Sunday, August 31, 2008

Last Day In Xian....

The time has finally come for them to leave Xian. I wonder if Grace has any idea how much her life will change. If she will retain any of her previous memories? If she knows just how much we love her.

Kerry is really looking forward to being in Guangzhou. It's kind of like a right of passage. Plus he will be surrounded by adoptive parents. It has been pretty hard on him to spend eight days in Xian without anyone speaking English or having familiar things. Kerry is not one who will go out and explore, especially with an infant on his own. They did have tours planned and dinners, etc but I believe there were three days with nothing planned and even the best of people would get bored sitting in a 12x12 room with only Chinese speaking television.

He did it though and all for one reason, Grace. This little girl is so precious to us. She started out as a description in an email. Then a few pictures in a fedex envelope. When we saw her pictures we just knew she was ours, something in her eyes, the dimple in her cheek and the curiousness in her expressions. She was our daughter. I cried when Kerry said "we can do this."

Some people ask us, Why? Why would you adopt? You have three perfectly healthy children. For me it is easy to answer. I love children and when it became impossible for me to have more I knew God would find a way to fulfill my prayer for more. It helps that I have a wonderful husband who is willing to listen and be open minded. We had talked about adoption before having our oldest. We knew it was possible that I couldn't have children. I started gathering China adoption information way back in 1995. Amazing that ten years later we would start the process for Hope and then two years later God led us to Grace in the same Province of Shaanxi.

I agree with Kerry. Children should not be alone. It is not the plan God had for them. They need a family to nurture and guide them. I feel blessed that we were chosen to parent all five of our children. Adoption is not something you should take lightly. There are so many more aspects to adoption than just becoming parents to a precious child. You will also have to teach your child about her/his culture, about loving China and birth parents, no easy task. It is God's will for all of us to " adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.
And this gave him great pleasure."
(Ephesians 1:4 NLT)

There are so many more things I could say. The most important being that I am truly blessed. I have five beautiful children and the greatest husband in the world. I love you Kerry!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The latest from China.....

The days are long without Kerry here. I also want to see Grace in person. They will be home on Friday afternoon. I can't wait. I had to hire a van to take us to the airport and bring all of us back home. Kerry's car has a flat and mine isn't big enough for eight people and lots of luggage. Not something we had planned. Everything works out in the end though. Once again check here for Saturday highlights in China.

Here is a little sneak peak of Halloween from Hope. (she got her costume in the mail today)

Notice the lovely chocolate teeth. Kind of appropriate, don't you think!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh when, oh when will they be home...and a giveaway!!

I am not even going to try to sum up yesterdays travel journal, you will have to go there and read it. I am in tears, the emotion that Kerry put into it. I can't even begin to do it justice.

One more thing, go on over to Rebecca's site and show her some love!! She is back in the blog design business and trying to raise money to bring her son home from China. She is having a giveaway. Her new design business is called Uptown Design Studio.
She is giving away some amazing things, so go check it out. One of which is a spot on her Uptown waiting list.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wandering Waif Collection GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

More of the cuteness...aka "pudge"

All is well in Xian, she has even gone to the bathroom, finally. All of us adoptive parents know how important that is!! Check out the travel blog for more.

Had to include this Wordless Wednesday too.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another little glimpse of Grace

Here is my latest favorite picture of Grace. To see more you can visit the travel Journal section of our "in China" site.

Monday, August 25, 2008

He has Gracie!!!

I couldn't sleep well last night and kept getting up to check the Internet. Nothing. Kerry had said he would call at 8am my time but when I looked at the computer it said he was online with Sk*ype. I couldn't wait any longer and called. He was sitting with Gracie on his lap and she is beautiful!! There is nothing like a good morning happy cry!! She looks good and was very curious. I spoke to her and said "mama". She seemed to crave Kerry's attention and really liked it when he kissed her forehead. She kept moving back into him for more.

Kerry will be calling his mom and then updating our travel blog here .

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We talked!!!

Kerry just called using Sk*ype!! We got to see him too. (we installed cameras and mikes before he left) He will be getting up at 5am (5pm our time) to head to the airport again and fly to Xian. Grace will be waiting at the hotel for him.

