Thursday, January 27, 2011


The necklaces are back! If for some reason it says sold out feel free to contact seller and order directly.

Also, a great friend of mine wants to make a pie...she makes AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS pies and auction it for Min's adoption fund....any suggestions how to do this?

On the paperwork front...reference requests went out today so if you are expecting one and can get it back quickly we sure appreciate it:)  The fundraiser made...drum roll please....$4130.  When we were going over the adoption expenses we will have in the next 3-4 weeks my husband and I were amazed.  It is within a hundred of this amount.  Amazing.  And thank you.  We really appreciate your help.  We are so extremely grateful and can't wait to see this start rolling!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How it Began

My husband and I have been talking about adopting from China for years and years.  We have tried other options.  We had a birth mom pick us and then abort at 5 months.  That sucked.  We have put in paperwork to adopt through the foster care system but that avenue was not going to work out for our family.  We got paperwork ready for Vietnam, and the program shut down that month!  And we have always come back to China.  It is where my heart has been.  It is where I felt that our daughter would be from.  I wanted to adopt special needs simply because our insurance covers these needs and so many needs are fixable...if you live in the USA.
As we were preparing to start the paperwork phase and I was figuring out which agency to go with and which needs to specify.  I joined the yahoo group for the agency I liked the best.  A mom who had recently returned home with her daughter posted about a 4 year old girl who had been her daughters best friend in the orphanage.  She said this little girl was not shy and REALLY wanted a mommy of her own.  I emailed her, not really thinking that it would be for our family, but I hadn't seen this little girl on the list.  And you have seen the pictures she sent me...the ones of Min in the purple dress.  Look at that smile!  Look at the sparkle in her eyes!  That little face tugged at my heart. I can't wait to hold her in my arms.

Picture Teresa's mom sent me that tugged at my heart
Her friend's name is Teresa.  She has a more severe heart condition than Min.  And there is nothing the doctor's can do.  Her family has exhausted all medical options since she needs a heart lung transplant and due to high mortality rates that is not an option for a child of that age.  This is one of the reasons I want to expedite our adoption and get Min to a cardiologist before the damage extends to her lungs making surgery unavailable to her.  Teresa's mom is the one who led me to Min. She set me up with their cardiologist to review Min's file when no one else would until she was home.  She is the one who saw something special in my daughter and worked to find her a home.  I can honestly say that without her advocating for Min, I probably never would have found her.  And Teresa's mom is begging...for people to pray for a miracle for Teresa.  It is their only option left.  Please take a minute, or add to your prayer list, to pray for Teresa's heart.  She needs a miracle.

I think I have been pretty upfront that I believe in prayers and miracles.  I have felt the prayers of these who are praying for Min and our family.  We aren't seeing huge things happen right now but there a little things that are paving the way for big steps to go quickly.  For example, we have to have child abuse clearances from every state or country we have lived in since we were 18 years old.  18 YEARS OLD! We were in college back then...and yes, we have to have a clearance from the states where we went to college.  Well, some states are taking up to 2 months and apparently the norm is 3-4 weeks.   I have spoken to people in each state and they are expediting them and turning around the information to our home study agency the DAY they receive the request.  This might seem like a little thing but when it could hold up our adoption for an extra month it is huge that it is all being expedited already!  I am hoping and praying and feeling at peace that Min will be able to get the care she needs when she gets home.  I hope that she has a long, full and healthy life.  And if for some reason that is not the case, then Min will know a family that loves her and cares for her and she will have the memories of being home with us for whatever time she is given on this earth.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Week

Today is the start of a new week.  Which is always fun!  It is a time to start fresh and have a new list of things to accomplish...some that are carried over from last week.  This week I hope that our home study visits are scheduled.  Over the weekend I met with our Senator and talked to her about the current wait to process immigrations forms for is 8-9 weeks to get approval to adopt an orphan.  I said that I would need her help to expedite the process.  She asked me a little bit about Min, then gave me the name of the woman in her office that will be able to help us expedited and said that she would help me with whatever we need!!! 

