Monday, June 28, 2010

Heading to Wyoming!

We are leaving out on Wednesday morning to drive to Wyoming for a family reunion! We can't wait to see all of Brad's family! Since we moved, we see them so much less than we are used to, so it will be fun to be all together again!

In adoption news, we are now finished with all paperwork and can proceed with our homestudy. We are hoping to get it scheduled for soon after we get back home. Every day that goes by is one less day with Gracie, and it will feel so much better to get this step finished!

We spent the past week and a half visiting with dear friends who came up and rented a boat, and invited our family to spend 9 days with them floating around the San Juan Islands. What a wonderful time spent with friends and family!

Whale sighting! Our favorite day on the boat!

Our "Pirate Princess" who gained the nickname of "Chatty Kathy" on our trip.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

While We Wait!

There's alot of life to be living while we wait for Gracie to come home!! We are enjoying the last few days of school and enjoying the sun (when it comes out)! Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to.

Enjoying tea parties using Great Great Granny's teacup! I loved pulling this out for Ally to use! Her favorite pastime is having tea parties, drinking the real stuff, with lots of cream and sugar added! I love these special times with her!

Playing a little basketball with friends! We are losing our awesome neighbors in just 3 short weeks, so the boys have been spending alot of time together!

Burning things in the driveway with the magnifying glass! This boy LOVES doing this! I just gave him back his magnifying glass after he about burned the house down a couple of years ago! Now he keeps a bucket of water handy for burning experiments!

Friday, June 4, 2010


So my friend, Kimberly, told me that working through this process backwards is hard.... we knew going in that it probably would be! Brad has been an absolute ROCK STAR, and flown through all the necessary paperwork to get things going for us. We found out today, at our adoption class, that our homestudy probably won't even be until July sometime, and of course, we were hoping for tomorrow (not actually, but you know what I mean!) We are going to have to work really hard to have patience throughout this whole process!
We've been asked alot about the kids reactions to all this news....! Allyson is easy, she wants a "baby" sister, and I've tried explaining that they will be the same age, but she is excited (at this point) to have someone to share her room with and play with. Her little world will definitely be rocked with the addition of Gracie, but we feel that given time, she will love having a sister! Caleb and Jacob have done really well with the news, as well. We have had a lot of discussions, some gearing towards the Down's Syndrome, and some just dealing with having another sibling. They seem very interested in the process and have asked questions and seem to be handling it all well.
Our timeline to Gracie should be approximately as follows: The homestudy has to be done before our I-800A and Dossier can be done. Our homestudy will probably be done in July, and will take a few weeks to process. Once the Dossier is sent to China, we are looking at 2-4 weeks for a "Log In Date". This just confirms that China has received our paperwork. The Letter of Acceptance (LOA) should be issued 2-4 months after the log in date. After the LOA, we send in our I-800, which takes about 2 months to prcess. After this time, Travel Approval (TA)can be issued, and we will travel approximately 2-3 weeks after this. I know this all sounds very confusing, if you've never watched an adoption go through, but I know we will be asked alot about where we are at in the process! In the mean time, we are going to be doing everything we can to raise the necessary funds to bring her home. We are thrilled that we will be receiving a grant from the adoption agency, and we plan to apply for a couple of other grants, one of which will be through Shaohanna's Hope, which is Steven Curtis Chapman's fund to help families going through the process of international adoption. We were granted a fund from them during Allyson's adoption, and hope to receive another. We know that God has called us to this, and we know that He will provide the necessary funds to get us there! We will be living as frugally as possible, and will do all that we can to save, as well as hopefully host a couple of fund raising events.
To say we are excited, is a major understatement! There is a lot of uncertainty and some fear going into this, but we know that God is with us every step of this journey He is taking us on! Thank you all for loving us and praying for us and giving us the encouragement we need!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Table for Six

In 1996, God broke our hearts for children in the world who needed a family. We were on a mission trip to the People's Republic of China. When we got home we started looking into adopting from China, but we did not qualify because neither of us was old enough. You had to be 35 at the time. We new we wanted to adopt, so we turned our efforts to South Korea. God has so richly blessed our lives with three wonderful children. Caleb came home in 1998. Jacob joined us in 2000. Allyson burst onto the scene in 2007. Since Ally came home we have talked off and on about adopting again but not with a lot of earnestness. We knew that if we were to adopt again, perhaps we would consider a child with special needs. Things never went past random discussions, that is until Friday, May 21st.

That night Shelly came downstairs and informed me that she may have found a little girl she would like to adopt. We've started down this path twice before to no avail so I didn't get overly excited. She showed me her information online, we talked about it, and decided to request additional information. By Monday our hearts were in full swing. "God, is this what You want us to do?" We believe the answer is yes.

Grace was born in February 2007, less than a month after Allyson came to our home. It breaks my heart to think about her living without a family for that long. I look at Allyson and think of how much love and how much time Grace has missed. I vow to make up for it. She was born with Down's Syndrome. We can't know the fullness of what we are getting ourselves into, but when the Father moves your heart and says, "This is your child," you proceed.

We are currently in a flurry of paperwork. Mailing here and there. Faxing this and that. Requesting all kinds of things. Filling out one thing after the next in an attempt to complete this process as soon as possible. It's not like the first three times we adopted, where we weren't even on the list until we got everything in. We have already received pre-approval from China. This little girl is our waiting child. Every day is another day she doesn't know her family who already loves her. There is still much to be done. Please join us in praying for this process to complete in a timeframe that can only be explained by the hand of God.

Before we were even married we talked about wanting 4 children. It has always been our dream. I don't know why 4, but that was always the number of children we talked about. Perhaps God placed this number in our hearts. I'm praying that it is brought to completion by the end of this year. I'm praying for God to fill up our table for six.