"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands."--- Kristi Larson
What a way to start the day! We received a little photo from Ann (Red Thread) this morning of our Peyton! So sweet! Well, we went to the Chinese Consulate this morning to get our documents authenticated.We will pick them up next week and be DTC by Friday! I will leave you with my little Russian beauty holding our priceless documents!Ava is a really cheap model. A glass of strawberry milk , a new picture of sister and she is all smiles! What a ham!
No matter what goes on in our little world ,good or bad, we have an amazing dose of perspective just outside our front window. This dose of perspective comes from an unlikely source, a nine year old boy. Our neighbor and Jake's good friend , Ben. Ben was diagnosed with cancer in '08. Since then he has under gone numerous chemotherapy treatments,surgeries and a leg amputation.Despite all that he has endured he is still the same silly, sweet, beautiful boy that we met just two years ago.He is an amazing young man that possesses strength and will that just is inspiring! By the way, Ava is in L O V E with her Ben Ben!So back off girls ...he is spoken for! So as he is entering yet another round of those nasty drugs his beautiful locks must go.It is a small debt to pay. So he went in and had his head shaved. That evening at dinner we were discussing how some people show support to their friends by shaving their head as well.Well Jake said sign me up! Funny thing is that now Jake's hair is shorter than Ben's!!! The boy's really laughed about that! I am just amazed that Jake at a mere 7 years old gets it. I am so proud of him. It is such a simple sacrifice to make but you should have seen the look on Ben's face...Priceless. Please include Ben and his family in your prayers as he enters the next phase of his clinical trial on Monday.
You read it right! I am so excited ! We received our fingerprinting appointment in the mail yesterday and had a conflict with the time and date! So we crossed our fingers and prayed really hard that they would have mercy on us and take us early. So this morning we were off to the immigration office.The lady at the front desk was super nice and said "no problem".We were in and out in less than 15 minutes! So when I got home I called my officer and told her that we had already been fingerprinted .She said great.I asked her if there was a way to get that approval emailed to make my deadline.Granted ,I am always the person who is afraid to ask someone for something!So I really stepped out of my comfort zone. And that was it! I am holding a copy of my approval in my hand! I am in complete shock! Nothing has gone this easy ...EVER! All I can think is that God blessed me this morning because of the good doggy deed I did . Yes, that was me running around in and out of traffic at a busy intersection ,chasing a little white dog in a pair of heels! No one stopped to render assistance to this poor little guy,so I had no choice. So I get out of the car with my folder marked USCIS,a bag of animal crackers and begin directing him to safety. This little guy had another agenda and that was to get the dead ,dehydrated,stinky squirrel that was not so fortunate a few days earlier! YUCK! So, here I am chasing the dog with my folder waving in the air.Well, he thought I was a crazy lady after his squirrel and ran like heck to get away!I guess I did look kind of scary! But he was safe! So, to sum it up it was a great day for all ...except the squirrel!
So, there are two morals to this story: 1.No good deed goes unnoticed! 2.Do not be afraid to ask!
We ordered our second care package for Peyton. This time we used Ann @ Red Threads http://www.redthreadchina.com/care-packages.html .She did a fantastic job putting this together! We hope she enjoys getting acquainted with all of our faces via the photo album. We included everyone in our family even her four legged furry brothers! I hope she enjoys her goodies!
So we are still awaiting word about our finger printing appointment.After we receive our immigration approval than it is off to Austin for the apostille and then to Houston for the authentication through the Chinese consulate. Then our Dossier is on it's way to China!
Step by step we are getting closer to our little ladybug!
This is one of the worst parts of the international adoption process! I have had so many people email and ask:
"Is she home yet?"
"When do you travel?"
"How can you wait that long?"
If you have never been part of the IA process then it does seem like it should be really simple and FAST! Right?
You scramble to gather paperwork at lightening speed and then you wait. Only to do it all over again! This has proven to be quite a challenge for me. So, I am wanting to hit the fast forward button and not let go till I get Peyton in my arms.
But I have to remind myself that this time waiting is special.
I know you all are saying "WHAT?"! Has she gone crazy?
But hear me out! I mean "Special" in a starry - eyed, I'm in love, butterflies in my tummy yet agonizing kind of way...does that make since?
