Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Yeah, he really is. I got an email from my agency that said my document can't be picked up until tomorrow morning from the Chinese Embassy. So they are sending it to me via "Delta Dash". Even though I used to work for Delta, I have never heard of that! LOL. Anyway, they are basically putting it on a plane and flying it to me. It will *hopefully*, *prayerfully* arrive tomorrow at the airport in Greensboro (over an hour away) for me to pick it up.

Can you believe it? One obstacle after another. If I make it on that plane on Wednesday it will only be because of Jesus' grace and mercy.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Has Satan not gotten the memo? Nothing he can do will stop this? Jeez, you would think he was smarter than that, ya know? He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is relentless. I am starting to recognize his ways, though, so I am on to him!

I got my final package from my agency this morning. I will never know why they wait to the last possible second to send it, but whatever. The package contained our official travel approval (it's so pretty!), our passports and visas, two AWAA t-shirts, cards printed in Chinese saying that we are American and we are adopting this Chinese child (so no one thinks we stole her I guess), and our Power of Attorney. Since Brad is not traveling with me (TEARS), I had to have his POA. It had to be notarized and then authenticated with NC, then the US Dept. of State and then finally, the Chinese Embassy. I paid $60 to have our agency take care of getting it authenticated for me.  Great, it all came today. However, it was missing the Chinese Embassy authentication. UGH. Now keep in mind, it HAS to be authenticated and the Embassy is in Washington, DC. And I leave in THREE DAYS.

Yeah. So I got in touch with my agency. I have to overnight the POA back to them, they are taking it tomorrow to DC and then overnighting it back to me. Yeah. Cutting it kind of close, don't you think?

I don't know what happens if I don't get it in time. I don't even want to think about that. Please remember that in your prayers please!

I am so over this. I remember saying right before giving birth to my babies, "I am so done. Just done." Yeah, I am so done.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I got our in country itinerary today with our in country costs. This amount due was for our hotels, some meals, in country flights, guides, etc...  I was a little nervous, because I was expecting, like all of the other fees, for it to be more than the "estimate".  Imagine my shock today, when I opened the email and it was $500 LESS than what I was expecting! I am so excited! With us still being a little bit short, that was a huge blessing for us!

So, our bags are packed (I can't promise that I will not repack them!), our tickets are booked, our hotels secured - oh my goodness! This is really happening!

After tonight - 5 MORE SLEEPS!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


After tonight, we will only have 8 more sleeps! I can't believe it is getting so close! I *think* I am all packed! All I have left to put in the suitcase is some oatmeal. Now, I am sure that you can get oatmeal in China, but can you get Dinosaur Egg oatmeal there? Doubtful. And considering my child will only eat that specific kind... well you see why it's needed.

I decided when I knew that I was traveling alone with Julianna, that I could only take two suitcases. I can only pack what I am able to handle alone. I started collecting things to pack a month or so ago. Over the last couple of weeks, I have packed and repacked those suitcases 100 times. Each time taking out something I felt sure I needed, but decided I really didn't. My priorities have changed, I guess. I had perfumed packed originally. Perfume? Why would I need perfume? Deodorant? Yes, not perfume. Anyway, I think I finally have it down to a science.

The whole time I have been packing/repacking, I have known about the weight limit for China in country flights. The weight limit is 44 pounds. So every time I think I have it just right, I go weigh the suitcases (with the ever so accurate weigh myself, then weigh myself while holding the suitcase, of course) only to find out I am a little over.  Well, I think I finally have it perfect. One is 41 pounds and one is 40 pounds.

Funny thing about the whole weight thing - Tonight, after I packed for the eleventy bajillionth, I checked the airlines website for something else, and stumbled across the baggage fees. 44 pounds free, anything over is charged a fine. The fine is 1.5% of the fare, per kilogram. So based on my calculations - my fare is around $150. If I went over by 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds, which is quite a lot actually), my fee would be around 47 RMB (Chinese currency), so less than $7.00 USD! HAHAHAHA! All the worrying and weighing and my fee is less than 7 bucks? Good grief.

I ended up putting the lock on one suitcase tonight as a deterrent from opening it again. LOL. I hope it works.

If the next week goes by as fast as this last week, before I know it, I will be on my way to my baby girl! Less than two weeks before I see her sweet little face!

Monday, July 12, 2010


It is the strangest thing, I go from elation to despair in like 3 seconds. I am so excited about going to China! I can't wait to get my daughter! I am also looking forward to the culture and the people. I really can't wait to be there.

