Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's all about the process...

I had an amazing devotion time today. I allowed Abbey to visit with Kai Lan and Hoho, while I sneaked off to the kitchen to try to hear from the Lord. Boy, did I! I've been reading, Wild Goose Chase, by Mark Batterson. I've really enjoyed it. The chapter I read today talked about Divine delays... ok, I'm so there, considering that I had planned on being in China in July. He quoted Rev. 3, esp. verses 7-8. He also talked about how many times we have our eyes on the end, but to God, getting there is the most important thing. He also stated, "that getting where God wants me to go isn't nearly as important as becoming who God wants me to be in the process". He quoted Oswald Chambers,"What we call the process, God calls the end. His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. It is the process, not the end which is glorifying to God." I then opened my Bible. I've been reading through the New Testament for the past several months. I started the book of Revelation this week. I was less than excited about reading this book, with all the symbols and prophetic talk. But, today, the Bible proved to be the living, breathing Word of God. Remember the Batterson reading on Revelation? Well, guess which chapter and verse I just happened to be on in my travels through Rev.? Yup, you guessed it! Rev. 3. So, I say, "Ok, God. There is something there you want me to really get. What is it?" Then he spoke to me. The Word says, "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." No matter how long Ch*na or the US makes us wait, no matter that John has practically been unable to sell anything (thus no commission income), and no matter that our bills and expenses keep right on coming, God has placed this open door and we will get our boy home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

One more step to Elijah!

Today, I got an e mail saying that our I 800 had been approved. The interesting thing is that I emailed USCIS yesterday just to make sure they had received our application. I got a nice note back saying that she had just gotten it and would review it in the next few days. It makes me wonder if I'd not e mailed them, would I still have gotten the approval today??

Now, that approval, some other paperwork and money have to go to the US Consulate in Guangzhou. Then, they issue the "Article 5" which than goes to C**A, who then issues our TA. Whew! Then, we can travel, unless it is later than the end of Aug, which would mean we will have to wait until November. I'm praying that the Lord will let us go in September. We'll just have to wait and see what His answer is. It is going to be close. All of the time lines are estimates, and it could move faster or slower. Anyway, I'm just thankful that we're one more step closer!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Little Words...

Can make your day!
Tonight, I was leaving to go to a swim meet. Daniel can't swim because he has Sr. Champs coming up. So, John was staying home with Abbey and Daniel. They were sitting down to eat dinner. I went around the table and gave everyone a hug and a kiss. I got to the door, ready to go out. Then, out of the blue, Abbey said, "I love you". Oh, my goodness, I just melted. This is the first time she has ever said those words. Such a great feeling. I'm not sure that she grasps the huge impact of those three little words, but I don't care. She said them, and she said them to me!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh, the power of Dora...

She has done what M&Ms, Starbursts, lollipops, toys, begging and pleading could not do... make Abbey want to use the potty. This weekend Abbey wore training pants, and did pretty well with them. Several times she went on her own to the potty. We have promised Abbey that when she goes several days without accidents, then we will buy her some Dora the Explorer big girl panties. Dora and Kai Lan are the new obsessions with our little one. She would sit and watch for hours on end. I must admit, I do find this to be majorly helpful to me. Not that I've let her sit for hours, only 30 minutes here and there. This is the first time, since Abbey came home that I've been able to go upstairs and not be afraid that she will open the door and start to walk to Wal-Mart. So, I've become a big Dora and Kai Lan fan also!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Old Is She ??

I get asked this question about Abbey many times every day at the pool. She's actually swimming, not only swimming but flipping off of the diving board. And yes, she isn't even 3 years old yet. People want to know what we did to get her swimming at such an early age. I'm not sure if we can take much credit, though. She is just very talented physically. She was doing flips before she could walk. We did put her under the water from an early age, she has never worn any floatation devices and she has watched a LOT of swim meets!! All of this, combined with her desire and love of the water, has turned her into a little fish.

The little fish

Coming up to breathe

Swimming from the board

There she goes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ok, when in the world will we travel???

