Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a fun night we spent with friends.  Living in an area where all of the houses are on atleast 5 acres isn't really conducive to trick-or-treating.  But our friends always seem to remember us and invite us over. Besides having 60 degree weather (we live in Colorado it normally is COLD!!) we sat by the outdoor fire and the kids went around to the neighbors houses.  It was a blast!!

Princess and her friend dressed as an old man - great costume.  I already mentioned we went with mainly store bought htis year, but I don't think I mentioned the plethora of WHore looking costumes (and I don't use that term lightly at all!  This was by far the longest skirt we could find PERIOD - and the worst part is that she is NINE!!  Still she had to wear biker shorts underneath but over her tights.  I was really a cute costume - Frankensteins girlfriend.  But man does she look like a teenager in this picture!

Werewolf from Gymboree with some nasty teeth!

Aren't they so cute!

Mafia ganster - I was jsut thrilled he actually got to wear his suit for something!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Party - Kindergarten style

Perhaps the most interesting part of this entire adoption is how we now treasure each event - as in this will be the last Halloween before our kids arrive.  Next year will be so different sharing this special occasion with our kids for the first time.  The other part of this is that I realize that my little man will soon be smack dab in the middle.  He will no longer be my baby.

**As a side note it will be interesting if he becomes a true middle child or actually the oldest of our youngest.  He is not quite 5 years younger than princess and then we will have all three little within 21 months!**

Ok back to what I was saying.   I did NOT sign up as room mom this year, or even to volunteer in the classroom - I know horrors right!  Anyhow, I did sign up for the craft for the Halloween Fall Festival.  So a few days ago little man and I went off to Joann's to find a craft and possibly a special treat to make for his class.  We found great frames for the kiddos to color BUT we also found a SO EASY looking treat of mummy cake pops.

THAT was what I spent the night making last evening.  Those ladies who make these cake pops look awesome on their blogs are fabulous, magical, I have absolutely no idea how they make these freakin things LOL!  I finally after my third trip to the grocery store came up with these pops.

The kids LOVED them and my family are so thrilled with the mistakes!!

THe best part of the day - little man said BUT mom they look like mummies who woke up - don't you see the eyes!  Yep little man I see the eyes and the white frosting NOT but thanks for not making me feel like a total culinary failure!

His part was fun, he had a blast & I was so thrilled to meet so many nice kids in his class that were polite, well mannered and best of all - liked my baby - even in his store bought costume LOL!  (I mentioned earlier post that between adoption paperwork and continuously checking forums for information this was the first year I didn't make anyone's costume!)

Don't you jsut love his eyelashes!

Let the festivities begin!  I can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - bunnies

Princess's Pet Bunnies!

We haven't quite made it to 4H this year but we hope to show them once we get back from China.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

sunday snapshot ~ siblings

I beyond LOVE this picture of my boys.  Our big boy was almost 9 years old when our little guy was born.  Those two have had the most special relationship and I pray it will continue as our family grows.

I so love these kids.  
They are each so amazing and I feel eternally blessed that I get to share my life with them

Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Take that!

I have received a bunch of emails and comments about my last post.  It saddens me that this is the norm.  It saddens me that the money part of the adoption will forever leave a bad taste in my mouth.  But you know what - our God is a gracious and loving God and He made sure that if we look we will find guidance along our way.

As I was reading through my blog roll today I noticed that they seemed to be out of order, that I had missed some - so I read further back and hidden among the blog posts


Take that Satan you have tried but you will not defeat this adoption!

Our princess at 2 (she was a wild one too!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Money vs Children

I wish I could say that I was better mood.  That I had a better perspective on the greediness of adoption.

I wish I could, BUT I am NOT.

First, let me say I am not a money person.  I am glad I am not, I couldn't imagine if this was something I had struggle with - as I sit here and blow my diet once again due to stress.

BUT this adoption is killing me.  I am so mad, and so upset more hidden fees, and today I found out a $10/day tip for the driver.  Grrr, it makes me so mad.  The I have been furious over the orphanage wiring fee - how can our agency say that they don't do any wiring when I know for a fact that most of the other agencies do.  It's art of our freaking contract we signed.  I know our daughters orphanage in fact accepts the fee wired.

Is it truly the money or something else?  Why am I fretting over this, why am I sitting her with steam coming out of my ears?  AND yes I sent a note inquiring to our agency.  I probably shouldn't have, but I am hoping that they have a great reason.

Until then though I really need to get over myself.  I have 3 fabulous kids at home who I shouldn't be short with because I am mad about this . . .

Did I mention the chocolate LOL!

So I thought about it, today.  WHY am I so mad.

