

There are other little things that the kids are doing, bible, awana, typing etc.. I am just to tired and figure you probably really don't care about ALL the details! And if you want to know WHY we are homeschooling, go back and read this post here.

So when the yellow bus rolls around this week to pick up the neighbors, I will try to not look out with longing, or carry the 10 year old out and throw her on. Who am I kidding, we are not even out of bed when the bus comes around! (one thing we ALL like about homeschooling!) It is going to be a good year. Our 2nd year. A year of memories to be made together for sure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to you, and you and you!


What a date to celebrate!

On August 1st Sawyer turned 8. On October 1st Makenna will turn 11. And on October 11th Malaine will turn 6. So what does a mom do when she knows she might possibly be in China for 2 of those birthdays? Combine into one large party of course! We rented a local pool and had a blast. I am not sure what was more fun, watching Sage go off the diving board, or our pastor and a friend dare each other to go off fully clothed! ;-)

Since it was also the start of the olympics, we had to have a cupcake cake in honor of those with birthday cake. We ate way to much cake, came home with way to much "stuff" thanks to our family and friends and had way to much fun swimming! Ok, so most of us adults did not swim, but we sure had fun anyways!

Monday, August 04, 2008

L-O-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more




WHAT's It spell??

LOA, which is not a word, but basically what it means is letter of approval or seeking confirmation letter actually or what you really need to know.....


Oh my heart is SMILING!!!

Want to know the date on the letter?

July 29th...

You know, the day my heart was so heavy I did not think I could stand it. The day I wrote the I miss Mavery blog.

Mark is enjoying the fact that God's timing is once again, perfect.

And that is the thing. No matter what, God is in control. I know that, and I was gently reminded of that all weekend. This is not about me. Or Mark or even Mavery to be honest. This is about God's plan in our lives. God is faithful and once again He has shown that He is running this show.

The call actually came on Friday, you know, the day Sawyer said"wouldn't it be a PERFECT day if we got news of Mavery today". We had just finished lunch at Denny's when my cell phone rang. I did not recognize the number and my heart stopped I am pretty sure for a moment. And then those magical words, we have good news for YOU!!!

They asked me not to post anything, because I was the only one to get the letter, and there were others waiting. Which broke my heart for my mama friends. So, that is why it is just now on the blog.

Today the package came with the letter. I opened it and just felt like I was not supposed to rush and send it like I wanted to. I really had to question that , Fed ex picks up at 430, and it was getting closer. Later, after the fed ex pick up time, I started studying the papers. the TWO papers. I thought they just sent me a copy, so was trying to figure out which copy would need signed. Well, upon closer inspection I saw it was NOT my information on the 2nd paper. It was one of the other waiting moms! So after a call into our agency I was able to speak to Carol and get her information so I could fed ex her letter to her. Thank goodness I paused and listened, there is a good chance I would have signed HER paper and messed it all up! Or stuck it in my "pile" you know the pile that needs filed that is just a growing mess? ugh!

The sad part in all of this is that my friend Leigh(we met online during the wait) did NOT get her loa. She was just a few days behind me. Her daughter Emma is with Mavery. (same agency) We have just figured we would get them together, travel together, and knew it would be so perfect for our girls to leave together. We are still praying that hers will be here soon, and we might still end up being able to go together somehow. Say a prayer for her if you will.

So now what? We get to WAIT some more! Isn't that the adoption motto, wait, get excited wait? We send in our letter, it gets to China and we WAIT for our TA.(travel approval) THEN we Wait some more to get a date in china! In reality? We would LOVE to be in China next month. Is it going to happen? I have no idea. But for now, I am peaceful. Mavery turns 3 on November 1st and my prayer is that we have in our arms by then. There are a lot of things going on in China. The Olympics for one being a huge deal. I can't imagine that is not going to back things up for me. Then, there is a national holiday, which means nothing can happen over there during that time. THEN, there are these trade fairs that go on that means the hotels are outrageous or not available. 2 of our girls have birthdays in October. We don't want to be away for those if it is possible. Right now I feel good about travel. Mark believes this should last about a week! TA's have been coming on average 3 weeks after loa. So we should know more then.

Right now, I am just on my knees in thanksgiving to our Father. I have been on edge ever since they questioned the medical. So it is a HUGE relief just knowing that we are good. Mavery is officially ours in their eyes to. We are going to CHINA! By Christmas time, our arms will be full of FIVE kids. Life is good, God is good. We are blessed.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

EIGHT IS GREAT, Happy Birthday Sawyer!

Sawyer began the day with breakfast in bed, compliments of Makenna! Sawyer & I had lots of fun building his turtle!

He was excited to get a new webkinz from Grammy & Papa
And as you can see, very excited about a few other things to!

So excited he could not stand it!

8 candles on the cake!! takes alot of energy to blow that many out!

Friday, August 1st was a PERFECT Day! And I would like to go into details on why it was so perfect, but this is Sawyers post and so we will save that. But of course being that it was Sawyers birthday was some of the perfect part!

Sawyer started the day with breakfast in bed, compliments of his oldest sister. She loves that part, and we love that she always loves to do that for us! Then Sawyer and I had a morning out, just the 2 of us. He had received a gift card for build a bear (thank you Neace Family! ) and was anxious to finally build something of his own.
On our drive to the mall Sawyer said "wouldn't it be PERFECT if we got news about Mavery today mom, we would never forget that!" Hmmmm...(He also said he needed a brother with a birthday of September 1st, so that we would have kids birthdays on 8/1, 9/1, 10/1 & 11/1, I told him to take that up with God and his Dad!)
We built his turtle with the karate outfit of course! It comes with belts for every level, which he is excited about.
We enjoyed hot chocolate at Starbucks for a treat. (despite it being HOT outside)
We had lunch at Denny's, his choice. My kids have a Denny's addiction.
We spent the evening at Bible School for the final night, how great is that to spend your birthday evening with all your friends!
We were blowing out candles at 1030 pm. The kids thought we were AMAZING to let them stay up that late eating CAKE! (We thought we were crazy, but what do you do, we were on clean up crew. Oh yeah, we were on set up crew and work all week in bible school crew to!)
Sawyer said it was his BEST birthday ever! I was sure it was because he got a date with his mom! I love this boy of mine. Our prince in a house full of princess'. The one who at 8, gets excited to hang out with mom and holds my hand when we are out walking around. Who never stops talking and who makes me laugh with his imagination & witty sayings. He has such a tender heart and hurts for those who are hurting. He is WAY smarter than I am at all things electronic and is very into his video games. Every movie we see or story we hear, he has it turned into a video game in his head and I am sure someday will be designing games.
On the way to the mall on Friday he said, "mom, do you realize I almost have FOUR sisters!" that is more than most people have kids!, that is ALOT of girls"! Yes, it is. And we are thankful for our boy in that mix. Happy Birthday Sawyer!