Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buggy for 6

Who said you can't have 4 kids and still use a dune buggy?!?! That's right, my buggy is now equipped to hold 2 car seats, one booster seat, and one big kid, PLUS two adults. How cool is that?!

PS: Had to throw in a pic of the vet just for good measure :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Yes, this is what I usually hear in my house all day long. My name being called from all 3 of my babies. What is so amazing these days about this little phrase is how Shelby usually follows up with the call to Mom...

S: Mom
M: What?
S: Mom
M: Yes, Shelby. I will be there in a minute.
M: What is it?!
S: Come mear
M: Why?
S: Mom, come meer
M: Why?
S: I neee you!
M: What?
S: I neeeee you!
M: Why, what do you need?
S: Come mear Mom, I neee you!

And at that, I have no choice but to stop whatever I am doing and go to my baby girl. Doesn't matter what she really wants, I just love hearing her tell me she NEEEEES me :)

PS: I neeeeed her too! I am so very blessed!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Comfort from across the world

My wonderful friends at Lady Bugs N Love came through once again to send me some comfort from across the world. I was fortunate enough to be able to use their services once again. They have been a true blessing during this long wait for my little girl! See below the answers they received back from the orphanage regarding my Baby Faith. So nice to hear she is doing well. I also learned from my agency that she has not been using the tainted formula-Praise God! I am getting excited to be getting closer and closer to my girl :)

Hi Donna,
I got update for you today, here is the answer:
1. Is Wu Chun Zhen trying to crawl or sit up on her own yet?
Wu Chun Zhen can crawl and sit up on her own now.

2. Who is her favorite ayi? (Can I get a picture of her to show Wu Chun Zhen when she is home?)
Her favorite nanny’s name is Zhang Yai Xia (we have taken her picture with the disposable camera you sent).

3. How is her heart/scar healing up from her surgery?
Wu Chun Zhen’s scar is healing well. It’s about 9cm long. No heart murmur after the surgery.

4. Did Wu Chun Zhen receive the care packages sent to her?
Yes, I have received 2 care packages.

5. How is Wu Chun Zhen doing? (Any updated photos they could send?)
Now Wu Chun Zhen is growing and developing just like other healthy children.

6. We hope to come for her in a couple of months. If they could not shave her head/hair before we get there, it would be appreciated :)

7. Her updated measurements: Height: 72.9cm; Head: 44cm; Chest: 47.7cm; Weight: 8kg; Foot: 11.5

I didn’t get photos. I will call again, if I get any, I will forward it (them) to you right away.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ah Man...

Well I was really hoping to get my LOA today from China...but NO it didn't come :( I think I may have to give up my hope of being in China for Thanksgiving at this point. So I guess now I will hope that we have her home in time for Christmas.

My sister was planning on going with us to China, but if we have to go too close to Christmas she may not be able to get off of work during their peak season (she works at the Post Office). Not sure how CJ and I are going to manage all 4 kids by ourselves on 20 hour flights-YUCK! I sure hope God knows what he is doing here :)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."- Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pretty Neat Thread

I found out today that someone I met last December has now decided to go the special needs route and is adopting again from China. It is pretty neat to see another little one come home that you may of had a little part of helping find their way home.

Actually all of my digit friends were with me when we met this woman at the mall. We were waiting in line to take our pictures with Santa Claus. Remember this picture?! Well this woman was in line with us, so of course we started up a conversation. She was absolutely AMAZED that all of our beautiful children were "special needs" children. She had lots of questions so she joined us for a little playtime after the picture. I gave her my blog and told her to email me if she had any questions. Again, just sharing my story like I do ALOT!

Well sure enough it was about a month later that I received an email titled- "Hi its me from the mall :)". So now you can read her story here on her new blog. Again-share your story as you never know whose life you may touch :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Next Worry

In case I wasn't worried enough about Faith already and the bad milk, the next worry has appeared. Click here to read about the current conditions in Guangzhou. It appears that a typhoon is well on its way to China! Yes, a typhoon!! Unfortunately, Faith is on the coast line of Guangdong which is right where it is headed :( Here are a couple of pictures from people currently staying in Guangzhou right now adopting their son. This is what they woke up to this morning. Please pray for my baby girl who desperately needs her family right now.