We can afford it.
I am not traveling by myself with thousands of $'s in cash.
Our kids are worth way more (don't tell our agency I am sure they will find a way to get it!)

Then two things dawned on me -

I see so many people desperately fundraising to brig these kids home, and they sure as heck don't need the extra expense.


Deeper down it feels like betrayal.  Our agency is supposed to be like a friend and this ones hand is not looking out for my best interest.

I had another thought when I got home.  What does the Bible say about money vs children.

I went to biblegateway and found something VERY interesting.

There are 113 references to money in the Bible!

Wanna guess how many references to Child?

Guess -


Need I say more.  CHildren are so much more precious to Him!

Take of the shades momma all is good in His name!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Article 5 delay!

Ugh sometimes I jsut want to scream at this process.  Really once again I overnighted all our paperwork to our agency so it could be (at our expense of course) overnighted to China to sit for a freakin week!  The worst part is that we were charged for two overnight fees at $65 each (I believe) when we all know darn well that they were placed in the same envelope.

We received a form email written for a group that our Article 5 paperwork was dropped off at the consulate YESTERDAY NOT the 12th as we were led to believe.  This backs our Article 5 pickup to Nov 2nd not next week!

You know when I started this process I swore I wouldn't succumb to this BS.  We already have double the national average of kids, so I wasn't "desperate" right - WRONG!  I NEVER expected to become so attached to a couple of pictures of a child thousands of miles away.  So attached in fact that we aren't even  willing to make waves.

This is how I feel lately ~

But then I remember that eventually, all water eventually flows down hill to another treasure.

And they are worth every penny.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More paperwork today!

Have I mentioned how I am much more of a creative person than an organized one!  SO we are at the waiting for article 5 phase - almost done!!  I had been hearing about needing to apply for visa's but hadn't seen anything on this - well I opened up an alternate email today to see 7 emails from our travel advisor - UGH!

Sooo, I changed my cleaning plans to filling out 5 sets of Visa's and trying to determine if we should us our agency to process them or a courier.  For once they were cheaper - I know shocking right!!

I think I have everything filled out correctly and just need everyone to sign on the dotted line in the morning and hubby to get the passports out of the safe.

Just as a note ~ I thought traveling at the end of the year would be GREAT!  Isn't it amazing how we forget what a hectic time of year this can be!  Homecoming this week (our kids go to a K-12 school so everyone participates) then halloween, then big boys birthday and THanksgiving.

Oh yeah plus packing for 5 people - I mean 7 ~ . S . E . V . E . N . people will be coming home - holy cow I think we officially might have a big family!

Did I mention we are taking only carry on!  Yep this should be interesting!  Actually I found a great packing list on rumor queen ( for only carryon.

OK back to the hectic schedule.  I normally make my kids halloween costumes.  In fact after seeing the hideous street walker costumes available in my 9 year old daughters size I knew for sure I would be making hers.  Then our LOA came, our I-800 paperwork and then that was approved and our DS 230 paperwork.  Needless to say - no sewing this year but I was able to find a remotely appropriate costume at Home Goods that will work with biker shorts!

I know I am jsut rambling but adoption has already affected our family.  It takes a ton of time, and money.  Another $1000 goes out the door with our visa's.  I know t will be worth it in the end but . it . can. be . hard - everyone wants their cut, all I want is our sweet little ones.

On a happier note - we went to the homecoming carnival tonight.  Little man played a ton of games, met his friends and pretty much left momma behind.  I was able to get some fun pics on my phone of him eating gummy bears of a paper plate that were stuck in place with chocolate syrup.  Can you say college beer drinking games LOL!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In HIS natural splendor!

Our kids have had the weirdest school schedule, they have been out the past two weeks on Thurs and Friday.  ANyhow, we were invited by friends to join them in Estes Park, CO to see the elk and of course the changing leaves.

It was a nice break with friends and family time, and even a better a time to reflect on the incredible gift that God gave us.

I had an idea to make cards with photographs on the front as gifts when we go to China.  I know they have gorgeous areas but I am sure that they are different.  Everyone suggests to bring items from your local area, and besides beer LOL, nature is our greatest gift.  We'll see but please leave e a note if you have a thought.

I thought that some of these would work, but I have tons of other ones I still have to go through and process.

Enjoy HIS splendor!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A week of failures

Ugh, the past week has been such a mess.  We found out on Tuesday (monday was a legal holiday) that we were cabled on 10/7 and we received the pdf on the 11th.  Our agency has us send them a huge packet once we are cabled including our signed LSC, our signed LOI (remeber that piece of paperwork from the very beginning and our signed referral in addition to a ton of other stuff.  This reformed disorganized person wasn't ready.  I had gotten most of the items filled out when we did the paperwork for the I-800 and then hadn't looked at it since.

