Friday, February 28, 2014
Just because he is so cute in red! I wonder if he has received our package? He should have received it by now. We were blessed with confirmation when Ulysses received his first package and even got to see a picture on LWB webpage. yeah! We are just waiting for our LOA. I have no idea how long it is going to take. It normally takes a couple of months, but theoretically it will be a lot faster so we can get there before he ages out. I have heard of it taking as little as one week for aging out kiddos. We are one week from LID so I am starting that check my email every hour thing. At the same time, I am not getting anything done around the house that needs to be done. There are rooms to change around and decorate and much shopping to be done. We have to redo the bathroom in the boys' room. We have most of the items we need because we have been planning a redo for some time. There is still lots of planning and researching to be done especially about what we need to plan for and pack for picking up Ulysses. Instead I am being a total lump on a log today. Sitting at the computer and drinking some delicious coffee. I will probably clean the house up the rest of the way and chill out with the kids. On Monday, I resume my hourly email checks!
Posted by Michelle at 12:46 PM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Vote Reese's Rainbow is running a popularity contest! Please head over and vote for Holden to give us the chance to earn some extra funding for his adoption! Tell your friends, your family...hey tell strangers! It would be just super if we could get Holden in the top 21 and maybe raise some extra funding! Thanks!!!
Monday, February 24, 2014
I was a little surprised at what happened last week for with our dossier. We sent it to China on Feb 14. On Feb 19 at 1022 am we got an email saying that our agency dropped off our dossier at the CCWA. At 1028 we got an email saying we were officially LID. I almost expected an LOA before the close of the day..haha. That would have been nice though! We are officially awaiting LOA. It would have been nice to get to that milestone, but the truth is that we would have have no way to pay for our next set of fees. We are so appreciative of all of the people that have donated and shown us that orphan care is a serious priority! We have a super fundraising opportunity coming up at the beginning of March, that I am really excited about. I will definitely blog more about it the closer we get. There are certainly other ways we have been preparing ourselves for this transition! We have a large family by most standards in today's world. We are busy, but we manage to get time by ourselves to relax. I usually have time to bake - I usually spend that time baking as special one on one time with one of the kids. I usually get it together enough to get my house cleaned once a week or once ever two weeks and I have an inner peace that accompanies that 20 minutes my house is clean! I don't know for sure, but I suspect the time I will have after Han and Ulysses come home for things like cleaning the house good (insert obsessive compulsively here), maybe quilting (which is such fun) may all but disappear. I don't know for sure, but I think that I need to start working on myself. I need to start preparing myself to find more joy and inner peace in caring for my kids and not in sitting in the middle of a clean house with a cup of coffee. I am sure most people flipping through this are familiar with James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself pure from being polluted by the world. I really need to work on the last phrase...to keep oneself pure from being polluted by the world; by the materialism, by the selfishness that permeates everything. I really like to have a clean house and to have time to myself to try out a new recipe or to quilt. I really like it, but do I deserve it? umm...no. There are lots of pollutants in the proverbial "world" but I think the biggest one is greed and self-entitlement. I am entitled to some free time to relax...umm no. I am entitled to go out to dinner and spend $35 on hibachi...ummm no. I am entitled to a new computer that I can skype with when I am in China...umm no not really. Keith and I are spending the next month working really hard to gain a biblical perspective on becoming better parents and a whole lot less selfish! This month is going to have us spending a lot more time praying than any month ever! We are going to be working on depolluting! Strangely, this has also been a them that popped up at our church starting in March. We started yesterday by reading a book of Ecclesiastes a day and praying together and for each other every night. Should we have already been doing that...yeah. On March 1st we are going to read a Proverb a day and pray for and with each other. It doesn't really sound like a lot, but in the stress of everyday life, it is easy to forget to spend the 30 minutes each day with God. It is easy to become polluted by the world and prioritize getting the laundry folded (you should see the pile of laundry staring at me right now! haha) over sitting down, doing our bible reading and praying. I have to remember who is running my life when I choose to skip my time with God to get some stupid, meaningless chore done. It is not me!
Posted by Michelle at 4:18 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
LWB posted a picture of Ulyssis this weekend of him looking at our photo album we sent. Wow, what is going on in that little brain of his?! He looks sad. Keith says he looks like he is in shock. He is sad, he knows in his brain that he needs to come home with us in order to get medical treatment and go to school. He is living in serious poverty right now and his foster granparents are quite old. He has been with his foster family for so long...they are his family and it must be breaking his heart to know he is going to be leaving them. My heart is just breaking for him, it is just breaking. Please pray for him and for his breaking heart, pray for his transition and for his heart to heal. Please also pray that he stays physically healthy until we can get him home.
Friday, February 14, 2014
We had some snow yesterday. that is an understatement! We were supposed to have 1-3 inches and we had about 12 inches up at our house. I made it to work, but it was a short day because so many people couldn't make it to the hospital. While I was gone, my kids turned into master igloo makers. Even Alex got in on the fun and she hates being cold. Snowmen and snowpigs were constructed and a fun time was had by all! In the afternoon, the snow started melting pretty quick, but everything is still here today. It is going to probably warm up and melt today (I hope!). I always have a hard time deciding which is more important, diong school or doing some serious playing in the snow like yesterday. Math problems can be done any old time, but it is a very rare occurrence that we have so much snow perfect for playing in! My 2 year old is driving me absolutely bananas...so it is now time to start the day. I am home today with the kids and I am so excited. It seems like a long time since I have been home for a day just to run through the regular routine. I haven't done a week of night shift since December and I really miss the 2 weeks it gives me of being home during the day.
