Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Last year my friend gave me a calendar that her adoption agency sent her. It was a calendar that featured adopted children after they were home with their forever families. My friend knew my heart for the orphan and thought I would enjoy the sweet little Chinese faces greating me everyday. I came home and promptly hung it in the den (Brad's room!). It made sense to hang it there, considering that is where the desk is. If it happened to pull Brad's heart strings periodically, then so be it. LOL.

Well today when the mail came, guess what I had? My VERY OWN calendar. Not one given to me by a friend. My own calendar from OUR adoption agency. I know this is probably not a big deal to most, but to me, it was monumental.

I never dreamed last year when I hung that calendar in the den, that just a year later, I would be replacing it with another adoption themed calendar. A similar calendar but such different circumstances. Last year, those sweet faces reminded me of a void in my heart. A longing that I felt was hopeless.

This year, those sweet faces still remind me of a void, but the void is much deeper. The void this year is my daughter that is not home with us. A longing that has replaced the longing of last year and is stronger than I could have imagined.

There is a huge difference this year. That longing? Yeah, it is no longer HOPEless. It is a longing full of HOPE. My Jesus moved a mountain in 2009. In 2010, he is bringing my HOPE home!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I haven't received our fingerprinting appointment letter, yet. However, I have called the USCIS to inquire. I was told our appointments are scheduled on January 5th. That appointment time couldn't be any better, honestly. I was worried it would be this past Monday and Julianna would miss her recital. Then I worried that it would be on a Wednesday (that would be hard for Brad). So, Tuesday, January 5th is great. Also, hopefully since a whole month will pass between our receipt and our appointment, our officer will have a chance to work on our paperwork before hand. I have given up hope of getting my documents to China in January, but the sooner the better.
Also a new shared list should be out soon. I am really hoping my Jessica is on it. I don't know if it is the holidays or what, but I am really heartsick for her right now. I literally tear up everytime I think about it.

We bought her a couple of Christmas presents. I know that probably sounds silly to most. However, it was something I needed to do. It made me feel closer to her somehow. I feel like it will help make her more tangible to my children. I want them to see that mommy and daddy are already considering her a part of our family. I also didn't want them to ask why Santa didn't bring her anything. We got her the Corolle doll:

We also got her a Pink Build A Bear:

The kids wanted to get her one for when we go to China. I went ahead and bought the bear. After we get a referral, I will let the kids go to BAB and pick her out some clothes and accessories.

My prayer is that this time next Christmas, my baby girl will be home to celebrate the birth of Jesus with her mommy, daddy, brothers and sister. Ok, tears again. Ugh, it is heartbreaking.


For the cookies to look that bad, I sure have eaten a ton of them. They are darn tasty. Anyway, Brad read my blog this morning and decided he wanted sesame chicken for dinner. Apparently the power of suggestion was pretty strong. I am always up for sesame chicken, especially considering we don't have a good Chinese restaurant, so I said sure. Just to redeem myself, and so people don't think I am a total loss in the kitchen, I am posting a picture of the sesame chicken:

Sorry the "presentation" is not prettier, but I didn't think of taking a picture until after I fixed my plate. You get the point though. It was very tasty, just so you know. Tasty enough for my family to put a hurtin' on it! LOL! I thought little Jameson would eat until he burst.

So, I am not a kitchen failure, just a baking failure. LOL!


I also want to share about our day today. Brad and I are from Charleston, SC. It is warm. It is coastal. I have many memories of wearing shorts and flip flops on Christmas. That was how we rolled. However, we do not live in Charleston anymore. Shorts and flip flops do not apply here. Here being the frozen tundra. Here are a few photos from today.

My back deck:

Man! I wish I had some snow cone syrup!

My tulip tree, looking all purdy:

Ok, it's been real. It's been fun. It's been real fun, but I am over it. They are calling for 16 - 20 inches. TWENTY. INCHES. We will be snowed in until 2010. Seriously. Thank the lord I stocked up on Mountain Dew.