Typhoon Hagupit sweeps into southern China's Guangdong province
By Associated Press
9:43 PM EDT, September 23, 2008
GUANGZHOU, China (AP) _ Typhoon Hagupit has swirled into southern China's Guangdong province after causing flooding and minor damage in Hong Kong.The state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted forecasters as saying the storm made landfall early Wednesday in the city of Maoming. The report says Hagupit was packing winds of 106 mph (172 kph) and forced the evacuation of more than 28,000 people in coastal areas.No major damage or deaths have been reported in Guangdong — one of China's biggest manufacturing centers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tainted Milk in China

I have had several people ask me about the formula scare that is currently happening in China right now. Frankly, I don't know anymore than most of you out there. I have no idea what formula (if any) Faith has been given. I have heard that alot of the orphanages are just too poor to buy actual formula for the kids, so they give them watered down milk powders and such. So right now, I just don't know. Who knows, this may have been what happened to Malia? I don't have any answers and I won't ever. It is very difficult to try to protect your child who is living on the other side of the world :(

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- African governments have stopped importing Chinese dairy products as the crisis which has seen more than 52,000 Chinese children poisoned by melamine-tainted goods spreads.

The precautions come as the number of affected children in China continues to swell. Four babies have died from melamine-tainted infant formula and more than 52,000 children have fallen ill, Chinese authorities say.

"I think we will see more cases, but it is, of course, impossible to predict how many cases there finally will be," said Hans Treason, the the World Health Organization's China representative. " We have to remember that China is a large country with a population of 1.3 billion people. However, of course, 40- to 50,000 children are affected as reported now. It's a staggering figure, but where we will end up is too early yet to say."

On Monday, China's top quality control official, Li Changjiang, resigned as a result of the scandal, which has seen the arrest of at least 18 people.

Melamine is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. Some Chinese dairy plants have added it to milk products to make it seem to have a higher protein level.

Melamine is the same industrial contaminant from China that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year. Health experts say ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation. It also robs infants of much-needed nutrition.

Please say a special prayer for all the babies in China right now!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

GA Adoption Credit Approved

Yeah, I received this email today from Cobb County granting our $2K adoption reimbursement credit for a special needs adoption:

Yes, she has been registered as a special needs child for the purpose of non-recurring adoption assistance. I mailed you a letter on 9-15-08 documentation this for you so you should receive it today or tomorrow. If you don't, let me know.

Every little bit helps! This is the credit from the state of GA that has to be approved before you travel to get your little one. A lot of people out there don't know it is available and that you must apply before you get your child. Thankfully, I DO, and thankfully we have been approved!

Just some smiles reminding you it is Friday :)

Update on new brother

Lots of you have asked about my brother and how that whole weird reunion thing is going. It is going well and we have established mostly an email relationship at this point. I have spoken to him one time on the phone and so has my mom (she was ecstatic btw). He obviously likes me better than my sister since she still hasn't received a phone call ;)
So things are progressing nicely. Here are a couple of recent pics of his family and his cute-as-can-be 4 year old son.
I hope to learn more about him as our relationship continues. I think it is very cool to have "found" him and I am so glad I did the search. He lives in Texas with his family. I really hope to one day be able to meet him face to face. I am sure my mom would melt into a big puddle on that day, but I still hope it comes sooner rather than later. I guess I will just have to wait and see when/if he is ready for that big day!
PS: I am so glad to see that the little one I spoke about below is slowly improving! I hope they can get her the medical help she obviously needs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Real Life...Real China

When I look at our little miracle Miss Shelby it is so easy to forget where she came from and the life that she could be living. I think a lot about Faith now and I get worried and scared about what she may be going through as we sit here in our nice comfortable home. Some of you see Shelby and don't really realize what the "real China" can be like and how unpredictable international adoptions can be.