That is all the update I have for today...but at church children were all sitting quietly and nicely and it was really nice to be able to sit and listen and contemplate, then I thought we will be adding a little one who has probably never gone to church and I will get to spend time out in the hall and teaching how we behave in church and instead of dreading the days that I spent taking crying children to the mother's lounge or spending a large portion of the meetings in the hallway so that everyone else who attended could hear and not be disrupted, I was kind of excited.  Hopefully it will be late spring early summer when we get to go get Min.  And then she will hopefully have her surgery and have to stay away from crowds for a little bit as she recovers...of course people are welcome to call and drop by:)  But then if it is summer or nicer weather we could walk around the church grounds, there is grass.  She has probably never seen or felt grass before.  Won't that be fun?  And we can go the the beach, another probable first for Min. 

My husband and I were looking back through pictures from the past year and how much our sons have grown and changed since last year, and I thought Min must look different.  They grow so much at that age and the pictures I have of her are from last March and July.  But next year we will have our own pictures to document her growth and the experiences she has.  Next year she will have pictures of herself with her family.  It's going to be a great year!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

An Amazing Two Weeks!

Wow!  Our 10-10-10 fundraiser is 'officially' over.  I know that there are still people who want to donate and the paypal button is staying on the blog.  The necklace fundraiser is still going for another few weeks.  Click the contact button on the necklace link to request one if the listing shows sold out!  I saw one in person yesterday...they are really great!  But you do not have to live in fear that I will track you down and hound you for $10;)  Just kidding, you all have been so amazingly supportive and generous and have made such a difference to us and to the way that we are able to proceed with Min's adoption.  My sons keep asking me if I am crying happy tears...I can not tell you how completely overwhelmed, in a great way, I have been by the support and well wishes that you have shared with us.

I won't know the 'official' total raised until sometime next week when everyone who said they were going to help fund raise gets back with me.  But rough estimates are around $4000 not including the necklace fundraiser.  That is amazing!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I will admit to being a bit nervous about this next step, the homestudy.  But I have the name of our homestudy writer.  I have googled her.  And I have asked around and so far what I have heard is that she is really down to earth and easy going!  I can't wait for her to call and to get the homestudy done.  I will be contacting Lisa Murkowski to help expedite immigrations since it is taking 8 weeks currently.  Our agency can expedite the rest!  WOOHOOO!  I will keep you updated on the process and on any new information...or pictures...that we get.

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us.

Friday, January 21, 2011

LAST DAY OF 10-10-10!!!

Today is the last day of our fundraiser!  Thank you so much for donating and for helping us out.  I can not fully appreciate how grateful we are!  We have felt your prayers and thank you for them.  We are at $2006 and I believe my sister in Anchorage is pretty close to her goal of $1000.  The necklace fundraiser is through Valentine's Day!

For today, would you take ten minutes and donate $10 if you have not.  Would you pass the link to the blog to ten friends or ask them at work or wherever you might go?  Would you post this in your status on Facebook?

There are over 140 million orphans in the world.  The population of the USA is 306 million.  That means that the equivalent of close to half of the United States.  That is unfathomable to me.  I can't quite wrap my thoughts around the magnitude of the orphan problem that we as a world society have.  It seems like a huge task, caring and providing a future for these children throughout the world.  And it is one that no one could possibly take care of by themselves.  "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of have done it unto ME." Matthew 25:40

It is different when there is a face to the need...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Last 2 Days!

Wow...two days left of our 10-10-10 fundraiser.  We have asked for a $10 donation and if you wish to do more to ask ten people for $10 donations.  We have been so very blessed by the amount of support and love we have felt as we go through this process.  We are at $2005!!!   Thank you!  Thank you for your donations.  Thank you for passing the word along to ask others to donate.  Thank you for your prayers.

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.  I don't proclaim myself to be a perfect person or someone with all of the answers to the injustice in the world.  I am a woman who believes in God.  I strongly believe in a God who is mindful of us and who hears our prayers.  He may not always answer in the way we would like, but He does hear us and He does answer.  I am so thankful for the prayers offered in behalf of our family and for Min.  I know God hears them.

