Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WOW

My mom sent me this email and as I was reading it, I felt like it was written just for me. Waiting for your child to come home can be very hard. Remembering just Who is in control of it all makes it so much easier!

Ten Guidelines From God

Effective Immediately,
please be aware that there are changes YOU need
to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be
completed in order that I may fulfill My promises
to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in
this life. I apologize for any inconvenience,
but after all that I am doing, this seems very
little to ask of you. Please, follow
these 10 guidelines

1. QUIT WORRYING:
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit
and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here
to take all your burdens and carry them for you?
Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little
thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST:
Something needs done or taken care of. Put it
on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY
to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care
of the problem. I can't help you until you turn
it over to Me. And although My to-do-list
is long, I am after all... God. I can take care
of anything you put into My hands. In fact,
if the truth were ever really known, I take
care of a lot of things for you that you never
even realize.

3. TRUST ME:
Once you've given your burdens to Me,
quit trying to take them back. Trust in
Me. Have the faith that I will take care of
all your needs, your problems and your trials.
Problems with the kids? Put them on My list.
Problem with finances? Put it on My list.
Problems with your emotional "roller coaster"?
For My sake, put it on My list. I want to
help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE:
Don't wake up one morning and say,
"Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think
I can handle it from here." Why do you think
you are feeling stronger now? It's simple.
You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking
care of them. I also renew your strength
and cover you in my peace. Don't you
know that if I give you these problems back,
you will be right back where you started?
Leave them with Me and forget about
them. Just let Me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME:
I want you to forget a lot of things.
Forget what was making you crazy.
Forget the worry and the fretting because
you know I'm in control. But there's one
thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't
forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU!
I want to hear your voice. I want you to
include Me in on the things going on in your life.
I want to hear you talk about your friends
and family. Prayer is simply you having
a conversation with Me. I want to be your
dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH:
I see a lot of things from up here that you
can't see from where you are. Have faith in
Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me;
you wouldn't want the view from My eyes.
I will continue to care for you, watch over you,
and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me.
Although I have a much bigger task than you,
it seems as if you have so much trouble just
doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE:
You were taught to share when you were
only two years old. When did you forget?
That rule still applies. Share with those who are
less fortunate than you. Share your joy with
those who need encouragement. Share your
laughter with those who haven't heard any in
such a long time. Share your tears with those
who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith
with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT:
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime
you could have so many diverse experiences.
You grow from a child to an adult, have children,
change jobs many times, learn many trades,
travel to so many places, meet thousands
of people, and experience so much. How can
you be so impatient then when it takes Me
a little longer than you expect to handle
something on My to-do-list? Trust in My
timing, for My timing is perfect. Just
because I created the entire universe in
only six days, everyone thinks I should
always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND:
Be kind to others, for I love them just
as much as I love you. They may not dress
like you, or talk like you, or live the same way
you do, but I still love you all. Please try
to get along, for My sake. I created each
of you different in some way. It would be
too boring if you were all identical.
Please, know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF:
As much as I love you, how can you not
love yourself? You were created by me for
one reason only -- to be loved, and to love
in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me.
Love your neighbors. But also love yourself.
It makes My heart ache when I see you
so angry with yourself when things go
wrong. You are very precious to me.
Don't ever forget......

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CNY


My friend Connie made this for me. Isn't she talented? I had been asking her for tips on digital scrapping and she surprised me with this. She's such a blessing!

Back in Business







Jeff picked me up a new CF card for my camera and all is right with the world. I have no idea what we did to ruin the last one (right in the middle of taking pictures-all of which we lost), but I hope it doesn't happen again. I *had* to test out the new card so I got some pics of Ryan, Allie, AnnaClaire and Jeff. AnnaClaire's breakdown was because I wouldn't let her keep the stick in her mouth once she had eaten her sucker.

Check Out Our Little Man...


All dressed up for Chinese New Year. Awwww! Day 50!!! Woo Hoo!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nothing New











My camera is not working...ugh...here are some old pics that I have been sorting through.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Anna Reese!