I read a blog this morning that you can see here. This is a real family whom I have followed along their journey waiting to travel to get their daughter who is cleft affected like my Shelby. Well they arrived in China and all excited for Gotcha Day to find out that their baby girl is very very sick and fighting for her life in a hospital in China. So now her family is there to fight for her and with her, but they are still in China and must follow China rules. This is true reality...this is real China.

There is a major difference in how things operate in China and even me being as assertive as I know how to be, China does things their way. I will pray for this family and I hope you do too. I can't imagine being in their shoes right now, but in order to prepare for our next trip to China, I must try to put myself in their shoes. What would I do? What would you do? No one really knows these answers until face to face in the situation. So I sit and still desperately worry about my baby girl still in China. Oh how I pray that she is OK.

Monday, September 15, 2008

14 months today

My baby girl turned 14 months old today in China! I celebrated by finally breaking down and buying a few outfits for her. I went with size 9-12 months, so we will just have to wait and see if they fit. We had a good weekend and the kids really had fun test driving our new "toy"! The dune buggy was a big hit as you can see, thanks goes to Papa for such a fun ride :)

Shelby has had a good start going to speech therapy at the big kid school with Caleb and Travis. Thankfully no tears yet! Unfortunately she has started back-sliding on me about being so happy to go to her regular preschool. Oh well, always something with these kiddos ;)

I threw in a couple of shots of Shelby (and Faith) on her new queen size Mermaid bed. We upgraded her bed since I figure Faith will find her way in there soon. Oh and here are the pics from our big fishing trip we did at Frank and Betty's boat house a couple of weeks ago. Fun Fun Fun!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Faith Gets Cake Too

The Mid-Autumn Festival
By Mary Beth Fowler, an adoptive mom of a beautiful daughter from China.
Whew! The days are getting shorter and the air is becoming crisp. Wheat has been gathered in the north. Rice has been harvested in the south. It’s party time in China!
On one autumn evening each year, people throughout China celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, also called the Moon Festival. Like Thanksgiving, this is a time for families to gather and give thanks.
On the traditional Chinese calendar, the Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, when the moon is at its fullest. On our Western calendar, that translates to a different date each year, between mid-September and early October.

American kids know when Halloween is near because jack-o-lanterns and candy pop up everywhere. Similarly, Chinese kids know the Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching when they see lanterns and moon cakes.
Decades ago Chinese families created paper lanterns in the shape of something from nature, such as a rabbit, to use in moon worship. Today children make similar lanterns in their school classrooms to carry on this tradition. But most families buy plastic lanterns, which are available in almost any shape, picturing anything from a rocket ship to a rock band. Lantern parades are a fun way for children to celebrate the Moon Festival. Many people take their lanterns to a city park, where the blaze of small lights makes a beautiful contrast to the enormous moon.

Moon Cakes
Moon cakes are semi-sweet, round cakes about the size of your palm. They may contain a variety of fillings. Many have an egg yolk in the center. When the cake is sliced in half, the yolk resembles a full moon. The cakes are usually stamped with mythological figures like Chang E and are packaged in elaborate boxes. People give them to family and friends with a wish for family unity.

In honor of the festival, I sent Faith and her orphanage nannies mooncakes. Here is a picture of what LadyBugsnLove mailed to Faith for me. Faith should have received her package today. And yes, my wish is for family unity too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


How Do You Develop Self-Control? by Rick Warren

*** *** *** ***
Successful people have one obvious trait in common: personal discipline. They are willing to do things that average people are unwilling to do.

It’s my observation that successful people express their self-discipline in six ways:

· Successful people master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. They do the right thing, even when they don’t feel like it. “A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28 NLT).

· Successful people watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths: “Those who control their tongue will have a long life . . .” (Proverbs 13:3 NLT).

· Successful people restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs” (Proverbs 19:11 NLT).

· Successful people stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time, you can be sure that others will decide for you! “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT).

· Successful people manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make, and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went: “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get” (Proverbs 21:20 NLT).

· Successful people maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements: “Control your body and live in holiness . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 NLT).

Pretty powerful! Heaven knows I need alot of help in these areas. Now, where do you need to develop self-control?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday!!

This day last year was very tough for me. I only had a picture to "celebrate" with. Fortunately, this year is much different!