That is a great question. It appears that our agency's best guess is Nov. 5-20. There are several factors affecting when we can travel. China has a big holiday the first of Oct. Then 2 trade fairs in the middle and end of Oct. Therefore, travel to China during the month of Oct. is a big no-no. Now, if, and it is a God sized if, we can get our approvals faster than they predict (at least a week or more faster), then we could possibly travel in Sept. Whew! Am I happy about this? Nope, but I'm accepting. I know that the Lord is really in control, and if he doesn't choose for our stuff to get approved fast, then there is a reason. It's in His very capable hands. Also, today in the travel meeting, I had my eyes opened. We started the meeting with 4 couples and ended with 3. One couple, through no fault of their own, found out that they had to redo the I 800A and homestudy. They have had PA for a little, now 7 1/2 yr. old, girl for over a year. My heart was breaking for the Mom as she came to the realization that she wouldn't be able to travel as soon as she had thought. This put things in perspective for me. I've only been waiting for 4 months for a 16 month old boy. I have no right to complain.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fourth of July

Daniel's Big Splash Form

Anna cooling off from lifeguarding duties

Getting ready for greased watermelon race

The girl loves her candy

playing golf at the carnival

Tossing the chips onto a plate

With all the other news I've had to share, I've not had time to write about our Fourth of July. This holiday is always special for us. We usually spend the whole day as a family, and our pool has lots of fun activities. This year, with the exception of missing Beth and John, was no different. It began with a carnival for Abbey at the pool. She amassed great quantities of candy, which made her day. We then ate hamburgers and hotdogs cooked at the pool. Then the games began... More candy for Abbey, in the candy toss. The greased watermelon race, big splash and belly flop for Daniel. We then went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream, and then off to the fireworks. We sat in a field and Abbey, along with a couple of friends she met there, ran until her heart was content. It was a fun day!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Care Package

We used a wonderful company, Ladybugs N Love, to send a care package to Elijah. We also had used them to get our first updates. I can't tell you how please we have been with their services. They are very reasonably priced and prompt. I made my own care package for Abbey and it ended up costing me much more, in addition, to taking a lot of time to prepare. Angela picked out a toy for Elijah based on my specifications. I couldn't done better, if I had done the shopping. I was also able to send them 10 pictures which they put in a photo album with captions in Chinese. Pictured are the items that are being delivered to Elijah.
(Be sure to scroll down and see our new pictures)

Elijah Updates!!!

What a wonderful surprise when I checked my e mail today! I had new pictures and information on Elijah. He looks great, and, if I do say so, quite a cutie! These pictures were taken in April. At that time he was 28 inches tall, and weighed 18 pounds. He's a little bit of a guy. I so want him home! Please pray for us to get quick approval. I've been a little(well, actually a lot) frustrated lately. A few days ago, our travel coordinator said we probably wouldn't travel until Nov. Well, that is his estimate, and I'm praying that the Lord has other plans.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two Years Ago

2nd coming home anniversary

The First picture we saw of Abbey

Gotcha Day

Two years ago this Fourth of July, Abbey became an US citizen. We got her on June 25th and arrived in Chicago on July 4th. How appropriate to become a citizen on the Fourth of July!

She has brought so much joy, action and humor into all our lives. She went from a 9 1/2 month old that acted like a 3 month old to a 2 year old that acts like a 5 year old. Her growth and development have been nothing short of amazing. We are beyond grateful to God for giving Abigail Grace Fuxin to us! You can read all about our journey to get Abbey by clicking on the Abbey's Road Home link on the side of the page.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Miss Abbey Goes to Washington

We couldn't figure out what to do to celebrate our anniversary, when Beth suggested that we come to Washington and let Abbey stay with her. Beth adores Abbey and vice versa. We quickly took her up on her generous offer. So we left home early Sat. morning, left Abbey with Beth and went to explore by ourselves. We didn't really get to see many of the sights, but we still had a great time just being by ourselves. Abbey and Beth went to the zoo. Beth was quite tired when we got back on Sunday, but Abbey had a grand ole time. Sunday morning we all went to the mall and ate lunch. Having much older kids sure does have its advantages for us.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lookee what we have!!!

Our Letter of Acceptance (aka Letter Seeking Confirmation) from China.

Thanks be to God! This is what we've been waiting for. Now, the next guessed it, more waiting. We now have a myriad of paperwork to navigate through to get our government's final approval and permission from China to come and get Elijah. Our agency thinks we should travel in Sept.

About our agency; A Helping Hand. I've been very pleased with them this time. Dana, the special needs advocate, came into the office on her day off just to call us and the other families that got their LOAs. Through their contact in China, they were able to track our LOA. It seems that they have been receiving LOAs in a timely fashion. There are a lot of people that wait much longer than the 71 days we waited. From the beginning they have been very accomodating to our requests. I'd highly recommend them for special needs adoptions from China.