Monday, May 31, 2010


So we had a benefit concert a few weeks back to help raise funds to bring Willa home. We raised close to $3000 - which was such a blessing! I have to share a video of my husband leading worship that night. It was hysterical - and awesome all at the same time. Check it out...

Sweet Home Up in Heaven

I am not sure if that helped or hurt the fundraising efforts. LOL! A lot of "church folk" do not appreciate Skynard in church! LOL! Clearly you can look at my husband and see that he doesn't care. HAHA!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I thought while we waited for our travel approval, I would write a little blog about "us". This whole site is a "journal" for Willa, so to speak, so I thought maybe she would like to read (one day) how her family came to be.

I met Brad in 1999 at a church I visited. Interestingly enough, we had known the same people for years, but Jesus never intended our paths to cross until that night in June 1999. I went to church that night, and he was leading worship. Funny thing, I didn't wear my glasses like I was suppose to back then, so I couldn't actually see him. We met, hit it off, and was "boyfriend/girlfriend" 2 weeks later! He actually asked me to be his girlfriend! Isn't that sweet?

We had been dating for a year when he told me that he wanted to move to Fort Worth. I was devastated. We talked for a long time about what we would do. We decided that I would move, too. So we packed up all of our stuff and moved to Texas. At first, it was great. I got my own apartment. I had a great job. Brad was doing well at the seminary. We had been there a week or so when he proposed. It was super sweet, and we were very excited. We talked about setting a date - it was a week before Labor Day weekend and that seemed good to us. LOL. So we went to get our marriage license and Brad's friend married us at my little apartment. We went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and that was that. It was exactly what we wanted and even now, almost ten years later, we are glad we did it that way!

We were in Texas for a couple of months when I started getting homesick. I mean really homesick. After a lot of talking about it, we decided to transfer to Wake Forest, NC. So in January, we moved back to the east coast.

So we settled in in Wake Forest. We were

Sunday, May 23, 2010


We are chugging right along! It is officially Monday in China, which means our Article 5 should be ready to be picked up and delivered to the CCAA! Our official wait for travel approval can finally begin. An average for TA's is 3 weeks, but there have been some that have gotten it at 10 days. That would totally rock, but I am not holding my breath. I am just excited that we are finally to this point.

In other news, I contacted Angela over at Lady Bugs N Love to follow up on the care package we sent Willa. I have been told that Willa's orphanage will *not* give any information to anyone other than the adoption agency. We have already received our update, so I knew when we sent the care package we would not receive anything back from the orphanage. I did send Angela the email just to verify that the package had been delivered. She emailed back and said that she contacted the orphanage on our behalf. The director said they would send us some photos this week (YAY!!) and they wanted to Angela to ask us when we would be traveling. They want to make preparations and get Willa ready. I was so excited that they care communicating with us!

I also just heard from a "blog friend" that just returned from Qingdao. She said she was shocked how nice the CWI was to her. They had her gifts, made her a meal, let her meet some of the children and tour the orphanage! She said they had a ton of photos of her son and had made her a scrapbook! Can you believe it? I am so excited and so relieved to hear that they really love the kids!

I am really getting excited! This time next month, I should know my travel dates at the very least! I am hoping this time next month I am knee deep in packing and planning! And because I serve the Giver of Miracles, I may very well be on a plane to CHINA!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I am not sure why, but I am feeling super emotional tonight. I think the adoption roller coaster is getting the best of me. I feel like I am spinning wheels - like I am desperately running to Willa but something has me lifted a foot off the ground and I am not going anywhere.

Originally, our agency said mid-late June travel. It appears we will get our travel approval in June, but the American Consulate in Guangzhou is way behind on available appointments. They have a back log at the moment, that I don't see any hope of them working through before we get there. In the grand scheme of things, it will only delay travel a couple of weeks, but that is a couple of weeks without Willa.

Another thing that is weighing heavy on my mind is the finances. We are still about $11,000 short. Jesus has moved mountains and provided in so many ways. I am trying to have faith that He will continue to do so. It just feels so overwhelming. What if we finally get travel approval and we don't have the money to go? That thought literally makes me feel like I may vomit.

I am sorry to be so ... depressing. Just having a little pity party, I suppose. I'll get over it. I just have a list of things I am worrying about. I so look forward to like - August.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I thought I would cross something small off the list of things to do. I would like to be able to update my own blog while I am in China, so this may be an option. The photo I am including is one of my travel buddy, my sweet Julianna. Hmm... did it work??

Thursday, May 6, 2010


First things first, we received our letter from the National Visa Center today. We can officially check one more step off of our list of approvals needed. We should receive our Article 5 in about two weeks, and then travel approval a few weeks after that. Then we GO TO CHINA!

So speaking of going to China, we have decided that I will travel with Julianna. We have prayed about it, talked about it, and thought about it. We just have peace about this decision. I know a lot of people disagree or worry about that idea. However, I am not “typical” in most respects. Let me tell you a little story…

When I was 16, my brother arranged for me to fly to Dallas from South Carolina to spend some time with him and his family. He worked for American Airlines at the time and arranged for me to fly on some standby/employee ticket. Everything started off just as planned. Apparently, however, I had a little too much time on my hands during the layover in Raleigh. I decided that I didn’t want to go to Dallas. I wanted to go to Boston. You see, the New Kids on the Block lived in Boston. I really wanted to see the New Kids on the Block. So, I got the bright idea to go to Boston instead. I marched myself right up to the ticket counter and told them that I wanted to go to Boston. I guess since my ticket was an employee type ticket, they never questioned it and I boarded the plane to Boston. I should probably point out here that I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this. Anyway, I get to Boston, figure out how to take the train to Dorchester (where NKOTB lived, of course), and off I went. I spent the day hanging out, doing my thang, having a blast. When I was done seeing what I wanted to see (which unfortunately did not include any New Kid or any New Kid houses), I headed back to the airport.

When I got to the airport, I was told the flight to Dallas was too full and I would have to wait until the next morning. Um, no. I did not want to spend the night in the airport. I quickly decided that I would go to Los Angeles next. I arranged that and waited for my flight. So I went to LA. Long story short, I did finally make it to Dallas, but not until sometime the next day. I had a BLAST! I went to five major cities on two different coasts in 24 hours. Did I mention I was 16 and alone?
There was another time that I decided to chase the New Kids (yes, I was an unruly teen. Jealous?). I went to Atlanta and Knoxville. I was 16 (man, my mom had to have had an ulcer that year) then too. Anyway, so all of that to say (wow, I was chasing a rabbit there, wasn’t I?), that I am very go with the flow. I am not easily intimidated. I anticipate challenges and stresses on our trip to China. I understand there are a lot of unknowns. I believe I will be just fine.

So there you have it. A decision has been made. Whew. It feels good.

**Edited to add- Can you imagine the trouble I would have gotten into as a teen if there had been internet back in the day? Oh lawsy.