Sunday, November 29, 2009


Ni Hao Y'all

This is my first time participating in Sunday Snapshot, so if it is not "right", you'll have to forgive me! I am not good at following directions. Stefanie, over at
NiHao Y'all started Sunday Snapshot and I think it is the coolest idea! I have had such a great time reading everyone's SS posts, I had to join in! So here goes...

This is my sweet girl, Julianna.

Julianna is the most kind hearted 4 year old I have ever met. She genuinely cares for other people. When I say those things, I don't just mean she is a sweet kid. It goes way beyond that. She has a love for people. For reasons unknown to me, she seems drawn to Chinese people. Honestly, I think Julianna is part of the reason we are bringing her sister home from China. Since she was 2 years old, she has asked for a "Chinese sister". She has a heart for orphans. I look so forward to seeing what Jesus has in store for her. I have a hunch she will do big things for Him. I would not be surprised in the slightest if she grew up and became a missionary. In CHINA, no doubt. I have never seen a such little girl so fascinated by a culture and its people.

Juju is so expressive. She surprises me everyday with her thoughts and her ideas. She has her own sense of fashion and she is very confident in her choices (much to her daddy's delight, haha!). She insists on wearing tights and tutu's every. single. day. She is an absolute joy (though her brothers may disagree)!

I am so thankful for this little one. She is a true light in my life. I look so forward to watching her grow up!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Officially! WOO HOOOOO! I was hoping it would be completely done before the next shared list came out, because my family coordinator will be so busy once the list is out. I should be getting my copy in the mail over the next few days, then it is off to the next step!

We are one paper away from sending our documents to China. That hit me today while I was running errands, and I about wrecked my van in excitement! LOL. Anyway, the next step is to apply to the USCIS. That process scares me because well, the government is scary. Haha. It will all be fine. I really am not worried.

So we are moving right along. Now that I know it is approved, the process doesn't seem to be taking as long as it seemed before. I am much more relaxed (thank you Jesus! My sweet giver of peace!).

Yesterday was craptacular (more on that later). So it is nice to enjoy this good news today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Today we went downstairs to our school room, just like any other day. Well, that isn't entirely true. Today, I was motivated. I went down there with the intentions of getting a lot of work done.

So I get my kids busy doing their work, while I clean. I moved furniture and vacuumed behind it. I dusted. I organized. I was feeling good. Well, as I was on the floor vacuuming, I noticed little black things on the carpet behind one of my shelving units. I take a closer look and I realize it was tiny, tiny little mouse droppings. My heart literally stopped in my chest. I sent Brad a text message (he was at home, upstairs. LOL) telling him what I found and how I was trying very hard to keep my composure. I didn't want the kids to know because I didn't want to scare them. I really felt if we had a mouse, we would know about it. We have a cat and she has all of her claws. Surely, if there were a mouse in my house my cat would have caught it right? Well, that is what I kept telling myself. Of course, then I realize if that were true, then I might find a dead mouse while I was cleaning. That sent me into a whole new level of panic.

I tried to take my mind off of it, and move on. I was doing pretty well until I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and it was this tiny little mouse scurrying along the baseboard. **SHIVERS**. I guess I gasped because my kids both looked at the same time. Well, in like a nano second they were both screaming to the tops of their lungs and were standing in their seats. Julianna was actually crying real tears. I am not sure why, but I started screaming too. I thought about climbing onto Jackson's desk. Well, I am not sure what happened, but it felt like a big invisible hand slapping me across the face telling me to come to my senses. I remembered in that second of screams x3, that my baby is sleeping in the very next room. I guess I should say, WAS sleeping. Brad came running downstairs to make sure we were ok. About that time, the little mouse ran into the laundry room. I thought, oh thank goodness. There is no way out! We can catch it! I sent my kids upstairs, while Brad and I planned our attack. Meanwhile, that brave little mouse was just sitting in the laundry room staring us down. I guess I have never seen a real mouse before, but I gotta be honest, it was actually pretty cute. It was so very tiny, and it had the biggest ears.

We decided to just throw the cat into the laundry room, shut the door and let her "handle" it. Well, about an hour later, it was so quiet in there, we decided to check out what was going on. We opened the door, and Lola just came strolling out all nonchalant like. Brad goes in to assess the damage, only to find nothing. No mouse. No signs of a mouse. Nothing. How can that be? Seriously? The only thing I can think of is it went under the door into the garage? The crack under the door is very small. Can a mouse go through such a small crack?

I don't know but I am so creeped out. We set a mouse trap down there, but how do I know if it will work or not? I have a feeling I will not sleep a wink tonight. How disgusting.

For the record - school was officially over.

Monday, November 16, 2009


We missed church yesterday because we think my hubby has H1N1. We aren't really sure, but he has a fever and stuff. For us to miss church, it is a big deal. Especially considering Brad (hubs) is the Associate Pastor of Worship. We would have gone without him, but I was afraid if he does have the piggy flu, we have been exposed and there is no sense in exposing the other 400 members. Anyway, yesterday was our ShoeBox dedication for Operation Christmas Child. We live 20 minutes from the Samaritan's Purse headquarters, so OCC is a big deal at our church.

