Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Her First Happy Meal

After seventeen months home...

She can finally eat a happy meal.
I chopped up that cheeseburger
she went to town!
We have come a long way baby.

(I had to laugh at the teenager who actually asked if I was going to get a picture of this.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dear Annamae,
I just want you to know today that I think about you each and every day.  I am feeling that soon, we will see a picture of your sweet face and then the dream of you will be a reality in my mind's eye.  I thought that being so busy with your sister Jillian would make the waiting easier, but it has not.  I miss you like crazy.  I long to hold you in my arms today.  I want to see you smile, to hear your laugh, and to see you sitting next to us at the dinner table.  Above all, I so want to know that you are loved and cared for as you wait for us.  Soon enough, I will hold you and you will know that I am your momma.  I will love you with a Godly love because Christ first loved me.  I will teach you to pray, to rely on God's Word, and I will sing to you in my off tone voice while you giggle.  I can't wait to have you home dear one.  I can't wait to tell you the story of how God led us to you and to watch you blossom as you learn to live in the love of a family.

With all my heart I love you,


I just opened my email to find that our papers are finished at the consulate and they are on their way back to us.  Giddy with excitement!  The papers are done a whole three days earlier than expected.  This means that on Monday, we can overnight them to our agency and then they will begin to prepare them for Ch*na.  We are so. very. close to being DTC (dossier to China) and I feel like we will see her face very. very. soon!  We also had a deposit to our savings account today that came from my IRA which means that we have enough money to pay the next two payments.  God has been so faithful in providing for us to bring home our Annamae and we are nearly three quarters of the way there.  On the scary side, this IRA is the last bit of money that we have access to bring her home on our own and so fundraising has to begin for the last $15,000- $20,000, but God has been so faithful.  We are working on our end coming up with some great plans for a dinner, an in home shopping event, and we have booked two church bazaars to sell Heavenly Dip mixes at so I know God's got this.  We are also waiting on word from LifeSong for orphans about a matching grant.  Would you pray with us as we trust God over the next few months to provide all we need to get us to our Annamae?  I still can't believe we are getting so close to seeing her face.  SO SO GOOD!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

See-Saw Fun

I was thrilled when I found this super cool see-saw at a garage sale yesterday!
It is the best $7 I have ever spent.
Our little treasure LOVES it.
It's a little bit hard on the momma though.
I was singing, taking the video, and pushing her up and down.
The giggles are worth the effort on my part.

PS Can't you just see two Ch*nese treasures playing on this in our backyard?
I simply can't wait!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The School Carnival

Did you read the title of this post?
The School Carnival also know as..
the overcrowded, very stimulating event
that takes place at FBCS to culminate Homecoming Week.
Yep, that's the one!
My Jillian was there.
She was there!
 She played in the threw the sand.
I stopped her, but not before some landed on the nice young man running this game.
 She picked up a duck splashed in the water while momma picked up a duck.
She even picked up that fishing pole, but didn't wait long enough to see what she caught.

Seriously, she was amazing.
I am so thrilled that we are able to be out and about a bit more.
She is so much more secure!
She is even able to enjoy herself a bit.
She saw the bouncy house and while she really
..REALLY wants to go inside...
she just can't let herself do it.
Soon, very soon, we will not be able to get her out of those things.
Until then, this is one blessed momma who enjoyed a normal, ordinary night with her little girl.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On His Way

My DH left the house before the sun was up to get our precious dossier documents to Springfield.  They will be certified there today by the Secretary of State.  We had to wait a few days so that our agency could take one more look through the papers to make sure they were just right.  While I hated waiting the two extra days, it was good to hear...they are perfect and you are done!  These words are music to an adoptive momma's ears.

After DH returns with them today, I will head to the USPS to get them to the courier service so that they can be taken to the consulate in Chicago.  I really wanted to do this step myself as the courier service adds a couple of days, but I just can't take a whole day away from the house this week.  It isn't best for anyone when momma is gone for a whole day and with all that Em has to just couldn't work.  So we will send it to the courier and WAIT!  I am not good at waiting one bit!  But I understand full well that this adoption will be done in the Lord's time and while that may not match up with is for the best!  Holding on to some encouragement from the word today while I wait..

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Here!!!



Here's what happens next...
1.We get it copied and notarized.
2. We head to Springfield to get all our dossier docs certified by the Secretary of State.
3.  We take those same docs to get authenticated by the Ch*nese Consulate in Chicago.
4. THEN..we will be DTC! (Dossier to China right after it makes a week stop at our agency for translation and binding.)

We should see her face soon!  Oh this momma can't wait for our referral.  I remember thinking last time when adopting Jillian that if I could just see her face, waiting would be so much easier.  I was wrong about that because after seeing our Jillian it made me miss her so much more, but it doesn't make me want to see Anna any less.  I have been dreaming of her, but I haven't had a clear picture of her face.  I am praying that it is soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still Waiting

I wish I had something eloquent to say.  Something profound to share, but today..this week we are just waiting.  Sometimes it is in the mist of waiting that God teaches you the most.  He hasn't revealed it to me yet, but someday near the end of this journey to our Annamae I may get the knowledge of that and understand His timing.  I felt yesterday like when things begin to happen..they are going to happen fast.  I feel like we will see her face our referral is waiting and in the weeks to come she will be revealed to us.  I was like a ping pong ball yesterday-waiting with JOY at times, tears others, and worrying about all that is to come and the money that is due in the weeks ahead. 

