28 June, 2013

Photo Friday

Mae started ballet and gymnastics yesterday.  This was before her class and since this picture doesn't do it justice... she was crazy excited about going to dance class. 

This is the funniest to me:: I asked her to point her toe like a ballerina and this is what she did.  She will learn soon what I mean (:

26 June, 2013


Something very special came in the mail for us... this is the first gift we've gotten for Ian and Jovie.  This little package came from Ashley, a very special friend that I met during Mae's adoption (Ashley's blog).  She adopted her daughter Lily from Mae's orphange and traveled to get Lily several months ahead of us.  She actually saw our baby girl while they were there visiting the orphanage.  Having Ashley's pictures of Mae was amazing and since then we have shared the joys of our sweet daughters that knew each other long before we knew them.  They are bonded in a very special way.  Mae + Lily

The outfits made me cry. I can see all our sweet babies in these clothes!  It's almost unreal still... and here are three tiny sets of clothes.

24 June, 2013

Monday Funday :: Paper Globe

 I found this neat little paper globe available for download here: La Paper Globe
You can go there and print your own and put it together. 

Today's project involved an X-acto knife so this was more for me than for Mae.  She did enjoy the end product though, and it's a great learning tool. I highlighted China in pink and the US in green.

  • I used an X-acto knife, cutting mat, ruler, a bone folder, and glue —There are full instructions on the site
I chose to make my globe the easy way and only printed the first 4 pages.  The original design makes an inner skeleton that would make this globe super strong. I printed ours on thicker 100# paper and after gluing it all I feel like ours is plenty strong. 
As soon as Mae saw the finished globe she immediately started telling me where she thought Ian and Jovie were and how we were going to fly to get them.  She is ready to meet her brother and sister!!

We have our LID

Log-in date

That is not lid, as in the lid to your crock pot.  It is an acronym for Log-In-Date. There are a lot of acronyms in the adoption world and it gets a little confusing. I needed a refresher on all of them but basically your LID simply means that China has acknowledged receipt of our paperwork. Our dossier will be translated and reviewed and then we will be given final approval to adopt Ian and Jovie—called LOA (Letter of Acceptance). Our agency would estimate about 2 months for LOA but China has recently gone with an all new system and they have no idea if that will speed things up or slow them down.   So for a point of reference in this process... our agency says we should be in China 4-7 months from LID.  
But we are praying it happens faster than that for us.

We have sent a letter from the cardiologist that explains the the urgent need to get Jovie the surgery her heart needs.  We ask you to pray with us for a fast and expedited adoption. Jovie was born with significant cyanotic congenital heart disease and this is not compatible with long or medium term survival in the absence of corrective heart surgery. Jovie has been able to survive to date due to an auxiliary source of pulmonary blood flow. This supply is limited and will disappear with time, leaving her without enough blood flow to her lungs to support life. As her condition will continue to deteriorate with time, any efforts that could be made to expedite her adoption would increase the likelihood of a successful surgical repair. 

  • Please, please pray for health during these months of waiting.

22 June, 2013

Another Garage Sale

This morning came early! We had one last garage sale... This time we switched locations to my parent's house. I had expectations to make maybe $250 today.  I just wanted to make as much as we could but didn't want to have much of anything left over. None of our items were big... But somehow to my amazement we made $640 today.  Honestly, I don't see how.  We had a whole lot of $1 item sales and I think the Lord just multiplied our money (: 

So once again we worked hard, had fun together and we met a ton of terrific folks. My other goal was accomplished too... when we looked around at the end of the sale we hardly had anything at all left.  So tonight I am a little emotional in saying thank you Jesus for bringing the people into my life that donated all the items, my family that worked so hard for us, and bringing all the people down the driveway today.  I got the opportunity to talk about Ian and Jovie a lot today.  It was so good. 

21 June, 2013

Photo Friday

A friend gave us a precious wagon with a trailer... See how perfect it will be for towing around our three?? I love looking at it and knowing it won't be too long until we are putting it to use! And Mae loves it now. 