On the other hand... every time I think of saying goodbye to my boys (all three of them), I seriously burst into tears. Julianna keeps saying, "Are you CRYING?" Like I am the worlds biggest moron. LOL. We are just a tight family. We don't separate, ever. We don't use babysitters, we homeschool, etc... so we are always together. All of us. I am really having a hard time. It seems that Jackson is starting to have some difficult feelings too. He started crying the other day when we were talking about Willa. Tonight, when he hugged me goodnight, he started crying. I asked him why he was crying and he said he just didn't want me to go. Talk about breaking my heart!

I have never even been apart from Brad for more than a couple of days. UGH. I am a basket case. I can't imagine how hysterical I will be on the 22nd! Here are a few pictures of the treasures I am leaving behind.

See their faces? Oh it kills me!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


First of all, I am so glad to know that my post "From the Beginning" encouraged some of you.  I feel certain that Jesus will provide a way when someone feels called to adopt. Even when it seems impossible. Nothing is impossible when it is His will. So if you feel called, but just don't see any way it can happen, just pray. He will show you!

There are some other things on my heart that I would like to share. I am hopeful that it can be encouraging as well.

A year ago, when we began this journey, we were so excited! We were excited to be adding to our family, excited to be on God's path, excited to see what He would do to bring Willa home. When we told everyone, we fully expected everyone to be excited for us. That was not the case. In fact, we couldn't have been more wrong. 

As months progressed, we began to see, hear and feel just how wrong we were. It has been, in a sense, devastating. It has hurt more than our words could ever express. Some of our relationships have changed over this. Some relationships will never recover. It literally breaks my heart thinking about it.

I never expected everyone to understand. I never expected everyone to "get it". I knew that people in our lives would have questions and doubts. I am sure it seems crazy to a lot of people. I mean, gosh, we have three kids already! However, instead of coming to me or Brad and expressing their concerns or questions, they just chose to brush it under the rug or talk about us behind our backs.  If we had been given a chance, we would have gladly explained our hearts. 

I guess I thought, or hoped, that as time went by, they would come around. Their hearts would warm up to the idea. At the very least when they saw Willa's face, they would see that she is real child with a real need. They would come to understand the bottom line - that no matter how they felt about adoption, international adoption, large families, etc...they would see this precious child that needs a mommy and daddy. They would also see without adoption, this child may very well never know that Jesus saved her. Saved her not only from an orphanage, but saved her very soul. By her being adopted, she gets a chance to hear His word and make a choice to live for Him. In China, she may never have gotten that chance.  So, I hoped when they saw that real little girl, desperately needing to be saved, they would change their minds and hearts.

However, once again, I am wrong. It hasn't made a difference. Our "loved" ones literally can't look past their own disapproval to see the big picture.  It is heartbreaking. And honestly, I have no idea what this means now that Willa is about to be home. What do I do? Knowing they way they feel about her, what do I do? I would never want to put her in a position that would be hurtful to her. Gosh, even writing that makes me want to burst into tears. Regardless how she joined our family, how could anyone disapprove of her? She is a child. One of His. 

On the other hand, there have been many loved ones that have supported us from day one. Many people that love us, and Willa, for the children of God we are. To all of those people - thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. Your kind words, hugs, support, excitement - it has touched us so deeply. We can't wait to share Willa with you. She will be a joy in all of our lives. Thank you for wanting to be a part of something bigger than us. 

I wanted to share all of this because I want people to know that on the adoption road, you will face opposition. You will face prejudice. You will be ridiculed and mocked. You will be treated with hate. Does that sound familiar? Remind you of anyone else? 

Yeah, it's worth it. 

Friday, July 9, 2010


The closer July 22nd gets, the more excited I get. It feels like the days can't go by fast enough. At the same time, every day that passes, it means I am one more day closer to having to say goodbye to my boys (all three of them). If I think about it too much, I can feel a panic setting in. I have never before felt so conflicted. So excited to leave, but devastated to leave.

I set up Skype on Brad's computer today. So at least I will get to "see" them. I think that will help tremendously. I know they will be fine, and hardly notice I am gone. That helps too. I hope after the initial goodbye, we will be so busy and excited, the time will fly by.  That's what I am telling myself anyway.

Monday, July 5, 2010


We booked our flights today. I was a little stressed on Friday because I got an email from our agency at 11:30 or so, with an possible flight itinerary. The total fare, per person, was $3100! I about had heart failure. So after talking with AWAA, I decided to try to make my own flight arrangements. It became more and more stressful by the minute. Lots of flights were available going, but a lot were sold out coming home. I was beginning to panic a little. OK, a lot. So I sent an email to Todd Gallinek at The Travel Society. When I sent it, I really didn't expect a response. I heard that he was on a cruise. Well, I got an email back from him within hours. He offered me a couple of different options, and they were cheaper than anything I could find anywhere. He also told me that he was holding the flights until Tuesday, so no rush to decide. Whew. He called tonight to confirm and officially book. He even sent me seat assignments.  I would highly recommend him to other adoptive families, he knows the ins and outs.

