Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This was a picture of the sunset the other night . We could see it from our living room window. Actually I was in the back of the house and I could see it reflected in our neigbor's windows. so then I had to go check it out!!
This picture is priceless!! We went to my brother's the other night and my niece and nephew were there. They live in Montana and South Carolina!! I can't remember the last time my kids and their cousins were all in the same room!! It was a wonderful visit. Front row l to r: my brother Dave and me: next row Jenn(Paul's girlfriend), my nephew Jesse, my niece Jamie,and Tim: back row:Paul, David, and Sara (Tim's girlfriend) My niece is very excited to get a girl cousin, she is the only girl on both sides of the family!!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

These are the throw blankets I had made for my 2 older sons and their girlfriends. They both have Labs. I sent pictures to Sam's Club on line and they made these blankets. They came out awesome!!! I used puppy pictures since they won't be puppies anymore. The yellow lab is Ally and the black one is Audrey. In the picture with Ally you can see my Australian Shepherd Emma!! They weren't supposed to be in until January 4th but I called on Christmas Eve day and they were in. Yeah Sam's Club!!!!
I love it when I can get all the boys and their girlfriends in one picture. From left to right: Tim, Tim's girlfriend Sara, David, Paul's girlfriend Jenn, and Paul. We had brunch and then opened presents. They also brought Ally and Audrey so we had a houseful. Just the way I love it. And next year little Sierra will be in that picture too!!!!!

Oh and I got a Wii for Christmas. What fun!! Actually Scott is downstairs playing right now!! We just got done with a bowling tournament!!! I think we will get a lot of use and laughter out of this!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

I know its Thursday and I'm supposed to be doing a countdown post, but its CHRISTMAS so I'd rather do a Christmas post. Not that its lost on me that in 2 weeks from TODAY we will be leaving on a jet plane to China. I have not forgotten it for one minute!! But as Pastor Paul said last night "It's not about us" "Its about HIM and his love for us!" A love that he shows us in so many ways. Like picking us to be Sierra's parents. We are soooo humbled by that!!! And here is my Christmas miracle story.

We have a very much loved member of our congregation named Ken. He has battled MS for years and is an inspiration to all who know him.He has been in a wheelchair for many years. He also can sing in the most beautiful tenor voice I know of. Well, back in May he was hospitalized. His condition seemed to stabalize but then took a turn for the worse. His body began to shut down and he went into a coma. It was a very sad Sunday when Pastor Paul announced that barring a miracle our friend Ken would very soon be going to be with Jesus. For 3 weeks we prayed for Ken and his family. And one day when Pastor Paul went to visit a nurse met him outside the door. "It's a miracle!!!" she said "What?" asked PP and his wife. "Ken is awake, he's out of the coma!!!!" and sure enough when they went in Ken was indeed awake. Now, his recovery been a slow process. Ken has been confined to a wheelchair for many years and his body was extremely week. But slowly he has regained his strength and last night, for the first time, he was able to leave the nursing home......... to come to our Christmas Eve service!!!! There wasn't a dry eye in the house. A true miracle!!!!
Merry Christmas to All

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Now I got the page back up where its supposed to be but where is the comment label? Wow that's the last time I try to do soemthing different. Let's see what happens now!!


I'm trying to figure out why there is such a gap between the end of what I wrote in my last posting, and the comments. I did update some colors but I don't think I did any thing else. Oh Oh! That's the trouble, there I go thinking again!!! Let's see if it does it again . If anyone has any ideas let me know!!!

Catching up

This blue jay was enjoying eating the seed in my birdfeeders this morning. Contrary to what is usually said he did share nicely with the other birds! I love these kind of snow shots where everything else is in black and white and there is just a splash of color!
The Sunday school at our church made ornaments last week. They made one for Sierra and put it with the others on the tree in the sanctuary. Of course it made me all teary eyed.

I came home the other night and Scott was putting up my village. I love my village but hate putting it up so Scott always does it for me.

Ta Daa!!!! Let there be light!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just 3 weeks to go!!!!!!

I can't believe we have only 3 more weeks before we get on a plane and head to China!!!!! And I know this week will go fast because I am so not ready for Christmas to arrive!!!!!! And lots of snow is coming our way!!!!!!!!

Anyway, as I was thinking of what to write about the number 3 , it hit me. It was 3 years ago in January, towards the end that we got serious about sending in our adoption application to the agency we chose. In February 2006 we received a letter saying that we had been accepted as a client. Although at the time we had not considered a SN child, a miracle was unfolding. Just a few weeks before, on January 24th 2006 a little girl was brought to the Zhanjiang SWI. They estimated her birthday to be the day before. She was found in a paper box, with a pink outfit on and a red blanket covering her. They named her Zhan Wei Xi. We did not know it then but this was to be our precious little Sierra. This jurney has lasted 3 long years, but the end result is worth every minute of the wait. We are traveling to be united with a little girl who has also waited 3 years to be with her forever family. And on January 23 we will land on US soil with our daughter who will be turning.... yep you guessed it 3 on that day!!! She will also be joining her 3 wonderful brothers!! Her birthday will always be a special reminder of our journey to China to bring her home. Her birthday will start in her homeland and end in the country who has so graciously accepted her into their arms!! We just can not wait!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fresh Snow

Recently I was online and I Googled the name Darius Cobb, who was my greatgrandfather. I never knew him, he died in 1919, but he was a well known artist in his day. He did many many portraits but liked to do landscapes also. While browsing on line I found this picture of his painting Fresh Snow. I absolutely fell in love with it. He used dark colors in many of his paintings but this one is so light. I love snow scenes and I love the two figures out on the sled. I wish I knew where it was. I know that it was sold at an auction in 2004 but I will have to do more sleuthing to find out where it is. I have paintings that my grandparents did but none from Darius. I was able to have printed a 11 x14 copy of the picture and have that framed. The original painting was only 9 x 12. I just wanted to share it with everyone!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Amazing God!!!