So, as I stalk the USCIS customer service number and as long as the mailman does not put a restraining order on me I will keep repeating to myself: "Good things come to those who wait"
"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mother Teresa
With the new year comes the usual new year resolutions.Gym memberships are up,weight loss commercials are dominating the TV and everyone is excited about the promise that the new year will bring! We are very excited about 2010 because we have such a special year ahead with the addition of Ben Pei to our family! I am planning on setting some small personal goals to achieve before Peyton comes home.These include some drapery projects and finishing up on some '09 goals carried over from last year.I look back on '08&'09's "carry overs" and say well I accomplished the #1 goal ...attaching with Ava.This was by far the most important goal I have set yet!
As a family we are trying something a little different this year. We have set a family goal for the year 2010.Just our little drop in the ocean. We have chosen the sweetest little boy to set up an adoption fund for.When we were waiting to be matched with our sweet girl ,we saw lots of little faces on different agencies lists. One little boy really stood out in this endless list of children waiting on their forever family. He is a special needs child from China born with a limb difference.When I first saw his photo I was captivated by how sad and lost he looked. There was something about him that reminded me of our Ava.I think it was that blank and expressionless photo that I first saw. Just this past week I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and I was stopped dead in my tracks! I saw a photo of the most precious and happy little boy . "Could this be the same little boy?" It was him but that sad little face was replaced by the most beautiful smile.You see he is being sponsored by a wonderful organization and it has made all the difference in the world.
Despite that, he still needs a family of his very own.
So, we have printed off "Sammy's" picture, placed it in a green glass jar on our kitchen island and dollar by dollar hope to off set his adoption cost for one lucky family.Each dollar is just a drop in the ocean. By the end of the year we hope to have saved enough in Sammy's little jar to place an small adoption grant towards his adoption fees.So for now, we have the most handsome little fellow greeting us each day.The kids know him by name and are excited about the opportunity ahead. I cannot think of a better reminder of how blessed we are to be given the opportunity to make a difference in someones life.What a powerful gift!
Way to powerful to ignore!
Sammy is currently listed with Adoptions Together. Here is their link :He is listed under boy Feb/08
LID – Log in Date DTC – Dossier to China TA – Travel Approval (called other things in other countries, this is the Notice of Coming to China) CA – Consulate Appointment SN – special needs NSN – non special needs PA – Pre-approval (part of the SN process) PAP – Potential Adoptive Parent LOA – Letter of Acceptance – used in both NSN and SN process. In NSN program it is the document that allows you to officially accept a referral. In SN program the CCAA sends it after the LOI and before TA. LOI – Letter of Intent SWI / CWI – Social/Children’s Welfare Institute, what orphanages are called in China
The Starfish Thrower
Once upon a time there was a man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit
of walking on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking
along the shore.
As he looked down the beach
he saw a human figure
moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself
to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster
to catch up.
As he got closer,
he saw that it was an
older man and the man
Instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently
throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The older man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish into the ocean."
The man noticed
there were hundreds of starfish
all washed up on the beach
from a storm the night before.
He watched as the man carefully
continued to pick up the starfish
one by one.
"I guess I should have asked,
‘Why are you throwing starfish
into the ocean?’"
"The sun is up
and the tide is going out.
If I don't throw them in
"But don't you realize
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"
The older man listened politely.
He bent down, picked up another starfish
He looked at the starfish
as he prepared to
throw it into the ocean,
past the breaking waves and said –
"I will make a difference to this one!"
On my way from Heaven,
God delayed my trip that day.
He said that I was special,
and then sent me on my way.
But not before he kissed me,
Right upon my ear
He left his blessed mark
to carry with me here.
He whispered in my ear right then,
that He loved me without doubt,
and then He closed my ear up tight,
so the whisper won't get out.
He told me both my legs were strong
and would help me stand up tall.
He told me both my arms would work
to catch me if I fall.
My eyes would catch my memories
to store within the pages of my mind,
My heart would fill with all the things I would love,
so many things, I would find.
He told me I could fall asleep
to my Daddy's bedtime tales,
and listen while my Mother sings
of seas and boats with sails.
One ear, He told me, could hear the sounds
that little birdies make.
The other ear was His gift to me,
a blessing for my sake.
For when I'm feeling sad, He said,
my other ear would hear,
His whispered words of eternal love,
left waiting for me there.