Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Come on over!

For the next few weeks....or possibly months....we will be found regularly at oneblessedfamily.com You can find our blog there under the link "Travel With Us". Come on over, sign our guestbook, and join us as we travel to meet our precious daughter, Lydia!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Packing for China

We haven't even received Travel Approval yet for China, and yet I'm almost done packing the suitcases. We are traveling carry-on-only on the way over, with the exception of a HUGE duffel bag filled with orphanage donations, and then we will probably stuff that duffel bag full of presents and souvenirs on the way home.

So, anyway, I hit all the local thrift shops last week and found 2 very decent brand new carry-on suitcases with wheels. Those will be Doug's and mine and then we bought Gwen and Lydia matching backpacks with wheels and pullstraps. Gwen's is purple, Lydia's is pink.

We got Lydia's measurements today! She's 113 cm tall.....that's about 44 inches, and 19.5 kg....about 42 pounds. So, she's a tad bit bigger than Gwen, and probably wearing size 6 clothing. That helps us so much in bringing *something* for her to wear before we take her to the Chinese Walmart. She and Gwen are close enough in size, though, that they will be capable of sharing clothing.

Please, everyone, pray that our other house sells....now! NOW! It would be such a relief to have that done before we got on a plane for China!

Mary

Monday, August 07, 2006

Still alive

So, ok, it has been...erm...forever since I updated. Sorry, and I do get e-mails from those of you nice enough to check occasionally. And we're okay here. It's just been that we are still computerless, which has been wonderful for making sure that I'm properly cultivating my relationship with my family, but not so wonderful in that I can't stay in touch with people that I used to talk to so much.

Update? Would you like to hear one? Well, first and foremost, our China adoption is still going on. It' s like the Energizer Bunny. It won't stop. We had issues with our paperwork there for a bit, but now our dossier is at the CCAA and we are waiting for travel approval. Of course, we are still praying this comes sooner rather than later, but it really honestly could be October before we travel. It won't be much later than that, though.

And I know you all want to see the most precious picture of our little girl! This was taken in April by the orphanage director. All the loot she is holding came from that fuzzy pink bag on her shoulder and we stuffed it FULL of things for her! So, she looks happy, right?


I also realized that we had never really updated anyone on the grant situation. It's AWESOME! We did get that grant from Life International, and it was for $2,000, so we sent out notes to all our friends and family asking for donations. And we received.....over $3,500. $2,000 of that was matched , so they sent over $5500 to our agency. Of course we were SO thrilled, then we took a step back and wondered how the other $10,000 would come in. A couple weeks later we found out that we were given a $4,000 interest free loan from The ABBA Fund, a group that helps people bring home their adopted children. And again, we were really encouraged by this, and we started not to be really worried about the last $6,000 because God just kept providing.

And He didn't let us down. Again, right when we needed it, we got a letter from Shaohannah's Hope saying that we had received a $4,000 grant. And all we have left is the money for our plane tickets, and we are going to put those on the credit card. So, we are good to go!


Doug is now recruiting in Joplin, MO. When he got back from Iraq he swore he would never recruit. He didn't want to put kids into the war. But, when faced with being in the Army for 16 years and then getting out, it seems better to just go the 4 more years until retirement, no matter how much it stinks.

And boy, does it stink! The station commander is a dufus. He has zero integrity. Doug says recruiting is like playing a game with a 3 year old....they're always changing the rules so that they can win. "Okay guys, you can leave early if you make 2 appointments!" So, he works hard, makes 2 appointments, only to be told, "Well, they don't count because one of them was a walk-in and the other only has his GED, not a high school diploma." Doug doesn't see why it matters. Either one could end up being the Sergeant Major of the Army some day.

So, yeah, he doesn't like that very much.

And Gwen...she's about to turn 4. She's HUGE and talking like she's in first grade or something and she can't wait to be a little sister! She's already named our next child, Kathryn Truth. Except that wasn't the name we were planning on, but I don't NOT like it.

