Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reagan's Prayers for Rylie

Last night as I put the kids to bed and said prayers, I asked Jonah if he would say a special prayer for Rylie. He did, but not wanting to ever be left out, Reagan wanted to take part as well. We were in Jonah's Reagan's prayer went as follows:

"Dear God, thank you for the trees. Please give Rylie a ball, and a trophy, and a helmet. Amen."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Shout Out

I have to do it....I can't let this day pass by without giving my husband some major props. He is, quite frankly, amazing.

Rush works his fingers to the bone to provide for our family. He is the definition of hard work. Not only does he work his regular job, which happens to be at night....which totally screws up his sleep schedule...but he also works 2-3 extra jobs a week. This means 15-20 hour days multiple times a week. It means he is lucky to get a day off. It means he will sometime go 21 or more days in a row working without a day off. It means sometimes he gets 4 hours of sleep if he's lucky. It means he worked on mother's day, and today, and 20 hours on his birthday.

And still, ...

-he helps clean the house,
-he helps give the kids baths,
-he helps cook,
-he helps do laundry,
-he helps with homework,
-he takes care of the yard,
-he pays the bills,
-he takes care of the cars,
-he plays with the kids,
-he runs marathons,
-he keeps a sense of humor.

I don't know how he does it. AND, he does it joyfully at that! (Well, most of the time.)

Our schedules may be crazy, and sometime it may seem like we pass each other at the front door, but I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else. He works so that we can have a nice life, so we can pay for Rylie to come home, so that I can just work part time and be with the kids. I am thankful. I am blessed. And I am humbled I get to share life with this man! He keeps us safe, he keeps our community safe, he is compassionate, he is hilarious, and he is an amazing dad. I think I'll keep him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Care Package for Rylie!

We were able to send a care package to Rylie's orphanage with some goodies for her including a few books, a photo album with some pictures of our family, and a camera so the staff can take some pictures of her. We'll get the camera back when we go get her....hopefully we will have some good pictures of her to be able to document this phase of her life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Family Updates

There's probably no way for me to catch up to everything I haven't blogged about, so I figured I'd post some of my favorite pics and hit the highlights.

In February, we were able to go to Arizona with Rush's parents. They graciously kept the kids in Scottsdale and let Rush and I head out and explore a bit....which was amazing! We went to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. Rush is convinced we will live there one day. I loved it....but am in no hurry to leave Virginia!

Over Jonah's spring break we were able to go Duck, NC. We had a great time doing absolutely nothing! I sense a new family tradition....this was our second year in a row going there and we loved it.

Jonah played T-ball this season and LOVED it. He's already excited about playing baseball in the fall! On a side note, if you've never watched a group of 4-6 year olds play t-ball, you are missing out! It is quite possibly the cutest and most hilarious thing in the world!

Reagan continues to be Reagan....

Rush dislocated his shoulder and partially tore a muscle...he's ok now, but still a little hesitant! He had to do some light duty work for a while, but is back in his regular position now.

We celebrated Jonah's upcoming birthday at school....we took a treat to his classmates, had lunch with him and his friend Cole at the "birthday table" and hung out while he read a book to the class.

This is his new girlfriend, Catherine. She is the sweetest little girl! :)

He also had field day and a zoo field trip.

Finally, I thought I'd show you some other random pics...

Looks I frequently get:

A rare moment of cooperation with the camera...

And finally, a display of how playtime generally ends at our house (only with role reversal!).

That's as good as catching up is going to get.

For now, we're swamped with getting things ready for Rylie! The house is crazy with cleaning, reorganizing, moving and selling furniture and other things, paperwork, and more. Plus, school is ending, Jonah's birthday is Monday, and we are going to do our best to enjoy the summer before becoming a family of 5!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rylie!'s a girl! Well, we actually already knew that much, but now we officially have a face to look at!

Meet our new daughter!
Isn't she just beautiful? She was born on December 15, 2008 with a cleft lip and palate. Just before she was 2 months old, she was taken into custody of the Nanchang Social Welfare Institute in the Jiangxi Province of China. That’s all the details we have at this time, although we know she was found with a note. She had her lip repaired when she was 11 months old in a hospital in Nanchang City. She resides at the orphanage, where apparently she is doing ok. We have reports from January, when she was 13 months old….developmentally she looked great and her height and weight were both in the 50th percentile, which is fabulous for a child with a cleft palate!

She was given the name Hong Jia Hui. Hong, I am told may be the name of the orphanage director. It is also the name of the street the orphanage is on. Jia means beautiful and Hui means bright or intelligent. We haven’t settled on a final name yet. Rylie will definitely be her first name. We’ve always wanted to incorporate part of her Chinese name, but aren’t sure yet what we will settle on.

Here's another picture we were given.

This is a picture of her orphanage, the Nanchang Social Welfare Institute. From what I've read, it's one of the "better" orphanages. I am inclined to believe it though, based on her reports. She seems to be doing well, thriving and growing, which makes us feel so relieved. We feel confident someone in the place is lovingly caring for our girl!

You can see her province, Jiangxi, in the picture below. Nanchang is the capital city. It is bounded on the west by the Jiuling Mountains, and on the east by Poyang Lake,and is famous for its scenery, rich history and cultural sites. Owing to its central location relative to the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions, it is a major railroad hub in Southern China.(or so Wikipedia says!)

Here's a quick rundown of how this all happened. The non-special needs wait for Chinese adoption is out of control long. Like over 4 years long. That's just insane. About 3 or 4 months after we were logged in on the waitlist, we started to discuss putting in a special needs application, which we eventually did. The process changes a lot when you do this, so technically, we could have gotten a referral for a child at any time. But out wait continued. Eventually, we became a little more open to some other special needs, and upped our age range a bit. This made a world of difference. It's amazing what can happen when you open yourself up to God's plan and potential, instead of putting tight constraints on what you "allow" Him to do.

We saw Rylie's picture on Sunday night, May 23, 2010. Immediately we were interested in her. That night, we requested more information. We had her file the next morning. After a whirlwind day of researching, talking to doctors, talking to each other and praying, we knew.....this was our Rylie! I've always heard other people say that you just know.....but I wasn't sure I'd have that feeling. Well, I did. I will say it wasn't a 100% sure feeling the minute I saw her picture....but it was quick. It was also amazing...just as others said it would be.

So, that afternoon, I called our agency and requested to lock her file. We had a few days to submit our official Letter of Intent for her adoption to China as well as a few other pieces of paperwork. Then, we had to wait yet again, for the go-ahead from China. We received our Letter Seeking Confirmation (basically, a letter from the Chinese government confirming we are ready to proceed with her adoption) Tuesday, June 15, signed it, and overnighted a copy plus a bunch of other stuff to US Immigration applying for permission for her to become a US citizen. At this point, we are waiting on that approval. We have a few more hoops to jump through until we travel....we are thinking it will be sometime in October that we go get her and bring her HOME!!!!!!!

We are so excited and so blessed! God is so good!