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!!!!!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 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!!!!!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
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
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!!!
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.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
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
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
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
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
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!!!!
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
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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
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!!!!!!