And my time is officially up at the library. Good night.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Almost having labour pains

So, yesterday we completed what can only be described as the Second Trimester of the adoption process. We filed our I600A, the petition to adopt an orphan. We are blessed to be living in the state of Missouri (now that's a sentence I never thought I'd say), and the process is taking less than 3 weeks on average. So, we should be DTC (dossier to China) by March 31.

Oh my word. I'm about to hyperventilate! That's unreal! All we have left is the waiting. And, yeah, the earning of the money. That's a big part too. ;-)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Happy and Sad? Good and Bad?

We've been applying for grants. Tons and tons and tons of grants. There are many many adoption grant organizations, and they have all heard from me. We aren't exactly relying on grants to get us through the adoption, but they sure would help! $17,000 is difficult to come up with quickly.

So, we applied for a grant with Life International. It's actually a matching grant, designed to get you out there asking for donations.

We survived through an interview asking us all about our spiritual beliefs, making sure we matched up with them. We survived through 3 weeks of waiting to hear if we were approved.

And, today we get a call! Yes! We are! We're approved for a matching grant!!!

Yay!

But, for how much, you ask? Well, yeah, therein lies the problem. We don't know. They don't know. They don't have funding right now, and the director is on a funding trip, so we might find out next week that they have the funding for it, but then, we might not.

So, um, yay? We're approved?

Happy and Sad? Good and Bad?

We've been applying for grants. Tons and tons and tons of grants. There are many many adoption grant organizations, and they have all heard from me. We aren't exactly relying on grants to get us through the adoption, but they sure would help! $17,000 is difficult to come up with quickly.

So, we applied for a grant with Life International. It's actually a matching grant, designed to get you out there asking for donations.

We survived through an interview asking us all about our spiritual beliefs, making sure we matched up with them. We survived through 3 weeks of waiting to hear if we were approved.

And, today we get a call! Yes! We are! We're approved for a matching grant!!!

Yay!

But, for how much, you ask? Well, yeah, therein the problem lies. We don't know. They don't know. They don't have funding right now, and the director is on a funding trip, so we might find out next week that they have the funding for it, but then, we might not.

So, um, yay? We're approved?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

One Step Closer

Well, we just got news today that we will be on our way to Kansas City, MO a week from today to file our I600A and the rest of our immigration paperwork. This is *awesome* news and a complete answer to prayer that we will be able to do this before Doug leaves for South Carolina for 6 weeks. Thank you everyone for praying!!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Wow...it's been a long time!

So, here I am thinking of an update and all I can say is, take pretty much everything I ever wrote about and flip it upside down, and that's what's happening with us now. Here is a little update on the basic stuff.

Our family: We will be bringing Lydia home this summer. It's been really awesome watching the progress with the money. We started the process with no idea where the money was coming from to finish the full adoption. We are now finished the homestudy, and have the money to get through the next full stage of the process....immigration. And we have the money for the translation and authentication part. Tomorrow we have a phone interview with a grant organization that gives matching grants up to $4,000. We already have $2,000 waiting to be matched, if we get the grant. That would get us through all the fees until travel.

Gwen is just this happy bubbly normal 3 year old kid. We have been spending some time with my parents in New Hampshire, and my mom presented her with a bunch of clothing that somehow turned her from a toddler into a real live kid. Like she looks like a miniature adult. Very odd sometimes, when it just seems like yesterday that I was hearing a German midwife pronounce that she was "long, like spaghetti noodle".

Doug and his work. Ah, Doug and his work. After many many many declarations of being done with the Army and getting out and starting his own business and yada yada yada, Doug got orders for recruiting school. Recruiting. For a recluse and someone that "hates" the Army. Huh. So, he re-enlisted. And he will be in South Carolina for 6 weeks this Spring learning how to legally push young vulnerable kids into a life in the Army. This was his last re-enlistment ever. Now, if he wants to get out of the Army, he will have to apply to get out.

We are hoping for a post here in Missouri, since we have been accepted by St Louis Children's hospital for treatment to Lydia's cleft lip and palate. Ideally, we would stay on our little farm and keep raising more and more animals. I will miss it desperately if we must move.

So, that's what's happening. Hopefully, we'll have full internet access again soon, and I'll be able to catch up with you all soon.