Our home study writer has been assigned!  So it is up to her how quickly she finishes our home study, which I will be honest, is the one part of the adoption paperwork process that freaks me out.  Everything else is impersonal.  You fill out a form and pay a fee and you move on.  Even the medical and background checks.  There is no personal judgment on whether you pass.  You have a clean background or you don't.  You are healthy or you are not.  But the home study...  The writer gets to make a decision on whether we are a fit family or not.  What if she doesn't like homeschoolers?  What if she doesn't like our religion?  What if?  What if?  What if?  It is ridiculous on my part I am sure, but there are those niggling fears that will be put to rest only when the home study is finished and on its way to immigrations and then China! In the meantime, this is the step that gets us to the next part of the process so I can't wait for it to get started:)

On a different note...if Min's necklace is sold out when you go to the link, or you want more than one, you can send a message to the etsy shop or let me know that you want one or wait for it to be relisted.  Melissa lists one at a time so when one sells it will be relisted...that does not actually mean that the necklaces are gone.  And she is donating the profits through Valentine's Day!  Thank you Melissa!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Process

Three more days of our 10-10-10 fundraiser!  We are asking for a $10 donation to Min's adoption fund and if you would pass the word to others.  It is  a simple idea and we are so grateful for the support we have received.

The process to adopt from China can be different depending on whether or not you wish to adopt a 'healthy' young child or a special needs child, one with medical needs or who is older.  The process also is different depending on whether all of your paperwork is in China or not at the time of a match.  We found Min before submitting our paperwork.  She was being advocated  for by a mom who met her and wanted to help Min find a family. Because she is older, and has medical needs, we were able to submit our intent to adopt and then get all of the paperwork to China.  We filled out some paperwork about ourselves along with our plan for Min's medical care in the USA and submitted it China.  They approved us to adopt Min as long as our paperwork, ie home study and US Immigrations, is in order.  We are waiting for our home study to be done, we have submitted all of our information to the home study agency.  Once that is finished we can send in our application to US Immigrations.  Once that is finished a packet of all the paperwork with government seals on it goes to China.  China approves it and we get a specific Immigrations approval for Min as opposed to just any orphan.  Once we have that, China gives us an approval to travel.  Then the US gives us a scheduled Consulate date so that we can get Min's visa to leave China.  Then we fly to China and get to meet and officially adopt Min. 

We are with a great agency who will help things go smoothly and quickly.  We are hoping that the home study is done quickly and that immigrations accepts our request for expedition.  Luckily some of the steps are can be processed through email which takes out the mail time between China and the US.

And at the end of that process is Min.  What a great community she is going to get to come home to!  Last night some friends of our stopped by.  Their family had been talking about Min and their two young sons wanted to help.  Their oldest son lost a tooth, and wanted to donate his tooth fairy money to help bring Min home.  Their younger son had less money to give but wanted Min to know he loved her so he gave us his tool box with his toy tools so that Min would have toys to play with.  How do I say thank you for something like that?  How do I express my appreciation for welcoming our daughter with such amazing love?  How do I say thank you to the many, many people who have taken the time to donate to help us expedite Min's adoption?  How do I show my gratitude for the prayers and support given to our family?  We have had friends, family and people we have never met donate to Min's fund.  People have passed envelopes at work to collect donations.  A friend designed a piece of jewelry and is donating all of the profits for Min.  Family members are fund raising in different parts of the country.  Adoption advocacy blogs have featured Min. 

I can not express the great appreciation I have.  It is a truly humbling thing to ask for help.  We would not be able to expedite her adoption on our own.  With all of my heart I thank you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Only 4 Days Left!!

Four days left of our 10-10-10 fundraiser for Min.  A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has donated, passed the word, and/or prayed for Min.  We appreciate you so very very much!

My 9 year old son was emptying his piggy bank into Min's donation container in the kitchen.  When I asked him what he was doing he told me that that is what big brothers should do.  I was a bit speechless.  Yes, that is what great big brothers do, and Min is getting four of them.  Of course, his piggy bank was largely populated by pennies:)  but yes, it makes a difference.  Our sons are so excited to be getting a sister.  They are such great big brothers and I am so excited for this upcoming year and all that it brings to our family.  I know that there are bound to be issues and trials and that everything will not always be easy with the addition of a new member of the family, but I am excited for the way that our family will grow and hopefully strengthen.

Our home study packet is in.  We are currently praying for Min's health and that our home study will be done quickly.  If you could join us we would love it!  We are praying for you.  We pray that those who have donated and been a part of the 10-10-10 will be blessed and that those who are considering being a part of this will.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 6 of 10-10-10

Today is day SIX out of TEN for our $10 fundraiser.  We are ending it on Friday and appreciate your help for the final week.

We are asking for $10 to help us to bring home our beautiful daughter more quickly.  Min is a four and a half year old little girl, currently living in an orphanage in China.  She has a serious heart condition that will at the minimum require open heart surgery.  The problem is, the longer her heart functions unrepaired the bigger the chance of irreparable heart and/or lung damage is and the lower her chances of having a successful surgery are.  To be blunt, if she can't have surgery her life expectancy is not very good.  We are prepared for this as a possibility as part of her adoption, but we are doing everything we can to increase her chances of having a long and full life.  That is why we are asking for your help.  Please consider donating $10 to Min's adoption fund and if you would spread the word and ask your friends or coworkers if they would donate $10 as well, we would appreciate it more than I can express.

I was thinking about my children last night.  I have four sons and Min.  I have dreams and hopes for each of their lives.  I have fears and concerns about the problems that they are likely to face.  I have aspirations and plans to help them to be the most they can be in the lives that they choose.  As I was thinking about this weeks school plans, activities, and what I hoped to accomplish with my children, I wondered when Min had become fully part of that?  Much like a pregnancy, I wonder what she will look like in person, you have seen all the pictures I have of her on this blog:)  I wonder what her voice will sound like.  I wonder if she will let me read stories to her, if she will snuggle on my lap, if she will let me sing lullabies to her.  Will she want to be on the swim team with her brothers?  Will she want to be in the theater program that I volunteer with?  Will she want to dance or play sport?  What will she want to make on her weekly cooking day with me?  The boys current favorites are sloppy joes and spaghetti, what will her favorite meals be?  I wonder why I no longer look at her and see 'Chinese' but see my daughter.  When did that happen?  I know she did not grow inside me, but she has completely grown in my heart.
Thank you so much for the donations you have given, the prayers you have offered, and the support you you have shown to our family.  We appreciate and are so very thankful for you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I heart U

My friend, Melissa, is a super talented and crafty person and she offered to design a piece of jewelry and donate the profits to Min's fund raiser. How amazing and generous is that? I have been waiting excitedly to see what she came up with...and here it is....I think it is so gorgeous.

The link to her etsy store is   it is also on the right side of the page under Necklace for Min.  She is donating all the profits through Valentine's Day to Min's adoption fund.

Thank you Melissa:)!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hearts are funny things. They fall in love. They break. They feel joy. They are cut out of construction paper for Valentine's Day. They can be given away. They can be so full they overflow.

My heart is full. I am so grateful for the support that is being shown to our family and to Min. I am so grateful for the donations that have been given to expedite Min's adoption. I am so grateful for the people who have passed along our fundraiser. I am so grateful for the prayers that have been offered up in Min's behalf. In the last week, I have felt my heart expand and it has been an amazing experience. We are half way through our 10-10-10 fundraiser that ends on Friday. We have asked people for a donation of $10 and to pass the word along. So far we have raised $1560!!! And we have next week to go:) Thank you for being a part of this. It has meant the world to us.

Min has a heart that is quite literally broken. Beyond the issues that she is likely to have from being in an orphanage for the formative years of her life, her heart does not function properly and the survival rates for the defect she has goes down by the year. In some ways the fact that she has grown and developed means that her heart has sustained that, which is a good thing. But in some ways the fact that it has gone on for so long without repair means that the possibility of heart and lung damage increases by the month.

She has tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia. This is on the severe end of the TOF spectrum.

Tetralogy of Fallot is a heart defect that features four problems.

