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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

She has a NAME !

The name Finnley means: Fair Warrior , we think it is fitting. 
And now our 3 girls middle names are Grace, Faith & Joy..
We are all referring to her as Finn, We will most likely only use "Finnley Joy" when she is in trouble.. but that will never happen, not with this sweet little face!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Mina had a playdate at the park with her buddy.  These girls are Sooooo cute together.  Mina is working her "2 year old" status like nobody's business.  We are working on screaming and sharing these days.  The girls had a fun time while us Mommies chatted about China and adoption paperwork timelines. I feel so lucky to be in this agonizing wait process with someone else, and having these two girls together is just about the funniest thing ever.  They are characters these two!   

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What having a LOTTA kids looks like, really

I was just looking through some old pictures, and found this one. When we were at the beach this summer, I had tried not to wreck every moment by trying to get the perfect photo, so I bribed everyone with the promise of one evening, one hour of me being the Mommy who screams... "look over here, smile, move your arm, open your eyes!!"
I was bummed when I first took this picture, the sun was setting the lighting was perfect, beautiful backdrop, but my littlest subject was just not having it. Now I love it, maybe not hang over the fireplace worthy, but this is what it really looks like to be one of our kids! Can you tell everyone is trying to convince Mina to turn around and sit with them, because the sooner she cooperates the sooner Mommy will be done. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


This right here does a Mommy's heart so good.  I can't believe how tiny she looks, she hasn't changed a bit.   She has quite the hairstyle,  It looks like they are letting a little patch grow right up front. I think she is a BEAUTY!  I'm a proud mama already!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day.

Snow Day!!  This was our family at 7:30 a.m. this morning! Don't you see the extra little spot, right there next to Mina? 

My little Mama... a.k.a.  "Mama 2", she has never picked up a baby doll, can't stand it but she LOVES to be a Mama's helper.. Thank goodness for this kid..I so try not to take advantage, but her little face lights up if I LET her change a diaper... Nice

What a neat day, Collin and his buddy watching the Inaugural Speech and drinking hot chocolate after a game of football in the snow. 

Warming up

Big "Props" to all you Mommy's who live in the North!!  I can't even imagine...  3 rounds of wet clothes, 3 rounds of Hot chocolate  all before 10:00 a.m.  .  What a mess, ohh but such fun, especially since we only do it once or twice a year. 

Update, hopefully photos SOON

So my Rockin' Case worker at my agency made a few phone calls directly to the Orphanage!!  Our little girl got back to the orphanage yesterday.  She said she was going to get new photos for us soon.  (Soon, like how soon, like now, like today, tomorrow, next week... I'm getting antsy can you tell!) I am posting the photos that I have been staring holes in the past few weeks,  I bet we will see a bunch of changes.. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Uhhh, Amy, the text doesn't match the photos...

Waiting... If nothing else the adoption process is like a patience pressure cooker... Adoptive mommies that are holding a photo of their child know the feeling I feel in the pit of my stomach. Waiting for our daughter is excruciating.
Another family traveled yesterday to our little girls orphanage, they took lots of pictures for waiting families, our little girl is still not back at the orphanage. I am guessing that she is still in the hospital, although the Mom that was there was told that our 1 year old daughter was doing paperwork, not sure what that means. It was a bit like salt in the wounds and it put me in a sad place.
The only way I can relate the feeling is if someone were to take Kobi away from me, put her in the hospital, and not give me any information other than I could pick her up in a few months.. It feels that horrible. Just because I have never held this child in my arms, she is my daughter, I knew her face the second I saw it. I knew she was the plan God had for my life. We will raise this little girl, see her through Kindergarten, tea parties, soccer games, teenage angst, college, weddings and grandbabies.... I am having a harder time than I expected waiting this time around. I thought my busy household would ease the constant wonder.
I am praying that we receive word on our daughter soon, maybe she is getting better care in the hospital than she would at the orphanage and in that case I hope she can hang out there a bit longer, Maybe there are some nurses that are loving on her like crazy! I am also praying that we have the quickest paperwork turnaround that China adoption has ever seen.

Oh, and because I got a different camera today.. I took photos of the kids playing, and I think they are super cute...
This is the face that I get to kiss, when I tuck this child in for a nap!  Am I the luckiest Mommy in the world or what!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The importance of Education, lesson 1

Two weeks ago, Marc took Jackson to a monster truck show..  What 5 yr old boy wouldn't love that. Jackson sure did and he has been talking about it daily ever since...  He has even changed his career path..  He used to want to be a killer whale trainer, ever since a visit to Seaworld last spring, but now he wants to be a Monster truck driver.

