Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Thanks to Pappy and Nanny, we all had our glasses and were waiting for our chance to see the particial solar eclipse from our yard. We had some rain and clouds, but we were able to see the eclipse, and we enjoyed the experience greatly!
Thanks, Pappy and Nanny!!!!

P.S. Once we were outside, I had Samuel's eyes to guard and Derek had Daniel's eyes to guard, so we didn't get a "viewing" the eclipse picture.

Friday, August 18, 2017

We are DTC!

Today we are Dossier to China--meaning our adoption paperwork is flying to China right now! It is done! We are SO THANKFUL to the Lord and to all who held us up and walked us through the first part of the adoption process!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are one giant step closer to Nathanael!

And, of course, we celebrated tonight with Chinese food, eaten with chopsticks. The meal tasted even better than I remembered, since Derek ordered the food as I was beginning to cook our dinner. No cooking. No pots and pans. Aww! What a celebration!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer 2017b

Superheroes live at our house.

Here's proof:

And, of course, we have "Sir Bucket Head" 😍.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer 2017a

So, now that summer school break is behind us, I will post some special pictures from our summer. (I tried to "live in the moment" with my family, so I didn't post very much.)

The first trip we made was to see Derek's great aunt in Tennessee and then on to Georgia to get together with my family.

In order to make the trip more comfortable and to help Sammy sleep in different beds during the journey, I made my first weighted blanket. It was quite successful! I was extremely happy!

All together with Derek's great aunt:

While we were visiting Derek's great aunt, she became ill and needed a day of rest. So, we took the children to a hands-on museum in the area, and they had a fabulous time!

News anchors:
The boys "lost" their shirts due to a water incident involving toy boats. The workers let us take their shirts back to the car to dry them in the heat.

Aw. Shirts again: 

 The banker:

After visiting Derek's great aunt, we went to visit my family--who had rented a cabin in the mountains for several days. It was so nice to reconnect with the family again!

The girls snuggled up reading:
Look at how the boys are snuggled up for a nap! 💗
Sweet Aunt Teaya:
Madison and Sammy (with Andrew pushing the pedal):
 Yay, Andrew!
 Super, Hope!
 Look at the fishing pole Sammy chose:

 Uncle Pedro and Mason:
 Daniel and Madison: "My dad is stronger than your dad!"

 Uncle Jon to the rescue with the bubbles:
 Jon and Madison, Jen and Sammy, Pedro and Sebastian:
 Outside fireplace:
This was the perfect ending to each evening
as the adults stayed up late bonding
around the outside fireplace. LOVED it!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Big Week

This week, our finished dossier (adoption paperwork) reached our agency. How wonderful it felt leaving our hands!

Little did we realize that one of the papers had an electronic signature instead of a live signature, so it was rejected. Gulp. At least it was caught on this side of the ocean!

Also, we received an update on Nathanael! What a welcome surprise!

(I love his nose!!!!!)

Our Nathanael is 3 years old, about 32½ inches tall, and weighs in at 22 pounds. Since our last update, he has learned to walk, run, and jump! Wow! Way to go, little guy!

In addition, we began the 2017-2018 school year. We are homeschooling again with Cherish in the 5th grade, and Hope and Andrew in the 2nd grade.

Happy schooling everyone!!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Nathanael Qi-Hao

The last week and a half have been very hard for our family. There have been many ups and downs. It all began with Derek and me talking about what our next vehicle would be--as we would be filled to capacity when our new little guy came home.

How many orphans from Ch*na would God have us adopt? 6? 8? 10? We had no idea.

Then, two days later, we found out that Ch*na had placed new regulations on adopting families, and we were in "violation" of the new regulations. We did not know if we would be able to keep the little boy that Ch*na had already said we could adopt.

We prayed and trusted in the sovereignty of God. He put us on this path to little guy, so we believed He would carry it out to fulfillment.

During our times of prayer, we continued to ask God what He would have us name little guy.

We decided that his name would be Nathanael, which means "Gift from God", because it would be by God's grace (gift) that he would be our son.

For days we waited to see what Ch*na's response would be regarding families who had already received pre-approval for a specific child but who were in "violation" of the new regulations.

The day our agency (CCAI) received Ch*na's response, they called us directly. Our agency let us know that Ch*na had decided to allow us to keep Qi-Hao (pronounced Chee-How), but we would not be allowed to adopt any more orphans from Ch*na in the future.

Sadly, other families who were just as far along in their paperwork as we are--and many who are even a lot farther along(!!!)--were told they would not be able to adopt from Ch*na.

The day was mixed with so many emotions. We rejoiced with our friends who had received phone calls revealing the fact that their chosen child would indeed be coming home to them, and we cried with our friends who woke up to rejection phone calls. In addition, we cried at the announcement that we would not be able to bring any additional orphans out of Ch*na. (The thought of the number of orphans who would remain orphans due to the new regulations hit us like a little kick in the gut.)

While we mourn with those who mourn, we do thank God for the gift of our next son.

And so, with great joy we announce that we will indeed be bringing home Nathanael Qi-Hao Bollinger. He is our "Gift from God".