I would not be able to come up with words to explain this family's amazing faith in God combined with their love of orphans. You need to read it yourself. Please go to www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com and read. If you've ever even considered adoption you have to read their story. And even if you haven't read it anyway. Today's post is absolutely amazing!!! For me, f or yourself and for all orphans, head over there right now!! (And if you read my comments from my 4 weeks to go post, you will see that Linny posted to me all the way from Uganda!!! The connections we have made through this adoption are a joy in themselves!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Only 4 weeks to go!!!!!

Wow, I can't believe its countdown Thursday again!!! Only 4 more weeks until we drive to Newark airport and leave on that big ole jet that's going to take us to our girl!!! And 4 is a wonderful number. Its always been a favorite of mine. Its part of my lucky number 14. When I played sports if I couldn't get 14 I'd take the number 4.

And today is my friends Lisa's birthday. I can tell you she's not 4 today but her new age has a 4 in it!!!! (Don't worry Lisa, let them all think you are 24 today!!!!)

Now I have to get use to this number 4 thing. Because now when people ask me how many children I have, I can say 4. I have 4 children. Three boys and a girl. That has a wonderful ring to it .....4! And every single one of them holds a place in my heart that no one else shares. Just my 4 children. Ah...... the sound of it........4!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

CA and flights!!!!

What an exciting day!!!! Not only did we receive our Consulate Appointment, we booked our flights to China. We got exactly the flights we wanted. We fly out of Newark on January 8th on a nonstop flight to Beijing. Newark is less than 2 hours from our house. We also get to fly back on a nonstop flight and land on the 23rd, Sierras 3rd birthday!!!!! Now, after 7 months of waiting for this and that , the only thing we are waiting for is January 8th to arrive!!!! We really are coming Sierra, and we are coming soon!!!!

CA maybe today

Hopefully today we will receive our Consualte Appointment date. Once we receive that we can make our plane reservations for January 8th. Oh yeah today is the 8th, one month from today we will be"leaving on a jet plane" (as the song goes). I can't believe after seeing her face for the first time 7 months ago, we will finally be leaving to get her!!! What a n incredible journey it has been!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


YIPEEE Linny and her family get both babies!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

5 weeks to go!!!

I was sitting here trying to figure out what to write about 5 weeks. Good news since last week , we have our Travel Approval. We now have everything we need from the Chinese government to complete our travel plans. What we are waiting for now is our confirmation of our American Consulate Appointment. Our agency is requesting January 21st as the date. Hopefully we will hear tomorrow the 5th.

So I'm thinking what am I going to write about? And then I knew the story I have to tell. This is a story of 5 members of a family. This story is taking place right now in Uganda. My blogging and agency friend Linny is in Uganda with her two children, trying to get legal custody of 2 Ugandan babies their family would like to adopt. So Linny, Graham, Emma, Elijah and Elizabeth... that is 5!! I can not do this story justice. You have to read about it on their blog. It is http://www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/ It is an utterly amazing story of a family's love, faith and perseverance. A story unlike any I have ever heard. Please pray for them that the judge will let them have the babies. They are worried that they may only be able to take one. The judge will make the decision on Dec. 5th!!!!!

My heart was so touched today while I was reading my blog comments. There was a post from Linny, from Uganda, so excited that I had received my TA. Despite all her worries she is thinking of me. I cried and then rejoiced over the people we have "met" throughout this journey.

Thank you Linny, and I will pray for you and your family!!!!

My other new, good friend Joy, is leaving tomorrow on her trip to China to receive her son. I called her yesterday to wish her a safe and wonderful journey, It was so much fun being able to talk to her. Again, these are people we have shared so much with and yet... have never met.

Our prayers are with Joy and her family while they travel half way around the world!!! I can't wait to see you and Aric in the same picture!!!

So we wait some more... but every day that passes brings us closer to holding our little XiXi(she she). Christmas, although not what we expected back in May when we were matched with Sierra (oh yeah May is the 5th month of the year) will be a glorious time for us. The celebration of the birth of Christ(on Dec. 2 5th) is very special to us. We know that without his love, we would not be completing this journey of a lifetime!!!

So hopefully we will hear something about our CA tomorrow. Hopefully Linny will be able to leave Uganda with BOTH Elijiah and Elizabeth and hopefully Joy will have a turbulent free flight to China!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TA has arrived!!!

I was so surprised to come home last night and find an email from our agency that our TA has arrived!!! The TA stands for travel approval. Now our agency can request our consulate appointment date. If it is accepted, we can make our travel arrnagements. We hope to take a 12:15 pm flight out of Newark on January 8th. It is a nonstop flight to Beijing. Hopefullyw we will hear somehting tomorrow. after such a long wait for LOA everything is moving very quickly. Oh yeah and we have to have Christmas too. But that will make the time go faster. We will save a little bit of Christmas for Sierra. For the first (and last) time ever I am putting up an artificial tree so it can stay up while we are gone. I want to see Sierras face when we turn the lights on. It will also be her birthday on the day we return home. She will be turning 3. We will take everything slow and not overwhelm her!!! I just can't wait!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thursday countdown- 6 weeks to go!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Well, I have to say counting down the weeks this way does make the time seem to move a bit faster. 6 weeks from today we get on a plane at Newark airport and head for China!!!! So in honor of the day I am going to list 6 things that I am extremely thankful for!!!