The very day that we inquired about Brady and found out that he probably already had a family, friends of ours announced that they were adopting a beautiful baby girl from Shantou. We were so excited for them and when we found out that Brady was going to be our son it made it all the more sweet to know that he would grow up with another Shantou sweetie. Today is little Anna Reese's second birthday. Her mom and dad so wanted to be able to celebrate this day with her but it didn't work out that way. They are on day 70 of their TA wait. Please join me in praying for Anna's health and that she will be united with her parents at the perfect time. Happy Birthday Hua Hua!




Above are some pictures of Anna and Brady taken last Fall. The baby in the middle of the second picture is a heart baby waiting for her papers to be sent to CCAA. Isn't she a doll?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

'Ginmastics'







Allie has been bugging me for months to sign her up for 'ginmastics'. I finally bit the bullet and she is now officially signed up. Last night was her first class. When I was little and took gymnastics, there was not one piece of equipment in the entire place. This gym has everything. Jeff said he felt like we were training her for the olympics. When Allie is in a new situation she can be rather clingy. Not this time. She marched right into her class and didn't bat an eye when we left (Parents watch through a mirrored window). She did exactly what they told her to do. She was such a good listener and took it all so seriously. They had drawings of hands and feet on the floor and equipment to show where to put your hands and feet and she was very careful to make sure she did each one exactly right. She had a great time and can't wait to go back next week. Jeff was off yesterday for President's Day and he came too but her first class was supposed to be last week when he wasn't off and he was going to come home early so he wouldn't miss her class (we ended up having to cancel because she was sick). He was just as excited about it as she was. He was even inviting people to come watch! Isn't that sweet?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Drama Queen

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Shantou Boys

Our agency (Children's House International) recently got their new list of waiting children. There were 6 Shantou kids on the list. Shantou is Brady's SWI. The 2 girls were scooped up right away but the 4 boys still wait for families. Two of the boys have not even had a single request to look at their files. This just breaks my heart. These boys are so precious. I am particularly drawn to one. He is CL/CP like Brady and he was born the day before Brady. If China, CHI and Jeff would let me, I'd bring him home too (don't worry, NONE of those three would ever agree!) He is CUTE AS PIE and I really want to see 'Has A Family' next to his name. If you know of anyone hunting for their son, please let them know about CHI's list. There are a lot of gorgeous kids on that list that need families!

Day 40

I am not whining or obsessing about the wait. Right now it is actually kind of easy (someone remind me of this when I am having a bad day). When we were waiting for the girls, I made a spreadsheet with our LID and marked off the days. It made me feel good for some reason. I guess because I could see that we were making progress. When we got Brady's LID, I made another spreadsheet. It has 20 days in each row and when I get to the end of a row I mark a big 'X'. Today, row #2 got the big 'X'. The spreadsheet has 7 rows (140 days) and if I am still marking off days when we get to the end of row #7, then I WILL be whining and obsessing!

Bathtime











Hair




I combed AnnaClaire's hair a different way the other day. It looks longer this way but it goes against the natural part.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My little talker



AnnaClaire has just taken off with talking. Last night I said something at the dinner table and she said, 'what did you say?' If I sneeze she says, 'bless you mom' and then I always say ' thank you' to which she says 'welcome'. She climbed up in the chair next to Allie yesterday and said 'Hey Allie!' She's keeping us entertained. If we show her a picture of Brady, she says 'Brady Daniel'. Here are some pics of her being her rotten self. When I take a picture of her with the digital camera she always wants to 'see', so that is why she is reaching for the camera in one picture. In the other, she kept asking me to take off her dress but would fight me when I tried to pull it over her head. I could seriously eat her up.

You Tell Me


Several people have asked if I have bought from Brady like I did for the girls when we were waiting for them. I'll let you decide. Here is some of what I have bought.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chinese New Year
















We had our celebration last night. This year was the best ever. The kids had a great time and we raised money for LOOK, a wonderful charity that helps older orphanage kids.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine Girls











Today our local China group, Our China Angels, had it's Valentine Playdate. Since Allie had on clothing for once, I took a few pics. The look on AnnaClaire's face in the third pic is 'Don't mess with the sippy!' I wanted to take some pictures without it, but I could get pics of a crying child without it or a non crying child with it. Click here to see how they have changed from last year.


