Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Travel Approval!

Today at 1:00 p.m. we received our travel approval! China has invited us to come and receive our son! Just writing the words makes me cry. Our son. Andrew. We are so in love!

This Christmas, one more orphan will be in a family.


God is SO GOOD!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Family

Cherish said this is our family:
Daddy, Mommy, Cherish, Andrew, and Hope
We are praising God that by this time next year, this faith should be sight!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What a week!

I am so glad there are no do-overs!

Last week was…um…full. With each hard thing that happened, there were many reasons to be grateful.
Let’s begin with Cherish getting sick—with a fever. She always seems to remain sweet even in the midst of feeling awful.
In the picture above, take notice of the “bracelet” on Cherish’s wrist. One day we had read Deuteronomy 6:5-8 which says to write down copies of God’s laws and tie them to your wrists…to help you obey them. So, one night many days later, Cherish ripped off some paper and announced she needed someone to write verses on the bracelet so that she could do what the Bible says. (She was referring to the Deuteronomy passage.) Derek and I were shocked she remembered.

She kept that bracelet on even at night!
Then one day, I took Cherish to the pharmacy, because her nebulizer had broken. While we were in the pharmacy, our car was burglarized. The glass was shattered throughout the car—front and back. It was a horribly disturbing situation, and one that traumatized young Cherish.
We found much to be thankful for, though. First of all, the burglar(s) chose to leave our garage door openers behind. Thank You, LORD! Also, they chose to leave Cherish’s asthma medication alone. Again, we were/are so thankful! Also, Cherish and I did not walk into the crime scene. It really could have been a lot worse. Once again, thank You, LORD!
For days Cherish kept commenting that the person who stole our things must not have ever read the Bible, “because the Bible says not to steal.” She decided that she needed to make "bracelets" with the Ten Commandments on them and “hand the man one if he tried to steal our stuff again. That way he will know that God said not to steal.”

She blesses my heart!
Then, I got tubes put into my ears and chose “without sedation” so that I could use the remainder of the day to get some adoption paperwork done. What a mistake! It was torturous, and the alarming look on the surgeon’s face and the worried look on the nurse’s face said it all. I kept my eyes closed most of the time so I would not see their faces and just kept praying that God would grant the surgeon wisdom, that He would place His hands on the surgeon’s hands, and that I would be able to endure the pain.
Eyeball pain. Throat pain. And of course, ear pain that was immense!
It turned out my ear canals were too small for the surgical way the surgeon had planned to go about the procedure, but it was too late to change courses once he had begun. But, God granted him wisdom, and the second ear went more smoothly than the first. Also, He helped me make it through! Thank You, LORD!
But, never again. Sedation. Sedation. Sedation!
It has been five days since the tubes went in, and now my hearing is getting better. I am so thankful! (So is my family J.)
I guess that’s enough words for now. More later.

I am so thankful to be finished with last week; however, I know I have MUCH to be thankful for!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Update on Andrew

Way too much has occurred in the last several days—which I would like to blog about; but first, let’s skip to the wonderful update we received today on Andrew.

At age 14 months, Andrew weighed 15.65 pounds, was 28.74 inches tall, his feet were 4.5 inches, and he had 3 teeth.

On 11/11/11 (age 18 months), Andrew now weighs 19.84 pounds, is 29.53 inches tall, his feet are 4.7 inches, and he has 6 teeth.

He appears to now be in an orphanage,
from the looks of the pictures:
 Eating a piece of bread:

Now, that I have converted all the metric measurements, I need to figure out what sizes to bring with us overseas.

Next update from China should be our dates for travel. Thank You, LORD!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thank You, Sweet Ladies!

My family and I would like to thank some sweet ladies from our church for their thoughtfulness in giving us a baby shower for Andrew. We have been moved beyond words!

We'd like to give special thanks to Sara for planning and organizing the shower.
Thank you all for your kindness and thoughtfulness!
We are so undeserving.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Update on Andrew!

We received an AMAZING update on our son, Andrew! It came from New Hope--the place our son spent about the first 15 months of his life.