Posted by Michelle at 5:34 AM
Monday, February 10, 2014
its not the best photo...but we have an orange and cream hat, a purple flannel shirt, a lego mini creator set, 12 pull and go cars, 12 flying glider planes, an uno game and a photo album. i think we are going to add a disposable camera and maybe a flashdrive in case there are some pictures that might exist there of a young and adorable Han. We can't decide if we should remove the plastic wraps or not...what does everyone think? Irony that 80% of these items were made in China?
Posted by Michelle at 4:47 PM
Sunday, February 9, 2014
I have a love - hate relationship with social media...especially with Facebook. Let's face it, I found my two sons that we are waiting to bring home on FB. Literally, I saw advocacy posts for them on facebook and then prayed about them and decided to pursue their adoptions. That is huge...the face of my family would be totally different if God hadn't used FB and people on FB to bring us together. There are lots of good things that happen on FB...I have some really interesting friends that I wouldn't really know anything about their lives if it weren't for FB. There are friends from my past that resurfaced because of FB, friends that would have disappeared out of my life if we weren't friends on FB. Do we hang out...no we live across the country, but it is fun to see what is going on with their lives. Our homeschool coop always communicates via FB, there are support groups for families adopting children with Spina Bifida, like Ulysses..support groups for families adopting children with Albinism like Han, support group of people adopting through CCAI so they can give us tips. My kids are in bible bowl at our church and they communicate via FB. Another thing I like about FB is the same thing I like about my blog...I can look back and see pictures and what I was doing in the past...it is fun. I can restart my blog and keep track a little better to fill that void. My problem is that my life is really busy, and I have come to the conclusion that sitting on FB is taking precious time away from my family. I hate that. I think I just check in every once in a while...you know ...while I am in the bathroom...I admit it..haha. For a couple of minutes here and there. I am a terrible gauge of how much time I spend on the internet. So I am turning off facebook...well not really turning it off, but I am not going on FB from now until we head to China. I hope I will reclaim enough of my time to keep my house clean and get it ready for my new boys. I hope I will reclaim enough time to spend more time with my kids doing their homework. I hope that I will be able to relax and not rush around so much. I think I sit and let FB suck time away and then I have to rush around to get dinner ready or get the kids to bed or try to get homework ready. I hope that by turning off the computer a lot more, I can set a better example for my kids. They have video games and kindles and I find that all they want to do is sit in front of them and practice the escapism they see me doing. We have a roomfull of board games and fun educational things to do around out house and I hope that I can set an example for them to unplug and turn off computers. Kids learn from example and it is easy to forget that. I need to set a better example so my kids can be better people than I am. So I will still post here...hopefully a lot more with a lot more pictures to document our journey to get Han and Ulysses. I will not be on FB for the next 2 months. I will log into FB the day before we travel to China..whenever that will be!
Posted by Michelle at 2:57 PM
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Well, I guess calm is kind of a misnomer. Today is pine wood derby day. I have to get all the kids up in about 5 minutes. My husband has spent the last 2 weeks working his pine wood derby magic on 9 cars. He is an amazing man! I am going to definitely take pictures today of our pinewood derby fun. Violet has her heart set on winning a trophy..I hope it happens for her. The trophies all sat in our house for about a week for the kids to dream about. I am looking forward to pinewood derby being done and trying to get back to a routine around here. I am also hoping that work slows down a little bit. I have had so little time to do some nesting. There are rooms that must be moved around and closets that must be cleaned out and pared down. I know once Chinese New Year is over...things are going to start moving crazy fast in terms of getting Han and Ulysses home. Our dossier is going to go out in one week, according to CCAI. It is possible that our I800A update will be back to us by then and then it will be 100% complete when it goes. If our I800A update isn't back, they are still going to send it and then we will just forward the update when we get it. Last time we updated, it only took 2 weeks so we might have it. I need to get the kids up and rolling, I really feel like when I get home from the pinewood derby today (and after I post some pictures), that I can really focus on getting things ready for our expanding family. Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time and donated their hard earned money. I know that this is always the tightest part of the year for us...we are always recovering from Christmas during January and February! Thank you so much for helping us get our boys home!
Saturday, February 1, 2014
We finally managed to cobble together a plan for a care package for Han! We ordered a new photo album for him and several things off of Amazon. We ordered a couple of things to send to Ulysses too. I can't wait until everything gets here and I can take a couple of pictures and post the finished care package! I must admit...I was a little overwhelmed with what to get for Han! I stood in Walmart today for about 20 minutes...just completely overwhelmed as to what to get a 13year old to let him know he had a family waiting for him and praying for him. Yes...completely overwhelmed. Today, after I finished shopping...I sat and looked at Chinese-English picture dictionaries once again...completely overwhelmed. Let's hear it for overwhelmed! I haven't even started feeling overwhelmed about Ulysses and his medical issues...what we are going to need to bring for those. Overwhelmed is good...i do believe it is good!
Posted by Michelle at 9:50 PM