Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting closer!!!

In this picture, she's holding our letters from her first care package. Bless her heart...I want to squeeze her!!!
I am so excited! Things are just moving so nicely... I800A sent in three weeks ago, then last week I received our appointment to get our biometrics (finger prints). Documents are being authenticated ..YEAH! I love this part for some reason, it's like the major headaches of collecting documents, physicals, fingerprinting (three times), online training modules...etc... It's all behind us now as our dossier is just about complete and soon, very soon we'll be DTC (dossier to China)!!!!

Miss Mady turns 8 on September 25th. I'm putting together her birthday gift/ care package. I've never had an 8 year old little girl so if anyone has any birthday present ideas, please send them my way!

CJ leaves for China in October, we're waiting to see if it can be arranged for him to go visit her. We are on bended knees asking the Lord to come through on this request. However, if it doesn't happen we know there's a good reason and we'll just be patient and wait for our "appointed" time.

Oh BTW...Rachel is doing GREAT in school, she's made new friends and loves her teachers. Mama is doing much better too :-) Now, Miss Linz starts her second year of preschool on Wednesday but just two days a week 8:45 to 3:30. I'll have an update on her first day too.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

UN-break my heart...

Our Rachel started kindergarten last Thursday. I must confess, it's been very hard on me...Rachel a bit too. The first day started with a school assembly in the church sanctuary, it was really sweet and Rachel got into the music and clapping.. As I was watching her I was flooded with memories of just her and me. I've been home with her from day one and while Trev was at school and CJ at work, it was just the two of us, attached at the hip! Four years later, Linzhi joined our twosome and we've had a blast. We then moved into the class room for orientation and organizing our little scholars, sooner than later it was time for us to leave her with her teachers and new classmates (9 boys 3 girls including Rachel)...When all of a sudden Rachel grabs my hand looks up at me as utter the words I have dreaded "mama, please don't leave". I was crushed! Big tears filled her eyes and mine as I picked her up and walked her out to the cubby area, CJ and Linzhi following behind. We smothered her with hugs, kisses and promises of "We'll be back soon", I finally had to say good-bye and walked out with Linzhi (who was crying as well), CJ then walked Rachel back to her desk so she could get adjusted. Apparently, she stopped the tears for daddy and seemed to be just fine when I picked her up 2 hours later.

The second day, she did fine, no tears and I held it together until I walked out of the school, I must admit I did the "ugly" cry in my car and wept for the years that went way too fast. I've done this before with Trevor but it still hurts. I feel like such a cry baby! *sigh* It took a few days of much prayer for me to feel better about her at school and I feel more peace in my heart that this is the right decision for her.

Tomorrow is Monday, I have her lunch packed with a smiley note, book bag ready to go.... I will drop my baby off for 6.5 hours of learning, fun and discovery, all the things we want her to experience. But PLEASE LORD, protect her while she's out of my arms.

Trying to pull it together,
Amy =(

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's in a name?

First of all, I love this picture of Linzhi...Pure Joy!
I have been asked several times from family and friends these questions...What's the meaning of Linzhi name? Why do you spell her name like that? How do you pronounce it?
A. The meaning of Linzhi's name is .. Lin- "fine jade, gem" Zhi- "will, purpose, wisdom"
B. We thought it would be a great way to honor her heritage by giving her a Chinese spelling to an American sounding name AND it's fun to watch people try and pronounce it...KIDDING! (sort of).
C. Linzhi is pronounced like "Lindsay"
What is so amazing to me is how much she is like the meaning of her name, especially "will" . Her will is what makes her achieve all the things we were told she wouldn't be able to do...Her will is making it possible for her to eat a bowl of noodles with a fork, ALL BY HERSELF. This huge victory took almost two years to accomplish!!! The list truly goes on and on... She is my beautiful "gem" and I love her so dearly.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Exchange student update

YES! We are going to be HOST family to a Chinese student! This story is pretty cool... I had some mixed feelings about the first program we were looking into and I was on my knees asking for guidance on where to go what to do. We really want to do this but my gut kept telling me "this program is not for your family" So before we even heard from the pubic school about placement, I declined. Heartbroken but not discouraged because I felt the Lord working and I just let it be (which is super hard for me). I AM NOT KIDDING when within minutes of letting it go (doesn't always work that fast, right?) I went up to check my email and this is what I found. Rachel's principal, Pastor Brad sent this to all the school families... (Cut from email)

Dear Parents, I wanted to forward to you a letter from a Christian Ministry that is bringing in Chinese students to stay in Christian homes & attend Christian Schools. I talked to the president of this ministry today & he is saying that we would be able to have as many Chinese students here as we would like. The board has established that the student's families pay full tuition as well as $4500 per student per school year that goes to the host families($100 per month goes back to the student for spending money). In China, if you preach to a person about Jesus, you will be put in prison. Now they are paying us to bring them into our homes & learn in our Christian schools. If you are interested in hosting a Chinese student or two this year, please reply to this message. Thank you for praying about this opportunity. ~Pastor Brad

Here is the letter from David Benoit:

China's Doors are opening wide for missions please read!

