Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I said yes...... again

10 years ago today marks one of the most if not most memorable events in our lives.  David asked me to marry him - and while of course getting married was a topic of discussion on more than one occasion I had no idea when he was going to propose - and really I had no idea up until the very moment he asked me.  Our engagement story is one of the most romantic stories ever (at least in my opinion)!!  Tonight my sweet husband recreated that evening for me - he even got down on one knee and asked me to marry him all over again - and of course I said yes!!!  This was the sweet surprise that awaited me when I came home this evening.  It was so neat to have our boys be a part of it as well.  I explained that daddy had lots of candles out in the garden where he proposed to me and he had music playing.  Ethan asked David "daddy did you put those stars up there too?" It was a sweet evening filled with lots of reminiscing.  I am so blessed and I am so thankful that God brought David to me and it was in His sovereign plan that I become his wife.  I love being married to this man and I never know what surprises he's got up his sleeves!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Pearls

We have been doing some fundraising off and on with pearls.  The set below was custom made by friends of ours in honor of our daughter.  They have a pearl business within China.  The Chinese character in the cross is "hope" (Linnea's middle name.)  The set is $30 and the money goes to our adoption fund.  We still have a few sets available.  If you are interested leave a comment and I will get in touch with you.  Thanks for your support!

catching up....

David here. I will give this a shot since I may be doing some of the blogging when we go overseas. I am not crazy about this "girl looking" template on our blog but I can get over that to write a few things!

Here are a couple of our latest happenings:

Last Saturday I took the boys to Lowes as they love to go on the days they have kid's building projects. I think hammering nails into the wood is their favorite thing to do. Teaching them the patience to follow the instructions is almost a lost cause! I love getting to spend time with them and it gives Mommy much needed breaks from time to time. I think she actually got to sleep in that morning since we were out early. 
Here are a few pictures from this fun day. 








Last Sunday we were invited to be a part of the service at Woolsey Baptist Church. We thank them for the invitation to be a part of the service as the Pastor spoke about adoption during this particular Sunday during sanctity of life month. We had prayed for opportunities such as these at it was neat to get a random call from the Pastor that we did not know before last Sunday. Our prayer is that this was not about us, but to be an instrument to let people know of our testimony….how we were convicted through the Scriptures and through the messages from our own Church calling us to care for the fatherless and the orphan. Thanks to those who came up afterwards to talk with us. Since we point many to this blog for more information, here are some tools that helped us but feel free to call or email us if we can help in any way.
  • Books (these are good books to get you started and then there are more specific books if you do indeed decide to adopt, do foster care, etc)
    • Adopted for Life – This was one of the first "adoption" books we read and it is great. It is written by Dr. Russell Moore who is the Dean and VP of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Adopt without Debt, Creative ways to cover the cost of adoption – Written by Julie Gumm and recommended often on Dave Ramsey's show. This book gives many practical ideas and also covers the majority of adoption grant organizations. 
    • Orphanology – Dr. Tony Merida, Pastor and Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Internet resources – there are many resources online. The agency we used has a great website: www.lifelineadoption.org
    • There are also many grant programs such as Steven Curtis Chapman's organization – www.showhope.org

Martin Luther King Day

We took the boys to the Martin Luther King Day parade in Fayette County this past week. We had a great time and the weather was good. We had a great group of folks from our Church as well as other friends that attended. This was a great teaching moment for our children and I'm glad my family could be a part of the parade. The MacIntosh High School band came, there were many classic cars and other organizations in the parade. Here are a few pictures from that day.








Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!!


Chinese New Year has begun - and for the Chinese this celebration can last for up to 4 weeks.  A friend of ours over in China said that some of the schools over there are closed for 4 weeks.  Nathan had quite a response to this!!  For the most part businesses are generally closed 1-2 weeks.  I kind of compare it to our Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all rolled into one giant holiday.  For most Chinese this is the only time of year they will get to return to their home province or city and visit their family.  It has been so fun and interesting to learn more about their culture and traditions.  We are looking forward to CNY next year with Linnea.  Hopefully we can have a big celebration with our friends who are traveling this same road with us right now.  Nat, Jenny - can't wait to celebrate with you and our daughters (and our husbands too)! Gung hay fat choy!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One more step in the journey

