Monday, August 29, 2011

A notice

Today in the mail we got a notice from immigration that they have received our application, cashed our check and that our appointment for fingerprints will be coming soon.  Many of you know when we adopted Madelyn this is when all kinds of "issues" started to take place.  If you would like to read what happened, please go to the archives under "documenting our miracle" to get caught up.

I feel very calm this time.  I know it is not up to any country, government office, USC!$ officer or the enemy to decide whether or not we are blessed to call Gracie Faith our daughter.  It is up to our Heavenly Father and IF it's His will, we will get our approval from immigration, DTC, LID, LOA and TA (all those lovely steps before we can travel).  What I learned through our spiritual growth during Madelyn's adoption is that NOTHING stops God from His plan and that we must be patient and wait upon Him for time and direction, not just through adoption but LIFE.  For me, this proves to be difficult as I look at my daughters face everyday and want her home, like yesterday!!!  :)

My heart jumped today when I saw that envelope in the mailbox... I felt some fear (a bit), excitement (lots), butterflies (a million)...Because as of today, we are one step, one more day checked off and one less hour away from having her placed in my arms.  <><

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First day of school!

Another wonderful year of homeschool started yesterday.  I am just so thankful for the opportunity I get to be with my children.  I am going to be real honest here...It requires much Grace from the Lord above as this mama tends to need it in the patience department at times.  Still, I would not trade it for the world!  Madelyn blew me away yesterday with her reading skills, what a difference one year makes!!  August 2010 proved to be a challenge as I had to bring google translate everywhere just so my peanut could get some idea what we were doing and let me tell you she has worked very hard to learn English.  I love Language arts but there are SO many contradictions and for Madelyn to learn all that she has in a mere 12 months...Well, let me say CJ and I are very impressed with our eldest daughter. 

Trevor left for his first day of Jr. college, thanking God he's under my roof for one more year!  Next year...well, I can't say much about that yet as my heart won't allow.

My free spirit child Rachel Catherine likes the idea of school but sitting at her desk and doing it can be a bit of a challenge for my on the go girl. Rachel is such a big helper to me and her sisters, she just doesn't think school should be more than 30 minutes...LOL... :)

Oh my Linzhi Rose, she is a wiz in math and phonics and loves bible but Linzhi feels school should be "just crafts".  I laugh because I can see how different they all are and I know their strengths and where they struggle and it melts my heart to know I am the one learning about my children everyday in our little school room on the west side of our cozy home.

God bless!

First day of class with her baby "Jasmine"

My free spirit girly that came to school with hair unkept and her Jamacian baby.

Linzhi Rose trying not to laugh while I take her picture with her baby "Ice Cream"

First born on his way out the door to KCC

working hard in spelling/vocab

working just as hard in spelling/vocab

Linzhi Rose LOVES bible class

A note from daddy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Look who was in my inbox...

Last night as CJ and I prayed, I asked the Lord for a glimpse of our little one that is so far away from her mama's arms.  I love it when the Lord reveals himself and how much he loves all of us.  I think he knew we needed this little blessing.  The pictures are poor quality but we were able to enlarge them and look her face over for any bluish coloring and I gotta say...She looks really good and pink all over!    We are in deep prayer for complete healing either by His hands or by Him working through the hands of physicians of His choosing...Either way, I feel so much more connected to this precious little soul.  She looks scared and probably not sure what the heck is going on.  I sent a picture and a card of our family so I'm not sure they told her we were coming for her???  Madelyn told us she knew for a long time we were coming, then she said "it took you forever to get here"...That's my very Chinese girl!!  :)

Anyway, we are just on cloud nine in love with her.  I can't wait to show the girls and Trevor when they get up. 

Today is our first day of school.  I'll post pictures later...for now, ENJOY my baby Gracie! spell check is not working, please forgive any typos.  I haven't had my coffee yet. :)

CJ and I think she looks so sad.  She probably has no idea what is going on. :(

I just want to pick her up and bring her home.  My poor baby girl.  I'm also wondering if she was told she's going to be adopted?

This must be her foster family and maybe some neighbors.  I can't help but look at the background and seeing where she comes from. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011


WOW is the Lord amazing or what????  That urgent prayer request I posted about the other day has brought me to tears as I watched the Lord unfold HIS plan through the prayers of HIS people.   Precious Lilliana not only had her ransom money raised in a matter of 2 days ($23,000) but her forever family has come forward too!!!  Very soon she will be ONE LESS orphan in this world. 


Here's little peanut...Remember she is 11 years old. 

Keep praying folks...Pray the Lord moves those mountains so her family can get there ASAP!! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another ***URGENT*** prayer request

Just perusing my favorite blogs this evening and came across this URGENT plea to save this sweet angel Lilliana.  PLEASE GO HERE AND GIVE WHATEVER YOU CAN TO SAVE THIS 11 YEAR OLD GIRL.

Oh my heart...Jesus hear our prayers.

Prayer Request

I believe in the power of prayer.  CJ and I are asking if you think of us to please prayer for our application that is being sent out tomorrow to USC!$.  This is our last bit of paperwork on the US side, then our documents are sent to Ch!na... Every step is one step closer to our girl. 

As many of you know, when we applied back in 2009 to bring Madelyn home, this was the beginning of a mighty spiritual battle.  The enemy did not want Madelyn to be one less orphan.  Of course, GOD won that battle!!!  Hallelujah Jesus!!!

So here we go again... Please pray with us!!

God bless you all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catching up!