**DISCLAIMER** Apparently being snowed in is messing with my mind! I read back over my post and it sounds awfully redneck - "hurtin'"? "Purdy"? Melt quickly snow!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I learned a very valuable lesson tonight. A lesson that deep in my heart, I knew long ago, but was afraid to admit. I lesson that crushes this mommy's heart.

I can not bake.

There I said it. I admit it. As a mom, I have often dreamed about making cookies with my kids. Baking their birthday cakes (we all remember this post, do we not?). Making cupcakes for their school. Well, praise Jesus they are homeschooled. I would mortify my children.

Yesterday I was looking around
The Pioneer Woman and I saw a really "easy" cookie recipe.

Well. Those sweet little cookies are SO not what I got. Here are my cookies:

Yeah, that blob in the center? Santa. Hot mess in the top right hand corner? Frosty.

Here is take 2. Check out Santa in this one. He looks like he has hit the eggnog a little too hard.

It was a sad, sad night for me. My baking days are OVER! I should have known better. From now on, it's Lofthouse Sugar cookies. I refuse to even think about anything else.

Now if you want me to cook some sesame chicken, I can nail that. So at least I am not a total kitchen failure, I suppose.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Honestly, there isn't much going on. I submitted my application to the USCIS the week of Thanksgiving. I received receipt today that they have the application and it is being processed. We should get our fingerprinting appointment in Charlotte soon. They assign us an appointment - don't you know it will be on the busiest day of December? I am fully expecting that. LOL. As long as it is not next Monday, we will make it work. If I believed in "knocking on wood", I would do it right now.

Once we get approval from USCIS, we get our documents authenticated by the Secretary of State and the Chinese Consulate, then we can mail our documents to China. I am hoping we can do that by January sometime.

So, that is where we are. I was relieved to get that receipt in the mail today. The night I mailed my application, I was looking at my paperwork and I realized I had made a mistake. On the check, I didn't write in the numerical part. I wrote out the amount in words, just not the numbers in the little box. I was so worried that they would reject it, delaying the process. Well, the check cleared and the receipt came, so apparently, there was no problem.

Come on fingerprints appointment!! I think since we have to drive to Charlotte and the whole family will go, we may just have to eat P.F. Changs, or at the very least Pei Wei. And if I can convince Brad, we may just hit up Ikea.

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Ni Hao Y'all

First of all, I want to ask - how is it Sunday again? Wasn't it just Sunday like day before yesterday?

Anyway, today my Sunday Snapshot features my sweet 2 year old, Jameson!

Jameson was my surprise! An awesome suprise! I had a difficult pregnancy with him (Brad says it was because I was older). I was so very sick for the first 20 weeks, then at 31 weeks I went on bedrest. At 35 weeks I delivered. He scared the death out of me, but he was just fine.

It took me a long time to relax after he was born, I was just so worried. At four months, I was convinced he had cerebral palsy. He held his head weird. Turns out it was reflux. At 6 months, I was convinced he had a brain tumor because his pupils were two different sizes. Two ophthamologists later, it is just a condition that is very common and isn't a big deal at all. Then, this summer, he got this weird blister thing on his leg. I was convinced he had leg cancer, or some crazy immune disease. Yeah, it was just an infected mosquito bite. The list goes on and on... Apparently, after two and a half years, I am still not relaxed. Today, my little guy fell asleep in church (he never does that)and felt really hot. I got him home and he had (has) a fever almost 103. I am not going to lie, I am worried to death.

I just worry about him. Clearly, he is thriving. However, his mommy is a basket case. LOL!

He is at such a fun age. Every single day he cracks me up! He is just so dang cute, I can hardly stand it. With his recent language explosion, he just says the cutest things. He loves The Wonder Pets (Or Pet Pets, as he calls it) and Ni Hao, Kai Lan. He is learning his colors and shapes. He has a little bit of a southern accent, that makes me laugh and cringe all at the same time. He is just the best!

He is such a blessing to me. I am so thankful Jesus surprised me with him.