Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas EVE !!!

Even though we miss all of our extended family that we usually spend the Holidays with and my Mother, who is several states away, is spending the night at the hospital after having a health scare, AND the fact that our hearts are aching for our little Mina, waiting for us in China. We did have a nice day with our little family. We went to a small church service, and then played at the park for awhile before coming home and having a big and festive dinner....

The kids picked out their favorite cookies to give to Santa, and spread reindeer food on the sidewalk in special little piles, one for each of Santa's reindeer.
"C." read "Twas the Night Before Christmas to the little kids, as they slurped down their eggnog, which is one of their very favorite parts of the holidays. Can you see our dog, Maggie, is even listening to the story! It is so neat to watch their big brother grow up and take such a big role in our families holiday traditions. He has such a big heart. I can't believe how much I love this kid... he impresses me daily, (and drives me nutty, and eats us out of house and home) but I couldn't be more proud.
What a great day. Sweet Mina our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we can't wait until Christmas next year, to celebrate the holidays with you. I hope you feel our love from half way around the world!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Old Lady

This kid just cracks me up. Since the day she was born we knew that she didn't much like being a baby. We call her Mama#2, and she would take over the house if we let her. We went to lunch to talk about what we wanted to make for Christmas Eve, Christmas Breakfast & Christmas Dinner, and yes she does help a lot. We made our list and had lunch. She had to call her Grandpa because he was on the long trip home, I had to snap this picture... she is my best bud. My old lady!

My Most UNfavorite Christmas Tradition

The Gingerbread House. We do it every year, I dislike it every year. This my most unfavorite Christmas Tradition, Such a mess, and you don't actually even eat it, well maybe J.C. picks some of the nasty candy off, but no one else eats it. Not sure why we even insist on doing it. Maybe next year we will scrooge this event?

But the kids do love it and it is something they all do together. Actually every year it gets easier because the kids take over. Look at me actually talking myself back into it already..........

The Big 4

Our Little guy had his 4th birthday just a few days after Mina's birthday and a few days before Christmas. (I am going to be very busy next year the week before Christmas). It is tough having a Birthday around the holidays, but we tried to have a super fun day. We spent the afternoon at Monkey Joe's with J.C.'s favorite buddy, and of course his most favorite buddy his big sister. Then we went to Chuck E'Cheese for dinner.
What an absolutely fun filled and exhausting day.
Happy 4th Birthday Baby!!! You have more personality than anyone I have every met. I can't wait to watch you grow. You are so full of life.

Sweet Mina's Birthday

We didn't get to spent Mina's first Birthday together. She was in our thoughts all day. It was heartbreaking to not be able to celebrate with her. We will have to make up for it next year. I did track the care package that we had sent to her and it was in China 4 days before her birthday, so hopefully she got a few goodies in time for her birthday.
We miss you sweet girl and we will never miss another birthday or Christmas with you!

First and Probably Last Ballet recital

What a proud day! Our little girl had her first and probably only ballet recital. She is quite shy so I didn't think she would get up on that great big stage, but she did it!!!! (or most of it at least, the first 1/4 she had her face in her hands and then she did about half of the steps. I was shocked. Well done baby girl. I asked her if she wanted to do ballet again and she said, "no, it's boring, I just like to do the shows, I'd rather play soccer" That's my girl.

We went out to dinner to celebrate and the waitress brought out a big chocolate sundae which she shared with her little brother. Not such a good move.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We have a baby sister!!

We finally told the kids our exciting news about their new baby sister!!! We were trying to hold out because we know the wait will be confusing and hard on them, but we wanted to make sure the good news came from us, and not well intentioned friends and family.... Our sweet girl, who we nicknamed Momma#2 is so excited to be a big sister, she shows everyone pictures of her baby sister and made this Christmas ornament with Mina's picture in it. Tomorrow will be a bit tough in the waiting process because it is Mina's first birthday. We are going to make a cake and have a little family party, Momma#2 wants to know why we can't call Mina and sing her happy birthday. I had to say we don't know her phone # yet, but hey,,,, I want to know why too. Why can't I wish my baby happy birthday??? It will be a bittersweet day tomorrow...
Baby J. on the other hand was quite excited about the news of his new little sister, as it moves him up in the family ranks, He wanted to know if now that he was a big brother like "C." if he could play "bad guy video games" like "C" does on his X-box, because of course this is what all big brothers do... He also said he wanted his baby sister now, he didn't want to wait. When we said that we would have to wait a few months, the questions stopped and he went about his business, completely unphased. Oh, to be a self absorbed child.... what a gift!

Baby J's Christmas Program

Baby J. had his much anticipated Christmas program today. He had been practicing several songs everyday and teaching them to us. As he filed in with the rest of his class he had a smile from ear to ear. There were about 25 kids and J. was standing front and center. As he looked out in the crowd of parents and saw all of us he proceeded to turn around with his back toward the crowd for the rest of the entire program... he continued to sing all of the songs and do all of the hand jestures, just standing backwards. Then, as all of the kids took their "bow" he knocked heads with the sweet little girl behind him!!!! That's my boy! How funny. I couldn't be more proud of my little guy! What a character! Too funny...