 So today, while we were waiting on the front steps for Kobi to come home from Kindergarten, I commented to Jackson that I can't believe he will be starting kindergarten next year.   He looked at me quite puzzled and said " I am not going to Kindergarten, I am going to be a Monster truck driver."  

  Come on how cute is that... needless to say,  quite a long discussion about the importance of education ensued.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Any Suggestions?

We had a hyped up family movie night this past weekend and it was actually nice.  The kids are NOT  tv watchers, which is a blessing and a curse.  They are not big into any cartoony movies. My 6 yr. old daughter has yet to sit through any of the cartoon "Princess" movies.  I picked a movie that I hadn't seen since "C" was little.  Jumanji... the kids LOVED it, actually sat through the whole thing and were completely entertained, needless to say we did have a ton of snacks and buttery salted popcorn.  I think it may have been a bit too much though.  It seemed scarier than I remember?  Anyone have any good family movie suggestions...they need something that doesn't start to slowly since they are not the type to sit and watch TV normally..  I would love suggestions.  Want to try to make it a weekly or bi-weekly thing.  Thanks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thought for the day..

So they say that some people look like their pets.... Whatcha think about Collin with his new not so furry friend?

DIY girls!

We tried our hand at making our own sushi tonight. Kobi and I had a little assembly line going. We watched a "how to" y*utube video and headed to the grocery. Now don't get too impressed, we just did California rolls because I wasn't brave enough to mess with raw fish, not yet at least. I was so surprised.. it turned out great!! We made at least 60 pieces and it was gone in minutes.. all the kids ate it too. Fun stuff, we definitely will do it again soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


L.I.D. ,check!
I have been waiting not very patiently for our LID date, and we got it 12-26-08!  This is our "Log In Date" which means the day the China Adoption Affairs office started processing our dossier paperwork!  The next mighty beautiful piece of paper we wait for is our LOA, this usually takes over 2 months, so now we settle in for the waiting game.. I don't like waiting, but I'm am getting much better at it.  Who knew it was an acquired skill.   That being said, I would do just about anything to jump on a plane to China right this very second with only the clothes on my back to get my baby girl. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update of sorts??

I emailed my China contact this morning & she spoke with our daughters orphanage.  They told her that our daughter was still in the hospital and it is likely that she has some type of infection. She will probably be there a while longer.  We will continue to pray that she is well, and my heart will continue to ache to hold her and care for her.  Thanks to all of you who have followed along with concern, I wanted to give you an update even though it is not much info. Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated!  I will also have to wait just a little longer for updated photos.  I already know that I will be shocked to see how much she has grown since this first photo over 7 months ago.  

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bomb shell and house cleaning....

That is a pretty unworthy topic if you aren't up with the happenings of our family...  We have some BIG news!!! We are adopting another little girl from China and we couldn't be happier!!!  A month or so ago I started a new blog to chronicle our journey, having no idea that things would move as quickly as they did.  I wanted to be transparent for the adoption community but we were not ready to tell everyone of our plans until we were a little closer.   To say things have gone down fast in an understatement.  So now I have two blogs... I like keeping up the blog, but I also do not think I am blogworthy & interesting enough to hold an audience for 2 seperate www.'s .  In trying to figure how to fix this I have decided to basically Cut & Paste my new blog into this, our family blog.   So if things are a little messy I apologize.... but sometimes you have to make a mess to get it all picked up, right?  If we haven't personally told you of our big news, Surprise!!!  Here are all the details to get you up to speed if you so choose... (you can see the dates if it gets confusing)..

