Sunday, January 22, 2012


Our Lady of China, pray for us!

Well, we are officially booked for our flights, and were so thrilled to have a LOWER price for the flights than we were originally quoted.The travel agent said "You must have someone upstairs working for you!" I answered, "As I matter of fact, we do!"

Here is a synopsis of what our trip will look like:

Friday, Feb 24th: Newark fight to Beijing, fly 13 +hours and arrive in Beijing on  the 25th, a whole day later!

Sat, Feb 25th: Stay in Beijing overnight to get some rest

Sunday, Feb 26th : train to Tianjin, with our guide

Monday, Feb 27th: Meet Maeleigh WuShuang!!! (this is actually Sophie's 4th anniversary of her Family Day!!!)

Tuesday, Feb 28th: Sign paperwork, and take train to Beijing

Wed Feb 29th: Visit Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (Matt and Mick and I were there, but it will be awesome for the girls to see

Thursday, March 1st : Visit Great Wall (Cable car!!!)

Friday:March 2: Our guide will go back to Tianjin to get Maeleigh's paperwork, when she arrives, we fly to Guangzhou, the next part of out trip!

Saturday, March 3rd: We will be in Guangzhou, where the US Consulate is.Maeleigh will have a medical exam and get a TB test. GZ's weather is more mild, like Florida, so we will be able to lose heavy coats and shed some layers!

Sunday, March 4th: Hoping to go to the local Catholic church, otherwise we have a free day!

Monday, March 5th Check TB test and possibly the Safari

Tuesday March 6th US Consulate appointment

Wednesday March 7: Maeleigh's visa gets picked up and we leave for Hong Kong for 1 night

Thursday March 8th: FLY HOME We leave Hong Kong about 12 am on March 8th and return home around 5 pm on March 8th...Can you say jet-lag?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Picturing the past...Picturing a new life

Maeleigh soon after going to the orphanage.

How tiny she was!   

Reading a recent letter we sent her...perhaps picturing her new life.

I love her hair!        
    I opened my email this morning to find the baby pictures, above, from Elaine, who was the Physical Therapist who had worked with Maeleigh when she first arrived at the orphanage in 2000, when she was around 2 years old.Elaine used to take Maeleigh home with her on the weekends so that she would see what life was like outside the orphanage. Oh, my goodness, she was so adorable. We are so grateful to the many people from Tianjin International Committee for Chinese Orphans who have helped Maeleigh, and so many other children, to this day.

     The other day we were treated to the pictures of Maeleigh reading her letter from us. as we get closer to getting Maleigh, my heart is with her at the thought that she would be worried about us, worried about her new life. I think of my Shannon who is just a year older than her, and wonder how Shannon would feel about being taken away from the only life she ever knew, to be whisked into a world with a different language, culture, food, customs. Oh, my, my heart breaks for her. I hope she can feel our love from across the wold...I hope she can trust that we want the best for her, that we will make it work for her, no matter what.

     Asking for prayers for these weeks ahead as we prepare, and Maeleigh prepares. I know that in the end the prayers will be what gets us through.

I will be booking our flights today, and we are continuing our fundraisers! Check out the bracelets and art prints we have for sale!!!! Check in later this week for a special Valentine's Day bracelet special!!!

Thanks for your support!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Do not fear"

"Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you...bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the ends of the earth."
Isaiah 43: 5-6

Wow.It has been quite a weekend. I have been constantly thinking about and planning on the finances and the logistics of travel expenses. There are many who do not understand adoption expenses, fees, etc. Many people comment to me that adoption should be free for the adoptive family. What they forget is the services that are required in order for a child to be adopted. For example, there must be a homestudy done, and the adoption agency must do that. They need to get paid for the work they do. They arrange paperwork, talk to the orphanage and Chinese officials, and advocate for the child and the family. this is the 3rd agency we have dealt with, Madison, and they did all of our homestudies. They are over-the-top amazing. I just love them. They have helped and advocated and their hearts are all about getting children home to their families. When I pay their fees, I am glad that they are there to help us, and will be there to help other families.

There are airfare fees, hotel fees, travel between provinces, food, and other expenses. Once, a woman (adoptive mom) looked at me with disdain at families who fund raise for adoption. She told me in no uncertain terms that if people did not have money for their adoptions, they should not adopt. If everyone who wanted to adopt had $25000 in cash, there would be more than 147 million orphans, because no one would adopt! Because we are all called to help the orphans, we all do it in different ways.Some of us open up our hearts and homes, and truly change the face of our family, the dynamics of our homes, and we welcome a child into our lives. For those who cannot open their homes, they open their hearts with love and support for the child and the family. And for those who can, they open their wallets and give, even the smallest amount, and by doing so, become a real part of the Family that is chosen for adoption.