He was taken to New Hope, in Beijing, at 22 days old, weighing 3.5 pounds at that time. He was placed in an incubator and fed through a tube for about a month.

A wonderful Christian facility took care of our baby!! Thank You, LORD! We are overflowing with thankfulness!

Here are a few pictures of our sweet little one:

As you can tell, he has been well cared for!

Oh, another update came in today, we received our Article 5 (signed 2nd acceptance letter) from the US Consulate, and it is currently on its way to the CCCWA in Beijing. The CCCWA will now issue our travel approval to come get Andrew! Come on! It’s the home stretch!

Hallelujah! What a WONDERFUL day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Blue Angels

This weekend we went to see the Blue Angels perform. As always, they were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
No, really! They were amazing!
He's even at attention climbing out of his aircraft!
We all enjoyed our time...well, all those who stayed awake!
Can you see her earplugs?

It was wonderfully "freezing" cold that day with the wind whipping off the water. (Thus, Cherish's double hats and the headband to keep them from flying off her head.) What a great day!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

92 Pieces

Today Cherish and I went to our neighborhood yard sale looking for clothes for Andrew. We hit every yard sale in the neighborhood with--shockingly--no clothing for little boys.

I told Cherish that we were going to get our car and head out of our neighborhood looking for more yard sales--since we were up and out already anyway.

As we were headed out of our neighborhood, there was a yard sale being set up that wasn't out when Cherish and I initially went by. We stopped and looked. Boy clothes!

However, the lady only had about three 18-24 month size outfits; so we bought them. As we were leaving her yard, she said, "You know those are boy clothes, right?" I then proceeded to tell her about being about five weeks away from flying to China to adopt our son.

She went to her garage and brought out a huge bag. It was full of boy clothes. She said she hadn't gotten a chance to put the clothes out yet, but she wanted us to have the bag instead. Of course, I was shocked and asked her if I could pay her for the bag. She and her husband refused.

When we returned home. we emptied the bag. It was full of complete outfits, onesies, and pajamas in fantastic shape! I was in awe. When I showed Derek, he was speechless.

We counted the clothing and there were 92 pieces! In wonderful condition!

Most of the clothing will go to bless others (since most of the clothing is sized at newborn through 12 months).

Blessings upon blessings!
It's a God-thing.
A "Good God"-thing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas Gift-Giving Ideas

Well, Christmas is coming, and if we plan and prepare early, we could have a simple, smooth, and relaxing December ahead of us. Well, at least maybe not as hectic.

So, I wanted to share with you a list of some fun, cheap, and cute Christmas gift ideas for neighbors, hostesses, teachers, and friends. Consumable gifts are wonderful for this type of gift-giving. No clutter.1

And, with planning ahead, you can save money by watching for sales on the various items you and your family may choose to do together.

Special thanks to Julie Bavington at
"Clutter Crusader Chronicles" for this list!1

