This Christmas has been so magical ! It was such a blessing to see Christmas through my children's eyes this year. Everything was "magical" - the lights, the elves, Santa Clause and his reindeer, singing Christmas carols at the Nursing home and at church. They loved our manger scene at home and played with it almost every day ( just like I did when I was little). I want to remember all that Christmas was this year. We wonder how long Christmas will be like this for the boys - they are growing up so. We also wonder if next Christmas we'll have our daughter and we'll get to experience all the Christmas magic all over again. We are praying for her and her care givers. Blessings to all this Christmas !
What do you do with two very active boys, a dirty house, lots of dirty laundry, and freezing weather outside ? This is a very important question, because the pre-Christmas boredoms have hit my house. We've watched every Christmas movie at least 5 times since Thanksgiving. We decorated the gingerbread house this morning, played Battleship and assembled several Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones pieces. We slept late, ate a big breakfast and cleaned up some. You would think that would be enough for one full day, but all that was done before lunch ! Of course my idea of a fun filled pre-Christmas day would be to clean out all the closets, shine the stainless steel appliances and organize my closet according to color. I'm sick I know !!! hehehehehe !!!!
My fingerprints finally went through the FBI clearance and now are headed on over to the DHR for clearance there. I was praying they would go through before Christmas and they did !!! I also got a new camera for an early Christmas present - a Nikon D 60. It's incredible and I am having to learn how to use it. Merry Christmas to all !
We completed our first Home Study and will have our 2nd one on Wed. Our social worker is very nice and has been working with our agency for about 7 years. She asked us all sorts of questions...Why do you want to adopt ? What was your childhood like ? Do you talk to your brothers a lot ? How often ? We were so excited she was finally at our house ! I didn't go crazy cleaning before she came. I just did my normal straitening up - which some of my friends might think that IS going crazy with the cleaning. But, really I didn't freak out if the house wasn't perfect. I wanted her to see what life is like for us normally, you know with two boys in the house ALL the time. When she comes Wed. we'll talk about our parenting style, how we discipline, the boys chores and I think about our marriage. Then, she can write up our report and we can finally send off our I800 form. Well, that is if my fingerprints ever get "unstuck". As of today, they still are "Stuck" and I trying not to be that adoptive parent that calls every day to check on them. I have e mailed them each week and they assured me they are working on it. I trust my agency, but it's still hard to just sit back and wait. I was so blessed today to read Mary Beth Chapmans ( wife of Steven Curtiss Chapman ) Christmas letter. I believe it will bless you too. If you are the rare soul who does not know their story, they lost their 5 year old daughter in a terrible accident this summer. She was their third adopted daughter from China. Mary Beth shares her heart and her memories and it is just beautiful. It has made me once again rethink my priorities. Here's the link : http://tinyurl.com/5rpztn
Saturday night was our annual ladies Christmas party. This is not just any party, oh no ! We play DIRTY SANTA and exchange ornaments,there's chocolate, dips, little bitty sandwiches, and lots of laughter. My house was filled with the most wonderful Godly ladies last night. I love these girls! They are the ones who believe with me that we will one day actually go to China and bring home our daughter. These ladies are so fun to be with ! Here's some pictures.
Ok, if anyone wants to know - my Fingerprints are " stuck in the system". What ? What does that mean ? My agency will call and check back with them on Friday to see if they are "unstuck". I sent them off 2 months ago. This is crazy but normal in " adoption world". Oh well, life goes on here. We went to the Opelika Christmas parade tonight and then my friends birthday party. The boys will be in the Auburn parade tomorrow, then they have basketball practice. We are homeschooling everyday and Chuck is STILL trying to shoot a deer.
I am still looking for my fingerprints to come back from that magical place they go to. The ABI ? We got Chuck's fingerprint clearance back three weeks ago. Mine are still being reviewed and should be finished soon. The word SOON has a whole different definition in the Adoption World I have entered. It usually means " We don't know but just hang tight and really muster all the patience you can find and then try to get a little more patience from somewhere else !" I am also waiting on the social worker to call us and set up our appointments for the home studies. Hopefully, we can get those done and send off the I -800 before all my papers expire. However, through all this waiting and unknowns, Chuck and I are so excited about bringing our little one home from China. We pray daily for her and for her parents who will have made a very difficult decision to give her up.
I really wish I had some great new news on our adoption. But, I don't. However, we ARE about to start our home study process. So that's exciting ! I'm waiting on our social worker to contact us and then we can start the process. I am hoping this will be a somewhat painless and non complicated thing. But, if not - oh well...we will endure the long drawn out process. Since we are starting the home study process it does mean that we are taking tiny, little steps to our little girl. Every time I put a check mark on my adoption-paperwork-to-do-list I think we're just getting closer and closer. My paperwork came back from Montgomery unharmed and was safely delivered to my front door by a very nice Fed X man. I was very glad to see him. I was scared I wouldn't be home when the papers arrived and Charlie would chew them up !!! That would be a VERY BAD THING ! Please pray for my fingerprint clearance to come soon. Chuck's came 2 weeks ago, but mine have not. I am starting to get worried that something is wrong with them.