We got the email at 1pm and the last express mail drop off is at 3.  I quickly printed out their referrals, both english and Chinese, prayed that I still had enough color ink for both of their pictures . . . which I DID!!  Praises.  I had to make copies of the I-800's which I screwed messed up twice but was so thrilled that the home copy printer worked too!

I was thrilled that I had worked in photoshop on their passport pictures but could NOT get any of our color printers to print correctly on the photo paper.  I had meant to see if they made 8.5 x 11 photo paper for weeks but life jsut got in the way.

I grabbed my pictures on the thumbdrive, all of our papers and looked at the clock  - it was 1:55.  I was headed for Staples down the street and then thought I should try Walgreens since they did our actual passport pictures . . . all 3 times!

I explained the situation making sure I mentioned SN orphans in China.  Well those ladies were the bomb!  I told them I needed it in less then an hour, they said how about 5 minutes!  YEAH!!

Needless to say we got to the post office in plenty of time, and our agency received our package yesterday.  They were so fabulous and sent it on to China last night.

On top of that mess, I forgot never realized that our big boy didn't have school today (conferences).  Almost forgot gymnastics and little mans therapy today.

Worse of all I forgot snacks for big boys confirmation class yesterday.  Mind you I had jsut been told that they were going to unenroll him from school about 2 hours before that.  Remember this is my sweet 12 year old who comes up and says "Love you mom" a few times a day.  I mentioned as he got in the car I thought we had snacks the next few weeks.  The look on his face almost made me cry.  "No mom, it was today" he said.  Ugh stabs right to the heart.

I felt so bad all night for my failures, for not being better organized and able to juggle all their schedules better.  Then today I read a great blog on juggling.  It reminded me that it is ok for us to make mistakes, and for our children to see it.  It gave me an opportunity to apologize to my big boy.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Understanding His timing?

I mentioned in a previous post that despite all of MY efforts, our paperwork has seemed to follow it's own timeline.  This basically means I have wasted a TON of money on overnight mailings that ended being delayed along the way.

We realized that HE has a plan and that we I need to be ok with this plan and believe that He has a reason for His perfect timing.  It finally dawned on us that it was because my husband co-owns a retail shop and there was a sweet spot between Thanksgiving and Christmas which would make things a bit easier for him to be gone.


We found out today that if our 7th grader misses 10 consecutive days of school he will be unenrolled from school!


We will be gone for 2 weeks!

I freaked out, are you kidding me!

It took me a little bit, a while, all afternoon to realize that THIS is the reason for the perfect timing.  We have been thinking we would leave the very beginning of December, but I am jsut betting we will leave a week later.


Christmas (I am sure it is called something else) Break starts basically after the 16th of December.  If any of our trip falls after this time then our sweet big boy will not have any issues.  Of course that goes into the high retail season for my hubby but he seems to be fine with it.

And although I totally believe that God's timing is perfect and he does have a plan for us, I am not above asking for prayers.

I have tried homeschooling, lets just say it is better for everyone that they go to their school!

Besides we love our schools, and if we homeschool him he will miss out on his first year of basketball.  THis is not a compromise I am willing to make for him.

We are not sure if this 10 day rule will affect our other children but it would be so much easier if we didn't  have to find out.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am speechless . . .

I had my phone with me all day, I jsut felt like i needed it for one of my kids.  You know that feeling moms.  Our school numbers all have the prefix of 234-.  So I always call it a 234 day.   Even at the pool I had my phone with me.

Besides the phone,I had my women's bible study this morning.  It hit so close to home but I will leave that to another post, after I process it a little longer.  Anyhow, during prayer requests I choked up when I asked for prayers for FeiFei.  I didn't even realize how heavy her being returned to the orphanage already was waying upon my heart.

Boy, those ladies must have been praying!!

I looked at my phone shortly after the swimming with little man and my heart stopped.  The email simply said pictures.  I hoped against hope that they were of FeiFei and not Cavanaugh (his latest were in May, hers Aug 2010).

It took FOREVER to download, and then I saw my daughter.  A year older but more importantly full of smiles.  I was blessed with not only FeiFEi but I had to laugh at her shirt!  Cav's said OK when we sent LOI for him.  Apparently God is sending us messages through clothing and in English!  Sooo, now I know that the last leg of this journey will be just fine.  Yes, she is back in the orphanage and this momma heart will always break for my little 4 year old who has lost 2 families in her short life.  But then I was reminded that "it is better to love and lost, then to never have loved at all."