1. My husband I have the most wonderful husband I could ask for. Anyone who can put up with me is pretty terrific anyhow!! He takes such good care of this family and of me. When I am sick he always can make me feel better. When I'm cold he makes me a cup of tea. He does the laundry everyday and even folds it!! He cooks, he cleans, pays the bills and he always makes time to spend with us!! He believes, like me that its important to give back to your community.

And he is go ing to be an amazing father. When people ask me why at the age of 49 am I starting all over, I tell them that I want Scott to come home from work and have a liitle person meet him at the door yelling Daddy, Daddy!! I can hardly wait!

2. My 3 sons (sounds like a TV show)I can't imagine my life without my 3 sons. They are my greatest accomplishment and joy. I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay home for 14 years and spend every minute of their lives watching them grow. I thank God every day that I was able to do that. I loved every minute of it. They are incredible young men and I am so very proud of them. They take care of me in a way that makes me feel so special. They are also each others best allies and each one can count on each other for their support. I am lucky that they live close by but yet they are starting their own lives. And I am so happy for them!! Well David is still here with us, he's only 17!!!

3. Family and friends I am so lucky to have the brother and sister that I do. Although my sister lives in Maryland we are very well connected. I am never so happy as when she comes to visit. It is a bond like no other! Luckily my brother lives close by. I don't see him as much as I would liike but he is always there if I need him. Although my parents are gone I have numerous aunts, uncles and cousins who I am still close to. And Scotts family!!!! Oh how I love how they took my 3 boys and I into their hearts. I will be forever grateful to them for their acceptance. And they are so looking foward to Sierra's arrival!! I could not have even started this process without the help of my loving and caring friends. Each and everyone has supported me throughout this process. Also in years past when my parents were so ill some of these same friends were like rocks. They have been there for all the tough times in my life and I treasure them. They know who they are.

4.Health Although all around me I have friends and family battling serious health issues, I am thankful for the good health my family and I have. It is NOT to be taken for granted. As my brothers girlfriend Diane battles her newly diagnosed breast cancer, I am well aware how quickly that could change. She is facing it with great courage and grace and we all pray for a wonderful result!!! Also I am thankful that Sierra's health is, from all appearances and reports , good!!! Lets hope all reports will be equally positive when we get her home!

5. My community I started this post this morning but had to leave because our town was putting on its first ever free Thanksgiving luncheon. All members of the community chipped in to create this amazing feast that we served at our Community Center. Scott and David were up early this morning to go to the fire house to cook and mash 50 lbs of potatoes. The local churches made pies. The school PTF made breads, the town board cooked the turkeys,, etc. etc. I am so lucky to live in a community that cares about the people who live there. They will welcome Sierra with open arms!!!!

6. This adoption experience When we first started this journey we really didn't know what to expect and how long it would take. Although there have been some bunps in the road, I would not have traded this experience for anything. I had no idea how many children are living in orphanages around the world. (Please if anyone is considering adopting, check into it. It will change your life forever and the life of a child.) We have "met" some pretty inspiring people along the way. I think many of these people will remain connected with us. The support in the adoption network is undescribable. Everyone helps everyone else. People from all walks of life who have one thing in common. They want to change the life of a child. We are overwhelmingly blessed to have been matched with Sierra. When I look at her sweet face I know that she is the child we were meant to have. Soon we will know more about who she is and how she will change our lives. Being thankful barely expresses how we feel......

Every day I thankGod who has made all this possible, for the wonderful life he has given me!!

I wish all of you a blessed and joyous holiday!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday countdown!!!!

Here it is, Thursday again!!! Now its only 7 weeks until we leave for China to pick up our sweetie. Is the time going quickly?!!! NO WAY!!! Its as if time has come to a stand still. I have never, well maybe when I was pregnant, wanted time to move more quickly.(Not because I hated being pregnant, I loved it!! But I was anxious to meeet my child!!) Yesterday we received some new, updated photos taken on Monday. They are such a gift. Its ALMOST enough to hold me over. Sending out a care package on Saturday will help too. She will be able to see pictures of her room, her dogs and more pictures of her family!

So 7..........mmmmmmmm. It's suppposed t be lucky!!! There are 7 days of the week and 7 doubled is 14, that's my lucky number. And David was born on August 7th and he is 17!! And both Paul and David wore the number 7 as their football number(although David couldn't get it this year) And Paul was wearing the number 7 a few years back when he kicked a field goal with 2 second left to win our schools first ever Section 9 Class A Football championship.

And who can forget the 7 Dwarves!!!

So I guess 7 is an OK number!
So Sierra, we will be leaving in 7 weeks to come and bring you home!!! We will be the lucky ones then!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Pictures!!!!!

There is nothing like getting new pictures to put a whole new spin to the day!!! Please checkout our new pictures of Sierra. We are in LOVE!!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Junior Prom!!!