Baby J's. favorite person in the whole world....Grandpa! We love having Grandpa around, he came to visit for a few weeks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our Baby Girl Has a Name!

We have decided on a name for our sweet Little girl waiting for us in China:
Mina Faith

We also mailed a care package to her today! We hope and pray that she actually recieves it. Here is a picture of what I crammed inside the shoe box sized box: A disposable camera, disposable video camera that takes 30 minutes of video, a soft blanket, baby socks, winter hat, soft pink bear/blanket snuggly thing, white prayer bunny, A "Who Loves Baby" photo album with everyone's picture holding the pink bear/blankie, And for her foster Family: Chocolate bars, Jelly Belly's, Altoids and Chapstick, but most importantly a letter to her caregivers expressing our gratitude for caring for her and a list of questions they will hopefully answer .I am hoping that whomever recieves this package will make sure that her caretakers recieve it and that they take pictures of Mina over the next few months, so that someday she will have a glimpse into her past.

Please continue to keep our little girl in your prayers. That she is safe and that she feels loved, also that God's hands is on our paperwork and our travel plans that everything go a smoothly as possible. Thanks
Family Christmas Tradition #2

Going to the Mountains to cut down our Christmas tree!!

C" sitting with "scary santa" Quite the set-up

You can really see Papa's O.C.D. in full swing when it comes to picking out the PERFECT tree. I stay out of it!

Family Christmas Tradition #3 Decorating the Christmas tree with Carol's blasting and sipping egg nog. We love to pull out all of the old ornaments that the kids have made. Such Memories!

"Tis the Season"

This is always a crowd pleaser.... what a beautiful day in our city.

This was the first year the little man skated. He actually did quite well. He has NO fear, as he knows someone will always be holding him.

C- On his hourly feeding schedule!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We have a bit of news on the adoption front!
We have our PA (pre approval from China) in our hands! It was actually issued on 11/12/07 but I received it today 11/29/07. We have also sent in our Dossier. Which for those of you who are curious consist of :
  1. Our Homestudy
  2. Both of our Birth Certificates
  3. Our Marriage Certificate
  4. Complete Physicals for both
  5. Police Clearance
  6. Fingerprints and Clearance from the Department of Homeland Security
  7. Financial Statements
  8. Employment Letters

All of these things needed to be individually:

  1. notarized
  2. Authenticated from either FL or NC
  3. Authenticated from the US Dept of State in DC
  4. Authenticated by the Chinese Consulate!!!!

What a massive amount of paperwork but now it is DONE!!!! Now we get to settle in for the waiting game. They say from this point it is about 100 days to get an LOA. That is an average could be 40 days could be 140 days (just to keep us frazzled).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

Billy Mays (The Oxiclean infomercial Guy)

So much fun!!!!

Our little guy was a bit upset when his big sister got to go to preschool in her costume and get her face painted in the morning. So we quickly painted his face!
Papa Smurf is a bit scary I think! I could not be convinced to play along. We did have fun at our "grown up" Halloween party!

Standing on the steps waiting to pass out candy.
Carving pumkins for Halloween on the back deck.

What cuties! They loved dressing up and had a super fun day!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our little girl loves her ballet class, what a cutie pie.

The rarity of getting all 3 kids in one photo and they all have their eyes open!!! I love it when that happens!

Going through all my crazy dossier paperwork!!!! What an overwhelming mess. Each piece of
paper is one step closer to our little China girl. Any name suggestions would be welcomed. We really want something with the meaning of brave, courage, or strong. Our little girl is being so brave right now and she doesn't even know it. We can't wait to take care of her.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lets try this out!

My first posting on a blog, I can't believe it. I never thought that I would be doing this but it is a great way to jounal what is going on at our house. Right now we are loving the beautiful fall , enjoying the kids and working on bringing our littlest one home from China.

Our LOI went to China on 10/22/07 !!!! I am probably being way to optimistic to hope for a PA (pre approval from China) by Thanksgiving, but I am just going to hope and keep up the paperchasing to bring our little girl home! What a pumpkin!

This is our newest updated picture and info :
Now 10 months. She always has a lovely smile on that little face of hers. She has these half-moon shaped eyebrows above her big and round eyes; makes her look like a little angel. She can say: “Nanny!” and is friendly to everybody. She laughs easily. Her developments are normal; can “walk” in the walking chair; can hold the feeding bottle on her own; can stand for a brief moment when holding on to a wall or a chair on her own; she can play with a toy handed to her for a long time. She likes the crowds. She never sleeps during the day; loves to watch TV and often dances with the tunes on TV. She usually sleeps at 8pm ; then she will sleeps till 6am. She drinks milk twice a day and eats rice 3 times a day. She also eats some crackers and fruits as supplementary food.

Our First Photo: