Sunday, May 29, 2011


Still waiting for news.  Our dossier is translated and supposed to be reviewed very soon....

Yesterday we decided to take the boys out biking.  We used to bike a lot as a family, but where we live in Alaska doesn’t have great biking areas so our boys usually just scooter.  We went to a parking lot and took the training wheels off and, lucky me; I got to be the one who predominately worked with one of my sons.  He was scared.  He didn’t want to try.  He was not happy.  But we kept working on it.  He did great.  He learned how to ride a bike.  Then when he was showing his dad…it happened.  He fell.  He scraped his pinky finger.  He was devastated and never wanted to get back on a bike again…but we made him ride around a bit more then gave him a movie night with mom and dad.  On the way back home we were talking about pain.  We had joked it off at the time after checking to make sure it wasn’t too serious.  He said, “Mom, you really wouldn’t ever want me to get hurt would you?”    My answer was, that I can’t shield you from every hurt or pain.  That’s part of life and mom’s that really love their children let them do hard things so that they can become stronger and better people.  But that mom’s never like to see their kids hurting and will be there to love and help their kids through it, but not necessarily take the pain away.  We kind of talked about things for a few minutes and how he really did not want to ride a bike.  He is 8 and he has a Cub Scout bicycling event coming up.  So it is past time.  We talked about how sometimes the things worth learning how to do are hard and take work and yes it would be easier to quit but in the long run it will hinder you.  Stuff like reading, learning to swim, math, and relationship building can all be hard and scary but is important.  Then we talked about Min.  She is going to have her little body cut open for a heart repair surgery.  It will be painful.  It will be hard.  I think probably given the choice many people in the moment would opt out.  And if we wanted to shield our children from all pain we would, but it will be to give her life.  That really hit home.  Because parents who truly love their kids don’t try make everything super easy but try to help their kids to grow to be wonderful people who can have full happy lives.

I felt like I got a little glimpse of God’s work with us.  Yes, we have pain.  Yes, we have life lessons that we might wish to opt out of.  Yes, in many ways we can want to rail against the one who seems to be making us go through things that we think are too hard.  But in the end, we were not meant to just go through life easily.  We are here to grow and be tested and make it through tough experiences.  And they make us stronger and better people.  And God still loves us and will walk through life with us and will comfort us and encourage us even if He doesn’t take the hard stuff out of our path.  And I am grateful to know that He loves us that much.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


And now for an update....We are still waiting for our LOA.  Once we get that we need to go through three brief US government steps with the Immigrations department, the Visa Center, and the US Consulate in China.  Then we will wait for China to give us travel approval and leave!  We have been waiting for our LOA for 24 days and it has been 38 days since our documents went to China...not that I am counting:)

Our last fundraiser has a few more days left, it ends on Thursday,...the Thirty-one link on the side of the blog is a link to order cute purses, bags, organizers, etc.  We are under events and you can just click on ours.  All of the commission is being donated to our adoption fund, which is really really great.  Thanks Anne!!!

At the risk of sounding like a hokey late night infomercial, I believe there are angels among us.  I truly do.  I'm not talking about unseen heavenly messengers, though I do believe in those as well.  I'm talking about people who share God's love through what they say or do.  Many of my friends are angels to me.  They touch my life and make it better or help me when I need it or say the right thing that answers a prayer that I have had.  Sometimes it is acquaintances who maybe are not close personal friend but who bless my life in amazing ways.  When I was pregnant and on partial bed rest with my third pregnancy, my husband had to go out of town for work so I had two little boys under three and was in my third trimester and having some problems with the pregnancy.  I prayed and prayed but could not feel an answer.  I worried and was a nervous wreck.  A wonderful woman stopped by my house one evening.  She and I had never done anything socially, but we went to church together.  She had felt like she should stop by on the way home from work.  She came in and changed a diaper and sat and talked with me.  I don't remember a thing she said.  But she was an answer to my prayers.  I felt the peace I had been searching for because of her.  That son is 8 now but I still feel the same way about this woman.  She is an angel to me.

This adoption has been that way to me.  I have felt surrounded by angels.  Some of you are close friends of mine.  Some are not.  Some are people I may never meet, but who were willing to help and support my family financially, or through prayers.  I have been so very humbled through this process.  When we started I never though that we would need to ask for help.  We planned on travel sometime in December hopefully, that totally changed when we found Min.  We could not have gotten to this point in our adoption on our own.  And I am grateful for the many, many angels who have made that happen.  I am  grateful for Ann, Teresa's mom, for advocating for Min.  She gave us pictures, video, and encouragement.  She helped us find a doctor to review the file, and helped us with paperwork questions.  She also has set an amazing example for me and given me peace about all of the what ifs.  She is an angel in my life.

I am grateful for W.  She watched the video of Min with me and cried alongside me.  I can't tell you how much that meant to have someone be as moved as I was.  She has brought coloring books and nail polish for Min's suitcase.  She has supported us in our fundraisers and asked for updates at least weekly.  She has been a huge blessing to me and is an angel in my life.

I am grateful to D.  During our 10-10-10 fundraiser she organized an effort at work and passed an envelope.  We were floored and so very appreciative that someone would take the extra effort to do that.  She is an angel to me.

I am grateful to D. for being supportive of every single fundraiser there is and being so excited to meet Min.  She tells everyone that meets me that I am adopting a beautiful girl, it is nice to know that it is always very real to her.

I am thankful to K.  who spoils my other kiddos and has already started to spoil Min.  She is willing to help me with some sewing projects, knowing that it is important to me, and also making her own, knowing that mine probably won't turn out as amazing as they look in my mind:)  She lets me be upset when things don't go as fast as I want and reminds me without condescending that it is all going to work out and God knows me and Min.  She is an angel to me.

