This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa made a pit stop???

Santa made a pit stop and delivered a present to the boys a little early. Brennan asked Santa for a Maltese puppy. Here is the newest member of our family...ZOEY! We all LOVE this sweet little puppy. She has brought us such joy and excitement while we wait for our daughter Lily. (No news on Lily. We are WAITING! We're in it for the long haul. So happy for our friends who just got their LID! We could be going to China at the same time to get our babies!)

Festival of Lights

Here are the boys in front of a HUGE Christmas Tree at the Festival of Lights.

It's December already?

I can't hardly believe it's already December. Time flies when you're having fun. Our family has been very busy following Brennan playing basketball, and trying to continue some of our favorite Holiday traditions.

When Doug was a little boy, he and his family would venture to the Conservatory, and to see the CG&E train display. We have started this tradition with our own family as well. We were able to go this past Sat. and had the BEST family day! We also went to The Cincy Zoo and enjoyed the Festival of Lights the day after Thanksgiving. The Polar express 4d presentation was a lot of fun. The boys enjoyed a man who created an ice sculpture. WOW. What a talent to make a block of ice look like a masterpiece!

All I can say is that I feel INCREDIBLY blessed!! We have so very much to be thankful for.

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas remembering the true meaning of this season.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Me and My BOYS!!

Here I am with my sweethearts on top of Ole Smokey!


Here's Bren and Daddy on the Sky Lift!! It was a beautiful day!

Here Comes Santa Claus?

Every year we take our boys to "The Christmas Place" in Pigeon Forge, TN to see Santa. They already told him what was on their lists and promised to be GOOD!! Let's hope they are!!

Our fam. at the Apple Barn

Here's a pic of our family waiting to eat at the "Apple Barn" in Pigeon Forge. Yum!!!!

Go Blue Thunder!!

Here is a pic of Bryson's soccer team, "Blue Thunder". Bryson is the one in front. Aren't they cute?? ( They came up with their own team name. Daddy is the coach!)

Yum! Yum!!

We made brownies and the boys LOVE to lick the beaters. Had to include this photo! It's one of my favs!!! (My mom always let me do the same thing.)

Oh Happy Day!!! We have a LID!!!

Hip Hip Hooray!!!! The day we've long awaited!!!! Our Log In Date is officially October 9, 2007!!!!! We just got back from a mini vacation in the mountains and came home to find out that we had our log in date!! We were told this would take a while, so to be honest, we were SHOCKED to discover that the CCAA already had assigned us a log in date!! This means we are now officially COUNTING DOWN to receiving our baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how exciting this is for us. It is a huge hurdle that we've crossed!!

Thanks for your prayers!!! Now our prayer is that this process will begin to speed up. From this point, we're being told the wait time is 20-24 months, but the trend is that this wait time is growing. We're trying not to focus on this and praying for a miracle!! We're also praying for Lily's birthmother, her caregivers, and her health. We're praying that God will heal her broken heart and give her the ability to accept us as her forever family. Please join us in praying.

I'll be posting some pics of our trip to the be on the look out!!!


Friday, October 5, 2007

We have a DTC!!

We FINALLY have our DTC, Dossier To China date!!! Our dossier (paperwork) was officially sent to China on October 4th. It should take 3-5 days to arrive. Our agency reps will hand deliver it to the CCAA...and within four weeks of them having it, we should get logged it. We will receive our LID (Log In Date) within about 8 weeks. I will post as soon as I here something.

Pray that God does miraculous things and brings our daughter home in record time.

Thanks for Praying!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Finally, some news!!!

SO SORRY it's taken me so long to blog. I truly couldn't bring myself to blog until I received positive news...and see how long it's been. We thought we would have had a LOG IN DATE already, but unfortunately we had a few bumps in the road. Our dossier team has been reviewing our docs..and we finally got word on October 1 that it was COMPLETE AND CORRECT. It has now been moved to translation. It should be send to China within a week. Hopefully then we'll get a Log in date so our wait time can actually start. To be honest, we were beginning to wonder if this was ever going to happen. I am really nervous about China adoption at this point, but have faith that God will see us through this.

Hopefully I will blog SOON with the news that the dossier has been sent to China and we can begin to nestle in for the "BIG WAIT".

Thanks for checking in...and sorry it's taken sooo long. PLEASE pray for us. We all need it. Especially our Lily Hope.

God bless!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cross your fingers and Pray pray PRAY!!!

We just got an email from CCAI, our agency. They've received our dossier!! (our paperwork). Woo hoo. It's a relief that it's gotten there safely, now we're just worrying if we completed it all properly. There were SO MANY VERY intricate steps and they are SO PARTICULAR about EVERYTHING! Please pray that all goes well, and that we aren't delayed any longer due to a mistake on our part. I'll blog as soon as I get word that we're CLEARED and SENT TO CHINA!

Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brennan's Baptism

Our seven year old, Brennan, was baptized this past Sunday
We are so proud of him and so grateful to God for His goodness. Here's a pic. of some of the family members who were there to support him. Thanks guys. We are SO BLESSED to have the most incredible family! Truly!

It's back!!!!

Well, we sent our dossier to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for two more steps, and we got it in the mail!!!! Yipee!!! Doug is making copies and checking everything thoroughly tonight. He will send it officially to our agency tomorrow. Shew!!! At this point...if all goes well, our agency will complete thorough reviews and translate our dossier and we will have our DTC (dossier to China!). So exciting!!! It will be a couple of weeks after it's sent that we should receive our log in date. Keep praying that all goes smoothly and that we haven't messed something up!!

Thanks for your support and prayers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Our trip to State Capitol

Here's a pic of me and my boys at the state cap! Good times!

We went to the Capitol!

Well, we did it! We visited our state capitol to have our docs. authenticated. It started off really well. We were told it would only take @ 15 min. to do it. We thought we were golden! Doug, the boys, and I would take a mini road trip and make a 1/2 day of it...or NOT. We went to the Courthouse 1st, then headed for the SOS (Sec. of State's office). When we arrived a sweet young lady took one little look at our birth cert. (which Doug had gotten in APRIL so we'd be prepared) and said that we would need to go to the Human Resources building and purchase new ones as there was a new registrar AND we needed a LIVE signature. (no biggie, right?) So, I said to the fam., "Let's just think of this as a family Scavenger Hunt"! What a dork am I!? Anyway, we continued on our "scavenger hunt" and arrived at the Human Resources building. We waited in line, paid for the new birth cert. and the man said "it'll be about 2o min.". NO SWEAT, RIGHT? Well, that was the longest 20 min. EVER. It turned out that we were there for 1 hour and 40 min. The LIVE SIGNATURE REGISTRAR had gone to lunch. Perfect timing, huh? Oh well. I took the boys outside and played under a tree. They saw two ladybugs and were letting them crawl up their arms. (The things we do to occupy our children.) And the ladybug is supposed to be a sign of good luck for those adopting from China. lol. So, we get the birth certs. go BACK to the Sec. of State's suite and complete this process.
Now we must send our docs. to Washington for more authentication. We have two more minor steps...when we get these back, our dossier is reviewed by our agency, translated, and sent to China. Can't wait!!! Getting antsy for a DTC and LID!! (Dossier to China and Log in Date)
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!
Pray Pray pray!!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's HERE!!!!

Finally! Our I171-h arrived. My family went out to lunch yesterday. On the way up the driveway, my husband opened the mailbox. As he did, I said..."each time we do this my stomach hurts!" He looked up at me with this face and immediately I knew it must be the form we have been waiting for. I couldn't help but to get emotional and scream at the same time. Our boys were elated, too. I think they thought we were going to get our China Doll right then! Ha! I wish! Receiving this form only brings us one step closer to getting a LID (log in date). This is the date when China has received all of the paperwork they need from you and your 20 months of waiting begins. (As of now, the average wait for a fam. is 20 months. I know! It's crazy!) We should be going straight to our state capitol Mon. morning to get everything Authenticated. Doug called our adopton agency yesterday, and they said we have ALL of our required docs. So, as soon as we do this final step, we can send our dossier (paperwork) to our Angency. They will check everything thouroughly and translate it. Finally they will send it to China. We're very excited. Pray that all goes well in the final steps we have to take.
************************Praise be to God, for HE is good!!******************************

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Summer Fun

These pics. are of us at our Home Study Agency's picnic. It was so amazing to be with so many other families who were in this process with us. We are standing next to a Chinese flag.

This summer has been a blast, but has flown by!

We have been to Myrtle Beach with the whole fam. which was a complete blast and much needed. The boys totally love the beach. They are quite the boogie boarders! Doug and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary while on the beach. We went to one of our fav. resturaunts ALONE and enjoyed the adult conversation, which doesn't happen very often. (lol) We took a stroll down the beach and sat on a patio listening to some live music. We really enjoyed each other that evening. As for the big gift??? We agreed that our baby girl is the greatest gift we could receive for our ann. so instead of spending our $ on ourselves, we chose to put it towards the adoption cost.