I have my beautiful, spunky, hard-headed, funny, happy, stubborn, lovable, cute as pie, adorable daughter HERE at HOME with us!! And celebrate we have definitely done. Since we missed Shelby's first 2 birthdays, we made up for it by having 2 birthday parties :) It was a wonderful weekend spent with lots of family and friends. Papa's train was of course a big hit! I hope everyone had a good time as I know we all did.

I sit back in awe of all the people who love my family and especially the ones who love my babies :) Thanks goes out to all of you who are a part of our lives. Life would not be the same and definitely not near as enjoyable without you in it.

Happy 3rd Birthday Shelby!

Big Girl School

I had a VERY productive day yesterday on my day "off". We started the morning at Caleb and Travis' elementary school with the IEP meeting for Shelby. It is still strange that my little girl is going to already be attending the public school-like a big girl!

Anyway, I am very happy to report that we received ALL the services for Shelby that we wanted-YEAH! I have heard of a lot of people having trouble getting services for their "special needs children" within the public school system. Needless to say, I didn't even have to throw a fit to get what I felt we needed to get for Shelby. She will be receiving three 45 minutes speech therapy sessions per week at the school. Best of all they arranged it where I can take/pick her up around my work schedule since I just could not see myself putting her on a big yellow bus-yet ;) So I am excited that everything went well and Shelby will have her first day walking into the big school with her brothers on Friday morning!

We were then off to be fingerprinted for one more step towards Faith-YEAH!

I finished the day up at the pediatric dentist. It was quite surreal when I left making our next set of appointments for FOUR kids?!?! It hit me right then, seeing all of my kids listed on paper for their 6 month checkups- I have FOUR kids- 4!

I AM truly blessed :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Truly Blessed

Adoption Application...$150

Airline Tickets to China...$4000

Copay after Copay after Copay...$5000+

Watching my baby girl BLOW out her birthday candles...PRICELESS!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Memo From Your Child

A Memo From Your Child-Author Unknown

1. Don't spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not have all that I ask for. I'm only testing you.

2. Don't be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure.

3. Don't let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages!

4. Don't correct me in front of other people if you can help it.

5. Don't be too upset when I get mad at you. It's not you I'm mad at, but your power to stop me from doing things my way.

6. Don't protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

7. Don't be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.

8. Don't tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real to me, and you can do so much to reassure me if you just try to understand.

9. Don't forget I learn so much more by watching your example. I can remember much more of what I see than of what I hear.

10. Don't forget that I can't thrive without lots of love and understanding. But I don't need to tell you that, do I?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Republican Convention

Ok come on, how many times have you thought about me and my blog over the last couple of nights?!?! Now how can I get my hands on one of those STRAIGHT TALK posters??

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Last Night...

Well nothing really exciting happened "last night", but to Shelby everything happened "last night". If something has ever happened in her life it was "last night".

She painted me a beautiful picture...last night.
She went to her friend's birthday party...last night.
Caleb and Travis rode their motorcycles...last night.
Daddy went to work...last night.
Mommy went shopping...last night.
We went to the lake...last night.
Shelby flew home from China...last night!

She is such a little talker these days and I am loving it. I have I told you lately...she is cute as pie! Even more so than she was...last night :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Random Bullet Post

I know, I know, I haven't blogged too well lately. So here is just some random catching you up bullet posts about us:

  • Shelby's speech is getting better and better every day!
  • Travis is learning how to read
  • Caleb is enjoying Awana this year at church
  • We spent the weekend with our best buds ever on their boat in TN
  • Travis caught the biggest fish he has ever caught this past weekend
  • Travis out-fished his brother for the first time
  • Shelby caught her first, second, and third fish this weekend
  • We have Shelby's last Babies Can't Wait session this week
  • Shelby will officially be a part of the Cobb County Public School System next week
  • CJ hurt his back at work and missed a few days last week-better now though :)
  • I had a terrific lunch date today with a friend
  • Shelby and I spent some quality shopping time together at Party City tonight
  • Looking forward to Shelby's BIG birthday bash this weekend!!