Saturday, August 31, 2013

A lengthy catch-up post....

To describe the past few weeks in a few words or less....busy, busy, extremely busy.  However, I am feeling blessed, blessed and extremely blessed by the busy.  School started.  Not a shock to most who read this as I know most are mothers too and most can relate to the overwhelming feeling that accompanies each new school year.  With the beginning of school comes the beginning of piano, ballet, football, soccer and Wednesday nights at church.  And co-op.  Throw in an orthodontist appointment for the removal of braces, annual well visit to the dr. for Maddox (she made the charts!!!  woo-hoo, we are now in the 5th percentile for height AND weight),.....and did I mention we are babysitting our neighbor's child this year?  Yes, Ava has come on board and we all get a few laughs each day from her very animated stories she shares with us.  AND, we are adopting!  Our adoption is nothing new but I will say that we have been super engaged in raising the necessary funds to get her home.  We had our first ever boutique consignment show in our home and I am happy to report that it was a success - we will be continuing to do this sale each season in hopes of assisting other families financially in the adoption process or funding surgeries for orphans with our proceeds.  Very exciting indeed.  An enormous THANK YOU to all who consigned, donated hanging racks, shopped and supported our family.  AND I ginormous thank you to Katie and Jesse for keeping it all together - they were the core who handled check-out and sorted tags and even highlighted each sale price for easier viewing.  AND, to my dear friend, Amy Rankin.  Amy is an exceptionally talented artist and she generously donated a piece of artwork for our family to use as a raffle during the sale.  The bonus for us is that we were able to share Amy's story with friends - her family is adopting again too!  Check out her art at, you will be amazed!  
The end of the sale came and I felt an urgent need to contact the USCIS to see if our final approval had been issued in order for us to proceed with getting our paperwork to China, thus ending the first "trimester" of this adoption journey.  
I sent an email inquiry.
Minutes later I got a response that made me SHOUT for joy - we had been approved on August 21, 2013, and we should be expecting our approval any day in the mail - WOO-HOO!!!
My excitement quickly turned into a dismal worry when I checked our mailbox that day and the approval notice was not in our mail.  It had been five business days so theoretically we should have received our approval.
And I will admit that this entire process, I have not worried one.little.bit. nor have I been anxious - my prayers have been for peace in this journey.  But on this day, I worried big and felt anxious.  After all, it is the end of this part of the journey and we are SO close to being paper ready.  Our next step will be a referral and, admittedly so, we all want to know her face.  
I soon relaxed and went about my day knowing that it would come the following day.
But, it didn't. And I was super sad.  And just as I was about to go eat three entire scoops of ice cream from Brusters to wallow in my sorrow, I received an email from our agency stating that they had received their approval copy and we could make a copy of theirs and use it for our dossier!!! JOY!  Thus began two hours of notarizing, copying, banking, county certifying, and FedExing....oh, and did I mention that during all of this, we had to pick up children from co-op, Ryan graciously took on the task of dressing three little girls in their ballet gear and getting them all to ballet, football practice, soccer practice, and a meeting.....bless Ryan and all that he does with a smile on his face.  He said all was well until a little lady smiled and said, "You might want to turn her tutu around.  It's backwards." Love him!
So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, our dossier/paperwork will be going to China this Friday!
And our approval notice?  Well, it STILL has not come in the mail!  So thankful our agency came to the rescue!

And, now, pictures from our last few weeks.....Colin's new smile and his photobombing brother.  I simply love these two and their wittiness. 
Sweet Chloe - I was asked how it feels to actually see "my little girl" home forever.  We all know she is not mine but she will always hold a special place in my heart and it truly is surreal to see her walking around in my home, playing with play doh, interacting with my girls, eating at our table....surreal.  Her family adores her and the feeling is mutual.  They relish in her daily achievements - she is doing something new everyday!  She sorts colors, she dances, she says words, she ate an entire piece of pizza, she climbed a rock wall, she was brave enough to ride in the jeep with Maddox driving, etc., etc., etc.  She is beyond precious!  I think the best news I heard this week was when a fellow adoptive mom called to say she could assist in getting Chloe the extensive speech and occupational therapies she needs!  This child is a symbol of hope for others who wait entirely too long to be loved!  
A birthday party by the lake, what more could one ask for?  My mother celebrated her 69th year of life on earth surrounded by her closest friends and family.  Even the rainy weather did not drive them away!  My brother and his wife deserve a pat on the back for a job well-done in preparing this gathering to honor my mom!  Thank you Chris and Amanda!  
The grandchildren and Gran/Grandma.  Again, getting a picture of more than one child is quite a task.  Throw in the fact that it was the end of the night, all children had either had entirely too much Coke to drink or were totally exhausted from all of their game playing.....thus, the animated photo with the grands minus the one who was off to the side melting on the floor.
And with all of that said, here's to another fabulous week!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

A quick synopsis of our week....

  • Maddox started preschool on Monday.  When asked if she was excited to go, her response made me a bit nervous.  She said, "Nope.  I am not going to school today.  I am staying with my mommy."  And she said it so matter-of-fact.  So we went about our morning and when it was time to go to school, she climbed in the car, buckled up, sang on the way, we arrived, I took a picture, she walked in and never looked back.  When I picked her up she said, "Mommy, I had a great day at school.  I am going to go everyday!"  And she has been super excited to go each morning!  
  • And the rest of our week has been consumed by our second fundraiser to bring Mary-Gentry home - Boutique Consignment/Consigning to Adopt.  I did the rack sweep by dashing from one friend's house to the next to collect hanging racks that everyone graciously donated; I tagged clothing; I moved the majority of our furniture from our piano room and living room into our bedroom; welcomed almost 40 consignors into our home; organized clothing; sent out reminders for the sale; blew up FaceBook with status updates on the sale; and, finally, it was sale time!  A steady flow of shoppers came in and out of our home Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!  Some were familiar faces, some were total strangers, all were showing their love for a little girl, our little girl. She is already loved by so many!  
  • One perk in doing this sale is that we get to promote adoption.  Our hope is to use the proceeds each season from this sale to assist in bringing other waiting children home in the future!
  • And in the midst of it all, my children were a bit neglected - they were fed, schooled, driven to practices, read to, etc., but not in our "normal" way of operation.  MK asked, "Mom, when are things going to get back to normal?"  I was feeling a bit guilty, knowing that I have not given them 100%, and I responded, "Soon baby, real soon.  I promise on Monday we will get back to our routine."  She looked at me with a bit of a grin and said, "Really?  You mean we can go back to having ice cream and dessert this Monday?  Awesome, I thought we had to wait until September!" And with that she skipped off!  Did I mention that our family gave up sweets for the month of August????