Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Update on Daniel

We received an update on Daniel! "Oh, happy day...!"

These two pictures were taken TODAY:

Daniel is about 19½ pounds and 29 inches tall!

His feet are 4” long, and he has 15 teeth!!!
(Andrew only had 4 teeth when he was 19-months-old!)

This is Daniel's room:

He sleeps in his own crib in a room with 26 other children ages 0-3 years old.

This orphanage has Westerners who volunteer there who, along with the nannies, take great care of the children. (This is not the norm for orphanages in China.)

What a great way to end a day! I forwarded Daniel's pictures to Derek. He and Cherish are out looking at vans tonight, while I'm home with the littles--who are in bed. J

Monday, June 29, 2015

I-800 Provisional Approval

Today we received permission from the USCIS to bring Daniel into the USA as a son! Travel could be as soon as 7 weeks!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jamberry Party

We wanted to thank our friend Barbara who graciously threw us a Jamberry Fundraiser party. She dedicated her time, talents, and fun personality to support our family and our upcoming adoption. Thank you, Barbara, for helping us toward our goal!

We also wanted to thank the sweet ladies who joined the Jamberry party and bought items to support us!

God bless you all!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dance Recital Time!

The girls' dance studio was celebrating their 5th year. Of those 5 years, Cherish has danced with them 4 years, and this was Hope's first year. Cherish worked on ballet and jazz, while Hope worked on ballet and tap.

Headed back to the dressing room:

Dressed for their first numbers:

 I was so surprised to see Hope so serious.
I rarely ever get to see her serious.

Ready to hit the stage for jazz:

 Hope with the girls' teachers. (Cherish was backstage still.)

They loved their year and worked hard!
We were SO PROUD of them!!!!!

Father's Day

Derek is an amazing dad! 
His encouragement,
and love
bless these children so much!

Daddy, you are greatly loved in return!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Undeserved Blessings!

Earlier this year, Cherish's piano teacher, Ms. Shirley, had wanted to give us a gift to help towards our adoption, so she had decided to give Cherish free lessons for the spring semester. On the last day of lessons for the school year, she extended her gracious gift of free lessons to include the summer as well! What a huge kindness!! We never expected such a sacrificial gift from her piano teacher. God bless her!!!!

Then, on June 9th our agency notified us that China had chosen to begin working on our adoption. They approved all of our adoption paperwork, and said "yes!" to joining Daniel's paperwork to ours. They sent out an official document (LOA) to have us sign in order to "seal the deal". In doing so, when they receive the document back, they will begin preparing Daniel to leave the country. In the meantime, we are petitioning the USCIS to bring Daniel into the USA.

LOA is a big deal in the adoption world, because until it is sent, we sit and wait for China's decision to begin Daniel's adoption. Now that we have received it--and have begun the immigration paperwork specifically for Daniel--we will travel in 9-12 weeks!

Therefore, Derek pulled the crib out of the attic. We had agreed not to pull it down until we received LOA, because we were unsure of how old Daniel would be when China decided to begin his paperwork. I actually cried when Derek began bringing the crib down.

On Saturday, Cherish and Hope were blessed with gorgeous dresses from a gracious lady, Susan, and her precious daughter, Amanda. In addition, they gave Cherish a bike that had hardly been used, plus a helmet and chain!! They did not know that Cherish had been quietly praying for a bike--as she had out-grown hers earlier this year. The bike is gorgeous and in beautiful condition! It's beyond anything Cherish even thought possible. What.a.blessing!

On Sunday evening, our online auction ended. My sweet friend Mandy had wanted to help with our adoption/van/travel expenses, so she planned an online auction for us. She rounded up items to donate, invited donors to help, and launched the auction.

Through the very generous giving of family and friends--through donations and bids--the auction raised $782.00!! What a huge blessing!! We were blown away by such generous donors!

AND, on top of that, the donors also gifted us with covering shipping costs for the items they donated! My eyes kept "overflowing their liquid" as donor after donor gave us the news.

Then, today, I went to see my ear surgeon to schedule surgery for my upcoming international flight. It always happens this way: get LOA, see my surgeon to schedule surgery to have the tubes in my ears replaced, have surgery, recover, and fly out. But, as it turned out, I do not need to have surgery! To my surprise (and the surgeon's), not only did both my "permanent" tubes fall out, the inner tubes stayed open while the outer holes healed up! Both my ears were tested and both have proven that they have healed completely! No more tubes needed! Healed! As the surgeon exclaimed: "Your ears healed themselves!" But, really, God healed my ears! I am so thankful not to have surgery and a two-week-recovery time thrown into the mix while getting LOADS of paperwork and obligations done! Thank You, LORD!!

The blessings are pouring out undeservingly, and we just stand in awe! Thank you for each and every prayer! To God be the Glory!

Friday, June 5, 2015


I got out of the shower this morning and realized chickenpox had invaded our home. Poor kids!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time with the Chapmans

No words can describe the extreme sorrow and sheer joy that were experienced on Saturday when we joined the Chapmans at their place in Tennessee. Seven years after the tragic loss of their daughter (their story is HERE), the children whose lives were saved due to their direct care for orphans in China, gathered for a "family reunion". Andrew was among the approximately 80 children who were able to attend and say "Thank you!"

David Trask, SCC, Derek, and Andrew:

Andrew and his nurse
(who is on furlough after serving for six years in China):

On a hay ride around the Chapman's property:


Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman began a hospital care center (Maria’s Big House of Hope, MBHOH) in memory of their daughter Maria. Andrew was a preemie, and his orphanage only had two incubators. Both incubators were occupied when Andrew was found—a month old and weighing 3½ pounds. MBHOH took Andrew and cared for him for 15 months until he was able to live in his orphanage. They saved his life!

Because the Chapmans travel to Maria's Big House of Hope in China multiple times a year to snuggle the children and to sing to them, they know “their” children and decided to invite them to visit for a “family reunion”.


When we got home from Tennessee, Andrew dressed himself in his matching "reunion" shirt and lanyard, and repeatedly announced: "Show hope! I love [the Chapmans] SO, SO MUCH!" heart emotic

We love them, too!