Last night was David's Junior Prom!! I can't believe how fast the time has flown!! He wound up having a blind date. H s original date had to play a field hockey State chamionship semi-final game last night. (which they won3-0. Go girls!! They play in the final today!!!) Anyway his friends fixed him up with his girlfriend's friend. They go to a different school so they had never met. He looked so handsome and the girls looked beautiful too. And as far as I know ALL the kids made it home safe and sound!!!!

I am sooooo glad that David is coming to China with us. I can't imagine doing this trip without him sharing it with us. He will be an awesome big brothers. All the littlw kindergarten girls in my school love him. Some have even asked him to marry them when they are bigger. Sierra will be so lucky to have 3 very protective older brothers!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Countdown 8

I am starting a Thursday countdown. We will be leaving for China in 8 weeks from today. Although this is a longer wait from LOA than we had hoped we are coming to terms with it. It is part of the plan we may never understand fully but accept.
I mailed our China visa applications today. Our agency deals with a man from the state of Washington who will get our visas for us. The application was easy to fill out so this part of the process has been quite painless.
I am still having some hard moments about Christmas. There was no way we had prepared ourselves that we would not have her for Christmas. I still don't quite understand it all but I have faith in our agency that they know what's best. And its not like Sierra will know she is missing Christmas with us. Her stocking will still hang on our fireplace and will be waiting for her when we get home. Her picture will appear on our Christmas card along with the announcement that she will be coming joining us soon. She will not beside us as we hike up the hill to get our tree but she will be near our hearts as we celebrate the birthday of our Lord!!!
I am also reminded of the many people in our armed forces that will also not be home for Christmas. Their families are feeling the absence of their loved ones also. My heart goes out to them.
So little Sierra, we are counting the days. We are packing and planning and we are thinking of you endlessly. We will soon be there to take you in our arms!!! We love you!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today I was lucky enough to be off of work. And I knew and appreciated the reason why. As we are proceeding in our adoption journey I am often reminded, since we are dealing with China, how lucky we are to be able to have the freedoms we do. I maen jsut this past week we had election day and do matter how you feel about the outcome, WE HAVE THE FREEDOM TO VOTE!! And today is a day to remember all those who have been willing to give up their lives to make sure we have these rights. So imagine my horror when I had this brief exchange today with an adult acquaintance. "Hi Kathie How are you?" I replied "I'm fine, I'm enjoying my day off" He answered" Yeah, why is it that your off? I'm afraid I don't keep up with the holidays"

I was stunned!! How does one forget that it is Veteran's Day. Are we so holiday happy that we don't even take the time to appreciate the reason that we have been given the time off. My sister-in law took my nephews yesterday to visit a VA hospital. She brought them some things that our local elementary school students put together. Her father participated in the Gulf War when she was little. I always think of my late father on this day and his tour in Korea. He always talked of his time there with pride. So please let's all remember today those who have fought for us and those who are fighting now. Let's not get so busy that we become blaise about something as meaningful as Veteran's Day. And if you have a VA Hospital near you , go for a visit, and remember to say thank you!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enjoying the weekend!!

After almost 6 months of not loving weekends( because you never hear anything on the weekends) it's so nice to be able to really enjoy them again. Last night I hosted a family night at our church. We had a pot luck supper followed by BINGO!!! It turned out awesome. We had over 60 people there of all ages. I love the families in our church and we had a great time. I had a very tough week at work and it was a great Friday night activity. Today my husband surprised me and took me to one of the larger craft fairs in the area. I had forgotten it was this weekend but he didn't!!! I love that he goes with me and even buys me stuff.

We are starting to get things together for our trip. There are so many things to think of. Luckily the adoption community is so willing to help out with any information you may need. Monday is our travel meeting by phone to Kentucky. We will find out a lot of info then. It could be 2 hours long!!! There are at least 8 families that are going together. I can't wait to meet them all.

Its a little hard looking at Christmas stuff. We never imagined that we wouldn't have Sierra home for Christmas. But at least we know when we are going. We will be saving a little bit of Christmas for when we get back. Her birthday is also right around the time we return. It will be her first birthday party even though she will be 3!!!!

I'm including a picture that I took over Columbus Day weekend. We went pumpkin picking. The picture is of Scott, David, and Dylan, a little boy that we took camping with us. I love pictures from the back!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Still floating.

After 3 days I am still floating. It is such an incredible feeling to know that on January 8th we will be leaving to go get our daughter. I am so excited and nerevous at the same time. Will I remember everything, will the plane ride be OK, Will it be really cold in Beijing and what will it be in Guangzhou!! But I am so, so happy to be asking these questions. Our LOA arrived before 10:00 on Saturday. We signed it and brought it back to the Post Office to be sent back. I have included pictures of the Fed Ex guy and the ladies at the post office.

Next Monday night I will have a 2 hour telephone conference call and learn a lot more information from the person in charge of travel at our agency. This is so exciting!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008


WE GOT IT!!!!!!!! OUR LOA HAS ARRIVED AT OUR AGENCY!!!!!!!! What an incredible feeling. I will now always love Halloween. We are hoping for travel near the end of Dec. ,early January. Sierra, we are coming!!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday was a very difficult day. I came home from school in the morning because I was sick. I was not so sick that I could not check the computer. I found out that many LOAs had arrived, but not mine. Luckily my new, good friend Joy's did. She has been waiting a long time also and I am thrilled for her. We had hoped to travel together ( she is with the same agency ) but that probably will not happen now. If the rainbow I saw brought her her LOA than I am happy. She has given me an amazing amount of support through this ordeal and I don't know what I would do without her.
My agency said they will write to the CCAA and try to find out what is going on. I can't imagine not going before Christmas but that now is a possibility. I never believed that Sierra would not be home for Christmas but what is, is what is. Continue all your prayers and good wishes. there is always next week!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


What a beautiful fall we have been having. I will try and post some pictures maybe tonight of the colors. But today around 4:20 there was the most beautiful rainbow here in NY. Rainbows are good omens in my life so I am thinking LOA!!!!! When nature is trying hard to decide whether to rain or be sunny whamo...... ther's a rainbow with every color you can imagine. Only God could produce something so beautiful. I was at school in our afterschool program so I was able to share it with a bunch of kids .Better yet!!!! I found this picture a while back, of a rainbow in China. I hope to see one there when we go!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weekend camping!!