I am so excited, I know I won't be sleeping tonight. I will be sitting by the computer waiting for the call again. And did I mention there will be video, not just pictures. I will be able to see and talk to my baby!!!

Still no word....

from Kerry. I don't expect to hear from them until Monday morning. Right now they are just getting off the NW flight into Guangzhou. They will spend a quick 6 hours in a hotel and then fly to Xian, from there it will be rushed. Check in to the hotel and then get Grace. I wouldn't be surprised if she is waiting at the hotel for them . This Orphanage has four or five babies coming so one less in a hotel room......

I feel bad for the foster mom, she is losing at least two of her babies that I know of and possibly more. I can't imagine the pain she must be feeling. Please say a prayer for her if y'all have time.

Now onto the comments.
First, GM doesn't make a bus, at least not for regular old customers. Even if they did we could probably not afford one. LOL We do have a Tahoe but it fits seven people, enough for our family and yes, we could squeeze Kerry's Dad in for the ride home from the airport, but the where would the luggage go? I think it might be easier to just get a van to pick everybody up. (me and the kids included because I am not going to miss this for the world!!)

The nest is actually a hornets nest, and I am not sure if we are allergic or not. I would guess that, yes we are but not willing to take chances. I did let the neighbor know it was there and she suggested waiting until Monday and their maintenance people would get it and it wouldn't cost us anything. Great news, but now we can't go outside, they are literally swarming everywhere.
And by the way who here has maintenance people?? Maybe in a condo or something, ok, don't mind the snarky comment, I am just jealous. LOL

Now the insurance thing. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, if we both traveled together we could go and get a SS# after we got the C of C, however we won't have that C of C because I am staying here and we will have to do a home study update and apply for it. (another $720 ) Add into that the fact that MI takes FOREVER to get these things done and that blows the 60 days we have to get this info out of the water. So, what to do? I think I will try to get the SS# without the C of C and see what they say, or at the very least a tax ID number to give his employer. They have to accept that, right??

And for your viewing pleasure, the swarm of hornets. Don't mind the swaying, Kerry was trying not to get stung. (do hornets sting??)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ready or not there they go.....

Forgive the double posting of the same info here and on our travel journal but I am a little nervous, excited ect... There is a little bonus shot at the bottom of this post of a surprise that we had to deal with before Kerry leaving....

Kerry is headed to the airport with his Dad and I am left to do the final US travel journal. The car showed up right on time at 1 and they loaded the luggage and were off within five minutes. We had no time for teary goodbyes or last minute hugs. They were off that quick.

The next update will be on Monday morning our time. Kerry and his Dad will have flown from DTW to Tokyo, then on to Guangzhou and from there a night of rest before heading out bright and early to Xian. They will receive Grace that same afternoon.

Loading the luggage!!

One final rushed family photo.

Getting into the car and going...

Yes, I had a service take them to the airport, easier than trying to fit seven people into my car with luggage and then having to drag crying kids out of the airport by myself. We will probably also have a service take us to the airport to meet them because my car will not fit nine people and luggage into for the return trip and I want to focus on my new baby girl and not driving!!

Oh, and here is the little or not so little bonus we had to deal with before Kerry leaving.

And it just so happens that Hope, Jake and myself are allergic to bees. How it got this big without us noticing, I have no idea. Oh yeah it's also in our neighbors tree but overhangs on our yard.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fuming Mad!!!

OK, I do not need the added stress right now but we just found out the my husbands employer will not cover Gracie immediately. Isn't this illegal?? I am so mad. I have all her doctors appts. ready, her surgery scheduled, everything!! They said they need a SS# and her MI birth Cert. to process her and then they will add her after the next month. WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I am not traveling so we will not get the C of C or the Birth Cert. or the SS# right away. And those of you that live in MI know that the process takes FOREVER!! Again, isn't this illegal to deny benefits?? This could take six monthes or longer. How am I going to get through this? Grace will probably come home with Giardia, all the kids from this province have, Hope did. The meds aren't covered anyway but still the labs, the doctors visits......