Her picture from Madison's Camp August 2010

FeiFei's referral photo and the very first picture we ever saw of her!

Shortly after we received PA we were researching Half the Sky and came across this picture!

How much our sweet girl has changed from a sweet little baby to a girl.  All of our kids were so thrilled to see the pictures of her!  

I asked our Princess if she had been praying for FeiFei.  
She said of course mom, and I thank God everyday for her. 
 I asked "Princess - did you pray for FeiFei's hair? " 
"No mom"she said
Well, God must have known what was on your heart and we showed her FeiFei's new pictures!
Insert a scream of delight
 (the one thing Princess has said from the beginning was she wanted a sister and she hoped she could do her hair!)  
As you can see from the pictures, not only does FeiFei have longer hair but she has it braided!

Watch out hairbows, and thank you God for answering the prayers of our heart!

(Of course daddy noticed she looks "naughtier" each picture we get.  Yep this little one is going to rule the world.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Farewell - with admiration

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." - Steve Jobs

Although I am an admitted i-fanatic, I also greatly admire this man for all he accomplished.  He looked at the normal stream of how things were done, and chose to see outside the box.  He faced adversity that would stop most people in their tracks and prospered.  Not only did he do amazing things with Apple, but he also brought life to Pixar and developed Toy story.  As with any human being he of course had his faults, but his legacy will last for a very long time.

Oh and  . . . he was adopted.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Small but mighty!

I so often get questions about having a child with dwarfism.  AS our little man gets older we encounter different issues.  THis is the really the first year that we now are seeing a significant difference in size.  Of course little man is my sports kid.  He lives through sports, and due to his progressively deteriorating joints we never know when he will "peak" but we do know it will be young.  So despite the recommendations from his doctors to limit his sports, I also have to weigh that against his heart.  DO we crush his spirit or give him the glory of playing for a few years atleast.  This has by far been the hardest part of this journey.

Oh why could little man not have been born with a love for sitting quietly and drawing!

But when I see these pictures I know that we have made the right decision.  He may miss playing sports later in life but atleast he will have had the opportunity to shine.

Monday, October 3, 2011


What's - ECRU!!

That's what I asked myself today.

What child would say ECRU is their favorite color - none other than our Cavanaugh!!

Yep we received our updates.

And I would LOVE more than anything to post pictures of our sweet little ones .  .  .  but someone forgot to include that in our update request!

I normally don't have fits over things like this - B - U - T it has been a YEAR since FEiFEi's last pictures. Even my sweet husband agreed that we are paying our agency and this was not our error - only because we are to green in this process to know differently.

What did we find out.

FeiFei is almost 34 inches and weighs 36 lbs.  What does this mean - um she is a big dwarf LOL!  Only in our house where no one presents according to the medical books.  We know for sure she has Achondroplasia due to the very evident trident hands we saw in one of her pictures.

She has been already moved back to the orphanage - which initially broke my heart.  After talking to some of the other moms on RQ I realized that she will atleast be able to grieve in her own language, and will not connect the loss of her foster family with our family.  Regardless, it breaks this mommy heart for her to mourn alone.  My arms jsut ache to cuddle her during another loss in her life.

On a positive note, she attends the fabulous Half the Sky little sisters program twice a day.  This will definitely help her development.  Knowing this also makes me even more determined to try and get her into preschool once she comes home.  Of course we will decide once we have her, but the recent information I have read on orphans and going to school means they are part of a family.

Her favorite colors are blue, red and yellow (but like other preschoolers this may change with the day.)

She likes milk, meat and candy - oh yeah! she is our girl!!

For Cavanaugh we found out that he is 35 inches and 33 lbs (although I am not for sure on this since this means he has lost 3 lbs since May - could be due to the layers of clothes the children wear in colder months.)  We also are unsure of how they measure him, but my guess is that his "short stature" is significant due to his legs.  His hands look BIG in the pictures so I can't wait to get him home and see .

He is potty trained (with instruction from adults) but wears a diaper at night.  This is different from his initial reports that said he was completely potty trained.  I am not very worried about this and wonder if it is partially due to his immobility - we believe he still is in a crib.

YEAH - he knows we are coming for him and he is happy about this.  Of course I take this information with a grain of salt.

BUT the best news of all is we KNOW his cribmate.  Sweet little Samuel has the most incredible family and are jsut a few weeks ahead of us in the adoption process.  I am so thrilled that 1. he has someone he is close with in the orphanage 2. we know this little boy is being adopted and who is family is.  That is HUGE!

Of course I have to laugh at the favorite color of Ecru!!