It's kind of nice having a day off in the midddle of the week. Today there is no school. We go back tomorrow and then have off on Monday. We are going camping for the long weekend. We go to a place that is only about 35 minutes from home. But it feels like hundreds of miles. It has a small lake so I will bring my kayak. I love kayaking in the fall. It's just the best. David will join us Sat. night after his football game. I hate missing games but this will be the only one this year. I also need to get away and enjoy some quality time with my husband.
The wait for the LOA continues. The last we heard from our agency is that there is somewhat of a slow down in paperwork. China will give them no timetable. So now we have no expectations of when we will go. I am still hoping for Nov. but one never knows when waiting on the CCAA. All I know is that the phone call will be one of the happiest moments in my life!!! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Maybe this week

I am so ready to start planning our trip to China. I want to be in that excited frenzied state , when you know you have a 1000 things to do and not enough time to do it. I want to be seriously nervous about getting on a plane and traveling many , many hours to get there. I just want this waiting in limbo stage to be over!!!! I am somewhat hopeful that we may hear something this week. My agency says they are waiting and expect our LOA to arrive at any time. We are still looking at hopefully traveling sometime in Nov. Hopefully sooner than later!!!

Sierra's room is almost done. When it is I will post pictures. In the meant time I am posting one more from 2 weeks ago!! She has the victory sign down pat!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


There are many reasons that I love the fall!!! Living in upsate New York is wonderful this time of year. The night s are cool, great for sleeping. The days are perfect, not too hot and not too cool. They are just right. And there is nothing like the colors that blanket the trees as their leaves change from green to red to orange and gold!!! As for me personally it means the corn is coming down!! We have a 150 acre field behind our house that a farmer owns and farms. Most of the field is hay but some of it is corn( the kind the cows eat!!) When I look out my kitchen window in the summer I can only see the corn. But when fall comes little by little the corn is cut and used for silage(cow food). When the corn is all gone I get a view of the whole field. I can see the deer and coyotes again. When I sit in m y gazebo I can see the tip of Slide Mountain again. And I appreciate it so much more because it was taken away from me for a while. Today I came home and the corn was being cut. It gave me a small sense of joy. It doesn't happen all in one day, but someday soon I will get my view back. I will enjoy it for the rest of the fall, spring and part of the summer until the corn replaces it again. But its not forever and I will appreciate it even more!! Here is a picture I took today. When its all gone I will post a picture again!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A test in patience!

When we finally receive our LOA and then our TA ( yes, there are more things to wait for AFTER getting our LOA!!!) I know I will have passed some kind of endurance test. Its so hard to explain, you know its going to happen, you want it to happen soon, you have absolutely NO control over the outcome so you just wait!! I know everything is happening for a reason and when it does happen it will be the right time. I'm thinking we will see something amazing in China or meet an amazing person, besides Sierra and I will say" That's why we waited. Or maybe nothing extraoridinary will happen and I will still know it was the right time. Its like when we were matched. Other lists came out and we did not get a call. Why? Because it wouldn't have been Sierra. And we are certain she was meant to be for us. With every fiber of my being I know that. So I will continue to wait, sometimes patiently but mostly not so patiently. And when that call comes......... I can't even imagine the joy it will bring!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today I got to celebrate my 4th wedding anniversary with the most amazing man, my husband Scott! I had a doctors appointment in Albany so we both took the whole day off. We went to the Christmas Tree Store ( a favorite of ours) and the mall. We shopped, looked at all the adorable little girls clothes and ate lunch out. He is going to be such a wonderful father. I can not wait until I see little Sierra in his arms. He is working 3 different jobs to earn the money we need to go. I can't believe the amount of money he has saved!!! Our agency says China is working on all their LOAs including ours. Hopefully we will hear soon and can still travel in Nov. I am so blessed!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New pictures!!!!!!!

I knew this was going to be a great weekend!! I received some new pictures of Sierra!!!! They were taken less than 24 hours ago. Isn't she adorable!! I can't wait to be able to dress her!! And her hair is getting longer!!! I could just stare at these all day!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Better frame of mind

Wow, I was a little upset on Monday!! I'm feeling a little better now but not because we've received any great news, because we haven't. But Dana my SN advocate at my agency and a person I have become "close" to has gone to Guatemala to get her son. She has hit every bump in the road during her journey and I know she understands everything I am going through. That has meant so much to me. But I am thrilled that her wait is over and Edison is with them now. I also have decided that getting angry in this instance is not going to accomplish anything. It helped when the UCSIS kept telling me they were waiting for things that I already sent. I contacted them, explained the situation.... again and they finally sent me my I171H that we need to travel. but that is a US government office. I can get mad at them. One can not get mad at China. I can't even talk to them and even my agency's hands are pretty much tied. We knew this going in so I can't really complain. It WILL happen and Sierra WILL be with us soon. And I'm even looking foward to this weekend. Its all about how you choose to look at things, this week I will look at things half full not half empty!!! Have a great weekend!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm mad!!!