I am so angry right now!! Anyone who has btdt have any suggestions???

Is there really just one more day???

Where has the time gone?? I can remember crying because our home study was taking so long, and then our 171 was taking we are one day away from traveling to get Gracie. I keep saying "we" when in reality it is Kerry and his Dad. However, I will be there to if only in spirit. I will be watching the travel blog, hitting the refresh key constantly. You all know how that goes. We do have a video camera and hope to talk through Sk*ype. We have almost everything set. There were some last minute changes to the hotels in Xian and now I should be typing up the new itinerary. (which I will do next)

Yes, I guess I had better get busy.. so much to do and now just one more day.

Three more days Gracie, three more days......

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last Minute Things......

There are so many things I should be doing, but thought I would take a minute and check in....

Looks like Kerry and his Dad will have the opportunity to visit with Amanda at Starfish Foster Home. Daleea is taking monetary donations for Kerry and his Dad to take to her. I am so excited about this. I read her blog daily. I can't imagine what it would be like to visit the babies and help out for a day. What fun!! This should happen around the 28 or 29 of September. I am hoping Grace will enjoy the visit also. It might do her some good to see other kids and interact. I will add a pay pal button if anyone wants to donate in the short amount of time we have left, all the money will go to Starfish.

We are waiting on an update on Grace. I would love to get a current picture or measurements. I don't think this will happen and it is only four more days until Kerry will hold her in his arms anyway.

Wow, is that possible?? Only four more days. It seems like she will be here in no time at all. I pray that the transition goes well and she adjusts ok. Her whole world will be turned upside down within a matter of days, not to mention that of her foster mama. I feel for her, it will be hard to lose a baby you have cared for. We will be able to send updates regularly to her foster family through the organization that sponsors her though. I am not sure if that will make the loss easier or harder??
Almost forgot, we have a travel website, you can visit here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two posts in one day.....

This must be good right? Well, we have our itinerary set. Kerry and his dad are leaving this Saturday and staying overnight in Guangzhou, then heading to Xian the next day. Gotcha is scheduled fro Tuesday but this SWI is known for bringing the babies to you the first night at the hotel.

I have a travel blog set up here. Kerry plans on updating it daily.

What I need from y'all are prayers. Especially for Gracie, her whole world is going to change in a matter of a week. We had all of our friends and family praying for us last time and we felt it. Your prayers made all the difference in the world.

Hang on baby girl, Baba's coming. (In six days!!)


I am really just stunned for lack of a better word. I just got word from our travel coordinator that Kerry and his dad will be leaving this SATURDAY!!! That is six days away!!!! Is this possible, how can I pull all this together in sixe days. We have to do it though, if not we will be waiting until October. I can not bear the thought of not having Grace here if it were possible to get her home sooner. I need some major pray warriors here today. I am stressed beyond usual and feel like my mind is going a million miles a minute. Did I say six days??? Seriously six days!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Oh Lord, please give me a sense of calm. I really need it right now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Guess What???

OK, I was sitting here and thought we need to get out of the house, so we were getting ready to go to the park to meet the playgroup and I got a phone call on my cell. Nobody has this number so I am thinking hmm, what is this?
Well, what do you think it was????
I thought about leaving y'all hanging and then I thought that might be cruel and unusual punishment so here it is...... - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ramblings and a special thank you

Nothing much going on still....

I hope to hear about our TA any day now. We can't book our flights just yet but the passports are at the Chinese consulate awaiting our visa's. (Kerry's and Dad's) Our coordinator is booking hotel and in China flights and we are just waiting on that one piece of paper.

I have tried keeping busy by sewing. I made a shirt for myself, a matching outfit for Grace like Hope's here, two pinafores for Hope and Grace and finished my last order. Tomorrow I think I will make matching cord skirts to go with the pinafores. They turned out so cute. The fabric is green with little apples all over and reverses to a back to school print with apple tress. The skirts will be dark red corduroy.

And finally a very special thank you to my friend Julie for sending Hope a Chinese Princess outfit. She loves it!! I can't get her to take it off, she keeps going around the house saying " I am so beautiful."

