Monday, September 29, 2008


We home school, and Amelia has been working on her fine motor skills. She can write her name pretty well, and knows all her letters even though she cannot write them. To help her with control we have been doing a lot of drawing, and she particularly loves to make stick figures of people. Today she drew me! So there is now a picture of me on this blog....

She even wrote "mom" on there herself, although for some reason she made each "m" and then filled in the "o", all without any input from me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We received it in the mail today!! It is the "Notice of favorable disposition concerning application for advance processing of orphan petition", and is a necessary step in our international adoption process.

In our previous three adoptions, we NEVER received it this quickly! The receipt date is 9/4, and the approval date is 9/26. Who knew our someone in our government could accomplish something so quickly. We are very grateful though! With Micah's adoption it took months and ended up needing the intervention of a State Senator to get it done.

I pray the rest of our paperwork comes together and moves through the process just as swiftly.


Micah has not been in a lot of pictures/posts yet, so this one is for him. He is 6, and we brought him home from Hong Kong a few days after his third birthday. Micah is very charming, and very aware of his charm! He is also a bit defiant....will look right at me and say "no" if he does not want to do what is asked of him, like putting his breakfast bowl in the sink. Micah loves to sing, loves to watch TV, and is especially fond of sliding down the railing of the stairs.
Sunny is exactly halfway between Micah and Amelia in age, and I can see them becoming the Three Musketeers.
Here are some pictures of Micah, for Sandy to see how he has grown! (Thank you Sandy for giving him such a great name and loving him when he was in Mother's Choice!)

Micah did not walk until he was just over 3, but now he just loves climbing, swinging, jumping...anything with movement. He loved his gymnastics class last year. And he just had to climb the fence we had put around our property to help him and Amelia remember not to wander.

And finally, a picture that shows him at can see the space where he had trimmed his hair himself. When he did it a second time we took for his buzz cut. It is slowly growing back though!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stone Soup Fundraiser

We are having a fundraiser in few weeks, and I am really hoping it is successful. My hope is not only that it raises funds for us to bring Sunny home, but also that it gets some other families thinking about adoption too.

A friend is planning this with me, and we are calling it "Stone Soup Adoption Fundraiser". At first we were going to have a spaghetti dinner, but my church just had one and we did not want to repeat that. I was thinking about the fable of stone soup, and we decided to have a soup buffet, charging by the bowl. I read the fable described as "a tale of cooperation amid scarcity", and that is what we need right now. People who cannot give a lot but everyone giving a little will add up for Sunny's adoption. Several friends are loaning me a crockpot to use, and a few friends are also loaning me a crockpot full of soup they have offered to make. We hope to have 10 different kinds, along with bread and crackers.

We are also having a Silent Auction. This whole idea really began when a friend told me she would like to make a baby quilt for us to use as a way to raise funds by selling it. Of course, now we have to find a few more items for the silent auction. We will have same Avon gift baskets donated by my friend, and I plan to stop at a few gift stores to ask about donations. I really am not looking forward to doing that, honestly, but I will do it for my daughter.

AND, Lifesong for Orphans has offered us an interest free loan and a financial gift!! Praise God!! That will be a wonderful help in this adoption journey.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fingerprints and Birthday gifts

Last Friday Jamie and I went into Boston for our "biometric scans". I still prefer to call them fingerprints, just with no ink. We left the house fairly early and arrived at the location a little after 9, and we were out again by 9:45! There were only five or six people in front of us, but even in that half hour there was a little crowd getting started by the time we left. I am so glad we were there early!

Afterwards we walked over to Quincy Market and had some clam chowder at 10am. I don't get into Boston much, but do love the visits. Sunny's 7th birthday is in two weeks, so we bought her a pink Red Sox T-shirt to send to her.

I have also spent a week knitting Sunny a small blanket. I am hoping she will like it, and will find comfort sleeping with it. Then, she can have it on the airplane coming home and continue to find comfort with her blanket after she has joined our family. I cannot even imagine the confusion and fear she will feel when she first comes home. I also bought a pack of flash cards... so for her birthday from us she will receive a t-shirt, a knit blanket, and the cards.

This will be her last birthday without her family! Every morning the kids and I pray that the Lord is preparing her heart for us, to make her transition easier and to help her understand the changes coming.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


With the start of the school year, Amelia is once again in gymnastics class. Nikita was helping her remember some of her skills from last year. Here are a few pictures:

Doing the backbend into a bridge over Nikita's legs

Getting ready....

And the kickover!!

Amelia turns 8 in March, so we hope to get her into Special Olympics. She absolutely LOVES gymnastics and her teacher, Miss Karen. She learned all her moves for the Gym Show last Spring, and needed very little help from Nik during the performance. And I am so proud of Nik for going to gymnastics every week and being Amelia's personal assistant!

Here's one more picture, of Nik and Amelia playing Candyland:

Good Job!

