Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kate's First Package~

I was excited to find a wonderful organization that would put together a package for Kate. 

We picked out ten pictures of family to be put into an adorable picture album with labels written in Chinese.  Angela also translated a letter for Kate as well as a letter for the nannies.  Brennan wanted to give her a kitty stuffed animal so Angela picked out a Hello Kitty doll that says "I love you" on a little heart.  We also included a few treats for the kids and nannies at the orphanage.  There was also a camera for the nannies to take more pictures.  We hope they will take pictures of Kate as well as some of the people that are important to her.  

Happy Easter Kate!  Next year you'll be able to search for your very first Easter basket! 

Beach Trip 2011

We had a wonderful time at the beach with great friends!  We shared so many laughs, silly songs, fun stories, and special memories!  We can't wait for Kate to enjoy it all too! 

We were lucky to enjoy a beautiful day on the water in our friend's boat.  The kids did a little fishing, we stopped for ice cream, ate a delicious lunch onboard, and enjoyed the sun and waves.  The fun continued into the evening with dinner and more laughs.

The fun week also included:
*  Two movies- Soul Surfer and Rio.  The theatre lost power right in the best part of Soul Surfer so we had to go back the next day to see how it ended.
*  Time at the beach everyday- even when I was in a sweatshirt and freezing, the kids were in the water jumping waves.  We did have several beautiful and warm days too.

*  Several delicious restaurants- we had nine kids at the kids' table and eight adults.  The best food by far was at Amos Mosquitoes!
*  A kaoroke night at the house- the kids were going to sing to us, but several of the ladies took over the entertainment.  Many laughs shared!
*  Lazy mornings, fishing in the sound, shopping, ice cream, and walks on the beach.
                                                                                                         We are blessed in so many ways!  We  love our friends, we love our friends' kids, we love our family members, and we love that we get to create so many special memories!
Kate is truly going to be surrounded by amazing people!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Break

Our first day of spring break we all woke up at 4:40 AM.  Brennan was going to be in his first bass fishing tournament with a good friend.  He was so excited!  As we were driving to the lake, we found out it was canceled because of the threat of storms coming through later in the day.  The good news is that Brennan still got to go fishing and the tournament will be rescheduled.  We do love our little fisherman! 

Beach Memories... 2010
 If the storms aren't too bad, we'll head for the beach this afternoon to spend some time with great friends.  Last year there were seven kids and four moms.  Between us three of the kids are adopted, three kids are Korean, one is from Kazakhstan, four are biological, and all of them are perfect and great kids!  We can't wait to add Kate to the group.  She'll be the same age as the littlest one pictured on the right. We love watching people try to figure out which kids belong to whom.  One of the moms is Korean so people probably figure the Korean kids belong to her... we pretend like they do, if they are misbehaving.  Just kidding!  Actually one of the Korean kids is hers.. the other two are in different families.  Our kids get along so well, and we all have so much fun! 

Happy and safe travels to all our friends that are traveling other places for spring break!  Here's hoping for some sunshine, lazy days, and a lot of laughs!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Answered Prayers

Throughout our journey for Kate, we've found ourselves scrambling to try to come up with the funds for different fees.  Every night I go to bed and pray for guidance and help.  So many people have played a part in answered prayers already!  It's happened on four different occasions and within a day or two, the amount needed is given to us! It just happened again today when I checked the mail.   I get teary eyed even talking about it.   God is great and He does have a plan for us!  So thank you to everyone for your prayers, your support, your excitement, and for playing a part in answering some of our prayers without even knowing it!

April 11, 2011-  I just had to add to this post!  Tonight we were given  an extremely generous gift from a wonderful family we know through our church.  I was completely speechless and awed and amazed and humbled and thankful!   I wish I could find the words to express how much their gift means to us!    People are so good to us, and God has truly surrounded us with such wonderful people!   I promised that I would pay it forward to another family next year- I pray that God will remind me and help me be as giving and sincere as they are!  Thank you so much to an amazing family!  Your gift truly did help us get a little closer to Kate, and we will be forever thankful!