Here we go!!!
So I have started this new blog to journal our next journey to China... It was really a toss up if we should add to our family blog or start a new one. We decided to start this for a few reasons, we really would like to be a bit more transparent on our adoption process than we were the last time. We have kept things really sugar coated ecspecially for our families that would have way too much input an advice to offer. I have really struggled with this because I know we shouldn't care how others view what we are doing as a family. But we also love our families very much, what we feel as them not being supportive, really comes from a place of love and worry on their side. All that being said, we were not ready to lay it all out there that we are starting the adoption process again.When we adopted Mina we were very secretive about our plans. We didn't really want all the questions from family and friends that come with all of the unknowns about adoption. When are you going to China? Why are you going to China? Are you sure you want to do this? You already have 3 kids, your crazy, you guys really want 4 kids? I am pretty much an open book, I am not the type to keep things in, but for this... only a few of my closest friends knew about our adoption plans before we had Mina's photo and we were counting down the days for our trip. Secrecy does have its upside, When we did receive the questioning from the "not so supportive" few, it was pretty much a non-issue. Mina was our daughter, no matter what anyone had to say. Marc and I would love to have the support of our family and friends but it surely isn't the most important thing to us. So as much as I love posting cute photos of my kids (they are pretty darn cute), I know that most people who read this blog are adoptive families as well. I am committed to tell our story for them and for the people who are considering opening their families to the blessing of adoption. It will be great to be able to share how God works this out from start to finish. A few months ago Marc and I prayed that God would let our hearts be content with our family and that he would either take away our desire to adopt or make it a possibility. Over the past few months we have come to the realization that we both strongly feel like we have another child waiting for us in China!!! We do truly believe that this is God's plan for our lives and we are leaving it up to him to show us the way. That is what will be so great about journaling this entire process start to finish.. And being completely transparent about the whole thing... We expect God to show up in a big way... We started the process yesterday!! We want to adopt another child from China!! We will go through the China Special Needs program, just like we did with Mina. We have NO idea how long the process will take but we are looking forward to the journey. A few months ago we started to pray that God would show us how we could financially be ready for another adoption so soon. A few days later Marc's job security was ripped out from under him. We were crushed on many different levels. Please pray that his company either decides to keep his division (this is still up in the air and will be for awhile) or that he finds another job. (this is yet again why our families have HUGE reason to worry, ecspecially in this wonderful economic situation we find ourselves in.) We really feel like we are meant to move forward in this adoption process even though logic may say otherwise. Now it is out of our hands... I'm am excited to see how it works out!A day or two after the news of his job, our Pastor wrote the following on his blog...
When God answers by fire
October 15th, 2008
“…The god who answers by fire-he is God.”
1 Kings 18:24

What do you do when you really need rain, but instead, God answers by fire?

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah declares to the people that God is going to show up and prove himself after 3 years of drought. And God does exactly that.
When it hasn’t rained in over 3 years, and you hear that God is about to show up, wouldn’t you expect him to show up by sending rain?

I wonder how many of us are praying for God to send rain into an area of our lives, but it seems like He’s turning up the heat instead?
-Praying for God’s provision…but the bank account continues to dip
-Praying for God to grow your church…but another disgruntled faction just took their tithe and moved their membership elsewhere
-Praying for God to heal your marriage…yet your husband seems to be getting colder and more resistant by the day

It can be difficult to trust the intention of God when He’s forecasting more fire in your already scorched situation.
God eventually did send the rain that Israel so desperately needed. But first He had to reveal His glory and authenticate His sovereignty by fire.

God often answers by fire before He sends the rain.
The fire incinerates our altars of idolatry, and burns away all of the false securities that we tend to trust in.
That way, when the sky finally opens, and the rain starts to pour, there’s no doubt:
He is God.

God showed up big yesterday!

This was me yesterday, and a bit this morning... Oh, the paperwork,,,Yes, I said paperwork... Let me just say, God showed himself in a big way yesterday. This is already shaping up to be a fun journey, I have a feeling it is going to knock my socks off. I can't say much more than that yet... Oh, but I just can't wait until I can... Curious???

We sent a LOI (letter of intent to adopt) to China yesterday! A little girl with the same SN as Mina, and a full year younger. We had really prepared our hearts for an older child, and we were comfortable with that, we were shocked when we saw this baby's sweet face. I was looking forward to being done with diapers and the 18 month old "point and grunt" means of communication. But one look at this child, knowing that we feel comfortable with this rare SN, reading about her little personality - Diapers and sippy cups HERE I COME!!! We are full of hope that we will receive our PA (pre-approval) in the next few weeks so we know we can bring her home. I can't share a photo yet, but she is absolutely, positively the cutest little thing,,, It took one look to know God was getting our hearts ready for this child.

PA (Pre-approval to adopt)
We received our PA from China today! Which means we can share the cuteness of our new daughter. Something about seeing her photo for the first time made my heart leap, it truly felt like I have always had this little face on my heart. This photo is about 6 months old so I am looking forward to seeing updated pictures, hopefully soon. I can't wait to get to China and kiss these cheeks, can you blame me?

The not so pretty side of the paperwork!
My 4 year old (soon to be 5) took this photo of me this morning, this is how the kids have been seeing me lately. At a table full of paperwork, unwashed hair in a ponytail, and sweatsuit to boot. It's like a new level of Mommy guilt. I hate that my dossier paperwork is in my hands. I feel like every day that I hold on to it is another day that our sweet girl waits for us. So to say I have be a bit neurotic is an understatement. We have our last homestudy visit tonight, and my SW Rocks! so we should have our completed homestudy in a matter of days. Other than that we are just waiting on Marc's physical on Monday and we will be DONE! Hopefully we can have all of our documents certified & authenticated and on their way to China well before Christmas. The flip side of the Mommy guilt is that the 4 kiddos have a very preoccupied Mommy this week, one who made up a game called "SQUIRREL" which is played by their pathetic Mother hiding a bag of (shelled)mixed nuts in the backyard so they can look for them easter egg style. Did I mention that NONE of my kids watch TV, ever... so I do have some type of excuse for turning my children into scavengers...

