Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lessons

So, in case you didn't know, I'm a little bit of a control freak. I know it, I admit it, and I'm not sure how to change it. Anyway, this adoption process so far has been a bit of a challenge for me already in terms of having to wait on other people to do their "part" for us. I hate it.....I hate the uncertainty that comes with relying on other people to do something important, I hate the potential of something getting messed up. I would rather be stressed out by doing something myself than have someone else potentially not do it the way I want. Yes, I need therapy. But I digress...

Well, today was my turn to *almost* really screw up, and boy was I mad at myself. We applied for a grant to help with adoption costs back in June. There were some other pieces of paperwork that needed to be compiled and sent in within 30 days to the foundation for consideration. I guess I got my days mixed up and thought we had a bit more time than we did. Last night, I realized that the 30 day mark is Sunday and we basically had a day to get a package half way across the country. Of course, that meant more cost involved and frantic running around to finish compiling stuff and get it sent off. I was so mad at myself for missing this. I could handle not getting a grant....that would just mean that another deserving family was benefiting from the generosity of others to help their child come home. But to not get a grant because of my mistake in timing would have driven me batty. So, yes, I was frantic this morning. I was ugly and demanding and had little faith in anything as I drug my kids around trying to fix this mess. I hate when I act like that. Unfortunately, I've done it a lot recently.

Well, how quickly was I put back in my place... I guess the finances of the adoption has been a stressful concept for me. We're not independently wealthy. We don't have a huge trust fund. I mean, Rush is a police officer and I work part time. And adoption is expensive! Well, I have forgotten so quickly that this call that has been placed on our family is not orchestrated by us, or agencies, or governments, or laws. It is all totally orchestrated by God. The timing, the child, the process and even....the money. I am so quick to think that God will not provide what we need financially for Rylie to come home to us and I don't know why. Such little faith I have. Well, God sure smacked me in the face. I came home and looked at the blog. The daily bible verse was the following:

Psalm 112:5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

Ugh, I'm thinking. You know that feeling you get when you totally get called out about something? Insert that feeling here. It was as if God was telling me to worry only about the things I can really control....my generosity, helping others, being fair and just in my conduct. And, He'll take care of the rest....the Good part.

I guess there's a pretty good chance that we won't get a grant from this organization. And that's fine. But I hope that doesn't discourage me. I hope I can find the faith to believe that regardless of what happens, the money will come. I don't need to know how or try to control the means in which it does...I just need to believe that it will...which for me, is really the hard part. Can you put that on a list to check off? No? Shoot.....I love lists.

(Let me also just say that this is in no means a subliminal way of begging for money. Really. I have just been learning so much from this process that it is nice to be able to share a bit of it all. It goes so much deeper than you would ever believe.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Watch out for the crack!

In this photo, Jonah is providing some additional entertainment to the masses at the pool.

A rare post from Rush.....

As many of you know my job often takes me to odd places, introduces me to the strangest people in the world, and exposes me to some of the worst things our society has to offer. Well today I had the chance to meet with some folks at a local daycare to assist them with a "security assessment".....on the surface it sounds fairly tame, and surely I have much cooler stories to tell about things I've seen and places I've been. But hear me out.

To start I will make the following disclaimer: The statements I am about to make are in no way a reflection of the childcare industry as a whole or intended to criticize those with children in day care. Many facilities I have been in are wonderfully maintained, have excellent staff, and provide a great environment for children.


The facility I was in today (which will remain nameless) is a federally subsidized daycare and many of the children come from a very difficult home life. As I began to make rounds through the building with the owner/operator, providing security and crime prevention advice we inevitably ran into children everywhere. Although the accommodations were not horrific, I would certainly not rate them as acceptable for my own children, and couldn't imagine dropping either of my kids off there for the day.

I guess because of the process we are in to get our little girl, being there amongst all these kids just made me think of her. I don't want to compare this day care to orphanages in China, but it was all I could think about. No matter what race, age, or gender the children and babies I saw today were, they all looked the same to me.....every one of them was crying out to me in Chinese. This daycare that I wouldn't think of leaving my kids in was probably light years ahead of many of the facilities where thousands of Chinese babies have spent every moment of their lives.