 I cannot believe we are already in the middle of August!  We start our second year of homeschool on August 22nd and let me tell you, we are all ready...even my Rachel Cate!  We have moved our classroom to Trevor's former office as he is heading to junior college in a couple of weeks and won't be needing it.  I must say, it's bittersweet as I will miss him during the day.  Talking about Trevor, I have some wonderful news!!!  Trevor was accepted into Columbia College at Chicago for the fall of 2012!!  CJ and I are so proud of him and excited for this opportunity.  I will miss him so much but I know my eldest bird must leave the nest at some point and I'm thanking God he is only an hour away!  Trevor continues to work at the Karate studio which is a great job with good pay and to top it off the girls are now attending classes there too.  It's nice to see how awesome Trevor is with the parents and his duties at work, it really makes his mama proud.

Miss Madelyn has been with her forever family for over one year now!!!  I cannot believe how fast this first year went by.  We celebrated by having a wonderful Chinese dinner followed by a movie and mama's brownies with ice cream.  We are so blessed to have this angel in our family, I thank God every day for her!  Madelyn continues to make excellent progress in her English skills and maintaining her Mandarin. Now that she is comfortable with us, I am seeing more and more of her personality and I can see how advanced she is for her age in maturity.  God knew what he was doing by placing her as the BIG sister in our family, she is very good at her job and at times mama and dad have to remind her we are the parents and she's the sister...LOL... it's too funny but she is very "in charge" at times and I know it's from the culture she was raised, we celebrate her independence but at the same time we encourage her to stay a kid for just a but longer. :) 

Miss Rachel Cate is growing like a leaf and has mastered swimming this summer.  She is a fish, just like her daddy!!!  Rachel will be traveling with us to China when get the TA (travel approval) from God to get our Gracie Faith.  I am so excited to bring her as she is my child that has the most anxiety when we're apart.  I seem to worry about her the most because Linzhi just seems to go with it and doesn't seem to get too upset for too long and Madelyn has already stated she will be "just fine" and she will "babysit" Linzhi...That's my girl!    We are also thrilled to show her where all her sisters come from and the opportunity to be apart of the Chinese culture if only for a couple of weeks.  Rachel has a tender heart and it breaks easily for those who are the lest of these so I know it will be emotional for her at times but I also think she will be able to witness first hand the miracle of adoption and how Graceful the Lord is in times of unknowns.  Plus, she'll be an excellent playmate for Miss Gracie Faith. 

Oh my, Linzhi Rose...She has been to heck and back as she continues to recover from surgery.  I must say at first, she did not want anything to do with therapy once her cast was off but little by little my courageous Linzhi came out of her shell and now...Look out!  We do therapy everyday and once a week with her OT (just to make sure we're on target).  Praise God, her muscle is pumping that arm up and down, we are getting there, it's coming and we are just so happy to see our little peanut working towards a more independent future!  Having two kiddos with arthrogryposis can make our hearts break into a thousand pieces everyday when we witness their struggles just to do things we take for granted like, putting on our shirt or brushing our hair. Daily we come up with different ways of doing ordinary things just so they can have the confidence of being independent. It's so  hard for me at times when I see Linzhi in Karate and kids stare at her skin graft on her arm.  I'll ask her if she wants me to wrap it and she'll say "no mama, it's just me"  Ok, lessened learned for mama.  I cannot keep her from the world and I need to stop making mean eyes at the kids that stare at my daughter...LOL  (I really don't make mean eyes but I want too).  I find myself wanting to shelter her from any hurt feelings of not being "normal".  I tell my children daily "DARE TO BE DIFFERENT".  I started this when Trevor was itty bitty and I mean it!  I want all my children to be proud of the way our Lord created them as they are all fearfully and wonderfully made by the hands of our creator.  Life can be tough on these kiddos that look "different" but honestly every single person on this earth has a special need either you see it or you don't.  Period.  Enough said.  :):):)   Oh and by the way, Miss Linzhi and Madelyn have become little fish in the pool too...Just wanted to add. :)

We sent Little Gracie a cake, flowers and a picture of her new family.  We were told by Adele it will be delivered today or tomorrow.  I paid extra for digital pictures...I am praying we get at least one!!!  I am just dying to see my baby.  I am so grateful for the videos I have of her but I want to see what she's up to now and if I can see any signs of lack of oxygen in her face.  My prayer for my daughter is that the Lord will breathe his healing breath into her heart and lungs and by the hands of the most powerful physician our daughter has some healing in her heart, Lord willing.  I am not in denial but I am hopeful in the promise of our Lord.  We are putting on our Shield of Amour and getting ready for the work the Lord is preparing us for with Gracie.  OK, now get me on that plane to Beijing!!!   Hopefully my next post will be pictures of our little one in Shanxi. 

God bless and enjoy the pictures!

Linzhi making a goofy face in the hospital.  She was going a bit stir crazy (me too)
 Finally home from the hospital and completely exhausted.
 The welcoming committee.
 Feeling better at home.
 Ok, pics out of order here... getting ready to apple pick this past Sunday.
 The annual bus photo stop.
 Trevor at his graduation party.  See how long it's been...His hair is already grown out!
 Back to the apple orchard.  Seeing Madelyn pretending to eat a leaf...That's my goof ball.
 Look at that arm!!!  See the bulge of her strong muscle!! 
 Madelyn picking her apple.
 All finished!
 Now for dinner...yummy!
 Rachel Cate lovin her pasta!
 Miss Mady too!
The End!

Monday, August 15, 2011


CJ and I would like to thank so many people for their generous contributions towards our adoption fund for our Gracie Faith!!!    Our grand total from the iPad2 raffle, HUGE garage sale and from many that just gave from their hearts we have raised.....


And the winner of the iPad2 is.....

Mike Hammond!! 

We are so blessed by all...THANK YOU!!!!

I must say, I am so ready to start blogging again.  Since the fundraiser started a lot has been going on around here...stay tuned!!!