Anyway, you are wondering how this has anything to do with adoption, aren't you? I am getting there, maybe the long way, but I getting there. So I was talking to my friend today and she said to me, "Hey, you really missed a great service at church yesterday." I told her how much I hated missing it. She then said, "During the service they mentioned Jessica by name!" Gosh, just typing it makes me cry, AGAIN. I said, "WHAT????" She went on to tell me that during the dedication of the shoeboxes, the lady that was speaking was saying how now the Samaritan's Purse is now able to deliver shoeboxes to the orphanages of China (gosh, I am still crying). She told the story about how her sister had adopted last year from China, and how dear Chinese orphans are to her heart. Then she said, "You never know, maybe the shoebox you made will be delivered to Jessica Cordray and Lydia Eller (another little one waiting to come home)."

I don't know why, but that made me ball. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I guess because her name is so special to me, yet most people don't know it, or even know we are adopting at all. It just made her a REAL little girl to more people than me. Does that make sense? So humbling and so sweet.

Then I had this gut punched feeling. You see, I didn't really have the money to do our shoeboxes this year. It just wasn't a priority. I kept saying, we are helping already! We have donated money to Morning Star! We are bringing an orphan home! We just can't afford this right now. However, I knew that my kids get so excited every year to do their own boxes for the children. So I bit the bullet and let each of them do a box. What if I hadn't? I would feel terrible knowing that Shelley used my little girl, BY NAME, as an example for who could get a box. Then I thought about the children who will get our boxes. I could have cost a sweet child their ONLY Christmas present. What if Jessica receives a box? I would be so grateful to the person who put their time and money into making it special for her. I can't believe I almost let Satan rob us of these sweet blessing.

But I didn't. Now wouldn't it be a HOOT if Jessica received one of OUR boxes! LOL! I wouldn't put it past my Father. He is in the miracle business.

**edited to add this link: Oh my! I am crying again, or is it still?
God's Special Children

***edited to add another link: I was wrong. I wasn't crying before, that was nothing compared to what I am doing now. Last link, I promise. Christmas in China

Friday, November 13, 2009


Scarlet Threads is a brand new boutique with most adorable aprons! You have to see how awesome and unique these aprons are! Here are two of my favorite:

Aren't they cute?! The best thing about Scarlet Threads is their purpose, their heart. Here is what I copied off of their website:

Scarlet Threads is a compassionate boutique, specializing in fairly-traded handmade aprons. We're working to transform the lives of rural Asian women through dignified and safe employment opportunities. You can be a part of our vision by purchasing one of our beautiful products!

Isn't that awesome? So by buying an apron, you are doing WAY more than just looking cute while you are cooking! You care helping these sweet hard working women in rural China have a meal on their table. You are helping them provide for their family.

Also - if you notice that your favorite apron is out of stock, keep checking back. These aprons are hand made. They are worth the wait!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Eleventy Bajillion - that's how many things I think about each day regarding our adoption. Big things, little things. Important things, silly things. My current thought and wonder is photography.

I am a documenter. I document everything, it's what I do (hence this blog!). I have two great cameras - one little, one big. I have a camcorder. I blog. My children have baby books that I actually write in. I stress if I can't photograph a moment or if I forget a date before I can write it down.

So imagine my concern on our upcoming (however far it may be in the future) trip to China. I know that I am going to be consumed with my new little girl, I am not going to want to be messing with a camera (at first, at least). I am going to be needing a photographer and a videographer. How will I ever pull this off?

I am mostly just concerned with our Gotcha moment. I am going to be a basket case. Not to mention I am going to be busy smooching my new little one. I will have a lot of smooches to catch up on, I can not be bothering with a camera.

So BTDT moms, tell me, how did you capture those moments? I will pay an innocent bystander on the street if I have to, but I would like to hear what other's have done or plan to do?

**DISCLAIMER** For the record, I am well aware that "eleventy bajillion" is not a real number. I also am well aware that "documenter" is not a real word. I just wanted to put minds at ease, especially those that know I homeschool my children.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I am thanking Jesus for discernment today. There is no doubt that I have a heart for the orphan. No doubt that each little face I see on a waiting child list, tears at my heart and makes me want to bring him or her home. I have wondered when the time came for a referral how I would know if she was Jessica. Surely, I wouldn't be able to turn away any sweet little one.

Well, we requested the file of a little girl from the shared list on Friday. It was closing time, so we didn't hear back until today. My family coordinator called letting me know she was sending the little girl's info to me via email. Her complete medical record and several photos. I kind of felt numb. It was the weirdest thing. Maybe because I had the whole weekend to think about her and pray. I am not sure. Anyway, the file came, and I immediately opened it. Let me just say, this child had the most sad eyes. As little as she is, her eyes told a story that would make anyone with a heart, break down in tears.