Today has been a tough day. Many people on the RQ blog received LOAs today. I admit I am angry. I'm angry that this means I have to wait longer to hold my daughter. I am angry that it means my daughter will have to wait longer to know the love of her new family. I am angry( although I am not proud of it) that some people don't have to wait as long as we have, for no apparent reason. I am angry that a country who just hosted the Olympics for hundreds of countries can not quickly complete the necessary paperwork to get these kids home to the people who love them. Although being angry does not help the situation in any way, it is what it is. My anger is equal in amount to the love I have for this child I have yet to meet. I hope I will feel better tomorrow. Anger is never productive, but it is what I feel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Football is here!!!

Along with tropical storm Hanna came David's first varsity football game. Luckily the heaviest rain missed us and it only rained normally. You know football, you play in anything!! We were surprised but David was the starting quaterback. The coach decided at the last minute to use David over the other kid( a senior) who we all thought was going to start. He was also the punter and the placekicker! Unfortunately they lost but they played a good game. I was proud of all of them, they don't have a huge team this year, both in numbers and in body size. But they obviously have heart. I love football and can't wait until next Saturday. Next year Sierra will be joining us on t he sidelines to cheer for her big brother!!!! Here are a few pictures from the game. David is number 10. Boy was I proud of him!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Long week!

Wow its been over a week since I last posted. I wish I could say that I've been busy getting ready to go to China. The truth is we haven't heard a thing. I am almost getting used to it. I try to be hopeful each day but I just hate being so disappointed. It will happen but I'd love to know when. I am terribly excited about all the changes that will occur in our life. After 3 boys just having a daughter will be different. I am also looking foward to seeing Scott as a father. he is wonderful to my boys and I know he already loves Sierra. I love watching children grow and learn. I did home childcare full time for over 15 years. I still do it after school and in the summer. There is nothing more gratifying to me than being around kids. Their energy, curiosity,and zest for life are a wonder to behold. Believe me they teach me more than they could ever learn from me. It will be wonderful to have a toddler(almost preschooler) in our family again. The wait for me is getting almost unbearable. I want to hold her , to tell her how much I love her, feel her cheek against mine, and show her the world. Sierra, we will be there as soon as we possibly can!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back from vacation

Scott and I enjoyed 5 lovely days camping at Alpine Lake!!! The weather was perfect and I was able to keep my mind off the dreaded LOA. Being able to do the things I love to do most, spending time with my husband, reading and kayaking, made me almost forget about everything else!!! Of course now I'm back and I want my LOA!!!!! but it will come all when its supposed to. We are gearing up to go back to school. David is entering 11th grade and I'm going back to elementary school. (only for a short time until we go to China!!!!!) I hope it will make the time go faster but originally I didn't think I'd be going back at all!!! Oh well things change. Here are some pictures of our trip.

That's me on the right and my friend Theresa on the left! The picture on the right is what I saw every morning when I walked out the camper door!!!! It was awesome!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Another earthquake hit China today although not as strong as the one in May. It's still worrisome for parents with children there who are waiting for us. And it must be scary for the people who live there. I know there were some deaths reported already.

Tomorrow Scott and I are going away camping at Alpine Lake near Saratoga Springs!! I can't wait!!! Maybe our LOA will come while we are gone!!! Wouldn't that be nice!!!I'm posting another picture of Sierra. It was taken in June.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I just have a feeling about today. I don't know why, I just do. It would be so great to receive LOA. Then I can relax and just wait for TA and travel dates. And then we can go to China and get our little sweetie!!!
Scott and I are going camping on Saturday. Its just for a few days but the weather looks perfect. In the low 70s, my kind of weather. We will be by the lake so it should be perfect!!!! I can't wait. Watch, my LOA will come while we are gone!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tough day

Today was a tough day and for once it didn't have anything to do with the adoption. Actually I received some good news today. My I171H which we need to travel to China has been sent out to me. Much earlier than expected!!!
No. my tough day had to do with raising teenagers. It's the time when they start feeling more independent and start making choices on their own. Unfortunatley they don't always make good choices. Even though I've been through it before it still is upsetting to me. There is so much hurtful things out in this world you just want to lock them in their room and keep them safe. I know this will turn out fine and I know he will make more mistakes but its so much easier when they are little. I hope that God will continue to grant me the wisdom and patience that I will need in the coming years!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trying times

This wait is a difficult process. If you just knew when your travel dates would be it wouldn't be so bad. My biggest fears are that 1. They gave Sierra to someone else. 2. They lost my paperwork. 3. They lost her paperwork. 4. She's sick and no one wants to tell me. (although I don't really believe she is) 5. They have decided that we would be terrible parents and are not going through with the adoption. All these thoughts swirl around my head daily. That is why I am so desperate to receive our LOA. That is the letter where China says yes, you may have her, do you still want her? Can you believe that we have to sign a paper saying we still want her!! Like we would ever change our mind!!!! So let's keep our fingers crossed that we hear something soon!!!
I did send Sierra a care package yesterday and that was a good feeling. She should receive it in about a week. I love the idea that she will be receiving some things from us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Where did summer go?

