Saturday, December 24, 2011

AMAZING Stocking Stuffers!

I have recently been introduced to the most wonderful stocking stuffer ever! I LOVE this idea and am going to ask Santa Claus to make this a yearly tradition for our family. Reece’s Rainbow is a non-profit ministry that advocates for children in orphanages with Down Syndrome, HIV/AIDS and other serious medical conditions. Their goal is to find forever families for each child. One way that they do this is to collect tax-deductable donations for individual children to make their adoption more affordable. Both Jacob and now Michael have been advocated for on Reece’s Rainbow.

New to Reece’s Rainbow’s annual Angel Tree Fund Raiser this Christmas is “Angel Tree Dollars.” Once donations are made to Reece’s Rainbow, “Angel Tree Dollars” are then printed and given to the recipient who can then go to the Reece’s Rainbow site and decide to which child they would like the funds to be applied.

This Angel Tree program is so helpful in teaching our children how much they truly have and how important it is to help others. It is very humbling to read the profiles of the precious children on Reece’s Rainbow and have the opportunity to bless their lives.

Here is how they work:
1. You purchase your Angel Tree dollars.
2. Your Angel Tree Dollars will be immediately emailed to you and you print them out.
3. The recipient will then select the child on the Reece’s Rainbow site that they wish the Angel Tree Dollar to go to. 

To purchase Angel Tree Dollars go to :

To read a WONDERFUL story about a family who did this last year go to:

Thank you for being the wonderful friends that you are to us and supporting us this past year. You are among our greatest blessings. We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Not the news that we were expecting

If timelines were to be the same as they were with Jacob’s adoption, we were expecting our Letter of Acceptance this week. I had big plans of putting it on the Christmas tree to surprise the kids. So when I received an email from our agency with an attachment, I got SO excited! However, upon opening the email I discovered that the attachments were not the Letter of Acceptance but instead a photo of Michael’s foot and Chinese and English translations of his medical records. Michael has formed some severe granulation that is requiring surgery. From the photo, it looks very painful. We are just so sad that we can’t be with him during the time of his surgery and recovery.

In addition to this upsetting news, we were told that our documents are still in translation and that we can anticipate travel in three months. Once again, we had been making plans according to Jacob’s adoption timeline and had planned for travel at the end of January or beginning of February, so the idea of waiting clear until March has floored us.

This is the part that is so difficult…the waiting. It will be hard to fully enjoy the holidays knowing that our little boy is in an orphanage and having surgery. We continue to be so grateful for all of the prayers and support of our friends and family. We are amazed at your goodness and are so thankful that you are willing to take this journey with us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Heart "Grew Three Sizes That Day"

I was feeling very sad yesterday morning as I worked to put up the last of our Christmas decorations. Despite our best efforts, Michael will not be home for Christmas. I was heartbroken, bitter and depressed. Our son has already missed six Christmas’ with us. Do we really have to spend a seventh Christmas apart from each other? I wanted him to see the decorations and Christmas tree lights (which Jacob continually tries to blow out like birthday candles), taste homemade fudge, read Christmas picture books, and feel the excitement of Christmas morning when the children race down the stairs to see the magic that Santa Claus has carefully placed under the tree and in the stockings.

As reality completely sunk in that he would still be in the orphanage come December 25th, I could no longer see my decorations through my tears. I no longer felt like decorating. I decided that Christmas was a difficult time to be trying to adopt a child and it would be challenging to celebrate the season. I began to feel somewhat like the Grinch. It was at that time that the chorus of Handel’s Messiah began to play through my ipod speaker. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Those lyrics hit me and they hit hard.

Christ and His infinite atonement was the greatest gift ever given. The Christmas season is the celebration of that gift…the gift of a child…a Son being “given.” As those lyrics from Handel pierced my soul I realized that Christmas is the PERFECT time to be anxiously awaiting the arrival of our son. And although he will not be here for Christmas Day, I know that we will have the rest of eternity with our son because Christ was born and given to all mankind. What better time to work towards bringing our son to our home than the time that we celebrate the birth of God’s perfect Son? So, like it is described in the Grinch who Stole Christmas when he heard “every Who down in Who-ville” singing…when I heard Handel’s Messiah, I had a complete change of heart and, in fact, “my heart grew three sizes that day.”

Merry Christmas, our sweet Michael. This is the last Christmas that you will spend away from us. We love you and are anxiously waiting for the day when you will be “given” to us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dossier Log-in Date Received!

We received an email from our adoption agency letting us know that we have an official "log-in date (LID)" with CCCWA (11/18/2011). We were able to use much of our previous dossier from Jacob's adoption, but we needed to send in several updated documents including a new home study. With Jacob's adoption we received our "Letter of Acceptance" within a month of our LID, so we are extremely hopeful that we will have a LOA in the next couple of weeks. That would be an amazing Christmas present!

To help our family and friends better understand the milestones in the process of a Chinese adoption, we have created a new page on our blog that lists the most major milestones. The page name is "The Process". We have now completed milestone #12.

We are so grateful for your continued prayers and support. We are blessed to have you join us in our  journey to bring Michael home.