I called Brad and told him about her and her need. The whole time I was talking to him, I knew what his answer would be, because my answer was the same. She is not mine. I felt that her need could be manageable, so it wasn't that. I truly believe with all of my heart that my precious Father was whispering to our spirits, she is not our child.

It was difficult to say no to this precious baby. I will commit to praying she finds HER family soon. Also, I am committed to thanking my Jesus endlessly for showing me the way. On my own, I would never be able to turn away a child in need.

I also fully trust when we do receive Jessica's file, we will know without any doubt in our hearts that SHE is meant for US. Sure we will have questions and concerns, but I believe the peace of my Saviour will transcend all understanding.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


There are several things that I am *very* passionate about: My Messiah, abortion, adoption, and racism. Nothing hurts my heart like the latter three. Today however, I am just going to talk about racism.

I can say with 100% honesty, I do not have a racist bone in my body. I just don't see color. I never have.

Our pastor preached today on racism. It was awesome. He presented biblical and scientific facts. I learned so much! While, I thought it was awesome, and it really hit the nail on the head, I am sure he stepped on some toes.

It always amazes to me to hear people say, "Oh, I am not racist!" Yet, when you probe a little further, you discover their true heart. They share that while they are not racist, they would indeed be uncomfortable if their child brought home a date that was not their race.

Kevin (our pastor) challenged us to look at people through the eyes of Jesus. He also shared the fact that actually, we are all one race. Sure there are different people groups and different cultures, we are all from one blood. Biblically speaking we are the same. In the eyes of Christ, we are all one. In fact, he went as far as saying that genetically, there is only .02% difference between us. ALL OF US. That means that our DNA is 99.98% the same as everyone else's.

Let me ask you a question. Take a look at this picture.

Now tell me, what color do you think the person was that had this heart? A white man? A black woman? Asian? Hispanic? We don't know. We don't know, because past the melanin in our skin, we are all the same.

Speaking of melanin - we all have different amounts. Some much more than others. Some of us has what appears to be none. With blonde hair and blue eyes:

While others have a little more. With brown hair and brown eyes:

Now do I love my children based on the amount of melanin in their skin? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. So why do we accept others based on that? Does your level of melanin make you superior or inferior to someone else? Absolutely not.

Anyway, it was just a nice message today. A message that I am sure, a lot of people needed to hear. My prayer is that I can see people through the eyes of Jesus. My prayer for my children is that they find Christian mates and friends. If they chose to marry someone with more or less melanin than themselves, so be it.

Where are you on the issue?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


To say everything is fine!! I just spoke with our family coordinator, she has met with the director and everything is ok. I do have to redo a couple of things (my financial worksheet and employment letter) and have the financial part of the home study re-written, but all in all, it wont be a problem.

GOD IS SO GOOD! I love how He answers and EXCEEDS my prayer requests! I was thinking the whole time I was on the phone with her, oh gosh, I have to get busy! If I still want to be considered for the shared list in November, I have to get moving to get all of this stuff done. I didn't mention any of that to her, but she said to me, "Also, since technically, we have a draft of your homestudy, even though it needs changes, you can still be considered for a match when the list comes out in TWO WEEKS." YAY!

So you girls were right - He who started a good work, will carry it to completion! I love adding things to my "list" of confirmations that we are absolutely in the midst of HIS WILL. There is no place I would rather be!


I got our homestudy draft yesterday. I was so excited! For about 10 minutes. I got an email after she emailed the draft that completely sucked the joy out of completing the HS milestone.

Brad is a ordained minister. Because of that, his salary is wacky. A large part of it is not taxable, therefore not listed on his w2. We meet China's reuirements of $10,000 per family member, including the adopted child. However, it "appears" that we don't on our tax documents. We have provided a letter from his employer stating his annual salary, which is in excess of the requirement. We have supplied a breakdown of the financial picture. We get a housing allowance, a health insurance allowance and a mileage allowance. Apparently, my agency isn't sure we can include those allowances in his total salary. I have explained to them that, that money is Brad's regardless of how it is designated. It is only designated that way so we don't have to "claim" it at tax time.

Anyway, I am waiting to hear back. It literally could be the end of the road for us. They may not let us move forward. I am devastated. I have no idea how it's going to turn out. PLEASE PRAY!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Oh my, you guys have to check out Kim's blog post from yesterday. I am not kidding, her kids have to be the cutest kids I have seen in a while.

Their Halloween costumes are TOO much for me. My heart just can't stand it! LOL! Considering the fact that I lack any creativity (We had Thomas the Tank Engine, a football player and Barbie. I rest my case.), the costumes are just precious. Put precious costumes on the cutest kids ever, and well... go see for yourself, Cutie Patooties. Try not to feel bad about your crappy costumes. We can't all be as creative as Kim. We have other gifts though, right? Right???