Kate is such a lucky little girl to have so many people care about her before they even get to meet her in person!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy But Busy Days!

I just sent our official letter of acceptance back to our adoption agency!  It amazes me that a package can get from Utah to North Carolina overnight and then back again overnight!  I also just sent our visa applications to Washington DC to be processed.  If anyone needs a wonderful courier service in Washinton DC I highly recommend The Paper Stork!  They helped me know exactly what to write on the Visa applications, what to copy, and what to send.  It was so helpful!

I've decided to apply to two more adoption grants.  I feel so lucky that there are so many agencies that offer grants, but I do feel like it's becoming a part time job.  Each one takes about two to three hours to fill out.  We got a denial message yesterday from Gift of Adoption which bummed me out.  I talked to another wonderful grant organization today and she said to resubmit my application for review. She thought that it was because our file was reviewed in February and we weren't planning on traveling until July.  They would want to give the grant to someone who was traveling sooner.  That made sense to me and made me feel better.

Any prayers about our grants would be so appreciated!  We're waiting to hear from Show Hope, Caroline's Promise, National Adoption Foundation, Eliya's Heart, and Golden Dawn.  I hope one or two will come through for us... but regardless of the outcome they are all amazing organizations that help so many people!  I'm getting ready to apply to Katelyn's Fund and A Child Waits.  I love Katelyn's Fund- it just seems like a sign to help bring our Katelyn home!  I also love how they do an interview if your application is accepted.  I'd love the chance to actually talk to someone who was making the decision!  A Child Waits was so helpful on the phone today. It was nice to actually talk to someone!  So we have our fingers crossed and we keep thinking positive thoughts that everything will work out.  We DO believe that this is God's plan!

We've loved all the e-mails and congratulations from everyone!  It is so much fun sharing the excitement with so many people who truly care!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Truly Happy Day!

We received our Letter of Acceptance from China today!  They have officially approved us for the adoption of Kate!  We are so happy that it took a little less than three weeks.  It could have taken up to six weeks to receive... another three weeks of waiting would have put me over the edge.  :-) 

I asked my agency today if it was about eight weeks until travel, and my agency replied, "If that long."  Wow!  Kate will be in our arms in June!  I will finish the school year and then grab the first flight I can get!  I'll spend two weeks in China, and then bring our sweet girl home!

Did I mention how excited we are?!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life Through The Easter Bunny's Eyes

This is my second year being the Easter Bunny at a local mall, and I love my time in the bunny suit!  I can't talk when I'm the bunny (which is hard for me).  I love that kids are comfortable just sitting with me and no conversation is needed.  Often the parents are busy looking at the pictures and the kids just sit quietly on my lap, snuggled into my fur.  Today the camera wasn't working correctly and so I was able to hold a three week old boy for twenty minutes!  It truly was special! 

I have so many wonderful memories and funny stories!  This year an adult was knocking on my head and poking my leg.  When she realized I was real she apologized over and over.  I was laughing so hard... but of course silently!  I also have favorite times!  I love when I can gain the trust of a hesitant child and finally get a big hug from them.  I love all the kids that wave or tell me they love me.  I love the pictures that they make for me, or the games we can play by copying each other.

During the quiet times this year I am thinking a lot about Kate.  I realize that so much can be communicated without words, which makes me feel better about the language barrier we will have when we finally get to meet her.  I also think about Brennan and his personality.  He never liked the bunny much- until last year when he found out I was one of the Easter Bunny's helpers.  I wonder if Kate will be hesitant like Brennan, or if she will be one of the kids that runs and hugs the bunny without hesitation.  Knowing Brennan, he'll hold Kate's hand and tell her the bunny is nice.  I know he'll want to help her a lot!

I have four more appearances as the Easter Bunny this year... many more hugs and funny stories to look forward to!  And did I mention... I get paid to do this?!!!  Okay- it's not a lot of money, but I will make enough this year to pay for the China Visa fees!  I am blessed in so many ways!