* a hole between the lower chambers of the heart
* an obstruction from the heart to the lungs
* The aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hole in the lower chambers
* The muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes thickened
On top of that she has this as well:
Pulmonary atresia is a rare congenital heart disease where the pulmonary valve doesn't form correctly. This valve is an opening in the right side of the heart that lets the blood move into the lungs. A sheet of tissue forms where the valve opening should be; so the blood from the right side of the heart cannot go to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

If she had been born in the US she would have had surgery as a baby. She will have surgery when she enters the US, as long as there isn't too much damage done to her heart and lungs. We are determined to bring her home as soon as possible. Thank you for helping us in this. You have a special place in our hearts.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The home study packet of 30+ pages is sent! I was walking out the door, literally, to go to the post office to mail the packet and the phone rang. It was our doctor's office saying the lab results were in and the paperwork was finished. So, the packet was complete when we sent it! We are grateful that our physicians were so accommodating of the paperwork and so willing to get them filled out quickly.

I don't think that anyone does not care for orphans. Our media and literature is full of stories, fiction and non-fiction about orphans. Harry Potter is an orphan. Anne of Green Gables as well. Meet the Robinsons and Despicable Me along with a host of Christmas films have themes centered on orphans. Most have a happy ending.

There are over 140 million orphans in the world...right now. As a mom, it tugs at my heart to think of all the children without someone to care for them the way a family would. All of the times when they are hurt and not comforted, when they need attention, and won't get it. I think of the educational opportunities that are missed, essentially dooming these poor children to a life of struggle and suffering that begins in childhood and continues throughout their life.

In China, there is a one child policy, and even having one child is legislated. Having more than the one child can lead to massive fines, loss of job, loss of retirement and even loss of your home. For the children who are not born legally, there is not an option to go to school, they are not registered children. Without an education, the future is bleak. Once a child reaches 14 they are legally unable to be adopted. Without any skills, limited educations and a huge social stigma against orphans, what kind of future do these children have? It breaks my heart.

But realistically, what can I do? The world is not a fair place. There is injustice and suffering right along with the joy and plenty. I feel that I am one who is blessed with joy and plenty. And yet, I do not have enough time, talents, or money to change the world, or to provide for the millions of children without a home. Mother Theresa said "If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one."

Our motivation to adopt is that we want a daughter. We are not 'rescuing' Min. We are not 'saving an orphan'. God does not make orphans for families, He makes families for orphans. Min needs a family, badly. She is getting older and is a 'hard to place' child. She has some serious medical needs. She will most likely need multiple heart surgeries as she grows. She has lived in an orphanage for over 4 years which I think is long enough.

If Min touches your heart in any way, please consider being a part of our 10-10-10 fundraiser. It works like this...We are asking for a $10 donation so that we can expedite Min's adoption and get her home for open heart surgery sooner, which increases her chances of a successful surgery. We are asking that if you wish to do more, you ask ten people to donate ten dollars. We are so thankful for the people who have donated and advocated to Min. We are thrilled to be her family and can't wait to meet her!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making a Difference

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.

As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."

I guess I should have asked, "Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely.

Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said-

"It made a difference for that one."

Day 4 of 10-10-10

Once again, Thank you! We have been so supported and blessed in this fundraiser. We are so extremely grateful to the many people who have donated, asked others to donate, passed envelopes at work, passed along Min's blog and information to ask others to donate and prayed for Min. We are truly, truly thankful for you. My sons make sure to pray that the people who have given money for Min are blessed in their lives in our evening prayers. Thank you!

We have had some questions about how the fundraiser is going and why the Chip In amount only reads $1000. Well, the fundraiser is going well! I have two sisters who are fund raising for the 10-10-10. I also have a friend in Idaho who is fund raising there. I have seen links to this blog go out on facebook pages, and I am so gratefully the word is being spread. No, this is not a scam. We have gotten that question repeatedly, or asked if our email was hacked. Nope. This is real. Min is really a little girl in China waiting for us to come get her.

Good news, our physicals are done, waiting on DH's lab results but we are sending in all the home study paperwork without it, TODAY! They said they would go ahead and start the home study anyway! WOOHOO!

It is quite the process and we were looking over all the things that need to happen and how expedited it was possible for things to be and I came across this unknown quote

'Don't tell God how big your storms are, remind your storms how big God is!'

So once again, thank you so much. $10 might not seem like a ton of money to some, but together with others it can bring about a miracle.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 3 of 10-10-10

Today is day 3 of our 10-10-10 fundraiser for Min. College students decided to raise money for orphanages in Africa and ten people committed to ask ten people to ask ten people for $10. They raised $10,000 in one month. We are doing it a little more simply...We are asking for $10. If you feel like you want to or able to, please spread the word or ask ten people to donate ten dollars. We are doing this for ten will end Friday, January 21.