I don't know why the video is sideways, usually I can turn it around. I used another application this time so maybe that's it. Oh and don't look at the mess in the basement, that's the kids playroom and I only clean it up every week or so....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another give away and TA news....

I am a girl who loves free things and these super cute shoes are absolutely adorable. The Melody are my favorite. To enter visit this blog and leave a comment.

 Red Sox Mommy

Click here to enter the giveaway.

On to TA news, our agency expects to get this by early next week. After all this time I am still in a state of shock. I have so many things to do and prepare and no idea where to begin......

Monday, August 11, 2008

Surgery Update

We have been in contact with several people who have spoken with Grace's orphanage. We asked that they not proceed with her palate surgery, today we got confirmation that they will not do it. Praise the Lord!! Now, to most that will sound strange. Why would we not want them to do her surgery? Well, it would have been scheduled a couple days before Kerry was to get to China for her.
Now , I don't know about you but a baby that is taken from her foster family, then has surgery and then given to a stranger? No way. She would have been very upset and I'm not sure that is something even the best parent could handle.
We have prayed about this a lot and think the best plan is for her to have the palate surgery done here. We have a great doctor lined up and he will do all her surgeries. I am also hoping it will help the bonding process with her and I.

As most of you know, I will not be going to China this time. It breaks my heart, I love China.
I especially have a special place in my heart for the people of Xian. We were there two years ago on the 18th of September for Hope. And to miss it this time.....well I am a little upset.
I remember touring the Terracotta Warriors in 2006. An older grandmother came up to us and said through a translator (her granddaughter) Is that your daughter? She is beautiful and so lucky. She then said through hand gestures "do you believe in this? (She was pointing to a cross necklace she had on display) When we said yes, tears ran down her cheeks and she said me to by pointing to her chest and heart. I do to. (again translated by her granddaughter) She tried to give us a dress for Hope for free, she wouldn't accept any money. I instead gave the money to her granddaughter and bought other things.

What an amazing thing, to find a fellow Christian in China. Now I know some of you say, I don't like it when people say "She is so lucky", normally I don't either but in this case I was proud.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Potty Training...

It's that time..time for me to get Hope potty trained. She is 3 1/2 and has no interest what so ever!! I need help, I will take any and all suggestions. Nothing I do seems to work. I would love for her to do a 2 day a week preschool, she is so ready but the diaper thing just won't work for that. And did I mention she's 3 1/2!!

She did get a kick out of this funny video.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are you ready for this???

Below is the part of the email we received this morning from our travel coordinator at Wasatch:

Dear Kerry and Desiree,

Congratulations on your acceptance of your referral! J**y **, our representative in China, and I will be assisting you to bring your daughter home as soon as possible.

Your tentative departure date will be August 29 and return on September 10. (without the Beijing tour) The dates will depend on when we receive your travel approval. Once the travel approval is received, I will be able to make the consulate appointment. In the meantime, please do not purchase the airline tickets. You can check out the airline prices. I will help you arranging your domestic flights and hotel accommodations. You will stay in Shaanxi for 6 nights and return Guangzhou to finish the visa process.

Can you believe this!! That is only three weeks away. So much to do and so little time. Even though I am not going this trip, I feel so excited!! I am trying to keep in mind this is not confirmed yet, it will most likely change depending on our TA getting here......

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Prayers for Gracie...

We were told today that Gracie is scheduled for her palate surgery in August. I am not sure what day, I have asked but haven't heard from anyone yet. We intially told them not to do it, but with the wait times we asked them to do what they thought was best for her. My heart is breaking , I wish I was there holding her hand and comforting her. I am sure her foster mama will be there for her but I still wish it was me.....

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1

Another Earthquake

Please continue to pray for China. There were no reported casualties. Thank goodness.