The past few weeks, as the holidays are behind us and the fees for travel have piled up, I became more and more concerned about the mounting travel expenses.While I have been saving furiously, many things have transpired to chip away at our savings for the adoption, like two major car repairs, unexpected medical bills, etc. I would find myself awake at night, worrying and counting the pennies in my head.  While I tried to pray the sleepless hours away, worry would creep in and my best intentions left me tired and bleary-eyed in the morning. And then the other night, Thursday, to be exact, I had about had it. I woke up again, about 4 am, and started to worry, to pray, to worry more. I thought of the decision to adopt Maeleigh, and how I knew it was the right decision. Of that I have never wavered. I thought of all the angst that goes into saving the money, figuring things out, and at the same time trying to pay the bills and raise six kids. Suddenly, I felt  a release, a total surrender. I spoke to God directly "She is Your daughter, Lord, please figure this out." 

When I got home Friday night there was an email from a woman who is a Physical Therapist in California, and who had been sent my blog.She was a volunteer at Maeleigh's orphanage when Maeleigh arrived there in 2000, and she used to take Maeleigh home with her on weekends so that she could see what life outside the orphanage was like. She said she used to feel so sad because she knew WuShuang (Maeleigh) would not have a bright future in China. She will be sharing pictures and stories with me about her time with Maeleigh, so stay tuned.  About an hour later, I received another email from another volunteer from Maeleigh's orphanage, and she asked for my address to send us a check to help with our expenses. In addition, the travel person from Madison is working hard to help me make this trip affordable and not overly expensive. It was only within the last week or so that Madison changed travel providers to help families manage the travel costs. Had we traveled any earlier our costs would have been much more.

It is a constant privilege and honor to be the recipient of these kinds of blessings. I know so clearly that God has answered my prayers, and the He is working hard to help us. I know that I need to get out of the way, stop worrying, and trust that He is in charge. It is the most awesome and awe-inspiring experience to know that we are truly not in this alone. I am so buoyed up by the Holy Spirit, and so full of excitement to be a part of the work of bringing home a child into our family, and thankful that we have been asked to do this.

Thank you to all who have been so very generous and thoughtful to us during this process. We are forever grateful and keep you close in our prayers.
God Bless

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Art Sale

20"x16"-Print from original: only 2 available!

$60.00-24"x18 1/2"- Print from original, only 2 available!

$40.00-20" x 16" Print from original, only 3 available!         

     We are proud to show you the pictures painted by our Sarah, who is now a Sophomore in college. Sarah painted these pictures in high school and displayed them at a school art show/fundraiser. Not only did Sarah sell all the originals, but she got so many orders for the pieces that people were willing to buy prints. We had the prints professionally done on high quality paper,and Sarah has given  us the extra prints to help us bring Maeleigh home.
     Use the donate button on the right to order. In the note section, specify which print you would like. We will ship the print to you so put your address in the note section or send it to me by email. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Travel the home stetch!

11 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

Well, we got word yesterday that we have Travel Approval! That means that the green light is now on to go to China.  However, since the Chinese New Year is at the end of January, the earliest we could travel is The beginning of Feb, and for work, finances, and managing things at home, I am hoping to travel at the end of February.

We are so grateful to the friends who have contributed to our adoption. I am so in awe at the generosity of people, and the thoughtfulness of those who took the time to donate, and who gave from their hearts and from their love. Know that you are all in our prayers, and we remember you every day in our prayers by name. In addition, we are committed to paying this forward and helping other families to adopt...

We are crunching the numbers for travel fees, and it looks pretty much right now that Sophie may not be able to travel with me. I have not told her, because I have not given up. So, I am working on some more fundraising and will be posting new pictures of bracelets for Valentine's Day. Our bracelets have been getting wonderful reviews, and I am going to set a goal of 50 (!!!) doubles to try to add to our travel costs. In addition, we will be prints of artwork done by our daughter Sarah...they are awesome and will be reasonably priced and a great gift for yourself or anyone else! Stay tuned! Sarah is working on taking pictures of the bracelets and the prints. We should post them in the next day or so.

Thanks again for all of your support and prayers. This is a stressful exhausting process, but God is with us all the time, and we know that.We have to give it to Him, take the control away from us and let Him do his awesome work.