So many people have come forward with donations or a willingness to pass along our need for help to bring Min home and I am so extremely grateful. It is an extremely humbling thing to ask for help. It is sometimes so much easier to give than to receive and so often, at least for me, it is easier to do things on my own than to ask for help. The ironic thing is that by asking other people to be part of this journey with us I feel so much more connected to a community. If we do this all on our own it will be November before we get Min home. With help, we are hoping to be able to expedite due to Min's medical needs and get her home by summer. That time frame could very realistically be the difference between surgery and a full lifespan and no surgical options and a vastly diminished life.

I am a believer in miracles. I have seen them in my family. I have a son who had severe burns on his hand and the plastic surgeon said he would definitely have to have plastic surgery. His hands healed perfectly without surgery. There are no scars and he has full mobility. It was a miracle. Getting Min home soon will be another miracle. One that many of you are a part of and I am grateful for you. I hate to ask for anything more than I already am, but I am going to. Please pray for Min. Please pray for her heart. Please pray for a miracle.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Little About Min

So, the information we have about Min is spotty and piecemeal and we pour over every little smidgen of information about her personality and try to imagine what she is like. She is 4 1/2 and her birthday is in June, right around our wedding anniversary:) She likes to do bead work and play games. It will be so interesting to have 'girly' crafts in our house since we have four sons. they are all so excited to get a little sister. Our youngest son, D, is 9 months older than Min and he says he is excited to not be the baby anymore and that now I can baby Min:) if I would EVER baby my children;) They just grow up too fast and luckily a few of them will still hold my hand in public without telling me that they are too old and it's embarrassing!

Min has lived in an orphanage in the SiChuan province since she was two months old. Her orphanage is older and poor. The reviews I have heard say that the nannies love the children there, and that while they do not have very much in the way of resources, they do give the children attention, which is great for attachment and mental growth! Min is currently in Beijing, she moved there this year for medical reasons, but they were unable to do the complex surgery she needs there.

The mom who was advocating for Min told me that when she adopted her daughter from the same orphanage, Min told her that she really wanted a mommy! Well, she is getting that and more:) A mommy, a daddy and four awesome big brothers who already pray for her every day and offer to give up treats or Mcdonald's so the money can go to the adoption!

Even though she is older and we have missed many of her 'firsts', we are excited to experience 'firsts' with her. The first time she rides on a plane, the first time she goes fishing, the first camping trip, the first time she eats ice cream, her first tooth fairy visit, her first Christmas, her first celebrated birthday, her first day with a family.

A huge THANK YOU!!!! to everyone who has donated to her adoption fund and who is spreading the word and asking others for donations...I can't truly express the depth of our gratitude. I am in awe of the way that our friends, family and even strangers have embraced this little girl and are helping an orphan across the world. We really are going to save her life, medically. As much as an adoption changes the life of the one being adopted I can say that I am the one who is being changed. My heart is the one being touched and enlarged. Thank you for sharing in this journey with us.

Monday, January 10, 2011

10-10-10 STARTS!!!

Today is the start of our 10-10-10 fundraiser for Min. Already so many people have contacted us to wish us well, offer support and prayers, and ask how to donate:)

We appreciate it all. We are so grateful for the amazing outpouring of love and concern that has already been shown to our family and to Min. We have been so humbled by the reaction to our plea for help. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

Today is the kick off day for our 10-10-10 fundraiser. Here's how it works...We are asking for a $10 donation to Min's adoption fees. You can donate through the button on the blog, you can give the money directly to me or Eric, my husband, or if you want to contact me or leave a comment I am happy to get you my address or send you a postage paid envelope:) Then we ask if you would pass the word to others asking if they would be willing to donate $10. We are going to do this for ten days.

Thank you so much to the people who have already donated. We are starting the fundraiser with $210 already!

Friday, January 7, 2011

About the Chip In

My fantastic sister has already started the 10-10-10 fundraiser! She is trying to earn the best Aunt award:) We appreciate it so much. Here is the way it works. We have a set time period, ask for ten dollars, and ask that you pass the word along.