A little bit closer...Marc and I set our alarm for 4:00 a.m. and headed out for the 3 hour drive to the Secretary of States office to get our documents authenticated. (Thanks baby for taking the day off of work to accompany & appease your over anxious wife) It was a looooonnnngg day, and let's just say the workers at the Sec. of St. office were in no particular hurry to authenticate our documents. It is their policy- if you get their before 10:00a.m. that they will get them back to you the same day, but we had to wait alllll day. We did save about 4 days of our paperwork either on someone's desk or on a Fed-ex truck so it was worth it. Mina was exhausted by the end of the day. At this very moment our dossier paperwork is winging its way to D.C. for it's final stamp of approval before heading to China!!! Head over to our family blog, here for a funny (at least I think so) story about our little road trip to the State Capitol!

My kind of Beautiful...They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... Well, it may not look like much to some, but this is as beautiful as it gets in this Momma's eyes. An entire authenticated at 3 different levels, fully ready to go to China -dossier!!! Now that's PUR-DEEEE! I made Mina hold it with me as I prayed that our paperwork would find it's way to China safe and sound and that this little stack of paper would move from desk to desk and room to room in China as quickly as possible, and all who touch it show favor to it and get us to China with record breaking speed. I feel a hundred pounds lighter knowing that our baby girl is not waiting for her Mommy to get her papers ready, Now we wait, and right now waiting feels good! Now ask me that question again next month and I will probably be done waiting... but for now all is well.Now can I have my baby sister?
DTC (Dossier to China)

As I type this my dossier is in the air, winging its way to China!!! DTC, Baby!

Our little girl celebrated her first birthday on December 23rd, we had sent her a care package and a birthday cake through a service in China. We were hoping and praying for new updated photos and information about our precious daughter. Instead we got word that she is in the hospital and could not receive her package. We have a little bit of conflicting information as to why exactly she is in the hospital. We have peace that she is well of and we are fervently praying for her health and that she feels our love from the other side of the world. Please join us in praying for her. We will hopefully have more information soon and some new photos too!

Still no news or updates. Hopefully we will hear something soon. Thank you everyone for your prayers and emails. I will update as soon as I find out anything else. I have peace that she is okay, it would still be wonderful to get an update! We have almost settled on a name. Once we are positive we will share. It might be hard to change at this point because we let our first choice slip and all the kids are calling her by name now. I hadn't really had the chance to scour baby name books (which I think is SOOO fun, really) so I am not ready to put it out there. I was also really hoping we would have our LID date by now so we could start counting down the days until we receive our LOA..

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Resolution (I just couldn't resist)

Ok, so this year, instead of shedding a few pounds, organizing my cupboards, or running a marathon ( all mighty fine goals, which I could stand to achieve) I resolve to make the DECISION to be happy.  I know this sounds small or cliche but I think it is really huge.  I remember when I was 12 or 13 years old and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I thought I was being a little miss smarty pants to reply "I just want to be happy".  I was really just trying not put myself in a little box by giving a straight answer, and probably because I didn't have a clue.  Maybe I was closer than I thought.  Because everyone wants to be happy,Right?   What I didn't realize was that Happiness is not a stage, a thing, a place, an award, an accomplishment, or a bulging bank account.  Happiness is a choice. No matter my circumstance, if I CHOOSE to be filled with joy it is all within my power. Worry is a choice!  Sadness is a choice! Bitterness is a choice!  Joy is a choice! Peace is a choice! Faith is a choice! Happiness is a choice!
It all sounds so simple, but to live it and really feel it is something that I am just starting to practice.  I used to think I was a better Mom because I worried about my kids, and lately I realize that I was just robbing myself and them of Peace and Happiness. I am guilty of thinking I would be happy if I just had ____ or if so and so would just ____. It feels so wonderful to let all of this go, but it is not always easy. It is a decision that I have to make daily and sometimes hourly because lets face it, sometimes it's all about the little things.  Sometimes my worrisome thoughts start to creep in...Like a fix to an addict..I have to choose to think of something else. Is their a 12 step program for this because I think it could be a certified addiction?  And because I am a child of the 80's... This is what I will post on my little vision board and my 'fridge to help me remember!Ok, so I am very sad to admit that my (younger than me) husband had no idea who this was... Sad, really sad. I thought I was being funny and that EVERYONE would get this but I guess not.  For the one other person out there who doesn't know who this is  you  MUST click here, right now just click here!!!  There is no way that you can be over 26 years of age and have not heard this at least a thousand times!