My name is David Benoit I am the President of ACEFI.


Our website is

We have been told by our China contact that we could have as many as 500 applicants for this year.

These students will be screened and tested to insure that they have adequate English Skills.
We are looking for schools that want to be a part of our network. These are paying students who are serious about education. Think about it, we can place thousands of kids from China in America. This is a communistic unchurched nation, yet they are willing to send their students to us knowing they will be placed in Christian homes and Christian schools. Some of these kids will have unbelievable influence and talent.

There is a powerful, underground church in China that is praying that they will have the freedom to worship like us. Who knows what student might come to America in a Christian environment that could answer that prayer. God is opening the doors, will you help us?

We can only imagine what kind of impact this will have on missions in China in the years to come.
If your school is interested in receiving some of our students this year, we would love to have you onboard.
If you are a boarding school or you have good host families, we will find the students and give you all the paperwork to process them very quickly.

David Benoit

How AMAZING is God?!?!? So needless to say, HE had other plans for this young man that will be joining our family on October 1st!

I have so much work to do but I'm thrilled to be doing it, I think it will take my mind off the wait for our Miss Maddie. This week, Trevor and I are cleaning out the office to make a comfy space for our student (I have no name yet so for now it's "student" lol), I'm going to keep it basic so he can decorate how he wants when he gets here (advice from Trevor). Did I mention how awesome and excited Trevor is about this??? Well, he is and honestly we wouldn't do it if his heart wasn't in it because he'll be with student most of the time anyway... I need to finish the application, it's kinda like an adoption application and most importantly I need to start preparing for MADELYN!!! My sweet young lady who is going to turn 8 years old in about 6 weeks. I am so weepy for her lately, I feel pain in my heart because I have no idea what she's thinking about all the changes coming her way, I wish there was a better way to show her how much we love her already and how important she is to our family. We're still waiting to hear back from our agency whether or not CJ will be able to visit her when he's there in October. PLEASE LORD!

I laugh when I try to take a break from blogging, I think I've blogged more since my "break" then I did the entire month of July! LOL...

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Well, I guess I couldn't stay away... Here are a few updates..

Yesterday, Linzhi and I went to Shriners for her check-up. We've decided to be more aggressive with her therapies so it looks like my sweet baby girl will be having her wrist and elbow surgery sometime in early 2010. It's bittersweet. We want her to have the benefits of having more extension in her wrist and elbow but as her mama (and daddy), we fret over her being in any pain or fear...On the other hand, I can't wait to see what she'll do when she has more abilities...LOOK OUT!! =) I'll keep you all posted as we get closer to surgery day.

Also, I'm sending out our I-800A tomorrow!!!! We are so excited!! One more step closer to our young lady in China!! Miss Madelyn turns 8 on September 25th. I was wishing we would be with her to celebrate but it looks like we'll be sending a cake and goodies instead. =)

Rachel has 14 days until Kindergarten!!! I'm so excited for her.. Can you read through my lie??? I am DYING!!!! My baby girl is going off to school!!! Sunday night I was just pitiful! I literally wept while trying to fall asleep. I laid there reminiscing through the last five years of many blessings I've had with her. I am so grateful I was able to stay home with her, I was able to experience so many little moments with her that I will cherish I go again...

Many blessings to you all and enjoy your weekend!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking a break...

Taking a blogging break...See you in September!

Of course, I'll post any adoption updates!!

God bless!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I have the WINNERS!!!

Due to our camera issues we were unable to video the drawing. We could have waited until tomorrow but I just couldn't wait any longer... Our grand total through Paypal and personal checks was $2420!!!!

Our entire family is humbled and so grateful for your generosity.

OK...Here we go...

#382- Donnie Statom is the winner of the Vera Bradley Tote bag!!!

#172-Julie George is the winner of the blog makeover!!! (thankfully she has a blog)

#553-Robin and Dave Gove are the winners of the a $50 gift certificate to Wild Olive Trees!!

#1100- Sean, Terry, Michael and Chris Ryan are the winners of the iPod Shuffle!!!!


#891 CATHY JORDAN!!!!!

Congratulations to all and thank you again! Winners will be hearing from me tomorrow!

God bless,
CJ, Amy, Trevor, Rachel and Linzhi