Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Random Pictures and Thankfulness




Our beautiful Anna 


And our tiny Toria


Our cute little peanut - Madalyn


Justin enjoying taking the girls for a ride in the truck he got for Christmas.


Drivers just seem to get younger and younger these days... Lol


Samuel with Victoria in her high chair.
Yes, those are her feet sticking up there. Crazy flexible girlie.


Three blue diapered booties.


Madalyn signing "Daddy"


Daniel and his strikingly beautiful blue eyes.


Happy girl


Samuel doing his school work with a helper.  So sweet and such a loving big brother.


Justin of course had to have his pic taken when he was first learning how to write his name.


I just love this one.


Dillon and Justin



We are just so blessed, and it never ceases to amaze me at what God has done for our family and with our family.
  
We are so blessed to have 9 beautiful children, and Lord willing, soon to be eleven!!  (I know some people don't understand why on earth we would want to keep adopting when we already have so many kids, but I will save the answer to that for another post).  We are so blessed that God is providing once again for us to bring these 2 girls home!
  
We are so blessed to have a nice home, food in the fridge, big 'ol cars to drive, and so many things that really are just extras (wants) and not necessities in this life.  We are thankful for these little things, but we also know that if we lost them it wouldn't really matter.  As long as we have our faith in God and each other, nothing else matters.  There have been some things happening in our little section of the world lately that have just flat out given us a change of perspective on life. Let's just say it has been a big reminder of what is important and what we are supposed to be doing during this short time we've been given here on earth.
    
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philipians 4:6

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Have a Winner!!!!!!!!

Ok, so I know I posted that I needed emails for our drawing.  But with the great help of some other "been there done that" people, I learned there was a way to go ahead and run the drawing with a random number being chosen as the winner without the email addresses!  Yay!!  Everyone who donated toward our fundraiser was entered into the drawing!!  We are so thankful for everyone's donations and your help toward Daniel's fundraiser!  You guys are awesome!!!

So without further ado...

The winner of the iPAD2 is:

Elaina Lawrence!!!!

Thank you so much Elaina for your donation to Daniel's fundraiser!!  You just have no idea how much we appreciate it!!!

We are truly grateful for EVERYONE who donated toward Daniel's fundraiser!  Your generosity is just amazing and it is also so humbling to know that people really care and are willing to give out of their own pockets, to support someone else's adoption (and a little boy's dream to go to China to meet his new sisters).    :)) 

I know it's late, but we still did manage to get the winner announced on Valentine's day, right?!  (Colorado time anyway...)  hee hee

Monday, February 13, 2012

Need Emails

As we mentioned last time, we are fixing to have our giveaway drawing tomorrow!!  How exciting!! 

But, there is one problem.  :(   

Some of you that have donated did not leave me an email address so that I can contact you and enter your name!!  I have to have your email address!  So I will be listing a few names here on the blog.  If you see your name, please leave me a message with your email.  

Also, if you have donated, and you know you did not leave me an email address, please also leave me a comment as well.  Especially if you have donated recently.  All comments are moderated so I will not publish them on the blog.  Only I will be able to see the emails.

I know this is a bit last minute, and I apologize for that, but that seems to be the way life is going at the present.  I should've made sure I had these before now, but unfortunately that just didn't happen and here we are.  :)  

Thank you so much!!  We are so excited to see who will be the winner! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fundraisers and Chinese Monsters

Daniel's iPAD2 fundraiser is almost over.  You still have a few days left if you still would like a chance to win the iPAD2 and you haven't had a chance to enter.

Here's a little video Daniel put together. He did a little interview with his dad.  Please remember we are not professional actors.  Ha ha!  We all learned a little something while we put this together.  But most of all, we learned some interesting facts about China and had fun!!  

Be sure and go down and turn the music off on my blog so you can hear the "interview". 




We will be announcing the winner on Valentine's day sometime!  Click here to see the original fundraiser post and to enter the giveaway. 

Because Daniel mentions the Chinese New Year in his video, I thought I would give you a little bit more information about it.  Chinese New Year is an important celebration in China. 

And since we are going to have 2 Chinese daughters, we feel it is important to be finding out all we can about the culture, food, celebrations, and any other information about China we can acquire.  

We really enjoyed learning about the Chinese New Year and it was more meaningful to the kids since it was something that had just happened a couple weeks ago. 

Chinese New Year is a very old celebration, a time for repaying debts, enjoying feasts, giving "red envelopes" of lucky money to friends and relatives, and remembering ancestors.  There are many ancient and delightful superstitions surrounding this holiday.  Here is one I wanted to share for anyone who might be interested.  This is the story that Daniel read:

Long ago, in Han times, there was a monster whose name was "Nian". This monster came once each year to a little village and scared everyone! One day, just by luck, the villagers discovered that "Nian" had a couple fears of his own. He was afraid of the color red and even more afraid of scary loud noises!

The villagers prepared. When "Nian" appeared, everyone in the village ran for the red banners and noise makers they had made. They waved their banners and rattled their noise makers.

This scared "Nian" so much that "Nian" ran away and was never heard from again!
Which all goes to explain why people in China believe the color red signifies joy and luck, and why noise makers are rattled on Chinese New Year.

At midnight, firecrackers, paper dragons, noise makers, the waving of red ribbons and banners all help to drive away any lingering evil spirits from the old year. (In case "Nian" is still lurking about somewhere!)