Found out tonight that our Article 5 (one of the last pieces of paperwork that China needs before we get travel approval) was dropped off at the US Embassy today!!!  We are so excited.  After our Article 5 is picked up we just wait for China to tell us we can come and get our little girl.  So thankful for the Lord's hand in all of this!!   I was thinking the other day just about God's providence and sovereignty in our lives. A little over 11 years ago I was in China and felt sure I was going to be going back there on a more permanent basis - well you know the story - that didn't happen.  And to be honest there were times that I wondered why the Lord didn't allow me to go back there - why couldn't DP and I both just go - after all I just wanted to live amongst those precious people and share with them who gave them life!  Fast forward to now - God is allowing me to go back and DP is coming too!!  And we get to bring one of those precious lives home here to the U.S. (my comfort zone) and not to mention in our very own home and I/we are going to have the privilege of sharing with her everyday out in the open not in secret about the very one who gives her life.  This truly is a gift.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Are they speaking Spanish??

This blog post is what I am going to call blogging incognito.  I have a friend (who shall remain nameless) that I have told over and over she needs to blog.  Her kids are soo cute and they say the funny things that I think just need to be blogged about,  I think she will want to be able to look back on all the funny things that were said and done but there is no blog and friend is more than likely not going to get one she is a good journaler and I am not which is why I have the blog but I am digressing as usual...  so I asked if I could share a story and she gave me permission.... maybe I can do more blogging incognito.... but for now here is the story.  You will have to just bear with me and keep reading because I won't use names or gender or ages so I am not quite sure how this will work out grammatically but you know me when I blog grammar goes out the window!!

So my friend and her family were on their way to friends sisters church.  One of the sisters children were going to be baptized and the family was going to be there for this celebration.  The church that they were attending was an assembly of God church.  My friend and her family attend a Baptist church so the children were not accustomed to some of the practices that occur in an assembly of God church setting - i.e. the speaking of tongues.  Well at some point in this service the practice of speaking in tongues occurred.  My friends youngest child immediately blurted out "are they speaking Spanish?'  I know you are probably thinking that this story is not that funny - but for me it is really funny - I even chuckled out loud as I was typing up the story.  So thanks for bearing with me and reading thus far - because this is a story I wanted to remember.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Slumber party. Three boys in one twin bed not sure how long this will work out.

PS. This didn't work out so well. I think it was nice long enough for a picture....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fundraising Journey Update...

Many of you have asked where we are in our fundraising - so we thought we would add a little gadget so you can see where we are in what we have left to raise. You can check it out on the left side of the blog.  We are so grateful that God has brought us thus far and are confident in His provisions for the future.  Thank you all for praying with us and supporting us in our journey.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yep she's a cutie.....

We sent a package back for Linnea with Jenny our contact in China over the holidays.  We got some pictures of her opening the things we sent.  I had also sent some questions to TCH asking about Linnea and her personality.  Well here is what we got... I did not change any of the translation that was lost in the answers to the questions we sent....









Does she like a bath? Yes, like
Is she afraid of water? Not very much afraid of
Does she sleep in a crib or a bed? Sleep alone baby bed
Where does she sleep? Foster mother with the same bedroom
Does she still take a nap? Occasionally will take a nap, generally don't take a nap
Does she sleep with anything in particular?NoShe sleep like sucking his fingers
Does she sleep with a night light or music?No, Want to open small night light
Does she drink from a sippy cup or a bottle? Can use,OK
What does she like to drink? As long as is sweet like. Don't be fastidious about food
What are her favorite foods to eat? Candy, cookies, bananas, bread, noodles in soup bars
What makes Zhong Sha happy? Outdoor activities, with her interaction, and children play together
What toys does she like? Have music, novel all kinds of toys
What is she afraid of? Set off firecrackers
How much does she weigh? 8.5kg (this is about 18 1/2 pounds)
How tall is she?80cm (this is about 31 inches)
Does she have nickname her foster family calls her. ShaSha
If Zhong Sha is upset what soothes her? Hug her, and to coax her, and take her to go out to play

It seems as if she is a little thing.  These clothes I sent were 24 mos and they look big!!  And it looks like she and Ethan have some things in common - sucking their fingers and a love for bars!!  

We are awaiting on our notice from the National Visa Center that our paperwork has been cabled to Guanzhou.  Once we receive that - then our adoption agency will send the last of the paperwork to China - we will wait for that to be delivered to the Adoption Center in China and then await travel approval.  With Chinese New Year coming up - our wait will be extended a bit longer than usual.  Our agency says we should expect to travel in March.  Please continue to pray for us that God would provide what we still need to finalize the adoption and pray for Linnea as she has a huge transition ahead of her. 
As always thanks for keeping us with us!!

