Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Day We Saw our Daughter's Face

Tuesday September 25th, 2012 is a day we will never forget. We woke up in a haze. The previous Thursday our agency had told us a new shared list was coming out and that they would do their best to match us. I tried to be realistic and not get my hopes up. Brad on the other hand is an eternal optimist and was certain that we would meet our daughter on Tuesday. In the days leading up I was a ball of energy and after I asked him to build a fire pit (after cleaning out closets, hanging pictures on the walls, mopping floors, scrubbing toilets) he exclaimed, "You're nesting?" Nesting I was and it made the time pass more quickly.

Back to Tues morning....As I said, we woke up in a haze because my dear husband refresed my yahoo at least every hour througout the night. We knew the referral email could come in the middle of the night because our night is China's day. No email came and I was shocked at how depressed and non functional I felt. We planned to go birthday shopping for Brooks but, I couldn't find the energy to try to be happy. Instead I sat home until I had to work at 11:00. At 10:30 as I was about to leave the house I looked at my email one more time. All I saw on the subject line from our agency was: Hui Juan. I knew at that moment I was about to see our daughter. I screamed to Brad and knowing we needed to open the email together, burst into his office. We couldn't open her pictures fast enough and both fell in love with her cuteness immediately. We quickly ran through her medical file although I don't think we soaked any of it in because really we just wanted to look more at her beautiful face. We had 72 hours to make our decision or China would take her file back. As any mother would do I went into spastic mode and within 5 minutes lined up physician consultations to read her file. Once that was done, Brad and I hugged and cried and gushed about her beauty. Then I ran off to "work" although I know I was pretty much worthless and really have no memory of my therapy session. Brad and I had agreed we wouldn't tell the kids until we got the medical reports back. But, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the moment he saw her face that she is ours. So....he went into super daddy mode and had her photos printed and framed before getting the kids at school at 1:00. Right there at church where much of this story began, the kids saw their baby sister for the first time. Kyrie hasn't put the photo down since she saw it and quickly exclaimed "she is even cuter than I ever imagined".

Kyrie hugging the picture while watching TV



Three days have passed and we have received fantastic medical reports.  In fact the international adoption specialist asked if she could take her home.  We have submitted our LOI (letter of intent) and are awaiting PA (prior approval) when China will name her ours.
Sooooo....What is her name and what are the details???

We knew a few weeks ago that we would name her Olivia.  I was lying in bed one night struggling with the lull we were in with the adoption process.  Over the past week I had been praying to God for a name because nothing seemed right.  That night, the name Olivia popped into my head and I had to look it up immediately.  The theological meaning is rooted back to Olive Tree which means "one root with threaded branches"  We felt immediately that God gave her the most perfect adoption name. Her middle name is Tinsman after Brad's family who has helped us so much to bring Olivia home.  We want her to know how much she is loved by them. 
More information that we know is that Olivia is 10 months old and will turn 1 at the end of November.  She is meeting all of her developmental milestones.  She can crawl and stand with help.  She babbles and is right on track for weight and height.  We also have learned that she's an early riser like our other two kiddos.  Guess Brad and I will sleep when they go to college.
We aren't allowed to show her pictures just yet.  We are making sure to follow all of the rules so we don't jeopardize this process in any way.  We are happy to show her picture to close family and friends who contact us by email. 
Much love and happiness to all who have been praying for us on this journey.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lifesong-Blog advocate

Lifesong is an organization with a mission to adovate for orpans around the world.  They do so through their blog, missions as well as providing financial support to adoptive parents.  We found out about Lifesong because we applied for a grant from them.  (Still waiting to see if we will recieve one).  In our application we gave our blog information and they responded by asking if I would be a blogger advocate.  From day 1 it has been my prayer that our adoption would go farther and allow me to do good for orphans beyond our daughter.  So, you may notice from time to time that there is information on this blog unrelated to our adoption.  Will your heart be touched toward adoption

"I was looking for someone to understand me, to love sincerely...I received all this!"  
 -Natasha, 22

As you heard Natasha share in the video, the orphanage took care of her basic needs -- food, shelter, clothing.  

But she longed for more. 

Belonging. Commitment. Love from a family. Hope for a future.

Because we believe kids like Natasha need much more than their 'basic needs', the staff of Lifesong Ukraine are building relationships inside the orphanage walls to create what we call Constant Christian Presence (CCP). 

The CCP provides mentorship and discipleship, improved living conditions, one-on-one counseling, group Bible study, job skills training, music lessons, and computer skills training.

Instead of the common trend of orphans creating orphans, Natasha, because of her support through CCP, now desires to help other children who are in orphanages to give them the support she received. Orphans mentoring orphans...a cycle worth striving for!

Child Sponsorship
We are excited to announce that Lifesong Ukraine has recently launched a new child sponsorship program. If you are interested in helping build Constant Christian Presence by sponsoring a child like Natasha, please contact us.

"...He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:3

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sweet Surprise

I woke up this morning to the sweetest surprise on Facebook.  My dear friend Marybeth remembered a conversation we had months ago at our church Women's Retreat.  We had just started the adoption process and I told her that I wanted to bring something to China for the babies left behind.  I have since become busy and overwhelmed with the paperwork, fundraising and emotions that come with adoption.  Sadly, the lovie idea left my thoughts.  But, God didn't forget this conversation because Marybeth said he, "whispered in her ear yesterday".  She had to act on it and went right to work making a gorgeous scrapbook flyer to advertise "Sending Lovies to China"
Let's make this so big we have to bring a whole suitcase filled with lovies for the sweet babes left behind.  Make one, buy one, either way be sure to pray over it and have your children pray over it.  Then send them to Marybeth at the address above.

Today, I am so thankful for girlfriends with big hearts.  Marybeth, you have touched me more than you will ever know.

Oh yeah and I am thankful that we are LID (locked in date) today.  Praying for a quick match now!

Friday, September 14, 2012


On Sept. 13th we recieved the much anticipated email that we are DTC or in non-adoption lingo Dossier to China.  According to our agency, in 1-2 weeks we will be LID (Log in Date).  At that point we will be eligible to be matched with a non-special focus child.  We will be celebrating this weekend for sure.

Can't believe that next time this year we will have 3 Gator babies.