I can't believe there is only two more weeks until school starts. I work as an assistant in an elementary school. I wasn't going to go back this year because we were going (I thought) to be traveling to China around the beginning of Sept. NOT!!! So I will start back and put in for my leave when I hear something more. Hopefully it will be soon.
David starts football practice today so he says his summer is over. They do work them hard but I am a huge football fan so I love it. He is going to China with us so he may have to miss a game or two, but maybe not.
My husband and I just made reservations to go camping again this Saturday for 5 days. We originally thought we wouldn't because we thought it would be close to the time we were leaving. Again, NOT!!! So we are going to get away for a few days I can't wait although I did check and the campground does have Wi Fi so I can still check my emails!!!!
So maybe this will be the week and I will post if I hear anything.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another year older!

What a wonderful birthday. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to receive my LOA. But that's OK it will come soon. It is all part of a bigger plan that I have no control over. I am trying so hard to accept that. Another family that I have become friendly with online DID receive their LOA today and for that I am grateful. I am honored that it happened on my birthday and I am thrilled for them. And as disappointed as I am it feels good to be happy for someone else. This is what this adoption community does, it brings out the best in everyone. Our time will come.
I had a great day at camp. We have a cookout on the last Thursday of camp which was today. It was a beautiful summer day. All the kids sang Happy Birthday and the staff had made cupcakes. Also they gave me a gift bag with all little things for Sierra in it.(including 2 Mets onesies) I was so touched. I have really enjoyed doing camp this summer. Summer camp always reaffirms to me why I love working with kids. It is so different than working in a school. I also love working with my highschool counselors. They are awesome young adults and I know they will all be successful. And Linda my Assistant is a great friend. We have done it together for about 5 years. This summer she brought her 5 month old daughter Jamie to camp. What a cutie. I am in love. She is the best baby. She just smiled and cooed to us all summer long. I loved watching her older brother Nick with her. You can tell how much he loves and will protect his little sister. Thank you Linda for sharing her with all of us.
My husband always makes this a special day for me. He gave me a beautiful card and in it included the words "We will soon have our little girl" I cried when I read it. He is so excited I can hardly stand the wait for him either. Sierra will be his first child and he will be an awesome father!!
As you can see it wasn't a bad day at all!! Thanks to everyone!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just thinking

Today I am just thinkinking what it will be like when we finally board that plane to China. I am imagining what it will be like when we are sitting in the room and they bring Sierra to us. Will she be frightened? Will she like us? Will I finally get to see her smile? It's hard now to imagine what these moments will be like. I want to be able to remember every detail so I can play it over and over in my mind. It's hard to imagine now what it will be like then, over 7000 miles away in a small room in China. But boy am I ready to find out!! Sierra, we will be ther as soon as we can!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Time is marching on!

What a nice week. Not great because we didn't receive our LOA but nice just the same. I just finished our 5th week of summer camp. Only one more togo. The time has flown!!! I was hoping not to have to go back to work in Sept. because I thought we'd be traveling. Wrong!!! I will probably go back for just 6 weeks or so until about 2 weeks before we travel. My youngest son turned 17 on Thursday. He is such a great kid and is turning into a wonderful young adult. He is coming with us to China and I am thrilled to be able to share that with him. He will adore his little sister and she him. Happy Birthday, David!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The summer speeds on!!

I can't believe we have started our last session of camp. This summer has flown by!!!I thought it would move slowly but it hasn't. Hopefully all the time until we go to China will move this fast. No, we haven't heard anything yet but I still have my fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I'm trying to be extremely hopeful that we receive our LOA this week. If not, there is little chance that we would be able to travel to get Sierra in Sept. Adoption travel is all but closed in Oct. so we would have to wait until Nov. That is something I don't even want to think about. Everyone please keep your fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

At the Fair!

Well today was the much anticipated camp trip to the Ulster County Fair. Now.... the kids eagerly look foward to it. I do not! It's alot of responsibility to take 50 kids ages 6-12 to a county fair. You have to make sure you don't lose anyone, hope that no one throws up on the rides or on the bus on the way home, and get the bus back to the park on time. Well I have to say it was a huge success!!! We didn't lose anyone, no one got sick and the bus made it back on time. And to top it off my son won won a Reserve Championship and a Junior Championship with his cows. It was a banner day! I knew it was the day I was going to get home and there was going to be a message that we received our LOA. NOT!!!! But I did read of four people who got their LOA and they have been waiting less time!! That's the way it goes. There is no rhyme or reason to any of this. Just hope we get it soon. All in all it was a great day and I love the kids I get to have all summer!! Many of them are the same kids that I see at school but let's face it, camp is way more fun. And... we are outside all day!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The other two!