Powerful Quake Batters Sichuan Province In China
CBS News Interactive: About Earthquakes
BEIJING (CBS News) ― A powerful earthquake hit China on Tuesday in the same region where almost 70,000 people were killed in May, and on a day the Olympic torch relay passed through. No injuries or damage were reported.Panicked residents fled into the streets from swaying buildings, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, when the shock measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at magnitude 6.0 struck shortly before 6 p.m. local time. Xinhua said Tuesday's quake struck Gansu and Shaanxi provinces in Sichuan, shaking buildings in the cities of Hanzhong, Xi'an and Chongqing. There were no reports of damage or injuries, The temblor was the latest of scores of aftershocks from the 7.9 quake that struck Sichuan on May 12, killing almost 70,000 people and leaving 5 million homeless. The U.S. seismic service said the epicenter of Tuesday's quake was 30 miles northwest of Guangyuan town at a depth of 6 miles. The earthquake occurred a few hours after the Olympic torch relay was held in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, its last stop before the flame officially opens the Beijing Games on Friday. On Friday, an aftershock with the same magnitude as Tuesday's hit Pingwu and Beichuan in Sichuan, injuring 231 people. CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen reported that China has taken a psychological approach to dealing with the May 12 quake victims for the first time in the country's history. The government has organized mobilized mental health experts to be side-by-side with reconstruction workers in the earthquake zone. It's recognition, Professor Shen Heyong told Petersen, that ignoring trauma can be fatal.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report

Go to Google News
Yu Zhirong, a military official who was one of the first rescuers into the earthquake zone, carries the Olympic torch as firefighters wearing white helmets cheer at right, in Chengdu, China, Tuesday, August 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
©2008 Google - Map data ©2008 AND, NFGIS, Europa Technologies - Terms of Use

Strong earthquake hits western China; 1 killed
1 hour ago
BEIJING (AP) — A strong aftershock struck a western Chinese region where a May earthquake killed almost 70,000 people, shaking buildings a few hours after the Olympic torch relay passed through the area Tuesday. One person was killed and 23 injured.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude-6.0. It struck shortly before 6:00 p.m. local time and the USGS said the epicenter was 30 miles northwest of Guangyuan town in Sichuan province at a depth of 6 miles.
Panicked residents fled into the streets as the quake rattled Qingchuan county in southwest Sichuan, and also jolted buildings in neighboring Shaanxi province's Hanzhong and Xi'an cities and the sprawling municipality of Chongqing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The casualties were reported in Yaodu, a township in Qingchuan, Xinhua said.
The earthquake occurred a few hours after the Olympic torch relay passed through Sichuan's capital of Chengdu — its last stop before the flame officially opens the Beijing Games on Friday. There were no reports of the quake being felt in Chengdu.
The temblor was the latest of scores of aftershocks from the 7.9 quake that struck Sichuan on May 12, killing almost 70,000 people and leaving 5 million homeless.
On Friday, an aftershock with the same magnitude as Tuesday's hit Pingwu and Beichuan in Sichuan, injuring 231 people.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A weekend alone....

OK, so this is my first weekend alone since, well, I can't remember. How old is my oldest? Maybe 12 years. Wow, what to do?

First, I stayed up until 2 am painting the cabinets in our study. The lady we bought the house from ruined them by painting a metallic sponge paint in various gold, coppers and silver...yuck!!

So, I went to Home depot and bought a nice creamy white and there you go, all pretty again. Now, about the desk to home depot again....

And Kerry, if you are reading this, sorry but you do know I can't stand to sit still and have nothing to do...

I also created this really pretty outfit for Hope out of a romantic floral print. I got the pattern book here, it's all in Japanese but pretty self explanatory if you know how to sew. She can wear it now without a shirt underneath and again in the fall and winter with a shirt and a different pair of pants. (those are capri's) Maybe I will make another pair of pants that are longer.

I was thinking of offering to sell this outfit but frankly it took so long to make, I just don't know. It wasn't difficult just time consuming. What do y'all think? The top is reversible and I added pockets. The original pattern wasn't and of course didn't have pockets.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Giveaways on this blog...

OK, I know I dropped the ball on the previous post. Left a little link but no explanation. So here goes. The lady that owns the blog Gros grain Fabulous is a great seamstress. She has biweekly giveaways for the most adorable clothes handmade by her. They are usually various sizes, but are so cute. You can follow the link and check back, you just leave her a comment and she randomly draws a winner. How easy is that??