Thursday, July 29, 2010

Let's Have a Fundraiser!!!!

So, we had to change the gameplan.

I've seen lots of other adoptive families attempt to fundraise in the same manner we were trying, with great success. We were contacted late last night by PayPal and told that we were violating their terms of use and legally, we could not hold a "raffle" online, with prizes.

So, to comply with their legal department, I'm removing portions of our previous post.

We're having to change things up a bit. For those of you who have donated already...thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

This is absolutely not for profit in any way. Every penny donated will go directly to our expenses incurred to get our daughter home. Any of you who know us, know our intentions, know our hearts, and know that we would never in any way attempt to make money off of this process. We were simply looking for a way to make this process a little easier on our family financially.

We are still having a fundraiser for Rylie. If you can find it in your heart to still contribute to our adoption efforts, please contribute. You will receive an email from us explaining a bit more about the process and details.

Please, please, please spread the word of our efforts. The only way we can do this is with help. See below.


As most of you know, Rush and I are on this crazy path of adopting a little girl from China. As you can also imagine, international adoption ain’t cheap! We’re making progress, but as we approach our actual trip to China, there are lots of final expenses in addition to just airplane tickets and hotels!

That being said, we’re holding an on-line Fundraiser as a means of doing a little end-of-the-journey fundraising and hope you will participate! (Thanks to my friend Rachel for the inspiration!)

Please click on the Chip-In button on the right to donate. You will be directed to PayPal, which even accepts credit cards. Once we receive your donation, please stay-tuned for an email from us, with a little surprise we think you'll like.

Thanks for your help and for your understanding! You have no idea how much your support means to us!

Rush, Jennifer, Jonah, Reagan and Rylie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I LOVE fall. October is by far my favorite month. I mean, I adore Christmas and the holidays, but for me, there's nothing like the crisp, cool autumn air, the colorful leaves, the Hokie football, the kids dressing up, the pumpkin patch...all of those awesome fall things that just make me a happy girl.

Well, not so much anymore. I'm a little mad at October now. I have discovered that China pretty much shuts down in October. There's a national holiday at the beginning of the month in which pretty much everything is closed for a WEEK. Then, in Guangzhou, the home of the U.S. Consulate, where we take our adoption oath before heading home, there is a trade fair for TWO weeks....again, stuff shut down, and airline and hotel prices skyrocket. Apparently, our agency doesn't have groups travel during those times.

So....either our approvals happen in miracle record time so we can travel in mid-September and get everything done before the national holiday, or we're probably looking at not going to get Rylie until November. I feel sick just thinking of that. Completely sick.

So I am praying. Hard. Praying for things to get processed amazingly quickly. I want to get my girl. Time is dragging for me right now and I am missing her something terrible. I cannot wait for our family to all be together.

I know God's timing is ultimately perfect, and it will be regardless of when we travel. I just wish He somehow could make this wait a little easier. It's REALLY tough.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


...I am missing my baby girl......a lot,

...I am washing some 18-24 month clothes!!!

...I held hands with a stuffed horse and dog during bedtime prayers,

...I am tired from VBS which is this week at church, and is awesome!,

...I am rejoicing for my friend, Rachel, who is with her baby girl now in China,

...I loved watching my kids laugh hysterically at a few episodes of The Little Rascals. They love Buckwheat, who may just be the cutest darn kid ever known to mankind. Seriously.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pre-Adoption Appointment

Rush and I had an appointment this morning with Rylie's plastic surgeon who will be repairing her cleft palate and revising her lip/nose. It was a fantastic experience! Really, I cannot say enough about this least that's our impression for now.

First, we met with one of the nurses who was a wealth of information about what to expect and then we saw the doctor. Basically, after we return home and get settled in, we will go in to have Rylie evaluated all at once by a team including the plastic surgeon, dentist, psychiatrist, ENT, audiologist, speech therapist and more. She will have her palate repaired first, as that is where the most function will be gained. She will also get a more detailed hearing evaluation and possibly tubes put in her ears at the same time. That will be an overnight stay in the hospital. Later, she will have her lip revised and nose rebuilt a little, but there's no rush there, since they are mainly cosmetic repairs and not so much needed functionally.

Over the course of her childhood/into early adulthood, we can expect about 5 or more surgeries, depending on how things heal and grow.