I am grateful to J.  who was a huge blessing in our fundraiser and who is always so excited and encouraging about our adoption.  She is an angel to me.

This blog could go on forever with Melissa, who designed a necklace for Min, Tina who sent me pictures from her visit to the orphanage, Miss Courtney who has emailed and been so helpful with paperwork, X who returns every email quickly, my sisters, my friends, my family and the many, many people that I know have upheld us with their prayers, words, and actions.  I cannot truly thank you enough for the impact you have had on my life.  If angels could be defined as beings that share God's love I think that there are many who qualify and I am so very very grateful for all of you in my life.

And I hope that I can be an angel in the life of someone else.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Be Still and Know

Nothing much going on in the the adoption process.  We found out that our dossier was still in translation this week and hopefully will be back to the CCWAA soon for final review.  It has been one month since our dossier was sent to China.  I'll be honest, I really expected a much faster turn around and for us to have our LOA by now and be on to the next step.  I felt that since average time frame was about two months, ours would be about one month since it could be expedited.  I had a wonderful plan in my mind about when we would travel, when the hospital visits would be, when we could be back home as a complete family, how long I would be away from my boys, the types of activities my sons could do while we are gone, etc.  And now we have been waiting that one month, and have no idea when an approval will be issued, but obviously not on my timeframe.  Which I'll admit, is really hard and a bit frustrating, since there isn't someone I can call, or a manager I can talk to.  There isn't really anything else I can do at this point to speed the process along.  I feel like I am nagging with my prayers, begging for the same things over and over again.  And then I feel the whisper to 'Be still and know that I am God." 

And when I do, I have peace.  I have done all that I can do at this point.  I can only know that I am not alone in this process and that God can work all things out for the good of those who love Him.  So even though things are not exactly working out as quickly as I want them to, I have trust that they are working out and that I will be upheld by One who knows me, loves me, and wants good things for His children.

So, I will be still for a time, and know that I am being given a gift of peace, which is a great gift when I know without it I would be a nervous wreck dwelling on all the bad things that could happen or the way that I am not seeing the things fit together in the way that I envisioned them.  I am grateful to be able to be still, since I know the One who allows me to be.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day! I think it is more of a day to celebrate the women in our lives who touch us and encourage us on our journey to become greater than we could be.  The women who help us when we are in need, encourage us when we are discouraged, build us up when we feel low and love us when we deserve(and don't deserve) it.

I am grateful for the mother's in my life, especially my mom and my husband's mom.  It's not easy to be a mother and I am grateful for them.

I am grateful to be a mother.  I am so blessed to have four wonderful sons.  They are truly gifts to me.  They are fantastic young men and I love being their mom.

People have said that this Mother's Day must be bittersweet for me, since Min is not home.  It is not bittersweet.  I feel nothing but happiness.  I am grateful to be married to a man I love, who I enjoy spending time with.  This year we will be married for 12 years.  It has been so great.  I am grateful to be a mother.  And I am grateful to be in the process to adopt Min.  I am grateful for the feelings that I already have for her.  No, I am not sad that she is not here for this Mother's Day.  But I am grateful that she will be next year:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hanging In There

I have dreamed about Min twice this week.  I have also checked flight schedules and prices multiple times, gone over finances incessantly, packed/repacked a suitcase with clothes and toys for Min, looked at translator apps for Mandarin, prepared to make a quilt(hoping the prep time equals a nicer finished product) and I don't really sew, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed.

You know the saying 'Patience is a Virtue'?  I am pretty sure it is a virtue that I am meant to have that I don't so I am given situations to help that increase.  We can pretty much travel whenever we get word, but we are at least a month out once we get this next piece of approval...which has slowed down in timing right now.  Hopefully(please keep praying)  we will get our LOA soon.  It is kind of funny to hear "Thank you for letting our dossier get logged in and please bless us with a fast LOA" from our 5 year old in family prayers.  And I have felt peace that the Lord is in control of this process and I can trust Him since I have done all that I can do.

I have been looking at more choices for Min's education this year.  We homeschool and she and my youngest son will technically be in kindergarten together.  I have found some fun stuff for the two of them and am really hoping they get along and are friends quickly.  Another son prays that Min will like us and love us quickly.  Amen to that.  I have cleared our schedule, except for recurring swim team and scouts, etc.  I have no upcoming commitments, found a substitute for the children's music program at church, and we are going to get Min's room ready this weekend.  I guess we are at a nesting stage...which should mean that we will get our little girl soon:)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First Sunday in May

I think it is finally truly spring here in south Alaska.  No more snow.  No more sleet or hail.  Probably still some rain, but plants are budding and flowers are blooming.  The geese are migrating back north by the hundreds.  The bald eagles have been back for a couple of weeks. We went to the beach twice this week.  There are several beaches within a few miles of our house...not white sandy beaches but Alaskan style.  It is really nice to feel the harbingers of summertime.  I love to see the new life that it feels like the earth has in the spring.  I guess I feel that a part of me is renewed as well.  Like it is a great fresh chance to do things better and to feel that rebirth that I feel often in my life.  It is a part of my faith that I can change, do better, white-out my mistakes or weaknesses and strengthen them.  It is a truly glorious feeling that I am grateful for.  So as I watch spring unfold, I feel it in me too.  The different seasons bring different things, and I feel like our family is at the brink of a different season of our lives and I am thrilled to feel upheld and strengthened through the journey.

We are Logged IN:)  Our dossier is received and logged in in China and will hopefully be expedited although we really don't know what time frame that will look like.  It should take about one month to complete the process after we receive the letter of approval from them so we are looking forward to travel.  It will be a new season for Min as well, and I pray that she is carried and upheld as her life changes drastically, and that she is given peace and a hope fore a future:)