Saturday, September 28, 2013

Continuing to get ready

In the last week we made huge strides to being ready to bring Hope home.

Last Saturday we took our car to Babies "R" Us and the men took car seats to our car until they found one that would fit in our car. Then, we headed to the car dealership to get a seat belt extender for Cherish's booster seat.

Next, we found a little chair that could fit at the table--bringing the seating up to five.

Then, I underwent surgery to get tubes in my ears. While I was there, I was gifted with a pair of compression stockings. So, I won't have to order new ones for the trip (as I couldn't find my size in the stores around our house).

In addition, our visas have been completed at the Chinese Consulate and are in transit to our house. They will arrive on Monday.

I'd say we are as ready as we can be up to this point.

We have five seats at the table:

 We have three car seats in the car:

All we lack is Travel Approval (TA) and our Consulate Appointment.

After that, we buy our airline tickets.
Onward, ho!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Autumn Moon Celebration 2013

This year's Autumn Moon Celebration was extra-special. Once again we went to a beach to spend the evening with our local "Families with Children from China" group and watch the moon rise, but this time, two families from our church body also joined in on the fun. What. a. blessing!

Here's Cherish with her sweet friend:
Our friends' daughters in a moon-pie-eating-contest:
These two precious ones came home from China within months of each other.
How I love them!!
This picture was taken on second base during a kickball game.
Rachel would kick the ball, and Andrew and I would run the bases.
Then Rachel would catch up to us at her own pace.
What fun we had teaming up!

(If you are unfamiliar with Rachel's story and her need of a new heart, you can read it HERE.)

Here's the group of children from our three families
(minus one night-swimmer--Cherish):
Cherish and Andrew getting ready for the moon to rise:
Um. It didn't.
Well actually, we didn't get to see the moon rise.
It got late.
So, we went home and camped out in the living room under the skylights.
We never saw the moon, but we did have a blast!
Here's a picture just before the children woke up:
What a great way to celebrate a Chinese holiday:
surrounded by others who care so deeply for orphans.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Love note

Cherish left me a love note on her bed this morning.
Doing chores without being asked and with a joyful heart.
 Precious girl! 
In addition, many times she makes Andrew's bed for him!
God bless that sweet girl!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sweet Hope,

We can tell you are going to be a wonderful big sister!

We can also tell you will bring great joy to our family! J

We love you!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Dearest Hope,

 I love you! 
 So much! 

Yesterday daddy and I found out some news that will make you sad, and it hurts my heart to think of you getting sadder and sadder. Our agency told us that you and your friends will soon be celebrating another holiday--and I know you love to party (as I have seen your celebration pictures J)--but this means that we will not be able to be together as soon as we all thought.

I know you have been waiting SO LONG! It's been so very long since you found out we were coming to make you part of our family.

No one knew the new computer system that had your paperwork and our paperwork in it would get stuck and we'd get trapped for several months. And now, it looks like we'll be delayed again.

Hope, we want you so much. We love you so much! We can't stand not having you in our arms right now!

Your sister loves you so much, too! She's always talking about you and putting toys and games in an area in your bedroom just for you!

And, she wants you to sleep with her in her bed. I know you'll like that! And, we were going to paint your bedroom in June, but guess what? Cherish thought it would be a good idea to wait until you get home so that we can let you pick out your favorite color J. Would you like that?

Your sister thinks your favorite color is pink. Your brother thinks your favorite color is green. Daddy thinks your favorite color is purple, and I think your favorite color is yellow. Are any of us right?

Your brother loves you, too. He told me yesterday at breakfast that he wants to marry you! And, every time he sets the table, he sets a place setting for you.

We want you home fast! We sadly have to wait. 

I love that your nannies take pictures and videos of you. I love your beautiful smile! Daddy and I look every day for new pictures and videos of you.

In one video you were standing looking out the window calling, "Mama. Mama. Mama...." It broke my heart. You made me cry.

Then in another video you were crying because your friend got adopted and you were left behind. Please KNOW we ARE coming! We want you! We are trying to get there as fast as we can!

So, please keep believing and showing us your beautiful smile. I am praying that you will KNOW beyond any shadow of a doubt that we will come as we promised.

You. are. ours.
Now and always!

 I love you, daughter 

I WILL see you soon and hold you for a long time. I'm looking forward to snuggling with you and smothering you with kisses. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Short Update

Yesterday (Tuesday) we received an e-mail from the NVC (National Visa Center) stating that our paperwork for Hope had hit the international computer system for the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, Ch*na to view. So, we forwarded the e-mail to our agency, and that day our agency staff in Guangzhou walked our files over to the U.S. Consulate to be processed. (They can have the paperwork up to two weeks in order to issue Article 5, and then Beijing processes the paperwork and issues us Travel Approval.)

We know we are on the countdown, so we have been staying very busy getting ourselves ready to head to Ch*na. In the past two weeks, we have had eleven medical/dental appointments, had several meetings, gone out of town, completed paperwork, etc.

We have all received our flu vaccinations (as we will be travelling during the flu season), gotten prescriptions filled, received new toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes from our dentists, and packed them along with the "nanny gifts" in our luggage.

We have at least four weeks left to get all the things accomplished that need getting done. We have yet to figure out lawn maintenance while we are away, we still need to get a car seat (and figure out how to fit it in one of our cars with the other two car seats), notify our insurance of our upcoming adoption so they can add Hope to our insurance on Gotcha Day, send in visa paperwork for four people (I finally completed the paperwork and now I have been told to hold onto it because our courier will be "out of the office" until Monday), buy compression socks for the flight, get unmarked bills for the trip (that's a whole subject in itself), figure out our tablet (so we don't have to take our cumbersome laptop), figure out all the electronic device issues (so we don't fry Cherish's nebulizer again), have a pre-op appointment, have surgery to get tubes in my ears to fly, and well, stay well!

This list really goes on and on. There's also work, homeschooling, preparing and teaching Sunday School each week, dance classes, meetings, meetings, meetings, and an Autumn Moon festival to celebrate with our local FCC group.

Tons to do. So little time.

So, with that, I'll get back to our master "To Do" list.

❤ Hope, we'll be there soon!!!