He booked us on Cathay Pacific, which is based out of Hong Kong. We are stoked because each seat has it's own personal TV! That will surely make being in the air 16 hours more tolerable! Here is our itinerary:

We fly out in the morning of the 22nd. Our first layover is at JFK - I am super excited about this and I am hopeful we can see the Statue of Liberty from the plane. We fly from NYC to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, it's on to Beijing. Same route on the way home.

I am super excited. OH! I also found out that another family in our travel group has a 5 year old traveling named Julianna! How cool, huh? Juju will be so excited to have someone her age there until we get Willa!


We are approaching the one year anniversary of signing with America World. The one year anniversary of taking the biggest leap of faith we have ever taken. We never realized a year ago how difficult this journey would be. We also never realized a year ago how we would be changed along the way. 

Just last year this time, we had no idea how we were going to do this. We just knew we were suppose to, and the how would come later. Little did we know at the time, we weren't suppose to figure out how. My sweet Abba already had it planned out. He had it planned since the beginning of time. Our destiny. Her destiny.

In the beginning of July of 2009, we literally had $100 in the bank. Brad and I had a long talk about our finances and the financial aspect of adoption. Our check book, and absolute lack of savings, told us there was no way we could adopt. However, our Savior was telling us otherwise. Let me back up a bit by saying that in July 2009, we also had considerable credit card debt. So, putting any of fees/expenses on a credit card was not an option. Anyway, Brad and I decided before we even applied to our agency, that we had to have some rules regarding our money. We knew that having so much debt did not honor God. We felt so burdened by this debt for so long, we knew we had to work very hard to pay it off. The question was how in the world could we pay off our debt and pay for an adoption at the same time? 

After a long talk, we decided the best way to handle it was this - any money Brad "made", meaning any money that came in from his job, was designated to paying off our credit card(s). Then, any money that was "found", meaning any money that resulted from selling things, love gifts, etc.., was designated to paying for the adoption. We pressed forward with our new rule in place. We felt that this way, we were honoring God the best way we knew how - we were paying off our debt, and  were putting faith in Him that He would provide. 

We new that we needed to make better financial decisions as a family. We knew that life as we knew it, would drastically change. Our priorities changed. It was funny, around this same time we felt God leading us to increase our tithing. He commands us to tithe 10%, and boy were we hovering there. We began to really feel we were suppose to give Him more. So, the first step of our new plan was increase our monthly giving. We also began eating a lot of sandwiches and a whole lot of ramen noodles. It began to pay off, though. Literally within days of our new found financial "plan", we would begin to see God moving in ways that could only be Him. 

Over the course of months, we have paid our debt down quite a bit, and miraculously, every time we had to write a check for the adoption, it was there. There were times when we knew we would be needing to write a big check to America World and the money would come in, literally, hours before. Only God. 

So here we are in July 2010. A whole year has passed. I can not begin to tell you how many pigs and peanuts were sacrificed for us. I like to call this last year, "The Year of the Sandwich". We are different people now than we were then. We are changed in a way I never thought possible.

You see, we gave up a lot to get here and you know what? We survived. Not a single one of us died from not eating out. Yeah, there were times when I wanted to die. I thought I would die without P.F. Changs, but I didn't. Somewhere along the way, our hearts changed. We realized that "stuff" doesn't matter. Nice dinners out do not matter. What matters is the Heart of God. He truly is the Bread of Life. I am not trying to be hokey, it's true. 

One last thing before I close this already too long post... we are nearing the end of our adoption journey and are about to begin our journey as a family of SIX. As I prepare to write the final check, I am in awe. You want to know why? Because my Sweet Abba is still taking care of us. As of right now, were are about $3000 short. Three Thousand. That's it. Do I think He is going to provide the rest? You bet I do. He may not do it until the day I physically write that check, but He will. I know Him, He's my Daddy - He wont let me down. He never has. He really does move mountains.

**Sorry for the typos. It's midnight and I am tired. LOL. I intended to write something short and sweet. It just didn't work out that way.**

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Thanks for the prayers guys!!! They worked! I got an email just a bit ago with concrete travel dates! Finally. Finally!

Julianna and I leave on July 22nd and return on August 6th. Three weeks! We will meet Willa on July 26th or 27th. THIS MONTH. Aghhhhhhhh!

Jesus made a promise to my little girl long before she was ever conceived. He said in John (14:18), "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." Sweet Willa, only three more weeks and you will never be an orphan again. Your family is coming! Mommy can NOT wait to love on you and tell you, you belong to us!

WOO HOO! I am going to China!!