My Amelia is 7, and she has Down Syndrome. I don't know if it is just her personality, or if the Lord puts a little something extra-special in that extra chromosome kids with Down Syndrome have.
Last weekend I took Nikita shopping at the Salvation Army thrift store. I couldn't resist getting myself a striped green t-shirt I spotted. When I changed into that shirt on Saturday night and came out of my room, Amelia stopped me, took both my hands and held them out while she looked me up and down. Then she said, "oh Mom, is pretty". Not only did she notice I was wearing a new shirt, she made a big deal of telling me I looked good in it. (Not bad for three bucks!)
In church on Sundays we sit near the back, just in case Amelia gets antsy. So most people don't notice that whenever someone sings a solo, and after the choir sings, Amelia stands up, holds out a big thumbs up, and says "good job!".
She even insists on praying whenever someone else is. It was interesting the first time she did it in our Sunday School class (her dad and I teach her first and second grade class). I always pray at the end, so she insisted too. A few girls laughed after and said they had no clue what she was saying. I said, God knows. The next week I prayed for each child by name. So Amelia did too. And this time they were amazed they heard Amelia pray for them by name.
I really need to try to be more like Amelia, remembering to notice the little things and give more affirmation.

And for adoption news, our fingerprint appointment is this Friday!! It has only been two weeks since we sent in the I-600a application; I hope they continue to work on it this quickly so we receive the approval.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can chickens read?

First, an adoption update...yesterday I received a notice from USCIS that they have our I-600a, and we should expect a fingerprint appointment notice in the next two weeks! Also, today I am sending off our contract to our agency, with a large sum of money. We are praying for a miracle in the mail today because we are still short on the country fee amount that is supposed to be sent along with the contract.

In other news, Amelia has decided to teach Pip how to read. And Pip seems willing to learn!

She then moved on to some music therapy. Maybe George crowing all the time has poor Pip's nerves on edge...

Have a wonder-filled day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dear Birthmother

One of the items we recently had to send to our agency was a "Dear Birthmother" letter. We have never had to write one of those before, and didn't really now. It is not known who Sunny's birthparent's are, and that is heartbreaking. Our letter instead goes to the orphanage. I am almost glad though, that we wrote a letter convincing an orphanage to grant us the opportunity to raise a child, instead of writing a letter to a mother asking her to let us raise her child. I don't think I could do that.

We did meet a birthmother once, with the hopes of raising her baby. It was day the SW called us. She had been contacted by a mother in distress-- she had a six week old baby with Down Syndrome and she wanted to place him for adoption. So the SW called us, and we agreed to meet her and the mother for lunch at an area restaurant...the thought of adopting a baby was unexpected, and exciting.

That was probably one of the worst days of my life. She was quietly crying the whole time, totally in love with her baby and just as totally convinced she could not raise him. She was single, a little older than me, and a full-time student; her mother was convinced God was going to heal her baby and thus not a real support. We talked about us and showed her pictures of our family, she showed us pictures of her baby. She'd had an ultrasound but it did not show any problems-- she would have aborted if there had been. The guilt she was feeling for that alone was huge, considering how deeply in love with her baby she now was.

We went away from the meeting saddened for her, but the prospect of another child joining our family was a positive. We started the home study, and a month later there was still no word from her. We asked SW to follow up, and it turns out she had gotten some counseling and decided she could do it after all. Wonderful for her and baby, we really were happy for her. That did leave us with a home study in progress though. Which led us to our Dante--- my unplanned adoption. The Lord blessed this mother by showing her a family that is raising a child (two at that time) with Down Syndrome and loving that life, and He also blessed us with our Dante.

Dante's parents gave him a little yellow blanket when they released him for adoption. He still sleeps with it every night, and it reminds me to pray for them, and for all mothers who are compelled by their life circumstances or society to place a baby for adoption.

Friday, September 5, 2008


We have been asked to send a few things off to our agency, to be sent on to Taiwan. One is a photo album of us, our home, and our community. So I took some pictures, and want to share a few here of Dante on his horse. He is not quite three and does not walk yet, and the horse therapy helps to strengthen his muscles for walking. Unfortunately when he does turn three next month we will lose his therapies, but I am hoping for a way to keep the riding. The first few weeks he screamed! Now he sits up there and does his rounds like a pro, and is so good for the therapists.

I for one am thankful he decided to like it, because it was very nervewracking to see my little baby crying and trying to dive off this great big horse. (He might be almost three but he's still my baby!)

And, here's a picture I took of Zach and his rooster, George. Sadly, George will soon be going to a more rural home than ours. We have not had complaints from neighbors yet, but George is doing way too much crowing, starting at 6am. We only have four hens, and I'm sure they will be fine without George standing guard. Zach and George are sitting on the roof of the henhouse.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bake Sale

Saturday was our home school Tag and Bake Sale. Nikita and I spent all day Friday baking- she made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and one of oatmeal cookies. I made peanut butter cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and 4 loaves of zucchini bread. Several friends also brought cookies and bread.

In all, our sales were $128.50!! I am so thankful for the help of friends, and for all the people that purchased something. About half of my jams and salsas were bought, which is fine because the rest will be used by us this winter.

Jamie and I have been spending a lot of time this weekend filling out grant applications, too. Some of the financial questions they ask are actually more invasive than the home study was! I can understand them wanting to know about our Christian lives and basic income/expenses, but do they really need me to outline how much money we spend on gas?! We have already been turned down for one grant-- did not even get past the pre-qualifications. No reason given, just a "no". We will keep plugging away though.