Of course I am thankful for so many things I don't even know where to start....Let's see: Freedom to pray and worship God freely ! Amen! Salvation, forgiveness, A wonderful Godly husband who puts up with me, healthy, beautiful children that obey ( most of the time) and Love me with everything they have, Friends that Love me where I am and who I am, My mom that calls me even though I can't talk for longer than 5 minutes, All my family...But what about the little things like: my garage door opener that works EVERY TIME, my favorite cowboy boots, My coffee with french vanilla creamer that I drink every AM without fail ( Cause it makes me Super Mommy !!!!), my computer, cell phone, Provino's salad and garlic rolls, my Mini van ( yes, it is better than a Mercedes), my dishwasher,microwave, washer and dryer, Holly who does my hair, Christmas Music, snuggling with my boys on the couch, free days when I can go to the mall without kids and try on anything I want to.....and So much more. Much,much more.
We are keeping Gabe this week while Diane is somewhere I can't pronounce - on a ship - and probably practicing her Kareoke routine. Gabe is such a sweet little boy ! It has been awhile since we've had a high chair in our kitchen . This is really good for our family. The reality of having a little one around again is different. The boys are having to get used to doing school with Gabe playing cars nearby and we have had to have diaper change breaks. Walker is very protective over Gabe and doesn't want him to get nearby anything that could harm him. I hope they will be protective and this loving to our little china girl ! I know they (and us) will have to get used to all the changes a baby brings, but it will be a sweet change to our lives. We can't wait till that blessing happens !
We have completed the gathering of all our Dossier Documents ! They have been certified by the County and are ready to go the State to be Authenticated. It feels good to have all the documents together and completed. I don't like to have things "hanging over my head" and not completed ( the organizer in me). So now, the hard part will be actually sending the documents to Montgomery because I don't want anything to happen to my precious, time-consuming, don't want to get lost, Notarized,certified...did I say precious papers.
Santa made an early delivery last night ! The Elf On The Shelf was delivered to the Beams Home. His name is officially Elfie and he will report back to Santa if the kids are naughty or nice. Then he will leave us after Christmas to go back to the North Pole. Hopefully we'll have more Nice than Naughty !
Update #3 Watch out Charlie's Angels !!!
One of my best friends, Diane, had quite a ride this week. She had a biopsy on a "tumor" on her leg. We all cried out to God and prayed diligently and fervently for her. Praise God !!! She got the report yesterday that it is not the C word !!! Now she is heading on a cruise to some place in the Carribean. I took this picture last week at the shooting range. It was her first time to shoot a gun. I love you Diane and pray you have a relaxing and stinking good time in the tropics. You deserve it !!!!
This is what I have been praying for. My boys quietly reading a book of their choice and loving it. Will was so into his book that he walked around reading it without looking up. Walker read all his book and then asked for another one. This may not seem that big to some, but to me it is HUGE. Everyone said this would happen, but I was beginning to doubt ! Now the only thing missing in this picture is our sweet little China girl. Can't you see her all snuggled in the middle with a little picture book ? Our boys are excited about having a sister one day. Will said " Mommy, can't Santa just bring her at Christmas time and we will all wake up and she will be asleep in your bed ?". So sweet !
Actually, Camo and Tutu's would have been a good name for this Blog. The boys are working really hard at trying to get a Buck. Chuck is into Bow hunting this year and has been in the tree as much as he can. No, he hasn't gotton one yet...but stay tuned ! On the other hand, I am not obsessed with hunting, but with pink, really cute tutu's ! Yes, I know it is way too early and premature to be bying little girls clothes, but I am LOVING the Tutu's !
Chuck and I have been busy trying to get all our adoption paperwork done. My whole dining room table is full of folders and checklists and it's a wonder I know where everything is. I have already lost Chuck's Social Security card and our passports once ( found them in some obscure file upstairs ). We have been to the doctor and been tested for every disease - we passed ! The kids had their physicals too. I have been to the Lee County Courthouse twice, police station 3 times and the Chambers Co. Courthouse ( all in one day). Please don't get me wrong - I am not complaining !! I am so excited to finally be able to make our dream of adopting a daughter a reality. But this paperwork stuff is hard. Everything has to be an exact way or you have to go back and redo it - which is very time consuming and sometimes costly. Right now we are waiting on our fingerprint clearance to get back from the state and federal agencies. Once we are cleared, we can progress to the Home Study. After we complete 3 home studies we can send in our I 800 application which will allow us to bring our little one home to America and is a required step for her to gain US Citizenship. Then, once all our notarized documents have been sealed by the County, Authenticated by the State and sent to the Chinese consulate ..THEN, we can submit our Dossier to China. Are you confused yet ??? Then what ??? We WAIT !!! and wait some more. I love this quote I found ..."Time will pass whether you are waiting or not, so to be waiting for something wonderful is far better than waiting for nothing".
Well, here it is ..My very own Blog !!! My purpose is to journal our life while we wait for our little one to come home from China. We started the adoption process in September ( well really 4 years ago in my heart). I will post updates on our adoption process as well as pictures and stories from our everyday life. More about our adoption later.
Hi !This started as a blog to keep our friends and family updated on our adoption process. Now, I blog about our life with two boys and our adopted, hearing impaired daughter. You won't find professional,touched up photos or life changing quotes. Just real,fun life.