Friday, May 29, 2009


BIG news today!
We have received Travel Approval!!!
This is the LAST piece of paperwork we need from China in order to GO GET OUR BABY!

Now, don't stop the prayers! The swine flue is still causing some adoption problems....
We are waiting to get our Consulate appointment(CA) and get the OK to enter the Fujian province. Over the last few weeks some provinces have refused to allow Americans to enter. So pray, pray, pray that the flue will fizzle away and our appointments will go through next week.

Once we have our CA, then we book our fights! We have been collecting American Express points since we first got married (13 yrs) We are hoping to have enough points to purchase our airline tickets. So while your praying for the CA, would you mind praying for our airline tickets?

So if all goes well..........WE ARE LEAVING JUNE 25th!

And Elizabeth Day will be JUNE 29th!

I also want to write about the miracle of adoption. If you have ever witnessed an adoption, or really any "birth" of any child into a family....its a miracle. I wrote about this some on our first website when my sister was waiting for Corinne. Here is my entry from January 2007 (the beginning of our paperchase):
I have been fortunate to experience my body birth a baby 3 times. I have watched my sister give birth twice. Participating in the birth of a baby is a highly spiritual experience for me. God has given women a special place in that we feel & physically participate in His creation. Both my sister and I had "natural" childbirths, meaning no medications. So I feel I have seen/felt labor in a very pure form. What I remember about childbirth is first, pain. Yes it is painful. But there is this amazing gift on the other side of the pain. Labor is hard work. It requires dedication, resiliancy, endurance, patience, encouragement from others, faith, stamina, hope, and most of all love. I was so honored and blessed that my sister asked me to join her as I watched my 2 nephews be born. She had her husband as her "coach" and I was another person to support her through labor. I watched a beautiful love between my sister and her husband. I watched them depend on each other and their Lord. Every once and while I got to offer a word of encouragement or hold her hand. I was a very small part of the entire labor but it meant the world to me and I think I did help my sister. It was the most intimate experience I've ever had with someone besides my husband. I have been in the "labor" room with my sister for almost a year now as she waits for her daughter from China. And again, I am blessed. I have watched her "blossom" but it is her heart not her belly that has grown. I have found her adoption pregnancy just as exciting and facinating as her physical pregnancy. I've seen her nesting in the early days, working quickly and systematically gathering papers & documents. I've seen her "glow" with excitement with the LID and Referral. I've seen her "joints swell" from standing too long for the TA. And I've seen her grow weary with being "post due", experiencing early labor but not quite in the hospital (or on the airplane) just yet. My sister is about to be on the other side of the labor pains. She is about to receive a precious gift, her daughter. I am just beginning my "pregnancy". I hope I grow as beautifully as she has. My sister knows her child's face & name which I think must be like feeling a baby move in your womb. I'm so early in our adoption pregnancy that I can't feel those "movements" yet but I know its coming. I am amazed how God created our bodies to know how to grow and birth a baby. And now God has shown me this beautiful world of adoption. How a child is conceived in our hearts & minds. And how we "carry" that child through the paperchasing and waiting. And finally we labor with pain, hope, and love. Its the delivery that is the miracle. God delivers that sweet baby into our arms. Perhaps we are delivered as well.....
I'm just overwhelmed since we received Elizabeth's referral. This journey is soooo precious. I'm reminded that the God created gestation of pregnancy is significant and life giving just like the gestation/waiting I have experienced with Elizabeth. Here I am in the last weeks....the final trimester. My hormones are raging. The tears are so close and flow easily. I can't clean enough! I'm reading 2 books at once about parenting her. I dream about her, day and night. I forget things (like my birthdate on my Visa application!). I love my husband more deeply. I want to hold my kids closer. The aching heart & arms are almost unbearable at times. 

Thank you God for preparing my heart and spirit to be Elizabeth's mother. I pray that you prepare her heart to meet her family. We love her so much, thank you that You love her more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

18 months old, My sister's sewing, & "presidential" quilt square

Our sweet Elizabeth turned 18 months old today......a milestone. We are so sad we can't be with her today but are so grateful that she is with her foster family. We really have no idea if our travel is going to be delayed (due to swine flue). The regular timeline (prior to swine flu) would have our Travel Approval arriving this week, but we'll see. We are still hoping it will arrive and we still hope to get to travel June 25th.