For those keeping score, Allie has passed on the name Strawberry to AnnaClaire. Allie has decided that she will now be known as Blossom. She's got the most incredible imagination. Ryan had an imaginary friend named Tring when he was little but it was nothing like Allie and her imaginary friend. Allie's imaginary friend is Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a girl (what were her parents thinking?) and she teaches Allie lots of cool stuff. When we go to Ryan's ballgames Jeremiah sits on the side of the bleachers where Allie is not allowed to go. Jeremiah spends quite a bit of time at our house. Thank goodness she doesn't eat much!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Update


The Post Placement report has been overnighted to our former agency. Hopefully they will send it out quickly and I can exhale. I have decided to handle this like Jeff (dh) is. I'll do my part and then not worry about the rest (hey, isn't that what got us into this mess???). What I mean is that once I am sure that it has been mailed to China, there is no sense worrying about whether the report not being there sooner is going to delay us or cause us problems. It it out of our control so why obsess? If nothing else, this is making me more thankful that Brady was moved to Foster Care. At first, I was worried about it because I didn't want him to have so many disruptions in his life. If he was only with his foster family for a short time, why would he trust that he wouldn't be taken away from us after a while. Now that the wait for WC TAs has lengthened and we might have a delay because of the PP situation, it makes me happy to know that he is with a family that is loving him like their own. He deserves that. I hope that they show him the photo album that we sent and tell him about his Mama and Baba and brothers and sisters. I pray that God whispers in his ear that we are coming in His perfect time and that we love him so much and can't wait to hold him and kiss him and just breathe him in. It seems so far away, but it really isn't. Before we know it, he will have been home for months. Then we can relax and look at our family and smile because this is the family that God has made for us. How blessed are we? (The picture above is another older one. It's from last April also.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's Always *Something*


Sigh...Today I received an email from my Social Worker that the agency that we used to adopt AnnaClaire never received our 6 month Post Placement report. It was due EIGHT months ago. Our former SW had retired and the homestudy agency had not yet hired a new SW for this area so (after cancelling on me TWICE) the SW from Knoxville came up and did our post placement. Our first SW never sent us a copy of Allie's PP reports, so it didn't alarm me that I never got a copy of the report from her. I just assumed that she had sent it because surely our agency would let us know if they had not. WRONG! They never received it and never bothered to let us know that...not even when the PP director and I were emailing about the instructions for the 12 month PP report. It gets better:) The SW that I had the 6 month PP meeting with resigned from the HS agency and they can't get her to return calls inquiring about our report, nor can they find our report in her files or on her computer. So, we are scrambling trying to write up a report that should have been written 8 months ago. I had to visit some of my groups and cut and paste AnnaClaire 'updates' and email them to our currrent SW. I called the Doctor's office and got measurements from last June and I have printed out new pics. Our SW sent me the completed report for approval tonight. I hope that this does not affect Brady's adoption. I emailed my new agency and they said that it shouldn't be a problem but to get the report in RIGHT AWAY because China DOES check to make sure families have done them. If they go to review our file and it isn't there, I have no idea what will happen. Will they pull our file? Will they reject us? I was finally getting to a point in this adoption where I was feeling stress free. HA!
The picture above is from April 2005. It is one of the pics that I am sending in the report.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Awww!

Sometimes in the morning Allie will come down to our bed and ask to snuggle (She's been sleeping in her bed since Christmas...YEAH!). This morning she came to my side of the bed and asked to snuggle so I pulled back the cover for her to climb in. She snuggled right up to me and we were cheek to cheek. She inhaled and said,'You smell like beautiful'. I think that might be the sweetest compliment anyone has ever given me.

Diva Girl







Our good friends Gina and Daniel took Allie and AnnaClaire to Club Libby Lu back in December. Allie looked adorable with her fancy hair and makeup. She is such a girly girl and she LOVED it. Shortly after she returned home she went upstairs and was very quiet. We all know that is never a good sign. Seems Little Miss decided she needed a bit more makeup. She wasn't too happy to get caught in the act. Applying huge amounts of makeup must be very tiring because she soon conked out on Daddy.
The pictures are in the wrong order but I am too tired to fix them tonight...