• Christmas balloon bouquet — "Uplifting" wishes for a fun-filled holiday!
• Bouquet of flowers or cookies — We're sending a "bouquet" of Christmas wishes your way!
• Bag of pistachios or peanuts in shells — Don't go "nuts" this Christmas! From your "nutty" neighbors.
• Fresh grapes — A "bunch-ful" of wishes for a "grape" holiday!
• Frozen lasagna — "What's for dinner?" During the holidays we hear this a lot, just heat this lasagna until it is hot!
• 7UP — (great for Holiday punches and tonics!) There's "seven" reasons why you are "up" on our list of favorites! Merry Christmas (list seven reasons).
• Christmas plates — Hoping you'll "arrange" to have a wonderful Christmas this year with a "plateful" of fun! (You can even fill with homemade cookies!)
• Christmas paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils — A bit of "disposable" Christmas cheer! What could be better? No dishes, my dear!
• Bag of salad and dressing — "Tossing" out a wonderful Christmas wish to you and yours all "dressed" up with Christmas cheer!
• Magic Markers — Friends are the "magic" of Christmas!
• Roll of wrapping paper — "Wrap" yourself up in a wonderful holiday season!
• Bolt of Christmas ribbon — This simple gift is meant to help you "tie" up those loose ends this Christmas season!
• Mittens (fill with tape, scissors, tags and pen) — Let us "lend" you a "hand" this Christmas season!
• Kitchen towel and oven mitt sets – For a "warm" hand of friendship just as you've given me, and the wish for a joyous season with love aplenty under the tree!/ "Hot" holiday wishes for you! Merry Christmas!
• Note cards or Post-It-Notes — Take "note!" We're thinking of you this holiday season! (Add a pretty pen!) – Perfect for a Teacher!
• Package of pens — Whenever you need them, they're never around, so here is a supply ... 'cuz you're Christmas bound!
• Symphony candy bars — Just a "note" of "sweet" Christmas tidings! (Music Teacher gift, anyone?)
• Starbursts — We are "bursting" with wishes for you to have a "starry" bright Christmas!
• Jolly Rancher soft chews — We "chews" to wish you a "jolly" holiday season!
• Christmas taffy — We're "pulling" for you to have a very merry Christmas!
• Christmas Rolos — "Rolo-long" with a Christmas song, spreading good cheer at the time of year!
• Werther’s Original Butter Candies — "Original" Christmas greeting for no "butter" friends around.
• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — There are so many "Reeses" why we like you!
• Mint M&M's — These are "mint" to wish you a "Magical" and "Merry" Christmas.
• Big candy bar or candy cane —"Enormous" Christmas wishes to you!
• Package of Milky Way reindeer — For won-"deer"-full friends from the whole herd!
• Poinsettia — Our friendship is forever "blooming." Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas!
• Ice cream roll or frozen drink concentrate — Happy "freezin'" season! Have a happy Christmas!
• Animal Crackers or Teddy Grahams — This neighborhood/family would be a "zoo" without you! Merry Christmas to a "beary" "grrreat" neighbor/granddad!

• Frozen cinnamon or orange rolls — "Rise" to the occasion and celebrate the holidays in a "tasty" way.
• Pancake mix and syrup —We're "pouring out" Christmas wishes and hoping you have a Christmas to "flip over!" (What a bonus for a Christmas Breakfast!)
• Eggo Waffles and syrup — For a "quick-o" breakfast that will be just fine, when running late this holiday time! Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
• Toaster Strudel or English Muffins — May your holidays be warm and "toasty"! Merry Christmas!
• Frozen or refrigerated turnovers — The holidays are wrapping up, there is still one thing we want to do. We couldn't go another day without this holiday wish for you. May the new hear "turn over" with health, wealth, and happiness, too!
• Pepperidge Farm cookies — Homemade cookies would be so fine, but these are so much better than mine! Merry Christmas! (We love the little ginger men!)
• Bagels and cream cheese — "Spreading" a little Christmas "shmear" to our friends who are so dear!
• Soup mix — We wish you a wonderful holiday "simmering" gently with love!
• Bean soup mix — You've "bean" such good neighbors!
• Popcorn and flavored seasoning -- Just "popping" in to wish you a Merry Christmas!
• Apples and carmel dip — To a most "a-peel-ing" family. "Dip" into a very happy holiday season!
• Bag of mini carrots and veggie dip — We know you are 24 "carrot" neighbors! What a treasure! Have a happy holiday!
• Flashlight — We love how you "light up" our lives. We've come to depend on your "glow." Here's a "flashlight" to store, so you'll always be sure to create "light" wherever you go! Merry Christmas to you. May you walk in the "light"!

See all the helpful solutions? Who doesn’t love dinner or breakfast provided during this busy time of year? How easy is it to write a cute note to stick on a bag of candy before heading out to a party?

1 Julie Bavington, Clutter Crusader Chronicles (08 November 2008) Online; available from [accessed 1 November 2011].

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

got love? adopt.

We purchased some special shirts to wear during our time in China (and after).
The cute little onesie will probably swim on our son.
But, it's better to be too big than too small.

If you are interested in getting shirts or a host of other items, please visit: This is a fund-raising project begun by a family of six ( who is in the process of adopting another child from overseas.

Got Love?
Come home, Andrew!