Please help us reach our fundraising goal to bring Min home.

Min is four and a half years old and has lived in an orphanage in China all of her life. She has a severe heart defect, tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia. She needs to have open-heart surgery, but as an orphan that kind of care isn’t available to her. A cardiologist in the USA says that every month that her heart keeps trying to work without being repaired lessens her chance at having a successful surgery.

We need help to bring me home as soon as possible. Please help Min have the lifesaving surgery that her heart needs.

Getting There

Physical for adoption done...check.  Just waiting on lab results and we can check that off our list and get the home study going!  Woo-Hoo!  My son came with me for my lab work and said "Mom when I adopt will they take my blood too?" Even though they are little steps.  We are getting closer!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


We are doing an adoption fundraiser for Min.  We are trying to expedite her adoption so she can come home and have surgery sooner. 

Here's what we are doing.  Ten people get ten people to ask ten people for ten dollars.  That's it.  In ten days.  We are going to start next week.  Let me know if you want to be part of it:) 

About Min

I have been interested in adopting from China for years.  This fall my husband and I finally decided that we were going to put in our paperwork to adopt from China in 2011 and hopefully receive a referral for a daughter sometime after our paperwork was submitted in the summer and we would hopefully travel before the end of the year.  We planned on asking for a daughter with a minor medical need that had been corrected or could be corrected easily.  Part of our planning was that we would be able to pay for the adoption as we went along since we would have the whole year to save.

The best laid plans..... Since we were going to submit our application I started researching agencies in the fall of 2010.  Bay Area Adoption Services consistently got high recommendations for their straightforward fee schedule and fantastic waiting child coordinator.  I was also interested in the changes going on in the China special needs program.  First, individual agency lists were done away with except for 'camp kids'.  There was a main special needs list of children that is added to every month.  Some agencies aggressively pursue matches for their families when these lists are released and some families peruse the shared lists on their own to find a child they could welcome in to their family.  The list has over two thousand children identified with date of birth gender and brief description of their medical need.  Then a special focus program was started where agencies could have children's files for three months and advocate for them. 

  I joined a couple of adoption yahoo groups to help research special needs, adoption agencies and the process in general.  One day someone way advocating for a friend of her daughter whom she had adopted in the summer 2010.  I responded with some mild curiosity and she sent me a few pictures of a little girl I would later learn was Min.

The email arrived in the middle of production week for our community theater fall musical.  I was the choreographer and my children were all in the cast.  I barely glanced at the photos as I checked my email.  Once the show was over I pulled up the pictures again, and felt something tug at my heart when I looked at Min's smile.  I told my husband I thought we needed to pray because I thought this might be our daughter.  He looked a little bit surprised, but agreed that we should pray about it.  We prayed and felt good enough about her to request her file.  She was on the special focus list for BAAS, the agency I had chosen.  We reviewed her file, dropped a copy of it off at our pediatricians and waited.  Our pediatrician met with us and discussed the need for open heart surgery, which we knew.  We then had a pediatric cardiologist at John's Hopkins who was kind enough to go over her file. 

Min was born with tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia.  It's a mouthful that basically means she has some serious problems with her heart and diminished blood flow to her lungs.  In the USA surgery would have been performed when she was a baby, but Min is a strong girl who has lived, and continued to grow with her heart having this major defect. She will need open heart surgery when she gets to the USA and follow up surgeries as she grows.  There is also a risk that as she has aged too much irreparable damage has been done to her heart and lungs to perform a successful surgery and she will be given medication but will have a diminished lifespan.  We won't know until she is home.  We do know that every month is important for her health and for her heart.

Min is 4.  She is has been in an orphanage all of her life.  We feel so strongly that she is our daughter and have submitted preliminary paperwork to China and have approval to adopt Min.  Because the time line is so different from the one we had planned on,and her medical needs are going to be more than we had anticipated, we are trusting God to provide and to make this path straight before us.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Blog

We are adopting:)!!!!

 I can't believe that I am actually writing these words...finally.
There is a 4 year old girl with serious heart defects that is waiting for us to bring her home, get her the surgery she needs, and give her the family she dreams of.  Tall orders, definitely, but we are so excited to be on this path.