These are the other two members of our family, Lucy(L) and Emma(R). They are our two Australian Shepherds. Just like the differences in kids these two dogs are very different. Lucy is very quiet and laid back. She should have been a therapy dog. We rescued her when she was almost 9 years old. She is now 15 and definitely showing her age although she still goes for a walk with me every morning. She is the gentlest dog I have ever had and I adore her. Now Emma on the other hand is not quiet. Her herding instincts are strong and if any one moves in the house she barks at them. Honestly if you get up off the couch, she barks. She thinks her job is to keep everyone in one place. She's super smart(as is Lucy) and has tons of energy. We hike, cross country ski, go bike riding and do agility. She also loves to play frisbee. Even though she'll be 4 we are still working hard to help her control herself better. The kids I watch love her because she's always ready to play. They also love to watch her do agility. They both love to go camping with us and we love to take them. They are an important part of our family!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Family picture

This is all of us, except for Sierra of course. From top left to right, my husband Scott, my sonPaul 22, my son David 16, and my son Tim 24. Bottom:me, Paul's girlfriend Jenn, and Tim's girlfriend Sara. I was so excited to get this picture around Christmas time its so hard to get everyone together when someone has a camera. David will be traveling with us to China.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beautiful daughter

I have just read my last few entries and realize how whiny I have sounded. I am trying to change my attitude today. We have been so blessed to have been matched with this beautiful child. I have 3 wonderful sons that are the light of my life and a husband who is the most wonderful, supportive man anyone could wish for. I am anxious for us to be all together but in the mean time I have to remind myself how lucky I am. I am posting another picture of our beautiful daughter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Still Waiting

OK This must be some kind of test. How much waiting can one person take. I go to camp each morning hoping that when I come home there will be a message for me. I come home each day and thre is not. Then I check on RQ(an adoption forum) to see if anyone else has heard anything. Then I am depressed for the rest of the day. My husband keeps reminding me that our referral and our PA came when we didn't expect it. So I guess I just have to stop thinking about it. Yeah right!!! I just want to know when we will be traveling. I guess everyone else does too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bad Day

Today was an especially hard day. Not only did I not receive any word of our LOA, I also found out we needed to fax some papers to our home study agency that we didn't include in the packet I sent the other day. Everything is on a time line and I don't have much room to spare. I have to get this homestudy updated soon!!! Luckily I was able to get the things I needed early and fax them this afternoon. I also found out that one can not travel to China for adoptions in October so we have to be able to go in Sept. or we will have to wait until November!!!!UGH!!!!Things better start happening real fast!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Maybe LOA this week?

I have no reason to believe it will come this week but one can always hope. At least during the week there is a chance that it could happen. On the weekend nothing happens. Although we spent a very quiet weekend all together which is nice. Except for the part where my son hit a telephone pole with his truck. "Just looked down for a second because something fell" Luckily only his pride and the back of his truck were hurt. You can tell them a million times but..... Even though this is the third time I've had to deal with a new driver I still hate it!!
So keep your fingers crossed that we will hear something this week!!! If I do I will let you all know!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

First week of camp!

I can't believe the first week of camp is over!! It goes so fast. We have 3 two week sessions so the first session is half over!!! What a great bunch of kids and counselors!! It helps that my assistant Linda had a baby in March and little Jamie comes to camp!! We all get our baby fixes and she is sooooooo cute!! And next year Sierra will be coming to camp with me. I started doing this when my first son was 10 months old. It was a great summer job because he could come with me. He is now 3 months short of 25!!! I have been doing summer camp for a long time!!!
Hopefully soon after camp is over we will be traveling to China!!!

Waiting and waiting

This all process should be called "hurry up and wait and then hurry up and wait again!" You get through one step and then you have to wait again for the next. I look at Sierras picture and it makes me want to go now!!!! I know it will all be worth it in the end.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Here she is!!! Now Zhan Wei Xi soon to be Sierra Christine WeiXi Hikade. She will be 2 1/2 on July 23rd!! We think she is absolutely beautiful!! I am writing this a little ahead of time so when we receive LOA I can post my blog address and everyone can see her. We hope to get updated photos soon!

What a busy few weeks!

First off and most important we received PA on June 18th!! That was very exciting especially the part where they said we could send a care package with pictures of Sierra's new family. That's us!!! We probably won't get to travel before the O;ympics and will have to wait until after due to the increase of all the fares, hotels etc.
We just got back from a beautiful 10 day vacation to Lake Ontario. We went camping, with our new travel trailer, and it was wonderful. The part of the lake we were at faces west so the sunsets were incredible. I will post pictures soon. I brought my laptop and they had free WiFi so I could check my email everyday.
Tomorrow I start summer camp. I am the head instructor for about 50 kids ages 6-11. We do have tons of fun!!! I love being able to be outside!! I hope the summer flies!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wow, what a crazy couple of days weather wise. For the first time in the 10 years I have worked in an elementary school, they sent the kids home half a day because it was too hot. That was yesterday. Today it was better and not so humid. We had a wicked storm last night and although many people lost power and received damage from falling trees, it did cool everything down!! Still haven't heard any new news on the adoption front. It is frustrating but I'm trying to carry on as normal!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hoping for PA

Well, We're hoping that we receive PA (pre-approval) this week. That will be the next step in our journey. Someone is trying to get us used to hot China weather. It's been in the 90s all weekend and tomorrow it's supposed to feel like 104!!!Ugh... I do not love the heat. Give me a cold crisp winter day any time!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Another driver in the family!

Egads!!!! My 16 year old son, David, just passed his driver's license test today. Even though I've been through it twice before it's so scary. It's not him I worry about, it's all the other crazy drivers. Everyone is in such a hurry these days. Oh well, he's a very responsible and cautious guy so I guess he will be fine. Now I will have even more gray hairs!!!

Waiting for PA

Come on PA!! I really want to receive this. It's China's first initial OK that maybe they will let Sierra be our daughter!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3rd, 2008
Yeah!! I finally have a blog. One step closer to meeting up with our beautiful daughter who is in China. We have been matched with a beautiful 2 1/2 year old girl. We are patiently waiting for PA, hopefully this week!!!