Leaving the checking of the mailbox up to DH today, because I am off to work.  (I love my new teaching gig, but that is a post for another day.)  I know that the piece of paper we are waiting on was mailed on Monday because I called the black hole at USCIS yesterday.  Praying it comes!  We have had more than one piece of paper lost by the dear USPS along the way.  Maybe today is the day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Waiting On Our Last Piece of Paper

Only one piece of paper is stopping our dossier from being sent to China. 
We are waiting on our I797 approval from the US government. 
It has been two weeks already since our fingerprint appointment with the Dept of Immigration. 
I am praying that this notice will arrive this week and our dossier will be on its way! 
I am definitly not better at waiting this time around. 

Here's to hoping the mailman has it in his hot, little hands today!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Marigold Festival Day 2

Blessed by this baby!
Truly blessed beyond measure to call her mine!
 We enjoyed another great day at the park.
With all the toy options at the park, what could be making her smile so much?
 Why a ball of aluminum foil thrown into the air by her friend J of course.
 Look at it go!
That was a pretty funny trick watching it fly high into the air.
 Then we met up with another sweet friend at the community worship service.
My baby girl is engrossed in the music as usual.
She loves her some worship!
 It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed worship so much!
We ended our day with lunch again.
I would type all that I ate today, but it is quite embarrassing!
It was another delicious day for the record books indeed.
Big sissy just came home from the festival saying we would have to wait a whole year to eat this food again!
Yes, sweet big sister we will and it is a good thing because momma would weigh a hundred pounds more than she does if Marigold happened more than that!
Hope you had a blessed weekend too.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

I can't help but pause today and think back to a year ago.  This month last year was the HARDEST month I had with Jillian.  We had been home four months and been doing ok, but this month the floor fell out from under her and we did VERY HARD for weeks.  Just going back and rereading the entries I made take me back to that dark place.  I tried to take her to our town festival at the park last September and she melted down as soon as we got out of the car.  We didn't even make it to the park because she lost it in the parking lot as soon as I got her out of the car.  She continued to cry for five. hard. hours. after I got her home that day.  I remember vividly crying over her myself in those five hours and just saying I don't know what you need baby through ugly sobs.

It was a really, really hard place we walked a year ago, but I serve a God who is about restorationI serve a God who loves me and has given me all that I need to mother this treasure.  We have continued to travel on she and I.  Many have prayed, many more have been Jesus hands and feet to us and today....TODAY THIS MOMMA'S HEART IS FULL and the screen is blurry because I have been teary all morning.

This year, I enjoyed the Marigold Festival with my daughters!

 Jillian is happy, well adjusted, and a MIRACLE baby!
If you had told me it would be this good last September, I would have thought you were dreaming.
I never dreamed she would come this far in just a year.
 Jillian signed out and wanted her sister to hold her.
Emily is a wonderful, amazing helper for this momma.
Today, she got all our food and kept her sister while I shopped for hair bows.
I couldn't have gone without her.
I asked her if next year she could carry two Chinese babies.
She said NO!
I am sure they will be fighting over who gets their big sissy.
 Jillian enjoyed her swings as usual.
 Jillian even enjoyed this crown one of the vendors had for sale.
We always bought Emily one of these when she was little too.
They are only a $1.00 and Emily used to look to find just the right one.
 Momma's favorite part of the festival is the food.
Jillian LOVED eating her usual.
We even saw some church friends which made her laugh when they sat down to share lunch with us.
 We even made our way to the outdoor stage and enjoyed a Julie K concert.
Jillian watched a bit anxious at first from the back, but then signed out and went up to the stage.
 Jillian spotted these hoola hoops at a vendor as we passed.
She signed out and wanted to walk over there to get a closer look.
We decided we needed to take one home.
As soon as we got home, she headed to her bean bin.
Beans are calming and organizing for her and I was thrilled that she recognized her need for them.
Today, I couldn't be happier.
(Unless our Annamae was here too.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Her Little Red Dress

 I love to take pictures of this precious face.
She is beautiful and seeing her smile...
makes my heart swell with JOY.

Though our faces are as different as day and night..
she is mine and I am hers.

 Our hearts have been knit together by God's great plan.

And because of it, I get to buy really cute dresses!
Isn't she darling?

Daddy Is Under Her Control

Don't ever let our strong willed, in control daddy ever convince you that he is in charge where one three foot Chinese toddler is concerned. He is total smitten with her and she knows he will do whatever she wishes.

This is how she looks when she gets a glimpse of him coming in for lunch.
See that sparkle in her eye that says..Let my control of Daddy begin!
Really, how could he resist that smile?
Lately she has decided to..
 help herself to anything Daddy is eating even if she has already had her own,
 make daddy kneel next to her on the floor holding her hand while she is eating,
 and she even made Daddy take a bite of her vanilla yogurt.
This is daddy after said bite gagging and running to spit it out.
Never a dull moment around our table.

Longing for Her

A dear friend of mine is in China, right now, welcoming her newest treasure into her family. 

I want to be there.

I want Annamae home. 

My heart is full the last few days just thinking about it and longing for her.

At the same time, I am already really dreading leaving my Jillian behind for two weeks.

It will likely be ten more months before we travel and already I am worrying about her.

Not sure how in the world I will survive leaving her.

Praying and holding on to a favorite verse of mine.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts you.
Isaiah 26:3

Monday, September 3, 2012

Teach Me to Pray..

Training this babe in the ways of the Lord is a privilege.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you get rise.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7