Now for a little promotion for my sister.....She has made a darling outfit for Elizabeth and is also making matching shorts for Langley. If time allows she is going to make another outfit for Elizabeth & Langley. She is very talented and her clothes are beautiful. My sister and her husband are in the process of their 2nd special needs China adoption. She has a blog on which she sells her creations to raise money for their adoption. Please visit her at
There is also a link on the right colume under "My Blog List"
She has amazing taste and the quality of her clothes is simply beautiful. Here is Elizabeth's sweet new outfit:
This week we received quilt square #11!
This comes from a friend from Little Rock, Connie Fails. Connie is the manager of the Clinton Museum Store and is a wonderful clothing designer. She is also a fellow adoptive mom.
She has been so kind and supportive to us since we've shared our news of Elizabeth! Connie sent us this special square and a lovely note. I want to share what the note says since I could only photograph the front of the note. Then follows the photo of the square and a photo of Mrs. Clinton wearing the mentioned suit, designed by Connie. Pretty cool!
For Elizabeth. This square of fabric is unique like you! It is fabric left from Hillary Clintons 1993 Inaugural suit for the swearing in ofthe 42nd President of the U.S. May you follow in the steps of a strong woman of service! Love to you & your family. Adoptive Mom Connie Fails

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quilt Squares 8, 9, & 10

We received some more squares!
#8 is from another sweet friend whom I traveled to China with last summer, Kristen. She has a heart of gold.
Kristen jones quilt

#9 is from John's brother and his family, Rob, Mary Anne, Zoe & Turner. We are so thankful to
have supportive family! I love this Raggedy Anne & Andy quilt as it will always make us think of Elizabeth's Arkansas cousins Zoe & Turner : )
Seibert quilt

#10 is from "family by marriage"...Meredith & Darren. Meredith is also our very patient, long suffering realtor who has been helping us 2 years sort through housing crisis! If you need a kind, sharp-as-a-tack, honest need Meredith!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elizabeth's beginning

Be sure to STOP the music down at the bottom of the page!
Click on the bottom right square(looks like a box in a box) under the video picture and it will make it go full screen. I'm not sure how to make it fit better??

Music "When Love Takes You In" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Quilt Squares 2-7!!!

It is such a blessing to receive these squares! It really is an encouragement to us while we wait to travel!

Squares #2, 3, 4, & 5 are from our friends, the Duncans from church who also lead our community group. They have 4 precious children, whom our children LOVE! I really love each of these fabrics!
Square #6 is from the Clunan family. I grew up with this family and they are so supportive and encouraging to us. 
Square #7 is from the Blackford family. We play soccer together and go to school together. Beth is extremely talented and the photo below shows the darling personalized items she made for Elizabeth!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

From our daughter's perspective

I am currently reading a book specifically on Toddler adoption. I have read a few other attachment/adoption books already. But now that we know Elizabeth's age I wanted to get some more preparation for her age & development. What I have read thus far is very enlightening.

We are already making some choices to help facilitate attachment and bonding once Elizabeth is home. We are planning on not traveling, keeping daily routines, limiting outings & visits and other things as Elizabeth shows us what she needs and as we seek God's guidance in loving her well. John and I are in conversation with the children about how Elizabeth might be sad/mad or we might do things differently with her (discipline, boundaries, responses). Right now their hearts are very open & tender for their new sister.....I'm sure that will be challenged once she is home! But I have to say, I'm blessed with 3 tender-hearted and kind children......Elizabeth has an amazing sister and 2 of the best brothers anyone could hope for!

There is a pretty well know article written by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp. Please read it below. As it relates to my precious daughter......she was with her birth mother for 1 month, lived in the orphange for 2 months, lived with her foster family 15 months........and then with us, her forever family until she lives with her Abba Father.

Join us in praying for our sweet girl's heart..........

A Different Perspective
Hanky required. For anyone considering adoption, please read this article.
November 01,2006 / Cynthia Hockman-Chupp

Imagine for a moment....

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by soul mate, for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the worldthe person who will be with you for the rest of your life. The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face. But it's not him! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man?

Where is your beloved? 
You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back. . .even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay. But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him? Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone. 