My trip to the day care today ended up serving two purposes:
1) Provide security advice for the business
2) Confirm in my mind that I want nothing more than to go to China and get my baby and bring her home.

Don't worry Rylie....we are coming soon (even though you haven't been born yet)!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wow....this is going to be a long journey.

Hi all. I just wanted to let you all know that we just got an email update from our adoption agency. They told us that the group of families that just got their referrals for a child from China have waited 30 months from the time their paperwork got registered in China. 30 months....and the wait time is expected to continue to go up. We aren't even registered yet so there's no telling what we should even anticipate. We've been told to have very low expectations throughout this whole process and we are trying to remember God's perfect timing....but wow, that's a long time. They have said that the CCAA (China Center for Adoptive Affairs) is trying to make changes that will help speed up the wait time but who knows what that means or what type of effect it will actually have. We're just a little discouraged right now. We knew the wait would be a long one, which is why we started when we did.....but since getting more and more into the process, we're already getting anxious for things to move along. I guess that's bound to happen. And you all know that patience is not particularly a strength of ours. Please pray for our patience....and maybe for things to speed up a little in China to get all of these little girls into loving homes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jonah writes his name


This is really the first time I've seen him do it without any help.
Way to go bud!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I know you are jealous....

...about all of my blog bling. But, that's how we roll around here...

Just kidding. I hope you all enjoy the new look of the blog. I might make some more adjustments here and there, but this is the majority of it. Let me know what you think!

As you can see, the kids are super excited about the new look! (Please ignore Jonah who prefers no pants, and Reagan who has not converted to another religion (it's a sticker on her head)....and as you can see, the excitement quickly turns into confusion as it usually does!)

video

A new look!

Ok, so I am attempting to post a video from yesterday, but it just won't upload!!! I'll keep trying.... (ok...just got it....see below).

Anyway, be prepared...I've decided that our site needs a facelift. Back when I started it, I jumped right into posting and didn't take time to make it look very nice. So...this could fail and completely undo everything I've done so far, but I'm getting bored of the plain backgrounds so we'll see what happens! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Goofball and the Topless Girl

Rush is in Canada for a conference and I haven't been feeling well....in other words, I've been looking for low maintenance fun for the kids since I've been flying solo again. Jonah has been in camp this week again which has helped. This afternoon, the baby pool was the entertainment tool of choice...it took Reagan all of about 2 minutes to want her bathing suit top off for some reason so she went topless. Enjoy a little snippet...


video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reagan got into Jonah's tools.....

...and she quickly learned the principle of "Safety First!!"
(This is especially important when about to go on a zebra ride as she is demonstrating.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Package Received!

Well, I just got a letter from Immigration which basically serves as a receipt that they got our application and money for our adoption petition. We happen to be some of the first people to experience a change in their procedures....they have a new application which gets run through a new process. I guess things used to be handled through local field offices and now they are submitted there and then transferred to a national office or something like that. Pretty much, we just wait now to hear when our fingerprinting is scheduled for, go get that done in Norfolk, and wait some more. Oh, and yes, we've already been fingerprinted once....locally. However, I guess there is no sharing of information or something because we have to have national ones done too. You would think the digital age would make some of those things easier...but not yet I guess. So, yet another hoop to jump through for now. :) We'll keep you updated! Please continue to pray for things to go smoothly! Thanks!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pool Time!


Our day today started with Jonah's 4 year check up....we found out that he's a perfect square-- 40 inches and 40 pounds. :) Anyway, I knew he had to get at least one shot, but then found out it was actually 4! So, he earned a prize after that was all done.

Originally, we planned to go to Kings Dominion this evening, but the threat of thunderstorms made us change our plans. Instead, we went to my mom's pool.....always a bright idea as thunderstorms are threatening!! :) The weather actually ended up being great though and we had the whole pool to ourselves. Reagan got in for her first time ever and LOVED it in her little float! Jonah practiced his jumping as you will see in the video below!


video

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

At 1:53pm today.....

...Fed Ex delivered our immigration petition to CIS in Norfolk!! Yes, I am a little anal about making sure stuff gets to where it needs to be...so I have been tracking our package a little obsessively. I admit it....I have issues. :)