The video below is a cute version of the story Daniel read in his video. I like it because it is in Chinese.  :)



And as Daniel said in his video, "we hope you enjoyed the story and learned a little something about China as well."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Victoria's Birthday

Can you believe she's THREE??  (yea I know a little late, but...)


I missed doing a blogpost on her birthday.  Heck, I never even got Christmas pictures posted.  That's how pathetic I am. 

We had a rough time after Madalyn's surgery on Dec 13th.  Madalyn was not sleeping well at all. (I remember after her heart surgery she did the same thing. She used to sleep so well, then not so great after surgery.)  Someone please tell me if that is common or if it is just her...not sleeping well for weeks after surgery.  I don't know.

Anyway, she was waking up a bunch at night plus she was on pain meds and oxygen and just plain not feeling well for about a month afterwards. 

No sleep for baby means no sleep for mommy, right?!  Then add in trying to get ready for Christmas, and everyone was just plain exhausted!

But we had to have a celebration!  For our sweet Toria!!!


Look, a new ball popping elephant toy.  Fun!


Since Victoria's birthday is on New Year's Eve, she's lucky we managed to throw something together for her.  

Sad, I know...


But she had fun and I did manage to get a few pictures.  :) 


Cute girl with a red bow that one of the boys stuck on her head.


She enjoyed her new toy.  Madalyn and Anna enjoyed it, too.



Look at those big beautiful blue eyes, not the boogers.  Lol


She wasn't a whole lot more thrilled with her cake this year than she was last year.  But at least no crying this time.  :)  Yay!


She really is a happy girl!  Happy belated Birthday Victoria!  We love you so much sweet girl!

We just cannot believe you are three!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beautiful Baby Contest

We entered Madalyn in the Beautiful Baby Contest on facebook.  It is a fundraiser to help 3 different families bring home 4 beautiful children!  What a great fundraiser idea! One of these little ones is precious Nellie.


You may remember her from my previous posts.  She finally has a family coming for her so that is super awesome!!  Anyway, you can visit their blog to read more about their adoption journey here.  Or you can go to their Reece's Rainbow sponsorship page and if you feel led donate to their adoption grant and help them bring home their girls (they are actually bringing home another little girl besides Nellie).  Yay!!

~~~~~~Vote for Madalyn~~~~~~

Anyway, if you would like, please go here and vote for Madalyn for the most beautiful baby girl!  Just scroll down the page a bit until you see her name under "Who is the most beautiful girl?" and click on Madalyn! 
Of course all the little ones are beautiful, but we are somewhat partial to Madalyn.  This is her picture in the contest.


Oh and just for fun, here's a video of Anna and Madalyn.  They are just playing and having a blast together.  Yes, they are not always nice to each other, as you will see in the video, but for the most part they have so much fun.  It's a cute video.  Who says you can't adopt out of birth order?!  :))

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We are DTC!!!

For those that don't understand Chinese adoption lingo, that means Dossier to China!!   A huge day of celebration.  :))

Yesterday I received this statement in an email from our amazing agency along with a tracking number:

"This is to confirm that your dossier is on its way to China."

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!  Soooo exciting!!

We have we been waiting a LONG time to hear those words.

And they finally came!! 


WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember this picture?? 

Well, that whole set of papers (plus one more), is in route as we speak (so to speak) to a certain very large country in Asia where two certain precious little girls are living...  :))  Yay!!!!

I can hardly believe it!!!  It has been almost 7 months since we started this process with our first homestudy visit.  That is just crazy!  I sure wish we could've eliminated some time from this process by shortening the HS part of it, but that didn't happen.  We should've been sending our dossier off 2 months ago!!  But things have not happened in our timeframe.  I just have to trust that they are happening as they should be in God's timing.  It is so hard though, when you have a plan in your mind and things just really do not go the way you think they should.  I know this is the way it is with adoption. Especially an international adoption. I know that in my head.  But it doesn't seem to change what I want to happen.  I still hope for things to go my way, in my time...

I also know our last adoption is playing a part in my frustrations. We are 7 months into this process.  I was just telling Mark yesterday that 7 months into our adoption of Anna and Victoria, we were already on a plane headed across the Atlantic ocean to Ukraine!!  

 Wow! That is the difference in the adoption processes of 2 different countries!  I understand that, but it still makes me feel like this adoption is taking waaaay too long!  And we still have 4, to possibly even 7 months ahead of us before we will travel.  :(   That is a tough nut to swallow.  I hate that!  Just thinking that my girls will be another 6 months older before we get there is super hard for this mommy's heart.  Hailey might even have turned 6 yrs old by the time we travel!  I very much want to celebrate that special day with her!  

Hailey's birthday is just a couple days after the 4th of July.  We would really love to be home by then celebrating our nation's birthday AND our new daughter's birthday!  THAT would be amazing, wouldn't it?!?  

I want to thank everyone who has prayed for us and supported us so far!  We are so thankful for that and we just humbly ask that you would continue to pray for a speedy process for us from here on out.  Pray we travel closer to the 4 month mark than 7 months.  :)   Thank you!!! 

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that our iPAD2 fundraiser ends this month.  I haven't been very good about updating about it, but you do still have time if you would like to be entered for a chance to win it.  You can click here for more information.  I will be posting an update and a reminder again real soon!   
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it", whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

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Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.