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact. Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it. More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried. The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you. You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy. The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to get along. You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.

Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair. Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before. 

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black. You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep. 

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness. Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along. 

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait. 

How would each of us handle all these changes? 

How would this impact us for the rest of our lives?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tentative Travel Dates & 1st Quilt Square!!!

Things are progressing.....its so exciting!!!

We got an email from our agency today with "tentative" travel dates of June 25th!!!
We are still waiting on Travel Approval (TA) but it appears our agency thinks its coming soon.

We've got to get busy around here!!! We have a super exciting weekend with John's parents visiting, Gray's bday party, 2 baseball games & 2 soccer games. Next week we have to start focusing on preparing Elizabeth's room and making packing lists! I feel like my brain is going to explode but it is very exciting.

Also today, our first quilt square arrived in the mail! Thank you to my sweet friend Mary and her family. We went on a mission trip last summer together and she has the sweetest spirit!

Here is a photo of Square/Wish #1

Mary S Quilt

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nesting and thrifty shopping

Its amazing how quickly my nesting instincts set in once we received our referral for Elizabeth!
We are currently in an "interesting" situation as we have been living with family members for a while now. Its a very long story and we are hoping anyday to be in our own home. That being said, nesting is almost impossible because #1 this isn't my home #2 most of our "stuff" is still in storage in another state! Part of that "stuff" in storage is all of my oldest daughter's baby clothes! And I had gathered a few items over the 2 year wait for when we travel to china (like stacking cups!). I never, ever imagined we would not be in own home by now! We are praying constantly if it is God's will for us to be settled in our own place by the time we bring Elizabeth home. There are some pretty major things that have to fall into place but we are hoping. Our family we are living with are extremely gracious and we are very comfortable, so really we don't lack for anything. But it would be so nice to be in our own space with our own "stuff"...its not great stuff but I miss it!

I have felt that I needed to gather a few things for Elizabeth in case I can't get to the baby clothes in storage. Plus its just fun to shop for a little girl! I am a certifiable "thriftaholic". I love finding GREAT deals. I don't like to just shop & buy stuff. But I do love finding wonderful, special things at amazing prices. I love boutique brand children's clothes but don't like paying retail prices! Thrift shops, consignment sales, and garage sales are one of my favorite past times. I even used to sell stuff on Ebay and made a little $$ while hubby was going through school. So I've picked up a few sweet things the past couple of weeks. I can't wait to see my girl all cute in these things!!!

These are a few things to take with us for entertainment, etc. I'm putting photos of the brothers and some of us in the photo album for Elizabeth to look at while we are in China. Her referral said she likes music, so I got this Little Einstein music toy (from Easter clearance!). Then we found these cute sunglasses in a boutique for 75% off! A small tube of bubbles as I have been told that many children in China love these and they don't sell them in China. And finally some bottles...we plan on feeding her with a bottle to help facilitate attachment.

This is a beautiful angel sleeve bishop dress by Anavini. The photo is terrible! I found this at a consignment store for $8!
I love this sweet Luli & Me cherry/raspberry dress. It is so sweet. Found at a thrift store $4

I got this darling Anavini outfit on Ebay as well for $6. The dogs are chasing cute!
This is my favorite brand...Kissy Kissy. It is the softest, sweetest clothes! I found this on Ebay for $6.00!!!
This is Baby Lulu. We found this at COSTCO! It is so soft. Much prettier than picture shows!
This is a darling Kate Mack swimsuit that I have been saving for 2 years! My family used to run a children's clothing sale twice a year and this was one thing leftover from that business!
How cute is this Lili Paris set??? Got it for $1.00 at a garage sale!
It might be too small but taking a couple of sizes since we're not sure of her size.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Do you want to help a miracle????

I just read about a family who recently adopted an older girl from China. During their adoption trip they learned that their daughter has 2 biological brothers!!!
This amazing family is trying to adopt the younger brother and have him reunited with this sister.
Please visit their website and read this amazing story. 
And, please if you have ANYTHING to give, please consider financial support of their efforts.
Their website is

PLEASE notice that there is no period(.) between www and the rest of the address. It is suppose to be that way. THANKS!

Isn't it amazing when God lets us see His hand at work!!!