Doug and I also just attended Student Life youth camp in Cleveland, TN with our youth group. It was HUGE for us to leave our children for 5 days, but we really saw God doing some amazing things....including working in our lives. He spoke to me that week and said that HE must be first. I am guilty of putting my family before God. I love being a Mom and taking care of my children. It's a HUGE part of who I am, so HE reminded me that HE needed to be first. Thank you, Jesus for that gentle reminder. I think we all need to be taken out of our "normal everyday" routines and lives and attend a camp to refocus and get back on adult church camp if you will. Our boys did well while we were gone...well, sort of. Brennan cried everyday, but they were WELL taken care of. Thanks, Donna!!

Well, we're STILL waiting on our I71-h (immigration forms). Each day we go to the mailbox with great anticipation and....... NOTHING. It's getting a little frustrating, but we're reminded of who is in control. When we were at camp our worship leaders introduced us to their daughter they'd adopted from China. We were in awe of her and our hearts ached for our Lily Hope. His timing is perfect. We still have a LONG way to in the mean time, we're LOVIN' life with our boys!!!!

Please keep us in your prayers. We certainly could use them throughout this process and forever!

Until next time.

God Bless.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Home Study Complete

Hey all! Sorry it's taken so long. Our net has been down at home, but we're back in the saddle!!

Well, since we've last logged, we have had our home study visits. Our first one in our home went very well. We were anticipating an eventful evening with our agent here and the boys having to behave for 2 hours. They were ANGELS!! I was even a bit concerned they were "too good" while she was here. (Is that possible? I am SURE I will NEVER hear myself say that again!) Our Home Study Agent was SUPER nice. She had adopted two children from Guatemala. She totally made us feel at ease and completely comfortable. We scheduled our 2nd visit which was out of the home. It also went very smoothly. We felt like we were just talking to a friend about our life story. We have since had a total of four visits with our agent. She just sent us a copy of our home study to review, and I was thinking that everyone should have a home study completed. It is an account on paper of your life story. How cool is that? (I am sure our children will enjoy reading it someday!) So, our home study agent is sending our home study to our adoption agency to review. We will soon begin the "paper chase" . We have to have all of our documents we've acquired authenticated, certified and notarized! All I know is that I'll be traveling to our state capitol a lot this summer! Road Trip with the boys! Woo hoo!!

We're holding up well all in all. We're still early on in the process we know. We have been extremely busy with the boys and the end of the school year programs and such. We're very happy that schools out for the summa! Looking forward to some serious bonding at the pool!!! We still think about and pray for our baby girl each day, but we're trying not to be consumed by WAITING. We've decided that if we wish the next two years away that we're also wishing the lives of our two boys who happen to be right here in front of us away ...and we're not doing that! Time has flown since they were born.

Keep us in your prayers! Thanks for checking in! Hopefully we'll have more news to tell ya this summer about our dossier (paperwork) being sent to China soon.

Take Care and God Bless!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Home Study

Hey everyone! Right now we are in the home study part of the process. We have selected a wonderful home study agency. We are having a home visit very soon. It's supposed to last two hours, and they've requested for the boys to be there as well!! Yikes! We'll definitely need your prayers that night!!! I just pray that they are well-mannered and behave! We're nervous but very excited to keep the process rolling along.
Doug went to Frankfort to obtain some of our documents to speed up the process as much as possible, but we know there isn't a whole lot we can do about this "TIMELINE" we're given. It just seems like it will take so long before we'll be holding our baby girl in our arms! I just keep feeling extremely blessed to have our boys to be busy with! I know in God's timing we'll have her with us. It's just hard to wait now that we've gotten the process going.
Well, thanks for your continued prayers. We need them!! Most of all, thanks for your support. It's so awesome to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We are so extremely blessed!!
More info as we get it! Love, J

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Snakes and Snails...

These are our precious little guys. They are always keeping us busy!

They are very excited to meet their new baby sister from China!

Journey To Our China Doll

Dear Family and Friends,
Many of you have asked how we got started in this whole process. Doug and I both feel a strong calling that this is God's plan for our family. Having two beautiful, healthy boys, we have always felt so incredibly blessed. Doug always talked about having a third, and I wasn't opposed to having another, but for some reason, we never felt like the time was right and we never decided to move forward to attempt to have another. Adopting is a subject that we many times had discussed light-heartedly, then dismissed the idea, but somehow along the way, God laid the burden deep within our hearts to seriously consider adopting. We started reading up on the adoption process on Steven Curtis Chapman's website and began to research on hundreds of websites. We continued to pray that God would make it very clear to both of us that this was HIS plan and not ours. Well...guess what...HE DID.
So, here we are. We have submitted our application and have been accepted by our agency. We are currently in the process of starting our Home Study and have started filling out various forms and have begun collecting a few of the MANY documents we will be needing to acquire.
We just told our families this weekend and were very happy to know that they supported us in this decision. We just ask that everyone please pray for our us on this journey, and most importantly for our baby girl.

We will keep you updated!