I am so thrilled to have such wonderful, skilled, compassionate people to work with through this process. What a blessing! (Not to mention how much more comfortable I feel with things since the surgery will be where I work! I've worked with this doctor's patients on my unit, but haven't had the pleasure of meeting her before, due to the usual hours I work.)

Here's a link to the clinic.... VCU Center for Craniofacial Care

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Morning Conversations

Today's started like this.....

Jonah: Mommy, if I get $50, I'm going to give it to you and Daddy so you can do another adoption.

Me: Wow bud, that is so sweet of you. Thank you!

Jonah: And then, when I get another $50, I'm getting a new Buzz Lightyear.


At least his priorities are in order!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An update on Rylie!!

We asked for an update on Rylie from the orphanage and got a quick response!!! Her growth continues to be right on track, she is walking, drinking from a cup and is now in foster care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray! She is out of the orphanage and supposedly is close to her foster mother (which may mean she won't like us for a while at first, but that's ok!). Check her out!! I love the wild hair! I can't wait to get my hands on my girl! We are so thankful for a good report!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Immigration Approval

Well, we are one small step closer to Rylie!

Today, we found out that July 8th we had our Immigration paperwork approved (aka I800, aka Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative)!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray! Oh, how I hate government paperwork!

Anyway, now we wait for the National Visa Center to receive our file, forward it to the American Consulate in China, and we have to receive a letter indicating that it has been sent. Once we get this letter, we send our next batch of paperwork to our includes a bunch of copies of stuff and agreements as well as Rylie's Visa application. Once that's done, all we have left is applying for our visas and awaiting our Article 5/Travel Approval, and appointment with the American Consulate in China....and off we will go! It will still be a few weeks or perhaps another 2 months or so for all this to happen, but it is SO nice to see some progress!

Rylie, we're on our way!!!!!!!!!!!

We also requested an update on Rylie, but have yet to hear anything back. We asked a few questions about her development, how she eats/drinks, her current measurements and for some updated pictures. We're crossing our fingers we get a response!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


It's hard to believe Jonah has been out of school for 3 weeks now! We've been having a ton of fun and (im)patiently waiting to hear more adoption news. Things around here have been crazy!

Jonah's 6th birthday was right after school let out. We told him we weren't doing a big party this year, but he could have a couple of friends from school over for a little "campout." They didn't actually spend the night.....just played in a tent and cooked out over a fire. I think they had a great time. I just can't believe my boy is 6!

We've spent some time at the beach and playing with friends. We've loved not having too much scheduled and getting to sleep in a bit! We've needed the rest considering how much work has been going on preparing things for Rylie's arrival.

I went through pretty much everything Reagan has ever owned, trying to sort and figure out what to keep for Rylie. We've sold a bunch of stuff on craigslist to raise some travel money. Both kids' rooms have been turned upside down. We had to get bunkbeds for the girls' room...ideally, Rylie would go in a crib, but she has to share a room with Reagan, and things are pretty tight in there, so bunkbeds are about our only option. While we were at it, Jonah got a new bed as well and we sold his dressers from his nursery set to give him some more room. Paint has been touched up, light fixtures changed, and it goes on and on. I also have a million things to sort through and get organized to sell in our church's fall consignment sale. Not to mention getting ready to travel and making arrangements for the kids while we are gone. It's easy to feel a little overwhelmed right now.

We are still waiting on our immigration approval for Rylie. I called today and actually spoke to a real live government employee who said our approval should have happened today. I'm not holding my breath. We are still looking at a September or October time frame to travel. I am torn about September. While I would love to go get her as soon as possible, I also want to be here as the kids start school and adjust. However, it's really out of my hands, so I am trusting God to continue His perfect timing He has already shown us throughout this process.

Here's a picture recap of our summer so far!

Jonah's last day of Kindergarten!

Heading to see Toy Story 3!

Jonah finished up his first season of t-ball and LOVED it. He's playing baseball again in the fall.

Hunting for creatures at Yorktown Beach.

Now for some Independence Day fun....

Jonah heads to Arts Camp at church this week, which he is super excited about. This week will also be full of spending some last good times with Rush's sister, Sharon, before she heads out on the mission field to the Philippines on Monday, July 19th.

Whew.....that's all for now!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Great Donation Opportunity

Check out my friend, Rachel's blog. Her story played a huge role in our adoption journey, and they are working hard to bring home their second little girl from China, Lily. Lily needs to come home asap, as she has a serious heart condition and needs treatment quickly. Consider a donation to this amazing family!