And I found this double stroller at goodwill this week for $36! That's a great deal right? So we are starting to get a few things in place and it feels great. Hopefully we'll be able to start on their room soon, then I can really get excited when I look at their little beds (: 

Just a cutie-pie that loves her Elmo slippers!

18 June, 2013

Ian's beginning

Last week I was told about a Chinese blog from someone in Pingdingshan. I went to the blog and there are hundreds of pages of children abandoned... several posts in a day with different babies, all with special needs.  The site is in Chinese, so I used google translator and started going through it, hoping to find our son here. I found the post in April 26, 2011 when our son's estimated birthday is and just a few days later there were these pictures of him.  I knew it was Ian before I saw his name there, "Zhou TianYou"... and I bawled. The description written about him was alarming.  He was in critical condition and the hospital that they took him to could not preform the surgery he needed.  It went into more details than we were given in his file and I would not have known how sick he was... I would not have known the woman who saved his life.
I have since learned a little more about the author of this blog and why she had our son's picture posted. She is a nurse at the hospital in Pingdingshan and she specifically takes in the children that need urgent care but  are orphaned. These children are in need of life-saving surgery but there is no one to pay the bill.  This nurse is named Ms. Zhu, and she is a believer. I am crying now even writing this. God is using this woman to save the life of countless children, God's children. She is answering His calling at a great risk too.  It is not easy in China for a woman in this situation and she is going through difficult days as her husband just left her and her daughter. She has several sisters who help her in the work (they have been known as the 3 sisters). Ms. Zhu posts about these children to share with the Chinese community in order to raise funds to help these children, my son. She also works in remote villages and helps other Chinese Christians who help orphans.

So I have another piece of the puzzle to Ian's life—3 precious pictures of him as a newborn, and a person to continually keep in my prayers, Ms. Zhu.  You better believe I will be looking for her in heaven!! I am so grateful to have found this, but the weight of it about crushes me if I think about it too long. It is so difficult not knowing our children's past, not having any pictures, not knowing anything about their history, the people that loved them, the people they came from, and it is especially hard not knowing their present. I desperately want to know what Ian and Jovie are doing right now... and are they okay? It is tremendously difficult not being in our children's lives right now and missing this time. God has once again shown us HIS faithfulness in being there when we can not.

Ian was born just two week after we left China with Mae. We were home celebrating our first Easter when he was born.  At the time, I didn't even know of our son... but God has known all along, and I trust in His plan.

I just have to say, look at our baby boy's lips... those are the same lips I can't wait to kiss.

17 June, 2013

Monday Funday:: Cork Boats

Kid's Craft: cork boats

 Kid's Craft: Cork Boats

 Mae and I made little sail boats out of a few wine corks, some origami paper I had, a glue gun, tooth picks and a penny. These are so simple to make and were a fun activity for us today... since Mae's little pool was filled up. Mae loved to see her miniature boats floating around in her pool.  We tied a string to them so she could pull them around.  A couple times she tugged a little too hard and they turned over... eventually the sails were all wet and that made them unbalanced, so they didn't stay upright anymore.  We just pulled them out to dry for later.  I would like to replace the sails with something that could get wet though... any ideas? I was thinking of a colorful plastic package, maybe some sort of snack bag? I will keep a look out.

Cork BoatsCork Boats
Cork Boats
Cork BoatsCork Boats
Cork Boats

Father's Day

One of the most precious gifts of my marriage is seeing Cody as a father.  I love the moments when I can eavesdrop on Cody and Mae having tea parties or playing dolls and yes, my big strong, manly husband even talks for his doll in a high pitched voice. I am amazed by his patience with Mae, when each project he does she asks to help... and inevitably slows him down. I asked Cody last night what sentimental thing does he hold dearest, and to my amazement he said it was the projects that he and Mae build at Home Depot. This is something I want Mae to know one day. I knew from the moment in China that Cody had this little girl in his arms that she would have him wrapped around her little pinky forever. I love watching him melt when she comes running to him. Her daddy loves her with a passion. Ever since we began this adoption process Cody and I have been one in our decisions, shared the same joys and the same heartache. I have been blessed immeasurably to have my best friend to share in this beautiful adventure. To our children: your daddy is a man who will always stand by his family, take care of you, pray for you, fight for you, love you unconditionally, and treasure every day with you. 