A slump.....

I love to run, I love to work out but I also LOVE my sleep - I AM NOT a morning person - just ask DP!!  So needless to say I have been in a bit of a rut.  I cannot believe that there was once a time that I got up before dawn to go and work out - but because I did it once before I know that it can be done again.  I don't know when was the last time I had a really good workout.  The last time I ran was in the beginning of November!! And of course with the holidays - eating healthy has not been my first choice - besides the fact that I also LOVE anything sweet and I am a coke zero addict (phew glad I got that out there)!!
So here we are at the beginning of a new year - a sort of new beginnings if you will.  While I am not really into making quote un quote new year resolutions - I do think it is good to set goals spiritual, fitness, career, etc. and goals can be set anytime of year even on January 11.  Last night DP told me about a goal he had set to run 500 miles this year.  We had both said at the beginning of the year yes I know a mere 12 days ago that we were going to get into gear and get working out again.  So for the past two weeks he has been asking me "did you run today?" (because he actually has been working out!) and I would usually laugh and say yep I ran - all over the house today chasing 3 little hotcakes!! Well after he told me about his 500 mile goal - I decided that I would make myself a running goal (for those of you who know me well my little competitive spirit was kicking in and beginning to show itself) so I set a goal to run 2 miles a day everyday except for on Sundays.  That would mean I should run a little over 600 miles this year.  Now I live in the real world and know that there will be days that this might not work out -pardon the pun -  (especially since we are adding a new little one to our family)-  but none the less it is a goal and maybe I can at least match DP's 500.  And while I am doing this - I will be getting healthy again and shedding some unwanted pounds.  I love the verse in Proverbs that says "Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established."  I actually have this verse up on my treadmill.  So when DP asked me today "did you run?" I said yes - 2 miles!! Here's to getting out of the slump and a little less coke zero ;-)

Dad has two jobs now???

Recently DP was nominated and elected in our church to become a deacon.  This is an honor and privilege that comes with responsibility.  I am thankful that the Lord has given me a husband like mine - God was truly gracious to me!!  Last Sunday our pastor Justin shared a great message entitled "Who's In Charge Here"  it was a great reminder of leadership and what that means within the church body.  Toward the end of the message he did introduce our new elders and deacons with DP being one of them.  DP however was out of town and Justin mentioned to the boys just a minute about what daddy was doing.  At the end of our service we prayed for these men and their families.  It really was an excellent service.  I am so thankful to be part of such and incredible church body. On the way home from church I always ask the boys what the learned about in Sunday School and what they can remember about the sermon from the morning and  this was Nathan's take on Justin's message - "so mom does this mean dad has two jobs now - is he going to be a pastor like Mr. Justin and work for CFA?" Don't worry I explained.... for now unless the Lord calls other wise - we will keep selling chicken :-)

They make me us laugh....

Our boys give us soo many giggles!! !!! This blog is my journal so to speak so I have to post these things here maybe you will get a laugh too.....

One day last week around the lunch table Nathan informed me when he got older he was going to change his name.  I humored him as I can remember a time when I was little that I wanted to change my name - I have no idea as to what but I remember having that thought.  So I asked him what he was going to change it to and he replied "Daniel."  I asked why Daniel and he told me because it was a name in the Bible.  I kindly reminded him that Nathan was also a name in the Bible.  He then says - "but isn't Daniel a book of the Bible" to which I say yes and he tells me that that is why he chose Daniel because it is a book of the Bible.  After the name change discussion our topic of conversation changed to jobs - as in my job.  Luke wanted to know what I was going to be when I got older and I said the same thing I am right now - a wife and mommy.  Nathan then has to explain that Luke means what I am going to do when I don't have them anymore - as in when they are no longer in the house.  I told them that I still would have daddy to take care of and I would be a wife.  Luke says "no mom - you know like Gramma has a job - what are you going to do?" I stuck to my story and continued to explain that I would be wife - Luke informs me that is not a "real job."  

This last story is not so much a conversation but just something funny Ethan said.  The boys were upstairs being wild with daddy and DP told them they were all a wild bunch of Indians to which Ethan says ever so seriously "I'm a tame Indian..." Luke then asks "Daddy what does tame mean?"