Deuteronomy 4:35

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Our I-797 is Here!

Our I-797  is here.  Our dossier is off to the consulate tomorrow!  We are almost Dossier to China.  WAHOOOOO!!!!!  From here, we wait for our dossier (all the paperwork) to get logged in by the China Adoption Agency (CCCWA).  Then we wait for our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC).  This letter might be to us before Chinese New Year in February and that is what this momma is hoping for with all her heart!  We are still looking at an spring or early summer travel date, but the sooner the better!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


 This girl is growing up and changing every single day.  To say that I feel extremely grateful that God would allow me to be her momma is a HUGE understatement.
 She is sassy, so funny, inventive, and always B-U-S-Y.  Her favorite activities include mimicking her big sister, and teasing her Daddy.
I don't know how I lived so much of my life without her in it as she provides me so much JOY!    She has a smile that adds so much to our family.  I am so, so glad that God brought her to us.

Bloomsbury Farm

One of our favorite fall memory making days is spending time at Bloomsbury Farm together.  It is so fun to have such a sensory rich place so close to us to bring our girls each year.  It is an added bonus that the homeschool day price was so much cheaper.  We enjoyed our day so much!
 Jumping Pillow Madness!

 Growing so tall..
 Giant Slide Mania!
Love these faces!

 Here we are minus our big girl.  Next fall, our hands will be even more full of baby goodness, and we couldn't be more thrilled at the thought of Ellie Grace here with us. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall Farm Photos

 We enjoyed our annual trip to Radar Family Farms with Grandma in October again this year.
Three, five, and seven have been so so good this fall as these ages are so much fun.
 This girl is a farm girl at heart as few things make her happier than playing on the farm.
 These photos with pumpkins mean so much.  The first fall home, my Jilly screamed in terror at a farm like this one as these orange round objects scared her to death.
 Now look at all three of my beauties who own this pose having the time of their lives.
 When she smiles, her eyes always disappear.
LOVE that about my middle girl.
Hanging upside down is definitely how this one rolls.
I am dying to know how Ellie Grace will fit in to this mix next year.
I hope she likes this active, lively crew because we love her so much already.
We can't wait to see her sitting in the pumpkins next to us.

Our Darling Doggie

Darling Doggie Barks...

Have you ever seen anything more darling?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

She Ate Cake

There are no words to describe how blessed we feel that our Jillian attends such an incredible, amazing public elementary school.  She is valued there beyond anything that I could have ever hoped for.  Her teachers, her peers, the school nurse, the office staff, the other parents..even the lunch my girl.  It blows me away continually.

It is no surprise given the kindness that she is shown every day at school that she is included in just about everything.  She has been invited to many birthday parties, and it always makes me tear up when she brings an invitation home. As a momma of a very special child, you hope and pray that others will call her friend.  You beg with God for a small tribe to come alongside her, and get her the way you do.  Well, my prayers continue to be answered as this girl has some truly special peers.

Earlier this month, her friend Lauren turned eight and invited her to her art birthday party.  We went to the store early Sunday morning before church, and selected a gift for her friend.  My Jilly stood next to me in the arts and crafts aisle, and selected a craft kit just as any other seven year old girl might.  She signed excitedly "party"  all throughout church because she knew that we were headed there that afternoon.  When we arrived at the party, she greeted her friend, explored her house, and smiled so big.  When it was time to paint our creations on canvas, my girl grabbed the brush, and painted blue-gray wave motions signing beach while four other girls at her table cheered her on.  She tried on the props at the photo booth.  She sat at the table while they ate walking tacos.  She watched her friend open gifts, played kickball, and had a wonderful time.

Perhaps the most miraculous part of the day though was when my precious little treasure stood at a table full of sixteen girls, sang happy birthday, and ate a piece of cake.  This was the first time she had every eaten birthday cake!  Before my baby came to me, this would be a moment that I would take for granted.  It wouldn't have even been blog worthy that my seven year old daughter was smashing up and eating cake, but my Jilly has taught me so much about what a true miracle in the making these every day moments are for her.

I love the Matthew West song "Mended".
The lyrics say..

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home

So hold on, it's not the end
No, this is where love's work begins
I'm making all things new
And I will make a miracle of you

My baby girl is the physical representation of this song.  She is a miracle whose brokenness is being repaired daily by a God whose story for her is so much bigger than any special need label she wears or any trauma that her past has handed her.  What an incredible blessing to be on this journey beside her.  Hopefully the sobbing momma sitting next to her at the cake table won't deter her friends from inviting her to the next party.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Apple Adventures

 One of my favorite parts of home school is the flexibility it gives us to do whatever we feel like during the day.  So when a beautiful fall day in late September presented itself, we could drop everything and visit the orchard.  Molly loved picking apples this year, but was frustrated that they were so high up and hard to pull off.  She is vertically challenged and tiny for a three year old.
 She loves to do everything BY HERSELF so she was thrilled to find this one low enough to claim fairly easily.
 This sweet girl is thriving at home.  She is happier than she has been since coming home to us, and it makes this momma's heart overflow.  She loves bossing teaching her baby sister when we go on outings.
 Yum!  Nothing like a fresh picked apple.
 We ended the day with a little swinging which always brings smiles.
Happy babies on a beautiful day equals memories that I long to hold onto.  Here are to more beautiful fall days at Allen's Orchard for many years to come.


Two little lions, a cow, and  a whole lot of candy make for a fun evening.
Oh, that three, five, and seven could last forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Turning Two In China

Though we weren't able to be with our Ellie Grace on her second birthday, we were able to send her a party.  We even received some pictures of the celebration from her orphanage.
My word she looks precious, and very unsure of what is happening.
She actually reminds me so much of my Jilly in these photos.
It makes my heart all the more anxious to get to her.

A cake with fruit is typical for celebrations
 She is not a fan of eating this cake.
My Jilly looked exactly the same.
With everything in me, I have been begging God to move heaven and earth so that we can get to this precious girl.  I was recently sharing with a friend that I have battled fear regarding each of my babies diagnosed special needs as I have waited to bring them home.  This time, I haven't battled any fear at all in regard to being able to care for her even though her special needs are so unknown and I can see my Jillian all over her.  Regardless of what she needs, I just want to be her momma.  I just want to kiss those cheeks, and assure her that she will never have another day alone again.  Whatever she is able to accomplish in this life, she will do it with this momma by her side.  I feel blessed that God would allow me a small part of her story, but just wish He would speed up the time that it is taking to get her home.