Here's a sweet video celebrating daddy...
here's Mae's answers for the questionnaire,
  • My favorite thing to do with my daddy is: make tent
  • My daddy is the best at: laugh
  • What i love most about my daddy is: kiss 
  • My daddy always says: goodbye
  • I make my daddy happy when: I stomp
  • My daddy makes me laugh when: play shadow puppets
  • If i could give my daddy any present in the world, i would give him: mac 'n cheese

14 June, 2013

It's all about Daddy

daddy questionnaire, free printable
I've made a cute questionnaire that you can use as a gift for“Daddy” for Father's Day.  You can download it here & make your own. This will be a neat keepsake to see how your child's answers change from year to year.  It will be fun to hear what Mae says about her daddy... Hope you have a GREAT weekend celebrating Daddy!!

Photo Friday

Thank you!

12 June, 2013

A Raffle

Durable Toys makes the very best in quality toys... these are toys built the way our parent's had toys! Their tricycles are so durable that they can even be passed down to the next generation.  We are so grateful to durable toys in allowing us to have one of their amazing trikes to auction!!!

Please read more about this amazing trike here

Wouldn't this make an exceptional Birthday or Christmas Present?

Our goal is to reach $1500 with this raffle. We will pick a winner for this trike on August 1st.  So please help us by buying raffle tickets and you could be the lucky winner!

 Buy Tickets on our Raffle Page.

10 June, 2013

Monday Funday :: Paint with Bubbles

 This little project was tons of fun!! 
All you need is:
  1. Water
  2. bowls (round work best with your round bubble)
  3. paint (tempera paint or acrylic paint worked well too)
  4. dish soap (we used dawn)
  5. paper (preferably water color paper)
  6. straws


Just blow into your bowls to create loads of bubbles (this is fun all by itself) and then gently place your paper on top of the bubbles.  Your paper may pop the bubbles or you may lift it off and then pop them.  The result of the popped bubbles is this awesome pattern on your paper.  If you try it and your bubbles are too faint, just keep adding more paint until you get the color you want.

We found that the bigger bubbles didn't work as well as the medium to small bubbles.  I guess the smaller bubbles hold more paint.

Mae loves bubbles (what kid doesn't, right?) so she especially loved this project.  
This would make a beautiful card don't you think? 

Please let me know if you try it with your kids!
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09 June, 2013

Our Garage Sale

 We are so fortunate to have had almost everything for our garage sale all donated to us to help us raise money for our adoption.  Our garage was so packed we had to be strategic about packing it so we could even close the door. It was almost overwhelming... and would have been if I hadn't had my mom helping me all last week to get ready.  It took us a few days to sort and price... and we also decided we'd add cupcakes and lemonade too.  We baked 100 cupcakes! On Friday, bright and early my mom was there and so were two amazing women in my life... my Aunt Julie and Mrs. Shirley. They drove from an hour away to get there at the break of dawn to work with me.  If you've done a garage sale you know it is hard work but being together with awesome ladies made it so fun.  We made memories and money!! (:  Friday we had a swarm of people come too...  

On Saturday my mom was there for me again and this time my sister came to help... and my dad too (he watched Mae for me). Oh, I guess it would be good to mention Cody was out of town.  I seriously could not have pulled this off by a long shot without all the help from everyone.  Just look at the lengths my sister went in the picture below.  A neighbor bought a piece of exercise equipment and my amazing sister walked it up the hill 10 house up from ours.  In a dress no less (:


So we did fantastic... we raised a little over $900 in 2 days.  And if we had not made a single penny I still would have done it.  I can not tell you how many incredible people we met... we shared our children's story with many and I was so blessed by the hearts of strangers.  My hope is that we have put a positive image of adoption in someone's mind and possibly planted a seed.  After all, it took a stranger at a store to speak to me. (:

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